In 1961, I joined the US Army for three years with the intention of killing young Russian men to keep this from happening in the US:
On a regular basis, I join the throngs of US senior citizens crossing the International Boundary to trek a couple of blocks into Mexico to buy prescription medications. The reason we all brave the hot, the skyrocketing gas prices, the long drive and the short walk?
A block south of the border prescription meds cost a tiny fraction of their cost a block north of the International Boundary. Plus, you don’t need a prescription.
But that’s another issue for another time.
Coming back waiting on the US side behind a line of oldsters in the US Border patrol station the fun begins.
Guy with a gun, a uniform and a Hitler mustache: “Do you have anything to declare?”
Elderly lady pushes through the turnstile to stand in front of his table. “I have this.” She holds up a bulging plastic bag.
Guy with a gun, a uniform and a Hitler mustache: “I didn’t tell you you could come through the turnstile. Go back to the other side.”
She goes back to wherever a person is when on the other side of the turnstile.
Guy with a gun, a uniform and a Hitler mustache: “OK. Now you can come through.”
She goes back through the turnstile, stands in front of him. “Do you have anything to declare? Medications, anything?”
She holds up the bag again, but before she can speak, elderly hubby, the other side of the turnstile, holds up a bag. “I’ve got the medications here.” Pushes part way through the turnstile holding up the bag.
“DO NOT COME THROUGH THAT TURNSTILE UNTIL I SAY YOU CAN!”
Old man, startled, backs into never-never-land, turnstile clicking.
Hitler mustache to woman: “Do you have anything to declare? Medications? Anything?”
Hubby across the turnstile to wife: “God damn it! I told him I have the medications over here.”
And so, ad infinitum.
Mr. Uniformed Mustache with a gun never came out and said,
“I am one stupid son of a bitch here to give elderly US citizens a hard time after they have to walk into another country to get their medications at a reasonable price.”
He didn’t need to.
Tom Russell– Who’s Going to Build Your Wall?
Note: I wrote this after my last trip to Mexico. Afterward I curtailed my trips and started buying my blood pressure and other med off the Internet from Canada and India. But I decided to post it after reading this yesterday:
Border Patrol Antics or (I got searched), Tire
7:30 AM musings over coffee:
Maybe it’s just me, or maybe it’s a piece of a paradigm shift [whatever the hell that is] but one of the corner-of-the-eye changes I believe has happened in my lifetime within the US is a morbid fascination and indulgence in, patience with and capitulation to fears. Maybe it’s a replacement for anger, maybe just boredom needing to speed up the heartbeat.
Back when every day was a brink-of-war crisis with the USSR the attitude was duck and cover, build a bomb shelter and bomb the bejesus out of them. A conspicuous absence of fear. Contrasted half-century later with a citizenry frightened so badly by a microscopic possibility a terrorist will harm them, they hire a few new layers of police, agree to be searched, and humiliated for their own protection, and indulge in a series of self-bankrupting foreign adventures with the stated intention of finding an outlaw gang hidden in fantasyville, Asia.
Hiring thugs to protect us from other thugs has probably been around for a longish while. But never worked all that well.