Last week, I had the pleasure of returning to Germany for work. The trip was great. But it was the day before the the airports went banana over the recent terrorist plot. (Not that I'm complaining. If given the choice between inconvenience or dying in a fiery ball thousands of feet over the earth, I'll pretty much always go with 'inconvenience').
My colleague and I planned to get back to the Frankfurt airport a bit early, to make sure that we had ample time to get checked in and go through security. We were both flying British Airways (to different airports - he was going to Heathrow, I was headed back through the Manchester airport), and so we checked in seperately. Surprisingly, they let us have out bags on the plane, as long as there were no liquids included. Seemed pretty reasonable to me.
"But you'll have to check that, sir."
"What, this? It's an instrument. You let me carry it on the other flights."
"Yes sir, but with the heightened security risk, you'll have to check it, I'm afraid."
"Can't I check it at the gate? I hate putting it in the hold, as it's fairly fragile."
"I'm sorry sir, it's due to the potential risk of terrorism."
"And I thank you for keeping me safe. But look. It's a banjo. You're pretty safe unless I try and play it. It's not liquid, I promise."
No go... I had to check it in. They stood firm behind their "no banjos in carry-on" position.
I do love my new little banjo (the one on the left, next to my normal sized one) - it's just small enough to go everywhere I go now. Which probably means I'll be invited to go less places - which, given the determination to ruin your day the average lunatic has been displaying, is Not A Bad Thing (TM)