Ok, perhaps it isn’t, although it was going to be as I was having problems trying to think of a J, until I remembered an incident that happened to me in QA airport, Amman, Jordan.
I could have perhaps chosen to regale you with tales of the sun rising over Petra, a truly wondrous experience,
or of drinking in The Rovers Return in downtown Amman,
but no, my Jordan story involves bullets and airport security guards.
Having flown out of Baghdad the previous afternoon, passing all necessary security checks, I’d arrived in Jordan with my luggage without a problem. The night was spent drinking with friends before sleep, an early coffee and head to the airport for the flight home.
We (myself and one other bloke from my team) arrived in good time, had a bit of breakfast and headed through the security checks. My case went through the X-ray machine, I went through the human one and I waited on the other side. My day sack came out, the case got half way out then stopped. It went back in. It came halfway back out and stopped again. The man looking at the screen spoke to another security man, my case was picked up and moved to a desk. He looked round to find the owner of said case and smiled as I walked towards him.
“Please open the case sir.” I did as instructed whilst chatting with him to find out what was inside. The screen looker man looked across and acted out a picture of a man firing a gun, whilst saying “shoot, shoot.” I knew I didn’t have a gun in there but was intrigued as to what had been seen.
My case was emptied but nothing was found. The security guard checking my things was happy for me to go but the screen man was insistent. “Shoot shoot,” the actions this time a bit more menacing.
The empty case went back through the machine, nothing found. Packed it up again, and once again the screen man saw something.
Case was emptied for a second time, this time each item individually. As I lifted a t-shirt I saw it, the detachable end of a screwdriver. Ahhhh, relief. The security guard smiled, picked it up and waved it at screen man.
Who shook his head. “Shoot shoot,” now almost screaming.
We carried on, each item taken out individually, still nothing found. Again, security guard was happy for me to go, but screen man was having none of it. “Again, shoot shoot!”
We put the case back through the machine, “it” was still there.
For the third time I took my items out of the case, my mate had now left me, heading to the plane as time was ticking on and I was also starting to look at my watch with a slight amount of nerves.
Oh! There it was. As I pulled out my desert boot for the third time, a single, brass coloured, shiny, metallic bullet fell from it, bounced onto my foot and rolled under the closed sided table. I watched it disappear from view and felt my heart leaving my mouth.
NOBODY had seen it. Not my guard, not screen man, nobody that I could see had seen the incriminating article hit the deck.
The decision was taken very quickly to continue emptying my case, which I did, hoping to bluff my way through. My security guard was getting more and more fed up, so I played on it, huffing and puffing, looking at my watch, wondering aloud if I was going to catch my flight or not.
“Ok, there’s nothing there, put your things in the case, you can go.” Music to my ears, except screen man still wasn’t happy. He indicated to security guard that the case had to go back through the machine. It did. Nothing. It moved back and forth three times on the machine before finally coming through.
The look of absolute confusion was priceless, but I have to confess to having a real case of nerves until the plane had actually taken off.
To this day I don’t know how it got there, I was always absolutely scrupulous in making sure I was clean before heading home, but after that I packed my cases with a metal detector.
The letter J was bought to you by http://www.a-to-zchallenge.com/