Friday, December 01, 2006

Magic Words in America - Contact a Lawyer

At the airport today, we witnessed a scene that really endeared the U.S. to some visitors from Canada.

There was an old couple, I'd say in their 70s. The husband had an oxygen tank which apparently had no problems for the airlines when it left Canada for the United States. But somehow, during the time this couple spent in San Francisco (which I assume to be a fairly short time) the oxygen tank became a suspect item.

As they announced that it was now time to board, people stood in the doorway to prevent these people from getting on the plane, because they hadn't gotten clearance for the tank. The wife was screaming, "But I don't understand, we came down from Canada with this oxygen tank. I looked on the website, I talked with agents. NO ONE SAID IT WAS A PROBLEM!"

The wife was getting more and more agitated. The husband would stand up, run out of breath, and sit back down again mad at himself for needing the oxygen tank, at the airlines preventing them from returning to their home, at the stupid TSA rules, at the inconsistency of information, etc.

Bratworse and I watched with growing anger. The unreasonableness was so unfair and it was clear to everyone around.

Oh yes, these two white haired trembling white people were definite terrorists. NOT!!!

Bratworse leaned over to me and said, "I wish there was something we could do."

I told her that we could so when we went to board the plane, I walked by the husband and said loudly, "Contact a lawyer."

He immediately turned to his wife who was arguing with airline personnel at the counter and shouted, "Contact a lawyer!"

We boarded the plane immediately after, and while I was adjusting my seat belt, Bratworse nudged me and pointed. The old couple were on board and happy, with an airline personnel being extremely nice, making damn sure they were comfortable and weren't going to sue.

America... where the only magic that works consistently are the words "Contact a lawyer." Wish it weren't so, but alas accountability seems to occur here more frequently when lawyers are present. Ain't it a shame?



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