Friday, 17 December 2010

AN UNFORGETTABLE SUPPER IN LAREDO.

In many ways, America is a remarkable nation. The chief reason being that its constitution limits government's powers while respecting the individual. Because of this, it has been called the land of opportunity by many people. Its history abounds with stories of immigrants making their fortunes after arriving with next to nothing.

This greatness, which has allowed the nation to become the world's major super power, has also created an ingrained attitude of national haughtiness in its citizens. As a result, Americans are generally ignorant of their next door neighbour and best trading partner: Canada.

While on the way to a short term missions assignment to the Mexican city of Saltillo in December of 1977, my three friends and I had a disturbing encounter with a certain restaurant manager. From my upcoming How I Was Razed memoir, here is what happened.

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After forty-eight hours on the road, we checked into a motel in Laredo and then ate a late supper at an upscale hotel's restaurant. As we finished our meal, Jay said, "I'll pay for this. It's my treat." As we stood waiting by the till, he pulled a Canadian twenty from his wallet and handed it to the cashier.

She gawked at the bill and asked, "What sort of money is this? I'm not sure we can take foreign currency." While Jay explained that it was legal Canadian tender, a heavy-set middle-aged man, wearing a white dress shirt and black pants,brushed past and almost bowled me over.

"What's going on here?" he glared at Jay. "What's this thing supposed to be, a traveller's cheque? What are you trying to pull anyway?"

"This is a Canadian twenty dollar bill. It's legal tender," he said in a calm voice.

"I don't believe you. Don't you have some real money or traveller's cheques?"

"I was hoping to pay for my friends' dinners with this Canadian twenty."

"Oh yeah? You either pay with American money or traveller's cheques. Otherwise, I'll call the cops."

Jay turned to us and said, "I guess you'll have to pay your own bills. I'm really sorry about this." Reluctantly, we produced our cheques and signed them.

Once we stepped outside, Jay confided, "I was tempted to sign the bill and walk out." We burst out laughing at the mental picture of this naive American restaurant manager at a bank, trying to cash in what he assumed was a traveller's cheque.
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How I Was Razed is the testimony of the way I was mislead by a cult church, how I turned my back on God after I felt he perennially failed to heal my eyes, and how he graciously brought me to my senses.

My previous books, When a Man Loves a Rabbit (Learning and Living With Bunnies) and Deliverance From Jericho (Six Years in a Blind School), are now available online by clicking here or by clicking here to e-mail me directly.