Monday, August 14, 2006

Just imagine what it would be like if it turned out that all terrorists were kayakers and (apologies to the ACLU) we had to profile folks at the airport. How, should that happen, would we identify our enemy? I submit to you that it might just be impossible.
Amongst the folks who paddle just around here, some of which are pictured here, are a variety of human beings. Getting a handle on any common denominators is problematic, although I will share one with you at the end.
Among us are Christians and Jews and I don't know what other belief systems since we rarely discuss them.
Judging by the cars (and some trailers with numerous boats on them), we are a financially diverse group as well. There are plastic boats and Kevlar boats in our flotilla. There is even a wooden boat with a gorgeous racing green paint job done by a BMW dealer.
Clearly, there are men and women...and of all ages.
We are of various skill levels and share knowledge with one another. As far as I know, only one of us smokes.
The temperaments vary like the colors of the rainbow. Some in the bunch laugh easily while others have never been accused of smiling. Some want to cruise slowly and take in the sights while others go off racing. Some use Euro paddles and others Greenland style sticks. We even have skin on frames and at least one beautiful strip wooden boat.
I don't know what most of us do for a living, but I do know that we have a retired lawyer, a practicing lawyer, an echocardiographer, a gal in retail (kayak store), a guy who works for a data service and is an EMT for an ambulance service and a certified kayak instructor (as are several others in the group). There is a retired doctor and a man who is a supervisor at Sprechers (they make beer and root beer and he never brings samples...but I digress). One of the ladies runs a day care center and one is a teacher and an artist. Another gal works at NML insurance (along with her husband) and she is an instructor. A couple work together in their own PR business.
We have paddlers with bad backs, shoulder injuries, diabetes, high blood pressure and many other ailments. some are in recovery programs (which I can only tell because they have offered the info).
Some of us are musicians and some play the accordian (no threatening letters, please). There is a black belt in Judo (teaches it), someone in akido and one in jujitsu. Many in the group camp and several are climbers. One fellow makes traditional paddles and is an excellent wild life photographer.
So, how can you profile us? Well, and this only works if we arrive at the airport in our paddling cloths (which, in it self, would be a give away), you can smell us coming a mile away. I would think that it would be easy to train a dog (or someone with a stuffed nose) to pick up the aroma of damp base layers inundated with body sweat. Thus, the skies would be safe again, and we would continue to
Paddle safe...

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