Friday Firesmith – The Skateboard Savior, and Free Melons

One of the great things about having Moody Air Force base in the area is we get a lot of wonderful volunteers to help with dog rescues. These are not men and women who show up and stand around, oh no, they are active, assertive, and incredible. During the Great Thunder and Lightning, Heat Wave Melon Sellin’, I got a guy named Brady, who was no disappointment. He helped sell melons, helped set up, and sat with me from ten in the morning until one in the afternoon.

At ten it wasn’t bad. The rain had just stopped, and Brady is a dog trainer, so we had no end of stories to tell and listen to from one another. He understands, perfectly, not all dog breeds can be homed with all people. His dog is a German Shepherd, and an active one at that. But he’s from Indiana, and this is his first South Georgia summer. By eleven, the heat is beginning to impress him. We sell a few melons, but I’m beginning to worry the heat is going to get to them, even in the shade. The asphalt parking lot begins to shimmer as the temperature starts racing towards triple digits. An hour goes by and no one stops. The sun is now blasting down pure white heat and Brady turns pink. We shake hands, know we’ll meet again at the next event, and I’m flying solo.

There’s an old adage that if you get out of the heat because you feel like you ought to, it’s already too late. I turn one of the tents over to facilitate pushing the telescopic legs in, and a skate board rolls to a stop at my feet. I’ve blocked the sidewalk, and a young guy carrying a twelve pack in a grocery bag is staring at me.

“Do you need a hand, sir?” he asks, and yeah, I could use some help.

We break down the tents, store them in my truck, sell four watermelons to the last customer, and as I’m selling the melons, the young man breaks one of the tent legs. He is distraught, and offers to pay for the tent.

I offer to give him four melons for helping, and he allows he loves melons and calls his roommate to help come get them, but he still wants to pay for the damage. I tell him if he helps with our next event, we’ll call it even. The tent is older than he is. His roommate arrives and mediates. He thinks four melons is excellent for helping me, and helping with an event ought to even things up. He offers to help, too. We trade numbers and part ways.

The local food bank is closed, and I have dying water melons. Some are already leaking, some are getting soft. A man wanders up and asks how much I’m selling them for. I tell him I’m trying to give them away at that point, and his eyes light up. All of them? Yep, all of them. He gets his cell phone out and starts making calls. A couple of guys show up and start unloading the melons.

“This one is bad, but this one is still good, hey, call Ray, tell him to get down here with the kids, tell him a guy is giving away watermelons!” People start showing up and taking home free melons. This is in the very poorest part of Valdosta and the hottest part of the day. It’s like Christmas to get something to eat for free.

Two guys pool their money and have twenty-seven dollars. They want to pay me. I tell them if they’ll dispose of the bad melons, we’ll call it a day. For the third time in about an hour, I have a handshake deal with someone.

Okay, we made less than one hundred fifty bucks on the day. I had close to seventy bucks in it myself. The weather got us, and the melons were dying. But I made a couple of friends, picked up some new volunteers, and put the excess melons to good use. All in all, despite everything that happened, I drove away feeling pretty damn good.

Take Care,

Mike

Mike writes regularly at his site:  The Hickory Head Hermit.

Opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those of the management of this site.

Friday Firesmith – The Thunder and Lightning, High Heat, Felon Melon Sellin

“Mike, you have a truck, can you go pick up some watermelons for USA Rescue Team?” the message read. 

Sure, what could possibly go wrong? 

I call the contact guy, and he tells me he’s in Adel Georgia, about thirty-five miles away, and that’s about twenty bucks worth of gas. But implicit in my instructions to fetch the melons, is that in some way, I will be helping sell the melons. Dog Rescue is like this; if you offer to help, you’re in all the way or not at all. There is also a chance I’m not helping. There is a chance this will be my event, one hundred percent. 

I’m thinking twenty-five melons, at the most, and I’m also thinking this is a charity event, so we’re going to get them free, right? 

The rescue’s next event is on a Saturday, and my plan is to go get the melons Friday afternoon, because it is not only hot, it is hellish hot, and it is going to be hotter on Saturday. Triple digit heat indices, and nothing lives long in that sort of weather. The guy with the melons tells me if I want them to come get them now. Wednesday arrives and off I go! 

But the guy with the melons is not in Adel, no. He’s another ten miles away, and that’s more gas money. And he wants a dollar apiece for them. And he wants to sell no fewer than fifty at a time. 

