"Now if you are going to win any battle you have to do one thing. You have to make the mind run the body. Never let the body tell the mind what to do. The body will always give up. It is always tired in the morning, noon, and night. But the body is never tired if the mind is not tired.”

- George S. Patton, U.S. Army General, 1912 Olympian

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Border Crossing Contraband

Eating on the road is difficult. I'll have spent most of two days in the the car and one day stopped in Sacramento for some training for work before finally arriving in Las Vegas on Wednesday. I plowed through a eight or so bananas on day one in the car, but when it came to looking for a quality meal, it was difficult. I finally settled on a BLT on whole wheat bread from Subway, figuring this was about as good as it was going to get without access to my blender (which I travel with) or my frozen fruit. I'm trying my best not to stress too much over it though, as it is still early in the week. Once I hit Las Vegas tomorrow afternoon it'll be all business until Saturday, but I've come to the conclusion that I'm going to have to make some concessions while I'm traveling. I'm just trying to be as smart as I can about it.

Something I did not expect on my trip towards Las Vegas was being stopped just after crossing the Oregon/California border at some sort of border crossing. I didn't think much of, just that it was sort of odd. What would I be bringing into CA that I couldn't have in OR? As I pulled up to the little window and the official-looking lady stepped out, I wondered what she would ask me. Are there any drugs in the car? Any illegal aliens (or, if you prefer, your favorite P.C. term)? How about any runaway underage girls? Have you seen this missing child?

Not even close.

She asked me the only possible question to which I could have answered yes: Sir, are you carrying any fresh fruit in your vehicle?

I tried not to laugh at her. What I really wanted to say was, "Yes. Yes I am. Lots of fruit. All different kinds of fruit. Some of it frozen. Some of it not. I have enough fruit in my car to feed a small army in fact. Guess what, I have a blender too, etc etc etc"

Instead I simply answered yes.

Then she wanted to see it. My bananas -- they were fine. The pineapple -- all good, as were the strawberries and apples. Then came the 40lb box of oranges in my backseat. "I'm going to need to see those oranges, sir" she said. As she started to inspect my cargo I told her I had bought them at Food 4 Less the day before but she didn't appear to hear me. Then she saw on the box that they were a product of CA and said they checked out fine. Good thing too. I spent a lot of money on those oranges and I would have had to make reference to my cold dead fingers had she tried to confiscate them. Maybe because they weren't from Florida they were alright? I don't know. Let it be a warning to you if you want enter the State of California though. I wonder, is this the same question asked at the Southern border? If so, I can think of a way to vastly improve the illegal immigration, drug and human trafficking problems without costing taxpayers a dime.


Carol said...

Ok, I laughed out loud and nobody else was here...that lady didn't know what she was getting herself into! Good luck on Saturday!

Travis C said...

What the heck? Having traveled through those checkpoints between Nevada and California on the I-80 many times, I always thought they were completely useless.

"Where are you coming from? Do you have any fruit?"

I would often wonder what would happen if I DID have fruit. Now, I find out NOTHING HAPPENS! Seriously, what purpose do these checkpoints serve? Anyways, there are several wonderful fruit stands you will pass by as you treavel through the Central Valley, my wonderful home. You can get a whole huge bag of oranges for $1.

dovh49 said...

As a kid driving to CA from AZ they would stop us sometimes and ask those same questions about fruit. Sometime our fruit was confiscated. I think they do it to keep out disease from other states. I too, question the efficacy of this. It might just be a jobs program.