Earlier, whilst writing about the bewildering knife breaking incident, I was reminded of another slightly humorous incident involving a knife.

Seven or eight years ago, I was on holiday with a group of friends in Ireland. We stayed in a gorgeous little cottage, with a roaring fire in the little front room.


Each day we’d go on drives into the countryside, take a walk, visit ruins, swim in nearby lakes, generally jape about and have lots of laughs while exploring leisurely. We would usually have a picnic lunch, and as there were several of us, we would take cutlery, cups etc., and a knife to cut bread with us in the car. It saved time beforehand and we could buy food locally. It really was a wonderful break.

Did I mention we had a hire car? We had a hire car. The problem came at the end of the holiday. We packed everything up, cleaned the cottage, put everything away in where it belonged in the kitchen and bedrooms. We cleaned our rubbish out of the car. The usual routine.  We drove to the airport and parked the car in one of the hire car spots, and somebody went to fetch luggage trolleys ready for checking in our bags.  We checked them in early and went to have our lunch…. And then we realised…

The knife.

The knife from our lunches was still in the car.  We’d locked it away in a compartment so it wasn’t conspicuous, so nobody could hurt themselves, but when clearing up, we’d evidently forgotten that we’d be using it on that last day.

At this point, I remember, we thought it was hilarious, but didn’t know what to do.  We had a kitchen knife with us, couldn’t pack it in our main bags, and certainly couldn’t just leave it in the hire car.  It would be illegal to put it in any hand luggage, and we knew that we couldn’t just bin something like a kitchen knife.  For some reason, we found this quite amusing.  I think because in the group of people I was with, everyone is very gentle and lovely, and the thought of anyone carrying a knife intentionally, or causing a threat to anybody was (and is) ridiculous.

Eventually, we realised we would have to go to the airport security and tell them our situation.  Giggling sheepishly, we went to the desk to ask. Needless to say, the lady on the security desk did not find our situation half as funny as we did.  I suppose our sheepishness may have come across as guilt, but I think it more likely it was interpreted as stupidity.  We surrendered our ‘weapon’. We walked away with cowed heads.

I think then we laughed quite a lot.   We certainly have some silly pictures from that time.  The lesson to learn here, I think, is to always check every compartment in your hire car and/or bags before you leave your residence when on holiday. Don’t imagine that security people find your silly mistakes endearing.  Really, horseplay is not encouraged.