Border Services

(The America Canada Border Crossing at Blue Water Bridge. I drive the car into a booth. The BORDER AGENT is an Aryan Archetype with a mole that accentuates his perfection. He has progressed beyond politeness and is exempt from eye contact.)

BORDER AGENT: Why are you visiting Canada?

ME(A schoolboy happy to know the answer): To see a friend.

BORDER A.: What’s this friend’s name?

ME: Brant. (Pause. Amiably American) I don’t know how to pronounce his last name.

BORDER A.: How did you meet this friend?

ME: Through couchsurfing.

BORDER A.(Disgusted with humanity): Through what?

ME: Couchsurfing? It’s an online network of travelers who stay with one another when they travel. (Does this sound suspicious?)

BORDER A.(This sounds suspicious): Have you ever met this person before?

ME: Yes. (That is a lie! I just lied!)

BORDER A.(Resembling a Doberman Pinscher): When?

ME: A year ago. (I lied AGAIN!)

BORDER A.: Where?

ME: In the states. (I LIED AGAIN!)

BORDER A.: Where in the states?

ME: In Milwaukee. (I can’t stop pulling lies out of my mouth! I’m like a magician with a colored scarf!)

BORDER A.(With deeply internalized rage): Take this paperwork and pull under that blue canopy.

ME(If I don’t take the paperwork do I have to pull under the blue canopy? Taking the paperwork): All right.

(I pull under the blue canopy and promise the car that nothing is wrong, but it can feel my sweaty palms on its steering wheel; it begins to panic. BORDER AGENT 2 and 3 arrive; 2 searches the car and 3 asks all the same questions, adding a few of his own.)

BORDER AGENT 3: Step out of the car please. (I do.) Is this your car?

ME: No, it’s my mom’s.

BORDER A. 3: Does she know you have it?

ME(No. I told her we were going to the zoo, but instead I stopped at a street corner, snatched her purse and kicked her out. She’s probably wandering around offering her wedding ring to strangers for a ride): Yes.

BORDER A. 3: Do you have your own car?

ME(I also have my own middle finger. Would you like to see it?): Yes.

BORDER A. 3: Who has your car?

ME: My mom.

BORDER A.3: So you switched cars.

ME(And we switched minds. I’m her right now.): Yes.

BORDER A. 3: How long is your stay in Canada?

ME(You tell me.): Until this Monday.

BORDER A. 3: When do you go back to work?

ME: Tuesday.

BORDER A. 3: Which Tuesday?

ME: This Tuesday.

BORDER A. 3: Well it comes every week. (Huffy and handing me paperwork) Take this to the inside office.

ME(Are you sure I shouldn’t shoot myself first?): All right.

(I enter the office and walk towards the roped line when I am interrupted by BORDER AGENT 4.)

BORDER AGENT 4: Just come up here.

ME(But I love roped lines. Ever since I was a kid.): All right. (I hand him the paperwork. He asks all the same questions and adds a few of his own.)

BORDER A. 4: How much money do you have?

ME: $9 in quarters.

BORDER A. 4(Laurence Olivier doing Shakespeare): $100 IN QUARTERS?

ME(Disoriented): No, $9?

BORDER A. 4(Disappointed): Oh. (Victorious) How are you going to pay for anything?

ME: I have a debit card.

BORDER A. 4: Oh.

ME: Yeah.

BORDER A. 4: Do you live with your parents?

ME: No.

BORDER A. 4: Who do you live with?

ME: My roommate.

BORDER A. 4: Oh. (Handing me the paperwork.) Take this to the agent outside.

(I exit the office and hand the paperwork to BORDER AGENT 3.)

BORDER A. 3: Thanks. Welcome to Canada.

7 thoughts on “Border Services

  1. So, right now, am I sitting next to you with your mother’s mind still inside, or did you switch back when you returned her car?

    🙂 Loved it.

  2. As a kid, I too enjoyed roped lines. I thought it was a maze someone made for me. They got less fun as I grew older and had to wait in them. Still…

    From your post, it sounds like they did not find the microfilm, so the rendezvous is still on as planned I assume? By the way this is the correct way to send private messages on here, right?

  3. Bwa ha ha ha ha. I almost died at (Laurence Olivier doing Shakespeare). Seriously. It was darn funny hearing this conversation over the phone while you were there, but reliving it here was exquisite. Thank you, thank you. Loved it. (And I loved the personification of your [ahem, mother’s] car.)

    You should write a book of one acts, and put this in it. But I think it needs four people — two for the stage directions. :>

  4. I love that I can hear your voice as I read your lines in this escapade. 🙂 I hope you enjoyed your stay in Canada, but not enough to be compelled to move there 😉

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