08 April 2012

Security in St. Barths and the President's Speech



Several years ago, I reported on the over-zealousness of the French Frontier Police, who refused entry to St. Barths of my 15 yr. old granddaughter because her passport had expired the previous year.  The following year, the Government (France? Guadaloupe? St. Barths?) wanted not only to keep people out, but to keep them in as well, and they installed, in the entryway of our tiny airport departure lounge,  metal detectors, an x-ray machine for carry-on luggage, and the entire PITA  TSA security routine.  I could never understand why a terrorist would choose to blow up a 12 seater when all those big guys were out there, but such was the state of travel paranoia, even in Paradise.

Fast forward to last month: the Herzfelds came for a visit and waltzed through the immigration lane without anybody even looking at their passports.  Indeed, there was no officer present in the booth, and its window was closed.  They arrived at 1:30 PM and I figured the fuzz were out to lunch. 

Then three days ago the Kayes arrived, again the passport check window was closed, and the hotel guys told me it had been closed all day.  Hmm.

And departure security?  A whole new deal.  The metal detector and x-ray machines are gone. Show a boarding pass, and you are admitted to the gate.  Nice. Now if we could only get out of Afghanistan.

Warning!!  Segway approaching!

Last week I was engaged in an email discussion with friends about my distress with the Obama team’s abject communication failures. Does our President really think that calling the Republican program a “Trojan Horse” and “Social Darwinism” resonates with voters? Egad, what imagery! Why is our President talking about stallions and condoms?  And WTF is Social Darwinism anyway?  How likely is it that this is what the factory workers in Ohio, Michigan, Florida, and Arizona are worried about?  Doesn't all this just reinforce the claim that Obama is an elite academician who has no idea how to talk the talk of middle America, and therefore has no idea what their concerns are?  

So this led to a breakfast discussion with the Kayes of political  popular vernacular,  (Who of you out there remembers FDR’s chant “Martin, Barton, and Fish”?)  which led to a discussion of how to reach people with language, which led, of course, to Groucho Marks and Henny Youngman, which led us to trade some of their stuff, which led to us to laugh hysterically and salt our oatmeal with our tears. 

First Groucho:

Chairman: We are looking for a Treasurer.
Assistant: Yes, sir. Our former Treasurer disappeared a month ago.
Chairman:  That’s the one we are looking for.

Then a Henny Youngman pastiche.  First, my all time favorite: 

Locker room neighbor:  Wow, I never noticed that before.  How long have you been wearing a girdle?
Henny:  Ever since my wife found it in the glove compartment of my car. 
-------------------------------------------

Getting on a plane, I told the ticket lady, "Send one of my bags to New York, send one to Los Angeles, and send one to Miami." She said, "We can't do that!" I told her, "You did it last week!"
……………………………….

Doctor says to a man, "You're pregnant!" The man says, "How does a man get pregnant?" The doctor says, "The usual way - a little wine, a little dinner...."
…………………………………………..
A man goes to a psychiatrist. "Nobody listens to me!" The doctor says, "Next!"
………………………………
A man goes to a psychiatrist. The doctor says, "You're crazy" The man says, "I want a second opinion!" "Okay, you're ugly too!"
………………………………………….
"Doctor, I have a ringing in my ears." "Don't answer!"
…………………………………….
Can somebody please  teach Obama how to talk good?

The oldies are the goodies.  Hope you all had a Happy Easter, a suissen Pesach, and let’s all work for Peace and a great striped bass season!

A bientot.