Booking: Basil Fawlty & Manuel
Client & Destination: Crowne Plaza- Muscat, Oman

Departure: Manchester airport.

Checking in at the airport, thought it would be as well to inform the young lady at the desk, about the sort of work I did.
Not to impress, no no, of course not, but it may have some bearing as to why I had a radio controlled rat in my suitcase....
Also a few guns and 50 rounds of ammunition- I can explain! She said it was probably ok if I was just firing blanks, but she might just have words, just for protection. Well this often happens! the problem goes through around three tiers of officials, until some half hour later, two airport police turn up with flack jackets, and automatic machine guns.
One usually stands 5 paces back, whilst the other proceeds to check the contents, and quite right to! This occasion was no exception, and "The man from Del Monte he say yes!" Thumbs up for the conveyor belt, and away it goes....
Thinks- Now that's sorted, where's the departure gates? Started to walk away, when I couldn't help hearing an old Anglo Saxon expletive delitive, yelled at a scale of 11, and a guy from behind the screens, showed himself, somewhat flustered, and said "Ok, who's the joker?" I looked around in case there was something else going on, when he said- "Oh it was you was it?" 

 Anyway, what had happened was the case had gone through to the back, and had been picked up on an x ray machine, and he hadn't been warned. He naturally went to red alert, pulled my case off the conveyor, and proceeded to open the case. Sure enough, the first thing he saw was the barrel of a shotgun, along with two revolvers, he cautiously picked up the barrel, when he was suddenly rushed by the radio controlled rat, which shot out of the case. (A radio control unit is mounted under the barrel, and he hit the button). It did that to me once, and made me jump, so what it did to him was probably as memorable as Fawlty Towers itself. No problems ever in the Middle East, as I saw them pass the cases through the xray machine undetected. L/A. was "different", I informed them, and they picked up a residue, with a special wipe, on the handle of my case. They opened the case and put all "pop" devices to one side with all my other stuff, and confiscated my hair spray!

There was another case, when flying to Scotland, "Manuel" had lost his bottle of aftershave, only to find it just before going through security with his hand baggage. He put it among his keys, and other such stuff, so it shouldn't gain too much suspicion when xrayed. This was a few years ago, and the day after a ram raider tried to blow up a 4x4 whilst driving it into Glasgow airport. So nobody got into the airport without a passport, and no one could drive there within a mile, although it was Edinburgh. I went through with my hand baggage first, and I could just see the xray monitor. A case came through, like Manuels, but instead of a load collection of keys, and perhaps a bottle, I saw an automatic machine gun, with live magazine. I looked around for a person in a burka, 6 foot tall, with hairy arms, instead, it was a suited businessman, and security passed it to him without a bat of an eye lid! It was an air marshall, but gave me a shock!