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."
"so,Can I blog about this? "
"I wish you wouldn't."
"You know I'm going to - this is far too good."