Suddenly, we’re talking real money here. But I assume this is the deal the rescue made with him, and after all, I am already there. 

The guy lives out in the woods, and has, literally, thousands of melons everywhere. I tell him fifty, give him fifty bucks, and we load the truck. Suddenly, he acts like he just realizes I’m working with the rescues and gives me twenty bucks back, and gives me free melons. A lot of free melons. I know I cannot sell this many in one day, and I have no place to put them. 

I unload the melons in the shade in the woods at my place, keep them covered and water them down until Friday night. I’ve already lost half a dozen at this point due to heat. 

Forecast: Clear skies, heat, heat, more heat. 

Saturday morning.  The skies open up. It floods. Thunder, lightning, and it’s ten in the morning before I can even get out of the truck.

 But the first customer arrives. He tells me I have to leave and he doesn’t wait to hear my explanation. One minute later a cop arrives.

I make phone calls and cannot reach anyone. But the cop is an understanding soul. He doesn’t believe someone with a load of melon is going to give him a load of bull. The woman who runs our rescue finally makes contact with the guy who owns the parking lot and he just plain forgot he had given permission. We have a conference call, and he turns out to be s stellar person, and all is well. But the rain has stopped, and the sun is coming out. Heat will arrive very soon, and the day has just begun. 

(Part Two, Next Week, Skateboard Savior, and the Neighborhood Guy) 

Take Care,

Mike 

Mike writes regularly at his site:  The Hickory Head Hermit.

Opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those of the management of this site.

Friday Firesmith – The Family Who Knew Killers

Years ago, I dated a woman who was originally from Florida, and we had the “meet the family” trip to see her parents and siblings. Her mother didn’t like me, but her mother didn’t like anyone Kerry brought home. Her brothers liked me, however, because both like beer, and I liked beer, too. We spent a day out on a farm, playing horseshoes and drinking, and I got along very well with Kerry’s father. One of her brothers jokingly asked, “You haven’t killed anyone, have you?”  That’s when the subject of Christopher Wilder came up. 

Wilder had been a friend of the family for a while, and Kerry’s father did some metal work for him. Wilder was charming, had an Aussie accent, so the girls loved him, and he paid a lot of attention to Kerry. She had a serious crush on him, even though she was only sixteen. As fate would have it, Wilder fled back to Australia, and from that point, the story took a gruesome turn for the surreal. 

Christopher Wilder was not only a sexual predator, but also a serial killer. 

The family would never hear from Wilder again, even after he returned to the States, but once he was on the run from the FBI, they realized they were lucky he didn’t kill one, or even both sisters. Kerry’s sister called her one day because Wilder was being chased by the cops, and there was a helicopter filming it. He was killed in a shootout with the police. 

Now, this is a family of simple, quiet, decent people. Mom worked as a receptionist, Dad did metal work, and made beautiful lawn sculptures with interwoven moving parts that I could watch for hours, as long as the wind was blowing. Both sons were hard working, and both daughters were levelheaded and had college degrees. There was not even the hint of criminal activity amongst them. 

After Kerry told me the story of Wilder, and her close encounter with death, I was stunned. But then she sighed, and said there was another story, before Wilder, about a guy her father had worked with, Mr. Smith, when they were little kids. Smith and his wife would come over, have drinks, eat dinner, hey, this sounds familiar, but one day his wife just picked up and left him. Smith told everyone she had went to live with her mother, but her mother hadn’t seen her. Months went by, and one day Smith was arrested by the police. He had killed his wife and buried her body under the front porch of their house. 

Incredibly, he only got ten years for the crime, and Kerry told me she was in the grocery store with her mom when Smith walked up and started talking to them. Kerry didn’t recognize him but her mom freaked and told Smith to get away from them. He had been released and, of course, no one knew it. 

I have no idea what the odds are that one man, Kerry’s father, could live such a benign life, and still have known two murderers in his lifetime, or even one serial killer. 

Take Care,

Mike

Mike writes regularly at his site:  The Hickory Head Hermit.

Opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those of the management of this site.

Friday Firesmith – The Sins of Captain Jack Sparrow and Mera

Back in 2015, Johnny Depp and his wife, Amber Heard, smuggled their dogs into Australia and were busted. They made an apology video that was both cringy and hysterically funny at the same time. It was a portent of things to come, and things that were, so no one should have been shocked when these two wound up in court, fighting over which one was worse person than the other.

