Wednesday, May 20, 2009

My Dad the Terrorist

I was reading Mia's blog last night about "Border Security" a reality TV show set at Sydney Airport in the Customs Hall. It got me thinking about my Dad and some rather bad luck he has had.

My poor Dad, God love him is very sweet but always seems to find himself in really funny situations. Take for instance the time he came home in the middle of the day to find two men had broken into his house stealing my mother's jewellery. He chased them down the street, they jumped on a train. My Dad ran home, got in his car and drove to the next train station guessing they'd alight there. He called the local police on his mobile and told them what had happened and where he was headed.

He got to the station and saw one of the thieves. He grabbed him and held him by his shirt collar against a wall. What happened next is terrible but so typically unfortunate it HAD to happen to my Dad. Two young undercover female police officers crash tackled my dad and sprayed him in the face with capsicum spray until he had trouble breathing and needed to be taken to the hospital in an ambulance. The guys got off and my Dad got a "please don't sue us" from our dodgy local police.

My poor Dad. That was a few years ago now. Fast forward to late last year when my parents went on a round the world trip. They were in America when one of the LAX NorthWest check in staff tried to charge them for excess baggage despite the rules on their ticket allowing them extra baggage. Dad said- look according to my RTW ticket I am allowed X number of bags and X kilos of luggage. She said- "well we don't do kilos here. You will have to pay excess baggage fees." My Dad complained to the check-in lady's supervisor who fixed the problem and my parents checked in. When they got to customs my dad was pulled aside, questioned and searched for a while before finally being allowed to board the plane. He was again pulled aside in Vancouver airport and then Lansing and then Detroit and then Newark.

It was getting silly. So he made some enquiries and he was told that check in staff at LAX had marked him a security risk who needed to be searched and questioned before boarding all planes in the US. Poor Dad. All he wanted was to check in the extra bag of gifts for the Tinker as per the baggage rules and he ended up in the same category of traveller as an Afghan student pilot.

So tell me, do you have any funny or not so funny bad luck stories like these?


  1. Your poor dad! Good grief no wonder your husband has an aversion to visiting the states!..... "same category of traveller as an afghan student pilot" okay, making me need to pee upon myself from laughter. You must visit the south. We are ever so friendly. And will feed you delightful fried food like okra and tea filled with sugar. There will be wine, or moonshine whatever your pleasure. But no guns. I promise :)

  2. Oh, my husband would feel your Dad's pain over the horror that is any airport in North America! First the US airline in charge of his luggage on the way to Australia lost his bags. He was on his way to meet up with me for our wedding and of course, his suit was in his luggage. Fortunately, his bags were found (after first being lost by the same airline a second time) and the staff at the Melbourne airport were delightful. Sadly, the bags arrived the DAY AFTER our wedding but he purchased himself a much nicer suit in the city. On our way back, same airline, lost his bags AGAIN! Somehow mine arrived no worries, and his arrived the next day as we were headed home. He now vows that he will only travel with carry on luggage.

  3. I got tagged for search once. My DH had been mistaken about our flight time so we were really pushing it to meet our check in time. Instead of going through the line we went to the little self-checkin machines. It wouldn't read our passports for like three swipes when we got someone to come help us not a mere 30 seconds later we were 1 minute past the check in time allowed. In trying to explain this to the clerk I was reduced to tears (we were on our way from Chicago to Santa Fe and had a connecting flight in Albuquerque which we were going to miss and there was still 45 minutes before this flight that we had just 'missed'). The little b...twit tagged us to be pulled aside and searched going and coming for all flights. I was so mad. One of the many reasons that I never fly United.

  4. OMG ur dad.. poor guy.. it always happens to the nice people.. He should defintly complain but other than that how nice is it to travel the world. See different place, experience new things.

    Loving ur Blog,
    Denisi <3

  5. Your poor dad! My mother-in-law for some unknown reason got on the black list for flying and would be searched every time she ever flew. My mother-in-law does not look the least bit scary or intimidating. After several months of this (she flys a lot to see all the grandkids) they decided to take some action. My in-laws had to make all these calls and fill out all these forms to get her off the list but she doesn't get stopped anymore.

  6. Oh no, your poor dad!

    We went on our honeymoon to thailand last year. Me being the awesome traveller that I am, struggled with the flight over there (despite having been awake for some 45 hours), and pre-empted having trouble flying home. Especially with my predisposition to vomiting. So I brought things to eat with me: Mentos. at AU$0.04 a packet, I brought a lot of packs, around 50. Hell that could keep me happy for a year.

    Unfortuantly, the lady at Melbourne Customs didn't see it like that and was quite suspiscious about the packages in my carry on luggage (I brought them at the airport) and sent me for drug testing.

    All on the day Border Security was filming in Melbourne. Fan-freaking-tastic! Lucky for me, a sniffer test came back clean (I should bloody hope so, but you never know) and I was allowed to go with my Mentos

  7. My DH was pulled aside at the coolangatta airport when going to the Indy 300. The drug dog smelled marjuana on his jeans. They searched his bags and questioned him about drug use. He would of been let go if he said oh yeah i was smoking pot before i left but as we don't smoke pot at all he couldn't explain it. Twenty minutes later he realised he was sitting on my brothers couch a week before and my brother smokes pot all the time and even after washing his jeans still had the smell. Lucky he wasn't subjected to a body search just let off with a warning.

  8. Yes, my father in Spain was also pulled aside twice by security for suspicion of being a terrorist even though he was American.

  9. Your poor dad :) at least it makes for funny stories at the end of the day (even if it is at his expense)