“Dorset Cream Tease is where you’ll find the relaxing, maddening, hilarious and bewildering stories, gossip and rants that help all of us to cope with life in Dorset. Everything you read here will be 90% true (almost). So get yourself hooked by visiting every week, and feel free to comment or add your thoughts by emailing me at

The Tea Maker


Where the fuck do they find airport check-in staff? Do they live in houses like you and me? Do they have families? Do they have fathers?

Airport check-in staff ask a series of completely inane questions and, if you get one wrong… you don’t fly. Crack a smile and… you don’t fly. Crack a joke and they accuse you of abusive behaviour and… you don’t fly. Crack up altogether and they accuse you of terrorism and not only do you not fly, you’re arrested and banged up for fifty years.

Have you actually listened to their questions. I have.

Did you pack your bags yourself?
Anyone who has ever gone on a two-week family holiday knows that no one can really tell what bag is theirs or who packed what. Since my wife normally has two large suitcases for herself – not to mention 80% of the space in my small holdall – all I can truthfully answer is, “Well, I packed 20% of one of these bags… the small one. As for the others, that was down to my wife, our grandchildren who aren’t travelling with us, my sister-in-law who sticks her nose into everything, and sundry others over the last three days of packing, unpacking, having arguments, rearranging things and packing everything all over again.

Have you left your bags unattended at any time?
Only in the spare room while 200 people held a party to see us off last night but, apart from that, only when the taxi driver put them in the boot of the cab and once more when I went to the toilet here in the airport… the tiny one that would only take me, the giant teddy-bear for my new grandson and my rucksack containing the 300 files of paperwork needed to get on a plane these days. Apart from that, no, they’ve never been out of my sight.

Are you carrying any guns or bombs?

Are you carrying any guns or bombs?
Should I be?

Are you carrying any guns or bombs?
You’ll notice that the wording of the question is never altered. The trick here is to simply say “No!”. That’s what I always say and they’ve never asked to check any further. A terrorist armed with the word “No” has nothing to fear from these morons.

Do you have any sharp objects in your hand luggage?
It’s now standard practice that you can’t board a plane with any sharp objects in your hand luggage. No knives, scissors, forks or Olympic javelins. It’s just not allowed. But when you get on board some airlines, they give you a metal knife and fork with the meal. How daft is that? Anyway, even if they didn’t, have you ever seen the damage caused by a biro or with plastic cutlery, or with half the junk my wife carries in her handbag? A lot more damage than most terrorists could do with a 1 inch pair of nail clippers, that’s for sure.

When it comes to stupid questions, you can’t beat Airport Check-in. Or can you?

The Tea Maker

PS: You can comment on this story by emailing me at and I’ll respond to your emails in next week’s column. Your email address will never be published.