The line at customs into the UK was pretty short this time, but there was a six-year-old a few rows behind me getting understandably antsy (she had just been on a plane for seven hours).  An elderly Sikh customs official who had been directing traffic (“station nineteen, please.  station thirteen, please”) saw her and went over to pat her on the cheek.

I looked for a visual of him (I thought somehow, if I just googled long and hard enough, I could find a picture of this man complete with his neon yellow customs kit, but no dice).  Instead, picture an older, goofier-looking version of this guy:

Image courtesy of

Fun fact learned while Googling: There is a British Police Sikh Association.

Anyway, this goofy elderly man led the girl by the hand past the line of people waiting at Customs.  “Who are you?” she said as the five of them queued up at station thirteen.  “Are you a genie?”