Monday, February 15, 2010
Beat The System
I like to think I come up with creative solutions to problems. I like to think that, but then reality sets in. Some of my solutions are crazier than the problems. I've learned the hard way never to blab out how I’m going to “Beat The System.” Whenever I do, then you better beat the streets and run because something stupid is about to go down.
Looking back on my "BTS" philosophy I can see where it rarely worked, not that it ever seemed to stop me from trying. I once had a problem with the airlines consistently losing my luggage. I had to take a teacup-sized plane from Dallas to Abilene every year at Christmastime. The plane was so small there was only a curtain between the passengers and the pilot. I could watch the pilot read a book! And just why was he reading a book anyway? Surely it was not the airplane manual. It definitely wasn’t the luggage-loading manual. Needless to say, that would have been enough to ruin the trip. But there is more to the story. . . .
Like clockwork I landed with the same brain damage, looking for luggage that never arrived and never would. Was the plane too small? Was I too fat? Were the luggage handlers too busy to handle luggage? I tried to imagine the scenario as to why my suitcase was left orphaned in Dallas, waiting to arrive days later by a slow van. I admit it, I had an enormous lime green suit case. It stood out like a screaming neon sign just begging to be mocked and discarded. I could picture the luggage handlers discussing the problem. “Man, these passengers are quite a load. We need to leave off some poor slob’s luggage. . . hmmm. . . just leave behind that hideous lime green one!”
Here comes my "BTS" solution. The next time I flew home I decided to wear as many clothes as I could get on and still be able to walk through the airport with minimal gawking stares. The rest of my clothes were mashed in my small (not green) carryon suitcase. The only problem was that I had to make a tight connection and was forced to run to my gate. . . my gate that was a football field away. By the time I got to my plane I was on fire from running in what felt like a bear suit. I got to my seat and immediately peeled off my layers. Passengers curiously peaked around the seats to see why I had ripped off all those clothes and just what was I left wearing? To add punishment to stupidity, the flight home was the bumpiest I’ve ever experienced. I had to put my fingers in my ears to shut out the sound of people getting ill all around me. I nearly passed out. All I had wanted to do was "Beat The System" but my victory was hollow. I crawled off the plane carrying a bundle of sweaty clothes and looking as lime green as that missing suitcase.
In my experience, any time I try to "Beat The System" it generally turns into "Beat The Stupid." It's all a matter of when and what I am trying to beat. There are some systems of the universe that remain constant. I can jump off a mountain screaming I don’t believe in the law of gravity, but I am still going to hit bottom because the Lord created some systems that are unchangeable. I can say that I don’t believe in the laws of the Bible but if I stray from even one of the basic Ten Commandments, I'm headed for misery. The Lord doesn’t force me to obey His laws or the systems He sets in place in order to live the most fulfilling life. That is one time when I want to "Believe The System" and leave the theatrics for air travel.