That darned Canadian border patrol!

Swordlady

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Just a funny little story involving the Canadian border patrol...

I took a little side trip to Toronto after attending the Buffalo M&G. My conversation with the border patrol:

Officer: Where are you going?

Me: Toronto

Officer: How long will you be staying?

Me: Just overnight; I'm leaving first thing in the morning.

Officer: Claiming anything?

Me: Just my clothes (okay...I withheld some information, but I was NOT about to tell her about the swords I took for the M&G!)

Officer: Enjoy your trip.

My exit was equally uneventful:

Me: (handed officer my driver's license)

Officer: Where were you born?

Me:
Philadelphia.

Officer:
How long were you in Canada?

Me: Just overnight.

Officer: Heading home?

Me: Yes.

Officer: Okay. Have a nice trip.

If only *all* my encounters with the Canadian border patrol were this uneventful. However, that is not the case. The first time I visited Toronto, I went with a group of friends to attend a New Year's Eve party hosted by my old church. We had no problems getting into Canada, but had *some* problems leaving...

My friend Raquel was driving. For some reason I can't remember, she swapped cars with one of the other girls. So we were riding in another girl's car (not Raquel's), which will become important in this story. The dialogue went something like this:

Officer: May I see your ID?

Raquel: (hands over her driver's license)

Officer: Do you have a passport? (apparently, they sometimes check)

Raquel: I don't have an American passport; I'm a Jamaican citizen.

Officer: May I see your green card?

Raquel:
(digs around but couldn't find it) I think I left it at home.

Officer:
May I see the car's registration?

Raquel: Uh...I don't have it. This isn't my car; it's my friend's car.

(At this point, at least two other officers approach the car.)

Christina:
(sees the officers, and is probably joking with the next statement) Uh oh, I think we better hide the drugs!

(The rest of the car tries to shush her, but it is too late. The officer's head turns so fast that it practically falls off.)

Officer:
Miss, can you please pull over there? (indicates a parking space near the holding station)

(Raquel parks the car, while the rest of us shoot angry glares at Christina.)

Officer:
I need all of you to exit the vehicle. Do not take anything with you.

(The four of us exit, and enter the holding area. Raquel takes out her cell phone, with the intent of telling the other cars that we've been detained.)

Officer: (curtly) Put the phone away. No phone calls.

We had no idea how this was going to turn out. How did this look to the border patrol: A non-American driving a "borrowed" car, with no registration card, and one of the passengers mentioned drugs? We sat and stewed for over a half-hour, as the officers searched the car. And I think the lot of us wanted to kick Christina for making the drug remark, though she said that she was "only joking". That is something you do NOT joke about!

Just when we thought that we were going to be held overnight or something, the officer came back and let us go. My first trip to Canada, and I almost got into major trouble with the border patrol...
 

SFC JeffJ

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Sounds like your friend Christina should have been left behind. Not a good idea to joke around like that. Really, how far a walk would it have been for her? She would have had plenty of time to realize what a dumb thing to do that was. Never mind the lack of registration and green card.

Jeff
 

Bob Hubbard

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Never joke with the border guards. They have less of a sence of humor than a Vulcan in Pon Farr.

They can, will and have, take cars apart, when done, hand you a tool kit and then tell you if you're not gone in 20, you get a ticket for littering.
 

Ping898

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Bob Hubbard said:
Never joke with the border guards. They have less of a sence of humor than a Vulcan in Pon Farr.

They can, will and have, take cars apart, when done, hand you a tool kit and then tell you if you're not gone in 20, you get a ticket for littering.

I'm loving the Star Trek reference.

You would think by now people would realize anytime you are near anytime of security guard you don't mention drugs or bombs even when joking. And when the do they just end up screwing it all up for the rest of us. I have little sense of humor for "jokesters" when traveling...
 

arnisador

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Bob Hubbard said:
Never joke with the border guards.

Absolutely.

They can, will and have, take cars apart, when done, hand you a tool kit and then tell you if you're not gone in 20, you get a ticket for littering.

They can dismantle your car and then leave it as your problem. It may not happen often...but, why risk it?
 
OP
S

Swordlady

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Ping898 said:
I'm loving the Star Trek reference.

You would think by now people would realize anytime you are near anytime of security guard you don't mention drugs or bombs even when joking. And when the do they just end up screwing it all up for the rest of us. I have little sense of humor for "jokesters" when traveling...

Oh...believe me, I'm sure that Christina would've had to walk back to Albany if the whole lot of us got strip-searched or something - which was our other fear.
 

Xue Sheng

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Bob Hubbard said:
Never joke with the border guards.

You just can't say this to often enough

Never joke with the border guards.

A friend of mine went to Canada many years ago and upon return the guy that was his passenger thought he would get funny with the border patrol. They were in a truck and after many questions and even a look inside the truck, just as the border patrol guy was walking away, the passenger said you missed the drugs behind the seat.

They were asked to get out of the car and the guy found poppy seeds from a sandwich in the seat, the border patrol proceeded to dismantle the truck. Nothing was found and when it was all done all the border patrol said was. "Have a nice day" They did not reassemble the truck.

Never joke with the border guards.
 

TonyMac

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Bob Hubbard said:
Never joke with the border guards. They have less of a sence of humor than a Vulcan in Pon Farr.

They can, will and have, take cars apart, when done, hand you a tool kit and then tell you if you're not gone in 20, you get a ticket for littering.


OOH! this just has to be my new sig.
 

