ME: “This is not a gun. It’s a child’s drawing of Team Rocket’s bazooka from the Pokemon cartoon.”
AIRPORT OFFICIAL: “You do understand that we have to take all threats seriously, sir?”
ME: “Do I get a final phone call?”
Actually, perhaps airport officials who say things like this are right.
A man recently tried to rob a bank with a picture of a gun, I learned last week.
The bank robber showed the drawing to the teller.
She told him to go to a particular queue.
He got into the line and waited patiently but was arrested by police before he got to the front.
This news story from Poland was sent to me by reader Lana Soto, who asked: “Is this the real life? Is this just fantasy?”
Good question, Lana. A quick check shows that it’s a true story, but at the same time it’s clear evidence that planet Earth has fallen down a rabbit hole into Alice’s Wonderland.
I mean, just think about the conversation that must have taken place at that bank.
ROBBER: “Hands up! I have a picture of a gun.”
TELLER: “Yes, sir. Please use the Surreal Transactions Queue on the left.”
ROBBER: “Oh. Right. Thanks.”
What will police charge him with? “Attempted breach of reality” perhaps?
Note that if an unknown person does this, he ends up in jail, but if an artist like Salvador Dali did it, it would be classified as a priceless act of Performance Art and another billion dollars would be added to his net worth.
Fear of pictures is a thing now, a colleague tells me.
A man tried to rob an all-night Tesco supermarket near Cambridge in the UK with a picture of a gun earlier this year.
Police arrested him for “making threats to kill”.
How do you kill someone with a picture?
Unless of course it’s a really, really bad drawing, and the person is a sensitive art-lover with a weak heart.
(“Look at the weakness of that stroke! I can’t take it!” *Dies.*)
I called a travel journo who told me several people have got into trouble at airports for bearing gun pix.
The oddest case was that of a UK man who was detained at London Heathrow for trying to get on a flight wearing a T-shirt with an image from the movie Transformers, featuring a robot whose left arm is a gun.
Now had airport officials arrested the guy for having astonishingly bad taste in movies, I think the whole world would have applauded.
But they detained him as “a security risk”, evidently anticipating a scene like this.
FLIGHT ATTENDANT: “Run! He has a picture of a Decepticon on his T-shirt.”
PASSENGER: “Put your hands up or I will tell you the plot of all four movies.”
PILOT: “Please! I have children.”
If pictures and reality are now officially the same thing it means that ancient Greek scientist Plato (and the many modern scientists who agree with him) are right when they say ideas are the only reality.
Which is kinda cool.
To confirm this, I would like all readers to conjure up a mental image of a lovesick Taylor Swift banging on my door, demanding entry.
I can’t hear anything yet, but I’m willing to wait.
Taylor sweetie, I'm ready for you.