The last of my series on invading Canada. Hey, don’t blame me, it was that pesky clutch.
Part VI – A Border Valet with a Lot of Paperwork
As you can imagine, the license part of that equation was pretty simple. After a bit of digging in the dark (recall I had rolled past the customary border entry point and was stranded in the darkness of the Canadian night) I pulled my license out of my purse. My only hope was that Bob had left his registration in his glove box. I reached over and opened the glove box, only to find lots of surprises. I had never been to Michigan, nor had I driven a car there, so I had no clue as to what a Michigan registration actually looked like, not to mention it was dark and I didn’t know what he had in the glove box. I spotted a small “stash” of pot, luckily this stuff (in small quantities) is legal in Canada (just don’t try to smuggle any of those hazardous “record albums” but, got pot? Yes, come along, you can bring that across.) I started pulling out random odd slips of paper and tried to make light of the situation.
“Oh look, Bob’s got an overdue library book. I’ll be sure to tell him that next time I (thinks: bail him out of jail) speak with him again. He should know better than to keep War and Peace for more than two weeks.”
I had admitted to the guard that I was driving my friend Bob’s car and that he was, in fact, from Michigan, but I was running the risk of looking like I was up to no good, so I tried to be as upfront as I possibly could, without revealing I was headed straight for the Canadian jailhouse. I pulled out a few more papers, most of which were useless, until I finally found his registration, buried at the bottom of the glove box.
Me: “Here you go. Here’s the registration for the truck.”
Mountie (Looks at the registration): “Bob…isn’t he one of the chaps who got stopped here earlier with all those record albums?” (Stopping to point to the seat next to me): “What’s that on the seat next to you again?”
Me: “Oh, that’s um…that’s some money from the bank.” (Hoping he wasn’t referring to the pot. Wanting to kill Bob at this point.)
Mountie: “You have how much money in that envelope? You’re going to have to declare that. I’m going to need you to come in and fill out some paperwork. Can you drive up to the…” He started to point to the main customs house, then realized that, in fact, I couldn’t really drive “up to” anything-I didn’t know how to use the stick shift. “Ah, would you like me to drive Bob’s truck up to the parking lot for you so you can go in and fill out the paperwork?”
Me (thinking: Thank God!): “Yes. Yes, I’d like that very much, thank you.”
The Mountie ended up being very nice about the whole thing. He drove the truck up to the customs house, parked it, and even gave me a few pointers on how to get to the jail with the bail money, the customs forms, and the stick shift. Before I left to head up to the big house, he said to me, “the next time your friends get arrested on the other side of the border, be sure to tell them you need to borrow a car with an automatic transmission.”
“I’ll do that,” I told him as I plodded off into the Canadian night, “I’ll do that.”
I still don’t really know how to drive a stick shift but, I’m guessing, the next time I do it, it’ll somehow be easier than that.
Until next time…