Thursday, August 31, 2006
Wednesday, August 30, 2006
There is no job interview that exists in the moment. Despite the fact that no employer is able to offer any more than a one year contract they insist that you tell them in minute detail exactly where you expect to be and what you will be doing five or ten years from now. Since CVs are mostly works of fiction anyway, why not go the whole sonic hedgehog and simply make them futuristic. All CVs should be set five or ten years in the future. At least then employers would be able to gauge if you have all the qualities they always claim to be seeking - creativity, ambition, not a time-waster (how could you be if you are able to account for time you haven’t even had yet?)
Tuesday, August 29, 2006
One insidious little piece of proposed legislation presently snaking its way through what Government likes to call ‘the process’ is a Welfare Reform Bill. A cunning plan to ‘achieve an employment rate equivalent to 80% of the working-age population’ is set out in the odiously named green paper A new deal for welfare : Empowering people to work. The consultation ‘process’ for this ended last month.
Monday, August 28, 2006
Politicians love to tell us about what things are like in ‘the real world’. I would like the borders of this ‘real world’ to be clearly defined, if it isn’t too much trouble. As one of the meek (all right meek-ish), I would like to see the will. I would like to be able to plan for the future by knowing what my inheritance will be now, and whether there are death duties in this ‘real world’. John Paul Getty the elder once said, ‘The meek shall inherit the earth, but not its mineral rights’, so you know straight up that most of it is going in legal fees.
Sunday, August 27, 2006
The Reunion, set three years on, begins with Blake being visited in jail by Jeff Colby. This is a masterstroke as it allows a complete reveal of the plot and rundown of the cast list in three minutes leaving the other 207 free for candle-lit slow dancing and failed attempts on Blake’s life. ‘What of Fallon?’.. ‘Fallon, who is as you know my wife, pending divorce, which incidentally I don’t want, is now living out in California with our children etc. etc.’ No mention then of how she escaped from the cave she was trapped in with Krystina and a cache of looted Nazi art works. ‘Any news of Krystle?’ Blake asks hopefully after articulating the main plot point which is that there is a sinister organisation called ‘The Consortium’ conspiring to annex capitalism. (You can see where Dan Brown got his inspiration). ‘Still in a coma’, Jeff sighs.
Cut to Krystle, vacant blue eyes and helmet hair, shoulders of which any shot putter would be proud, smiling her ridiculous peach gloss smile, being brainwashed (if such a thing is possible) by an evil doctor in a Geneva ‘clinique’. Yup. She’s still in a coma. Conveniently, Blake gets released from jail and Krystle escapes from the ‘clinique’ on the same day. Rather sweetly, they appear to have matching luggage. Krystle’s small suitcase is a bit of a tardis in that she manages to extract at least fifty different outfits from it.
Blake heads off to Washington to stay with Steven and his partner Bart. Steven still hasn’t forgiven his father for refusing to participate in his coming out by chanting ‘Steven is gay, Steven is gay’, with the rest of the family so things are a bit prickly to begin with. Steven is in a bit of a strop anyway because he’s just failed in his valiant attempt to save the Spotted Salamander. I assumed that this was a gay bar, but no, sensitive Steven has become an ecologist. He means the actual spotted salamander.
Having established the need for utmost secrecy, Blake and Steven then retire to a busy Washington eatery to openly discuss Blake’s conspiracy theory and speculate on how many top government officials are involved. Meanwhile half the cast decamp to Geneva where Jeff gets captured by the mysterious CEO of ‘The Consortium’. Jeremy Van Dorn is known to almost everyone and his name dropped so many times, I started to think it might be an anagram. I tested it and all I could come up with was Very Jarn Demon.
Krystle and Blake are reunited with each other and their daughter Krystina (whom they just as quickly forget about) at the California home of Fallon. The only interesting thing about Emma Samms, who plays Fallon is that her name is very nearly a palindrome. Her timing is so bad she has to answer her own questions as by the time she’s asked them, the other actor has left the room.
The reunited Carringtons set up home in a humble Virginia cottage. Once Blake has placed the martini glasses and swizzle sticks on the mantel piece, he sets about the business of seducing his wife. But wait a minute, Krystle has been programmed to kill her husband after they’ve made love. Fortunately for all, Krystle is such a lousy shot that her two attempts to carry out this mission fail. Blake’s ardour is undiminished. Remember this is before Viagra was invented. Respect.
