When Osama and his band of demented henchmen drove airplanes into American Icons they changed our lives forever. But try as they might, the evil that exists in the world is not as strong as we are.
Take the humble Zippo lighter.
Now I no longer smoke and when I did I didn’t use a Zippo lighter except as a young teen. The whole flint and fluid deal was too much of a hassle. But the Zippo Company can do without my business as they sell 14 million of the flip top creations every year. Since the company was founded in 1932 they have turned out about 425 million.
To the folks who make Zippo lighters in Bradford Pennsylvania, all 780 of them, it was devastating blow after 911 to have the Government flatly deny anyone permission to carry one of the lighters on any plane whether or not they had any fuel in them.
About 40% of Zippos never see any spark and are bought as souvenirs. Zippo was in imminent danger of flaming out forever.
So the Zippo heads went to Washington and won their case. You can now carry unfueled Zippos on a plane.
But here’s where the American entrepreneurial spirit kicked in. The folks at Zippo wanted some way to allow their fully fueled lighters to be packed in checked luggage. They knew their Zippos would never be allowed in the cabins of aircraft but couldn’t they be packed safely in your luggage?
As you might have guessed the answer is yes.
Zippo found a company that makes a vapor tight case strong enough to drive a truck over to pack the lighters loaded with fuel into. The Transportation security administration signed off on it and the net result-Zippo saved 30% of their workforce from being laid off.
The case costs 12.95 while a regular Zippo costs just $10 so you really have to want to do this.
But it proves the point.
In this country, if you really want to, you can probably find a way.
Take that Osama.