Commentary

Snow: Getting by security with guns or barbecue

August 17, 2013 

Flying isn’t my favorite mode of transportation. I can’t sleep, even on overnight flights. After all, somebody has to stay awake to hold the plane up.

In packing, I remind my wife to stow her manicure scissors in her luggage. She reminds me to do the same with my knife.

I’m not referring to a butcher knife or one big enough to skin rabbits, but to a 2-inch-long Swiss knife that I carry with me always.

I’ve frequently arrived at the airport only to discover the knife in my pocket. I hand it to some airport employee, remarking, “Here’s a little gift for you.”

Another thing we wonder about as we arrive at checkpoint Charlie is whether it’s OK to take the pound or two of Wilbur’s barbecue to my daughter’s family in Florida. It is.

We never worried about fellow passengers packing guns until a Tennessee man recently was arrested for having a loaded pistol in his carry-on bag.

I thought of my grandmother’s comment, “What’s this world coming to?” whenever she encountered the incredible, the stupid or outrageous. I felt some of that outrage and angst recently at a medical lab. Posted prominently was a sign reading “No guns allowed.”

Crabby

Some readers like to air their gripes here. Raleigh’s Dudley Price is tired of the ongoing debate over the best varieties of North Carolina barbecue:

“What we should be doing is trying to figure out why nobody can make a decent crab cake,” he wrote. “Crabs make up one of North Carolina’s main seafood catches. But go to many restaurants and the crab cake you’ll be served will be crammed with bread filler and taste more like a wad of greasy mush than anything that came from the sea.

“In Maryland or Virginia, crab cake will have zero bread, only lumps of succulent bluefin held together with egg white.

“Florida restaurant critic Chris Sherman notes that many restaurants use bread to save money. I’m betting eateries could sell more, even at higher prices, if they’d serve a REAL crab cake and hold the bread.”

Pastor problem

Some of my folks in the foothills are really upset. Their preacher has quit.

“He was there one Sunday and by next Sunday he and his family had joined another church!” my niece lamented. “He’d been with us nine years. He’s no cornfield preacher. He’s educated. I liked him a lot.”

What further irritates the congregation is that the Board of Deacons won’t tell why the minister resigned. This, of course, leads to all kinds of speculation.

When I suggested that perhaps he was “called” to the other church, a favorite anecdote came to mind.

It involved a preacher who announced one Sunday that he had been invited to pastor a larger and more prestigious congregation. He said he’d be spending time in prayer before deciding to stay or leave.

That afternoon, a parishioner called on the minister. When he knocked, the minister’s little son came to the door.

Asking to speak to the minister, he was told, “Daddy can’t be bothered now. He’s talking to God about whether we should move to the new church or not.”

When the caller asked to speak to his mother, the child explained, “She can’t come either. She’s upstairs packing.”

Last word on y’all

Well-known Tar Heel author Margaret Maron remembers a Saturday Evening Post poem she learned in childhood “… because I was so offended when Hollywood had a sexy, supposedly Southern, blonde drape herself over a man and say things like ‘Would you-all freshen my martini?’ ”

It offers a clear guide on the proper use of “y’all.”

Come all of you from other parts,

Both city folks and rural,

And listen while I tell you this:

The word “you-all” is PLURAL.

If I should say to Hiram Jones,

For instance, “You-all’s lazy.”

Or “Would you-all lend me your knife?”

He’d think that I was crazy.

And when we say, “Now you-all come

Or we shall all be lonely,”

We mean a dozen folks perhaps,

And not one person only.

Snow: 919-836-5636 or asnow@newsobserver.com

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