My wife had to go see her dentist in Cd. Juarez this morning, so I took her. We have done this many times before, and several times since we came back to Texas from Costa Rica, so no big deal, right?
After her cleaning, and the replacement of one filling, we got in line at the downtown El Paso bridge. We were happy to see that the line, while slow, was not as long as we've sometimes seen in the past.
When we finally got to the CBP Agent, I opened her window, and she handed him our passports. He accepted the passports, which were open at the main page already, looked at us, greeted us, and then asked her for her name. She gave it to him, and then he looked at me.
Now, I'll be honest here. I bristled the moment he asked her for her name. I mean, he was holding her passport, and it was open to the page where her name and pertinent information is written! He asked me for my name, and I said, "John," but with disgust in my voice. I will not deny it. He said, "your full name." So, I said my last name, too, with even more disgust in my voice.
He then told me to remove my cap, and he asked me why I was addressing him in such a manner, and I said, "Well, you're holding my passport in your hand, and there's my name right there, so why in the world do I have to tell you?" His response was that he was just checking to see if I knew the information on the document, so he could know it is not fake. Come on! Doesn't he have a scanning device that will tell him if he has a fake passport?!
This only served to piss me off further. I mean, come on! I am 70 years old! We're driving a relatively clean car, in good shape, and he thinks we might have a forged passport? Well, then he decided that he had to make me go through all the hoops, and cross all of his anal retentive t's and dot his little i's.
"What were you doing in Mexico?" My wife answered him, and he snapped at her, "I'm not asking you. I'm addressing your husband."
"How often do you go to Mexico?"
"Where do you usually cross the border?"
"When was the last time you went to Mexico?"
"What kind of work do you do?"
"What kind of work did you do before you retired?"
"What were you doing in Blaine?"
"When were you in Blaine?" (We crossed into Canada on a family trip up to the Pacific Northwest last June, remember)?
"Do you have any fruits?"
"Open the trunk."
"Open the rear window."
"Do you have any vegetables?"
"Do you have any meat?"
"Do you have any drugs or medicines?"
I mean, this power mad Nazi went through every thing he could think of just to get back at me for being unhappy with his questions! I understand that he and his ilk think they are protecting us from terrorists, but come on! We really need to rescind the truly awful Patriot Act! And, border crossing agents need to be educated as to who they are supposed to be serving! And, it would not hurt if they learned some manners! I think that my years have earned me the right to be addressed with just a smidgen of common courtesy, with a please, a thank you, and maybe a sir, once in a while.
What do you think? Am I over reacting? Am I supposed to be subservient to a public servant? Does he not owe me any respect at all?