(image by sugarpie honeybunch on Flickr)
Clutching my laptop and hauling my now considerably lighter carry-on bag I head for Security, anticipating all sorts of faffery. In this, I am not disappointed. There is, of course, the usual plastic bag farce. I’m prepared for this, and have already extricated my make-up bag from the tangle of cables in my suitcase. However, unlike when I first flew to Italy from Terminal 2, when the nice lady at Security had a good old chat with my mum and me while she decanted all my make-up into the plastic bag for me, the chap at Terminal 4 just shoves a bag in my direction and points me to the side while I sort myself out. Given that I’m already juggling a laptop and a suitcase, this actually takes quite a while. Still, I get it done eventually, and head on to the queues of people waiting to be allowed through Security.
Given Gordon’s blustering about the immediate installation of X-ray scanners, I’d half expected to see them here. Thankfully, however, it seems it’s still just the standard metal detectors. We do all have to remove our shoes and every single layer of outer clothing, though, so the queue is moving desperately slowly. I’m absolutely sweltering, having dressed in about 100 layers when I left home in the snow that morning. Every time I think about taking my coat off and shoving it in my bag, though, the queue moves forward and I’m left desperately trying to rezip, while trying to pick everything that I’ve just dropped up from the floor. I give it up as a bad job, and continue to sweat.
Finally I reach the front of the queue, and obediently remove my shoes, remembering just too late that I’m wearing ridiculously garish socks. Damn. I shuffle through the metal detector. It beeps. A particularly serious-looking woman beckons me over and asks what I think might have caused it. I assume it’s my belt, so remove it. She also suggests that it could have been my necklace, which I’d forgotten about. I shrug and smile. She glares at me. Oops. She gestures that I should assume the position, and pats me down almost indecently thoroughly. Thank goodness she’s wearing gloves, as the sweat patches under my arms are, by this stage, less patches and more rivers. The Italians would be scandalised. Not finding anything obviously bomb-like, she scowls and fetches the mobile metal detector, which she proceeds to run over me. Sure enough, my necklace sets it off, as do the rivets on my jeans. She then runs it down my right hand side, and it beeps. There is a moment of confusion and then I realise what has caused it and burst into laughter. She gives me a death stare to beat all death stares. I can’t stop laughing, though. “It’s my bra! It’s the underwire in my bra!” I manage to splutter. I giggle helplessly as she pats me down yet more thoroughly. Security lady is, like Queen Victoria, unamused. I, however, chortle all the way to the boarding gate.