Saturday, 9 June 2012

Watch out - liquids about!

What I’d like to know is; what is so very dangerous about my shower gel? The airport liquid restrictions have been in place for some time now, so you’d think I’d be used to them, but this ginger needs a lot of help to look semi-normal, so they really are a right royal pain in the @rse. It’s grand when the better half is there to take my overflow in his little plastic baggy (the purveyors of those little baggies must LOVE the guys who hit upon the liquid bomb idea by the way – shares are up!) but when I'm on my own it leads to either checking a bag or some harsh decisions about which product de toilette is least essential (yes, yes, I know – first world problems…)
I’m all for taking measures to ensure the plane I’m on is not blown to smithereens, but I am deeply suspicious about this baggy activity. So we all put our tiny bottles of liquid in a little bag – to what end exactly? Just the other day I was witness to a fine example of the amazing work done by our fearless airport security guards. A young man had dutifully placed his bottle of aftershave in a tray next to his bag and his belt and off it went into the x-ray machine. At the other side the scanner of the scanner gave said youth a withering over-the-bifocals look (striking fear into his heart with it no doubt) and pointedly placed the offending bottle into a plastic baggy before handing it back. Thank god - who knows the damage that aftershave could have done if not safely ensconced in a see-through cocoon.
It’s pretty obvious some of the security measures are made up to entertain bored guards. Why else would they insist on them at some airports and ignore them at others? Some of them make you take your shoes off, some only make you take certain types of shoe off, and some couldn’t give a shiny shite about your shoes. Maybe they take an educated guess as to whether or not you’ll have smelly feet?
To be fair it must be mind-numbing to the point of exasperation to repeat the same phrases over and over, and receive the same incredulous looks when you tell people that they can't take their tweezers on a plane (for fear you would forcefully over-pluck the stewardesses eyebrows?) I wouldn’t be surprised if they start making us do the hokey-cokey in aid of national security.
I do have to give credit to the security staff who remain cheery while doling out ridiculous requests to the passengers who can only be described (politely) as ‘a few sandwiches short of a picnic’ (less polite version: ‘feckin’ eejits’). The staff at Schiphol, for instance, deserve medals for reacting with nothing more than a wry smile when the chavs claim their human rights are being violated when they take their joints away.
It is other passengers that tend to add insult to injury when you’re faced with the joys of airport security. Particularly the ones who wait until they’re at the belt of the x-ray machine to unpack and repack their suitcase to remove sun-cream, nail scissors and machetes, despite being pre-warned by the weird/scary/patronising hologram people (money well spent there airport authorities!) 
The self-same fools also have a habit of hogging the other side of the scanner until their bag to comes out, somehow managing to take up six feet of space with one jittery/hovery movement, until a grumpy businessman elbows them out of the way that is. The suits hold no truck with dilly-dallying and it makes for excellent people watching, which goes some way to making up for a lack of moisture in my travelling life.
Nice view - shame about the dehydration

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