When I was 17 years old, a girlfriend and I were giving a family friend a ride home. It was seven o'clock on a Friday evening.
At the top of my street, I pulled into traffic when there was an opening; no in-a-hurry vehicular acrobatics, no new driver bullshit -- just a right turn onto an ordinary street.
The next car coming was at least a hundred yards back, but I recall seeing it racing up toward me in the rear view mirror. It moved so quickly, it actually caught my eye. I thought, "Some dick," and then turned my eyes to the road.
A moment later, the tailgating car behind me, flashed on its brights. "OK," I thought, "this a real dick."
I tapped my brake pedal, just enough so the brake lights would come on, but not enough to alter my speed.
A moment later, cop lights started flashing on the car behind me. Yeah, it was a city cop car with no light rack on the roof.
I pulled over, expecting to get a ticket -- for what, I really couldn't guess.
Instead of pulling behind my car, the cop car pulled alongside me. I rolled down my window and a cop who wasn't much older than I was immediately began to berate me, "You fucking idiot! You're going to get someone fucking killed driving like an asshole like that!"
I was stunned. I actually wondered if the cop had the right car. He was enraged over what any observer would describe as a less-than-minor traffic pirouette.
Then the cops drove on.
In the years since that evening, I came to realize that those were a pair of young cops, rookies no doubt, shitting themselves on either their first Friday night on the beat, or one of their first. I was the simplest, safest target available to vent what I took to be abject fear.
The same thing -- plus a healthy dose of institutional incompetence, probable nepotism and hydrocephalia -- was at work earlier this month at the Sumas border crossing, heading into Canada, as described in the following article: Family seething after ‘nightmare’ experience at Sumas crossing.
Two girls -- one 22, the other 20 years of age -- were stepsisters, the one bringing the other into Canada to see her father for Christmas.
Canadian border official "smelt [something] funny" in the car and immediately figured it was the demon weed, marijuana.
From the article: "The women were allegedly told they would be arrested unless they confessed where the drugs were being hidden."
Where do the Canadian border guards get their interrogation ideas -- from Murder, She Wrote?
What kind of assinine ploy is this?
"We can't find any evidence of wrongdoing, so confess to wrongdoing or else be arrested!"
Whoever uttered that line ought to be summarily fired for incompetence and for impeding human evolution.
From the article: "Tina and her husband Jim Stewart — Brittany's father — became aware of their plight when one of the officers who had seized Crystal's cellphone accidentally dialed Tina's number."
What a carful of clowns! Who is Canadian Border Services Inc. employing, who cannot handle one of them cellular mobile phone things without accidentally activating it?
Because, you know, cell phones are used in other parts of the world to call lawyers, take naked pictures of one's self, oh and . . . to detonate bombs. And here, some hamhanded troll bobbles the thing in his hand filled with thumbs.
Unable to find a shred of evidence that the girls were anything other than what they presented themselves to be, Canadian Border Services & Ass Clowns made an attempt to think on their feet.
According to one of the girls' mothers, who was alerted to the scene by the mishandling of her daughter's cell phone: "In the end they kind of set us up. They told us it would be best if Jim took Crystal home, but Brittany should drive back into the United States, turn around and come back, and the chances were pretty good she’d be allowed in."
Except . . .
"When they drove up to the Canadian border crossing, the same group of officers was waiting for them.
"'This time it was even worse. It was a nightmare trying to deal with them. They were going on about the permanent residency application and, "Why would she be coming now?" and we’re saying, "Because it’s Christmas and she wants to be with her father,"'"
This second round of interrogation "went on for hours, until past midnight, when the officer interrogating Brittany wrote a report recommending she be refused entry and banned from entering Canada for a year."
There are two sides to every story. Both sides must be heard. Different people can see the same situation from vastly varying angles and perspectives.
But the common sense team at Inside the Hotdog Factory believes in cutting through such red tape, so we're bestowing the dunce cap of Shame and Incompetence upon the misshapen head of Canadian Border Services & Acrimony.
Post ScriptAnd these imbeciles would like to be armed?
Up until the reading of this article, I thought arming Canadian border guards only made sense. Now, I can suddenly picture them shooting soda cans off the tops of travelers' heads or practicing gunslinger acrobatics and accidentally disharging the weapon.