My wife and I were sitting in the Cairns airport arrival lounge fixing our sight on the arrival gate, looking for our son-in-law when, suddenly, an ear-piercing alarm went off.
It seemed to come from somewhere very close to my wife. The sound was so shrill that she had to ram her fingers in her ears, while I, perplexed, desperately tried to establish where the sound was coming from.
In no time, we were surrounded by airport security staff, who also looked perplexed and, like me, were anxious to find the source of this terrible noise.
“Does the sound come from your bag, madam?”
She retracted her fingers temporally from her ears, a painful grimaced expression in her face, and shook her head. She quickly reinserted her fingers in the ears again.
By now, all the eyes of the airport passengers were focused in my embarrassed wife’s direction.
All of a sudden, I remembered that my wife had a panic alarm to safeguard against bag-snatchers which, unfortunately, on this occasion she’d placed in her bag.
Not much of a deterrent against bag-snatchers, I thought ruefully.
She didn’t realise that she had unwittingly activated it when she placed the bag between her legs and pressed them together to secure it.
In no time the culprit was silenced, to the relief of our eardrums. At last, the stare of a thousand eyes were redirected away from us. And there is no need to tell you that we made a very hasty exit from the airport.
There is a moral to this story, of course:
If you want to be the centre of attention, get a panic alarm!
– Werner Schmidlin
Yorkeys Knob, Queensland, Australia.