Friday, March 28, 2008
There’s a story I used to tell about how I was passing through the security check at Stansted airport two or three years ago when a little old (white) lady in front me was taken to one side to have the contents of her handbag checked.
The Sikh guy checking her bag took out two bottle of tomato sauce and set them on a table. The old lady started to look a little nervous and asked the guy if there was any problem with taking sauce onto the plane – and the guy replied…
‘You can’t take two bottles. Just one. That’s the regulations – only one bottle of sauce per passenger’
The lady looked even more worried and straightaway the security guy said…
‘Nah, I’m only kidding. Of course you can take them onto the plane’
…and he very carefully repacked her bag
I was unfortunate enough to be traveling in Stansted and passing through its security (sic.) procedures again a few days ago. My Other 1/2 started giggling next to me in the line for no obvious reason, looked at me and said..
‘Remember that old lady? She couldn’t even take one bottle now’
She was, of course, correct
Actually, that was the second time that morning my Other 50% broke out into spontaneous laughter. The first time happened a little earlier on as we trundled around the outside of the airport looking for somewhere I could legally puff on a roll-up. Off She started giggling for no immediately obvious reason and then she looked at me and said...
‘Remember that Sharon Stone quote from Basic Instinct? “What are you going to do? Charge me for smoking?” Well they can now. Ha! Ha! Ha!’
A couple of days after traveling through Stansted I was chatting with a few people about the new security (sic.) measures that have been imposed on us. The people I was talking with agreed that they were a pain but a price that had to be paid for all our safety. I mentioned the results of US TSA tests which established that most of the dummy bombs carried by its inspectors were not picked up by airport security and got onto planes.
The point I was trying to make was that if there really are hundreds of suicidal plotters out there trying to get onto aircraft with bombs at least some of them would be getting through and blowing planes out of the sky regularly. The response I got from the people I was talking with was…
‘Well that doesn’t sound good. The security measures need to be increased so that they catch all of the dummy bombs’
The more I tried to explain how flawed that response was the angrier the people I was talking with started to get
I gave up