I have a confession to make: I am in partial agreement with a fellow columnist of this paper. It all started with my lovely daughters getting together to give me a birthday gift beyond measure: a trip to Pittsburgh, for two weeks to vacation and visit my younger kid, Kathleen, and her family.
Earlier this year, Joe Guzzardi wrote a column extolling the virtues of Pittsburgh (as opposed to his remarks regarding his personal opinion of the dwindling benefit of living in loveable Lodi.)
I love Lodi and the people in it with a particular soft-hearted feeling for my fellow squareheads, so I can't really condemn stuff Joe doesn't like so I will gladly pass the blame for the lack of logic in California in general to the poor, inept dingbats in positions of authority who are letting us down so precipitously on a state level. (OK, national level ... I just didn't want to go there. Texas and North Dakota seem to have an attraction value some companies from California are loathe to resist because of the almost inexplicable insanity emanating from Sacramento, but not Bismarck and Austin as regards taxation and regulatory red tape. Insanity and Washington, D.C. are synonymous, suffice it to say.)
What I also wanted to talk about with you guys was the real reason for the new approach Big Sis Napolitano is foisting on the USA via the TSA as they run their inquisitive little mitts all over silver-haired grandmothers' anatomies as well as those of screaming little three-year olds looking for five-ounce bottles of nitro. (4 oz. is OK, as you know.)
In 40 years of playing golf, I taught myself a certain restraint as regards the utterance of words and terms that I know my parents would frown on, but when I saw that TSA idiot grope that screaming baby looking for a 10-megaton atom bomb in her diaper, every word I learned on the Lincoln School playground in the sixth grade leaped into my consciousness, and I thought to myself, "Female or not, I would have punched the idiot who was violating my child so hard she would have been spitting out teeth for a month ... $30,000 fine and a year in jail or not."
Just how much of a sheep does one have to be to subscribe to the non-horse-sensical edicts that drool from the mouths of the TSA's totally inept leadership, both in the airport and from their Ivory Towers?
The conspiracy, in my humble view, is between Big Sis and the people who manufacture those blue gloves. Normally, people who use such protection, such as surgeons, dentists, EMTs and policemen wear them to protect both themselves and the folks they serve but they NEVER wear the same polluted pair on the next person with whom they deal. From the reports I read: The TSA people don't always change gloves between gropings. I don't know about you, but I don't want some inept knucklehead touching me anywhere on my person after he or she just checked the guy in front of me for a bomb in his unmentionables. In short, I'll bet there is a sneaky little arrangement between the latex mob and the TSA chief. In the words of Arte Johnson, the little Gestapo impersonator on "Laugh-in": "Verry Interesting!"
Getting back to my vacation in Pittsburgh: Joe was right, the people in Pittsburgh are polite and thoughtful, almost as nice as true squareheads, even the little kids seem to mind their parents. The city is clean, and the stores and malls are magnificent. The Township where Kathleen and her family live is beautiful and you can look around all you want and you will find no litter, in fact Kathleen and I drove to Lake Erie and found there is more litter on one mile of I-5 than there is on the hundred miles between Pittsburgh and Lake Erie.
En route, by the way, we stopped at a little country restaurant for breakfast (and I hate to mention this because I have dear friends in the restaurant business here in Loveable Lodi) I had steak and three eggs with "Texas toast" and potatoes and Kathleen had eggs, potatoes, toast and grits, and the bill came to an even 10 bucks for both of us, coffee included. I thought I was back in Nick Felten's "Topaz" again.
Lodi is indeed unique. It is easily the most livable city in California. All you have to do to prove that point is travel 20 miles or 200 miles any direction from here and the people in the state will show you you chose right to live here.
Oh yeah, we saw a rear-ender car wreck. They closed the highway for quite a while because of something that doesn't even rate a sideways glance here.
Bob Bader is a chiropractor and a writer. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.