I have previously written about what a pain in the butt it is to travel by air. Flying back from Hong Kong, the poor woman I observed going through customs in Chicago only to be pulled out of the line because the TSA beagle sniffed out a banana in her purse is a good example. After a snarky lecture about bringing fruit into the US of A (incidentally United Airlines offered everyone a banana on the flight to the States), and the seizure of the offending banana, the beagle and her handler, resplendent in her military outfit, strolled away with her sidearm at her hip stoney-faced but triumphant.
Guess what, that sort of nonsense is not limited to Amerika. Our son, Keller, recently visited his sister in New Mexico. She bought Keller’s little boy, Fletcher, a cowboy outfit with a toy gun and a holster. Keller dutifully packed the outfit in his checked bag, and flew off to Australia. Arriving in Sydney yesterday on his Australian passport, he was pulled out of line and questioned extensively as to why he had gun in his baggage. When he calmly explained that it was a toy as clearly shown on the x-ray machine by the orange stopper in the barrel, he offered to open his bag and show the screener. Oh, no. This called for questioning and a search by the Australian Federal Police.
After the search was over, and the offending toy seized, Keller was informed never to do that again. While he was not fined or arrested, and was treated pleasantly, he was firmly informed that a record of his offense (having a toy gun in his baggage) would be made. If he ever did that again the Aussies would come down hard. When pressed to explain where it says that you can’t bring your Australian kid a toy pistol from the US, no explanation was forthcoming. Just don’t do that again, he was told.
So, Keller is apparently on a “no fly” list, sorta. He can keep himself off the list so long as he does not shop at Toys R Us. At least he was not accosted by a Beagle with an attitude.
One of my career law clerks, Jan, sent me the following via e-mail using the title to this post as her “re” line:
Australian Wild Pig Drinks 18 Beers, Gets in Fight with Cow
By James A. Foley
A feral pig ransacked a campsite and drank at least 18 cans of beer before getting into an altercation with a cow in Australia.
The incident, which happened in a remote area of Western Australia at the DeGray River rest area, prompted officials to warn campers to keep their food and alcohol secure.
The wild pig was seen around the campsite for several days last week, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) reported, citing officials who said the animal got into multiple six-packs of beer over the course of a few days.
Fionna Findley, from the government highway division Main Roads, told ABC that the people camping overnight at the rest area said that “the pig stole their beers, drank them and then afterwards proceeded to tear apart the bin liners.”
“We just want to remind everyone when you do pull over, make sure [your food and alcohol] is securely stored because there are a lot of animals out there that are keen for a free feed.”
One camper who reportedly spoke with the affected campers told ABC that the pig got into 18 beers, ransacked the campsite’s garbage bins and got into a fight with a cow.
The camper, who was only identified as Merida, said “there was some other people camped right on the river and they saw him running around their vehicle being chased by a cow.
“It was going around and around and then it went into the river and swam across to the middle of the river.”
Findley told ABC that that her crews are not equipped to deal with wild pigs, especially if they are drunk.
The pig was last seen lying beneath a tree, potentially nursing a hangover.
In the remote regions of Western Australia, feral pigs are seen an invasive pest because of the diseases they carry, which can infect livestock, The Guardian reported.
As always, I agree with Jan.