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Some turbulence

Excuse me. Why are you detaining this gentleman here? Is there something wrong with his papers?

india Updated: Sep 29, 2010 22:10 IST

Excuse me. Why are you detaining this gentleman here? Is there something wrong with his papers?

No sir, but he needs to be stopped and questioned. I have orders from the top.

So who is this gentleman? A terrorist? A smuggler? Former Union Carbide CEO Warren Anderson?

No, sir. He is the US Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood. The Government of India is stopping and questioning him at this airport to maintain reciprocity after Union Civil Aviation Minister Praful Patel was detained on Monday at Chicago’s O’Hare Airport.

Was Patel carrying a shoe-bomb or perhaps a top secret document for Boeing CEO Jim McNarney?

No. It turns out that the Americans stopped him because another guy called Praful Patel is on their watchlist.

So what do you intend to do with LaHood?

We were going to let him go after a few silly questions. But now it turns out that his father was of Lebanese origin, so...

Lebanese? My god! Pass him on to R&AW and he’ll sing like a canary. Don’t let him go until Praful Patel gets a full apology and a load of frequent flyer miles.

Yessir!

Do say: Too many Patels, too few flights.

Don’t say: We have an ‘al-Qaeda operative’ Obama on our watchlist. The guy insists it’s a typo. Well?