My son Chris came home today. He returned from Afghanistan earlier this year and he has now discharged from the Army. He flew down from Brisbane and I drove to Sydney airport to pick him up.
I got there early (my own Army training has never left me). I walked up to security, got one of those plastic trays, put my car keys, glasses and loose coins on it, pushed it into the scanning thingy; and walked to the doorway. You know that thing that beeps and lights up if you are a terrorist.
Well it beeped.
A chap stepped forward and suggested that I remove my belt. I did this, stepped over, placed it on another tray and walked through the arch of death.
The security bloke was waiting for me and suggested I take off my shoes. I was wearing New Balance joggers and I wondered whether they had any metal in them. I selected another tray (how many was it now?) threw them on it, pushed them into the scanner; and walked through the arch.
Beep, beep again!
Next to go was the wallet even tough it had no coins in it. I placed it in the 27th tray and tried again.
You know what happened - yep, beep, beep!
"Do you have an artificial knee or hips?" Security Sam enquired.
"No mate, as a mater of fact I am having an operation on my knee tomorrow. Wait a minute, I'm wearing a brace!"
Sure enough, I rolled up my trousers and showed Sam. "I can take it off if you like." I said. Oops silly move, I would have to take my jeans off first. This is going to be interesting.
Meanwhile a queue is building up behind me and all my stuff is stacked up in trays cluttering up the bench.
"Mate I'll need a chair to sit down and take my brace off."
Sam pointed to some chairs 25 metres away.
"I'm a bit worried about me stuff." I ventured.
"No worries mate, I'll get it for you and wait for you behind the other scanner.
So I hobbled past the waiting crowd without looking at them. I didn't want any of them to ask me for an autograph. I had to hold my jeans up because I had no belt. I had no watch, no wallet and no shoes. I sat down and luckily I managed to get the brace off without taking off my strides.
I did a wonderful job of hobbling through another arch of death and five security guards and 35 passengers watching me. I hope i was hobbling on the right leg.
Another security bloke approached me. He had a beaming smile as if I was his long lost pal. He had all my gear in one tray, he had a chair set up for me and he placed all my stuff on a table beside it. I was now being treated like royalty. These guys couldn't do enough for me. I expected him to kiss me, such was the love he seemed to bestow upon me. I felt like a king - it musta bin my good looks, although at 63 years of age I am fading fast; but I still have hair!
I dunno what brought about the change. Maybe it was my belt buckle.
Oh, and here is the brace...
Wish me luck for the operation tomorrow.