Tuesday, July 27, 2010

monkey business

I mentioned the other day that I subscribe to Google Alerts for articles on Mexico.

Strewn amongst the minor earthquake reports and the hysteria reports of drug terror, I occasionally find an amusing tale.

I knew I had a winner with the opening phrase: "A man with a mysterious bulge under his T-shirt ... ."

Here it is.  Apparently, a 38-year old man boarded an international flight from Lima to Mexico City.  When he arrived, someone noticed the "mysterious bulge," and searched him.

And I thought I knew what it was.  Peru.  Bulge.  It had to be a cocaine smuggling operation.

Smuggling it was.  But not nose candy. 

When the security forces searched the man, they found 18 tiny (6 inch) titi monkeys attached to a girdle.

He told authorities he initially carried the monkeys in a suitcase.  But he decided to put them in his girdle "so the X-rays wouldn't hurt them."

For some reason, I found the juxtaposition of "monkeys" and "girdle" to be hilarious.  Monty Python at its height could not have written -- and performed -- a more existential script.

Of course, the story is not humorous.  The monkeys are endangered and two died.

What gives me pause is how anyone gets on an international flight begirdled with monkeys.

The answer is simple.  Airport security is more theater art than it is an effective tool against terror.  It creates jobs. 

And that is about it.


Calypso said...

I read this somewhere? About the monkeys. Now I have read about it twice - that is special!

But seriously...

Leah Flinn said...

Saw this story too. How sad for those monkeys.

Anonymous said...

A trans-marsupial event.

Where can I get one of those girdles?


Theresa in Mèrida said...

Wow, I don't know what part of this is the most disturbing. The lack of security or the fact that there is a black market for monkeys!

Anonymous said...

We find airport security as tedious as the next traveler, Obviously (at least one day)security at LIM failed.
"Airport security...creates jobs...that is about it". That's it? We want every possible precaution made to assure security. Levels of efficiency vary a lot amongst airports, but even the TSA geniuses at my local 6flight-a-day airport would have found a box of baby monkeys.

Guero Gringo Guapo

jennifer rose said...

What is the world coming to if you can't carry a bunch of monkeys around your waist?

Steve Cotton said...

Calypso -- Good material leads to good outlets?

Leah -- Sad, indeed.

ANM -- I thought you had one already. For smuggling substance into our lunch discussions.

Theresa -- I suspect you can find a collector of almost anything in this world. That could explain some of the merchandise sold on the Shopping Network.

GGG -- We all hope that airport security has some effect. But most folks know that it is about as effectiuve as tissue paper. If terrorist attempts were not stopped on the ground by intelligence sources, TSA would not be a reliable last line of defense. They are there to make us feel better.

Jennifer -- It almost stretches my libertarian ideals to their limits.

NWexican said...

excuse me sir, is that a monkey in your girdle or.........?

Croft said...

"All the world's a stage...."

We toured the Johnson Space Center outside of Houston this Spring and were subjected to much more stringent security than we ever have been boarding an aircraft. By people with real guns and (likely) more than a grade 10 education.