Thursday, September 4, 2008

We'll Muddle Through One Day At A Time

Thought this was gonna be a political post, didn't you? Seriously, I have no insights that haven't been hashed around the blogosphere in the past couple of weeks.

No, today seems an apropos time to revisit my first-ever post and talk again about the Situational Awareness Quotient (SAQ).

A few years ago, I went on a lovely vacation to Santa Fe (which I strongly recommend to anyone who enjoys good food, good art and/or things Native American). While trying to pack lightly, my wife and I soon discovered that the smallish suitcase we had chosen had no room left for our toiletry kit. Rather than choosing a larger bag, we decided to simply count this item as a carry-on and take it separately (this was after 9/11 but before the days when liquids were being controlled). When we got to the airport, I dutifully put the bag through the X-ray machine and was asked to step aside. One of the security guys took us over to a table and immediately began to open the toiletry kit. Before thinking, as usual, I announced, "CRAP! There are razor blades in there and the shaver has a blade in it, too." Turns out that was just the right thing to say, because the security guy said that he could tell I was an honest man and that they hadn't even thought to check the shaver itself.

I can't tell you what a good feeling that gave me. Apparently, if you want to smuggle razor blades onto a commercial flight, a good place to hide them is in a shaver. I suspect it never occurred to the terrorists to try to smuggle plastic explosives in a box labeled "Plastic Explosives".

They took all my razor blades and, as it turned out, my little mustache scissors too. He offered to mail them to me, but at the price it was cheaper for me just to buy new blades and scissors in New Mexico.

So my SAQ was pretty darned low in that case.

As was my wife's.

Not that it matters.

So by now I'm sure you're thinking to yourself, "Gilahi, this is a fascinating and well-written piece of your history, as always, but what on earth does it have to do with MacKenzie Phillips?"

Well, I'll tell ya.

While it's true that I wasn't thinking ahead when I made the decision to carry weapons of beard destruction onto a plane, at least I wasn't, um, what, I dunno, carrying balloons filled with heroin, cocaine and also a few hypodermic needles.

That's right, the former "One Day At A Time" star was stopped at LAX because she was acting nervous, refused to stand still, and as soon as she was questioned, apparently blurted out, "I'm holding." She sat down in a chair and bags of drugs began falling out of her pants leg. I'm still not clear on where the hypodermics were. It's entirely possible that I really don't want to know.

Relative SAQ ratings -- Doing drugs: pretty darned low. Trying to carry bags of drugs and hypodermics onto a plane: abysmal. Acting all nervous, refusing to obey orders, and exclaiming your guilt to the authorities: Off the scale.

I feel sorry for her, I really do. The offspring of an enormously popular and talented musician and producer, early roles in movies and TV, and then nothing. It's a wonder she has enough situational awareness to get through a day.

On a peripherally-related note: I was a seething mass of raging hormones when this show first came out, I had a real thing for girls with long, straight hair, and I would've gladly gone to jail for the opportunity of spending one statutory evening with Valerie Bertinelli.

So, in remembrance of so many good things past, so many things we would have liked to have done differently, and hoping that Ms. Phillips is able to shake off her demons, I leave you with a stirring and hopefully inspiring piece of classical music.


lacochran said...

Acting all nervous, refusing to obey orders, and exclaiming your guilt to the authorities: Priceless.

You mean the security guy didn't tell her he could see she was an honest woman?

"Please always remember and don't ever forget" any publicity is good publicity.

Gilahi said...

I guess, in fact, she really was an honest woman. There are times when it's best just to keep one's yap shut, though.

J.M. Tewkesbury said...

MacKenzie Phillips can't seem to catch a break from herself, can she?

The whole thing leaves me speechless... (And that's something.)

Gilahi said...

Wow, this must be some sort of red-letter day. I've left J.M. speechless. :-)

Maybe she was just jealous of all the attention that Lilo, Britney, and Amy W. are getting these days. As lacochran said, there's no such thing as bad publicity.

Herb of DC said...

Perhaps she turned to drugs to erase the mental image forever burned in her brain due to catching Schneider and Grandma Romano doing "it."

Or she just likes coke.

Gilahi said...

Funny, I always envisioned her as more of a Pepsi person.

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