Things aren't like the good old days. In fact, maybe they never were.
Security is the obsession of the day. It has become so vital you can reach out and touch someone only on the telephone.
A statement heard almost every day is that no one ever used to lock his door when he went out. For that matter, no one used to lock his car.
Something new is now being said: ''Remember when we used to lock just the ignition and the doors of our car?'' That is because we now have to lock not only the ignition and the door but also the glove compartment, the trunk, the steering wheel, the hood, the gas tank, at least one front wheel, and also activate a siren alarm which will go off if anyone approaches the car from the wrong direction.
It doesn't seem to help. Every year more cars get stolen.
Even dog collars have locks on them.
We have a friend who lives in the city. The door of his apartment has seven locks on it. Still he has been robbed on two different occasions. Both times through the window. He is now planning on installing bars and electric grids with a pulsating current of 120 volts.
Business establishments have the same problem. A number of gas stations have installed killer dogs at night. This has been a mixed success, since in at least one case the owner himself was unable to get back in for two days. A radio store owner, when questioned, admitted he not only has alarms installed in the main doors and roof but has a cobra sleeping in the window. He also has a large banana spider, but he claims this is only for bugs.
The security obsession has focused a larger interest on guns. It may not be pertinent to security but gold handguns are now being sold in Beverly Hills for but can be bought on Sunday after church.
We are not against all that money that is being made by people in the business of security systems. We are just not happy with locks. This is partly because we are always losing the key.
But we have a further unhappiness. The security guards, airport police, and a lot of uniformed patrol people have an unreassuring look. They look exactly like the people we thought we were being guarded against.