Same trip, 5 weeks later. I'm driving from El Paso, Texas up towards Odessa-Midland. I'm in Texas, again, fairly solidly. Mexico is about 100 miles, 120 miles away. Again, another tollbooth-style roadblock. This time, it's a US Border Patrol station. My car is now full of California swag, LA headshots, mix cds, photography equipment, and the cat who bathes in the River Sytx. The border patrol agent is flanked by several other agents, one of whom is carrying a German Shepard and another with a hand-cannon.
The first agent asks me if I have picked up or encountered any illegals on my journey. Hearing him clearly, I say "No sir." My Maryland tags on the Iowa car plainly identify me as a flag-wavin' American, and I figure this will be quick. The agent with the German Shepard is allowing the dog to smell my car. Beazulkitty then decides that this is the perfect time to pop out of the back seat and look at the dog. The canine goes APESH!T, barking his huevos off, deciding that a cat is infinitely more interesting than a box truck full of Dominicans. Squeaky the Cat, having grown up around large dogs, is not scared of the dog, and swipes at him (but, being in the car with windows up, it wasn't an effective attack). The Border Partol agent with the hand cannon orders me to get out of the car NOW!! The other agent, not seeing the cat, opens the door, forces me out, which causes Cujo's maladjusted cousin to leap into my seat, trying to carpe feline.
Squeaky simply ducks under the seat into his cat-sized hiding space, and the dog and agents go rummaging through my car, with me waving and screaming "You're dog's going to eat my cat!" The agent with the dog yanks the canine out of my car, and -with guns drawn- search my 2000 Ford Focus sedan for any sign of Hispanic folks. The worst thing they find is a white cat scared sh!tless, my stinky clothes from living on the road for two months, and, as the only sign of any contact with Mexico, a half-finished bottle of tequila (which, seriously, was not mine, officer - I'd have FINISHED that son-of-a-gun). When they decide that my 4 door car with less trunk room than a Porsche Boxster is not being used as a tool to ferry migrant farm workers across the Rio Grande, they apologized for the dog/cat incident. No problem, I reply, but, anger and fright has been replaced by curiosity - why do you guys have a Border Patrol station 120 miles AWAY from the border? Y'all ain't called the Two-Hours-Inland Patrol."
Dude with hand-cannons' reply "We've given up on that part."
Moral of the story, kids - stay in school. Eat your vegetables. Don't drown your food.