Wednesday, January 26, 2011

How to not visit a Homeland Security Facility ...

So...yesterday I drove down to Florence to attend a hearing at the ICE facility there.

On the way back I decided I need a slightly more boring life.

Not totally boring, but just a teensy, weensy bit less...ummm.... weird.

...and here's why.

My GPS took me to the facility (big, brick, imposing, razor wire...gulp!). When I pulled into the driveway, guards were using those poles with mirrors and opening the doors to vehicles which seemed kind of neat. What was NOT neat, however, was that the guard was waving his arms and scowling and yelling. At me. Me! Sweet, innocent, non-terrorist me.

He did it for a little while and I kept looking around trying to figure out what had his boxers in a bunch.

Finally, when it was my turn to pull up, he started yelling at me. "Can you read?" he asked in a really loud, horrible voice. "Can you read?"

And I said, "Huh?" in a puzzled fashion.

"This is the EXIT!...can you read? See? Out! OUT!!!!!"

I said, "Oh."

He started talking to me like I was a moron (which perhaps I was because even after he told me it was the EXIT! I couldn't see a sign saying that).

He told me(very slowly like I was mentally challenged) to park my car in a certain place and to walk back up to the guardhouse.

I parked. I walked back up to the guardhouse. I was the only person there except for Mr. Crabby Pants.

He was still glaring at me. I thought he might just arrest me and throw me in the klinker for stupidity. Instead, he just decided to bully me some more!

"Didn't you see me waving my arms at you!" he said in a loud and mean voice.

"Yes, yes I did! But I thought maybe you were trying to land a plane," I retorted.

And then I got scared. I wondered if it was like a federal offense to be a smart aleck to a guard. With a gun. Who looked pretty darned ticked off.

That fear must have shown on my face, because all of the sudden he got nicer.

"Parking a plane...heh, heh..." he chuckled, "I haven't heard that one before. You looked all scared or something?"

"Yeah, do you think? Scared...I mean...geez, you don't have to scream at people! Do you? Is that part of your job? I mean when they hire you..."

I have this tendency to babble and ask wayyyy too many questions at inappropriate times.

But sometimes when I babble, it makes other people babble, too.

And as it turns out, his name was Robert, but his friends call him Bob. He'd been working for the Feds for almost 18 years. He was divorced.

After our little chat, he apologized to me. And told me what to do and what would happen next so I could get into the court room. And he was really, really nice and helpful.

Through the rest of the ordeal, four of the five other guards who checked my ID, escorted me, or looked at me with squinty eyes, were nice. One just looked constipated, so I cut him some slack.

When I was finished and being handed back through the chain of guards to the entry, I realized it was a beautiful day and I had survived. I exhaled and looked around and on the last little stretch walking up to the deserted guardhouse I realized someone was singing.

The song was 'Jennifer Juniper' and it was being sung badly. By Robert. Bob to his friends. And he was singing it to me!

He told me it was his favorite name...his daughter was named Jennifer. It was the only good thing his ex-wife had ever done...letting him name their only child Jennifer.

He told me to come back again soon. I told him I hoped that I wouldn't have to.

And then he shouted "Bye!" to me as I crossed the dusty driveway to get to my car.

Weird, right?

When I was driving back, I called Mr. Jenny to tell him about the whole experience.

When I told him about the guard he said, "I'm not surprised. People always do weird stuff around you."


Is that a curse do you think?

But the good thing is that I know how to visit a Homeland Security Facility correctly now.

And now you know how to do it, too, should the need arise.

And if you have to go and Bob tries to yell at you, just tell him you're a friend of mine.

And sing a little bit of 'Jennifer Juniper' to him.



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Shay said...

And only you Mrs. Jenny could thaw out a Homeland Security Guard to the point where he is serenading you.

Yes weird stuff happens when you're around. But weird GOOD stuff. You make people feel better about the smallest things. It's a gift. The world needs more Jenny's!

Unknown said...

I am not surprised you were able to thaw that icy personality.

Cheryl said...

Still trying to figure out what in heck you were doing at ICE.

Weird stuff happens to people who are real. And god knows, you are real.

Wanda..... said...

From the screaming serenade to the singing made me smile, Jenny!

Terra said...

you are braver than I, cooler than I and stronger than I. I am not sure I could have made it past the first experience...though if I had I would have certainly tried to calm the situation with some kind of babble as well...

Jocelyn said...

