Sunday, December 24, 2006
Why We Love the Phantom Stranger VI
or, The Phantom Stranger versus the TSA
"What is a name? A quick sound lost to the wind; only a man has subtance, not his name, and I am just a man. No name can capture who I am -- who anyone is -- any more than naming a wave can trap it on the sand."
"I have been called many names. Whether you call me 'Mister', 'Friend,' or 'Hey, You' will not change who I am or what I am to you. Call me what you will."
"Got it: 'Mr. Frend Heyu' . Domestic or international?"
"The trials of life are myriad and dwell in each man's heart; the world's darkness knows no borders and where it goes, I follow, hoping to bring light."
"International, then. Did anyone not known to you personally give you any packages to bring on board with you?"
"No one is a stranger to me, though to all others I myself must be one. Such is the path I walk."
"Great. Business or pleasure?"
"To paraphrase the author, 'mankind is my business'; all its affairs are my particular concern, from the smallest of moral choices to the grandest of righteous battles, and my only pleasure, to assist, in what way I can, those faced with such troubles."
"I see; business. Do you have any baggage?"
"Like all men, I carry my past with me, but I choose not to trouble others with what is, after all, my burden. It is my fate to bear it alone, for I remain ... a stranger."
"Okay, just a carry-on then. Anything to declare?"
"The darkness of evil can never truly conquer as long as at least one remains to bear the light of good."
"Nice. Coach or first-class?"
"In this outfit?"
"Right; first-class, then."
"Please step through the metal detector, Mr. Heyu. Okay, the ... the things on your opera cape seem to be setting it off. Please remove it and put it on the conveyor, oh, and the medallion, too."
"LOOK INTO MY EYES."
" * . Oh. Why don't we just use the wand. Please raise your arms. There we go, thanks, Mr. Heyu. Enjoy your flight."