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And I’m Back

July 26th, 2009 by skippy

Thanks to Michiel for taking over while I was away.

So I have just just moved back to Dallas.  I was originally planning to write about all of the interesting things I saw on my trip.  But as it turns out, there isn’t a hell of a lot between Dallas and Phoenix.  It’s basically just rocks, dirt and El Paso.

While passing through El Paso I did manage to go through an immigration check point.  All of the INS agents manning the checkpoint were Hispanic.  Which seems like something that you would see in a Carlos Mencia sketch. Assuming of course that some other funnier comedian had made an identical sketch years earlier.

I got to sit in a line for about 40 minutes while cars creeped through one at a time.  When it was my turn an agent approached the car.

“Is everyone in this vehicle an American citizen?”

I considered saying something clever like “Everyone except for the family of Mexicans under the blanket in the back!” or “Well, we never saw any ID’s but the people in the U-Haul all said they were US Citizens.”  And then I considered spending the rest of the afternoon in handcuffs face down on a highway in the Texas sun.  And for quite possibly the first time in my adult life, I decided to keep my comments to myself.

“Yes, we are.”

And then they let us go.

They didn’t even check my driver’s license.

I’m glad to know that our nations borders are protected by the honor system.

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27 Responses to “And I’m Back”

  1. pfc4life Says:

    skippy is a stronger man i a am. i cant help but be a smartass even at the cost of risking going to jail


    Mickey Finn reply on July 27th, 2009 9:27 am:

    That’s because you’ve never re-enacted scenes from Weeds in El Paso. Trust me, at this time of year, you do NOT want to be drug from your car.


  2. Artemis Says:

    Wow. Just wow. I am in awe of your newfound restraint, though I don’t expect it to make an appearance very often, if ever again.


    Minty reply on July 27th, 2009 8:53 am:

    Eh, dunno about that. He is going to be a father.


  3. pte walker Says:

    At the risk of getting tracked down and detained by the CIA i’ll admit to going through one of those checkpoint, getting the same question and giving the same answer…despite being a proud Canadian, I just didn’t feel like going through the 20 min song and dance of getting my car searched. they let me right through and i have no regrets


  4. SSG Hay Says:

    Having grown up in Carlsbad, NM (about 3 hours away from El Paso) and spending a lot of time in Juarez across the border, the temptation to play around with the border guards was generally dissuaded by their very serious natures and the plethora of signs around the checkpoints that say “We are the Texas Border Patrol. We do not have a sense of humor and jokes will not be appreciated.”

    Skippy – you’re a smart man for avoiding that confrontation early.

    Captcha – apparently they think I’m smuggling, as they caught me “Tepoztlan lugging”.


  5. TeratoMarty Says:

    So I’m wondering, was this racism in action (I see you’re pale, sir, go on through) or whether it was just the border patrol’s “ah, fuck it” day (car fulla white guys, fuck it, car fulla college students obviously stoned out of their minds on Tijuana’s finest, fuck it, car full of little green men from Roswell, fuck it)?


    StoneWolf reply on July 27th, 2009 3:28 pm:

    I think they must have “ah fuck it” days a lot then. When I was younger and slightly dumber than I am now, I managed to get a folding knife through the airport going into and out of Mexico. Though both US and Mexican Customs. In my boot.


  6. tsukinofaerii Says:

    Ah, I envy you your ease of passing through the checkpoint. My father shows his full 1/8th Native American roots, so we always get searched to a fare-thee-well. *sigh*

    Also, you forgot mountains. I seem to recall that Phoenix is a valley. Unless those count under “rocks”?


  7. Kat Says:

    I’ve gotten searched coming back from Canada across the WA state border. And I’m about as pale as they come. In the (dubious) defence of the border patrol, that particular day I was having a bad hair day so I just covered my hair with a scarf which (I’m told) made me look Israeli. I don’t know why an Israeli would be suspicious, but but apparently they are now too.
    Captcha: Calif idling – which is pretty much the state of their economy right now…


    Sequoia reply on July 27th, 2009 11:14 am:

    Huh, you think that’s bad? Every single time my dad has gone across the border to Canada, he got pulled over in a “random” check where the border guards would take everything out of the vehicle, check it, and leave it in a pile for him to re-pack.


