The smuggler

During the Cold War many years ago, a young man would ride his bicycle every day from Italy up to the check-point at the Yugoslav border where he would be questioned by the uniformed border-guard.

“Where are you going today, Capitalist Scumbag?” asked the guard.

“To visit my mother, Sir.”

“Step inside. You will be searched” ordered the guard.

The young man was thoroughly searched and released, but the guard remained suspicious.

This routine was repeated every day for several years but the border guard, still convinced that the man was a smuggler, could find nothing.

Eventually, with the end of the Cold War, the border was opened and the young man would occasionally stop in a tavern on the Yugoslav side.

One afternoon, as he sat at the bar, the old border-guard came over and sat down beside him.

“The War is over now”, said the guard “and I am retired, but I still have nightmares about you. You really were a smuggler, weren’t you.”

“Yes, of course” replied the young man.

“But what were you smuggling?”

The young man swallowed a mouthful of beer and smiled. “Bicycles” he replied.

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