Tuesday, April 29, 2008

The Age of Paranoia

OK, so I’m going to the Mariner’s game the other night, and I get stopped at security to look through my bag, and they won’t let me in because I had, as a key chain, a small Swiss army knife. I should have remembered that we are living in the Age of Paranoia, and that such small potentially pokey things are a no-no for sporting events, but come on. This is a Swiss Army Knife! It’s not a weapon. Even members of the Swiss Army don’t use them as weapons. Honestly, I think one of the gadgets on thing is a white flag. This particular Swiss army knife couldn’t cut butter. Yet they made me walk all the way back to my car, or throw it away. I walked, in a huff.

So I was preparing a scathing blog about how ridiculous stadium security is nowadays. (That’ll show ‘em!) I mean what’s more likely, getting stabbed to death with an implement better designed to open bottles of pinot grigio than combat, or being beaned by a 120mph line drive foul ball? -This being a baseball game I was banned from after all- I had a whole list of other things that are allowed into stadiums which are much more dangerous. (For instance: They allowed me to enter with a pen and paper on which I can write dangerous things like, “If someone won’t let you into a ball game because of your Swiss Army Knife, choke the living S*** out of them.”) Oh, it was going to be a devastating critique of the fearful, ridiculous, terrorist loathing times we live in and the lengths we go to for the artifice of safety, all of it premised by the fact that, come on, nobody’s ever been killed with a Swiss Army knife, at least nobody that you’ve ever heard of.

Then, at the last second, just to be on the safe side, I googled “Killed by a Swiss Army Knife” and what should turn up? Mark Fuhrman’s book on the OJ Simpson case! Fuhrman speculates that the murder weapon wasn’t OJ’s hunting knife, but rather a Swiss Army Knife for which he'd found a box, but never the actual weapon. (Perhaps it was OJ’s key chain?) And with that, my blog premise was blown, and the devastating jokes therein ruined.

So I suppose I must concede this one to you, stadium security personnel. Your paranoia is justified. How can you know that I’m not a violence-prone former athlete and car rental agency spokesman? I guess my little combo bottle-opener, tweezers and toothpick could indeed be used lethally and treating me like a terrorist is perhaps the right thing to do.

But wouldn’t it just be easier to keep OJ out of the ballpark?

1 comment:

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