This one is pretty sad. Or perhaps the word is pathetic.
I live in Montreal, Canada. I went for one of my fairly frequent short trips to
NY last week. In addition to my laptop bag, I was also carrying a box with a
few video tapes in it that our ops people had asked me to carry to save on the
fedex charges. At the airport/customs I was rather determinedly pulled to a
private area where the box was inspected and each tape was carefully examined.
There was concern over whether or not the films were pornographic despite the
names on the cassettes. The tapes were in a professional format that the
customs people did not know. I had to pass a dual level of scrutiny and x-rays
etc. to get over the border. Next time it's fedex for sure. Anyway, I made it.
Comparison. In today's paper is reported the following: Headline:"Man let into
US with bloody chainsaw". "On the morning of April 25, Gregory Despres
hitch-hiked to the Canadian border at Calais, Me., carrying a homemade sword, a
hatchet, a knife, brass knuckles and a chainsaw stained by what appeared to be
blood. Customs officials confiscated the cache of weapons and fingerprinted
Despres, then allowed him to enter the United States. The following day, in the
village of Minto, N.B., the decapticated body of a well-known country musician
named Frederick Fulton was discovered on his kitchen floor. Police found the
74-year-old man's head in a pillow case under a kitchen table and the body of
his common-law wife, Veronica Decarie, 70, stabbed to death in a bedroom."
Apparently the guy was arrested 2 days later after the police saw him wandering
down the highway wearing a brown-stained T-shirt.
Considering the difference in treatment, I gather I must present an appearance
even more deadly than a character armed like Rambo. Apparently the mitigating
circumstance is that whereas I am a Canuck, Despres is an American citizen, so
they couldn't bother him excessively. The spokesman for the US customs is
quoted as saying, "Being bizarre is not a reason to keep somebody out". Excuse
me, but WHAT? Do you mean to tell me that if I show up at the airport carrying
a perfect arsenal of weapons and a bloody chainsaw the only thing the customs
agent is going to say is "Passport please"? They claim to have grilled him for
2 hours. I mean what did he say to get through; "Euh, I cut myself shaving"?
Words fail me.