Nomad

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OK... as a Canadian, I have to point out that the ones that hassled you were the US Border Patrol, not the Canadian Border Patrol.:whip:

The Canadian border patrol tend to be somewhat friendly folks just doing their jobs, and would at least smile at you and probably offer you a coffee as they dismantled your car for that sort of "joke".

The US border patrol, on the other hand, have absolutely NO sense of humour, and should never EVER be trifled with. They seem to delight in making people's trips into a living hell at little provocation.
 

Xue Sheng

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Nomad said:
OK... as a Canadian, I have to point out that the ones that hassled you were the US Border Patrol, not the Canadian Border Patrol.:whip:

The Canadian border patrol tend to be somewhat friendly folks just doing their jobs, and would at least smile at you and probably offer you a coffee as they dismantled your car for that sort of "joke".

The US border patrol, on the other hand, have absolutely NO sense of humour, and should never EVER be trifled with. They seem to delight in making people's trips into a living hell at little provocation.

I have to admit, the times I've gone to Canada the border patrol has always been rather polite and offered me coffee before dismantling my car :)

Actually I have had less trouble going into Canada than coming out.

Last time coming out I stopped at the store on the border and the conversation with the border patrol went like this

Border Patrol; Anything to declare
Xue Sheng: no,
BP: You were just in the store
XS: Yes I bought a Coke and some candy.
BP: any Alcohol
XS: no
BP: You were just in the store
XS: yes
BP: did you buy any Alcohol
XS: no
BP: You were just in the store
XS: yes I was, but I didn't buy any alcohol
BP: But you were just in the store
XS: Yes
BP: are you certain you did not buy any alcohol
XS: yes I am certain
BP: are you sure
XS: Yes
BP: You were just in the store
XS: yes
BP: and you didn't buy any alcohol
XS: I am certain I did not buy any alcohol
BP: OK you can go
 

bydand

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Nomad said:
OK... as a Canadian, I have to point out that the ones that hassled you were the US Border Patrol, not the Canadian Border Patrol.:whip:

The Canadian border patrol tend to be somewhat friendly folks just doing their jobs, and would at least smile at you and probably offer you a coffee as they dismantled your car for that sort of "joke".

The US border patrol, on the other hand, have absolutely NO sense of humour, and should never EVER be trifled with. They seem to delight in making people's trips into a living hell at little provocation.

This is also a generalization. The most problems I EVER had crossing the border was in Sault Ste. Marie, Ont. I lived and graduated from Sault Ste. Marie, MI. Talk about zero humor. I think it just depends on who is manning the crossing and how their mood is. Over here at the Maine/New Brunswick border it is a 50/50 toss up as to who is going to have the most questions. There is one Canadian guard that will ALWAYS tell a couple of jokes, BS about the weather, then MAYBE ask where you are going. Another Canadian guard will give you the 3rd degree about everything and make you wait 15 or 20 minutes while "checking your records" on the computer (every other guard takes about 30 seconds to do this).

I must pass on this tid-bit of advice never-never-never wonder outloud if the female border guard is retaining water and if it is the cause of her being such a B word, or if it just natural for her. That statement will get you DEPORTED from Canada (Don't ask how I know... OK, young and very stupid. plus I figured the other 4 guards that knew me by first name would vouch for me (no)) LOL You know that still gets brought up every once in awhile by one of the border patrol and it has been 25 years. ago.
 

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I'd say that I've been searched twice entering the US (quick pop the trunk searches), and once due to a misunderstanding about some customs paperwork entering Canada. I did know someone who was subject to a detailed search -every- time he entered Canada though. LOL
 

Lisa

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We just came back from the Canadian Smallbore Nationals and decided instead of heading back over Lake Superior, we would try our luck and see what the drive through Michigan -> Wisconsin -> Minnesota -> North Dakota would be like.

We were a little weary of it because we had been told that we shouldn't travel through the states with our firearms. We called the American Board Patrol in Sault Ste. Marie and asked what we would need to do to go through the states. They told us that they didn't even consider our air rifles to be firearms :D and sure enough when we stopped at the American Border, he asked if we had any alcohol or tobacco and when we mentioned the air rifles, he laughed and said "keep on going folks, have a nice day" We had made a list of our contents and stopped at the Canadian Border office and had it stamped by them. So, all was good.

I will NEVER, repeat NEVER make the trip to Ontario again and go the northern route around Lake Superior. The way home was easier on the brain, the gas was cheaper and the scenery much more pleasant.

When we arrived at the Canadian border in Manitoba, we simply showed them our stamped list from the Canadian border patrol in Sault Ste. Marie and were passed through.

I suppose it would be a lot different should we have had "real" firearms ;) but I have to say that it was so easy and so pleasant.
 

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Nomad said:
OK... as a Canadian, I have to point out that the ones that hassled you were the US Border Patrol, not the Canadian Border Patrol.:whip:

The Canadian border patrol tend to be somewhat friendly folks just doing their jobs, and would at least smile at you and probably offer you a coffee as they dismantled your car for that sort of "joke".

The US border patrol, on the other hand, have absolutely NO sense of humour, and should never EVER be trifled with. They seem to delight in making people's trips into a living hell at little provocation.

Nomad, this is somewhat of a generalization. I really think it all depends on if you are the lucky one to be picked or not.

I have a friend who witnessed a Canadian Border Patrol officer grab a young lady by the back of the jacket neck and heave her backwards to check the tag in her leather jacket. She was a Canadian citizen and they were searching her vehicle. Her boyfriend did not take kindly to it and promptly pounded the officer and subsequently was arrested.

I have encountered friendly officers and grouchy miserable ones on either end of the border. I do have to say that the US Border Patrol have become more "serious and professional" since 911, but then again, who can blame them.
 
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