This was sketched from a sunny bench in the little park just outside the Federal Building in Oakland. That tall thing in the foreground is a stone statue etched with a bit of a face, some lillies, and some extra eyes.
I’d gone to the Federal Building to cash a check at the credit union on the second floor (payment for a painting I’d sold). Inside the building there are guards, metal detectors and x-ray systems just like the airport. As I was about to go through the metal detector I remembered my new Swiss Army knife in my backback.
It was new because my old one was confiscated at the airport when I flew to Los Angeles to visit my mother in May. I’d forgotten it was there so it set off alarms going through the x-ray machine, winning me a detour to the place for naughty people where I was given a pat-down search, and every item in my backpack was thoroughly inspected.
The Swiss Army Tinker model which I’ve carried for years has knives plus a Phillips and flathead screwdriver, a can and bottle opener, a nailfile, toothpick, and tweezers, and has come in handy many times. I convinced the nice guard to hold it for me while I went upstairs to the bank.
They should have a system at the airport to store people’s illegal-to-carry-on but otherwise innocuous items like little pocket knives and now, TOOTHPASTE, DEODERANT and SUN TAN LOTION! How hard would it be to have a “coat check” system where you get a receipt for your item and pick it up when you return for a small fee?
I feel sorry for all the people at the airport today who had to discard everything from bottled water to expensive wine and cosmetics just in case they happened to have put liquid or jell explosives in there. I hope that at least the minimum wage airport custodians and security screeners were able to take those things home to use or sell on EBay rather than everything going into the trash!
Brown Micron Pigma in Strathmore 6×8 sketchbook that lives in my backpack too.