Lost in Translation

A Close Shave in Frankfurt

Photographer: Getty Images

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Photographer: Getty Images

Think comedians face tough crowds? Try cracking a joke with airport security.

Barmak Meftah was in the airport screening queue in Frankfurt last year when a guard noticed a device in his luggage. Meftah was asked what it was.

An electric shaver, said Meftah, who's CEO of security company AlienVault, based in San Mateo, California. The guard then asked why he should believe it was a shaver, and not a weapon.

"That's for me to know and you to find out," Meftah said, immediately regretting his response as he was hauled away to an interrogation room.

After a half-hour of questioning, one of the guards demanded proof that the device was not dangerous. So Meftah did the only thing he could think of: He started shaving. The guard stopped him halfway and let him go.

That left Meftah with another problem: a half-shaven face.

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