By Jon Frost
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Additional info for Anything to Declare?: The Searching Tales of an HM Customs Officer
Granddad could pop his sporran there and you could prop him up in his favourite chair for a few weeks for company. One of the benefits of a cold climate. After a death abroad, next comes lots of paperwork: death certificate, embalming certificate, certificate of transportation, freedom from infection certificate. Once all these certificates are in place, they have to be checked by the local authorities and copies sent to the British Embassy. Next comes the physical stuff: the body must be sealed by a Spanish Customs officer in a zinc-lined coffin.
As he came through the green channel, he bounded over to where Mick and I were standing, undoing his belt and unzipping his trousers as he approached. Then he spun round and Mick and I – like a couple of astronomers looking at the night sky at a certain time of the month – were bathed in the unmistakable glare of a full moon. By this time, the rest of the passengers were split between a mixture of hysterics and horror. But all of them might have wondered why Mick and I were just chuckling. What they couldn’t see was that on his bared right cheek there was a brand new tattoo – a British bulldog smoking a large joint and, needled in irreversible ink underneath, were the words ‘BOLLOCKS!
This was due to the fact that the gasometers were to be filled with water to check for leaks and to measure pressure through the pipes to the aircraft stands. Pretty simple, you’d think. The day arrived and most of us turned up at work with bottled water; others would just wait till lunchtime and then fill up with beer. Everything was going tickety-boo. The tanks were filled and the pipes were ready to take the flow. Then Bang! Boom! Boom! Gush! The stopcocks gave up the ghost and exploded, one so violently that it embedded itself in a brick wall.
Anything to Declare?: The Searching Tales of an HM Customs Officer by Jon Frost