The problem with simple jobs is they’re done by simpletons. This was beautifully illustrated at the Australian Open by the amusing incident when a security guard chased after World No One Rafael Nadal for not showing his pass. Apparently the same thing happened to Federer last year.

It reminded me of a Wellington airport incident after September 11th and before automatic check-ins were introduced. With their usual stupidity Air NZ introduced the need for IDs when checking in, as if that would make any difference had one been a terrorist, they hardly being inclined to mention the fact. Anyway, the following exchange occurred.

Check in Half-wit: “Morning Sir Robert, can you show me identification please?”

Me: “But if you know who I am why do you want it?”

Halfwit: “I asked the Prime Minister for ID this morning.”

Me (bewildered): “And you knew who she was?”

Halfwit: “Of course: everyone knows Helen.”

Or, when we popped up to look at the Hong Kong rioting a few months ago and on leaving, we checking in at the First Class counter to go to Scotland. I mention First Class as the staff are usually of a better cut.

However, nothing would budge the girl to let us on, nor after she called a superior who shared her suspicion. Why? Because we didn’t have Visas for Scotland. So we had to hang about for 4 hours then fly to London. I could recount numerous similar airport stories.

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