Why they were in court, the reality of the case, or cases, I cannot tell you. I simply do not care. These are two people, both rich, both famous, both with serious drinking problems, both with egos that need to be stroked, and both screaming at one another about something or the other, is it really that important?

Gosh, Mike, you’re sitting there writing about these folks, I guess in some way you’ve gotten sucked into the vortex, too, huh?

Hmmm, good point.

Celebrity spats rarely draw my attention, but Depp and I go back a bit. He was in Platoon, 1986, as a minor character, but that movie was stunning in its intensity. I can’t think of anything Heard has ever done that I’ve seen, but I’m sure her career is going to take a hit.

The reality of the personal lives of famous people is rarely beautiful. Nick Nolte’s mugshot for drunk driving is scary looking, and it won’t take you long to Google up a dozen of so sport stars and Oscar winners who were drunk and stupid. Or drunk and violent. Or just drunk.

A DUI is worse for a quarterback or a lead singer, than for a defensive lineman or a drummer, I would think. Getting into a public debacle via the courtroom would make a woman look worse than a man, especially if she did some things that were, uh, better left in the bathroom. But neither of these people are going to wind up on the streets or working as waitstaff at a local restaurant. Shame, really, for working as waitstaff is a lesson in humanity, and a person could learn a lot by dealing with ungrateful customers.  However, I cannot help but believe this event can be monetized, for notoriety has never broken anyone in Hollywood Land.

Marriage is difficult even for normal people with normal problems. I’ve had friends who made things in their lives much worse by dragging their woes out on social media, and it is hard, very hard, to get the genie back in the bottle once people with no skin in the game start yammering for blood. It’s ugly for people who are famous, and it’s ugly for those who are not.

There’s a lesson to be learned from this train wreck of a court case, this tragic love story gone down in filth and greed, ego and alcohol, screaming and blood. You want fame or attention, you may very well get it, and get more than you ever wanted when you do.

Take Care,

Mike

Mike writes regularly at his site:  The Hickory Head Hermit.

Opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those of the management of this site.

Friday Firesmith – Santa Getting Chased By a Moccasin

Nearly everyone I have ever met in Georgia, and in other places as well, has a story about being chased by a Cottonmouth. It’s like asking a kid if he or she has seen Santa Claus. You get half a dozen little kids in the same room and start talking about seeing Santa and you’ll start hearing stories about how one kid heard hooves on the roof from reindeer or peeked in as Santa was putting the bike together, or they looked out of the window and saw the sleigh in the sky.  

Okay, some of these children actually believe they saw something, and because they believe in Santa, they think they really did see him. The others are lying. It’s harsh to say that, but all stories about Santa are untrue, we know that. The only question is deception or misconception. And we know when we begin to tell children about Santa, we’re lying. When the kids grow up, they’ll repeat the lie, because it’s been going on for so long no one can figure out how to stop it. Cottonmouths chasing people is remarkably similar.  

After twenty years of living next to a pond that is overgrown with weeds, a haven for frogs and other amphibians, I see a Cottonmouth, or three, every week. I see a lot of Banded Water Snakes, which frequently are confused for Cottonmouths. In my entire life, it’s totally possible that I’ve encountered hundreds of Cottonmouths. I’ve caught dozens of them. I have never been chased, not once. 

However, nearly every person you talk to who has been in the woods at all, will tell the story of being chased. Some mistake the snake’s attempt to flee as pursuit. But at the end of the day, there isn’t one video out there of a Cottonmouth chasing anyone. Not one. No nature show has ever recorded this. All the shows about hunters and fishermen and outdoors activity, nope, not a single video of a Cottonmouth chasing someone. 

Before this gets cranked up into story swapping time, you might want to do some reading. Since the beginning of time, only four people have ever died from the bite of a Cottonmouth. Look it up. Try to find some evidence that these snakes are out there trying their hardest to bite people. If they’re chasing, they are miserable at it. Or it simply isn’t true. 

https://www.charlotteobserver.com/news/state/north-carolina/article244273097.html

Here’s a news article about a man who studies Cottonmouths. He’s going to say a lot more of what you’ve read here. 

Here’s a FaceBook group. There are literally hundreds of videos on this site of Cottonmouths Not Chasing People

The Cottonmouth is America’s favorite villain. Even in states well out of the range map of the Cottonmouth, people still tell the story of  someone who “fell into a nest of Cottonmouths and was killed”. Yet the evidence that this story happened, or honestly, any of the stories told about Cottonmouths ever really happened, are like the stories told about Santa Claus. We like to believe in some magic being, we want our kids to believe this, but we also seem to need something scary as well. Unable to find this scary creature, we invented one, and once again, it’s simply not true. Ever.  

