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Thread: Customs is a trip

  1. #1
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    Default Customs is a trip

    A year or so ago, I applied for one of them passes that lets you be a BIG shot and keep your shoes on when going through airport security. Hey, it was worth the $100 application fee, though I’m convinced the money is used by Sarah Palin to fund the anti-immigration program to keep the lazy Mexicans out of this “free” country.

    The process was typically, uh, governmental, a word synonymous with bureaucratic. I filled out a zillion forms and waded through the process. I never expected to get the clearance cuz I’m no good with dotting i’s. But lo and behold, months later I received an email that the final step, the interview at the customs office was arranged. I was told that it was a cakewalk.

    However, I forgot about something. I sort of lied on my application. Yes yes yes, I was arrested, TWICE! I’m saying it now; the truth will set me free. But I didn’t exactly say yes on the customs application. I said no just like I always do. Never a problem. Hey, it was 30 years ago! In one case, my lawyer told me my records were expunged. In the other, I learned the courtroom burned down along with all the records and no, I am not an arsonist. This was at a time when Bill Gates was still going to the kiddie’s section in Bloomingdales and records were kept by hand. And the crimes were pussy-like; I was embarrassed to tell anyone. Like, in jail, I had to tell my fellow mates that I almost got away with robbing a bank. In truth, I forged a prescription for Valium. I was arrested twice for the same stoopid thing. So, I kept it a secret from everyone and began to believe I was a model citizen.

    I should have known better. The government knows all, hears all and is probably gonna file this missive in my massive file. I walked into the stately government building on Bowling Green for my interview. I went to the appropriate room and was left alone. That is, except for a TV playing what I thought was government propaganda. So, I kept my earbuds firmly in place and played games on my iPad. Little did I know, the TV was playing the instructions for the interview.

    After only 5 minutes or so, a customs agent called me to the counter and made some reference to the videotape. I asked if I could get a replay cuz I sort of missed it, haha. Nope, the guy had no sense of humor and things started out on the wrong foot. Then he cut to the chase.

    Customs dude: Were you arrested before?
    Me: A hesitant NO.
    Customs dude: Are you sure?
    Me: Hmmm, now I had to think fast. Is he testing me or does he know THE TRUTH? I took my chances and said NO again.
    Customs dude: Do you know it’s a crime to lie to federal agent?
    Me: I knew the jig was up. I could only get down on my bended knees and repent and beg forgiveness.

    Believe it or not, I was turned down. My shoes were not to be trusted!

    I wrote a letter to the BIG BOSS at customs, J. Edgar Hoover, or someone like that. I apologized and explained and begged for another chance. Nothing, no response. I figured I was destined to wear sandals for my trips through airport security. But lo and behold, out of nowhere, I got an email that another interview was scheduled. Can the government really be so forgiving? Or were they tired of having to hold their breath when I went through the line? Stay tuned.

    Speaking of customs, I recently returned from the Dominican Republic. I’ve been there numerous times and never had a problem with customs. After all, there ain’t much except bananas to smuggle in. The customs dude looked at my passport and sees I was in the DR 5 times last year. My response was, “really?” I had no idea I was there so much. And he asks why. It was late. I was tired. Tired in more ways than one, like having my rights trampled on. But instead of saying it’s none of your damn business, I simply said, “Because I like it.”

    That earned me a trip to customs dude #2, who opened my luggage. This was the 2nd time this happened to me in my flying career, the last one well before 9/11. I had nothing to fear except for smelly underwear. I didn’t even have any illicit Viagra. Customs dude #2 sees my running shoes and that was the end of scaring me half to death. It turned out he was a runner and we must have talked about running for a good 3 minutes and then he said, “You’re good to go.” I like being good to go.

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  3. #2
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    You are lucky to be a free man.

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    Well written. But.... Why on earth would you lie though? Omission of facts is one thing, but when the guy looks you in the eyes and asks you two times if you have been arrested and you continue your lie. You are fortunate the guy wasnt a jerk and pressed charges on you. You weren't applying to be a greeter at walmart. And what does Sarah Palin and Mexicans have to do with any of this? I suspect you earned your rejection letter and the loss of $100.

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  7. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by gas View Post
    A year or so ago, I applied for one of them passes that lets you be a BIG shot and keep your shoes on when going through airport security. Hey, it was worth the $100 application fee, though I’m convinced the money is used by Sarah Palin to fund the anti-immigration program to keep the lazy Mexicans out of this “free” country.

    The process was typically, uh, governmental, a word synonymous with bureaucratic. I filled out a zillion forms and waded through the process. I never expected to get the clearance cuz I’m no good with dotting i’s. But lo and behold, months later I received an email that the final step, the interview at the customs office was arranged. I was told that it was a cakewalk.

    However, I forgot about something. I sort of lied on my application. Yes yes yes, I was arrested, TWICE! I’m saying it now; the truth will set me free. But I didn’t exactly say yes on the customs application. I said no just like I always do. Never a problem. Hey, it was 30 years ago! In one case, my lawyer told me my records were expunged. In the other, I learned the courtroom burned down along with all the records and no, I am not an arsonist. This was at a time when Bill Gates was still going to the kiddie’s section in Bloomingdales and records were kept by hand. And the crimes were pussy-like; I was embarrassed to tell anyone. Like, in jail, I had to tell my fellow mates that I almost got away with robbing a bank. In truth, I forged a prescription for Valium. I was arrested twice for the same stoopid thing. So, I kept it a secret from everyone and began to believe I was a model citizen.

