Mexico Border Wait
Next article in the series "Irreverent and Irrelevant"
Wednesday, November 13, 2019
by: David Osborn

Section: News Roundup




I recently spent a weekend in Mexico which was great. The food, the people, the places were all great. The one thing that makes a trip into Mexico almost unbearable, though, is the line to pass through the San Ysidro Border Crossing upon your return. We were allowing for a long wait – perhaps two hours – and planned accordingly. However, we were NOT ready for – I am not kidding - a 4 hour and 45 minute wait. This was one of the most unbearable events I’ve ever experienced in my life as vendor after vendor enticed us to buy their bags of chips, bottled water, plaster bulls, beach towels, sombreros… the list goes on and on.

Thinking that there must be a better product or service to pitch while millions of Gringos became a captive audience in line at the border crossing, I came up with a list of five absolutely splendid ideas for street vendors to up their game, provide valuable services, and relieve the tension of drivers and passengers who become prisoners in their own vehicles. In ascending order, I propose the following services for Mexican street vendors to consider:
  • Mobile tax preparers. I don’t know about you, but I spend several hours with my tax accountant each year as we go through the miserable process of doing my 1040. If I have to be miserable for over 4 hours waiting in line, I might as well extend my misery and get my taxes done while I wait. A rolling desk and chair would allow this entrepreneur to roll right along with your creeping vehicle as he questions you about possible tax write-offs and you present all of last year’s receipts. And, no, your recent purchase of a plaster bull is not a tax deduction.
  • Mobile masseuse. Would you rather be immobile sitting in a hot car, or immobile on a rolling massage bed as Señorita Frida works her wonders on your aching back, neck, arms and legs? Not recommended for single occupants.
  • Rolling outhouse. (This one was my wife’s idea. She is very practical.) During my 4+ hour time waiting in purgatory, I saw countless people (mostly ladies) frantically searching for a place to relieve themselves after having downed six bottles of water that they had recently been talked into buying. I can only imagine the lines that would form for this very popular service. What desperate person would quibble about laying down $1 or $2 or more to relieve themselves? It could easily grow into a terrific franchise opportunity.
  • Oral hygienist. All this would take would be a rolling dental chair and battery-operated whirly-brushy thing. Heck, being outside, the hygienist probably wouldn’t even need to use one of those bright-as-the-sun lights as she cleans your teeth. The only tricky part would be the downhills after going over one of those bridges. You wouldn’t want to be captive in a runaway rolling hygienist chair. Dental floss additional.

And my favorite…
  • Mobile colonoscopy. As I was fully sedated while I had this procedure performed a few years ago, I can’t vouch for the decency of this but, hey, we’re talking time-saving practicality here. Those of us males over 55ish no doubt can appreciate getting this necessary periodic exam out of the way and what better way to kill two birds with one stone?! Of course there would be a privacy curtain pulled around the exam table while the procedure is being done. Just hope that a sudden breeze doesn’t come along…