Back in Geneva, Jeff’s idiot brother Miles hatches possibly the worst escape plan in history. He asks his accomplices Adam Carrington and some butler’s daughter who came along for the ride ‘what did the Greeks use to get into Troy?’ This yields blank looks so he takes a wild stab. I’m guessing that the Greeks didn’t send a wine vat with Miles Colby inside. The rescue succeeds mainly because the Swiss fight like girls – in fact there seem to be rather a lot of girls fighting. Alexis and Krystle find time to reprise their famous chat spat, this time in a clothing factory in a bonanza of flying beads, sequins, braids and boas. Lovely.
All’s well in the end. Blake and Krystle reinstall their matching luggage in Carrington Mansions and settle down to watch videos. Even Alexis who has to be rescued from the pool house where the evil Van Dorn has improvised a carbon monoxide poisoning device as a parting gesture, joins in the gaieties. Sadly, the careful set-up for a sequel (Van Dorn is ‘arrested’ by cronies posing as police), was never realised. The world is the poorer for it.
Saturday, August 26, 2006
If you saw the film A Beautiful Mind, you’ll remember Nash’s epiphany where he recognises that a group of men pursuing a single primary objective (impossibly beautiful woman) cancel each other out. If they co-operate, and each go for one of her less glamorous friends, they don’t get in each other’s way and everybody wins. (Except the impossible beauty but nobody’s losing sleep over her).
Messrs Blair, Brown et al need to do some math because they still seem to think that what benefits their greedy friends is good for the rest of us. It doesn’t matter how badly they get fleeced or how many of these pals get exposed for gross incompetence or bold-faced theft. The nodding and grinning and unabashed glad-handing continues.
The perilous state of iSoft, the company contracted to upgrade the NHS’s computer system is simply the latest in a long line of egg-on-face balls-ups involving contracting with the private sector. Whereas the Tories whiled away their years in parliament getting to know the ins and outs of the sex trade and sniggeringly collecting up brown envelopes stuffed with fifties, the present incumbents are getting themselves mixed up with an entirely more dangerous crowd and putting the silverware at much higher risk than their idiot predecessors ever did.
Lap-dancing strippers have been replaced by asset strippers. This week it was reported that iSoft’s three founders made £81m between them in share sales. That’s just £20m less than the company’s current stock market value. Government may be collectively suffering from Stockholm Syndrome in which an abused party develops sympathy, even admiration for its abuser. Value to the community – a very high negative number.
I have a mind to posit a game theory of my own. This I will call Noosa Equilibrium. This theory is based on the certain knowledge that everyone in the world means you harm. Strangers phone you on a daily basis to attempt to persuade you to alter your already unmanageable domestic administration arrangements. ‘Don’t you want to save money, Ms Lee?’ What for? Some evil bastard is only going to skim it next time I use my cash card. Money just makes you a target. Friends call only to find out whether you’ve finally gone completely mad – admittedly they’ve been waiting an unreasonable amount of time for this to happen. Any transaction involving other people is fraught. Check-out people in supermarkets try to give you computer vouchers for children and grandchildren (arrgghh) you don’t have. I could go on but I want to watch Dynasty : The Reunion on TV - at least someone out there is considering the needs of others for once.
Noosa Equilibrium works like this: you co-operate with the world in absentia. Stay away from everyone, absolutely all humans. Have everything delivered. Don’t complain unless there is really no choice, e.g. if Abel and Cole kick your front door in to deliver your organic box instead of knocking and waiting a decent interval for you to answer. They are after all supposed to be an ethical company. Spend all day reading, preferably someone you aren’t likely to disagree with. Newspapers are obviously not recommended. Don’t answer the phone, ever.
Like Nash Equilibrium, everyone benefits but in the opposite way, if you see what I mean. I am saved having to consider daft questions about subjects in which I am not vaguely interested and the enquirer is spared a lashing by my acerbic wit. Suggestions for appropriate mathematical equations may be delivered via comments. Now, if you will excuse me, I have a date with some very serious shoulder pads.
Friday, August 25, 2006
Salman Rushdie in The Telegraph 17/8/06
This has taken a while to gestate. I had to read The Whole Woman again to see if I’d missed the obvious. No, it’s just as calm, reasoned and meticulously evidenced as I remembered. It’s difficult for me to come to terms with the suggestion that the firebrand who demolished the usually erudite Norman Mailer in debate and dazzled a generation with her quick wit and awesome intelligence is actually an idiot. Occasionally on Newsnight Review she’d come up with a perspective that was odd even by Newsnight Review standards. They stopped asking her after a while. Maybe that should have alerted me.
