zondag 9 november 2014

The Nail File

How to protect a state against frightful elderlies.
In spite of all the times they already had done this, the old lady always got very nervous when the time was near to fly from the Netherlands to her daughter in the USA. In her mind the journey already started weeks before the departure. She didn’t want to get in an argument with her husband; only for that reason she put the suitcases ready in the spare bedroom just a week before they would leave. The fear of forgetting things never left her. So she made a list and collected items to get packed.

He always tried to get her at ease and just laughed about it and let her do the packing, being fully aware that he didn’t fold the clothes nicely enough. And he kept repeating to her that people thought they were very special travelling that far whilst being 75 and 73. Nonetheless she sometimes asked him to help searching for things. This time her nail file was lost and she needed to take that along. A few times he had told her that you can buy these in the USA as well, but that didn’t stop her search.

When the day arrived that they really would fly, she had no choice other than to accept that she would have to buy a new one. In the toilet bag in her suitcase was no nail file this time. Her nerves for the flight itself took away the annoyance. She had some sleepless nights and felt really tired when they finally took their seats in the plane. She tried to get some sleep but crying babies and a talkative husband made that impossible.
She felt like being in a sort dream or being drugged when they got out in Minneapolis. The flight had been fine, no delay whatsoever. They could only hope that the continental flight to Saint Louis would be as smooth. After arrival over there her daughter and son-in-law would take care of everything.

Like always they had the security check before being able to get onto the next plane. She always hated that part: people in uniform with guns and shouting at people reminded her too much of the Second World War. And you had to take off shoes, belts and such. Her husband’s trousers could sink to his ankles if he didn’t hold them. She would feel very ashamed.

A young man of approximately 25 in uniform asked them if they carried any scissors, knives or such in their hand baggage. Like always they denied this, they knew perfectly well things like that would be confiscated. Her handbag was put on the belt to go through the scanning device. The man snorted and took it from the belt. The old people were summoned to follow him to a table a bit apart in the security room.

He emptied the bag on the table and went through the things that came out. The couple looked at each other in half panic. The man’s face turned a bit red; there was nothing wrong there. But he was a person that didn’t give up easily. He took the bag and started to feel with his hands in it. The lining was a bit torn and he felt behind it.
A big grin from ear to ear followed: he had found something! Between two fingers he had a tiny nail file, half the size of a toothbrush.

“Madam, you are a big liar!” he bellowed. The old lady wanted to say something, but even the few words English that she knew had left her. The old man put his fingers to his lips. He spread his arms to show that this was beyond their knowledge and hoped that the bully would understand this.

The file was thrown in a plastic box and they were permitted to get their things back in the bag. After this he sent the couple off like you would chase a dog away.
“This is the last time I make this journey!” the old woman said when they finally were seated in the plane to Saint Louis.

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