March 25, 2009

HOMELAND INSECURITY LEADS TO DETAINMENT

I may be somewhat a newbie or a rookie when it comes to writing a blog, but I have already figured out what makes the best posts: THE UNADULTERATED TRUTH.

I’m always searching for new content that’s fresh, inspiring, informational and/or fun – but it’s the stories that actually find me that end up being nothing short of priceless.

This is one of those gems. (Actually, this has the potential to be the crown jewel.)

I’ve also learned in my first 11 months of blogging…when you have a treasure like this – don’t write it to death.

So I won’t.

Here’s the story: I was recently detained at the Canadian border because I tried to film myself using my passport for the first time.

It wasn’t because they suspected me of narcotics or human trafficking….NOPE! I was detained because I set my Canon PowerShot on the dashboard of my rental car to document a trivial moment in my life.

I was forced to get out of the car, explain to a gentleman wearing a bulletproof vest that I was shooting a video for my blog.

As soon as those three words crossed my lips – “for my blog” – I felt like the biggest wiener in North America.

I could have stopped there, but that would have been too easy. I think it was the sidearm, the badge, or the possibility of never seeing the United States again that turned me into a babbling idiot.

Oh…let’s see….I explained my 101 List…how using my passport was No. 8…how I came up with the idea….some of the things that I’ve already crossed off….what I hope to cross off in the near future.

SUCH A WIENER!

I even told the office to watch the two previous videos that I self-recorded prior to arriving at the border.

“They explain what I was doing,” I said confidently.

WIENER! WIENER! WIENER!

In all seriousness, you know what his response was?

“It could be all part of your plan.”

WHAT PLAN?

OFFICER: “Do you REALLY not see how recording a border patrol officer would be a problem?” (If you didn’t read the question like I was a sixth-grader busted for smoking pot in the bathroom, you might want to re-visit the overall tone.)

ME: “I was only filming myself?”

OFFICER: (Obviously annoyed that he had to rephrase his question for this blogging American moron) “Do you REALLY not see how recording a CONVERSATION between you and a border patrol officer would be a problem?”

I was nothing short of baffled, but I refused to travel down the path of no return and utter one of the following two phrases:

• “I really don’t, officer.”

• “It was a stupid camera, NOT A BOMB!”

I saw flashes of rubber gloves and my pants around my ankles, so I responded honestly: “I didn’t think there was really going to be a conversation….”

OFFICER: (Tone reminder: Sixth-grade…marijuana…busted) “You’re honestly telling me that you didn’t think that you and the officer were going to have a conversation?”

Then, I just started to babble as my eyes danced around nervously: “Canada. First time. Didn’t know.”

He asked why I was going to Canada.

He asked if I had ever been in the back of a police car.

He asked me hard questions about e-Partners in Giving – questions that my investors hadn’t even thought to ask.

(Upon further research since the detainment, I realized the Johnny Borderpatrol was trying to catch me in a lie.)

They searched my car.

They made me erase anything on the camera that had to do with the border.

Then I was free to go.

As I gathered up my things, I looked the officer in the eye and said, “I’m sorry. I really didn’t know I was doing something wrong. I never would have intentionally…”

OFFICER: (very firmly) “Don’t apologize. You just need to be more aware.”

WOW!

I just half-heartedly smiled and thought to myself: “I think someone is just being an a-hole now, but I guess when your dealing with a legitimate threat to national security – someone armed with a point-and-shoot camera and the power to blog – you can’t let your guard down.”

As I walked back out to my violated rental car, I started to get pissed. Not because I was one smart-ass comment away from “face the camera…now turn to the left.”

I was upset that I had NO proof that I used my passport.

All my self-recorded creativity was erased forever.

Or was it?

Without further ado, I present my first short film “Detained.”


5 comments:

BNSKI said...

thats funny! i was recently asked to leave a wal-mart in Gainesville, as i was simply "documenting" my trip for my blog... with a tiny FlipHD cam. people are touchy about video.

koleen said...

Hilarious!

Celeste said...

I lived in Canada and you DO NOT mess with custom officers! They have a stick up their butt like none others... I have SEVERAL customs stories. One involves my entire high school choir having to wait for me for 1.5 hours while I sat in one of their offices and another involved me throwing up all of the customs desk (I was 9.. not hung over.. I know where your mind went). Anything dealing with Canada... run it by me first :)

Anonymous said...

DRINKING GAME!!!! Every time Drew says the word "stupid" in his video take a drink!!!!

arlene said...

next time those crazy canadians make you erase something, bring that memory card back to me. i've got some data retrieval software and we can find it, post it and show them what for!

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