Thursday, June 07, 2007

Have Passport, will travel

The dull buzzing sound of my Blackcherry meant that I had an incoming. As I scrambled to reach it I had to squint cause my glasses weren’t on…you know, ‘cause I was sleeping. I couldn’t recognize the number and the caller ID wasn’t giving me any help.

COOPRDOG
“Hello..”

MADAME CEREMONY
“Cooprdog, do you know who this is?”

…that’s not the kind of shit you wanna here when you answer your celli in another state in the middle of a road trip. Fuck, for all I know this could be a disgruntled baby’s Momma or some shit. (is there any other type of baby’s momma?)

COOPRDOG
“Uh, you’re an officer from the City of Baltimore calling to discuss my actions in the BWI train station?”

MADAME CEREMONY
“No, I’m not a cop…but that’s not the kind of shit I wanna hear from you, Mister.”

This is not good, this is not good! Who is this person and why does she seem to know so much about me? I really need to start watching the kind of shit I say.

MADAME CEREMONY
“Cooprdog. I am your publicist…you pay me money, not enough I might add, to make sure you have something that resembles a career.

COOPRDOG
Oh, hey…how are you?

MADAME CEREMONY
“How am I? I’m perplexed Cooprdog.

COOPRDOG
“What are you perplexed about…uh...Ms. Publicist Lady.

MADAME CEREMONY
“Is your weed habit that bad that you have forgotten my name?”

COOPRDOG
“Of course not, you’re the Madam of Ceremonies….the Queen of all things publicitcial”

MADAME CEREMONY
“Publicital…that’s comedy….yeah…well, you can call me Madam Ceremony, I like that….but that’s not why I called.

My body filled with fear. That the exact same tone I heard when my high school girlfriend told me she was pregnant. It was the same look as when I got laid off from the bank, the exact same feeling I had when my mechanic told me I needed a new engine in my Z…I mean somebody should trademark that look…cause you could easily get paid.

MADAME CEREMONY
“Don’t you have a plane to catch?”

COOPRDOG
“Uh… I thought I was leaving tomm…”

MADAME CEREMONY
“No, you are supposed to be on a plane to Toronto in about 6 hours.”

COOPRDOG
“You don’t say…”

MADAME CEREMONY
“Listen Cooprdog. I know I’m new. I know that I wasn’t around for all you assorted crimes and misdemeanors of the past year or so…but let’s get something straight, I am no babysitter…ok?”

Now, this is what it means to be a director. People who work for you call you up and get in your ass. I mean where else can that happen but in America?

So there’s a whole bunch of “I’m sorry” and “I promise to try harder to be a good director”… and Madame Ceremony wishes me well and hangs up the phone. I try to process the entire things as I go into panic mode. Grabbing this, stuffing that into a bag and before you know it I’m out the door and on my way to the airport (it’s almost worth being behind schedule so you can hop in a cab and say “Philly international….and step on it!” I’m like James Bond…only I’m not white and I don’t particularly have a fondness of tuxedo’s (but I’m all about fucking chicks I just met, so where can a brother get an Application?). Philly international is a pretty chill place as airports go. I mean don’t get me wrong – it’s as unorganized as they come…but I’m from Philly and I really can’t get that pissed when I have a pint of Guinness and a soft pretzel. I mean come to think of it I don’t think I’ve ever had a bad time in this airport….unless you count when they lost my luggage last Xmas, or the ice storm that closed the airport and they didn’t bother to notify any of the 30K people who were scheduled to fly that day, or the time I was befriended by a guy who a later found out was a cop when I offered to smoke him up (I’m mean can you really lock up a guy who’s just trying to spread the milk of human kindness?...albeit in a dried leafy form)…oh yeah, and then there was the time that I stood in line for four hours trying to get a flight out of Philly when the entire flight schedule was scrubbed for two days and all I had with me was a T-shirt and 1 bar of battery power on my Blackcherry….and my girlfriend really didn’t have the time so much as yell at me, let alone tell me that she misses me (a girlfriend who misses Cooprdog…now there’s a novel concept). Ok, so …statistically.. I should run from this motherfucker. Whatever, I was born here…these are my people.

