A trip to Ireland this past weekend to film Dance Theatre of Ireland for an up and coming video feature was soured somewhat by the inevitable witless cretins whom, despite all claims to the contrary, make flying the most irritable method of transport in all of Christendom.
I am of course referring to the 'security' personnel whom, if it were not for the fact they wear ill fitting uniforms with the word 'security' on them, would look like your average loud mouthed, drunken moron on his way to Benidorm to spend a couple of weeks turing him/herself into a pickled kipper under 40 degree heat.
Newcastle Airport security were none to intrusive if only because they seem rather inept. The young lady watching the x-ray screen for rocket launchers, assault weapons and hair gel hidden within the designer luggage failed to look at the screen for two bags out of three and looked rather bored with the whole affair.
Returning was an absolute treat though with the über charming Renta-Cops™ employed by Dublin International Airport. Not only did they make this correspondent strip almost down to nothing in search of WMD but requested, against all measures of sanity, that a multi-part, very expensive video camera be removed from its protective back pack and scanned separately.
Correct me if I'm wrong but x-ray machines are called that because they can see through things! To add insult to injury they requested I remove a pair of earbud headphones so they could be x-rayed by the person who wasn't paying the slightest bit of attention to the machine as the object passed through it!
Exactly what harbinger of doom could be ensconced within an earbud headphone that was capable of bringing down a plane wasn't made public.
Of course you can't complain to them because Renta-Cop™ Command will almost certainly haul you off for questioning before putting you on a no-fly list for ten years and then refuse to give you back your shoes because, well, because they can!
You wouldn't mind so much if these clowns were at all capable of understanding what they were looking for but you get the feeling they couldn't spot a terrorist in a cave in Tora Bora who was wearing a big red sign saying 'I'm a Terrorist'.
Whenever I watch this farcical parade of faux security in action I'm reminded of the time I got through two intense security checks with a 4 inch, razor sharp craft knife that was accidentally left in a camera bag and nobody found it (including two x-ray operators). That was on-route to Government Paranoia Central™ also known as the USA.
When you finally make it through all the nonsense you can then relax on the short flight home. That's when you realise you're flying on Ryanair and the true horror of it all becomes clear!