As we hit the road for family vacations this summer to reunite with relatives and old friends, we brace ourselves. There's always someone we're forced to see whom we can't stand. Maybe it's their politics, religion, lifestyle or hairstyle, but, inevitably, a heated debate blows up like lighter fluid around the backyard bbq.
I fancy myself a peacemaker (which is a hollow lie, but whatever). What do I do to build bridges between opposing sides when everyone's supposed to be having a good time?
I bring up the TSA.
The TSA is one of those unifying forces, like bad gas or Anthony Weiner.
Everyone can agree they don't like it. Which isn't fair.
I find 99 percent of TSA employees cheerful, vigilant, helpful and I should know. I'm on a plane every week. However, I also think urologists, proctologists, and oncologists are generally very good...but who wants to see one?
With that in mind, I'm a little flummoxed at a toy being sold on Amazon.com called the Spy Gear Security Detector.
For a mere $12.95 (on sale!), kids can finally stop playing cowboys and indians and move on to TSA versus the Taliban. Or TSA versus the elderly grandmother with the walker who can't take off her shoes to go through the metal detector.
"Protect your HQ with this handheld metal detector," the product pitch reads from manufacturer Wild Planet. "LED alarm alerts you when a metal object is found. Lightweight and portable."
This is what constitutes childlike fun?
I wonder if the toy is meant as a gag. Maybe a little. I might buy one for laughs. Amazon claims people who buy the Security Scanner often buy Wild Planet's Lie Detector Kit, too, a product I recommend to mothers wanting to "prove" their kids are lying—something we already know through our Mommy Super Powers of Lie Detection.
What's next? The Playskool Full Body Scanner can't be far behind—the 21st century version of playing doctor.
Maybe plastic bins from Mattel to put your kiddie laptop and belt in? A Leapfrog edition of The Patriot Act?
Speaking of security issues...
Questions? Comments? Funny Stories? Email firstname.lastname@example.org