Flight fashion: it’s such a minefield of tricky choices to be navigated with the utmost care. You want comfort, as it’s unlikely to be found on the plane itself. You want something non-restricting should you be required to brawl. You want something that bespeaks a certain sophistication so that those greeting you upon arrival will marvel at your transformation. You want something that says, “Mr DeMille, I’m ready for my close-up.”
After much deliberation, you settle on a Transformers t-shirt. Quite rightly, no?
Not if you’re flying out of Heathrow. Brad Jayakody from Bayswater learned this the hard way a few weeks ago when airport security at Terminal 5 detained him because the t-shirt he wore depicted a gun-toting Transformers character. Citing security concerns, officials refused to let him through the checkpoint until he had changed the shirt. Mr Jayakody thinks the incident lacked in common sense; BAA is investigating the matter further.
Did security officials go too far? Probably. Is a man wearing such a t-shirt likely to raise eyebrows among his fellow passengers, as officials insinuated? Perhaps. But no more so than the mother–daughter duo with matching “Porn Star” logos bedazzled across their chests. Conversely, we can sympathise with the argument that security was just trying to do its job, to be alert to potential risks in an age of heightened jitters. But officials just made Mr Jayakody change his shirt. If they thought he posed an actual threat, presumably they wouldn’t have let him board the plane at all.
Also, Mr Jayakody, you appear to be a grown man wearing a Transformers t-shirt. We have fond remembrances of our days spent imagining glamorous escapades (usually featuring blogging careers) for our My Little Pony and Strawberry Shortcake dolls, but you don’t see us wearing a t-shirt to commemorate them.
Nobody wins here.