It's Not Easy Being an Alien

When our spaceship landed I walked off with some trepidation... OK, so we're not talking about THAT kind of Alien but what the U.S. Immigration Department refers to as "non-US citizens." In my case, Canadian.

On debarkation day I can hear you all swearing at me under your breath when you've heard my name on the public address system for the seventh time. Simply, this is the only way I can get back at the cruise lines for the way they treat us aliens. And of course there's the demented power of being able to hold and entire ship hostage without using a weapon -- the ship isn't cleared by U.S. immigration until we're all processed.

But the story really starts on Embarkation day. Some cruise lines even have a special section with a big sign; "Aliens Register Here". First thing I do is run to find a mirror to see if my green skin is showing through my human make-up.

They start us off by insisting we turn over our passports. What are they doing with these? Do they think that if they don't confiscate my passport I'm not going to be getting off the ship? Alhtough I may look as if I've stowed away in a galley for too long; even I couldn't stay there forever. And what use would a passport be there. Even with a nice cream sauce I can't imagine it tasting that good.

I wonder what would happen if one of us aliens never returned for his or her passport. Would the cruise line put out an all points bulletin at every port call the ship made? Would they comb the seas to see if the person was swimming back? Would the ship become a permanent displaced persons camp just because no one was allowed off until this passenger cleared customs?

So they've shown they don't trust me by taking away my passport when I get on, and then as pre debarkation depression begins to set in, they slip a note under my door telling me I have to be in the "whatever lounge" at 6 A.M to report to Customs & Immigration. The rest of you are still snoring away and we aliens have to report in for the official "your vacation is over, get off the ship" treatment.

The next time you hear one of us being paged to come to customs, you'll know it's just our simple way of protesting being told to get out of bed while the entire ship is still asleep. I know I'd be much more amiable to deal with if the customs officers came to my cabin with coffee and croissants and returned my passport..... and around 9 A.M. would be just perfect.

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