Sometime last year, I crossed the border at Detroit/Windsor. After lightning speed questions about where I live, why I live in Canada of all places, why I married a Canadian…not a Canadian? An American who works in Canada? Why the heck would anyone want to do that? …my exchange with the border agent went something like this:
Agent X: Anything to declare? Fruit, meats, purchases?
Me: No, Sir.
X: (checks backseat) No snacks or anything?
Me: If you count animal crackers…
X: (regards me for a moment, then grins a mile wide) Heads?
Me: Beg pardon?
Me: I’m sorry?
X: You eat the heads first or the tails?
Me: Um…I try to keep my eyes on the road rather than their anatomy, but when I’m stationary, the elephant’s trunk perishes first.
X: (laughs and returns passport) Very good – drive safe and enjoy your stay in the US!
When I crossed at Detroit/Windsor today, I had the same border agent and he asked me the exact same lightning speed questions.
He then inquired about the status of my Canadian work permit and what I do in Canada. He got really excited when I said I’m an actor…less excited when I told him no, I make small, experimental theatre, so he probably hasn’t seen me in anything… He asked what that sort of work looks like, so I told him about working with different kinds of artists on a common theme, and how there isn’t always a defined stage space and rows of audience seating…
X: (Long pause…deadly serious) Who goes to see that weird stuff?
Me: People who want to be challenged or to hear stories they don’t usually encounter, blah blah blah…
^That crossed through bit was obviously theoretical me. Actual Me thought of the growing line of cars behind me, the long road still ahead, and longed for the animal-crackery banter of yore, so…
Me: Weird folks?
X: (laughs and returns passport) Well, good luck with that! Drive safe and enjoy your stay in the US!