I'll bail you out once I stop laughing

Friday, June 06, 2008

Poor Terrance.

My husband has notoriously bad luck when it comes to crossing borders, or boarding planes. He gets pulled out or over almost every time he travels alone. I am not sure if he gives off a certain shady vibe to the airport security, or border guards, but they eye him like he is certainly up to no good.

A couple of years ago, he was coming back from Detroit. He had dropped Emily off and was driving back through Canada to get home to New Hampshire. He was driving my car.

Now, it is no secret that I am a little lax when it comes to cleaning up. This includes the car. I mean, to carry all that stuff back in at the end of the day just seems like a bit much to me. And that Second cup bag...it's empty after all. And those nearly empty water bottles? And that couple pair of shoes? Plus you never know when a sleeping bag and tent in the trunk will come in handy. Not to mention that bag of bird seed back there. What if I am trapped in the woods and being threatened by rabid robins? That stuff could save my life.

Occasionally, I will "clean" up. This generally involves my finding a container that closes and stuffing all the odds and ends into it...and closing the lid. Voila! I did the same with all the spare change I had floating in the car. I had a little cigar box that I kept the change in - For both my own easy access and if someone was going to steal it from my car, I wanted them to have it all in one place and not go scrounging around breaking stuff.

When Terrance was pulled over at the Canadian border, the car was searched. He was personally at a loss as to explain the how and why of most of the contents of my trunk. So imagine his befuddlement when the angry border guards confronted him with a cigar box full of change and unlabeled pills that they pulled out of the trunk.

"What are the 12's? What are the 12's", they kept asking him.

He kept repeating, "This is my wife's car" to the border guards.

"These pills - the 12's. What are they?"

"I don't know. I don't know what she has in the car. I had no idea that the change box was in the trunk...."

He was kept for nearly 5 hours at the border being interrogated about the ominous handful of "12's" pills in the change box.

He was not allowed to call me, as I could have easily told him the origin of the "12's".

They were, of course, Walmart brand Ibuprofen. I 2 is printed on the pill. Ibuprofen, 200 mgs. They had fallen out of a bottle and been scooped up into the change box about a year and a half before hand. They had rolled around with the change all that time, becoming the ominous "12's" that caused the border security to launch a full fledged CSI investigation.

My laughter, once Terrance called me upon his release, may have been heard all the way into Canada from New Hampshire.

He did not find it so funny.

Last Year, he found that he was on the "No Fly" list, as he shares a similar name and birth date with a drug lord in Detroit.

More laughing on my part.

Yesterday, after seeing him off on his trip to New York, I get a phone call from him.

"You can't blog about this", were the FIRST words out of his mouth.

Oh. Come. On. You can't lead with that statement! Why not put a coconut cake in front of me and demand that I not touch it!

"All right", I agreed.

He drove to New York this time, as the time and expense of air travel far out weighed the time and expense of renting a car and driving. He expected the normal questions at the US Border.

"Why do you have a Canadian car?"
"Why do you have two addresses?"
"What do you mean you live in two places?"
"Why is the car in your wife's name?"
"Where is she?"

and he gets waved over to have the car searched. It is , for the record, a tiny Orange Hyundai.

They take out all of his luggage and begin to search.

The youngish border guard reaches in and pulls out....a pair of Emily's underwear. Little Girls underwear.

Terrance reports that the young man looked at him like he had just caught the head of Kiddie Porn Al Queda.

"What's this?", the border guard asks Terrance.

"They're my daughters - they must have gotten mixed in with my clothes...", Terrance replies nervously.

The border guard is not buying his story.

The border guard pulls out a second pair of Emily's underwear.

Terrance now reports that the man is staring at him with laser beam eyes.

Terrance tries to explain that the laundry is near where we keep the travel bags and often stuff falls into the travel bags. That his daughter is ten...and see, he has a picture of her in his wallet, and look at the travel documents - he is living in Canada with his wife AND daughter...

Another guard joins the search.

Terrance reports that the younger guard was continuing his "Eyes of Death" campaign..

No really - he is a DAD, Terrance explains. A DAD. He isn't a pervert, just a DAD who does laundry and sometimes gets her clothes mixed up in his clothes. Nothing sketchy here. Just a Dad...

The second guard searches Terrance's stuff. Looks at Terrance's documents and pictures of his daughter.

Reluctantly, they let Terrance go. Terrance reports that the younger border guard had clearly already tried, convicted and sentenced Terrance for crimes against children in his mind. He glared at him the whole time, and continued to do so as he drove away.

"It was so embarrassing...", Terrance says to me.

"But sweetie - you didn't do anything wrong - you're just a Dad who had a few of his daughters underwear mixed in with his stuff...."

"I know but GOD! Dawn - you should have seen this guy looking at me!"