In the course of re-reading The Whole Woman I noticed that it was dedicated to someone called Flo who ‘has been called mad by the very people who most need to know the things she tells them.’ Could it be possible that Greer courts accusations of madness precisely because she has calculated that being considered mad by the establishment legitimises you as a visionary? There has to be some explanation for her insane outburst about the proposed filming of Monica Ali’s book Brick Lane in the real Brick Lane in the East End of London.
Almost everything pertinent about that has already been said but just to illustrate how off the wall Greer’s point of view is, I’d like to make a couple of points. I live in the East End and I worked in Brick Lane for about three years. Has anybody else who’s written about this subject been there recently? It isn’t actually a province of Bangladesh. In fact it’s much less of a monoculture than it was even ten years ago with the arrival of fashion and non-Asian bars and restaurants. If you say to someone in the East End ‘I’m going down Brick Lane’, they’re just as likely to think you mean the Sunday market. That it’s the heart of the Bangladeshi community in Britain is currently its defining characteristic but it isn’t all that Brick Lane is.
Accepting without challenge the word of self-appointed community representatives with a clear agenda to promote their own business interests is beyond lazy. It could even be perceived as a form of racism. Has Greer such low expectations of the Brick Lane traders’ capacity to defend their position that she feels she has to patronise them by weighing in with her ill-considered and poorly informed perspective? Natasha Walter, writing in the Guardian, quoted Baroness Pola Uddin, long established voice of reason in the area and someone who does legitimately speak for the community as she was a local councillor before becoming a Labour peer. Baroness Uddin said, ‘This book should be treated like the fiction it is. Let's put our energy into challenging real injustices. It is unacceptable that we should be asking for a book to be banned.’ Quite.
Greer should have faced a much greater roasting than she did for wading into the murky waters of questioning someone’s right to determine their own ethnic identity. Ali is not allowed to write about Brick Lane because she doesn’t live there, she’s half white and her father worked in a university. By this definition is Hanif Kureishi not allowed to write about Pakistanis, Zadie Smith not allowed to have Afro-Caribbean characters? Should Conrad not have written about Africa, Forster not gone near India, Hemingway and Orwell stayed off the subject of Spain. Am I only allowed to write about my street? Should travel books be banned?
Rushdie’s right. Greer is mad, but maybe with deliberate method. If we all think she’s mad she can get away with saying outrageous things without fear of being challenged. We’ll all just think there she goes again, raving, barking Germaine. Meanwhile she’s sitting there in deepest Essex all smug and self-satisfied thinking she’s a misunderstood prophet. Someone should turn her into a religion. Then she'd really be beyond criticism.
Thursday, August 24, 2006
Together we can, combined the prodigious air-headedness of Hazel Blears and Kelly's predecessor David Miliband into one great confection of warm fuzziness and premature self-congratulation. This was before the bombs went off in London last year. Together we can sank into well-deserved obscurity. Government have obviously used the last year to reflect on this grave new world and come up with an altogether more stern-faced, but no less muddled approach.
‘We have moved from a period of uniform consensus on the value of multi-culturalism to one where we can encourage that debate by questioning whether it is encouraging separateness.’ Kelly announced. What? After all these years of grappling with what multi-culturalism meant and how to live with it, it’s all over. We’re to have ‘integration’ instead. There are so many elephants in this room that the only purpose it will usefully serve is to provide the raw materials for Chris Ofili’s next show.
I blogged on the subject of community relations a couple of days ago and, rather spookily I think, pre-empted Ms Kelly’s call for ‘honest debate’. I’ll keep an eye out for invitations to participate in these illuminating discussions.
One of my favourite books of last year was FT journalist Lucy Kellaway’s Who moved my Blackberry™. Deservedly sharing equal billing with R Kelly and her public pronouncements on this morning’s news programmes was the revelation that the Blackberry hand held computer is dangerously addictive. Who knew? Kellaway’s book started out as a popular column in the FT. In it she shamelessly lampoons her alter-ego Martin Lukes whose pathological devotion to and misuse of his Blackberry causes havoc in his professional and personal life.
