Friday, July 4, 2014
Today I’m grateful for boarder entries. So, my friend David and I, with a truck full of Mexican pottery, furniture, doo-dads and Kahlua, zipped across the border without incident. Hah! Gottcha! Have you been paying attention? Pony up!
Still sweating like boar-hogs, we hop in the truck, fully loaded, like a baked potato at Wendy’s and head for the border. We try using the air conditioning but it leaves us feeling like we’re being freeze-dried so we opt for windows. All the way to the border we are discussing our options. . .er, “story”. . .er, options. “I think we have too much stuff to not declare it and we should just pay the fee,” I say. David doesn’t think so because, well, he’s David and there is the world’s expectation and there is David’s expectation and they don’t match that often. FYI – I’ll take his any day.
“When we get there, just let me handle it, okay?” He says. “I only hope they don’t make me unload the truck.” Sure. Yeah. That’s fine. I’m picturing myself in a Matamoros jail, or worse, for about the fourth time during this trip. Without David I’d have no blood pressure at all.
We pull up to the long line. It is moving as fast as an armadillo on valium. Our discussion of possibilities is ratcheting back and forth between us faster than Forrest Gump’s ping-pong match. Then we are motioned to pull forward. The motion renders me mute for the first and only time in my life. My brain is chanting, “Let David handle it. Let David handle it. Let David handle it.” I’m saying it, but control freak that I am, I’m not buying it. At that point I didn’t trust David any further than I can throw-up. But he’s never let me down before so I stay silent. I know. Hard to believe.
There are several armed, uniformed, Mexican border patrol guards. The one on my side of the truck glares at me, so I smile and wave at him. The one on David’s side leans towards the window of the truck and asks, “Do you have anything to declare?” I start to shake. I can’t breathe. I might pass out. I’m still smiling like a lunatic, except it’s looking more like a guilty grimace. David casually says, “Yes, we have two bottles of Kahlua!” And he reaches on the seat between us and holds up the bottles. Am I on Mars? We’re in a TRUCK! Full of Mexican crap! Two bottles of Kahlua, you said?
The guard nods and says, “Pull over there, please,” motioning to the side where other suspicious vehicles are being examined. Holy crap! I’m wondering if the prison guards will look like the guys who carried the furniture, or the old, big-bellied, unshaven, grimy banditos from old westerns, with bullets strapped in an X across their chest. My luck?
“Please get out of the truck, sir,” the guard says. I start to open my mouth and David shoots me a look that says, “Shut the *&%# up! Don’t say a word. Leave this to me!!!!!” He doesn’t look terrified, like I am, so I cave. . .and trust him. My brain is orbiting the Mexican hoosegow again. I’m trying to not look waspish with my light brown hair, green eyes, big boobs and ridiculous grin.
The guard asks David to open the hatch on the back of the truck. The truck filled to the brim with furniture and pottery. Ha. Ha. When the hatch went up, I felt tazered. Then I heard David and the guard stomping around in the small open space in the back of the truck, banging a bunch of stuff and laughing. Laughing? I’ve moved from Mars to Pluto to Interpol. David is loud. . .full-on, full-blown, standing-room-only-in-the-theater, loud. He is giving the performance of his life. And mine. Literally.
The hatch slams down, David hops in the truck, the guard salutes him and waves him through laughing, nodding and winking. We are on our way, both of us staring straight ahead, eyes glazed like fresh donut munchkins. “We can’t stop for a few miles,” David breaks the silence. “Why is that?” I ask. “And are you ever going to share with me what went on back there? I thought we were both going to wind up some bandito’s bitch!”
He said he’d tell me in a little bit because he was pretty sure that they were still watching us from the air. “I think they thought we had a truck full of illegals and now they’re watching to see if we unload them. The guard seemed relieved we only had furniture and pottery.” Holy crap. Double holy crap.
When we got a few miles down the road, safely out of border/illegal alien territory, David shared that he did a faster tap dance than Bojangles. “The only thing I could think of was to play the disgusted man, whose woman went crazy buying crap and now I had to haul all of it home.” He said he’d rattled off a bunch of complaints about how women will drive you crazy and gesticulated more than someone doing high-octane sign language. “Are you married?” David asked the guard. “You have a wife?” The guard nodded, “Si, Si!” David put his arm around the guard. “Then you know women!” He pleaded male brotherhood. “Si! Si! Seeen’ora loco! Si!”
Today I am grateful for those border guards. We weren’t criminals, we were just crazy. I think there might be a difference. I didn’t see David’s actual performance, but the one I did see as he re-told the story, sent us into hysterics. Would we still be laughing when my husband opened the truck?