(take it from Ricky Manning, laptops are for pussies)

Citing “increased security”, the wife of Catfish Stew’s Phillip Michaels was prevented from using her laptop during an Angels/A’s game at McAfee Coliseum last week, and Michaels can’t figure it out.

You can’t use a laptop during games because… why again? Because Al Qaeda is now recruiting thirty-ish women to disrupt Major League games with iBooks? Because the almost imperceptible whirl of the hard drive is distracting, and therefore, angering to Milton Bradley out in right field? Because the Coliseum has a free Wi-Fi network — it does, you know — and they don’t want freeloaders like my wife using it and possibly slowing down network traffic for the giant mainframe computer that Joe Morgan thinks controls the A’s organization?

I’m having a hard time following along here.

Clearly, you’re still permitted to bring computers into the Coliseum. Apple has made some wonderful strides in reducing the form factor of its laptops, but the iBook is still not so small that my wife can shove it down her pants to avoid detection. The security guards at the entrance gate tasked with searching our bags for canned sodas, weaponry, and other Bozo no-nos saw the laptop in my wife’s bag and made no effort to stop her entrance into the Coliseum.

It is even more puzzling because the week before, I went to a Giants-Rockies Game at Telecom Monolith Ballpark with my pal Jason, who, several times during the game, whipped out a MacBook and began type-type-typing away with elan — and in full view of the ushers, who stood by, helpless to stop him. Because he’s a rebel. And a lousy stinking nerd. So obviously, if there’s some sort of admonition about in-game computer use, it’s an Oakland-only rule. That’s my main point here. That, and Jason is a nerd. I can’t stress that enough.

Though I can’t help Phillip with any understanding of McAfee’s policies (ie. I posted to this very blog from an A’s game via this very laptop last spring, yet saw a posted sign, clear as day, last August that stated “computer bags” were amongst the stadium’s banned items), I suspect A’s officials would like to eliminate the possibility, however remote, that Ricky Manning might arrive looking for someone to beat up.

Still, much as I sympathize with Ms. Michaels’ plight, if there’s a ban, it oughta apply to everyone. Even thirty-ish women. To proceed otherwise, is I believe, considered profiling. If the authorities were just going to go after persons who fit the the stereotype of a terrorist, well, Nick Swisher would’ve been sent to Camp X-Ray a long time ago.