Echo chainsaw commercial shows TSA at their worst

Echo power tools has a new television ad for their chainsaws that takes some liberties – though some would say not many – with the intimacy of TSA pat downs. The comical commercial features a man passing through airport security being subjected to a fairly aggressive, yet thorough, pat down of his crotch. Meanwhile, inattentive agents allow his chainsaw to pass through the X-ray machine undetected. He comments that, while he’s willing to put up with a lot of things, he requires that his chainsaw be reliable.

Is the commercial an exaggeration of how handsy TSA agents get during pat downs? Some would argue that they’ve seen way more ridiculous things happen at airport security checkpoints. All in all, it’s a pretty funny and topical ad.

What do you think? Is this a parody of what really happens during TSA pat downs or is it close to accurate? Share your thoughts in the comments.

Funny Cars: Transportation for your Next Trip?

Watching people run after cheese in Justin’s post Cooper’s Hill Cheese-Rolling and Wake reminded me of the power tool drag racing post I wrote a little while back. It’s the zanyiness of these activities that attracts me. This video is of the Funny Car division at the Power Tool Drag races recently held in Phoenix, Arizona. The ambiance is captured through the announcer’s voice, as well as the black and white checkered flags. You’ll notice that mufflers aren’t part of the car designs. Some of these contraptions remind me of something you’d see in a Monty Python sketch.

Power Tool Race and Derby: Start Your Chain Saws

I’m mentioning this event now because I want to give you time to get started on your own efforts or plan to get there to be a witness. The Seattle Power Tool Race and Derby is coming up June 23 in Washington state. This doesn’t mean you set your electric drill on the ground and yell, “On your mark. Get Set. Go!” or run with a power tool as you race and hope for the best, as in “Watch for the nail gun!” This is where folks who have created mobile contraptions with power tools and parts of tools put them in competitions with names like: Grudge Matches, Deadly Ring of Death and Jumping Jackass. Beer drinking is involved, but it’s a family friendly affair. Kids can even compete with their own inventions.

If there is a part of you that wonders, “Is this for real?” I can assure you it is. But if it sounds kind of, well, stupid, it’s supposed to be. The reason for the derby is to have fun in a wacky kind of creative way. Consider this one. The Giant Gerbil Ball has a person inside it. Flickr has many other pictures from last year’s event to give you an idea of what’s possible. The hobby horse in the photo is somehow affixed to a single power saw.

Power tool races don’t happen only in Seattle. Check out the blog, Make:Technology on Your Time for photos and a You Tube video of an event in San Francisco.