An Insider's Look at Mormon Culture

Most erotic moment:  George’s TSA screening at the Salt Lake Airport. For reasons unknown, he was selected for the full body scan while I walked through the regular metal detector. The body scan was followed by the thorough pat down which has coined such phrases as “TSA made me gay” and “TSA stands for Tourists  Sexually Assaulted.” I laughed at George until the TSA officer started groping places where polite people don’t scratch in public. George was justifiably angry and upset—especially when the TSA officer asked about the knee brace he was wearing. Since that’s what showed up on the body scan, why not check the knee rather than the genitals? Knowing that other senior citizens were being subjected to intimate inspection failed to make us feel safer on our flight. But at least TSA is providing work for thousands of Americans who possibly haven’t the skills to repair bridges, highways, and other crumbling infrastructure which our tax dollars could fund instead.

Most snuggly moment: Three-month-old Lennox looking at pictures while I read One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish to her.

Most poignant moment: Two-year-old Pelicans showing how her mom taught her to say Granny. Granny came out Genie, but who cares?

Most spiritual moment: Christmas Eve service at Mars Hill Church. Singing “Silent Night” by candlelight on Christmas Eve is a pleasure not limited to true believers.

Most unusual anecdote: My brother Dooby’s account of a recent funeral he attended. One of his poker buddies who suffered from cirrhosis of the liver—brought on by years of drug and alcohol abuse—was found unconscious and taken to the hospital where he died a few days later. The man had no family except for a couple of nephews who lived out of state, so a woman in the poker group suggested the group clean up his house and hold a memorial service for him. The poker players found the house full of stashes of marijuana and learned the guy was the local dealer. They announced the service and put the pot out for takers. According to Dooby, every pothead in the county showed up to pay their respects. “And they were really nice people.”

Most uplifting moment: Being dropped off at the ferry terminal on Bainbridge Island as the last call for the ferry was announced, running up a half block of steep ramps clutching bags and pulling loaded suitcases—and making it with no heart attacks!

Most 3rd World moment: Being mobbed by taxi and limo drivers at the ferry terminal exit in Seattle. Six or 8 men aggressively vied for our patronage trying to wrest my suitcase from my hands. We fought them off and chose an older gentleman who stood quietly. One of the others yelled, “Why you choose him?” “Because he didn’t yell and grab.” Our driver, a Russian, said the aggressive drivers were mostly Somalis which explains a lot. That’s the way guides and drivers get tourist business in developing countries—but I wasn’t prepared to see that in Seattle. Maybe the economy is worse than I thought.

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Comments on: "Travel Highlights and Hazards–Christmas 2010" (4)

  1. Brilliant! And I love Bainbridge Island. Happy New Year to you and your family, CC.

  2. I wonder how many taxi customers assert themselves like that – maybe if enough do they will succumb to market pressures and stop yelling and grabbing! 🙂

    • I hope so. I’m been thinking I should complain to someone in city government. Since taxi drivers are licensed by the city, the city ought to have some control over aggressive behavior.

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