Wednesday, June 30, 2010

"What's it to you, Copper?"

Today was the closest I have ever been to the Wrong Side of the Law. The four of us (Ramblers Two plus Ally and Steph) were rambling through London's sights when the decision was made to have a look at a sitting of Parliament. Not a bad idea in itself. None of us had ever been inside and the queue wasn't all that long.

When it came to the scanning the bags bit I remembered the picnic knife we had bought in a market in France. I declared it when the bag came out the other side. The uniformed lady officer lifted the folded up knife with two fingers much the same as if it were a dirty little insect tgat had been playing in muck. Very soon she came back with another officer who asked about the knife's purpose, where exactly I had acquired it and was it of sentimental value. I was asked to accompany him to a room nearby. A third officer was summoned. This chap would make an assessment if the situation and decide the fate of the Rambler. "On this occasion," began Officer Three, "I shall let the incident pass. If you were a UK citzen I would have to arrest you, as this is a 'prohibited weapon'. It is a lock knife.". Now this was the first I had known it was a lock knife. It possessed a great more utility than we had imagined, as I was in constant dread of it closing on one of our fingers. The officer (Three) showed me how the collar could be twiste. Around to lock it open. Very simple. Very useful. Very confiscated! The shame-faced Rambler was shown the door to fellow-Rambler (grinning) and daughters (smirking) and we continued on to a VERY boring speech by some Honorable Member for Chillingsgate (or whatever) and then on to freedom.

The whole incident with the police was conducted with the utmost pleasantness. This included a little banter about the cricket and "did I know that Roger Federer was out of the tennis?". The knife had cost about 8 euros and the sentimental value was low. However, it has made a good yarn and provided a punctuation point for our European Ramble.

The shower is empty, I hear the other Rambler calling. Time to get up and face the trip to Hong Kong.

I'll be in touch ...

See youse!


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