Machete experience with Portsmouth customs

P1010225 My unfeasibly large chopper – it’ll bring tears to your eyes…

During our recent visit to the UK, we stayed with my brother-in-law and his wife. Whilst we were there we discussed the house we’re in the process of buying and he showed us a tool catalogue.

The prices all seemed very low, so, in view of the number of brambles we’ll need to cut down all around the house, we bought a couple of pairs of heavy duty welding gauntlets which seemed to be thorn –resistant and also a machete, which seemed a most useful tool for hacking one’s way through the jungle vegetation. The whole lot only cost about a tenner, too, so we packed the items along with other stuff that we’d bought to take back and set off home to France.

At Portsmouth Ferry Terminal we got beckoned into the Customs inspection shed and asked to open the boot of the car by a woman Customs officer. The usual questions ensued – ‘Did you pack the car yourselves’ etc – and then the one about knives

Are you carrying any knives?

‘Yes,’ I answered (resisting the temptation to say – and a great big FUCK-OFF one it is, too, madam)

‘A machete’

There then followed a sharp intake of bureaucratic breath…

She asked to see it.

How could I possibly refuse such a request? After all, it’s not every day that a young woman asks to look at my unfeasibly large chopper.

As I’d tucked it well at the back of the boot, this took some doing. I finally found the machete, took it out and handed it over to the officer.

I swear she blanched…

She then called her colleagues over who crowded round it as if it was a small but very dirty nuclear device or, at the very least, a Young Taliban RPG launcher.

The supervisor came over and asked why I was in possession of such a thing.

I explained that I  thought it’d come in handy for slashing at brambles and other undergrowth when clearing the garden.

Fortunately, I managed to resist the temptation to say that I’d bought it so I could go on a killing spree in the Super U when I got back home, plus it could come in handy if there was a long queue at the ferry bar as I was gagging for a pint…I didn’t think that such a flippant and sarcastic approach was the best one to take under the circumstances.

He asked me why I hadn’t bought a machete in France as surely they sold them there. I said that they might well do, but nowhere near as cheaply. (Had he not seen the price of shit over there in his line of work???)

He took a minute to deliberate and then told me I could take it through but that it had to be tucked well out of sight – which it fucking well had been…not that I said this, of course…

The woman officer then told me that I’d been right to declare it.

So, feeling that we’d been good and dutiful citizens, we put the machete back where it had been and repacked the boot – which was a fucking art form in itself with the amount of crap we’d managed to pack in there before we set off.

However, what a comfort it is to know that the UK border is so rigorously guarded and that people carrying huge knives are apprehended at the ports – and also what a relief that Portsmouth customs never found the 20 kilos of smack, 200 pr0n DVDs and 3 crates of AK47s we also had in the car…

Only joking.


4 Responses

  1. I’ll bet that when you eventually got to the bar you had an “unusually large” one.

    Mind you, if you had a few cartons of fags you’d have been given an anal search.

  2. Always thought you had a big chopper. 😉

    Dude, TP contest coming up. Steveyshark will be in our top 5 when we come to vote.

    Just sayin’

  3. @TheBigYin
    Thanks for the advice, I have passed it on to those of my acquaintance who enjoy that sort of thing.

    Ah, I see that it is the grovelling and fawning time of year again…always a pitiful spectacle 🙂

  4. I make an exception with Steve. He aint a country clubber blogger. He does his thing. No schmoozing between us two.


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