Andy Betz: My Insurance Policy : Memoir : June 2019

Southern Legitimacy Statement: I was born and raised in Missouri and now live (very, very) close to Atlanta. With the exception of college, I have spent my entire life in the South.

My Insurance Policy

From 1997 to 2002, I taught members of industrial fire brigades from Oklahoma to Maine to Michigan to Georgia.  Occasionally, I would have to fly and when I did, I would take my insurance policy with me.

It looked like a Beretta Model 92 9mm semi-automatic pistol, but it wasn’t.  It was made of metal like a Beretta Model 92, but that metal was aluminum, as in aluminum foil, nothing but aluminum foil. 

What I carried with me was a piece of aluminum foil, cut to look exactly like a Beretta Model 92 9mm semi-automatic pistol.  Once cut to the precise dimensions of the original, I would carefully fold this piece of aluminum into a chewing gum wrapper from whence it should have originated.  Invisible to cursory scans and immune to airport x-rays, I carried this, hidden from view, secret agent style, only in my possession, only to be used as the defensive deterrent it truly was meant to be.

This was my insurance policy against the single force that could thwart my arrival at any business destination; the mother flying solo with screaming kids. 

No person can deflect this woman’s need for multiple seating. 

No person can distance themselves far enough from her highly audible brood. 

No person can resist her pleas for assistance and more room. 

No person slows my rate of travel faster. 

No person ruins my schedule faster. 

No person destroys all the best laid plans of mice and men I may have. 

I cannot bypass her for everyone yields her right-of-way. 

I cannot present a need greater than hers. 

I cannot convince airline personnel to force her off the plane. 

But, I can destroy her. 


With my single use insurance policy. 

Please, permit me to explain. 

Simply stated, I acquire a current trendy motherhood/parenthood/bed&breakfast magazine from a local airline terminal merchant (price is of no object for a man on a mission) and use it for cover as I unfurl my aluminum foil.  I place the cut-out aluminum foil decoy in the back of the magazine so it will not fall out.  Then, as the gentleman all think I am, I present to the mother of the Gang of 4 or more, a carelessly discarded magazine I have no subject interest in. She always is looking for such a distraction from her current biological litter and will accept my gift cheerfully. 

Beware of Greeks bearing gifts. 

When she and her wrecking crew place their items on the conveyor belt to be scanned, LO and BEHOLD, airport security has apprehended another potential terrorist.  The best result for her, and her Spawns of Satan, is a quick departure out of line as I grab my belongings and make haste to my boarding gate where I will “Calgon take me away” peacefully and reminisce about another dastardly deed while slumbering quietly to the soft drone of 747 engines. 

I always make my appointments, freshly rested, and on time. 

All because of my insurance policy.