To catch our flight from Paris to Bordeaux, we had to pass through the security check, of course. Together, the three of us shuffled through the labyrinth of posts and straps until staff steered us into various lines for the next stage, where we automatically removed all metal objects, including coins, keys and tongue studs (no, not me or the Saint. Or Fodder either, as far as I know). I lost sight of the men as I sent my baggage piecemeal through the scanners, so when I’d cleared the metal detector and collected my stuff, I loitered by the nearest shopfront to wait for them.
The Saint showed up first, none the worse for wear although his backpack and jacket were a little askew from being reassembled on his body in a hurry. But when Fodder arrived, his multi-pocketed Tilley vest was hanging off one shoulder. With one hand he was dragging his wheeled carry-on bag and his walking stick, and his other hand was clutching his pants. He was visibly upset.
“What’s wrong?” I asked as I grabbed his cane and the Saint took the luggage.
Fodder, tugging his trousers up, didn’t answer for a moment.
“Did your pants fall down?” I was partly horrified, although another section of my brain was thinking Cool!
“Not quite,” he snapped as he threaded his belt through the buckle.
I avoided the Saint’s eye and managed to smother my smile.
And yes, I know I’m going to Daughter Hell.
“I took off my belt as I always do.” He worked the tongue of the buckle into a hole it clearly hadn’t seen for a while. Like, years. “And they just started to fall.”
“Well I think that’s great,” I said honestly, and faced a glare I hadn’t seen since I was 17. “Seriously, isn’t this about the best possible sign for someone who’s trying to lose weight?”
By this time, Fodder’s Dockers were cinched safely into position so the Saint handed him his rolling baggage and I passed him his stick.
“Well Dad.” I grabbed the flaps of fabric over my own hips and hitched up my trousers. “I guess now we’re both members of the Flat Arse Society.”