In four short days I shall be winging my way towards a wretched life in a Texan prison. My only hope of survival will be to find a gigantic woman (perhaps her name will be Beulah) and to make myself her little bitch. I will live in the desperate hope of obtaining parole… but I will hope in vain. Why? Because I will have committed a heinous and unforgivable crime: making “wise-ass remarks” to a United States Customs official…
I truly am a little worried about this. I am (I freely admit) a person prone to conversation. I chat. I quip. I often talk back… I am likely to end my days in the Dallas County Jail!
If I am to avoid this dark and terrible fate I must strive to be a good and quiet little tourist. The perfect vacationing paragon. I must do nothing to provoke the petty functionaries nor bring down their bureaucratic wrath upon my head.
To this end I have complied a customs checklist for myself:
- Try to look innocent… though not ostentatiously so
- Do not seek to make eye contact but avoid appearing shifty
- Don’t be sarcastic
- Smile (but don’t grin – you’ll look like a crazy person)
- Speak only when spoken to and use only one word answers (if this can be done without appearing rude or uncooperative)
- Avoid sarcasm
- Refrain from any “friendly chat”
- Make no jokes. Avoid witticisms. Eschew jest
- DO NOT, at any time, GET SARCASTIC