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Do I look like a terrorist?

In my hope to be recognised I recently submitted a couple of pieces to an open competition with the Royal Scottish Academy. Imagine my excitement when I received the email informing me tersely that I should present myself at the Royal Scottish Academy in Edinburgh. That is what I did. In hindsight I have to confess I am glad I have and wish I had not. Thankfully I didn’t actually present myself!!! (By way of an explanation my father was a vet, my wife a nurse and my uncle was a doctor presenting has a slightly different meaning in a medical context)
So wide eyed and bushy tailed I turned up at Terminal 5, Heathrow with my painting in a recently bought artists portfolio case – (I was really trying hard to look a complete ass) eager for my trip to Scotland. For some reason you have to go through security…Why? This is an internal flight?
So what happens? Yeh you’ve guessed it, the alarms go off. I actually put my hands in the air!! Then accused the security guard with ”You started this!” his reply” No I didn’t” mine ”yes you did. you told me it would be okay to go through” his ”no I didn’t”. Then I made the mistake of shouting..”Oh I have had just about enough of this! Do I look like a terrorist?”  Terminal 5 just went quiet.. I think it was then it occurred to me “Just stop talking”. An extraordinary looking lady security guard appeared out of nowhere and asked me politely”Mr. Phillips! Please will you take your belt off”. I just replied “So what happens if my trousers fall down?”. She replied without batting an eyelid “I don’t mind if you don’t and I am sure we can think of something to do after it happens. Please remove your shoes!” Subdued I obeyed and the predictable happened. Thankfully no-one laughed too loud. I was allowed through the security barriers and left to get dressed in the middle of the departure lounge. I mean they could have provided dressing rooms.
The print didn’t get past short listing. I didn’t go up and get it. I told the staff at the gallery if they wanted the print it was fine by me. I think it ended up in a skip.
Ah well plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose! At least I got to visit Scotland so that is another of the bucket list. Edinburgh is a pretty city but I can’t say I was that impressed. It just looked like Cardiff on anabolic steroids. It was an interesting journey back to the airport with a Taxi driver who thought he was Jackson Pollock.

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