The View from a Drawbridge

The random musings of a bridgetender with entirely too much time on her hands.

I had some business to do at the courthouse. When I entered the building, I waited patiently in line like a good girl to pass through the metal detector. I couldn’t be more harmless if my life depended on it, but I’ve come to accept that this is a world in which one occasionally has to be metal detected.

Finally it was my turn. I put my keys in the little plastic tray. I walked through the detector. No beep. Why am I always relieved? I went to gather my keys and go about my business when a guard grabbed me by my forearm.

“Is this a weapon?” he asked.

“What, my keys?” I was totally confused.

“No, that. That!” he said, pointing to my keychain.

“Uh… no,” I said, stupidly, “It’s a leaf.”

He looked at it more closely. “Okay. Move along.”

With that I was dismissed like a disciplined school child. It took me a minute to regain my equilibrium.

I looked down at my keychain and remembered where I got it. I was watching a demonstration of the dying art of blacksmithing. I like to support artisans whenever I can, so I bought the keychain, which is a little curved iron leaf, less than the size of my thumb. It would never have occurred to me to attempt to use it as a weapon. The keys on the ring are probably more lethal, if it came to that, as are my teeth and my overall determination not to be f***ed with.

But what rattled me was that a guard could see a leaf and see me, and conclude that there was potential danger there, even if only for a second. That pretty much sums up the state of American paranoia these days. It makes me sad.

It reminded me of the time my nail clippers got confiscated at the airport. Again, my keys were left untouched. So was my laptop, which I could easily use to knock someone out if the spirit moved me. But those nail clippers? Lethal, I tell you! (Images of a terrorist holding a nail clipper to a hostage’s throat and saying, “One false move, and I’ll clip her! I swear to GOD I will!”)

You want to know what we really should be afraid of? The fact that the very people who would have us all hand over our nail clippers and artistic keychains are the same ones who feel that depriving the general populous of automatic weapons is an outrageous civil rights violation.

Heaven help us all.



20 thoughts on ““It’s a leaf.”

  1. Kramer says:

    I was with you until the end. I do not believe the same people who will take away our nail clippers at the airport think it is a civil rights violation to take away our constitutional right to own a gun. Take my nail clippers. But as they say: You’ll have to take my gun out of my cold dead hands.

    1. Thanks for proving my point, Kramer! 🙂

      1. Kramer says:


  2. It’s good that the courthouse is reasonably safe, except for the Leaf People. snicker.

    1. Hug a tree. One leaf at a time. 🙂

  3. I carry a swiss army knife everywhere. scissors, tweezers, screw drivers and cork screws come in handy all the time! I miss the days when I could take them with me on the plane. And I agree. with you completely, the perspective makes no sense at all.

    That being said, VERY cool key chain!

    1. Why thank you. 🙂 It will probably outlast me by a few centuries.

  4. lyn sutton says:

    This INSANITY begins as a male based paranoia on both sides of the terrorist agenda then spreads to females… but we are used to living under the threat of violence against us since we are more likely to be abused… sexually, domestically,emotionally…by men, known and unknown, with or without guns… so the thing men should really fear is females taking their example seriously and arming ourselves against THAT explicit threat.

    A message to all fearful violent men: We “vulnerable” females are watching and learning from your actions.Your fear based logic tells us to arm ourselves for protection against you because you are all daily “potential threats”. Lucky for you most women balance logic with emotional reason, love,compassion and forgiveness…they are our strengths and power, not our weaknesses. The sooner you accept this, the safer we will all be.

    1. Whew, Lyn, while I certainly can see your point, the generalizations that I talked about in my blog entry “Consider the Source” spring to mind, and kind of make me squirm a little bit.

      1. lyn sutton says:

        Please don’t squirm. I forget, sometimes my sarcastic satire doesn’t translate well if you don’t know me… perhaps a smiley face? Not aimed at men in general but those who began and those who react (both of which includes some females now as well) by perpetuating this paranoid cycle of fear…hate…violence; therefore… fear…hate…violence and twist logic to rationalize treating even the innocent as threats. It makes no more sense than telling all females to treat all men as potential threats because some men are abusive or of your being viewed as a threat over a leaf. Fear the leaf bearer… 🙂

      2. Well, leaves COULD take over the world. In the form of kudzu… But thanks for the clarification, Lyn. 🙂

  5. Leah says:

    I have mine on my keys too!!! I would have been right there with you! It made me happy you have yours still.

    1. It makes me happy that you still have yours, favorite niece! It often makes me think of you.

  6. Blacksmithing… I am totally going to take that class… and then make weapons… disguised as foliage.

  7. The next time you are out and about in the daytime (such as the downtown courthouse) please get in touch with me, let’s meet for coffee. If you don’t drink coffee, you can watch me drink coffee! I often am downtown for research for my neighborhood-history writing projects.

    On Saturday, December 12 at 11 AM I will be at the Fremont Library for the Fremont Historical Society meeting. My e-mail is

    Via my Facebook page you can see some things which are not being reported in news media, about our European missions partners who are doing outreach to refugees.

    1. Will do! Would you like me to delete this comment so the whole world doesn’t know how to contact you?

      1. Huh? I had assumed that the whole world would only be too happy to be in contact with me!!!

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