GOES and the CRAZY LESBIAN , part 3
The trip was great. First, eight days on the beaches of Tulum, MX for vacation. Mornings spent running in the surf. Afternoons swimming. Evenings sleeping just feet from the waves. Our cabana was the closest to the Caribbean in the world. Not good during a hurricane, but freaking amazing any other time.
From Tulum we flew to Leon, MX for work. A few days executing a great greenscreen for Pemex, the national oil and gas company of Mexico, we stayed at the venue, in a brand new Marriott, in a suite. No complaints. Life was good.
From Leon, we flew to Houston International, and I got to use my GOES number for the first time.
“Customs forms, customs forms!” Said the flight attendent before landing. He shoved one in my hand. “No,” I smirked, “I’m GOES, so I don’t need one.”
He looked impressed (or so I fantasized).
Yup, no blue form for me! No, Sir! Wave the magic card, red carpet rolls out, a choir of angels sing, the shmucks standing in line glare at you, and through customs you trot. On tippy toes.
I approached the kiosk. Scanned my passport. Answered “no” to all the crazy questions. Got my receipt, and pranced up to the Customs Officer.
“So tell me about your arrest in 1998.”
Holy Christ on a Cross! In all my travels, I’ve never been asked once about this, and now it’s standard intake? WTF?!
I bit back a reply, outlined a very brief version of the story, then asked, “is this going to come up EVERY time I enter the country?!”
The Agent, in fairness, looked sheepish. He promised to put notes on my file to prevent it triggering the question. Somehow, I have my doubts, we’ll see.
Which brings me to my long awaited point: this entire incident was one crazy person seeking revenge. The entire thing was, literally, laughed out of court. So why am I made to feel…sleazy…every time, 15 years later, I enter the country? What purpose does this serve? Somehow, does this crazy story make me a security risk?
The agent stamped my ticket, muttering it would get me through the suitcase check.
What it got me was the proctology exam: although Matthew had the same equipment I had, I was selected for “further screening”. In other words, answering all those questions again as they ex ray my bags.
Finally, I was passed through.
So: what to do now? Continue with GOES or stand in line with everyone else.
I don’t know.
But I do know this: the crazy lesbian would be LAUGHING. Sigh. Sometimes, you can’t win.
And, in today’s America, what does a “not guilty” actually mean? Anything? Or, are we all guilty?
To tell you the truth, this gave me the willies more than the Policia Federales demanding their bribe.
At least they didn’t make me feel like a criminal in my own country.