"Sweetie - black dude with dreadlocks with a rented Canadian car in his wife's name, traveling alone from Montreal to New York....with two pairs of little girl underwear in his luggage? There are books being written about how you are a security risk RIGHT NOW. You are the reason for Homeland Security. All you needed was a Koran and some plant food in the trunk and I would have never seen you again. You were the most exciting thing to come across the border in weeks. You get to be that guys story about how he almost brought down the Pervie Terrorists."

"You're right."

"so,Can I blog about this? "

"I wish you wouldn't."

"You know I'm going to - this is far too good."

21 Baleful Regards:

Fraulein N said...

Hee! I completely sympathize with Terrance ... but he really couldn't expect you not to blog about this. That's why they MADE blogs; for stories like this.

Anonymous said...

The Mexican border patrol would have shook his hand and told him "ghuuud yob!" and sent him on his way.

Poor Terrence.


Karen Bodkin said...

Poor Terrance! I can't imagine how embarrassing that would be. I sympathize with him, totally. It's amazing to me how often men are looked at as pervs. Kinda sad, really. I blame Dateline and Stone Phillips. :P

Mitzi Green said...

if you had a son, they may have thought they'd pulled over michael jackson and let him go for autographs.

MarciaAnn said...

OMG I had to cover my mouth I started laughing so loudly. Poor Terrance and what a silly man to start the conversation with "you can't blog about this"! I'm glad he's okay and no "real" harm was done to anything but his ego.

La said...

LMFAO! I love it.

Next time he travels you should have him do an experiment; have him dress head to toe in traditional African garb (that many confuse with Islamic garments) or else head to toe black with a little beret a la The Black Panthers carrying something like The Miseducation of the Negro. I hypothesize that one of 2 things will happen... either he will be ignored completely...

Or he'll be full on tackled in the security line.

Either way, I am interested to know the outcome, lol.

Kikilia said...

The sad thing is your statement about never seeing him again is all too true with homeland security mania.

I hope he hides your daughter's underwear for the trip back so at least he won't be given the perv looks.

Anonymous said...

My partner has a Very Common Last Name. And there is another person with the exact same name as him, from the same town who has a questionable background.

Scariest moment of my life, when the INS agent in Long Beach said to him, "So, Mr. VeryCommonLastName, have you ever been arrested by us?"

We both got hauled into the Back Room and separated. I had to wait and when he came out I asked him if they at least used a rubber glove. :)

SUEB0B said...

Man, poor Terrance. I guess for him it is not just "driving while black" but maybe just "existing while Terrance"?

FishermansDaughter said...

If it's any consolation, tell Terrance he is NOT alone in the b.s. racial/pervie profiling - my last boyfriend looked like a thug (heavy browed, weight lifter) had a nearly impossible to understand accent (authentic cockney) and...wait for it...was born on 9/11. Made for some very interesting experiences in air travel.

Bobita said...

Rabid Robin...still laughing...

My irreverent, very dark, Arabian Knight-looking husband is targeted frequently, too. For the record, it does not help the situation when he (ALWAYS) starts accusing the custom officials of racial profiling. DOES NOT HELP. Especially when he shoots "don't fuck with me" looks in his "I was Bruce Lee in a former life" kind of way.

Yeah. Many, many hours lost...sitting in little rooms whilst "officials" determine our fate.

Sahar said...

Oh my god! That is so hilarious. Poor Terrence.

Unknown said...

This is one of the reasons I miss blogging to tell all of my husband's stories. My sister-in-law was taken to a little room at the airport and searched. She has strawberry blonde hair, a Georgia drawl, and is about the whitest white woman you've ever seen. She was also traveling with her 3 kids.

Anonymous said...

My poor son-in-law, He is really a good guy...mom

Anonymous said...

"Kiddie Porn Al Qaeda" is going to bring you all SORTS of interesting visitors!

Lisa said...

Oh that is SO FUNNY.I feel for your hubby but just the mental image your painted...

Whew. Had to take a deep breath from laughing so hard.

Anonymous said...

Terrance, dude. You need to start a blog. I know you don't like all these stories publicized, but you've got some awesome material!

(Though I love hearing it through Dawn's eyes... somehow I imagine it wouldn't have quite the same spin firsthand.) ;-)

=^. .^= said...

lmfao... that's all I've got. That was just TOO FUNNY.

Anonymous said...

LOL! I think that from now on, whenever I see one of my Walmart Ibuprofen's, I will think of you and your dh. Hilarious! Well, for us observers, anyway!

Jill said...

You made my day, I haven't laughed this hard in a while

Marinka said...

so, so funny! I new that nothing good could come from shopping at Walmart! And as soon as someone says "You can't blog about this." I think "hold up, let me get to the computer so that you can dictate it."

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