People do stupid things when they don’t know what you’ll do.
This is one lesson in Machiavelli’s The Prince. It was funny that I was reading that book while travelling and that thought came to mind while catching a boat from Kingston upon Hull:
I was checking in and when I was asked if I had any weapons on me I said that I wasn’t sure if my Buck folding knife counted and plunked it on the counter for the clerk to see. My knife had gotten me in trouble before and I wanted to play it safe; even though I only ever used it to attack cheese, sausages and the occasional pencil.
I didn’t see him come up but suddenly there was a very big man standing close to my side and facing me; ready for the take-down, I suppose. The clerk said that the knife was considered a weapon, and the ship’s chief purser would hold onto it until it was time for me to get off the boat.
My point revolves around the security man. When he came up, I said hello then returned my attention to the clerk. It’s clear that his job is to pounce when there’s trouble and he can’t do that from across the room so it’s natural that he’d come within grabbing distance.
He didn’t say anything and just stood there. I knew I was safe as long as I behaved myself but wondered what someone who didn’t know that or was in a bad frame of mind might do. They’d get wound up about the goon breathing down their neck and if they couldn’t keep their mouth shut they might just end up with a size 14 poop chute.
I really wanted to offer constructive criticism but there didn’t seem to be a good time to do it. I don’t think it would help me get on the boat either.
Yes, I did get my knife back.