Take Care,

Mike

Mike writes regularly at his site:  The Hickory Head Hermit.

Opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those of the management of this site.

Friday Firesmith – Max, the Life and Death of a Dog

Max was never truly healthy, as far as I know. Most purebred dogs have issues of some sort or another, and Max was no different. At eight years old, for a Cocker Spaniel, he should have had a few years left, but when I met Max a little over three years ago, he already seemed old. 

His first owner was a man who had retired early from the Air Force, had a few health problems himself, and decided to become a lawyer. He studied for hours at his home and bought Max to keep as company. But this man was not a dog person, and other than letting Max out to go to the bathroom and feeding him, Max lived a solitary life with someone. 

After his first owner died, Max lived for four years with a woman who liked dogs, loved Max, and she had friends who would come over, not something Max was used to, but he liked the attention. Max also discovered the wonderous creation we call “racquet balls”. Max became quite adept at catching a ball in midair, after the first bounce, and we once had a contest to see how many in a row Max could catch. His record stood at forty-seven. One of the oddest things, was Max taught himself to throw the ball down the back steps, and he would chase after it before it got to the bottom. Max did this for hours at a time. 

  Max was slowing down, getting blind, going deaf, and he was having a harder and harder time getting up on the bed, and sometimes, he seemed lost, even in his own home. He began crying and howling loudly when his owner left the house, and she had no idea why he was behaving this way, with no good reason at all. 

Life wasn’t done with the little black and white dog, and his second owner died just four years after his first went. Max went to live with his former owner’s brother, who was not is great health himself. I helped out by taking Max to the groomer, and that sort of thing, but Max was adrift. Even living with someone he knew and loved, Max had been torpedoed twice in his life, and his heart was broken. 

Max’s health went downhill, and when he developed cancer, the operation itself might have been enough to kill him. We buried Max in the backyard, near the shop at his new owner’s house, and the story for Max ends there. 

This is a scene played out every day in every state. People die and their pets enter a world of pain and confusion, with no control over what happens to them. In Dog Rescue, we get elderly dogs taken from the homes of dead or dying people who loved these animals for years, but made no plans as to what might happen when the owner died. 

Max landed well twice, but I think the loss killed him. I think even though he was loved and taken care of, there was a hole in his life that could not be filled with treats or ball tossing. Dogs love harder than any other creatures I have met and losing someone takes a lot out of a dog. Plan for your dog’s next journey in life. Put it in your will. Make the effort to see your dog is taken care of in this world, if you move on to the next. 

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Take Care,

Mike

Mike writes regularly at his site:  The Hickory Head Hermit.

Opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those of the management of this site.

Friday Firesmith – The Nerodia Express

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I am now aquatic. I bought a kayak, and even though I’ve only had a chance to use it once, I’m really going to like this watercraft. This is a two part Friday Firesmith with more questions than answers, and as we float along, you’ll understand where we’re headed in this. 

My kayak is the  Weber 132, and as I will be doing a lot of solo paddling, it’s a little on the heavy side, but I got a great deal on it. All I want is a boat that is sturdy, stable, and had a place for a small cooler, which this one does on all counts. Part One! If you have a kayak, what kind and why do you love it? I have named her, “The Nerodia Express” 

Nerodia, pronounced Ne-Ro-dia, not Nero-dia, like I pronounced it before I heard someone say it correctly, covers all the water snakes around this part of the world. Invariably, anyone who sees a snake in the water starts screaming, “MOCCASIN!” so I’ll be out in the swamps and lakes taking photos of trees, sunrises, and water snakes. And Cottonmouths, too, yes. 

Which brings us to the question of cell phones with cameras. Part Two! What kind do you have, and it is worth what you paid for it? Waterproof, it has to be waterproof. 

So while we’re talking watercraft, and cameras, my first few trips will be local lakes, and rivers, if there’s enough water. Banks Lake, in Lakeland Georgia, is going to be my first stop early next week, barring taking Mom to the doctor or something like that. The cypress trees reflecting in the water are beautiful. I hope to get in early enough so the fisher folk won’t make too much noise, and it will be warm enough for snakes to be sunning themselves. Then to Grassy Pond, a small lake in Lowndes County. Then off to one of the river landings for a short trip or two. After I get my fins under me, I will be hitting the Okefenokee Swamp. Several blue springs in Florida are close enough to be a good day trip, or overnight on a weekday. 

