25 January 2006

Run Away!

One of the better scenes in cinematic history is in "Monty Python and the Holy Grail" where Arthur, Galahad and the whole gang have to face the rabbit of Caerbannog. In the scene a wise man tells the knights to beware this rabbit, but they only see it as a rabbit, and only after much blood is shed do they realize they are beaten. Their last act is to run away.

Compare that foul-tempered rodent to this from Globe & Mail:

Blaine, Wash. - American authorities closed the border crossing to British Columbia on Tuesday after an exchange of gunfire on the U.S. side between border guards, police and two murder suspects from California who were eventually apprehended.

An unspecified number of Canadian border agents, who are unarmed, left their posts during the incident because they were concerned about their safety.

"A few officers exercised their right to refuse to work because of what they perceived as imminent danger," (Canada Border Services Agency spokeswoman Paula) Shore said in a telephone interview. Under the labour code, "any worker has the right to refuse to work if they feel they are in imminent danger." The Canadian Department of Human Resources came and assessed the situation for us," she said.

Thank God the human resources-types were quickly deployed. I can't imagine the level of humiliation that comes from soiling one's self in front of coworkers in a professional situation. So you got civil servants, in it for the pension, armed only with the "right to refuse to work;" now that's what I want at an international border in 2006. When I go customs this June, I'll try to remember not to let the word "boo" slip out.

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