Being treated like a potentially violent hooligan when I go to a football match.
I really hate it when stewards insist on 'just having a look' in my handbag before I go in to a ground. OK, in these days of heightened security I do accept the need for searches - IF it is carried out on everyone. But do these stewards search men's pockets? Answer - No they don't. I suspect they get some kind of perverted kick out of looking in women's handbags, because clearly they can't be expecting to find anything more dangerous than a girly purse in there. Or so I always thought......
Yesterday Reidski and I arrived at the match at Leyton Orient, and two stewards asked to 'just have a look' in my bag. Reidski made some comment about how they could never be too careful. But oh dear - what did they find but a Dangerous Object. SO Dangerous that they were telling me they were going to have to take care of it during the match for the protection of other supporters.
Time for one of Jane's Occasional Multiple Choice Questions.
Was the Dangerous Object:
a) A stanley knife
b) A razor blade fixed to the handle of a hair brush
c) A bottle of perfume
Yes, in fact when I had pinched myself to check I was not in fact dreaming, these two jobsworths were really telling me that I couldn't go into a football ground in possession of a bottle of perfume. I honestly thought they were joking as did Reidksi, but then it dawned on me as they were explaining where I would need to collect my dangerous bottle of perfume from after the match that they were seriously telling me they intended to confiscate my bloody perfume. It took me approximately 30 seconds to come to an "Over my dead body" situation. I asked somewhat incredulously if there had ever been a recorded incident of a bottle of perfume being used in anger at a football match. "Oh yes, it happens at lower league matches you know," says Jobsworth One. (LOWER LEAGUE MATCHES??? Erh, we weren't clear if that meant our level or lower still.)
If anyone knows of any such incident do please let me know and I will offer a public apology to Leyton Orient but in the meantime I intend to say what I think of them.
Anyway, suddenly not even caring if I have travelled 70 odd miles to go to this match I found myself saying to Reidski "If I can't take the perfume in with me, they aren't getting a penny of my money. We will go home." (Yes sure - as he pointed out later, what we would actually have done was gone back to the car, put the perfume in it, and sneaked back to the ground but I digress.)
By this time what passes for a crowd of fellow supporters were listening to this exchange with disbelief (OK - I think there were two others), which was when I, bizarrely in view of the fact that I never admit to my age, announced to all and sundry "For Christ sake, I am 48. Do you seriously think there is the remotest chance I am going to throw my perfume at anyone?" (Even if only because the damn stuff is bloody expensive!) And I was too annoyed to notice but Reidski says it was at that stage that the stweards started to look vaguely embarrassed and did in fact up bending the rules to allow me into the ground in possession of a bottle of perfume.
Very glad we did go in. It was a great game of football. It took my stomach a good half an hour after the final whistle to stop churning. It had been that exciting. And Reidski is officially now a Cobblers fan as he definitely said 'We' when talking about the match afterwards.
But I tell you what. The referee was so fucking awful that had my aim been any better, he would have found himself floored by a bottle of Knowing by Estee Lauder!
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