Years ago, while we were making our way through a never ending series of security checks at Sydney Airport, my elderly mother following two paces behind me set off one of those doorway type alarms as she walked through.
Now while most people would do that maybe once in their lifetime if they were unlucky, for the members of our clan it is quite a regular occurrence.
So much so that in Sydney back on that fateful day Big Mama had already "assumed the position" - arms outstretched and legs shoulder width apart - before the security guard with the manual electric wand thing had even asked her to do so.
Then as he tried to explain what was going to happen, she sighed one of those "heard it all before" sighs, said 'It's all right dear" and launched into a full-on explanation of how our family has been setting alarms off since they were invented.
There's a feeling among my kin that its down to our fondness for trying different foods (rather than gulping down a handful of mineral laden dirt) and somewhere along the line our ancestors have ingested some metallic element that makes us particularly sensitive to those sensor-type alarms.
Anyway. The other weekend I needed golf stuff. There's a big tournament coming up and they didn't have any at the mall Mrs P wanted to visit.
So, the night before, we planned our approach.
We'd take two cars. I'd go to my mall, get my golf stuff and have a look round and meet her later at her shopping centre.
Next day, in typical Sunday lie-in mode, Mrs P was still dreaming about Rod Stewart as I headed off.
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I got my golf gear, headed out of the shop and, you guessed it, the alarm went off.
Naturally I traipsed back in to explain, trying to look surprised but most likely looking like a golf equipment thief . . . whatever they look like.
The alarm went off again as I left a second time but this time they waved me on.
Next I hit a pharmacy for sunblock and the same thing happened on my exit.
This time a security guard asked to see inside my bag.
He let me go with an "All good bro . . ." but i could tell at morning tea he and the guy from the golf shop would be swapping stories. They'd probably put two and two together, come up with five, and hunt me down.
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Not wanting to try and explain the family history I decided to leave the mall and go find my beloved, walking past one of those gifty type shops as I left.
You know the ones I mean. Full of signs that say stuff like "I love Paris" - all made in a tin shed out of leftover bits of wood by a retired bloke just looking for a bit of Friday night beer money.
Stupidly I went too close to the door to look at the Paris sign - Mrs P has a birthday coming up - and I set the alarm off.
So now I've got two choices.
I can stay rooted to the spot and try to ignore the suspicious "Wonder what he's done" looks coming from all round or I can casually wonder off looking at the ceiling and trying to make out like nothing has happened.
I plug for option two and make for the exit as fast as I can without an amble becoming a run, then a gallop.
The comparative serenity of the car offers little respite from my panic and as I head away from the mall I glance in the rear vision mirror expecting to see security guards and any number of Have A Go Heroes giving chase.
There are none. And as I eventually arrive at the meeting point in Mrs P's mall of choice I have calmed down and am actually looking forward to relaying my tale.
But there's a problem. She's nowhere to be seen.
I wait 10 minutes past the allotted time before calling her mobile. She's driving.
She is full of apologies but promises she will be with me in another 10 minutes or so.
No, she hadn't had an accident or anything dramatic like that to cause her lateness.
She'd just slept in. Apparently her alarm didn't go off.