Forbidden Songs and Other Things on My Trip

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Coming in from London from over the pond
Flyin’ in a big airliner
Chickens flyin’ everywhere around the plane
Could we ever feel much finer?

Comin’ into Los Angeles
Bringin’ in a couple of keys
Don’t touch my bags if you please mister customs man……

Arlo Guthrie – Coming into Los Angeles (1969)


I tried not to sing/hum/think about this song when flying into LAX, but it wasn’t easy……
Metal Detectors, Body Scanners, Carry On Checks, Double Checks, Security, here is looking up your old address….
Approved by TSA Transportation Security Administration.
How do you not look innocent, especially when you are?
Then there was the issue with my special souvenir rock, that didn’t quite make it through Security at Sacramento Airport!
My carry on was pulled to the side, and so was I.
The security woman asked, “Is there anything in your bag that might cut my hand?”
“No. Just a hunk of pumice”, said while removing it from my backpack. She dusted it with a small piece of cloth, and let me go on my way.
I had to do Security once again at LAX. I carefully removed my rock and placed it in the plastic box along with my belt, my shoes and my carry on.
The new Security woman asked me, if there was anything unusual in my possession?
“Only my pumice rock from Eastern California”, I said without blinking. (Don’t say Arlo Guthrie’s name, or hum his song. Come on. You can resist temptation. I know you can!).
“Oh”, she said. “That is very interesting”…..but then, she could easily say that, having seen the things that she’s seen……
I’d forgotten to hum the other forgotten songs, that I should have forgotten to sing while on my trip, but there will be more trips in the future, I am sure of that.
Ever had a similar experience?…….

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