Oh My have me giggling this morning......only YOU!!!!! Only YOU!!!!

Loved this post!!!

Have a great one!! I am watching snowflakes coming down!!! Beautiful!!!

RoeH said...

Yeah...and I'd like to talk to Mrs. Ex-guard and get her side of the story! I was out there once and got the losing end of a prison guard, too. (NOT INNNN THE PRISON LIKE CONVICTED!!!!) I was just out there once and got onto the wrong road and heard about it.

"Didn't you see the signs!?"

"What signs?"

I did find them finally along the road...about 3 inches high.

Funny post!

summersundays-jw said...

You do know how to tell a story. A laugh is always a good way to start the morning. Thanks! Jan

Betty said...

Glad he softened up a little for you and you learned his life history. :) Why in the world were you there?

ImagiMeri said...

What is ICE????? and what are you up to that you're not telling me??? Should I get my passport ready?

Love ya'

Tracy said...

Ahhh, our government officials at work; pleasant bunch aren't they?
I'm glad you survived with your humor intact' the best way to handle a situation, I've always felt! ...take menopause for example; which is what my post is focused on!

Linda @ A La Carte said...

Jenny only you! That's all I have to say...only you!!

Busy Bee Suz said...

Jenny, you bring out the best in everyone!!!

H said...

I'm a step behind Cheryl; I'm not wondering what you were doing at ICE, I'm wondering what ICE is (apart from the obvious frozen water stuff).

Bossy Betty said...

Wow! You really turned this situation around. Something tells me if Bob has a blog he is writing about you this morning!

H said...

Google says:
Institute of Civil Engineers
International Currency Exchange
In Case of Emergency
InterContinental Exchange
Inspired Cycle Engineering
Am I getting warmer?

Amy said...

Amazing. A tuff suit is screaming one minute, and sharing his life story the next, and then serenading you. Holy smokes. Why on earth would you want a ... less weird.... life? Then what would you blog about?
You are the only person in the world who could have made Mr. Having A Bad Day, Full of His Own Importance your best friend!

Kim Lehnhoff said...

Great story! I'm glad Bob let you see his human side.

At the tax office this year, the receptionist told me I'm the "crazy magnet", since I seem to get all of the people taking or needing psych meds as my clients.

Judie said...

When we USED to drive down to Nogales, Sonora, Rod would always warn me to keep my mouth shut, and on the return back into Arizona, NOT to say, "Bueno!" to the guards at the border check point. They all look so humorless!
Only you, Jenny, could break the ice (no pun intended).

Susan said...

Luv it, you always bring a smile to my face.
Enjoy your day,

Auntie sezzzzzz... said...

Ya' won him over!~!!! :-))))

Hugs and ♥'s...
'Cause Valentine Day is coming!

Pat Tillett said...

I'm glad you were able to thaw him out, but it's hard to cut him any slack. I wonder how many people walk away after meeting him thinking what jerk he is?

Marlene said...

Just what in hell's name were you doing at the Dept. of Homeland Security, anyway? LOL!

Theresa said...

Girl, How did you get yourself in such a fix? What were you doing there? Questions, questions, questions:)

You can wiggle yourself into some of the strangest places, but at least the guard came around and you all made friends:)

Behave yourself out there! HUGS!

Just Add Walter said...

bahaha -- great story. "I thought you were trying to land a plane" made me laugh out loud!!

mub said...

Since you seem to get on with Homeland Security so well maybe you can fly with me and Martijn next time. They seem to think he's suspicious for some reason... although that's only when we fly through Houston so maybe we should just stop flying through Houston!

aimee said...

towanda! Righter of wrongs, Queen beyond compare! (evelyn couch, fried green tomatoes)

J said...

Jenny! Stop getting into trouble!

Anonymous said...

Jenny, you are so funny. I felt like I was there watching all of this going on. You did good bringing Bob down a few notches. I will remember to mention your name if I should ever have need to visit a Homeland Security Facility. Hugs

Stef said...

That is funny. I think he was hitting on you. I guess joking with him about landing a plane really turned him on to you. I would run away. Very far away. And fast!

Ames said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Cheryl D. said...

That's a bizarre story. It sounds kind of dream-like!

The Quintessential Magpie said...

Only you... or me! But the "Jennifer, Juniper" really was the corker.


Sheila :-)

Willoughby said...

Great story, Jenny! You have a talent for diffusing tense situations. I'm glad Bob turned out to be a nice guy.