The title originates from the popular American management book Who Moved My Cheese. This ill-conceived trifle is an allegory delivering a stupid imperative to flexibility, regardless of the circumstances. Two humans and two mice are fed by an anonymous benefactor from a room full of cheese. One day the cheese disappears without explanation. The mice respond by scuttling off in search of a new source of food. The humans show up day after day in the room where the cheese was, and bring themselves to the brink of starvation. This is perceived by the story teller as a stubborn refusal to accept reality and an inability to exercise flexibility in a world of change.
What I hope distinguishes us from mice is the ability to question injustice, a willingness to stand up to bullies if they are game to show their faces and the stoicism to risk our lives in the defence of what is right. I expect the new Commissioners for Integration and Cohesion, due to report back in June 2007, to spend their time chasing bits of Brie and Emmental around plates, sending emails on their Blackberries in the tea breaks and coming up with absolutely nothing in the least bit authentic, new or practical.
Wednesday, August 23, 2006
To get it ready for the plough.
The cabbages are coming now;
The earth exhales.
Slough, Sir John Betjeman
I know, I know. There I go quoting from poetry again. I’m obviously in danger of losing the common touch but stay with me, I’ll get to the point. In 2004, eight countries from the former Eastern Europe joined the EU. At this time the Government predicted that between 5,000 and 13,000 people from these countries would come to Britain seeking work. Just under half a million showed up. So the usual care was exercised in making these predictions. Obviously all possibilities were expertly considered and plans made to expand local services to accommodate the burgeoning population. Yeah right.
At the time, the only other European countries besides Britain to completely open their borders to unregulated immigration were Ireland and Sweden. Anyone trying to get into Ireland was immediately crushed in the exodus of Irish people trying to escape it. Sweden is the home of the Saab (uggh), the Volvo (double uggh) and the snow plough – arguably the most attractive mode of transport of the three. Beer is about £25 a pint and traditional cuisine goes by the name of husmanskost – literal translation, human cost. Then there’s the impenetrable language. I once learned to say ‘I’m hungry and I’m thirsty but otherwise I’m fine’, in Swedish. It wasn’t all that useful as nobody was interested in the food and no one wanted to shell out £25 to buy you a pint.
This is all topical again because there will be a new tranche of EU member countries next year which will include Bulgaria and Romania. Cue lots of boasting from Government as asylum applications from these countries plummet. I will declare here that my moral position is that anyone should be able to live wherever they wish – (I pick Mel Gibson’s Malibu house). As the fortunate holder of dual citizenship (Britain and Australia), I have enjoyed the freedom of coming and going between the two for many years. However, immigrants with language needs and no money in their pockets when they arrive need the support of the host country. We either extend that or we put our hands up and say, sorry we can’t manage it.
My spiritual home, Noosa Heads in Queensland, has a population ceiling. I’ve never worked out how they regulate this as to my knowledge, there are no border controls. I know they’re a bit funny about you moving bananas any great distance but I think that’s because they make the car pong after a while. Maybe they do ethnic profiling and I fit in because of my bleached hair. Possibly, they allow you to have only the same number of children as you have bathrooms. They may even practise euthanasia on retirees who have outlived their usefulness once they can no longer stand all day in shopping centres selling raffle tickets. They must be doing something right as they don’t have people begging in the streets.
So to Slough. Of the 9,000 applicants for a National Insurance Number in Slough in the last year, only 150 were from British nationals. The friendly bombs are indeed falling on Slough only to land in the local KFC, the modern equivalent of the cabbage patch. Commerical interests insist that unregulated immigration is a brilliant thing. They would, wouldn’t they because they can get away with paying immigrants next to nothing and capitalising on their poor language skills and lack of understanding of employees’ rights.
You can’t have a moral position with lots of break clauses so I say yes, let everyone in Europe enjoy the same rights and advantages. But please, let them all be militant and refuse to work in appalling conditions. Pray they stick it to the man – big time.
Tuesday, August 22, 2006
‘Beauty is truth, truth beauty,—that is all ye know on earth, and all ye need to know.' These words from Keats’s Ode on a Grecian Urn have always held uncomfortable memories. Far from associating them with fine pottery and the
Monday, August 21, 2006
In this country we are used to paying politicians a great deal of money to do work that we end up having to do ourselves. They are forever trying to herd us into neighbourhood committees to make decisions for them on the blindingly obvious. They then act like they’ve done us a huge favour by ‘devolving decision-making to communities’. Not only do they not have to do anything, they have someone else to blame if it goes wrong. You wouldn’t mind so much if there was even a hint that any of this so-called ‘empowerment’ activity reflected a genuine commitment to power sharing. On the contrary, it seems cowardly and cynical.
