As usual, when we arrived in the U.S. last month, we were subjected to a special video that re-played every three minutes while we waited in the long line at immigration/customs.
At least this year there was a new video. I was really getting tired of listening to super-happy people repeating, “I am America…… I am America…. I am America” over and over. I kept thinking, “Where’s the angry lady that shouts at me when I don’t have correct change for the toll? Isn’t SHE America? And where’s the guy who cut me off and stole my parking space last year in Texas? Isn’t HE also America? I don’t see these people in the video.”
But anyway, this year’s video for customs was a little instructional piece for stupid people and children explaining why we have to stand in an hour long line to enter the country. In one part of the video, a little girl asks a customs official, “Why are you taking my mommy’s fingerprints?” and the man replies, “I’m making sure she really IS your mommy and not someone PRETENDING to be your mommy.”
What kind of psychological damage is that customs offical subjecting that little girl to? “My mommy may not be my mommy but someone PRETENDING to be my mommy?! AHHHHH!!!!!”
Another fail for the customs video writers. My suggestion is simply to run some Tom & Jerry cartoons like they used to do at Six Flags Amusement Parks while I waited in line. Trust me, I get just as much useful information from that as I do from a customs video.
Two years ago we flew to New York. When we headed for customs, there was a security guard watching over the two lines for citizens and visitors. We walked immediately into the citizen line and the guard never said a word. He didn’t talk to any of the other people either.
But suddenly a family came down the aisle and the guard woke up and shouted, “CANADIANS! OVER THERE!” pointing to the visitors line.
How did he know? I didn’t see any maple leaves on their clothes. They weren’t drinking maple syrup.
I still wonder to this day what set him off.