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The Times Finds Yet Another Annoying Thing About Houston

Houston, The New York Times has found yet another thing you do that's highly annoying.

Earlier, it was our pathetic efforts at recycling. Now it's the security announcements at what it terms "the grandly named" George Bush Intercontinental Airport.

"I immediately start grousing about those annoying security announcements," writes columnist Joe Sharkey, who definitely is not grandly named. "'Can't you just ignore them?' [my wife] says. 'That lady on the loudspeaker is threatening to arrest me if I make an inappropriate comment or joke about security,' I insist, braced for yet another repetition of that particular dire warning, which I hear only in Houston."

Sharkey calls the Transportation Security Administration, he calls airport spokeswoman Marlene McClinton, he calls a security expert. He gets little in the way of explanation.

Perhaps the best explanation comes from the security expert.

"Nobody listens to them," he said. "They're background noise! You actually listen?"

Yes, Joe Sharkey listens. Especially when he gets to Houston.

-- Richard Connelly

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