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Much Ado About Nothing – Drug Dogs

Much Ado About Nothing October 3, 2018

Much Ado by Jean Ciampi

The skies over Los Angeles have just gotten a little friendlier. Last month Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) announced you can now legally carry marijuana through the airport. While this may be good news to folks like Sir Paul McCartney who got busted for half a pound in Tokyo airport in the 80’s and actor Bill Murray who got thrown out of college in the 70’s for trying to bring nine pounds through O’Hare, not everyone is buzzing about the change, starting with how many detection canines who can look for a pink slip with their bowl of kibble.

I am not nor have I ever been a user of recreational drugs, so I could care less about the news. But I’m a sucker for a dog: stray dog, rescued dog, working dog, old dog, service dog. So I’m guessing we’re going to have a pack of well-trained pooches off the payroll now. No reason for Thor the Narcotics K9 to point out the pothead passengers if TSA starts standing for Travelers Smoking is Alright. Is there a union to speak up for dog rights? Can these dogs get an emotional support animal? Preferably not a kitten.

Before you book a ticket for the Sunshine State and pack your suitcase “with up to 28.5 grams of marijuana and 8 grams of concentrated marijuana” as allowed by California law plus three bags of Flamin’ Hot Cheetos and a Taco Bell Triple Double Crunch Wrap Box, remember that once you leave LAX, you’re onboard a plane subject to Federal laws which don’t feel kindly about such things. And if you land in a state that’s not so liberal on their drug laws, you may encounter some still-employed, feisty detection canines carrying a grudge about their brothers in collars that lost their jobs and want to take it out on you.

So here’s how it rolls up: you can’t really carry marijuana on the plane, can’t have it on you in a majority of airports, and cannot smoke it in LAX. I’m not totally sure then what exactly has changed other than the drug sniffing dogs are all pointing their paws at bigger prizes on the luggage carousel instead of weeding out weed. Maybe we listen to McGruff the Crime Dog and Just Say No.

Much Ado About Nothing – Coffee Cancer

Much Ado About Nothing April 5, 2018

 

Much Ado by Jean Ciampi

And in happier news… well, there’s none of that. But California says your coffee will give you cancer, so you’ve got that to look forward to. According to the courts, roasting coffee beans creates – along with a steamy, hot cup of Joe — a chemical called acrylamide which has been linked to cancer. As a result, there has to be a warning posted to protect us from ourselves. Although, I’m not sure how you’re supposed to read the warning if you can’t actually pry your eyes open without drinking the coffee first.

I’m not a coffee drinker myself. To be honest, I’ve actually never had a cup of coffee in my ever-lengthening life. I went through college during the age of Jolt Cola, which was the equivalent of a caffeinated atomic bomb. You drank one at the beginning of the semester and didn’t actually sleep again until a week after mid-terms. So I never found the need for coffee, nor did the taste appeal to me. But I understand the bond people have with their coffee cups. How else do you explain Starbucks?

So correct me if I’m wrong, but wasn’t every researcher and nutritionist touting the health benefits of coffee? You only have to Google to find studies showing it reduces risk of heart disease, hair loss, multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer’s, and lowers the risk for early death. Unless you die of acrylamide sourced cancer, I guess.

Tell me, too, why aren’t those same courts up in arms about the fact that there’s also formaldehyde in coffee beans that comes out when you roast them. As I recall from my high school biology days, anything drenched in formaldehyde wasn’t exactly healthy.

Maybe it’s because I’ve grown up in the shadow of the petroleum and chemical plants most of my life, but I’m thinking there are bigger risks out there than a café-latte-expresso-mocha with a shot of moo juice (or whatever you call those expensive designer coffee drinks). There are a lot of people doing a whole lot of things to keep folks from being exposed to nasty stuff. But we have to face the facts that we’re a Better Living Through Chemistry kind of society and it comes with risks. So does stepping out your front door on a daily basis. So enjoy your coffee, but wear your seatbelts.

Much Ado About Nothing – New California

Much Ado About Nothing February 1, 2018

 

Much Ado by Jean Ciampi

Betsy Ross, get out your needle and thread, sister, because if a group of West Coasters get their way, we’re adding a star to Old Glory with the establishment of our 51st State: New California. It seems some folks over there aren’t feeling so sun-shiney about their state’s state of affairs and want a divorce. They’re not making this up just for attention, either. No, they have a hashtag on Twitter, people. This is for real!

The coastal counties from Los Angeles up just past San Francisco into Napa are getting voted off the island. According to the executive summary published on their website, “After years of over taxation, regulation, and mono party politics (There should be a comma here. That’s them, not me.) the State of California and many of it’s (Respectfully pointing out that it should be ‘its’ and not ‘it’s’. Again, not my typo.) 58 Counties have become ungovernable.” No kidding ungovernable. They need to get the grammar police sworn in immediately! You can’t run a respectable state while ignoring comma laws! It just invites anarchy!

So they’ve gone so far as to even design a flag, which is important. You can’t run the idea of a new state up the flagpole if you don’t actually have a flag. The problem with the flag, as I see it, is the big, fat LONE STAR on it! Maybe they’ve gotten so caught up in the whole secession ho-haw that they overlooked the fact that the United States already has a Lone Star State. And may I speak for all Texans both living, dead and yet unborn: Back Off There. Stick an avocado on it instead. Pay attention, that whole “Don’t Mess With Texas” isn’t a joke.

Honestly, I get it. I lived in California in the early 90’s and they’re nuts. But is ripping yourselves to pieces the answer? In Texas, 84% of us still aren’t speaking to the City of Dallas or the Texas Rangers organization after they refused to switch home-stands with the Astros during Hurricane Harvey, but we don’t cut them out of the State. El Paso is closer to Los Angeles than it is to Houston, but we don’t act like we don’t know them just because we never see them.

Work out your problems, California. If we’re going to get a new state, I think Puerto Rico may have dibs.

You can also find “Much Ado About Nothing” online at www.thewriterjean.com.

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