After all that, who knows? 

It would be nice to travel a bit, go to some different lakes around the states, and see the world a little. I’m open to suggestions as to place to paddle, and if you have one, sing it out! 

I like being on the water. I like the way floating feels, and how the wind shifts me around ever so slightly. A turtle came up to investigate me on Sunday, my first trip in, and he seemed amazed at what he was seeing. I was. 

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Take Care,

Mike

Mike writes regularly at his site:  The Hickory Head Hermit.

Opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those of the management of this site.

Friday Firesmith – Blockage Betty and the Walker

Mom needed to go get an ultrasound today at SGMC and getting there half an hour early seemed like a good idea. The entrance has a drop off point wide enough for two vehicles, but an ambulance is parked on the outside lane, and a car is parked behind the ambulance. This restricts traffic to one drop off lane. 

I’m not sure what’s going on with the ambulance, but whoever is in there is having a worse Monday than me or even Mom, but Mom can’t stand for long periods of time, she doesn’t walk well at all, and so I have to drop her off close to the door, get one of their wheelchairs, and wheel her in. 

The issue is the car ahead of me. They pull up close to the door, and nothing happens. Two minutes go by, more cars are pulling up behind me, and finally a woman gets out of the car, goes to the trunk and gets a walker, opens the passenger side door, and a man gets out. 

Then they talk for a couple of minutes while he’s standing there, she’s still got the walker, and finally he gets the walker, goes in, she goes in behind him, and they’re both gone. Another couple of minutes pass, and the line behind us is wicked long. People are unloading behind us, and the elderly are beginning to migrate. I pull up as close behind the abandoned car and let Mom out, I go get a wheel chair, get her seated in line, and go back to the truck. I can’t move it. The line behind is now too long to see the end. The ambulance hasn’t moved, and the woman who was driving the abandoned car, well, isn’t there. 

The ambulance driver gets out and looks at the car. The woman behind the ambulance looks at the car. I look at the car. Nothing can be done. I start to go back inside and the woman comes out, gets into the car, and just sits there, texting. 

Finally, she cranks up the car, moves forward, and stops. There’s a parking space with a car about to back out of it in the parking lot and she wants to wait for it. I blow my horn and she moves. I move. The line moves. 

I park the truck in another area code and walk back. The ambulance is still there, the car behind the ambulance is still there, but the line is moving now. More and more people are coming in. 

I find Mom next in line, in the wheelchair, waiting to be checked in. The man in front of her, no, not the same guy that arrived with Blockage Betty, is confused about where he’s supposed to be. There is one receptionist. She’s trying to figure out where this guy belongs, if he has an appointment somewhere, and no one on earth seems to know who he is or why he’s in the building at all. He can’t remember what doctor sent him here. 

The thirty minutes early has evaporated, and we haven’t said good morning to anyone yet. 

Meanwhile, I see Blockage Betty, but not the man she was with. Then I spot him, walking across the room, without his walker, without help, as if there isn’t anything wrong with him at all. He stands there and talks to her and another man. His walker is right there, alone and abandoned. 

We get checked in, wait, get checked into the ultrasound place, wait, they wheel mom into the ultrasound room, and in less than twenty minutes after going into the ultrasound, we’re heading out again. 

Blockage Betty and her man aren’t to be found. But as I wait to get close enough to load mom into the truck, I see a woman sitting in a wheelchair near the curb. A van pulls up, people get out, open the door, and unload someone directly in front of this woman, so she has to back up. Five feet in one direction or another, and there would have been no conflict. 

I’m not sure when our society became so myopic that it’s everyone for themselves, even when it comes to a woman in a wheelchair.

Take Care,

Mike

Mike writes regularly at his site:  The Hickory Head Hermit.

Opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those of the management of this site.

Friday Firesmith – Check Engine

The last time I had my tires rotated, the yellow tire inflation light came on. No big deal at all, but try as I might, I couldn’t get it to go off. Air in, air out, so when they rotated the tires this time, the light still stayed on. The next day, I was going to go back and have them check out what was going on, but then the infamous and murky, “Check Engine” light came on, along with my anti skid light. My cruise control stopped working, and it was impossible to accelerate quickly. All hades had broken loose. 

