Tonight I had an encounter with one of America’s finest and brightest, wearing the uniform of a United States border guard.
I was driving one passenger to the Niagara Falls Airport, crossing at the Queenston-Lewiston bridge. I drove up to the guard booth. Mr Border Guard looked out at me.
MBG: How many passengers you got?
Me: Just one besides myself.
I handed him our ID; my FAST card and my passenger’s passport. He looked at my FAST card and swiped it.
MBG: How come you got a FAST card? (yes, he really said that.)
ME: My boyfriend is a truck driver and because I go out with him in his truck I needed a FAST card.
MBG: You’re a truck driver?
Me: No sir.
MBG: You don’t drive a truck?
Me: No, sir, I drive a school bus and this airport shuttle. (thinking to myself – you jackass, you already KNOW that because it’s right in front of you on your screen! I SAW you swipe my card.
MBG: So you don’t drive a truck.
Me: No sir.
MBG: So explain to me again why you have a FAST card.
Me: *inwardly screamed – WHICH PART DID YOU NOT FUCKING UNDERSTAND THE FIRST TIME I EXPLAINED IT????? but outwardly calmly replied* My boyfriend is the truck driver. He drives for a company that is FAST approved, and their rule is that all passengers must hold a valid FAST card. Since I ride as his passenger, I had to get a FAST card.
At this point he turned his attention to my hapless passenger and proceeded to grill him in great detail about his visit to the US. At one point he slammed the window shut and picked up his telephone. I got worried. He put down the phone, opened the window and asked my passenger a bunch more questions, after which he slammed the window again and talked some more on his phone. Finally, after what seemed like for-freaking-ever, he opened the window and fixed me with a glare.
MBG: So, you got a FAST card because you wanted to go riding with your boyfriend in his big truck?
Me: *wincing because it sounded so cheesy* Yes sir.
MBG: *shakes his head* Don’t know why you’d want to bother doing that! *hands back our ID* You’re free to go.
I thanked him, tried not to obviously snatch the ID from him, and quickly started the van to escape. As we pulled away from the booth, my passenger and I dared to glance at one another, unsure what had just happened.
“So,” said my passenger, perfectly straight faced, “Why exactly do you have a FAST card?”