Yes, coming through customs today at Heathrow's Terminal 4, I was pulled aside by a customs man and given a third degree of where have you been, what have you been doing, why were you there, what's your job, who did you meet, etc, etc?
I find these situations extremely difficult because all I want to say is 'what the hell business is it to do with you, leech?' or 'If you think I've got drugs, then search me, you miserable tax-eating slug. See if I care if you waste twenty minutes of your rotten useless life!'
But flipping these tax-eaters just means more wasted time, and refusing to speak to a parasite when randomly picked out is grounds for tortuous wasted hours in unhappy underground rooms with no windows.
So, I managed to bite my lip and be polite. I just imagined that I was entering some dreadful banana republic in West Africa, answering a local goon's questions as accurately as I could, to avoid giving him grounds to fleece all the dollars out of my wallet; thankfully, I managed to get 'permission' to move along within about 30 seconds.
Or was I randomly picked out?
It's actually the first time I've ever been dragged aside by British customs, though when I saw about twenty of them standing around the 'Nothing to Declare' channel, I thought today might be the day, because they were pulling aside about one in every five UK tax payers.
Perhaps my body language was too obvious, as I strolled past, eyes ahead, saying that I wanted every last one of these rotten tax collectors sacked and thereby made to do something useful with their lives.
Or, if you can imagine that I was being really cynical, that it was a pre-election stunt by the ruling government party to convince the sheeple that after decades of slacking, that they are now 'cracking down' on whatever it is that voters want the British government to 'crack down' on? How about waste, corruption, and ineptitude?
Obviously, I would never be that cynical. I was just pleased to be free after 30 seconds, though I did feel abused and slimy for hours afterwards, despite a long shower, because of this tax-grasping harassment - Did you buy any cigarettes or alcohol? Really, what does this have to do with these people? By what God-given right do these tax-eaters claim the ability to soak money out of people for daring to buy products on a different bit of land to the one which their 'gang' currently controls?
Or what God-given right do they intrinsically possess to lock tax-payers up for carrying around bits of vegetable matter which are originally legal, then illegal according to the stroke of some fiat pen, then legal again due to another counter pen-stroke, then illegal, then legal, then illegal, and finally legal again, but only if you carry an accompanying piece of paper signed by a state medical lackey, all at the whim of whichever demagogue happens to be in control of the 'train set' this month?
Of course, when I finally made it out onto the concourse, to see the wonders of Great Britain outside the windows, I realised that I had arrived back to a dreadful banana republic. Excepting however, that this is one dreadful banana republic that can't even produce bananas.