A Little Bit of Me

Jottings and Writing, miscellanous misgivings

The sky-blue Somalian

The newspaper headlines leapt out at him

“Japanese women use spray to trap cheating husbands

London, June 16 Reuters – Japanese women are resorting to chemical measures to catch their cheating husbands, New Scientist magazine said on Wednesday.” The article went on – “Wives who suspect their partners have been cheating on them are buying special sprays that reveal telltale traces of semen on their husband’s underwear. The kit consists of two aerosol cans that are sprayed separately on the garment. If traces of semen are found, the second spray turns them bright sky blue. The test is thought to be similar to that used by forensic scientists to detect semen samples in criminal cases. ”

Rhycott peered over the top of his newspaper as the passengers from Flight NZ59 came down the departure ramp into Customs and Immigration. He spotted him immediately in his sky blue suit and yellow socks. He looked suspicious. It was not only the dark glasses and the even darker complexion, but the swagger was straight out of the airport detectors handbook. The three S’s. Anyone swaggering or sweating or otherwise looking suspicious is to be immediately detained and thoroughly examined.

“Excuse me sir but could you please walk down this lane and into room 3”

The passenger started to say something but was cut short by the two burly officials as he was propelled into room three. Rhycott passed the newspaper to his colleague and pointed to the headline.

Rhycott looked across to the tall, dark man in the sky blue suit and yellow socks in Room 3. It was bare apart from two framed photographs. On the wall behind the single polished table was a picture of a very young Queen Elizabeth, seated on a horse and looking imperious. To the right of the desk was a framed poster bearing the seal of the NZ Government and detailing a list of rights and obligations of ‘visitors to this country’. Rhycott indicated the man should sit in the chair facing the Queen. The pale green walls were illuminated by the watery light through a skylight and a single 60-watt overhead bulb. A desk lamp threw a splash of colour over the document that opened as Rhycott took his seat across the table. He scratched his brain for the proper protocol.

“Your country of origin – sir”. He dropped the emphasis on the sir to establish who was boss here.

“London”. That threw Rhycott temporarily.

“I mean, where were you born?”

” Somalia”. Where the hell was Somalia thought Rhycott. North, East or West Africa. But wasn’t there different ethnic protocol for these regions or was that India?

He was trying to remember the exact seminar when this had all been explained but he could only dredge up beautiful women and colourful clothes and an incredible hotness.

“And the purpose of your visit, sir?'”

” I’m here to demonstrate”. Rhycotts ears pricked up and a thin trickle of sweat rolled down the crack between his buttocks.

“Aggrrgghh, sir, demonstrate.”

“Yes I have a process that is interesting to certain people in this country and have come to share my knowledge.” This was a biggy thought Rhycott. Possibly the biggest in his career.

Just then a knock on the door was accompanied by the appearance of his colleague, carrying a square, silver case. The exact one the manual had indicated was suspicious. The four S’s, Rhycott temporarily amused himself with that thought.

“Could you open the case, sir”. Rhycotts sirs were becoming more and more depreciating.

“What is the meaning of this? Why am I being questioned? I am an important guest in your country.” Rhycott flipped open the English passport in front of him. Maasad Operheider, microbiologist, 45 yrs old. The picture looked right. Rhycott flicked through the entries in the passport. It read like an international terrorists holiday itinerary. Germany, France, Iran, Cuba, Russia, El Salvador, Geneva all in the last year. Rhycott felt that his whole back was now soaked in sweat and he wondered how Mr Maasad, or Mr Operheider or whatever his name was, felt.

Rhycott ordered the silver case to be opened and after a weak protest the lid was flung back. Clothes. Very expensive clothes. How did these people afford these things? Rhycott mentally checked himself. Remember the training courses

“Do you have any other luggage, SIR?”

“I must protest and ask to see your superior, Mr…. Mrr”. The tall dark man in the sky blue suit and yellow socks strained forward to see Rhycotts name tag.” Mr Ed”.

Rhycott inwardly cringed. Always the big joke, and from ………..He focused his entire attention on the training seminars. His clenched fists now felt like steel traps. He flipped open his portable phone.

“Rhycott here sir, Got an interesting situation in Room 3”.

A minute later Commander Bawden-Bell swept officiously through the door, glared at Rhycott, then at the man in the sky blue suit and yellow socks. He sucked on his very large, flowing moustache.

“Outside for a moment Mr Rhycott. A word in your ear”. They left the room.

‘This better be good Rhycott. I have an appointment with the airport manager at 9 and then I’m booked up all morning with the Ministry.” The Commander puffed up to his full height and peered at a spot a couple of metres above Rhycotts head.

“Gent claims to be a Somalian. Come here to demonstrate. All the S’s, and his passport reads like an anarchists handbook”. The Commander looked at Rhycott and for a moment Rhycott thought it was almost love.

“Right! I’ll take it from here. You get onto the paperwork and come in after about ten minutes. Check if there is any other luggage and give it a thorough B57. I want this one done by the book. Damn fella reminds me of someone, can’t place him, they all look the same to me.” Just then Rhycott remembered why the Commander had failed the cultural sensitivity module of the training course.

The next day’s headlines read.

‘Another Public Service Blunder – Minister to set up Inquiry

NZPA: A Somalian microbiologist was denied entry into NZ yesterday because immigration and airline officials believed his sky blue suit and yellow socks were not the clothes of a real scientist’


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