If you go on social media and ask, “What do you think the problem is here?” You’ll get the right answer, but you’ll also get a dozen more answers ranging from “Check your battery,” to “It’s the Russians hacking into your phone to steal your guns from Jesus.”  I Googled the issue, forming the question differently a few times, and the thing that made the most sense was a sensor had gone bad, and once one of the “Check Engine” sensors go bad, it cascades into taking out a few more systems, hence the cruise control being dead, and the acceleration being missing in action. 

I went to one of those box parts stores to get a free test and the indifferent but interesting looking 12 year old girl told me the sensor was dead. No, I doubt she was really 12, but at my age anyone under thirty looks like they’re still in grade school. This woman has some great tattoos, and a very unique face, but she was bored to death, and anyone her age thinks guys my age are a hard sneeze away from cardiac arrest. 

Back to the tire place, where they replace the tire sensor and tell me the “check engine” icon is beyond their ken. I must travel to the dealership, and that means I’m about to take a very serious hit as far as money goes. 

At the dealership, the overly friendly manager offers me free doughnuts and coffee, as well as a free diagnosis. While waiting, I eat the doughnuts, drink the coffee, and search the internet on how much I can get for a kidney. The manager returns in thirty minutes, right after a piece of my liver is listed on eBay, and tells me I have mice. 

Mice? As in rodents? 

Yes. There’s a wire that’s been chewed through in the bowels of the truck, and they can fix it, but it’ll take some time because they have to get both ends to replace the whole wire. 

Okay, but how much will it cost? 

$137.00, and they’re going to replace the sensor, just in case.

An hour later I’m on the road, all the warning lights are off, I can accelerate easily, and my cruise control is back. I’m not a big fan of dealerships, but I have this odd feeling that I just got away from that place as cheaply as was possible. I have a sugar buzz from the doughnuts, a caffeine buzz from the coffee, and have to cancel my liver on eBay now. 

Take Care,

Mike

Mike writes regularly at his site:  The Hickory Head Hermit.

Opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those of the management of this site.

Friday Firesmith – Travel Fatigue

To begin with, what happened, and how it happened, was totally my fault, or at least the part that involved what happened to me. For years, every time I’ve gotten on an airplane, arrived early, checked in online, and done all the things that were asked, and then sat and waited for an hour while other passengers arrived just as boarding was starting. So about an hour early, maybe a little less, I arrive and was told another flight, much later in the day, would be my only choice. 

I’m a writer. There is never any dead time, unless my laptop dies, and even then, there’s notebooks. I settled in for a long write session, and the hours did their thing. 

What I did not know was the airline had oversold the seats, they had sent out texts to some passengers that lived closer to the airport asking them to take the later flight, but as soon as enough people to fill the plane went through the gate, they closed the door on the rest of us. 

This epiphany arrive via a conversation with my eventual seatmate on the flight, and other people who overheard this joined in. A good half dozen people, at least, were left stranded by the airline, and wound up sitting in the airport for eight hours. 

It was not pretty. 

Let’s go back to when The Delayed were finally within an hour of getting off the ground. One of Delayed was angry and decided to take it out on the people running the boarding gate. First, he demanded to be boarded ahead of everyone else. I understood that. Then he demanded to be boarded RIGHT &%$#@*& NOW and the issue there was the plane had not arrived. Looking out of the windows, which are very large, and quite clean, there was no airplane. He could see this, we all could, but there he was, berating the boarding crew, and one of them said, “Sir, sit down. If you do not we will call security.” And that is when he started taking photos of the gate crew with his cell, close up photos, and guess what happened next? 

The TSA arrives. There are six of them. Not one of them looks as if they understand the man’s anger and will surely take his side in the argument. Nay, not one. Handcuffs were issued, and a free ride in a cart was offered.

I can swear this next part is true, but it seems like they delayed the plane getting to the gate because of this. It was nearly an hour later before we boarded, which meant those of us with connecting flights were screwed. 

But none of this is the fault of the TSA, even though most of the passengers were grumbling about how the TSA handled the guy. I think they did what they had to do. I did not want that person on a plane with me.  

Because a large population of The Delayed were also on my connecting flight, that one was pushed back an hour, and my seatmate and myself became friends. And thirteen hours after my journey began, it ended, and vacation albeit late, was commenced. 

Take Care,

Mike

Mike writes regularly at his site:  The Hickory Head Hermit.

Opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those of the management of this site.