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Wednesday, May 24, 2006

There Can Only Be One

May 23, 2006

Today was a travel day, in which we traveled from Toronto to St. Joseph’s, Michigan. Somewhere between our starting point and ending point came the border that separates the United States from our neighbors to the North. We figured our passing through the U.S. customs wouldn’t be too much of a hassle, as our Canadian crossing elicited little more than a “have fun, eh” from the border patrol. The United States customs officers were a bit grumpier.

After harassing Zachary about the place of his birth for five minutes, a border patrolman told us to pull over and wait in the office while they searched Ashley. From there, we were ushered into a dark, dingy, dirty room decorated only by an American flag and a headshot of George W. Bush. It was cold in the room, so I put my hands into my pockets. “Keep your hands where we can see them,” said an officer, seated behind a desk. After a half an hour of uncomfortable, freezing silence, we were finally permitted to cross into Michigan.

All things considered—our scruffy, Rock ‘n’ Roll demeanor, the suspicious-looking boxes in the back of the minivan, the fifteen ounces of black-tar heroin Zachary swallowed in a latex balloon that afternoon—we were pretty lucky to make it through so easily. But I’ll be damned if the stereotypes aren’t true; Canadians are nicer.

Later, because the Charlatans were so generous to offer to transport our equipment in their bus for the rest of the tour, we returned Mary-Kate to a Detroit car-rental establishment, and consolidated the entire Blood Arm posse into Ashley. From here on out, we’re all in this together…

-Ben Lee


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