At the airport a few weeks ago I was pulled out of line because of the juice boxes I had in my carry on. The examination was very serious. Who were these for? Ummm…my son – the one standing next to me? How many did I have? Three. And yes, they had been in my possession since arriving at the airport. Before that, probably in the hands of a stocking clerk at Trader Joe’s. Apparently this didn’t suffice. The juice boxes needed to be further examined. I was turned over to a man who proceeded to empty my entire travel bag onto the TSA counter. Nice. Each juice box was then thoroughly tested by some wand looking device that could have been on 24. Jack Bauer might as well have been the interrogator. (Oooooh, one can day dream right?)
Finally, the computer, wand and officer were in agreement – I was not a threat to national security. I thanked them for revealing my secret stash of “said” juice boxes that Ryan was now pinning for since we hadn’t even begun our trip and proceeded to our gate. The last time I checked no middle-aged, white woman with a three year old, carrying a cute Anthropologie handbag has chosen to take down a plane of passengers. But I can see how I might look like a threat. The level of PMS in my body that week would have put most people in my life on high alert.
The Washington Post recently reported that, “The U.S. military is on track to spend $113 billion on Afghanistan operations this fiscal year, and is seeking $107 billion for the next.” As I read that number my jaw literally dropped. $113 billion? As someone who likes to exaggerate for dramatic measure, even my mind cannot comprehend that total. I am not so naïve as to think that we are Switzerland or Canada. I know funds must be allocated towards homeland security. And I am extremely proud of my brother-in-law who is currently deployed in the Arabian Sea. But $113 billion?
I have tried very hard not to make this blog political. For childhood cancer does not discriminate between red states and blue states. No matter where you fall on the political spectrum we can agree that it is not okay that childhood cancer is the number one disease killer of our kids. It is not okay. And I just can’t help wondering, “What if we spent $113 billion on research?” It would put an end to this disease – period. I know, I know, it is not that simple.
But there are scientists who are as keenly after cancer cells as the Navy Seals were for Osama bin Laden. Yet what stands between them and cures is not a random compound in Afghanistan, but money.
Perhaps if our congressmen spent less time sending out lewd photos of themselves on twitter and more time visiting the cancer floor at the Children’s hospital in their state things would be different.
*cracks open a juice box*
*ponders running for office*
*or perhaps just a motorcycle tour*