    Sequoia reply on July 27th, 2009 11:14 am:

    And he has done that trip at least a dozen times.


  8. Phelps Says:

    Now that you’re in Dallas, maybe I’ll see you at the Flying Saucer one Friday at happy hour.

    When my dad was driving a truck moving furniture he did that around Harligen. “What have you got in the back?”

    “Truckload of Mexicans.”

    The state trooper gave him the “over the sunglasses” stare and asked him, “do you want to spend the next four hours on the side of this road?”

    Then they went over the real bill of lading and he was on his way. And I bet he’ll do it again if he has the change, because that’s the sort of asshole you get in my family.


  9. Matt Says:

    I have one of those immigration check points about 12 miles North of my house. Yes, the check-point is about 40 miles North of the border. The Supreme Court says it’s fine and dandy though…

    Any how. Both of my Daughters were born overseas. One in Japan, one in Germany. Both are actually blonde-haired and blue-eyed (queue Aryan jokes). I was expressly forbidden by my wife from telling the Border Patrol agents that the two in the back were Japanese and German.


  10. lukazaz Says:

    thank god your bakc Skippy :)
    did you get pics?

    no funny stories :( come on at least 1???


  11. Mickey Finn Says:

    The big story here, to me, is YOU’RE BACK IN DALLAS. If you make it to Houston for a visit, Claudia or I will put you up!
    (Probably Claudia, in her MOndo House)

    PS: What are you doing New Years? Claudia has her international week-long New Years party with crash space available….


  12. Kitty Says:

    Pfft wussy border patrols. Go to Uni in the UK, you get internal security files on you then! God I was proud when I found that out. But welcome back Skip.


  13. Fiarr Says:

    Haha, for real security paranoia you have to go to London. The police there carry M16s.

    Captcha: reasonably excite – What I felt after leaving the airport!


    Tzanti reply on July 28th, 2009 2:35 am:

    Really? The Met is now toting guns everywhere is it? Utter Bollocks, mate.

    Armed police in London are rare. You will see them more in the touristy bits, like Whitehall and The Mall, because they are protecting key government buildings. This is not vague paranoia, we had a thirty-tear terror campaign from the IRA, splinter groups of which are still operating, and still targeting British interests.

    Obviously, some police in our airports are armed, but the majority are not.

    As for weapon choice. No M16’s. Handguns in the main, plus HK MP5’s and occasionally G-36’s (usually the carbine version, K?). Also, these are not rank and file police, because rank and file police are not routinely armed in the UK* but specialist firearms officers from SO19.


    Sorry Skippy, but I’m a Brit, lived here all my life. As the joke goes, We’ve had the Nazi’s, the IRA, Al Queda, the Daleks, the cybermen… While other countries are debating what to do about their at-the-time knee-jerk responses, we’re still debating what knee-jerk response to make.

    So London is not full of paranoid cops running around with M16’s.

    *We have three routinely armed police forces the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI), the MOD Police, and the Civil Nuclear Constabulary (CNC).

    Captcha: B-N3 runoff – Dunno what that is, but it smells like bullshit to me.


    Fiarr reply on July 28th, 2009 9:54 am:

    In my defense, I was in touristy areas, and my knowledge of ‘guns on sight’ is from CSS.

    Still, you guys have the security thing down pretty well.


    Tzanti reply on July 29th, 2009 1:39 am:

    Sorry, mate, that was a bit of over-reaction on my part.

    Outside the centre of the capital, you could spend a year in the UK and never see a armed cop. The idea of armed police is disturbing to us, even to the police themselves.

    Hope you enjoyed your stay in London, in spite of the guns :)

    captcha: websters Deaths – Dictionaries can be hazardous to your health.

