As any modern traveller knows, perhaps the greatest hurdle at an airport is passing through security. Now if I was a crazed kamikaze suicide bomber or terrorist then this would not present too much of a problem.

I would simply arrange for the security staff to be extra vigilant and pay close attention to such threats as passengers heading to somewhere at the centre of the world’s finances or perhaps Switzerland. (That’s where all the rich lads and lasses hide their money for goodness’ sakes, so it is clearly where terrorists should make a bee line for!)

If you cannot find any flights or passengers going to Switzerland then why not pick a destination that starts with the same two letters. Yes, that’s right Sweden! Which is how it was that my choice of a trip to Stockholm began with the mother of all security searches.

First I emptied everything I could think of into the trays provided. Then I re-opened my carry on luggage to remove the iPad and camera. Next I emptied my pockets of change and even my wallet and passport.

“Are you wearing a belt?”

“No, but I do have braces!”

“Carry on through then sir.”

And that was when the fun really began. Naturally the braces set off the alarms and so I had to remove them. Now I had to pass through the scanners once more, this time holding my trousers up so as not to have a “clothes malfunction” that would make Janet Jackson’s incident at the Superbowl look tame.

So I hopped skipped and shuffled back and forth through the machines, each time setting off some new alarm. By now I had probably had more X-rays than I should have endured in a decade, but the searches continued.

After assuming the position and being frisked backwards, forwards and sideways it was time to remove the shoes and even a silk scarf from around my neck. Now I have read my James Bond and Dan Craig** stuff from cover to cover and not ever come across silk scarves being handy weapons of mass destruction. But hey, maybe the latest manual on anti terror searches had a special chapter on how to take out entire flight crew with a Hermes scarf.


By now Da Boss was standing impatiently at the other side of the security section. She had clearly decided that I had somehow managed to look suspicious and so had brought about all this extra attention. That meant she had less time to shop in duty free and so was less than happy!

Eventually the security staff ran out of things to search and told me to collect my things and get out of their way. I nodded meekly and hobbled over to a space where I could finish undressing and start to dress for the second time that day. Fortunately I had decided not to wear my leopard skin print underwear or my gold and silver lurex socks, or even my spandex body contouring outfit, or else I would probably still be there being searched, or at least videoed for the entertainment of the night security team.

And of course, whilst everyone’s attention had been on me, the terrorists would have been busily smuggling through their antitank weapons disguised as pottery or boxes of chocolate.

So, a word to all the undoubtedly keen and eagle eyed security staff. Don’t waste time on clearly unfit and out of shape passengers heading off to see grandkids. They are highly unlikely to want to blow their aircraft up. If only because they want to take revenge on their children, by spoiling the grandkids rotten and then leaving before things get totally out of hand.

Opt to search young fit people, if only because it is far nicer for the crowds of onlookers to see good looking bodies on display. Oh and the older mob are far too keen to stay alive and enjoy as much life as possible, so they are unlikely to put themselves forward for going out with a bang! And the other thing of course is that they are far more likely to fall asleep at a critical moment or forget just what it was they were meant to be doing anyway!