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A pair for every day of the week

5th April 2004, late at night | Comments (20)

A mortified lady

It’s not too long now until I head off to San Francisco; only seventeen days in fact.

I’m going to be flying out of Heathrow, stopping off in Boston to see Ethan, and then continuing on to my new (temporary) home.

The last time I flew out of Heathrow was back in April 2003, when I was off to Colorado for a month. Security levels were pretty high at that point, so every passenger in the check-in queue was personally reminded by three different staff members to remove sharp objects from their hand baggage. We all said thank you and that yes, we’d already put anything like that in our main bags.

As I got to front of the queue the lady to my left was asked (for the fourth and final time) if she had any sharp objects in her hand baggage, Oh no, nothing dear, came the reply. The check-in girl was just about to whiz her suitcase through to the handlers when the woman let out an exclamation and pulled seven pairs of scissors from her handbag, saying Oh, I forgot these!

Hello? Seven pairs?

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Comments (20)

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  1. Colin D. Devroe:

    Where is this new temporary home? Perhaps I missed where this was discussed in a previous post?

    Posted 9 minutes after the fact
    Inspired: ↓ Dunstan
  2. Dunstan:

    No, you're right, I haven't really posted about it before.

    I'm off to live in San Francisco for three months, to take photos and generally hang out. I have to come back to the UK for a friend's wedding at the end of July, but I'm hoping to return to SF once that's done and spend a further three months snapping away, seeing the sites, and buying cheap computer hardware.

    After that? Well, I'll have to wait and see :o)

    Posted 17 minutes after the fact
    Inspired by: ↑ Colin D. Devroe
  3. Hadley:

    That lady was probably my mother. That's happened twice when I've been flying with her!

    Posted 53 minutes after the fact
    Inspired: ↓ Dunstan
  4. Alistair:

    I hope that your new temporary home has cable/xDSL or some sort of internet connectivity Dunstan. I'd be sad to see you leave your site/blog for a 3 month haul!

    It is so pretty after all ;)


    Posted 1 hour, 18 minutes after the fact
    Inspired: ↓ Dunstan
  5. Phil Baines:

    I might be the only person that hasn't worked this one out, but, what on earth would a person need SEVEN pairs of scissors for?

    Posted 1 hour, 19 minutes after the fact
    Inspired: ↓ Dunstan, ↓ David Barrett
  6. Hans:

    Urm, Dunstan, I've got bad news. This could be one of those crazy, rare cases when one can have too much resolution.
    Above is a link to a screenshot I took of what I see on my computer. There's a big fat 60 pixel wide grey space on the left. (sorry for the quality, I was in a hurry)

    I'm afraid there's not much you can do. The problem is my screen, which has a resolution of 1680x1050. However, it would be awfully kind of you to somehow fix the header image so it still looks good at my res. (I doubt you will)

    Wow, I discovered a new challenge web developers must face! :)

    Posted 1 hour, 22 minutes after the fact
    Inspired: ↓ Dunstan
  7. Dunstan:

    I'm always so paranoid I check about a billion times. I'm worried I might have accidently left a hunting knife in my coat or something bizzare.

    But I can imagine my mother doing it, I must admit :op

    Posted 1 hour, 27 minutes after the fact
    Inspired by: ↑ Hadley
  8. Dunstan:

    Thanks Alistair, but that's going to be first on my list of things to do (once I find a place to live) - I have to keep working and I can't do that without web access...

    Posted 1 hour, 29 minutes after the fact
    Inspired by: ↑ Alistair
  9. Dunstan:

    Damn you, Hans!

    The image I put on the web is only 1600px wide. Although the full one is about 1800 wide, I figured no-one would be browsing about 1600px and so it'd be a waste of download.

    You're the first person to break it - well done ;o)

    Posted 1 hour, 32 minutes after the fact
    Inspired by: ↑ Hans
  10. David Barrett:

    I often find that, if anything, I do not have ENOUGH sharp implements on flights. Next time, I'm bring a cordless drill.

    Posted 1 hour, 36 minutes after the fact
  11. Dunstan:

    I dunno, Phil - and they were all different sizes as well, some tiny ones, some huge ones.

    Very odd :o)

    Posted 1 hour, 37 minutes after the fact
    Inspired by: ↑ Phil Baines
    Inspired: ↓ David Barrett, ↓ Phil Baines
  12. David Barrett:


    Posted 1 hour, 48 minutes after the fact
    Inspired by: ↑ Phil Baines, ↑ Dunstan
    Inspired: ↓ Phil Baines
  13. Karen:

    Question is, did she have rock and paper, too?

    Posted 3 hours, 4 minutes after the fact
    Inspired: ↓ Stefan
  14. Travis Cripps:

    Dunstan, you don't have a place to live yet? I'm a little surprised they'll give you a visa without that in the security-crazed climate we have now. :-/

    Anyway, welcome to my area! You might want to check out as a great resource for things such as housing in the SF Bay area (and others).

