Nothing rattles 63-year-old bones like a week in the thrall of a couple of 11-year-olds on spring break. Katy and friend Noelle arrived a week ago and - sandy beach be damned - headed straight for the refrigerator. Boy-howdy.
As a non-traveling grandfather claiming children off an airplane, I still had to go through security. It's okay; I know the drill: I left everything in the car but keys and ID, and approached the groping zone in shorts, unbelted and wearing the battered boat shoes I now live in. Not that I expected to be invisible - the beard alone elevated every TSA agent in the place to Defcon One.
So I shuffled on command into the electronic peeping Tom, barefoot and naked beneath my clothes. Oops. The machine beeped at my knees. I knew it was my knees because the conspicuously sexless stick figure on the wall flashed two blinking red squares where you would expect to see knees. That and the TSA guy growled, "There's something wrong with your knees. Please step over here."
So I stepped over to the groping station with my knees. Did I mention I was wearing shorts? It's Paradise; shorts is the uniform of the day. You would think the guy in the blue gloves could look at my knees and see there were no devices strapped to them. Not really, no.
"Spread your legs wide, sir, please." Still barefoot and unbelted, I knew that any such big athletic moves risked widespread embarrassment, but I had no interest in spending the weekend in the pokey or the newspapers. So I spread 'em.
Now tell me honestly: don't you think any terrorist clever enough to hide Semtex in his skivvies would know not to wear shorts if he had bombs on his knees? I did not point this out to the groper in the blue gloves.
Eventually, I got the girls home in their customary advanced state of starvation, despite stopping on the way for sandwiches.
Vignette: Stick-thin Noelle standing in the kitchen at 11:30 in the morning, munching a hastily assembled PBJ - I knew it was hastily assembled because J was dripping on the floor - deadpanning: "What are we having for lunch?"
It doesn't get any better than this.