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.