Sunday, August 20, 2006
Customer service advisor. That would be someone who, if you are very lucky you’ve reached on the phone after completing a PhD thesis in number punching. Someone who doesn’t speak your language and knows nothing of the service about which you wish to engage them in cheery banter. The only foolproof way to avoid having to deal with these offshore viral bugs in the house of happiness, is to not buy anything. Having made virtually no money this year and indulging in an obscene number of holidays, I find non-consumerism both refreshing and inescapable.
Fantasies of a deserted island with no bureaucracy, utilities or communications (but, strangely, high speed broadband – surely it’s possible in this day and age), will be realised one day. However, in the meantime and in this climate I cannot do without electricity and gas.
Pee Wee’s Big Adventure opens with Pee Wee (Paul Reubens) dreaming of winning the Tour de France on his very girly red bike. When the bike gets stolen, Pee Wee reveals the psychopathic single-mindedness that distinguishes cyclists from other people who use public spaces. He will stop at nothing to be reunited with the object that defines him. He sacrifices all other relationships to this end. Girlfriend Dottie and dog Speck can only stand by helplessly as the quest takes flight. Pee Wee, wittingly or not is your archetypal two-wheeled monster. When he’s on the road, he is Lance Armstrong – or whoever the 1980s equivalent was, I can’t be bothered to look it up.
The news this week that the profession known as ‘cycle courier’ is to go the way of chimney sweep as a career choice is welcome. This excuse for mad people with road kill where brains should be to terrorise our streets has been rendered redundant by the increased use of electronic document transfer. No more will the arrival of little brown packets requiring signatures cause the evacuation of reception in search of the nearest available fresh air. No more will the areas around public toilets and fast food outlets be the mobile offices of boy racers between jobs.
If ever there was a place less conducive to dangerous antics on fast moving metal objects, it’s the tiny, dog-leg streets of the City of
The other day I witnessed a reticent school kid emerge from behind a bus and ascertain, perfectly reasonably since the space between the bus from which he had alighted and the one standing on the opposite side was not big enough for a even a motorbike, that it was safe to cross. He reckoned without the ipod wearing kamikaze in lycra chasing a personal best. By some miracle (the cyclist would no doubt cite great skill), what looked like inevitable impact was narrowly avoided. The cyclist, as if controlled by some internal programme, immediately let loose a torrent of invective at the hapless child whose only fault seemed to be that he was there.
I have friends who cycle of course (Hi Carole and Mike) and they are civilised people who don’t ride on footpaths, at least I don’t think they do. They also don’t wear those strange pointy helmets that look like an eagle’s head. This could be the key. Maybe these silly hats induce bird of prey fantasies.
Once the cycle courier menace has been dispatched, attention must be turned to that other great two-wheeled threat, the nervous family who want to cycle because it’s so environmentally friendly and good for you and life affirming blah, blah, blah. Presumably by the same bizarre logic that created the self-righteous own-the-road ethic that has become the cycle couriers’ stock in trade, the families that cycle have concluded that it’s all right to ride on the footpath because the road is too dangerous for their children. And they have the nerve to tinkle their little bells, which these deluded souls believe, is a polite request for you to move out of their way.
My friend Katy, who’s American told me a great joke. I have, of course, embellished it for added topicality. Red Tarmac and Black Tarmac sitting in a bar:-
Red Tarmac: I’m tougher than you. People play competitive games on me. Tennis, basketball. I’m a running track. Hurdles, man that’s gotta hurt.
Black Tarmac: Yeah right. I get the heavy lorries, joy riders, roller bladders, women with those killer stilettos, ouch.
Suddenly the bar goes quiet. All attention is on the entrance. Green Tarmac struts in.
Red Tarmac: Finish your drink man. We gotta get outa here.
Black Tarmac : Yeah. It ain’t safe with that guy in here. He’s a cycle path.
Tip: This joke only works in an American accent. Enjoy.
Friday, August 18, 2006
I understand the whole thorny issue of ‘F’, representing as it does that unspeakable ‘F’ word that can never be uttered in discussions about children and their achievements. Fine. (There’s a reasonable ‘F’ word – ‘you’ve done fine dear’). Fine. Why don’t they skip ‘F’ like they do in buildings where they don’t have a thirteenth floor? Go straight to ‘G’ – representing ‘good’, ‘great’, ‘grand’, ‘gifted’ even. I agree with the concept that everyone should get some recognition for completing school. Surviving the excruciating embarrassment of it all deserves a medal. Perhaps the ‘success-deferred’ pupils could get a little button like the stickers they give out at Wimbledon saying something like, ‘I queued for the tuck shop.’
