Wednesday, September 09, 2009


The world is full of interesting jobs. Imagine, for example, the life of a customs agent, opening suitcases, examining unmatched socks, waylaying wads of used underwear on their way to the laundry. Whose suitcase would you want to look in? How would you determine which of those travelers are suspicious enough to warrant further investigation?
“Where were you, ma'am?”
“Salt Lake City?”
“How long were you there?”
“Six days.”
“Business or pleasure?”
“What did you buy?”
“A washboard made by the Columbus Company (especially for lingerie), 2 wooden clothes pegs (knobby tips, no springs), 2 plastic spoons, 3 metal spoons, 1 strap and a kazoo.
“Anything else?”
“Five bags of candy.”
“Anything else?”
“Two copies of one small book.”
“Total value?”
And there lies the mystery of it all. Given that he didn’t even bat an eyelash, what would it take to make a customs agent suspicious enough to want to thumb through my laundry?

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