The €5 bottle of water

LAST WEEK I was a courier for the day, taking La Gidg to the mainland where my mum collected her for a ‘Grandparent Gold Moment’. i.e. she has her all to herself. I dread to think what she’ll come back like as she’s being spoilt rotten.

All of this was quite straightforward, fly to mainland, meet up with mum, get a bit emotional at the goodbye point (she’s only five and a bit after all, and we’ve not been parted for more than 24 hours before). It was the bit after the handover that got rather messy.

It was early okay, let’s get that clear now, I am not good in the mornings. I’m not going to claim that I am in the right here, not at all, but bear with me, and I think you’ll be cheering for my team.

Picture the scene, the shuffling, miserable, anxious queue for the airport security check. We’d had an extremely overpriced cup of coffee and day old croissant before parting ways, and as I stood in the queue I realised that I also had a brand new, sealed, bottle of water which I had bought in the airport cafe.

Hmm, I thought, should I get out of the queue full of half asleep passengers, or should I see what happened, Would I, Panorama style, make it through the x-rays without my terribly dangerous cargo be noticed? I wondered also about the tube of toothpaste, and laptop.

It all went in to the x ray machine, and the vigilant man on the cameras stopped my bag and with a look of triumph insisted that I get out my illegal water (all €2.50 of it, purchased ten minutes before). ‘I got it from the shop there, it’s not even open’. ‘You CAN NOT TAKE IT!’ ‘Well, throw it away then,’ said I, Which he did with the same sort of affront as if I had just told him his mother was closely related to a farm yard animal.

So off I went to buy bottle of water mark 2, the exact same brand, the exact same chain of shops, just on the other side of the x rays. How does buying it one side or the other of airport security make it any safer? Or (whisper it) could it be a clever marketing strategy to ensure we HAVE to buy drinks airside…

What the security guard had failed to notice on the x ray was my hairclip, a 4 inch long piece of metal shaped to a point at one end, which I had unclipped from my hair and popped into my bag so as not to set off the beeping alarm.

Perhaps I was a ninja housewife, trained to within an inch of my life to distract him with a bottle of water when I really wanted to be able to either put my hair up or disable a pilot. I guess he’ll never know.


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