The Herald, Sharon, Pa.

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February 23, 2013

It’s great having kids eating in a booth nearby

---- — As my wife and I were enjoying dinner in a booth at a local restaurant recently, a young couple came in with three youngsters and the waitress prepared to seat them in a booth behind us.

The father asked if they could go to another booth across the room so the children wouldn’t bother us.

Hearing this, we assured the family that they would not bother us a bit because we are grandparents and enjoy having young kids around.

I bring this up after reading about the drunk idiot on an airplane who yelled at a young child and then slapped the kid traveling with the mother because the youngster was making too much noise.

The guy was arrested and then fired from his job, as he should have been. He should have been beaten to a pulp by other passengers. Who would convict them?

But flying today is no easy task. You have to get there early because of security checks. Then look how many times the flights are delayed. And every once in awhile, you may wonder where your luggage ended up since it didn’t come with you.

It’s like the joke about the guy who was checking in his bags and he said to the lady behind the counter: “I want this bag to go to Dallas, this bag to Chicago and this bag to LA.”

The lady replied: “Sir, we can’t do that.”

And he said: “Why not. That’s what happened last time I flew.”

Of course, it’s not really that bad, and the time my bags (including my golf clubs) didn’t arrive on the plane, the airlines did a great job of delivering them to my house the next day.

But I can understand why some people choose to drive even long distances today rather than fly.

Speaking of problems with airport security, how about the story of the little 3-year-old girl, Lucy, in a wheelchair who was traumatized by TSA agents. The agents took away her stuffed animal and patted her down. Of course the girl, who has spina bifida, was crying.

When the mother started to video the action, she was told that it was illegal. The mother said: “You can’t touch my daughter unless I can record it.”

The TSA later apologized because it was legal to record any action, as long as it didn’t interfere.

Sometimes, there needs to be a little more common sense with these security screenings. As the girl’s mother Annie Forck said later: “I feel violated, but it’s obvious my daughter brought it on herself. I mean, look at her all dressing like a potential terrorist/drug trafficker. People who roll in on hot pink wheelchairs, wearing a gingerbread coat and clutching a stuffed baby lamb, are just begging to be harassed.”

It’s heart-wrenching in the video posted on YouTube when the little girl says: “I don’t want to go to Disney World!”

Luckily, nobody slapped her and it was reported later that she had an “awesome time” at Disney World.

Good for you Lucy. If I see you in a restaurant, I’ll save you a booth beside me.

The Herald’s Lynn Saternow writes this column each Saturday for the Opinion Page. He can be reached at

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