Friday, 10 June 2011

Chris Port Blog #270. It is easier for a smuggler to go through the eye of a needle…

© Chris Port, June 2011

(Loosely based on one of the tales of Nasreddin:

Once upon a time there was a highly conscientious border guard. One day his superiors sent him an intelligence report. A notorious smuggler was heading his way. This smuggler was a legend amongst cops and criminals alike. You name it, he’d smuggled it: alcohol, tobacco, narcotics, jewellery, weaponry. He had never been caught.

The border guard almost drooled in anticipation. This would be the case that made his name. Whatever this smuggler was concealing, he would find it.

The next day the smuggler turned up at the border with thirty camels, all laden with satchels of dates and figs.

“Do you have invoices for these goods?” asked the border guard.

“Of course,” smiled the smuggler, producing impeccable paperwork.

The border guard searched every satchel. He searched the smuggler. He searched his retinue. Then he searched the camels in every orifice. He found nothing. Reluctantly he waved them through.

This went on, week after week, for ten fruitless years. Perfectly invoiced dates and figs passed innocently through. The border guard could never find anything out of the ordinary.

Finally the day came for the border guard to take retirement. Although he was always meticulous, his last search was microscopic. X-rays, infra-red… all to no avail. The border guard stared at his dusty shoes in defeat. He waved the camel train through. As the last camel passed, he called the smuggler over.

“Okay, I give up,” sighed the border guard. “You’ve beaten me.” He looked at his watch. It was one minute past five. “I’m now officially retired.”

“Me too,” grinned the smuggler. “That was my last run.”

The customs officer stared at him. “Then tell me. I have to know. What was it? What the hell were you smuggling?”

The smuggler winked at him. “Camels.”

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Camels fail to smuggle a car through customs...

Mulla Nasrudin Folktales

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