No-nos at the border
The Rail discovered over the weekend that Border Patrol guards are a tough crowd. They joke around about as much as the deposed Taliban leadership. Well, maybe a little less. Based on its real-life experience, here are a few things you'd be bette...
The Rail discovered over the weekend that Border Patrol guards are a tough crowd.
They joke around about as much as the deposed Taliban leadership. Well, maybe a little less.
Based on its real-life experience, here are a few things you'd be better off not saying as you try to return to the United States at the Pembina crossing:
- (While looking for proper documentation) Hey, man, don't have a mad cow.
- Can you pick up Al-Jazeera in North Dakota?
- It's really just a bad cold. Really. It's neither severe nor acute, and it doesn't have anything to do with my respiratory system.
- Actually, my name is Ben Laden.
- No, I don't have any prescription medications with me. Do you want to know about the recreational stuff?
- You're not going to look in the trunk, are you?
- How many miles is it to Mexico?
Consider yourself forewarned.
Founding father is hot
Who's the hottest man in American government? If you said founding father Benjamin Franklin, you'd be right.
Franklin, who never served as president and died 213 years ago, is on the cover of Time magazine and is the subject of a new biography, "An American Life," by Walter Isaacson.
For those who don't want to wade through that tome to find out the more esoteric and interesting stuff about Franklin, here it is served up on a silver platter:
- Franklin published a "drinker's dictionary" of about 250 synonyms for being inebriated. Try "halfway to Concord" the next time it is appropriate.
- Franklin was the Mark Spitz of his day. He was offered funding to start his own swim school.
- He orchestrated the first recorded abortion debate in American history because he knew it would sell newspapers.
- Young pressmen in London referred to Franklin as the "water American" due to his continual efforts to persuade them that hot-water gruel with bread was a more nourishing meal than beer.
- Franklin indulged in hourlong "air baths," in which he would open the windows of his room and sit naked.
Source: Esquire magazine
To contact The Rail, send an e-mail to features editor Dean Rhodes at firstname.lastname@example.org and he'll forward those that he thinks will not hurt The Rail's feelings.
Today's best bets
Bluegrass & Glass, 10 a.m. to 8:30 p.m., event includes glass-blowing demonstrations and music by the North Irish Territorial Army Band at 2 and 3 p.m. and Brennen Leigh at 7 p.m.
Rheault Farm, Fargo