Sunday 21 January 2007

Sense of Humour Bypass

Maybe it's just me, but I don't seem capable of getting on with airport workers - or more precisely, passport control and check-in!

I was returning to Belfast via Glasgow recently and my mobile phone went just as I was about to check-in. The check-in assistant was obviously unimpressed with my multi-tasking because when she asked my if I had packed my bags myself, I answered:

"Yes... and there's nothing sharp in my hand luggage and nobody gave me anything to carry on board".

She reached my boarding ticket towards me and just as I was about to take it, she withdrew ever so slightly and said:

"Is there anything sharp in your hand luggage?"

"No" I replied.

She withdrew even further.

"Has anyone asked you to carry anything on board?"

At least this situation was scary! In the States, the officer at passport control inspected my passport and asked me if I was entering the country for business or pleasure.

"Business" I replied.

"Have you brought anything to this country in relation to your business?" he asked.

"Just my intelligence" was my reply. Not the wittiest of comment, I thought!

"Would that be military intelligence, sir?" was the startling response and a response that immediately made me feel very nervous with so many HomeLand Security officials nearby carrying pretty sophisticated looking weapons.

Wednesday 17 January 2007

American Madness - Part III

Americans love their big cars and they don't come much bigger than a Hummer.

I was fascinated at the sight of one of these beasts when it pulled up outside my hotel. It was black and the alloys gleamed.

The driver of the Hummer got out and it was obvious why he owned a Hummer - he was only 5' 0" in height (if that). He opened the rear passenger's door and took out a stool. Nothing odd in that so far. However, he proceeded to set the stool down at the back of the Hummer and stood on it in order to open the boot!

Now, I'm sorry... having to carry a stool around with you so that you can reach the handle of your boot sounds like the car isn't practical!

American Madness - Part II

My colleague and I were wandering in the direction of the hotel bar one evening and I offered to buy him a drink. He was feeling rather thirsty and decided that he would like to start with a mere orange juice. Strangely enough, I was thirsty but decided that a beer was in order!

"Good evening, how's your day goin'?"

The attractive young girl behind the bar was obviously trying hard to make the question sound sincere.

"Fine, could I have a beer and an orange juice please?" I asked.

"Yeah, sure". She proceeded to pull me a pint of Heineken but stopped half-way up the glass. Uh-oh, I thought!

"You did want this half and half, didn't you?"

(It is me?)

American Madness - Part I

I was recently in Atlanta on a business trip - I was previously unaware that Atlanta is the busiest airport in the world by traveller numbers!

I thought I would take the opportunity to buy myself an iPod - 80GB, black. The Apple store in the nearby shopping mall seemed like the ideal place for unloading my dollar-filled wallet.

"Hi there sir, how's it goin'?" was the greeting I received from the overly-smiley shopping assistant.

"Grand, thanks." was my unimaginative reply.

"Oh you're European, right?" - how did she guess based on my short & snappy response?

"Yes, that's right. I'm from Belfast."

"Oh cool. That's in Germany, right?"

Wednesday 3 January 2007

Gender Crisis

I'm a bloke.... I do blokish things.... I buy blokish things...

My Tesco clubcard has my name own it - a bloke's name...

Tesco must monitor my purchases - alcohol, razor blades, steak, men's clothes...

My receipts rarely show salads; air freshener; bleach...

So why, oh why, did Tesco think it appropriate to give me a voucher for extra clubcard points the next time I purchased a packet of Always Ultra?