Amanda Hopper Writes

A writer's tale of living and working in the country.

Month: February 2012

Redneck Pre-flight Checklist

There are people who fly often, the Armani-suited businessmen, and then there are people who you are quite certain have only come out of the wilderness for some cruise they won in a magazine drawing. They are the same people who are hard to look at on the return flight because the red glare coming off their skin is both blinding and painful.
Although my husband has been traveling more lately, our experience Friday night brought up some, well, redneck issues that could turn the TSA experience from one of a few minutes of humiliation to one of a weekend spent handcuffed to a chair. So my fellow humans who prefer brisket to caviar and nights in the deer stand to the opera, here is a friendly checklist to review before flying.

Redneck Pre-flight Checklist and Guidelines
1.) Be sure to follow all of the TSA guidelines when checking your handgun. We fully understand the need to protect yourself in the wild lands outside of Texas, but concealed-carry is not popular inside the airport.
2.) Turn your pockets inside-out before leaving the ticket counter. You may have forgotten that 5-inch knife that you always carry for emergencies, or the shotgun shells that you left in there the last time you went hunting.
3.) Do not engage in bullet reloading the week before a flight. TSA frequently swabs hands for explosive residue and guess what is left on your fingers after reloading? Yup. Gun powder. We understand that you were only making bullets for the stockpile, but the man in the uniform may be a Yankee. 
4.) Be sure that the deer meat is cleaned and processed. Blood leaking from the duck-tapped cooler riding around the luggage carousel tends to alarm the Feds. 
5.) The officer is not really asking for your permission to pat you down even though he just saw you buck-naked in the scanner. Your options are to hold still and take it like a man/woman, or be forced to hold still under the weight of a 300 pound TSA officer while not one but five guys look for “hidden” weapons.
Hopefully these five rules will help you avoid any unnecessary jail time. Thank you for paying exorbitant amounts of money to be fondled in public and be sure to place your copy of the bill of rights in the shredder when you remove your shoes for security. Please do not to gorge yourself on the 5 peanuts that are handed to you by the flight attendant and it is customary to at least get the name of the man on sitting next to you on the flight since you shared an intimate 12-inch space with him for three hours.
Have a safe flight! 
 
 

Mandatory Observation

What is it with men and their power tools?
I don’t longingly stare at my Shark Steam Mop when I pass by it in the pantry. I also don’t ever think, wow I’m bored, I think I’ll take that baby for a spin
But my husband?
He seems to think the only way to have some semblance of control over the world is to hack at stuff until it can be turned into something else. His three favorite power tools? Chainsaw, brush hog and table saw. Please tell me the theme is not lost on you…
Most of the time he just hacks away at the land, clearing and such. But when the storm clouds roll over and he has the day off… well he breaks out the table saw.
Don’t get me wrong, I can come up with a hundred things for him to build out of scrap lumber but the most recent project to take shape while I was away for a few hours?
Never. In. A. Million. Years.
I may be a writer, able to craft whole imaginary worlds out of a random statement made by a passerby, but even I don’t have enough creativity for…
A kitty litter tree house.
Let me just give you a minute to reread that statement.
….
….
Did it sink in yet?
His rationalization,”I was tired of walking around it.”
My response, “So it’s better to walk…under…it?”
I swear I tried to make that sound as unsarcastic as possible, hence the small choking sound when I said the word under.
Here’s the thing, I am the cleaner of all things having to do with His Majesty Mr. Spock (the cat).
I stand at barely five feet three inches tall.
The elevated litter box?
It now resides 6 feet off the ground.
When I questioned the brilliance of a tree house potty, and dared ask how the cat was supposed to get up to said outhouse, my beloved husband quickly pointed out that he had built Mr. Spock a ladder.
I can’t make this stuff up people.
So after pursing my lips and rubbing the heels of my hands into my eyes I turned away from him and decreed that he must now submit to mandatory observation while operating the table saw. 

See the brown and blue tent by the ceiling? Also notice the wood ladder hooked to the concrete in the foreground. The metal ladder next to the litter tree house? It’s 8 feet tall…
“Is this payback for that time you had to climb 20 feet up in that tree to get me?”