27th August
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Crossing the Border (1)

‘Vancouver?’ the guy said. ‘That’s where we’re going. Hop in.’

We slung our rucksacks in the trunk and hopped in the back seat and made little nests amongst all the garbage, and the guy said, ‘Just throw that anywhere, man!’ and the woman said, ‘Ain’t nowhere to throw it, Danny,’ but Frank said it was fine, we had enough space, and Danny took off.

They were friendly, both of them. Danny turned around to shake our hands and we got that over with fast so that he could concentrate on the road ahead. Then the woman put her smile through the gap between the seats and said, ‘Hi, I’m Nancy,’ and we said, ‘Hi, Nancy.’ Nancy was stoned
out of her head.

‘Listen,’ she said, and she waved a plastic bag at us, ‘we gotta get rid of
some stuff before we reach the border. You wanna help us?’

So we helped them. She rolled as fast as we could smoke and we smoked as fast as she could roll but by God there was a lot to get rid of. We opened the windows so Danny could see to drive and we could freshen up a little, and Nancy passed us beers from the cooler to ease our throats, and we were very glad it was still a hundred miles to the border. ‘Because,’ I explained, ‘they’ll want to inspect our passports so we’ll have to be coherent.’ And Danny said that luckily because they were Americans they wouldn’t have to be coherent, the officers would just wave them through. And if they didn’t wave them through they’d just drive back down the road, head a little further east and try again at another, quieter crossing.

Well, we got to the border and it seemed Danny didn’t have the right
paperwork for the car so they wouldn’t let him cross, but he was very relaxed about it, let us get our packs from the trunk and said, ‘So long, guys,’ and Nancy smiled sweetly and they drove back down the road. And the officers waved Frank and me through and we staggered over the border on foot and that was us in Canada, wasted.

Reader: James Robertson
Fiddle: Aidan O'Rourke
Harmonium and Piano: Kit Downes
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