Travel tales: That time the guy who checked my carry-on immediately regretted his decision

Dear security guy at the London airport,

Thank you for providing me with the entertainment of your awkward face the moment you opened my bag.

I know exactly why my bag got flagged as it passed through the conveyor belt of truth. It was packed to the brim. My MEC backpack had served me well, acting as a Mary Poppins carpet bag of unlimited space, but this particular trip had tested its limits.

I had become a carry-on-only kind of girl in my five months of flying in and out of Germany where I was studying and I was immensely proud of myself. Always the over-packer, I had learned to follow the advice of Baloo and just stick to the bare necessities of life.

However, on that particular week-and-a-half excursion with my two girlfriends, things were purchased. A few days in Edinburgh followed by a week in London meant that shopping happened and I had only my backpack to help me cart my new purchases back to Deutschland.

My solution, as I woke up at 4 a.m. to walk to Victoria Coach Station and catch a bus to Luton, was to wear as many sweaters as possible, my jacket, my scarf and sit on my bag to zip it up.

So when you, sir, took my bag aside and opened it up, I knew you weren’t prepared for the explosion (not a word you should use in an airport) of clothing. Dresses, shirts, pants and underwear went everywhere. The minute you saw the trail of panties attempting to escape my overpacked backpack, you knew there was nothing to worry about with this red-faced Canadian girl. So you did what you had to do and sent me on my way, apologizing as we laughed together that my bag was far too full.

If the line-up at security wasn’t as long as it was, I would have asked for your assistance in zipping up that beast.

But I managed it on my own, sweating through my half a dozen layers.

And then I went to treat myself to some overpriced airport coffee.


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