John: The Federale wants to search the RV. I have to go with him.
Shelley: Don’t talk unless he asks you a question. Don’t offer information. And don’t make him mad. He’s holding a machine gun with his finger on the trigger.
John: Relax. I know what to say.
Shelley: Maybe we should practice first. Just in case.
John: I’ll be fine. Be right back.
Shelley: (Calls out to John’s retreating back) It’s just that we almost didn’t make it across the Canada USA border in September because you shared way too much information.
Back in September at the Canada USA Border Crossing…
Shelley: Be brief. Don’t feel the need to embelish. Got it?
John: Got it. Here we go.
Custom’s Officer: How long will you be out of Canada?
John: Seven months, six of those will be in the US and one in Mexico. That’s because we can’t stay longer than six months in a calendar year in the US. Actually that’s as far as the US Taxation Department is concerned. As for the US Immigration, the six months starts when I cross the border. As you very well know.
Shelley: (Whispers) What are you doing?
John: Just wanted to be as clear as possible because you have the right to deny us entry into the States, to turn us around right here and now, to make us stay in Canada for the winter.
Shelley: (Whispers) Stop talking.
John: I just want to clarify. Be up front. Don’t want any trouble. No sir.
Shelley: (Whispers) Please stop.
Custom’s Officer: Do you own a house in Canada?
John: Actually two but we’re in the process of selling them.
Shelley: (No longer whispering, muttering) Oh for the love of God.
Custom’s Officer: Let me get this straight. You’re selling both your houses and heading to the US?
Custom’s Officer: So you won’t have a home to return to?
John: Technically yes but in reality no because we priced our duplex so high, no one will buy it. In fact, I’m predicting we’ll still own it by the time we return to Canada.
Custom’s Officer: (Stares into space wondering if these two Canadians are planning on staying in the US forever.)
Shelley: (Normal voice) Enough!!! Not another word.
John: Also I…
Finally after five of the longest
years, months, hours, minutes later,
Custom’s Officer:……………………………… Enjoy your trip.
Back to Present Day, Tuesday Dec.16, 2014, Federales Checkpoint on Highway #5, Mexico…
John: We’re cleared. Shelley, you’d be proud of me. The entire time he searched the RV I never spoke until he asked me where I was from. When I said “Canada,” he pointed to his chest and said, “I’m from Mexico.” Next thing you know, he started singing, “Macho Macho Man.”
Shelley: I’m having a hard time picturing a machine gun toting Federale singing “Macho Man.” Maybe we should get going before his mood changes.
John: Agreed. Hang on. (Winds down his window) Gracias. Feliz Navidad. Adios amigo! Dos Corona por favor. Heh! Heh! Heh!
Shelley: Oh boy.
Shelley and John, your volunteer travel reporters for “The Comox Valley Echo” wishing one and all Feliz Navidad from San Felipe, Mexico.