An Incredible Journey
Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, I just spent an event-full 36 hours in the Great White North. Let me bend your ear for a few moments, and tell you about the highlights of my adventures.
I started off with an exciting hour at the border, convincing the Canadian Customs officers at the Ambassador Bridge that, yes, I can be an American and still
have friends in Canada. Kitchener, Ontario, Canada, to be exact. I guess I should be thankful that they didn’t turn me back at the border – which of course they can do for no reason whatsoever
if they choose to...
Once that wonderful experience was behind me, I made a brief pit stop over at the abode of one of my little brothers (the one living in Kinksville). On the way, I noticed that a lot of people seem to be interested in the house selling gig these days. Possibly due to the low low interest rates available to most homeowners. I mean, it couldn’t be that people are losing their jobs and have to sell the house or default on their mortgages, could it?
Anyways,. . . after discussing some of those in my family who are somewhat
conservative in their outlook on life, it was off to Kitchener to visit my good friends Doc and Judy, and their two sons, who are 6(Andrew) and 3(Alan). Please someone remind me about these guys if I ever say that raising children is one of life’s simpler pleasures. While I enjoy my time with them immensely, I now realize that, if I were to attempt something similar, some of the parties involved might not survive the experience. I base this revelation on being the sole means of child maintenance for about an hour or so on Saturday. And, for the record, these are good
kids. I shudder to think about dealing with the bad seedlings...
Now that I have set the scene, let me tell you about the, um, unusual
happenings during my brief time in another country. Doc and I go a long ways back in the field of on-air entertainment – we met while doing back-to-back radio shows at CKMS, the University of Waterloo’s radio station
. And that’s where we ended up on Saturday night, after I got to check out a free Blues Festival
in downtown Kitchener (Doc was doing his regular 6-10PM Saturday night shift at the K-W Bookstore
). At least, the part of the festival that wasn’t rained out... Shortly after getting settled into the back studio at the radio station, I was in for a bit more strangeness when a band called ‘Organic’ showed up at the door for an on-air interview. And then Doc and I got into a conversation with Valdy, the guy who had just finished his show at 10PM. He told us about an upcoming musical treat he was organizing in about a month or so (September 13). Valdy also showed some interest in my Hobbit Calendars
After recovering from the previous night activities, on Sunday I helped pack up the car for a visit to Hamilton’s Festival of Friends
, where we made it to a workshop on rhythm (basically: how different types of rhythmic beats came into being; what they were originally used for; and how to do it yourself), a couple of local groups, and some mellow jazz perfect for a Sunday afternoon. The rain didn’t show up until 3 PM or so, and let up for a while around 3:30, until finally chasing us out of town around 4:30 or so.
And now comes the bad news. I chose to return to the States via Sarnia, Ontario - Port Huron, Michigan and the Bluewater Bridge. And I gotta tell you, it was not
a good way to end the trip. Normally the drive from Doc’s place in Kitchener to that particular border crossing is approximately two hours. But this time I got caught in the weekend rush to get home. The first 25 km on the main highway coming out of Kitchener, and the last 3 km of road in Canada before crossing the border, were hard to deal with, especially since I had just walked a lot more than I normally do both on Saturday and Sunday.
The first slowdown was more of an annoyance – I was still fresh out of my friends place, and fortified with the second best coffee in the known universe (the Funny Farm, of course, is home to the best). However, getting stuck on the highway with 3 kilometers of stop and go traffic (think near-gridlock conditions in the nearest major city to you, gentle reader) at 9:40PM on a Sunday night, after a weekend of fun and excitement, was a major drag. Only 3 klicks to go until I was back in the home of the
French! Which I finally got to right around 11:20! That’s right, campers – Your Humble Narrator spent almost two hours crawling up and over the bridge, and getting through Customs. I was very appreciative that the Customs officer didn’t grill me too much. That part of the experience was over in under a minute!
You might think that the delay was caused by increased security precautions in place at the border. But you’d be very wrong about that. You might also be thinking that the officials were only letting vehicles proceed once traffic had cleared off of the bridge – so you wouldn’t have, say, a crazed terrorist type parking a van full of nasty combustibles in the middle of a crowd in the middle of the bridge, and taking out a significant number of innocent bystanders while heading off to Allah’s embrace. Wrong again – it was stop and go from the half-way point all the way to the Homeland Security representatives. Good thing I had lots of good tunes to while away the hours. Until that fateful moment in the hands of the system:
’What is your citizenship?’
’What were you doing in Canada?
is the aerial velocity of an unladen swallow did you buy or receive while in Canda?’
Okay – off you go then!’
It was right then that I chose to look up into the night sky. A cloudless night sky. With a big, bright full moon staring me in the face. At which point, I said to my self, self – that’s why things are a little weird tonight. I proceeded to drive like a bat out of hell through the foggy night (a wonderfully surreal touch to end the trip, wouldn’t you say?) to the homestead here in Hazeltucky.
I really would have liked to have gotten a couple more CDs at the events, but I’m a little strapped for spending cash because I’m off on another jaunt next weekend. Stay tuned to this space for lots more true adventures of a Basic Force For Good in Our Time
. Provided I manage to survive them, of course...