Border Agent Smarts

“So, you allege that the vaccination certificate you uploaded to our app is yours?” a Canadian border agent asked my sister.

“It is mine,” she said. “See, it has my name and all the information.”

“Yeah? Then how do you explain the fact that the person holding the certificate in this picture has green fingernails while yours are blue?” asked the agent triumphantly. “We are trained to notice such things, you know.”

The poor schmuck must think that women are born with colorful fingernails that stay that way forever.

13 thoughts on “Border Agent Smarts

  1. Your sister should have told the idiot that he was colorblind and doesn’t know it (1 in 12 men are), and that the two close colors are actually the same.


    1. Not just that, but many digital cameras automatically color-correct certain shades, green most notably, but it’s also why you can’t ever take a photo of that crazy pink color in a sunset– the camera corrects it to orange. We found that it was impossible to capture the color of Viet police/military uniforms (an unnatural bright olive green) in photos. She could have had the same nail polish in both, and not had it look the same.


      1. Very true. Capturing colors correctly in photographs has always been a problem. Back when color analog snapshot camera film first came on the market in the 1950’s, Kodak sold “outdoor” and “indoor” film for recommended use either in natural sunlight or indoors in artificial room lighting. If you used the wrong film, the colors were definitely unnatural — overall too bright (reddish) or too dull (bluish).

        Ironically, the problem is sometimes worse today because of the auto-color-correcting features in modern digital cameras.


  2. “asked the agent triumphantly”

    Back in the 1980s I heard stories of East German or Soviet border guards being very suspicious about facial hair on men.
    If a passport picture was clean shaven and the person had facial hair they might have to shave it off before being allowed past.
    In the reverse case, the person might not be let in at all.

    I really, never imagined Canada would look at that and say “YES! That is what we need here and now!”

    Liked by 1 person

    1. “very proud”

      And no wonder. His finely tuned powers of finger nail colour observation were, by his own account, highly “trained.” Not much can get past him because “Border services officers keep Canadians safe/Les agents des services frontaliers protègent les Canadiens” from sketchy foreign nail polish.

      And so, to borrow freely from Gilbert and Sullivan, he is the very model of a modern Canada Border Services Agent/Agent des services frontaliers du Canada (from coast to coast to coast).

      Liked by 2 people

        1. “It took everything in me not to make a snarky comment…”

          Always a wise choice to just say no to snark at an international frontier.

          Canadian agents may be bilingual enough to interrogate with linguistic dexterity returning citizens about their choice of nail colours in either official language but only rarely has their ‘training’ resulted in the mastery of irony or snark.


        1. “Let’s hoist the flags and salute the heroes”

          …and maybe haul down a statue of Sir John A. Macdonald or two.

          (Ah, the True North strong and free…)

          Liked by 1 person

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