Wednesday, 26 January 2011
Chapter 31 Dogs & weddings
As we passed through the check point I commented on this to our taxi driver.
‘Lots of dogs around these days.’ An obvious statement is generally enough to start a conversation. It also saves me from asking questions that make me seem foolish and/or inadvertently offensive.
He flicked his cigarette out the car window and shrugged. His tanned face impassive.
‘So…….. What are they for exactly?’
‘What do you mean what are they for exactly?’
I shift uncomfortably in my seat.
'Well… I always see dogs looking for drugs but that’s not what they’re looking for here is it?’
‘Aah… I see. Weapons.’
‘But... what are they smelling for exactly?’
He regards me through his dark shades.
‘What’s your name?’
‘Ah, my youngest daughter is called Sara. Well Sara, I’ll give you an example. I was invited to a wedding once. We picked up the groom and were taking him to the ceremony and one of the guys shot a gun out the car window in celebration.’
‘Out of this car?’
‘Out of this car. So a few days later I’m taking a trip out and I get stopped at a checkpoint. They bring the dog over and it starts to bark immediately.
“Step out of the car” they tell me. So I do and they search it. Under the seats, glove compartment everything. Nothing. They bring the dog back – again it barks.
“Take a seat” they tell me.
They took the car apart. The upholstery, the side doors, the trunk, the engine. The car was in pieces on the floor. They bring the dog back and still the damn thing barks!
“Khalas guys, there’s nothing there” I tell them.
They call in the special weapons team who scans the car and tests it for explosives and weapons. Still nothing and still the damn dog barks.
6 hours they kept me there until they gave up and sent me and the remaining pieces of my car home. Imagine how much it cost to fix it.’
‘6 hours??? Wow… and you didn’t get reimbursed for the car?’
He laughed and gave me ‘a look’.
‘Wait, do you mean the smell…?’
‘Exactly, the dogs could still smell the gunpowder from when my friend shot his gun out of the car. Now, when I get invited to weddings, I tell them what they can go do with themselves!Here, take a look at this picture of my daughter - isn't she beautiful?’