11:55 AM

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Feel safe in your beds tonight!

Just in from Howard

... Whitehouse, that is.

I've been dealing with the fine upstanding individuals that examine passports of people entering the US for more than 25 years. A significant number of them are idiots.

Yesterday Lori was at the wheel when we crossed from Ontario into the States at Lewiston. We'd been in Toronto for a week of me shamelessly huckstering my book and Lori starting on her rather more academically challenging book.

It's a young guard - sorry, official - in a snazzy woolly hat for the Buffalo area winter that apparently starts mid October.

Guard: "What are your nationalities?"

Lori: "I'm American, my husband is British."

Guard: "Does he speak English?"

Myself: "Quite a bit, actually." I am trying not to laugh. They don't like it when you laugh.

Lori: "Ah, Britain is where English comes from." Her generally very competent straight face is slipping.

I foresee the car being dismantled by minions of Homeland Security, possibly while a busload of terrorists marked 'Ottawa Al-Qaida' gets a cursory look over as elite specialists take apart my dirty washing, a big bag of old RAFM gaming figures and about $300 in used books (Canada's the place to buy second hand books)

Guard (possibly realizing his stupidity): "I have to hear him talk for himself!"

Myself: "Quite correct officer!" I almost salute.

We pass into New York, Lori grumbling, myself wishing I'd been smuggling in some Cuban cigars - the ones you can't bring in legally, and are thus sold from kiosks a half mile inside Canada, doubtless for the American who wants to smoke ten of them before he reaches the border. I don't smoke, but I shoulda done it anyway. H

Don't you feel secure now? Sleep well in your beds, tonight, America!

See you at Fall In, Howard.