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I sometimes think that these few inches of newsprint where my column appears every two weeks have magical powers.
In the past couple of months, there have been multiple instances where something I have written about right in my column has actually happened.
Take the July 29, 2010, issue, for example. My column, aptly titled “Thankful for the rain but praying a flood is not in our future,” was written days after Shallotte experienced a several-hour power outage during an afternoon rainstorm.
“…I pray every time it starts to rain that it never comes in quicker than it can go out,” I wrote in that now-ominous column.
Guess I should have prayed harder, because exactly two months later, a storm system dumped nearly two feet of water on Brunswick County in September 2010 and caused one of the largest rainfalls in recent history.
Right before Thanksgiving, another column discussed the upcoming National Opt-Out Day, which encouraged holiday travelers to opt-out of the full body scans at major airports and instead ask for the pat-down.
Although at the time I had never been through a security line with a body scanner, I wasn’t opposed to it. My biggest concern was what to do with my dog and frequent travel companion, Goldilocks, if I happened to come upon one.
Now, don’t get me wrong—I’m not an extremist when it comes to electronics. I eat food from microwaves, use my cell phone without hesitation and have never fought a doctor who ordered an X-ray or CT scan.
But I’m a lot bigger than a 10-pound dog, so the idea of putting her through a body scanner just didn’t sit well with me. I e-mailed the Transportation Security Administration and asked what my options were.
“Your animal will NEVER be placed through an X-ray machine,” the response read.
Like I would do that anyway. I wanted to know about body scanners.
“You will need to present the animal to the TSA Security Officers (TSO’s) at the checkpoint,” the response stated. “You may walk your animal through the metal detector with you. If this is not possible, your animal will have to undergo a secondary screening, including a visual and physical inspection by our Security Officers.”
You know, just in case my maltipoo chose to smuggle contraband.
Goldilocks did not have an opportunity to try her luck at the security gate due to the winter storms this Christmas. I left her with her grandparents in Indiana because I knew getting back to Carolina was going to be a challenge. She never would have survived the 20-hour journey back to the beach.
I made it back and had the wonderful opportunity of facing the infamous full body scanner. A month and a few days after I claimed TSA officials could “pat me and scan away,” they took it and ran with it.
Not only was I scanned, I was given the “extensive,” “enhanced,” whatever you want to call it pat-down, because the scanner picked up a false signal on the scan I was all too willing to have.
Maybe it’s magic. Maybe it’s the power of sending words out into the universe. Maybe it’s my own big mouth. But this year, my resolution is to be more careful in choosing what to put in these few inches.
But for old times sake, my co-workers and I play the lottery every time the jackpot is more than $100 million.
One of these days—in the very near future—we’re going to win.