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Tom on gay people at Thanksgiving, WMDs, silly teenagers and airport pat-downs

I have a few things to get off my chest:

• I was speaking at a high school the other day about being a writer, and after knockin' 'em dead with my tried-and-true routine consisting of ghetto flashbacks and writing tips that are sure to infuriate the teacher who invited me in the first place, I asked for questions from the audience. This freshman kid raised his hand and asked, "Do gay people celebrate Thanksgiving?"

The class erupted in laughter, giving me time to formulate the response of, "They may be more fun than the rest of us, but they have to suffer through that day-long onslaught of bad white-people food like everybody else."

I couldn't help but wonder why he asked me that question. Maybe I reminded him of the Cam character on Modern Family.

• Back when Dick Cheney and George W. Bush, et al. were giddily invading Iraq and making Halliburton the hot stock of the decade, I used to point out to my Republican friends, on an almost-daily basis, that those pesky weapons of mass destruction—on which the entire invasion was predicated—still hadn't made their public debut.

I remember asking (occasional Weekly contributor) Jonathan Hoffman about the WMDs and why President Bush continued to speak of them with such certainty, and Jonathan replied, "Don't you think it's possible that the president of the United States knows more about such things than you do?"

Being a reasonable person, I told him that such a thing was possible, but knowing the way the Bushies acted, I thought they would have trumpeted the finding of something—anything!—by that time.

Turns out that reasonable thing only goes in one direction. In Bush's newly published memoirs, he laments the fact that there were no WMDs in Iraq and that the United States had gone to war on faulty intelligence. And yet there are still those (like media bully Sean Hannity) who cling to that myth—or fabrication, as the case may have been—with a death grip.

I saw Jonathan and pointed out what President Bush had written in his book. He dug in his heels and said, "They were there!"

I asked, "Isn't it possible that the (former) president of the United States knows more about these things than you do?"

He said, "Not in this case."

That's just sad.

• Political satirist Lewis Black tells the story of how he's in the mall, and he overhears a snippet of a conversation that drives him crazy from not knowing what it meant. One young woman walked past him, saying, "If it weren't for my horse, I wouldn't have spent that year in college."

And so it was that I found myself in a department store, standing in a ridiculously long line hours before sunrise the day after Thanksgiving for the nth year in a row. Behind me was a young woman who was coughing like John Wayne in a coal mine, giving my wife the perfect excuse to not stand in line with me.

People would walk past, moaning about the length of the line and giving solace to those of us who were sort of in the middle of it. Two teenage girls who had apparently come from the other side of the store, where there was a similar line, walked past. One said, "Gah, this one's really long, too. I wonder which one moves faster."

The other one replied, "They both move faster."

As they moved on out of hearing range, I had to fight the urge to abandon the spot I'd held in the line for more than a half-hour to seek them out in an effort to reinforce the strongly held views I have on charter schools. But I held my ground, and I now regret it. The one kid had on a sweatshirt with the name of a local Catholic school which I will not impugn herein, because she was simply asking the question. It's the other one with whom I am concerned.

So, if you were in that line at Kohl's on North Oracle Road at 3:45 a.m. Friday last and can identify what school that kid attends, let me know. As the unnamed character portrayed by Albert Popwell in Dirty Harry says after being given the whole "Do ya' feel lucky, Punk?" speech, "I gots to know."

• Finally, I can't understand all the uproar over scanning and pat-downs at airports. I know the quote that is often attributed to Ben Franklin, the one that goes, paraphrased, "Those who would sacrifice liberty for safety deserve neither." But this isn't about liberty. None of us has a God-given right to fly on an airplane. It's a business transaction, and if the provider places restrictions on the transaction that you don't like, don't fly!

I'm especially chagrined by the person in the viral video who filmed himself squealing like a bitch about, "If you touch my junk, I'll have you arrested." I would never presume to speak for women, who could very possibly have a different point of view on this activity, but any male who vehemently complains about being scanned and/or patted down needs to be taken out back and pimp-slapped.

Be a guy, for crying out loud!

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