Saturday, March 29, 2008

Ponderings on the Bizarro

Many times people exhibit bizarre behavior that comes to the attention of the authorities. It's up to these hopefully enlightened men and women to decide what to do next. Sometimes, one is left wondering if what occurred was the best possible outcome.

Take for instance the case of the nipple ring at the Lubbuck Airport on February 24th. The circumstances were pretty straightforward--a woman went successfully through the metal detectors, but was singled out to be screened with a hand-held device. This apparently more sensitive monitor beeped in the breast area, at which time the woman said to the TSA woman that she had two nipple rings. OK, I said to myself, so far so good. Certainly the TSA has had to deal with nipple rings before. Apparently not.

What happened next bordered on the bizarre. The body-pierced woman suggested to the female TSA officer an above-the-waist strip search that would prove that the nipple rings were in fact just that and not something more sinister. After conferring with higher TSA officials, it was decided that the rings had to be removed, viewing them was not good enough.

Not knowing anything about these nipple appliances, I did not realize it would take pliers to remove them. But that's what happened to this lady. She found that although her nipple ring popped right o
ut, it was the nipple bar on the other side that caused the problem.

She was understandably embarrassed and distraught at the handling of this affair. At a press conference with the use of a bra-ed mannequin and a strategically placed nipple ring and bar, she and her attorney made the situation perfectly clear to assembled TSA officials and the press. You could hear a collective ouch when she pulled the bar out with the pliers. To their credit, the now enlightened TSA changed its procedure regarding body-jewelry. They let it be known that henceforth passengers could either allow a visual inspection or remove the offending rings, bars or brads.

Now that body-piercing is on the TSA's radar screen, you might consider warning pierced persons you know to remove the devices before heading to the airport. Especially those individuals who have body piercings in more intimate places below the waist--think of the embarrassment that could cause. Or maybe not. It probably took a certain lack of embarrassment to get a piercing there in the first place, don't you think? What's more, these intrepid exhibitionists might like to see the look on the TSA inspectors faces when forced to find what's causing that incessant beep-beep-beep below the waist.

OK, in all seriousness, my advice to the TSA: forget the visual inspections and just turn the sensors down a notch. No body piercing jewelry has ever been implicated in a terrorist attack to date. Seems to me this might be a case of prejudice against the unusual dude or dudette rather than a real threat against the security of this nation.

Not to be outdone by this nipple-pierced lady, law enforcement officials in northern Wisconsin have had to deal with a criminal complaint against a man caught screwing a dead deer by the side of the road. Yes, that happened not far from here when a man spotted a road kill when bicycling and pulled it off into the woods to make whoopy. He is reported to have felt bad about it later and confessed to having a problem. I can see that, how about you?

This week the man was convicted of the crime, although his attorney contended it was not a crime to make love to a dead deer, only one that was alive. The court found that argument was splitting hairs and convicted this obviously troubled individual of crimes against a deer. When the man gets out of jail, he will have to register as a sex offender. Won't the registrar be surprised when she gets these documents. Bet she checks to see if someone is pulling her leg.

I don't know about you, but a psychiatric evaluation might have been more in order. It could have changed the whole dynamic from one of "punishing the pervert" to that of helping an obviously troubled soul. It certainly would have made me feel better as Mrs. John Q. Public who lives in an area often littered with dead deer on many roads less-traveled.

And moving on, a man out east was convicted this week of putting his 2-month old baby in the microwave for 10 - 20 seconds. Crazy, you ask? At least that's the word that immediately came to my mind. As a matter of fact, the perpetrator said he was experiencing a period of psychosis and pleaded temporary insanity. The jury thought not, and the man was sent to the hoosegow. I did ask myself, why someone who experiences psychosis was left to watch a 2-month old baby. Maybe that's the same thing the jury wondered as they pondered this more than troublesome case.

And finally, the first case of mass national delusion may have been documented this week, although justice will not be meted out by a jury as in the case above. In what could only be termed strange behavior, the Chinese government conducted a Potemkin tour of Lhasa, Tibet with outside journalists to prove that the situation there was now calm, and everyone was ready to move on to happier times. The officials took the corralled press from hither to thither, interviewing along the way. In what was perceived by these detainees as a fully scripted tour, no one was allowed to deviate from the itinerary or wander from the group. A few intrepid reporters tried, but failed.

Not surprisingly, those interviewed, even a rebel in prison, said that what happened was wrong and against the doctrine of communism. Of course, the disruption of the tour by the crying Buddhist monks was brushed aside as atypical. After all, these men were loyal to the splittist Dalai Lama and, therefore, should be ignored. "Let's move on please," the smiling Chinese guides were quoted as saying. God knows what happened after that episode to the beleaguered monks, who appeared to have come completely unglued living in this apparent madhouse.

The Chinese were obviously quite serious in their attempts to persuade the busy entourage that everything was back to normal. I was left convinced that the Chinese government must be suffering from collective delusion. In an era of 24/7 news, their attempts at such deceptive persuasion looked, shall we say, crazy.

The journalists on this walk-about could be the enlightened heroes here by not letting this unsettling moment pass without calling it what it is--and respectfully requesting freedom to gather news in Tibet without restraint. With the Beijing Olympics in the offing, they might have a window of opportunity here. Even delusion governments have been known to come to their senses when their reputation is on the line--as well as mega-bucks, of course. That's what you call crazy as a fox.

Of Note: This roadside photo was taken by Jim in 2001 at the old Namekagon River bridge just a stone's throw from our driveway. It's an example of a northern Wisconsin thoroughfare and shows how isolated some of them can be. Think Mrs. John Q Public from the story above.

Today's Weather Report: Today was sunny, the temps were in the 30's and the snow was receding slowly but surely. From my records, I saw that in 2005 it was 73 degrees and the daffodils were up 4 inches in places! Certainly does not comport to the snowy scene outside today. Here global warming must mean global cooling.

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