Waiter, there’s an egg in my sock

What do a skimpy Speedo and a pair of baggy, long socks have in common? Both are used, with varying degrees of success, to smuggle birds.

I used to be a swimmer and, in my day, guys used to wear tight Speedos. Budgie smugglers. While today it might be considered a crime, in our day no-one got arrested for wearing a Speedo. Although the fashion police were always on red alert.

In our church earlier this year, we had an international weekend. Our church is, as it aptly describes itself, a large, international local church – its wide diversity of nationalities bears testimony to this.  At the Sunday service, we had songs in all different languages, people praying in different languages, and sharing stories of their lives and cultures. It truly was a celebration of diversity, and the coming together of so many nations under the banner of the church. Our pastor invited people to think about weird cultures in their countries that might be interesting for others to hear about. After a brief pause, a Brazilian accent shouted out, “Speedos!”

I digress.

On the news last night, I heard about a man (heaven help us, he was a Zimbabwean!) who got arrested at Birmingham airport, trying to smuggle 14 peregrine falcon eggs on to a flight to Dubai. You can read the full story here,  but I thought his was such a bizarre, ill-thought out and flawed plan. Here’s how it must have gone:

He decided he could make his millions by stealing a truckload of peregrine falcon eggs from the wilds in Wales, and selling them in Dubai where there is huge trade, apparently, in rare bird eggs. Falconry is a sport of the rich. Smuggling them is a sport of the brainless.

So, hmmmm, now how to get them on to a plane without being noticed. I know, I’ll put them into my socks. Nah, too uncomfortable. I know, I know – I’ll make a necklace out of them, in my socks, and wear them around my waist. I’ll tie knots between each egg so it looks like a pearl necklace. I’ll make two, and tie them both round my waist before I board the plane – best do that in the gents, where no-one will see me, and then I can board the plane. If anyone asks, I’ll tell them they’re chicken eggs, and I strap them round me in sock necklaces because I have a bad back. That’ll do it.

Thanks to a quick-thinking cleaner in the airport bathrooms, he was detained, then arrested and sentenced to three years in prison. He has had his face and name splashed all over national television news, and – more embarrassingly – his “sock beads” have been displayed for all to see. I think his crime was speeding down the highway of stupidity without wearing a crash helmet.

So, Speedos or socks? In this instance, I’d go for the Speedo. At least no-one gets arrested. And the budgie isn’t stolen.

Sunshine signing off for today!

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