From 1997 to 2002, I taught members of industrial fire brigades from Oklahoma to Maine to
Michigan to Georgia. Occasionally, I would have to fly and when I did, I would take my
insurance policy with me.
It looked like a Beretta Model 92 9mm semi-automatic pistol, but it wasn’t. It was made of
metal like a Beretta Model 92, but that metal was aluminum, as in aluminum foil, nothing but
What I carried with me was a piece of aluminum foil, cut to look exactly like a Beretta Model
92 9mm semi-automatic pistol. Once cut to the precise dimensions of the original, I would
carefully fold this piece of aluminum into a chewing gum wrapper from whence it should have
originated. Invisible to cursory scans and immune to airport x-rays, I carried this, hidden from
view, secret agent style, only in my possession, only to be used as the defensive deterrent it
truly was meant to be.
This was my insurance policy against the single force that could thwart my arrival at any
business destination; the mother flying solo with screaming kids.
No person can deflect this woman’s need for multiple seating.
No person can distance themselves far enough from her highly audible brood.
No person can resist her pleas for assistance and more room.
No person slows my rate of travel faster.
No person ruins my schedule faster.
No person destroys all the best laid plans of mice and men I may have.
I cannot bypass her for everyone yields her right-of-way.
I cannot present a need greater than hers.
I cannot convince airline personnel to force her off the plane.
But, I can destroy her.
With my single use insurance policy.
Please, permit me to explain.
Simply stated, I acquire a current trendy motherhood/parenthood/bed&breakfast magazine
from a local airline terminal merchant (price is of no object for a man on a mission) and use it
for cover as I unfurl my aluminum foil. I place the cut-out aluminum foil decoy in the back of
the magazine so it will not fall out. Then, as the gentleman all think I am, I present to the
mother of the Gang of 4 or more, a carelessly discarded magazine I have no subject interest in.
She always is looking for such a distraction from her current biological litter and will accept
my gift cheerfully.
Beware of Greeks bearing gifts.