    Best of luck! I hope you'll enjoy your stay here! There are SO many great places to see: Muir Woods (my favorite), Napa/Sonoma, sites all over San Francisco, Yosemite, etc., etc. You're in for a real treat. :)

    Posted 4 hours, 28 minutes after the fact
    Inspired: ↓ Martin
  15. Martin:

    Now I'm just guessing here - and Dunstan you'll have to excuse me if I'm wrong - but I'm guessing our host is journeying to the States on the visa waiver programme, hence the necessity to return home after three months.

    I did this myself in 98-99: went out to NYC for three months, had a blast; met a friend who'd won a competition for two to Switzerland to see the Cure in concert (don't ask), tagged along; went back to the US and was promptly stamped back in for a further three months; visited the parents at the end of that stint, and then promptly turned round and went back to NYC for Christmas 98!

    Ah good times...

    Had to get a job after that though. Damn the real world!

    Posted 9 hours, 58 minutes after the fact
    Inspired by: ↑ Travis Cripps
  16. Phil Baines:

    "Hairdresser?" - Aye! A Traveling Hairdresser.

    But wait, my Aunt is a Hairdresser that runs her own Salon. And she only ever seems to keep one pair of scissors around her person (which I take advantage of to get my hair cut every now and again). Of course there are quite a few more than just one pair in the actual Salon. Maybe this woman is a Salon - A Traveling Salon. :)

    Posted 10 hours, 15 minutes after the fact
    Inspired by: ↑ Dunstan, ↑ David Barrett
  17. Stefan:

    As long as she doesn't carry more than 7 rocks with her, it's not a good idea to bring along the paper...

    Dunstan, you would be amazed at the things people bring with them. My father once had 5 multipack of bifi's[1] when I went to Gran Canaria, because we (me, my brother and my father) loved them at the time. Good thing we brought them with us, because we had to change flights 2 times (!) in Belgium for gas and personell switches or something. :S Mind you, the distance Rotterdam <>
    Brussels is nothing in flying miles, so we hadn't even taken off properly before we landed again. And again.

    We were hurdeled into some kind of room, with seats and a restroom. There was also a vending machine, with delicous cola and everything, but it only accepted Belgium currency. We sat there for hours, snacking on the bifi's and playing on my brother's 100-in-1 M&M game 'console' he bought earlier.

    And everyone forgot to bring their belgium coins. Duh, we were soo stupid...

    The second time we had to stay on the cramped plane, and entertain ourselves with the chicken-like meat substance we were given to eat.

    Needless to say, I'm never flying with Virgin again!


    Posted 14 hours, 2 minutes after the fact
    Inspired by: ↑ Karen
  18. Lee:

    I like Virgin, I try and fly them whenever I can (Atlantic at least), far better entertainment systems and service than the others (imo). For someone who can't sleep on planes, it's a necessity. Mind you, the American carriers are far worse (no offence intended, but sort that out), mind you, the domestic ones are okay.

    I've done a lot of flying in my time, and have mainly been long haul recently (parents lived in San Jose for 3 years, plus went round the world, NZ is still 12.5 hours flying from LA!). I'm sticking with short flights for a while.

    And can someone have a word about Heathrow, it may be the busiest airport in the world, but it's the worst place to use and by far the ugliest.

    Check out SF airport when you fly in, and watch out for the Marine Layer (or fog as the rest if the world calls it). I love those crazy Americans renaming stuff.

    "It's a hair straigtening and preparation device."
    "No... it's a comb."

    Posted 20 hours, 5 minutes after the fact
  19. Timmy:

    When I worked as a baggage loader for USAirways we would get these packages from laboratory supply companies that were send as baggage to various places. The boxes were full of mice and felt like the cardboard on the outside of the box was alive (there was a similar vibrating effect when a bag would come through with a feminie entertainment device in it).

    I'm not exactly sure what this story has to do with sharp knives but they're pesky those wacky terrorists. I've seen "Monty Python and the Holy Grail" a few times. A rodent can be a fearsome adversary.

    Posted 1 day, 3 hours after the fact
  20. Deb:

    Hey Dunstan, I agree with Travis' comments about the glories of the Bay Area--San Francisco is my favorite city in the US, and I've seen a lot of them. Be prepared for some good food while you're there, too!! And his suggestion about CraigsList is also a good one, I think. I visit that site almost daily from another part of the country. Maybe while you're in SFO you could dress up their image a bit! I for one would appreciate it!! ;o)

    As for Passenger Scissorhands-- Ummm, maybe travelling to Hollywood to audition for the sequel?? Or, likes living dangerously and just wanted to see what would happen? It's another boggler--I hope you'll keep finding and sharing them.

    Posted 1 day, 19 hours after the fact

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