October 09, 2012

Crossing the line.

Historically, border guards are known as being total jerks. More specifically, American border guards have a history of being jerks. Canadian border guards can be jerks too (I applied there twice and never got hired. Jerks!) but aren't, as a rule, quite as jerkish as their American counterparts. Nothing against Americans, but it's just a well known fact that they take their border security very seriously. Canada does too, but in a more laid back way. In other words, entering Canada there are only two cameras photographing your car, as opposed to the eighteen or so capturing your image going into the States.

True story.

In March, Karl, Christopher, Natalie, and I decided to have some intense family bonding time with a drive to Disneyland. That border crossing involved a rather intimidating border guard. He grilled us all as to our relationships with each other, what we were doing, and who owned the car. Karl got tongue tied and managed to make saying "my wife, my brother, and his wife" much more complicated than that. Mr Border Guard did not have a sense of humour whatsoever.

Going into California we went through a state border crossing, too. Apparently California doesn't really care that much about their border. Officer Jolly jovially asked us, "Do you have any fruit?" and when we replied that, no, we did not, he told us to ,"Have a nice day!" I'm pretty sure this tied only with Goofy blowing her a kiss as the highlight of Natalie's trip. Okay, that and Storm Troopers.

Storm Troopers.

Well, Mom and I went to the lovely state of Washington to do a little shopping and Newsboys concert watching this weekend. As we sat in the border crossing line, it became clear pretty quickly that I had picked the absolute slowest line possible. Slow border lines could only mean one thing: grumpy border guards that were going to try and make me cry.

Well, I steeled myself and inched slowly.... slowly.... slowly... forward in line until we were finally at the booth with the border guard. To our surprise, Officer Grumpy ended up being Officer Friendly. We made chit chat with him long enough to feel like we were holding the line up, as he "sneakily" asked me leading questions.

"Why are you coming to the US?"

"To do some shopping and go see a concert tomorrow night."

"It doesn't seem like a very good idea to buy groceries before going to a concert."

"We're buying clothes. Clothes never go bad."

Cue awkward laughter all around at my not even remotely funny comment.

"Have you ever been to your mom's hometown?"

"Regina? Yes."

"I used to work out there. I thought it was really boring."

Cue mini conversation about the pros and cons of Saskatchewan's capital city.

And then we left.

He thought he was so sneaky, asking those questions, but we knew what he was up to. Yes, we're buying clothes. Yes, she's my mom. Yes, you have a gun so we'll laugh at your non-jokes.

Yep. Officer Friendly. He does exist.

So next time you're sitting in the longest and slowest border line up ever, it might not be because you have a big old jerk of a border guard waiting for you. It could be because you have a bored and lonely border guard looking to make some new friends. True story.

In case you're wondering, the Canadian border guard was friendly, too, but that was probably just because she'd had pumpkin pie the night before.


  1. Wish I could see your cute new clothes. I smell a fashion post coming up! :P

    1. Suggestion noted. I'll see what I can do.


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