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Passport Control Smile

February 6, 2012

Business or pleather?

So the plane actually landed, by which RoT means that the RyanAir pilot dropped it like a hot hasty turd onto the runway, and the Yanks have finished applauding for the flight team’s personal skill in not crashing into an American landmark (even though this is Beauvais, and there wasn’t even enough fuel to crash into one of those Parisian suburbs where they imprison black people). But this isn’t your concern. Even as your fellow passengers heave their hand luggage from the overhead storage and onto your skull, you’re already worried about your impending face-off with border control. That picture – five years ago: a bleach-blonde double-haircut. What were you thinking? A mullet-mohican combo: that would never stay in fashion! What if they don’t let you in? What if you have to go home, your holiday in tatters, your dignity crushed beneath the weight of a misguided haircut (damn you Vice Magazine!)? The fate of your next (insert length of holiday here) hinges on the whim of some borderline professional: the hallowed passport control. By now you’re in the queue, wishing you had a digital passport that would forgive your haircut and just check your face bits. You’re sweating all over; your claggy palms secreting the smell of the inflight magazine – God, they all look so sullen and stern. Looking at the passports. Looking at the people. Making sure they match up. This is terrifying. Forgive me border control man, it was a juvenile mistake. And there he is, fag-ash stubble, noting the absence of a bleach-blonde mullet-mohican combo from atop your head. Shit: you’re busted. They’re probably going to probe you in effort to curb the illegal trade in Pez sweets. But then, that smile as he hands you your passport – that wry, indecipherable smile: you may enter. Do they know something you don’t know? About fashion, or what they do here to people like you? Have you accidentally landed in Australia or Slovakia, and for the first time Mr Passport Control has peered out from the 1990s to see what life looks like in the new Millennium? Or is that Mona Lisa smile, the mystery of the human condition, actually just someone who has bored by their endless drill of a job? Or do they fancy you? You should definitely have asked them out.

Verdict: Who knows what they mean by that faint smile (is it a smile? Or have they just farted?). Fascinating. 10/10

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