A story about a pool cue

Some years ago, I worked on a power-station project in the west African state of Mali. That was before islamic terrorists became a lot more active with a view to subdue the whole country under islam.

To get to Mali, In had to fly via Brazzaville, Abidjan and then onward to Bamako in Mali. The company always booked us on the now defunct, Air Afrique airline. The airline and aircraft was actually very good, barring the fact that flights were NEVER on time, nor even close to being on time.

During one of this trips, we had to change aircraft in Abidjan. From the transfer lounge we walked out to the aircraft, where a few security people were set up behind a table to search the passengers and hand baggage. I imagine they needed some sun on their skin, as it was a scorching day and I could find no other reason for the search being conducted outside on the hot tarmac.

During my off-days, my wife bought me a pool cue. It was one of those that could screw apart into two pieced. She warned my to rather put it into my checked baggage, something which I ignored. The suntanned search party immediately latched onto the pool-cue, saying that it was some kind of weapon. I imagine after three hours in the sun, their brains were basically fried to within 0.5% of being brain-dead, so they would have seen a matchstick as a weapon.

After about 20 minutes of them inspecting the item, me protesting calmly and being sunburned to a red mess, I was the only one left to board. The air hostesses had noticed this whole affair and finally one of them walk down the stairs and explained to the brain-dead men that there was no problem with the pool-cue. For some reason they accepted her view of things and then I could board.

Needless to say, nowadays if I am carrying any thing longer that my inbuilt zaber, it goes into checked baggage.


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