It never ceases to amaze me the looks I get in an airport. I mean is it really that strange to see black people get on a plane? I don’t understand why I still attract so much attention (ok, maybe the prior convictions have something to do with it…but, whatever). I do the whole e-ticket thing and hand over my bags and pretend like I have confidence in Towanda and her loud gum chewing’s ability to get my bags to Toronto.

Then I’m off to go through security. This is easily the shittiest part of a trip. I mean who are these people who don’t understand that they have to take their shoes off and take their laptops out of the case. C’mon dude…this is not new shit. Next you’re gonna tell me that you didn’t know that you can get your email on your cell phone…where do these people come from.

So there’s a lot of jockeying for position and jumping lines in an attempt to quickly get through security and stand around for 2 hours waiting for your flight. It’s a great system.

Anyway, so I put all my shit on the conveyor belt and attempt to walk through the metal detector and I am stopped by the guy. He’s like “hold on!”… like he’s attempting to stop a mad dash through the security point. As if his buck-o-five ass could even slow me down. He looks like he’s worried that I might run around him…please, if I run at you… I’ll run through you so you can tell your momma who did it to you when you call her with tears in your eyes you fucking pussy!

Anyway… so I get waived through and I think the ordeal is about over….oh, noooo!

TSA SECURITY OFFICER
“Is this your bag Sir?”

…now the last time someone asked me that I hit him and made a run for it….but I deemed that response to not be a wise one…you know…seeing as how I’ve got a few open cases and am currently without an attorney (it was a hunting accident, I swear).

TSA SECURITY OFFICER
“Do you mind if I take a look in here?”

…why do they ask this question? I mean you have decided to search my bag because you saw something on the X-Ray machine that alarmed you. If I were to refuse to have my fourth amendment rights violated due to racial profiling I’ll mostly likely wind up in Guantanamo Bay wearing flip-flops and a bag over my head – so, don’t make it sound like I have a choice.

I consent to this illegal search of my shit and they pull me out of line. I do really love this part (and I can say that because I get searched a lot)…you know where they pull shit out of your bag and completely contradicts their ethnic assumptions about you.

So, he opens the bag and tells me to have a seat and begins to pull shit out of my bag and look around. He removes a small black case from my bag.

TSA SECURITY OFFICER
“What is this?”… he says as he pulls my calculator out of it’s case

COOPRDOG
“It’s a calculator”

TSA SECURITY OFFICER
“If it’s a calculator, why doesn’t it have an equal button?”

COOPRDOG
“Because that is a financial calculator that utilizes Reverse Polish Notation so that when you want to use additional operators in a function or argument there’s no need to clear the memory cache”

Yeah well apparently my answer upset him because he put it back into my bag and removed my PSP hard case.

TSA SECURITY OFFICER
“And what is this?”

COOPRDOG
“That’s, a hard case and supplemental sound delivery system for my PSP”

TSA SECURITY OFFICER
“PSP?

COOPRDOG
“Playstation Portable”

TSA SECURITY OFFICER
“Playstation?”

COOPRDOG
(in a Japanese accent): “Play-Stay-Tion”

The entire security checkpoint goes silent when I affect the Japanese accent. Now everyone is looking over at us. He digs around some more and finally confiscates my chapstick.

TSA SECURITY OFFICER
“These are prohibited in the cabin.”

COOPRDOG
“And what if I meet some hottie that I need to smooch in the terminal? Then what?”

TSA SECURITY OFFICER
“You can buy sundries at anyone one of the numerous apothecaries inside the terminal”…he gives me my shit back.. and I’m on my way.

…ok so, I don’t want to alarm anyone but I’m pretty sure that guy was a Terminator. First of all how is it possible that you are familiar with a word like ‘sundry” yet you’ve never heard of Reverse Polish Notation? And who the fuck uses the term apothecary? I haven’t heard that since I had a girlfriend who was really into Jane Austen (ok.. I’ve fucked a few chicks in my life…let it go!). Ok so not only are the Fed’s out to get me.. but now I’ve got big Aryan Motherfuckers from the future trying to take me out…I have to get this film made!

