Friday, February 11, 2005

Why sorry?

The visitor is a swarthy Spaniard who lives in our area, originally from the southern tip of Spain. He's tall and robust, in his 30s or 40s, with a full beard.

When he came in, two of my co-workers said, independently of each other, "I heard they thought you were a terrorist on the way into the country from Mexico. On behalf of my country, I apologize."

I said that they thought my dad was a terrorist, too, when his artificial knee set off the metal detector.

My question is why should this guy immune from being searched, just because he happens to look like a member of the Taliban.

UPDATE: I posed that politically incorrect question to my co-worker, who replied, "Well, he's from Spain, and he's got a Spanish passport, and he's been working in this country for years, and . . . ."

Right. Spain doesn't have any trouble with terrorists.

Understand: the man in our office is not a terrorist, of that I'm confident. But he wasn't beaten up, he didn't miss his plane, he wasn't arrested. He said they didn't even do a very good job checking his baggage -- they missed a couple of cameras he had. In exchange for some of the time he'd have spent in the waiting area reading a newspaper, he received a story to tell his friends when he got home.

Of course, I suppose, in the structure of the story itself, being taken aside to have your baggage checked would be the belly of the whale, and seeing that the security people missed something would be the return with the elixir.

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