Tuesday, October 30, 2012

This Is Scary

   

Check out my new Halloween costume.  I'm thinking of wearing it to work--even altered my identification badge so that my profile picture is the same skull mask I'm wearing here.  I just hope security doesn't have a problem with that.

     But I doubt if I'll truly scare anyone.  There are things scarier than the visage of death dressed in formal attire   For me, it's flying.  After our recent trip, you can add airports themselves.

     It's all that security now.  Wendy and I had trouble this time cruising through customs and all those checkpoints.  Okay, it was partly our fault.  It started when we filled out our visitor card before we landed at Heathrow in London.  Wendy listed my occupation as my official work title which is reconciliation specialist.

     The customs agent at Heathrow looked at the card we'd completed.  "Reconciliation specialist.  Do you work with couples having troubles with their marriage?" he asked.

     I shook my head, explaining that I did more like a financial reconciliation of a company's books.

    "Divorce is very expensive here," the agent said.  I nodded in agreement though how was I to know.

    Preparing to leave Heathrow after our ten-day visit to the U.K., we again ran into a snag of our own making.  While rushing through the security checkpoints we were bombarded with, "Take off this, empty your pockets, take this or that thing out of your purse or carry-on, etc., etc."

    For some reason, Wendy's purse was not cleared through the checkpoint and instead was tossed into a separate nearby bin.  Soon we were called up and a very serious-looking middle-aged woman dressed in official security attire began scanning Wendy's purse with a curious looking handheld wand.

     She pulled out wads of receipts and other papers from Wendy's purse.  By the way, I keep pretty much every receipt, ticket and scrap of paper I get from businesses, restaurants and shops as cheap souvenirs to be taped into my trip journal.  And this lady pulled most of them out and put them aside.  Everytime she pulled out a wad of papers, she would scan the purse again with her wand.

    And there were lots of compartments and pockets to be checked, zippered and otherwise.  The lady never looked up or asked any questions while she quietly went about her work.  Finally, she opened up a pocket and pulled out an Ipod.  Then her eyes rose and met Wendy's as if to say, "Busted."

     "Sorry, I forgot about that," Wendy responded.  Ipods were supposed to be removed from purses prior to being scanned by the x-ray machine.  Boy, would we be happy to get back in the good, ole USA.  But security wasn't done with us yet.

    Back home in Detroit, we claimed our luggage and headed for the exit but first had to made a stop at customs.  Again, something on the card that Wendy completed reporting what we were bringing back home triggered a red flag.  We were directed to another line where a customs agent asked about a can of haggis that we had brought from Scotland as a souvenir gift for our son Scott.

  The agent wanted to see the can and check the ingredients.  This time he had to dig through our big suitcase, probably as difficult as digging through Wendy's purse, and more embarrassing since we had a week's worth of dirty clothes tightly mixed in there (never did find a laundromat in the UK).  Finally he found the haggis, checked the label and said it was forbidden because it contained lamb's meat.

    Apparently, because of Britain's experience with Mad Cow disease, canned meat can't be brought back.  But . . . it's not Mad Sheep disease, is it?  And it's not like we going to feed this haggis to our pet heifer.  C'mon.  But no arguing with the guy, and he confiscated our can of haggis.

     Now THAT'S scary.

10 Comments:

Blogger Lee said...

Enjoy your Halloween, Dave! The trouble is every time I get dressed up in masks and costumes, I never fool anyone! I scare them more as is!! ;)

Perhaps it's Mad You Disease! ;)

1:49 AM  
Blogger Carine said...

I try to not even wear my walking shoes Dave. good thing I've never taken my IPod shuffle onto the plane-always send it through for actual vacas. I was thinking about it just now (finally seeing Steve!!!), but decided a person w/ physical limitations should not even think of taking even 2 x-tra oz in her carry-on. This time it's filled to the proverbial gils w/ tons of receipts (yes, we keep them all too)and all the bills that are due after today. No sense leaving them for me to wade through. Unlike you, no one should leave anything "financial" for me to do!

love the costume myself!

11:49 AM  
Blogger Big Dave T said...

LEE--I did scare one lady who screamed here at work, but then a co-worker scolded, "I'm on the phone." So the mask was off after that.

Yeah, airports could bring on a case of 'mad me' disease.

CARINE--I steer clear of the financial side of paying bills. Wendy handles balancing the checkbook. I never could, which makes my occupational pursuits sound a bit strange. But it's a living.

11:55 AM  
Blogger Lee said...

lol Dave! What a spoil-sport your co-worker is! Some people have no sense of humour at all! ;)

1:38 AM  
Blogger Nankin said...

Great costume. So what if you scared one woman? Like, what did she expect. Now if you'd roped a few maggots on her desk from your sleeve, I could understand.

9:12 PM  
Blogger Merle said...

Hi Dave ~~ You do look scary in your mask. I had a dozen kids come and some of them had very scary face masks etc
I have led a very sheltered life I think.
Finally I get to answer your question about tipping, Kate my grand-daughter has a cafe and they even get tips there and Most waiters and waitresses get tips here.
It seems to be more voluntary here though, not expected.

It seems to me a lot of your troubles with airports are a result of what you and Wendy write on those cards. Try for something very simple next time.
That devastating storm was awful for so many Americans. I do hope they all have the power on by now That would help a lot for warmth and cheer. It covered so much of your country-just heart breaking
I liked the photos you took on your trip.
Glad you enjoyed the jokes my friend.Take good care, Cheers, Merle

6:27 AM  
Blogger Big Dave T said...

LEE--Not a lot of humor at my work lately. They're even talking lay-offs.

NANKIN--Maggots, echhh. But spiders I could do. I have a lot of fake spiders.

MERLE--We had close to 200 kids before we switched out our lights. Never had to do that before. Thanks for the info on tipping over there. Never know. Some day we might vacation in Australia/New Zealand.

9:35 AM  
Blogger Mrs. Dike said...

I've seen scarier uniforms lately; they were red and white.

10:54 PM  
Blogger Big Dave T said...

MRS DIKE--You had a bye this past week so you should be happy about that. How about that fantastic ending to that Michigan game!! I think your buddy Adolph needs to reconsider what he said about Michigan not having those all-time highlight reel finishes.

1:20 PM  
Blogger Merle said...

Hi again Dave ~~ Glad you liked the jokes and even the Laws of Probability after your experience with your fly open. Mind you most folks are so involved in their own lives and thoughts, many wouldn't notice. the one who did would be glad it wasn't them.
Try to be more careful my friend. We do learn from experience until we get a bit forgetful. Take good care Dave and I liked your jokes and wonder what they will be saying in another 50 odd years. Cheers, Merle.

6:53 AM  

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