Butt Probe at the Canadian Border?

After a summer of slaving away in the kitchen at a poorly run family pizza parlor, The Boy took off Saturday for a short adventure in Canada.  Tent, sleeping bag, cooler, passport and his iPodand that’s about it…  A few days “into the wild” on his own before starting another year of college.

Researching border crossing issues, he was pissed off to find that upon returning ot the US, the border patrol could – should they happen to feel like it – confiscate his laptop, copy contents, and generally do whatever they wanted with the laptop.  Without probable cause.*

So he took my cheap, but wicked cool, Asus EeePC – which has nothing on the hard drive that we’d miss, and can be replaced for less than $500 if necessary.

i’d asked him to let me know when he got settled in for the night.  Got the following text message around 1 AM:

Made it.  Wouldn’t you know i got searched at the fucking border.  Took an hour.

Knowing he was probably profiled – young man, traveling alone.  Long hair, bandana.  Tattoo.  They’d certainly assumed "drugs". 

On Sunday, i got a follow up e-mail from him.  With the comment:

“… apparently not knowing exactly where you are going or exactly what you are doing is a tip off that they should search you”.

Oops.  Suppose i should have coached him on what to say to the nice armed folks at the border… Canada isn’t keen on folks from the US just coming over, wandering around a bit, and staying until they feel as though they’ve seen enough.

Lucky he didn’t get an international colonoscopy….


* Constitution?  Huh?  Freedom from unreasonable search and seizure?  Oops… we forgot about that when we passed the ol’ Patriot Act!   And hey – if you don’t like it?  Then you’re a al Queda-loving terrorist sympathizer who hates America.  And we know where you sleep…

18 thoughts on “Butt Probe at the Canadian Border?

  1. Man, I could tell you a story from the early days of my relationship with Annie! I got everything but an anal probe by the friendly folks at US Customs and Border Protection. And I jokingly said I got that too, anyway. I was tied up for three hours!

    It’s certainly a wake up call to learn that the folks on the “line” have ultimate authority. They can deny you entry even if you are a citizen!

    It didn’t used to be that way, but those days are long gone, I’m afraid.

    Oh, and btw, Canada Customs officers don’t have firearms…yet. They’ve been lobbying hard for them, though.

    There was a story where some renegade American escaped convict was armed and headed north out of Washington State toward the Peace Arch. All the Canada Customs officers on duty ran away….

    The Boy may have a tougher time re-entering the US…

  2. ahhh, so he’s off to terrorize Canadian pizza joints… i’m guessing your Girl Child probably tipped off the border gendarmes of The Boy’s journey just to get a giggle… sibling rivalry and all.

  3. Trips across the border are hilarious. I used to live 100 miles closer to the border, and would cross it quite frequently. One time I went to Vancouver with a friend of mine. We took some snacks with us. When we came back, we still had an apple left. We were asked if we had any contraband, and said no, not remembering the Washington State apple maggot quarantine. And promply got pulled over and reamed out because our “contraband” was in plain sight. The fact that it originated in Washington State, and was traveling inadvertently back to Washington State didn’t make any difference. And this was before 9/11. Now I’d have to pay $70 for a passport to go through a border I used to drive through all the time. And when the dollar was stronger and our gas was cheaper, some of the border towns made half their sales taxes on folks who only came far enough over the border to buy gas. You used to be able to spend Canadian or American money up there, too. The cash registers were set up to figure your change in either currency. Good times.

  4. alex do you really hate travelling? it’s so much fun…..

    daisyfae – quick, head over to archie’s place. he’s got a link to that video I was telling you about where the waiter has a huge artificial penis stuck down his pants!

  5. rob – 3 hours? damn… need to build that into the travel plans. i’m expecting he’ll be detained on the return trip as well. lessons that – unfortunately – need to be learned in these times of ridiculous paranoia and nationalistic bullshit.

    gnu – i think he’s just camping. maybe hitting a casino, or dog track. at least that’s what i’m telling myself…

    silverstar – i remeber those days – i’m only about 3 hours from the border. we used to go to canada on vacation when i was young. so exotic! on one trip, we brought fireworks back – and dad had instructed us to keep our mouths shut as we crossed the border…. ‘breakin’ da law, brakin’ da law…’

    alex – guess your border crossings require planes or scuba gear! the ‘travel’ part can be a pain, but the adventure of new experiences is usually worth it!

    nm – Yippee! Love the video – how come my waiters don’t pack that kinda heat? Fake or not, it would have gotten my attention!

  6. Canada is no longer a friendly refuge for military deserters. Perhaps he fit that profile as well? Happy trails!

    Camping is not on my roster of vacation options. I work my ass of during the week. I don’t sleep in tents. Does that make me sound like I’m high maintenance? ‘Cause I’m not.

  7. I am surprised some as slick as The Boy didn’t have a handy made up itinerary to rattle off. They only pat you down at the border. Once you are in it’s not like they take much effort to keep tabs.

  8. Well I know some lads that will now travel to Canada hoping to be thoroughly searched. It’s all a pink ploy to promote gay tourism.

  9. unbearable banishment – when he was a very young ‘un, he liked all things military. still loves military history. but alas, the US Armed Forces have been deprived of a potential soldier, sailor, airmen or marine because of this endless, ill-conceived, poorly planned and unjustified war. he may be scouting chicks as future brides should there be a draft… and no, it doesn’t mean you’re high maintenance. just cranky. 🙂

    annie – he was busy sorting out the entry and re-entry issues regarding confiscation of personal property. didn’t occur to him to plan his trip, i suppose!

    uncle keith – c’mon… a week on a beach… vegetating… watching beach volleyball… it’d be worth it!

    vapour – i forgot to send the latex gloves with him. always be safe!

    manuel – once i started taking him through airports, he was thoroughly coached on the importance of not joking around about bombs (even if it was just in reference to the movie on the flight), fire, drugs or bad comb-overs sported by security personnel. i’m hoping he’s been able to extrapolate to the border patrol folks as well…

  10. On a serious note – from my collection of quotes on politics – “Just remember this the next time some politician says that terrorists are threatening our freedoms: not a single freedom has been taken away from us by terrorists – they have been taken away by our elected officials.”

    Glad you enjoyed the video 🙂

  11. archie – i miss the US Constitution. it was a beautiful, and i’d hoped enduring document. The politicos have used fear, uncertainty and doubt to chip away at it… bastards.

  12. KJ – most recent text from him? “the people i’ve met are great”, and he was headed for his morning swim in the river behind his tent. it’s worth it, i think. expect that re-entry will be more annoying…. i wouldn’t rule out future travel!

  13. Pingback: The family that moves together… « Trailer Park Refugee

  14. Pingback: Being Jacked by “The Man” « Trailer Park Refugee

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