The flight to Toronto is pretty uneventful…if you don’t count the pack of little white kids sitting behind me that think that seat-kicking is a great sport. But it’s like a 40 min hop from Philly to Toronto (and had I have know that… I’d have started fucking Canadian chicks in high school).

Everything was cool till I landed in Canada. I get off the plane and I’m listenin’ to Wu on my MP3 player and noddin’ my head and blurting out things like “Shaolin!”… and “1.5 million!”

It’s when I get to Customs that everything changes. Ok so I’m standing in line with my all my bags…I’m freestyling (which seems to not be a national past time here in Canada since people act like I have tourrettes syndrome or some shit). But I don’t care… I’m a US citizen and I’m not holdin’ weed on my person, how bad can it get.

Well for starters, I didn’t get a customs declaration form from the air hostess (or whateverthefuck they are called…no matter what I say I get corrected so, air hostess it is). So now I have to hop out of line and find out where to get one of these things. As I approach one of the customs agents he doesn’t look happy. I swear he looks like he’s gonna shoot me if I make a sudden move.

COOPRDOG

“Hey dog?...where can I get a customs form?”

He leers at me before pointing to one of the tables in the center of the room. And in hindsight I probably shouldn’t have called him Dog. But hey, I was trying to give him a little love.

So I wander over to the table to negotiate this declaration form and there’s this guy next to me. He’s like Indian or some shit…and he’s sweatin’ like crazy…his hands are shaking and he can’t figure out what to put in the boxes where the answers to the routine questions go (you know like…. “what brings you to Canada?”). Ok, so… this motherfucker is definitely about to get locked up…I need to get far the fuck away from him.

I fill out my shit and hop back in line…and freestyle a little because I really don’t wanna stand in this line- and that’s what homies do when they have idle time.

Well I get to the counter and the dude is all business.

CUSTOMS AGENT
“Can you take off you headphones and turn off your stereo please Sir?”

COOPRDOG
“Aw, no worries”

CUSTOMS AGENT
“Is there something you are worried about?”

COOPRDOG
“uh, no….it’s just a figure of speech”

He stares so hard at me that I think he saw the serial number on my soul.

CUSTOMS AGENT
“Where are you from Sir?”

COOPRDOG
Los Angeles, California

CUSTOMS AGENT
“If you are from Los Angeles then why did you fly out of Philadelphia international airport?”

COOPRDOG
“Well I was in Philly at another festival, but I live in Los Angeles

CUSTOMS AGENT
“What festival did you play in Philadelphia

COOPRDOG
“Well I was really in Philly seeing my mom, I played a festival in Baltimore and then took the train to Philly”

He stares at me again.

CUSTOMS AGENT
“There are direct flights from BWI to Toronto…so why didn’t you just fly direct?”

COOPRDOG
“Uh.. there was a 2 day lag between when the Baltimore festival ended and when the Toronto festival begins”…the look on his face indicated that he really wasn’t buying my story.

CUSTOMS AGENT
“What is the name of the festival you are playing here in Toronto

COOPRDOG
“It’s the first annual Slackers Film Festival”

CUSTOMS AGENT
“The Slackers Film Festival?”

COOPRDOG
“Yes. For slackers, by slackers…about slackers”

I’m tellin’ you. If you could have seen the look on this guy’s face. I mean, I was sure I wasn’t gonna get in the country. He looks down and scribbles something on my custom form.

CUSTOMS AGENT
“Do you have anything to declare?”

COOPRDOG
“Other than I like Guinness and Big women with can really suck a dick?”

…Yeah, he really didn’t think that was funny. Not a smile, not a raised eyebrow, nuthin’… just a blank stare.

COOPRDOG
“Uh, no… I don’t have anything to declare”.

Again he writes on my custom form as he turns it over.

CUSTOMS AGENT
“What are the professional samples you have indicated that you are bringing in?”

