I’ve been making an attempt to be friendlier with strangers lately, whether they be salespeople, meter readers, ticket takers or, yes, even telemarketers. This new cheery outlook almost backfired on me today, however.
As I mentioned yesterday, I’m spending this weekend in a small town on the U.S./Canada border. Today, I walked from Vermont to Quebec to have lunch at a pizza place that’s been an institution of greasy delights since my husband went to high school in this town (ahem) a few years back.
The pizza was good, with cheese so thick it could have been used to fortify the levies in New Orleans during Hurricane Katrina.
When I walked back and stopped at U.S. customs, the officer checked my passport and asked if I was bringing anything back with me to the U.S. I heard my new jovial self say, “Only indigestion.”
I instantly regretted it. The man did not smile, just kept staring at my passport. It probably took seconds but felt like an hour.
That’s when I remembered my husband telling me that this new crop of border patrollers take their jobs extremely seriously (and so they should, of course). Frivolity of any kind is frowned upon. Since I was walking across, they couldn’t exactly search my trunk, so he handed back my passport and gave me a look that said, “Next time, the facts ma’am, just the facts.”
As I walked back to the house, I noticed a newspaper in a delivery wrapper lying near the road beside a puddle of water. The delivery person might have intended to aim it near the front door, but if so, they shouldn’t give up their day job for a major-league pitching career.
I picked it up, shook off the water from the puddle and set it on the porch. As I left, I glanced back, hoping that the paper was intended to go inside the house rather than going out for recycling.
These are just some of the high-risk chances you take as a GDW (good deed warrior). My advice? Take heed … but do them anyway!