Well, I thought I should go ahead and go public with a secret I have been keeping for years, I have been embarrassed that people would learn of my actions and then judge and ridicule me. Also I thought that there may be a certain group of you that would be genuinely upset that I ruined something that so many use to enjoy, and let me just say if you are one of those people…I am sorry I messed a good thing up.
And to be completely upfront the only reason I am now going public with this information is because my favorite news outlet has been doing some stories about airline’s and airport safety and they contacted me wanting information regarding the “Incident” and also to tell me they will be doing a prime-time special on it.
So what am I talking about? Well let’s just say the next time you fly somewhere, like Vegas for instance, and you are waiting in the baggage claim area. You might get the urge like I did those many years ago to take a quick spin on the conveyor belt, those twists and turns are just too tempting. But sadly thanks to me, I would suggest against it. Look around, and you will see the consequences of my actions, those bright red and white signs that clearly read “Danger! Please Stand Back” and “Do Not Sit or Play on Baggage-Claim Machinery”….Yes, I am the reason those signs are there.
Thanks to me and my poor judgement those signs are now commonplace. But there was a magically time, the gravy days of traveling, when waiting for your luggage could be fun and entertaining. But then the “Incident” happened, I jumped up on the luggage carousel for just a quick spin, I got my Rustlers caught in the rubber slats, and was dragged, screaming in fear and some moderate pain, past all 150 or so bewildered travelers who were awaiting their luggage and then I ended up going through a set of swinging doors. I was finally rescued by a nice illegal alien working in the outer baggage handling area, I think his name was “Niño or Loco” at least that what he kept saying. Sadly after the Police interviewed him they had to arrest him, he was quickly deported or so I heard.
It was about 35 years or so ago when this happened, I was just a silly kid, but even now I can remember how fun and entertaining the baggage claim area was. It was a place you went with your folks to gather the suitcases and if the mood struck you, perhaps take a cruise around the carousel sitting on the luggage.
I had others tell me that those heady days of the baggage claim area wouldn’t have lasted much longer anyways given the facts terrorists are trying to kill all of us Infidels. But I’m positive that afternoon in the Reno Airport when my Rustlers wouldn’t give way is probably the straw that broke the camel’s back.
But to be completely honest, that day in Reno wasn’t my first brush with death on the carousel, it was just the last. There was a prior incident in Salt Lake City, where, If I had been told directly not to play on the luggage belt, I wouldn’t have dis-located my shoulder on Carousel 4 when it suddenly jolted to life. And since we are on the subject, how could I forget about Topeka…I guess a well-placed caution sign might have stopped me from getting my eyebrow sliced open and my ear partial cut off while I was riding a guitar case down the luggage chute like it was a Wet n’ Wild ride.
And just to get everything on the table, before the Topeka incident came Chicago, Orlando, Wichita, San Diego, and of course that international incident in Paris.
I can clearly re-call each time the fire department was called in to rescue me or in some cases when I had to be medevacked by chopper, the Airports would always scramble to put up warning signs as fast as possible. So now when you look at those signs in the baggage claim areas I hope you think of me, because the more I think about it, I probably have saved countless lives and prevented numerous injuries…So you’re welcome!
I know, still there are some of you who might still be angry, blaming me for ruining a good thing. I can honestly understand your point of view. I know riding that conveyor belt can be some great fun, Hell, I look back on those times as the greatest times of my life. But things are safer now, and I think that’s what really matters.
So now you know my secret, so when you hear about it on the news hopefully you will understand that in the big picture, I have saved lives, I lead the way for new safety standards, look at me as the everyday man’s champion. Regardless of how the news may try to spin it.
So if you happen to see me walking around town, feel free to come over and shake the hand of a safety legend….Autographs will cost $3.00. Thank You!