A Funny Tefillin Story

I didn't spend a penny on my last trip to Canada and so I noted that on the customs form. The smiling agent stamps a big red word "Extest" onto my form and sends me around the corner where all the people with large suspicious boxes go. Ugh. A zillion overseas trips and today, winging my way back to my beloved, to get stuck in bureaucracy. 

"Oh," the agent says. "It just means you are number 100. We randomly check every one hundredth person to validate our existence to the US government, plus I'm in training."

He starts gently looking through the piles of handouts, books about Sinai, covenant, mitzvot and then starts on my stack of hats. "Did you list the value of this merchandise?"

"I didn't buy the hats in Canada." 

"You can't just carry stuff in and out to sell without declaring the value."

"They're not for sale. I wear them for religious reasons." Looking skeptical he continues the search.

He gets to my tallit and tephillin. Unwinding the tephillin he comments, "kinky. Tell me madam, you note your purpose in Canada was business, exactly what was your business in Canada?"

"I'm a rabbi, I came to teach a synagogue retreat in the mountains." (Uh, oh...wait til he gets to the spices in the Havdalah box.... agricultural goods?)

"May I see some form of professional identification please?" (Guess who gave away all her business cards on the retreat.)

"Kind sir, since you are in training and I am not aware there is anything illegal about carrying hats and leather across state lines, could I speak with your supervisor please?"

The supervisor comes over with a flock of trainees. He looks at the mountain of once carefully compacted stuff and then at me and then does a double take at the pile: 

"Do you know what that is?! Tephillin shouldn't be tossed around like that!" 

Needless to say it was smooth sailing there-after.