Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Prometheus, Where Ye Be?

I don't want to get off on a libertarian rant here, but I can't even begin to describe the short-sightedly idiocy that is the Transportation Security Administration's decision to ban lighters from all commerical airplanes.

This policy hath officially been in effect for eight months or so, but it took until last week for me to want to pummel the bureaucratic dumbasses who came up with the plan. Lighter prohibition? How about we ban the simpletons with half-baked intellect from participating in government instead? That might make all the difference.

Do these people think they're going to stop the next Shoe Bomber with this rule? Let me tell you, it's really difficult to smuggle a book of fucking matches on board the aircraft. How 'bout we worry about the bombs, not the triggering devices? Up next for the TSA, re-arranging the deck chairs on the Titanic (cliche zing!). I swear I'm bringing two sticks and a magnifying glass with me on my next flight.

It's pretty obvious to me who's behind this moronic policy: the Lighter Lobby. Bic and Friends have banded together to scam the American public into buying more lighters. How else can we explain why the prohibited lighters collected are just tossed in the trash?

We've been had, we've been took, we've been hoodwinked, bamboozled, led astray and run amok. Don't think they're increasing sales of these things? Check this out, a collection amassed in only a few hours, at one airport:

So my solution is easy: Give a lighter, take a lighter. Throw a lighter in the bin on the way through the metal detector, receive a stamped receipt from the TSA, fly to your destination and collect one on the other side. Seems fair to me, and it'll create at least one job at every terminal in every airport.

Three quick rules, though. First, the receipt is only good for 48 hours, then your claim to a lighter is void. Secondly, all passengers must accept it if there are no lighters in the bucket --though they may choose to wait around on a first-come, first-serve basis.

Lastly, if the bucket is indeed full, the passenger may choose whichever lighter they see fit in their category (Zippo, non-Zippo regular, non-Zippo mini), but they cannot light it inside the airport -- they can shake it and inspect it, but not light it.

I'm not a cheap fucker. In fact, I'm a oft-spendthrift. But it's the principle of the thing, that I can't bring something on board that is totally harmful to everyone around me is absolutely ludicrous.

I want action, I demand to be heard. Somebody please forward this post to your uncle at the TSA, and let's change the world.


At 6:34 PM, Blogger Russell Kahn said...

On my last flight (last month), they were selling lighters in the little newspaper stand inside the waiting area, right by boarding.

In other words--way past security.

At 6:46 PM, Blogger brucey mcbruce said...

I don't know about bamboozling, but clearly there's some hoodwinking going on here. Ace, the new category idea could slow things down. I think you gotta stick with the give one, take one rule. So if you bring your brand new zippo, just know I'm going to take on the other end and you're pretty much SOL.

At 6:46 PM, Anonymous phatpaw said...

Hey, but they are so nice to let you bring up to 4 match books with you. Generous as can be!

At 6:49 PM, Blogger Ace Cowboy said...

True dat, phatpaw. Double true.

(I just can't stop saying it.)

At 11:06 PM, Anonymous The Heretik said...

Makes far too much sense.

At 12:14 AM, Blogger Trix said...

I always put my lighter inside my pack of cigarettes, and I've yet to be caught with it. I'm not sure if it's because there's a scientific reason for this...or if it's just because the security workers at O'Hare are the laziest fuckers ever. Either way, never fails.

At 9:53 AM, Blogger Momentary Academic said...

Ace Cowboy, you're one of those people who's going to come up with the next million dollar idea. Damn it. Why can't it be me...

At 11:01 AM, Blogger Ace Cowboy said...

Million dollar idea? Hardly. Wel,, maybe I'll come up with it, but I'm FAR too lazy to follow through with it.

At 1:15 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ha! While I'm not a smoker a good buddy of mine has been reaping the rewards of this policy for a long time. He's like the lighter fairy (wait, that didn't come out right) and disperses them liberaly. He seriously has BUCKETS of Bics. Come to think of it, Bic is a French Co, oui? So this policy is helping the French economy. Stop the lightermongering!


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