Having created this unsafe and inequitable world, we seem obsessed with concealing its true character from children. They are going to find out about it at some stage and, likely as not, be completely ill-prepared for the obstacles they face. It has a nasty air of sycophancy about it too. If I were seventeen, I think I’d find the propensity of adults to rush up and tell me how great I am distinctly creepy, (whereas now it would be most welcome). I doubt that my parents even knew where I went to school, and that is as it should be.
Having stripped life of any genuine juvenile challenges, we now have to fill every available open space with climbing walls and paint-balling centres. There are now even attempts to discredit the ‘gap year’ tradition of young people doing charity work in developing countries on the vague grounds that it’s an uncomfortable vestige of colonialism. I may be mistaken but I thought colonialism was about genocide and exploitation rather than distributing food and purifying water.
Universities are concerned about the rise in students commissioning other people to write their essays. This territory used to be the exclusive prerogative of the wealthy dim who weren’t ever going to cause any harm because they’d be royals or go into the diplomatic service in countries where wars are expected to occur regularly. In fact they were usually an asset because they could be counted on to start wars over virtually nothing. Now the hoi polloi are getting in on the act, there are fears that seriously stupid people with no genetically-sound excuse will rise to the top without anybody noticing.
There is something very sad about not wanting to participate in your own education, particularly at tertiary level where it starts to get interesting at last. Of course writing essays is laborious, even when it is something you’re passionate about. Immediately you sit down, your capacity for logical argument evaporates and you can’t remember anything other than what happened in the last episode of ‘24’ at which point you wish you did Media Studies rather than Particle Physics. But you start writing and it eventually comes good, (in my case around the fifth draft). If you don’t write your own essays you’re going to miss out on those glorious moments when fragile self-belief gives way to genuine insight and you dig out ‘an original thought’. The ghost-written dissertation is never going to provide you with that air punch. In my sadder moments I sometimes unfurl my yellowing BA. I can’t imagine what it would be like, as a sentimental tear forms to have to utter the words, ‘Good old Essays-r-us. Those were the days’.
We figure once we work out how to use the on-line check-in facility we’ll be laughing because we only ever take small back-packs. I’ve got the ablution kit down to a microscopic miracle of little sample jars. There’s still the tiny matter of having to take off everything that is holding something else up before they let you through that beeping machine but what’s a little loss of dignity when continental
Mr T’s pack gets put to one side. While he’s preparing his righteous indignation I remind him of what a good idea it is to get to the airport early. The steam has to beat a hasty retreat back into his ears when Mr Customs finds a knife. It was only a butter knife but we all know that knives are a big no-no. Imagine if it had been this week. “How could that have got in there?” Mr T helpfully speculates and tries to remember the last time he went on a picnic. I don’t get why round knives are such a big threat anyway. On those rare flights where they still feed passengers you get a plastic knife that couldn’t dissect spaghetti and a metal fork. I can tell you which I’d rather not have held at my throat.
While Mr T is receiving his well-deserved admonishment, my pack has come under scrutiny. “It’s a knife or some other weapon”, Mr X-Ray machine announces. As if! I quickly try to remember the last time I went on a picnic or, indeed, Nuremburg rally. The problem with taking only hand luggage on holiday is that, if they do decide to search it, you have to take out everything in front of everyone in the whole terminal. At least it was on the way out and not the return leg so the smalls were clean, folded even. I had all my clothes wrapped up in a Respect Festival hessian carrier bag. I hope the irony wasn’t lost.
Could they find anything? No. It wasn’t until I got on the plane that it dawned. It must have been my electric toothbrush, that AK47 shaped weapon of mastication. Actually, up a nostril, it could cause severe discomfort. It seems that things are getting back to normal security wise, although there was a major freak-out when a plane landed in the States yesterday with a tube of toothpaste or something on it. Talk about make no sudden movements. Some poor sod with bipolar disorder got shot a while back for acting a bit weird. You wouldn’t want to be a nervous flyer. But wouldn’t you know it, now I’ve mastered the art of travelling light, my bag’s going back in the hold. I’m going to have to get a bigger, sturdier bag and fill it up, obviously.
Photo from www.softcom.net