OPINION: There is a substantial value on time too

Sitting in the Point Roberts border line-up – 30 minutes from start to 'have a nice day' – it was obvious there was a quicker way...

Sitting in the Point Roberts border line-up – 30 minutes from start to “have a nice day” – it was obvious there was a quicker way. As we sat in one lane, cars streamed by in the other, hastened by the advantage of having a Nexus pass.

“We should get one,” said my partner in transit. “Make things much quicker.”

I pointed out that in the past 12 years this was only my third time crossing the line.

Based on that, the time to apply for, get interviewed for, and pay for, a Nexus pass would seem to be a little impractical. Especially since my previous two ventures south took far less than 10 minutes in total to clear the border, and that I wasn’t anticipating any great need to increase my crossing occasions.

“But,” she pointed out as we inched our way towards the wedding anniversary party and new beach house debut “now three couples we know have beach houses just across the border (and my son and family have a cabin at Mt. Baker) maybe we want to cross more often.”

So, as we crept towards foreign soil I watched what was happening in the lane adjacent, and noted that when the cars got to the check-in booth, they didn’t go through any quicker than those in my line.

The difference was, there were vastly far few vehicles that had Nexus clearance, and so they did not encounter the lengthy waits the rest of us plebeians suffered.

Since time is money, or at least opportunities lost to do something else, I figured why not?

Better to spend 30 minutes on anything other than sitting in a car, the motor idling, coming up with thoughts of what I could have done with that time.

Perhaps I’ll even renew my interest in zipping down to Bellingham to buy stuff I don’t need.

Additionally, I’ve even been told (unconfirmed I must note) that a Nexus holder can bring back two bottles of wine, without penalty, on each trip.

If cheap wine isn’t an incentive, well ….

Then again, those of you who cross the border on a regular basis know all of that, and more.

But despite the convenience of a quicker crossing that Nexus would bring, if I get around to receiving a pass, the time thing still overrides what I see as cost savings from shopping in the U.S.

I suppose if you have nothing else to do, then a few hours in Bellingham can be worthwhile. On the other hand, and not that I’m that great a homer, every nickel (since we don’t have pennies any more) spent in the U.S. is a nickel not going into our economy.

Yet with ever-increasing taxes and ridiculously high gasoline prices on this side of the line, can I really blame budget-conscious people living only a few miles from economic opportunity for not taking advantage?

All that said, and to avoid what I expect will be unrelenting badgering until I do, I will be applying for a Nexus pass.

Beware, folks with beach houses, I like my martinis shaken not stirred, and if you offer too many you’ll also be providing a bedroom for the night.

Drinking/driving laws in the U.S. are as bad as, or worse than, ours!

 

markrushton@abbynews.com