WILSON: Good fences make great neighbors

Published 7:00 am Saturday, February 27, 2021

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alter Rego is a Master Wall Builder, specializing in International Perimeter Enhancement Technology. Recently, this reporter had the opportunity to sit down with Mr. Rego and learn about his newest project.

Interviewer: Mr. Rego, thank you for agreeing to meet with me, today.

Walter Rego: Always happy to meet with members of the Fourth Estate, Mr. Pulitzer. Your prizes are even better than the ones at Publishers Clearinghouse.

Interviewer: I’m not Joseph Pulitzer. (I thought, in the interest of full transparency, I should clarify this fact with Mr. Rego)

Walter Rego: That’s okay – neither am I. I suppose you want to know how I became a Master Wall Builder.

Interviewer: Yes (I stammered). How did you become a Master Wall Builder? (I was not accustomed to having my interview questions asked for me).

Walter Rego: Good question, Joe. You should do this for a living. I didn’t start out as a Master Wall Builder. Originally, I was a Master Bridge Builder, specializing in international linkage – like the Ambassador Bridge between Detroit and Windsor. Unfortunately, these days, that market has been a little slow – not too many countries trying to expand their border crossing capabilities. I needed to eat, so I decide to get into border walls. I think the industry is trending positive.

Interviewer: You are planning on building the wall along the Mexican border?

Walter Rego: Oh, heavens no! That is way too complicated, with far too much political push-back. My plan is to build a wall along the Canadian border and have our northern neighbors pay for it. Ask me why the Canadians would want to pay for a wall.

Interviewer: Ummm…yes. Why would the Canadian government want to fund a nearly four-thousand-mile wall?

Walter Rego: Oh, the Canadian government won’t be funding the wall, and it won’t be along the entire border. Image is everything – it just has to look big. I’m going to build the thing about a mile long and have both ends disappear into a stand of maple trees. Did you know Canadians like maple trees? You are probably confused about who is going to pay for the wall, aren’t you?

Interviewer: Ummmm (at this point, Mr. Rego seemed to be asking all the questions).

Walter Rego: In order for a wall to have any value, it has to have a gate. Otherwise, it’s just something for dogs to pee on. I’m going to build a big, beautiful gate that Canadian tourists will eagerly pay good money to pass through. Now, you are probably wondering why they would pay to enter my gate when there are 119 other places to cross into the U.S. from Canada.

Interviewer: Ummm. Yeah. Sure. Why?

Walter Rego: Souvenirs.

Interviewer: Souvenirs?

Walter Rego: Good job keeping up. Souvenir shops, fudge shops, and maybe some “olde tyme” photography studios where Canadians celebrating Victoria Day can get pictures taken while wearing iconic western wear, complete with cowboy boots and hats. I’m envisioning a chain of mom-and-pop restaurants selling hot dogs and apply pie, helicopter rides right up to Teddy Roosevelt’s nostrils, and the sides of barns painted with slogans like “See America First — Before the Prices Go Up.” Why don’t you ask me where I intend to build the gate?

Interviewer: (By this time, I had given up on following my own notes) Where?

Walter Rego: Fortuna, North Dakota.  “Why Fortuna?” You may ask.

Interviewer: Okay. I’ll bite. Why Fortuna, North Dakota?

Walter Rego: From Fortuna, there’s about 400 miles of road between the border and Mount Rushmore. I’ll line the roadway with hotels, restaurants, go-cart rides, and maybe some country music venues like they have in Branson, Missouri. Good Canadians will drive down, see the four big heads, say something like, “Well, that was nice,” and then head back home – wearing T-shirts with slogans like “I Got Rocked at Rushmore,” and stopping to pick up the one thing they don’t have in Canada.

Interviewer: What is that?

Walter Rego: Canadian bacon.