Getting naked: A Canadian adventure

Ryan Szymczak

Casino Windsor. Wow, what a night! I can remember it now. Fahad, a friend of Middle Eastern descent, drove the minivan. Jared, the white man glimmering with ice from his ears to his neck, rode shotgun. A front row of red flags.

In the two rows of backseats, three college know-it-alls sat sprawled about. Button-down shirts hung from hangers like curtains. Pressed to impress.

Yes, we’d soon be high-rolling. Throwin’ chips down on blackjack tables. Losing chips on blackjack tables. Back-and-forthing to the ATM for a little more financial help from Sallie Mae.

We rolled up on the border, promptly at 11 p.m. They took one suspicious look at the Iraqi driver and sent us to the ‘to-be-searched’ lane.

As the young Canadian cadets went rummaging through the vehicle. We stood smiling, laughing, snickering, revelling in our confident sense of innocence.

We were in handcuffs shortly after that. Apparently, a casual attitude is a crime. We were escorted inside, each of us with our own particular officer, pushed onto a bench and then drilled by Canadians drunken by their own authority or bored by the lack of excitement in their lives. You decide.

“Which one of you has the pot, ay?” barked one, saliva splurting about.

The pot? “We found what could be trace amounts of marijuana.”

Not one of us had “the pot” on us. For some reason, the Canadians soon got to thinking, though, that we had strategically hidden the pot in us.

Soon blue rubber gloves were flopping about, as those bored Canadian coppers struggled to slip them on.

A commanding officer strolled by, “if one of ’em so looks at you funny, slam his f***ing head into the f***ing wall.”

One by one, two cops apiece took us into rooms, slamming the steel doors shut behind them. They were new. Early twenties. The type that played football in high school and peaked right about there.

John, always smart-mouthed and the self-righteous son of a local lawyer, was the first to be violated; we couldn’t hear much through the steel door, but there was a moment where he burst out into laughter at a command that we would all later know to be: “Lift your boys.”

After it was all said and done, and we were fully clothed and found to be innocent, we were refused entrance into Canada.

Their reasoning?

Our “attitudes.”

Because we didn’t cooperate with fear on our faces as opposed to our ‘guilt-free, we-know-we’re-innocent’ smirks, they sent us back. Justice served.

American travelers beware! Stay tucked securely within your boundaries. U.S. citizens are widely considered dead-weight. Hated. Despised. Resented. Our representation has us all looking like ego-centric, domineering fools. Most foreigners do judge this book by its cover.

And if Windsor is still a plausible destination for you, be prepared to show your cards – all of ’em.

They’ll call your bluff, whether you’re bluffing or not.

Ryan Szymczak is a junior English major and columnist for the Daily Kent Stater. Contact him at [email protected].