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we have a date with the underground, chapter 10
by Michele Christopher
This is the tenth in a series of true stories about an anonymous punk rock guy. This is the turtle's gig, he writes these up.
Where are we? What fucking state is that in? You gotta be fucking kidding me....really? I slept that long? Does anyone have a beer? Hey dude. Answer the fucking question and we can keep this on a civil level. Please dude. My head hurts and I've been choking on fucking exhaust for the last 12 hours. Nice to see you fuckers cared to see if I was breathing. Are you shitting me? We been driving that long? Where is the fucking beer?
Welcome to Canada! Land of fucked up languages , bacon and bad beer. The border that turns into pure trees as you get closer. Pure fucking trees. Somewhere where you don't know what is gonna happen, but much like any other country, all you care about if there are cheap dive bars, cheap food, and cheap gas. It was coming up. Canada. Welcome to the border. Whether you liked it or not it was time to dump the beer cans and pull your IDs. Drain that last beer and open the side door. Dump the cans out on the freeway and watch the Indian cry. Get ready to smile to some dude in a funny suit and wake the fuck up. Your passport..... passport...I had a passport...I fucking had a fucking passport. What the fuck happened to it. Fuck. It's fucking around here somewhere. God damn dude, slow the fucking van down and give me some god damn time to fucking find it. It's fucking around around here somewhere and I can fucking find it if you guys just fucking move off the floor and give me room to search.
This was Canada.
This was my first trip. I flew there before, but I never knew. Do I really need one? I'd really been fucked with in Europe for not having a passport. Just a few times. But when I was, it was pretty hard. I'm not a terrorist, but I'm smart enough to eat all the dope I had gotten from the previous country.
I didn't know. But I knew I lost my driver licence along time ago...but I had a passport... "Do you even think they ask for passports? I mean it's Canada, dude. Do you really think they do? I'm fucked if they do.... How much time do we have? They can't really, can they? Do you guy's want to slow down a bit? And fucking try moving out of the way so I can look? "
I didn't know.
Lined up. Pushing drugs into to hidden places. Shoving people around looking for any form of ID while everyone else grumbled at me for waking them up. "Move, god dammit" "Why?" "I'm looking for fucking ID" "What? You are kidding me, right? It's Canada, dude."
I won't fool you and try to say drugs didn't have a big effect on my brain. I woke up paranoid and shot and shaking and sweaty and looking for the next beer and looking for my passport at the same time. Yeah dude, I was kinda shot. My head was sweaty and my eyes were bloodshot. The only thing that helped was shoving back Taco Bell while trying to cover the taste of day old fast food with as much hot sauce as I could to stop the gag response of my throat. I had ten minutes to get my head straight and figure out what the fuck was going on. When you have a limit like that you can either give up, hitch a ride home or slam a beer. You live in the mess that is your head and do what you need to do.
I chose the latter.
Let's see what happens then.
Just sitting and wondering and waiting and wondering and waiting and wondering. Is this gonna work? Did I just fuck up? Everyone in the van looking at me like "Hey dude, it was fun with you, but we can always get another bass player, so if you are gonna slam that beer you better do it fast and keep your ass looking"
Now, where are we at?
I was looking at dates wondering where in the fuck Victoriaville is and how far the local liquor store was. That was even too much for me. Way too much information. That's probably how I ended up in Canada in the first place. I started not caring and was just dragged from place to place. We all were. We just kept going. Remember, this was early, so the tour was more of a 24 hour party. It was new to us and we wanted to be numb and have a good time. That meant listening to others and doing what they said.
Two minutes to the border.
Shake your head
Toss the smoke, down the beer.
"You have dope? Drugs? Citizenship? Purpose? You smell like beer. Let's search your van."
That wasn't totally unsurprising. We rolled out of the van when they opened the side. It was kind of a gimme that they would think we were doing something bad. The back of the van was loaded with equipment and cases. We reeked of sweat and blood. If you don't know what blood smells like after a few days, fall asleep for one night with a penny in your hand. Clutch it. Smell your hand in the morning. That’s the smell of week old blood.
We owe what?? To fucking who??
They taxed all of the CDs, all of them. All the band merchandise they could find in the van was taxed. Everything that was imported in was taxed. The only thing that didn’t catch a tax were shirts. Because hey dude, they were clothes ok? We would be wearing them....soon....we swear..they are all personal clothes...ok?
Oh well. Another week of not eating. Another week of being on the road.
They could have the fucking box of CDs. We didn't have the time. We had to keep moving.
Welcome to Canada.