Only a Piece of Paper

I booked a flight from Oporto, Portugal, to Weeze, Germany, on Ryanair. Two weeks before my flight I had made a trip to Spain and had bought some gifts for my friends in Germany. One of the gifts was a small letter opener in the shape of an “excaliber sword” which I had bought in Toledo. (I intended to give the sword to Easy E, a little guy with more problems in his life than those of O. J. Simpson. Easy E gets enough letters that the post office once asked him if he’d think about a “post case,” which, in Germany, is what you get when you receive more than 50 letters per week.)

In any case, before my flight I checked the airline’s security guidelines to make sure I could take my sword aboard. It looked to be no problem. So I put it in my hand-luggage and went to the airport. I checked-in, and then proceeded to security. My luggage was X-rayed and I was told to open it.

The security people told me that either I had to throw away my little sword, or that I had to buy an “extra bag” for a fee of 50€. I said I’d do neither, and cited the rules I’d read earlier. It was all to no avail—probably because the whole conversation was in Portuguese.  

I got out of the security line, and pondered what to do with my nice present for my friend which had cost less than 5€. Finally, I decided to give it as a present to someone at the airport.

I saw an older couple. I approached them and asked if they wanted the small gift in my hand. They suddenly became very rude and screamed at me. I was shocked. I finally figured out they were French, and I left.

I was so furious at the situation that I threw the sword and the paper in which it was wrapped on the ground. A policeman saw what I had done and asked me to pick it up. I refused and got more furious. The policeman said that I could enter the gates only after I picked up what I had thrown and taken it to garbage. When I refused again, he called his captain. The captain repeated what the other policeman had said, but I refused once more.

I looked at my watch and realized that I had only 20 minutes to catch my flight. I told as much to the captain, and added that if I missed my flight I would remain at the airport until someone reimbursed me for my 200€ plane ticket. The captain looked me in the eye and said: Hurry up!

I caught my flight, but I never found out who picked up that paper holding the sword....

Categories: Airports, Security

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