There are some who call me...Tim

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2006-08-02 —

Canada 2006 Part 1

So at the end of June, I went back to Canada for the annual fishing trip. This trip was extra special this year, because I was taking a little extra time to visit some friends in Calgary, Alberta. Actually, I had never met any of them, but I knew them through the Internet, as we all post on various skeptical forums like: The James Randi Educational Foundation (JREF Forum) and the Skepchick forum.

I was up early on a Thursday morning to catch my 6am flight. Everything went smoothly with my connection in Salt Lick City also, and I arrived in Calgary at about 11:30am. Things got a little weird at this point. I stepped up with my passport to the Immigration desk, and was almost immediately looked at suspiciously. I was dressed in a t-shirt, brown Carhartt pants, boots, and a ball cap. I had about 3-4 weeks of beard (homegrown sunblock) and really short hair.

The Immigration officer, still looking at me askance, starts asking me questions:

“So, what brings ya to Canada?”

“A fishing trip.”

“Oh yah? Where ya headed?”

“Ultimately up to the Northwest Territories via Saskatoon.”

“Ya traveling alone?”

“Well, just today. I’m staying overnight here in Calgary to hang out with some friends, then I’m meeting everyone else tomorrow.”

“Plan on working while you’re here?”

“No, I’m going fishing”.

“You’re not sellin’ anything, eh?”

“No, I’m just going fishing. This’ll be the 6th trip to this lake.”

“Oh yah, eh? You have to go into that room over there *points behind her* they need to talk to ya.”

*WTF?*

“OK.”

So I go in there, and it looks like a prison visiting room; elevated counter with high glass partitions between spaces, etc. After waiting for a few minutes, I get to the counter, hand the guy my passport and the questions started again.

“So, what brings ya to Canada?”

“A fishing trip.”

“Oh yah? Where ya headed?”

“Up to the Northwest Territories via Saskatoon.”

“Ya traveling alone?”

“Just today. I’m staying overnight here in Calgary to hang out with some friends, then I’m meeting my other 5 fishing buddies tomorrow back here at the airport.”

“Plan on working while you’re here?”

“No, I’m going fishing.”

“You’re not sellin’ anything, eh?”

“No. I’m on vacation.”

“So, Ya got a criminal record?”

*WHAT THE FUCK IS GOING ON? screams the voice in my head. *

“Well, no. Not really. I was arrested 8 years ago for DUI, but I got a reduced sentence.”

“Yah, that’s showing up here on your record.” (he gave me the exact date)

“OK.”

“What this means is that you’re criminally inadmissible to Canada.”

*At first, it’s totally unreal. This cannot be happening to me. Am I getting’ punk’d? Where’s Allen Funt?*

“What are you talking about? I’ve been here 4 other times since that happened.”

“Well this time you got randomly picked for a background search, and with this on your record, you’re criminally inadmissible.”

“OK.”

* Now what the hell do I do? I’m here to visit with friends and go fishing not rent a car, get drunk, then go on a killing spree!*

“Since this is just a DUI though, I can issue you a temporary permit.”

*clarity starts to set in as I feel an all-too familiar tingle of anticipation in my backside*

“MmmHmm. And I suppose there’s a fee for this permit?”

“Yah, 200 dollars.”

“WHAT!”

“200 Canadian, or you can go home.”

“Well since you put it that way, what credit cards do you like?”

So I got a fancy permit stapled into my passport, complete with my photo on it. With the exchange rate, it cost me $185 in USD. Just. To. Get. Into. The. Fucking. Country.

So I found my stuff, got the whole nice search in Customs, then took a cab to the hotel.

Stay tuned for part 2…

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Want to comment? Speak up! 2 Quips to Date


LIz - 2006-08-09 09:03:35
Wow!! What a story. Unbelievable. Maybe you should shave the beard..hehehehe.
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Al - 2006-08-09 10:40:28
A Canadian cornholing. Yum.
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