Around 2007, I was living in Waterloo, Ontario and drove down to MIT (in Boston) to see my brother give a talk there.
I get to the border at Niagara Falls, and the US border guard asks me some questions through the window of my car. He then tells me to open my trunk. Fine, I open my trunk. And what does he find?
You know, the thing you use to make the toilet go back to normal.
So now he thinks he’s on to something. He carries the plunger up by my car window and asks me why I have one in my trunk. (Seriously? What could I do with a plunger? Plunge somebody?)
What could I say?
“One can never be too-well prepared.”
Or how about, “Do you want it?”
Or maybe, “It’s a toilet plunger, but it’s often confused with the plunger that Wile E. Coyote pushes to blow up dynamite near the Road Runner. I’m not sure why.”
But I wanted to see my brother’s presentation. So I just kept a straight face and said I got it when I lived by myself in Indiana, but when I moved to Waterloo, my new roommate already had a plunger so I just left mine in the trunk of my car.
He let me go.
I even got to keep the plunger.