Friday, June 10, 2011

Getting to know me: My most embarrassing moment

So following on from my last getting to know me posts where I told you all about my fears, I thought I'd let you know one of my most embarrassing moments. At least one of the stupid situations I've found myself in recently!

For the few of you who have been following this blog since last year you'll know that in January I flew home after a wonderful three weeks travelling across Japan. My flight home had a change over in Cairns (my hometown) which left Tom and me with about 4 hours to kill before our connecting flight home so we went to my mum's place to say hello, tell them about the trip and give them the souvenirs I bought them.

Before we went back to the airport I repacked my hand luggage with all the wonderful gifts my family had bought for christmas and we headed off for the final leg of the journey. I should mention that our flight had been an overnight flight and neither Tom nor I slept a wink, so by the time we returned to the airport both of us were in that permanant state of slow thinking and confusion that being up for about 28 hours does to you.

We headed to security to have our hand luggage scanned so we could proceed to the gate and as I walked through the beeper scanner do-hicky to pick up my bags I realised my bag was missing. I looked down the conveyor belt to see if someone else had picked it up. Then I notice it, clutched in the meaty hands of the big, big, big security guard who looked ready to pull out his taser. 'Who owns this bag' he bellowed, everyone looked around and I meekly raised my hand, mentally going over what could possibly be in there to cause a problem. According to the aspiring wrestler I had a knife in my bag, 'haha no, definitely not,' I said. He looked at me suspiciously, 'it looks like a flip-knife' to which I replied, 'dude I don't even own steak knives, I certainly have no need for a freaking flip knife.'

He puts it through the scanner another two times, glaring at me all the while.
  HIM: 'it looks like a waiter's friend'
which to my tired ears sounded like '...pen' so thinking the confusion was sorted said,
  ME: 'oh yeah probably'.
He looks at me sternly, and I realised he obviously didn't think it was sorted,
  ME: 'wait what did you say?'
  HIM: 'a waiters friend, one of those bottle openers used by waiters'
  ME: 'uhhhh no, sorry thought you said pen.'
 He looks unconvinced and just stares at me, as though I'll crack and tell him the truth of my smuggling attempt. Confused and tired I told him I had no idea what it could be and he could search my bag if he wanted.
  HIM: 'You're giving me permission?'
  ME: 'Of course i'm giving you freaking permission I want to get some food and something to drink before I pass out on my flight home!' (not a direct quote obviously!)

So he unzips my bag and starts to pull out my christmas presents while I try and imagine how something like a waiter's friend could be in my bag and how guilty and evasive I must seem right now. He pulled out a couple of books, a dvd and the Black Books boxset my sister bought me. He placed them on the table and I gasped. 'Oh god, it's in the blackbooks boxset'. Because I was so tired and not concentrating when I packed my presents into my hand luggage I completely forgot that along with the dvds the boxset included a wine corkscrew and a beautiful wine stopper, all fitted into a box that's made to look like one of those book safes with the secret compartment. The security guard glared at me again and opened the boxset and has to remove the DVDs to show the little black box that the offending item was hidden in. Bright red and feeling the heat of his accusing gaze I stammered out an apology and excuse, 'It was a christmas present, I completely forgot about it...just got back from Japan...packed it without sleep for 28 hours..."

I told him he could throw it out which evoked yet another suspicious glare and a 'you're ok with me throwing it out' to which I replied, 'well I'd rather keep it obviously but it's the DVDs I really want, I completely forgot about it, just throw it out already!'

With a final look of distrust he gave me my bag and I walked away with my head hung low, avoiding the looks of the passers-by who seemed to think i'd just been caught out trying to smuggle in equiptment to bring down the plane. As Tom and I went to head over to our gate another guard called out to me and told me that I'd been randomly selected (yeah right) to have my bag swabbed for explosives. Clearing this one (thank god!) Tom and I were free to head to our gate and as I handed over my ticket I was waiting for them to tell me I'd been barred for being a suspiscious character!!

So that would have to be my most embarrassing moment, at least in recent memory. Have any of you had trouble with the heavy security at our airports now?


  1. Great story, plus I learned a new term – Waiters friend. I wish I traveled more, so that I could have an interesting airport security story...

  2. I'd never heard it called a waiter's friend either, so I was so confused by what he meant!! I'm quite happy for that to be my only airport security story, or at least for there to be a huuuuge gap in between this and the next one!



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