    I should have known better. The government knows all, hears all and is probably gonna file this missive in my massive file. I walked into the stately government building on Bowling Green for my interview. I went to the appropriate room and was left alone. That is, except for a TV playing what I thought was government propaganda. So, I kept my earbuds firmly in place and played games on my iPad. Little did I know, the TV was playing the instructions for the interview.

    After only 5 minutes or so, a customs agent called me to the counter and made some reference to the videotape. I asked if I could get a replay cuz I sort of missed it, haha. Nope, the guy had no sense of humor and things started out on the wrong foot. Then he cut to the chase.

    Customs dude: Were you arrested before?
    Me: A hesitant NO.
    Customs dude: Are you sure?
    Me: Hmmm, now I had to think fast. Is he testing me or does he know THE TRUTH? I took my chances and said NO again.
    Customs dude: Do you know it’s a crime to lie to federal agent?
    Me: I knew the jig was up. I could only get down on my bended knees and repent and beg forgiveness.

    Believe it or not, I was turned down. My shoes were not to be trusted!

    I wrote a letter to the BIG BOSS at customs, J. Edgar Hoover, or someone like that. I apologized and explained and begged for another chance. Nothing, no response. I figured I was destined to wear sandals for my trips through airport security. But lo and behold, out of nowhere, I got an email that another interview was scheduled. Can the government really be so forgiving? Or were they tired of having to hold their breath when I went through the line? Stay tuned.

    Speaking of customs, I recently returned from the Dominican Republic. I’ve been there numerous times and never had a problem with customs. After all, there ain’t much except bananas to smuggle in. The customs dude looked at my passport and sees I was in the DR 5 times last year. My response was, “really?” I had no idea I was there so much. And he asks why. It was late. I was tired. Tired in more ways than one, like having my rights trampled on. But instead of saying it’s none of your damn business, I simply said, “Because I like it.”

    That earned me a trip to customs dude #2, who opened my luggage. This was the 2nd time this happened to me in my flying career, the last one well before 9/11. I had nothing to fear except for smelly underwear. I didn’t even have any illicit Viagra. Customs dude #2 sees my running shoes and that was the end of scaring me half to death. It turned out he was a runner and we must have talked about running for a good 3 minutes and then he said, “You’re good to go.” I like being good to go.
    If you ever decide to live in the DR you will fit in perfectly with the rest of the wild bunch. I guess you probably shouldn't apply for residency though with your past transgressions. Only kidding. 30 years ago they probably would let you in but you might have to wear a monitor.

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    Shades of "Alice's Restaurant."

    You were fortunate. Lying about stuff like that is never a good strategy.

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    Humorous story, told with succinctness and clarity.

    Thanks for posting. I got a good laugh out of it (not the story, but the way you told it).

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  11. #7
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    In what little defense I have, I thought the guy was in all likelihood testing me. And I felt I was already in for the nickel, I might as well be in for the dime. It's very easy to play Monday quarterback. It was all very rapid and quite intimidating.

    The good news is, my follow up letter apologizing and asking to be reconsidered, seemingly worked. This time I'll leave the earbuds at home.

    And jeez, some of you guys got no sense of humor. Government shmovernment.

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    Quote Originally Posted by gas View Post
    In what little defense I have, I thought the guy was in all likelihood testing me. And I felt I was already in for the nickel, I might as well be in for the dime. It's very easy to play Monday quarterback. It was all very rapid and quite intimidating.

    The good news is, my follow up letter apologizing and asking to be reconsidered, seemingly worked. This time I'll leave the earbuds at home.

    And jeez, some of you guys got no sense of humor. Government shmovernment.
    You may wish to rethink. Nothing is ever "exponged" to a place where the fed's can't see it at 1st glance, it is only removed from public domain. Any time a federal investigator asks you a question they already know the answer. I will be very surprised if they grant your "shoes off" status. I wouldn't put myself through a 2nd interrogation knowing that it's little more than a confessional and you're only there to go on record contradicting an official statement which you made in an earlier one but that's just me.

    Hush Puppies slip-ons were made for air travel.

    The most important rule of official interrogation is that if you're cornered into telling on yourself, don't and remember what you said and say it every time asked. How else do you think they found a million People who went to college in the late 60's/ early 70's and never took a single puff off a spliff? The ability to tell a lie or end a life with a straight face is a job related skill as far as Uncle Sam is concerned.

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  14. #9
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    I can't believe they are giving you a second chance. I would prefer they didn't to people who lie about being arrested to officers/customs!
    Last edited by Harleysrock; 12-03-2014 at 07:35 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Harleysrock View Post
    I can't believe they are giving you a second chance. I would prefer they didn't to people who lie about being arrested to officers/customs!
    I think it's a setup.


    RUN away........

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