It’s hard to believe it was this time last year I was attempting to save the world in New York. This year’s conference for BSR(Business for Social Responsibility) is in San Francisco. The only difference being this year I am on my own, and not supported by a large billion dollar corporation. I feel very small.
I booked my flight and accommodation and packed my bags for a 2 day visit, kissed my son and wife goodbye and set off for the airport. Now this would normally be a routine flight. Not much time to get into trouble one would have thought.
It all started to go pair shaped when I had my hand luggage checked. After taking off my shoes, belt and jacket, and emptying the contents of my computer case and clothing into four different baskets, I stepped through the scanner and waited. My hand luggage appeared and was immediately taken back through for a rescan.” After 3 scans, the agent asked “Is this your bag, Sir”, holding it out away from her body as if it might explode. After a brief search, she found the offending culprit, a large tube of toothpaste. “This violates FAA rules”, she explained. “Oh, is it not the right brand,” I asked innocently? “If sir would like a FULL body search”, she said, snapping on a pair of surgical gloves, “Sir can continue with the smart comments.” I declined.
I repacked my bag and got dressed and headed off to the departure lounge sans toothpaste, safe in the knowledge that another terrorist threat had been thwarted. Once I got on the flight, I settled down between too very large gentlemen who promptly fell asleep, wedging me in the middle. It was like sitting between two vehicle airbags, without the crash. I rummaged in my bag for the Cornish Pasty I had made the previous night, and was salivating at the thought of its savory scrumciousness. I pulled out the bag from which a perfectly formed Pastie had been inserted only a few hours before and stared down at the miserable pile of remnants. I almost wept.
Not one to be beaten, I pulled out a pinch of pastry crumbs and ground lamb and tried to steer the bits into my open mouth. Air bag #1 jolted awake just as I was attempting this delicate manoeuver, sending most of the contents down the inside of my shirt, and the rest onto my khaki pants. As I squirmed in my seat to dislodge the food particles, trying not to disturb my two grossly inflated bookends, I successfully managed to transfer some of the stuff down the front round onto my back. The more I squirmed, the more it travelled, the more it itched. It was even straying down in to the belt line. By the time the flight landed, I was going mental, not to mention smelling like a butcher's pie shop. I made a dash for the bathroom in the departure lounge and took off my clothes to remove the offending Pasty particles. When I emerged to wash my hands, I saw this crazy, grey haired old guy looking back at me. I hadn’t combed my hair after my shower this morning and I looked like the Doc in Back to the Future.