I opened the back door of my truck and removed our contraband from under the rear seat – two small ziplock bags, stuffed to capacity. I carefully tucked them into the bottom of my canvas bag, under the foam seat cushions and between the Kansas City Royals umbrellas.
Nervously, we approached the gate. The officer glared at me, his brow furrowed in deep suspicion. I handed the tickets to my son, the blind guy, in the hope that the authorities would be so distracted with him and his white cane that they would forget to check my bag.
“Hold on there, I have to check that bag,” the officer said. I sheepishly held it up, knowing that I was about to be busted. This security professional was no newcomer to smuggling. He knew what he was looking for, and he would find it. Groping around the bottom of my baseball fan bag, he soon found what he was looking for – contraband peanuts.
“You can’t bring outside food into this stadium,” he sneered, contempt dripping from his lip.
I shoved my son through the gate with instructions to wait for me. I told him I would return the peanuts to the truck and re-join him at the gate, clean as the driven snow, and worthy of admission to the Charlotte Knights minor league baseball game. Back to the truck I went. But somehow, I knew I would have to try again.
This time I packed the peanuts more carefully. I folded the foam seat cushions completely around the peanut bags so that “the man” would not detect them without actually emptying the canvas bag. Back I went to the gate.
But Officer Dudley DoRight was up to the challenge. Empty the bag he did, and once more I was banished from the gate, skulking back to the truck, head hung in shame. Busted again.
Having failed twice, I gave in. I threw my peanuts back in the truck and returned to the gate empty-handed, joining my very-confused son, and muttering something about “getting through next time”.
For weeks I schemed. There must be some way to get peanuts into that stadium undetected.
And then it hit me. Cargo pants.
Tonight my preparations for our smuggling operation took on a new sense of purpose and zeal as I put on my ghetto-length cargo shorts, the ones with the big long pockets all up and down the front, and buttons for added stealth. Ha ha! I snickered as I loaded up two, NO, make it THREE! bags of peanuts! I slid them into the huge pockets of my cargo shorts and they were barely even detectable.
We arrived early at the stadium. Carrying our Kansas City Royals umbrellas in hand, we didn’t even bother with the canvas bag. I looked the cop right in the eye as we approached the gate. I DARE YOU to check me out! No bag! No suspicious bulges!
He gave me his usual contemptuous glare, but without a bag to check, all he could do was wag his head toward the gate.
Success! Finally we had smuggled contraband peanuts into a Charlotte Knights baseball game!
After a two hour rain delay the announcer declared that the game was cancelled. We took our peanuts home, but we vowed we would be back.
Tom Balek – Rockin’ On the Right Side
From the office of the President,
Right down to me and you,
It’s a losing proposition
But one you can’t refuse
It’s the politics of contraband
It’s the smuggler’s blues!