Orthodox man: Tefilin?
Orthodox man: Are you Jewish?
Me: Yes, but this is not my custom.
Orthodox man: Oh. You are a girl.
First thought: I can't believe an Orthodox man is suggesting I put on tefilin. Second thought: My hair is short, but come on. Third thought: If only egalitarianism and religious pluralism could be solved by short haircuts for all...
Officer O'Gara: Where are you coming from?
Officer O'Gara: You just put a one on this form. One is a number. You have to write Israel.
Me: It's an "I." I must have gotten distracted and not finished the word.
Officer O'Gara: I know you people think Israel is number one, but you have to write the name of the country.
First thought: Mustn't argue. Don't want to be detained, especially not with all the Arabic books in my suitcase and backpack. Second thought: Really? I've been awake for going on thirty hours, the last twelve of which were spent in a flying sardine tin of doom and the twelve-plus before that were spent giving a very dense paper on medieval philosophy and attempting to impress colleagues in I've lost track of how many languages, and your mind runs first to the old Jews-are-a-fifth-column-in-America canard? Next time, a "welcome home" would suffice.