Saturday, August 15, 2009

A Dangerous Veteran Back From Overseas

Well, I don't really qualify as a veteran for government benefits based on my service, but I was a trained soldier and I did just come back from Canada. So I assume Secretary Napolitano is worried about me.

I nearly boasted of my avoidance of hassles at the border when I returned to America earlier this week. But I knew I'd be crossing the border briefly today so I held off on hoisting the mission accomplished banner.

Good thing.

So I take Lamb and her mom to the train station in Windsor this morning. Just a quick trip there, a hug and kiss for Lamb, and a wave goodbye, and then I was off for the border and another encounter with the Customs service.

I thought the mini-interview was going well. This time--unlike last year--I didn't have a female agent with divorce issues who questioned my vacation habits. How much money do I have on me? Oh, maybe 50 or 60 dollars US. Any Canadian money? No. Any stops in Canada during my 45 minutes there? No.

Just when I thought I was going to be released into downtown Detroit, the agent slapped a big dark orange sticky note on my windshield and told me to pull over to the left to have my car searched.

Seriously? Well, I just thought that. I might have been smirking. This was just too good. So what was it? Travel profile as a man alone? The short time? Was I acting suspicious? Was it just random?

Whatever. I asked exactly where I was supposed to turn to avoid going the wrong way and mistaken for a border runner. "Cavity seach" came to mind, and nobody wants that.

I pulled into a space at the direction of an officer, shut off my car, and at his instruction, left my phone and keys in the car while taking my ID into the office.

So I strolled in, greeted the seated agent, and handed over my passport. I took a seat. There was Secretary Napolitano looking down at me from her official photo. She was on to me.

Clearly, I'm a bad boy. Best to carefully sift the possessions of the rakish character I surely presented at the border, cigarette dangling from my lip and a sneer to boot as I glared at the agent through my sun glasses.

Well, OK, it wasn't like that at all.

But still. I looked dangerous, it seems. I could Rambo all your sorry Homeland Defense asses with the sharp edge of my Michigan AAA card and my camo pattern cargo shorts. That's right. Search my car. I give off danger pheremones that make male security agents sweat and make women want me.

If they did find any missing chess pieces under the seats or in the cushions, I'd have appreciated a heads up. Mister would be happy. But apparently not.

I didn't notice them popping hubcaps off, or anything too serious. And they didn't adjust my seat or change my radio station, so no harm, no foul, as far as I'm concerned.

They called my name after a while and I collected my car and proceeded a free man into America. Me, a seething cauldron of boiling ex-Army anger ready to explode into extremist anger now that I'm home and back on the block.

I mean, after the horrors I saw in Canada can you blame me? I witnessed a stoned woman swaying in an annoying fashion at a Tori Amos concert! I drank beer to some excess! I took home soaps and shampoo from my hotel!!!

So there you go ladies, I am a person of interest. I'm bad.

So take a walk on the rant side. My email is on the left.

But don't say you weren't warned.