  14. AFP Says:

    When I was first enlisting, we got randomly stopped at an immigration checkpoint on our way to Phoenix for me to take the ASVAB. Which was hillarious, cause while I am Mexican American on my mom’s side, I don’t show it well (my nickname amongst my mom’s family is “Jethro Bodine”), and because my recruiter was a Tech Sergeant in his blues, driving a GOV with Air Force plates.


  15. ShuttleZ Says:

    I seem to be a glutton for punishment with inappropriate jokes like that. As my wife tells it, she dreads the moment when I get a little gleam in my eye and I start giggling. She tend to give me “The Look” and 9 times out of 10 it works…..it’s just that Number 10 makes up for the rest. :-P

    Example. Recently, we were in a major shopping centre where we live (Westfield Liverpool, for those who know) and stopping for a bight to eat at the food court, I espied too Policemen lining up at McD’s and ust as we where walking past, one of them started coughing and I could not help it.

    Have you ever had one of those out-of-body moments where you do or say something and mentally you are saying “That is a really bad idea! Don’t do it. NO! DON’T DO…..too late”?

    Anyway, Policeman starts coughing, unrestrained subconscious controls mouth and utters REALLY LOUD, “Crap, lets get out of here. Pig Flu”. *facepalm*

    On the upside, it looks like I may never have to go shopping again.

    Captcha: calliper disclosure – souds like something my wife will do to me if I do that again. xD


  16. ExRedScarf83 Says:

    *giggles insanely at ShuttleZ*

    captcha: writer disturbs Why didn’t they just say Stephen King?


  17. Ziggy Says:

    With the Swine Flu laugh, you reminded me of one I’m not sure I posted here.

    I work in a childrens hospital. When the big pig flu scare went up we suddenly more than doubled the mount of people coming in in a twenty four hour period. I think we were up to about six hundred kids a day that week. That’s pretty excessive.

    So halfway through the week, we get a memo from either CDC or the state health department, saying taht anyone doing a nasal wash to test for any variety of flu should use the full personal protective equipment that you would use with much more serious respiratory diseases, like say tuberculosis.

    I have a beard so I can’t wear an N95 mask. Several of us in the ER that night couldn’t use the N95’s for some reason or other. So about six or so of us were sent down to sterile supply in the basement to get PAPVR’s, which are powered ventilation hoods. They have a big plastic hood with a clear front and a hose running down to a battery pack with a fan and HEPA filter in the small of you back.

    Apparently if you’ve never seen one, they’re kind of scary. Especially if you see six or seven guys show up at once with them on.

    Somehow the implication that the hospital staff is unwilling to breathe the same air that you currently are breathing freaks people out a bit.

    The waiting room cleared out pretty fast that night.


  18. Fred Says:

    I went to college near the Canadian border, and heard the following story from a local who was in high school during the 1970’s…

    Seems a group of local teens went up into Canada for a little weekend entertainment (the drinking age being different across the border), and on the return trip, one of the guys in the back (who was of Latin American extraction) decided to answer the Border Patrol’s query, “Are you all American citizens?” in Spanish.

    The officer was not amused. The kids were motioned over to the inspection area, where the car was emptied and then partially dismantled – they removed door panels, unbolted the seats, and then vacuumed the carpet and examined the contents of the vacuum bag with tweezers and a magnifying glass. And an electronic scale.

    Did I mention this took place in the ’70’s?

    The officer with the tweezers eventually looked up at the now profusely sweating group of teenagers and told them, “Congratulations. You’re about 3 seeds away from being busted for marijuana possession. Get your stuff together and get out of here.”


  19. Signalist Says:

    back during Cold war and first half of the 90s there was a practice on airports in Scandinavia that one could travel between scandinavian countries without passport as long as he/she declared in a scandinavian language being a citizen of some scandinavian country, but not today, now one could travel almost anywhere in Europe without any kind of IDs.


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