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Tuesday 1st April 2003

I was flying back from Sydney where I’d been doing a TV interview to publicise the show. Australian internal flight security seems fairly lax, given the current world situation.
I had had an e ticket (electronic ticket, though if I was a different kind of comedian I could spin this out into an hilarious routine about drugs. How you would laugh) bought for me by my promoters, which means that I just had to turn up at the boarding desk, present some ID and then I was given my boarding pass.
I had my passport so gave that to the lady at the desk and she looked at my picture and then looked at me and said, laughing, “It doesn’t look anything like you.”
She was right. The picture was taken in 1996 and showed a chubby faced, clean-shaven youngster with sad and nervous eyes (though this could just be the effects of wind) and strange, short hair. Seven years on I am slightly thinner and have a beard and the kind of long hair that would ideally be styled with Sham-gel. Look into my eyes and you see what appears to be the benign wisdom of advancing years, but which is in fact still the effects of wind.
I do look like a completely different person. She was right.
As she passed me my pass I commented on the passage of years, though in truth I look a hell of a lot better than I did back then. This is where men get lucky, improving with age (though I suppose conversely you could argue that women are lucky in that they get to look more attractive when they are young, and so get to be sexually attractive at a time when they actually have the energy to do something about it).
But what concerns me is that in such a case, where someone presents you with identification that doesn’t really match the reality, is it the right thing to do to just laugh and then give them their boarding pass anyway? Shouldn’t you at least ask for a second bit of ID?
Or had she looked into my eyes and seen the unmistakeable continuity?


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