21 Nov





It’s not every day you meet a super-hero, and certainly not one who has stood alone and defied the forces of government and flouted fear in the face of uniformed armed assailants. The man of whom I talk is not a caped-crusader, nor is he one of the especially gifted. He is quite incapable of leaping tall buildings and doesn’t frequent telephone boxes in order to change into his Sunday best. He wasn’t born with the power of invisibility and doesn’t have the ability to turn water into wine nor to feed the masses with a loaf of freshly sliced bread and a packet of fish-sticks. The hero of whom I talk is just a man; an earth bound, air breathing human who suffers from bad breath and who uses the bathroom just like the rest of us. And yet he stands above the masses; a man who has made his mark and who has risked ridicule, jail and even a criminal record.

So what has this super-hero done I hear you roar? Tell us more. How does this individual stand out from the rest of us? What does he have that we don’t?

Quite simply he just said No.

 In the face of adversity and overwhelming odds he chose to live by his conscious and accept the consequences of his own actions. A man who decided that enough was enough and refused to take one step further. While people were leaping like lemmings before him, flapping their cardboard wings and jumping from the cliff, he stood fast. In fact he stood very much alone not knowing what the future held. Unable to tap into his nonexistent ability to see the future he committed to his conscience and just said No.

No sounds so none descript when in fact No, unlike sorry, is sometimes the hardest word to say. This man whom I shall call Captain America, as I am obviously trying to detract from his lack of super-human abilities was faced by that arch enemy of freedom, the T.S.A.!!

The Captain was trying to board his plane in Albuquerque . He had taken care to pack his own bags, remained in their attendance at all times and had even refrained from talking to strange persons. He had restricted himself to himself, and his baggage to his private person at all times. He had obediently removed his shoes, insured that his liquids were contained in the requisite amounts and had removed all metal objects from his person, placing them in the plastic container and pushing them through the X-ray machine. Following the herd and preparing himself for the ordeal he stood resolute. The week had been tough and it was time to go home to wife and family. An all-American Captain America you might say.



As if from nowhere the enemy approached. They had been stalking him ever since he entered the airport and had foolishly profiled him as an average man, completely unaware of his uncommon ability.

“Over here Sir, you have been randomly selected for the carcinogenic- back-scatter x-ray machine. Of course it’s safe! Do you think your government would lie to you?”

Captain America turned to face his oppressor. An overweight man in a freshly pressed blue shirt, replete with razor sharp crease and a shiny tin badge. The epitome of authority.

“Did you hear me Sir? Over here please if you wouldn’t mind.”

Captain America’s mind raced, what was he to do? He knew what was expected of him but what if he refused? It was at that moment that he grabbed his own balls, before the T.S.A could get a hold of them, sucked in his gut, stuck out his chest and uttered the immortal word.


In a raised and threatening tone of voice, our friend with the shiny badge tried to make his point very clear. “You have to sir. You have been randomly selected. Please step into the machine.”

“No!” Once again the Captain stood firm.

All around him people gazed in amazement. People stopped slurping their gallon cokes, let ice-cream melt and ignored unnecessary telephone conversations  as they took in what he was saying. He heard the murmurs, saw their faces and recognized in that moment that as Captain America he had a choice. What were they going to do throw him in jail, arrest him,  force him against his will? The chance was real that they would do all three.

Tin-badge realizing that he was faced with a super-hero backed down. “Alright then Sir, just proceed through the magnetometer. You Sir, please step forward .You have been randomly selected for the radiation dose that your government has deemed necessary to insure our safety.”

Captain America calmly retied his shoes, buckled his belt and strapped on his watch. He picked up his bag and walked towards his gate. People pointed, smiled and a feverish whispered conversation broke out in the queue which snaked around the yellow bollards.

“He said No. We can say No.”

A modern day Rosa Parks, Captain America walked towards Burger king where he would order his usual artery clogging breakfast. This nay-saying was hungry work, and as a super hero one had to keep up ones strength.

Just say No to the T.S.A.

If Dan can do it, then so can we.

just say JA!



2 Responses to “SUPER HERO”

  1. Laura Neely December 1, 2010 at 9:47 pm #

    Colin, You’re an absolute hoot! Will you be at the Writer’s Workshop this Saturday? Laura Neely

  2. Bob Duckles December 3, 2010 at 2:36 pm #

    Yes!!! I admire those who say no to TSA and those who are willing to
    strip to next to nothing to laugh in the face of stupid authority. I’m with
    you Captain America!

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