COOPRDOG
“Screeners”

CUSTOMS AGENT
“What is a screener?”

COOPRDOG
“It’s a DVD…of my film to hand out after we screen”

He ignores my answer and continues to write on my form. It’s totally unnerving. It’s like the hotbox on Law & Order and these guys are trying to pin a murder on me. (“C’mon Cooprdog, make it easy on yourself….help us to help you”)

CUSTOMS AGENT
“Have you visited any farms in the last 10 days?”

COOPRDOG
“No”

CUSTOMS AGENT
“Are you planning on visiting any farms during you stay in Canada?”

COOPRDOG
“Not unless the party is totally off the chain…”

He looks up and leers at me again.

COOPRDOG
“…uh, no. I have no plans to go to a farm”

After a few more questions he lets me through. I feel as if I have come really close to getting’ locked up. I don’t care what people say in the states….Canadian police are not a bunch of beer drinking, hockey watching morons. They big scary motherfuckers who really aren’t that crazy about Americans…you have been warned.

I come out of the customs quarantine and go to retrieve my luggage. And guess what I can’t find it. Here we fucking go.

I walk over to the American Airlines counter to see what the deal is.. and there are my bags neatly stacked next to the counter waiting for me. I was in awe. I’ve got to get out of the States more.

I get out of the airport and hail a Taxi. I tell the guy the address of the Hotel and he’s like “that’s not a good hotel”… well who the fuck are you? Hotels.com? Why don’t you shut the fuck up and drive the Taxi.

35 minutes and $40 Canadian I’m at my hotel. It’s like a youth hostel type shit with Christiana Aguliarra (or howeverthefuckyouspellhername) on a permanent rotation on the TV.

I drop my bags and take a well deserved shit. I hope this festival is cool.

COOPRDOG

2 Comments:

Blogger Det. Budd said...

I must agree that Canadian customs is not the place for any old American. I Had my own ordeal in Calgary.

So I wake up on the plane from LA to Calgary. There is a blue form on the tray next to me. I look around as others fill out these forms. I have no pen. We land in Calgary and I have about a half an hour to get to my next flight. I am all smiles as I think how well planned out this transfer is. Little did I know I would need more time than I thought.

I get a pen and fill out the form declaring my goals here in Canada as lines form of the other passengers having their pre-filled forms checked off. I get through the line and this straight laced lady takes my form. Checks a computer screen scribbles and states real nonchalantly, "check in with Immigration on the left." Oh shit what is this about. Those fucking Slackers fest... I figure they want to know what sort of weed I have with me. I get in another line. This one is hell. torture. I am waiting watching this enormous clock ticking away the time I have to get back through security and on a plane to get to Toronto and get a meal and a bowl. Shit shit shit. I am watching the officers, yes officers slowly handle problems of the americans wondering why they are being interogated to enter canada. Canada, they are our good friends, just up north, come hang out. NO NO its all why would a stinky, evil american want to come up here and ruin our grand nation. So this guy in his 40s is explaining why he was arrested once years ago. The officer says "I know what happened, why didn't you just tell me" So ding. I know this situation. Its a truth test. They have access to our ugly records and they want to see if we have something to lie about. Finally it's my turn. "I have ten minutes to catch a flight will it happen?" I ask she says blankly "probably not" aww shit. So she begins with why are you here? how long, whats that about? then it's the real question. have you ever been arrested? and a look deep into my eyes. And she is pretty cute, sexy even in her uniform, tightly hugging her beer filled Canadian breats. Of course I was ready for this question. "Yes I was." "for what?" "A dui." So the cats out and what is it gonna take to get it caged again. She states "you are inadmissable to Canada." "what???" Canada is rejecting me I liked you guys, I thought you were funny and peaceful, I am too bad for Canada? "Yes you are not allowed into the country with certain offenses on your record. DUI is one of them,... but because you were honest and nice I could grant you a permit.' Oh how sweet, I think I found a nice one, she likes me, hee hee. "but the permit cost $200" Holly shit, you bitch Ahh I see they want their bite off the money beast called DUI. Every one wants their taste. So I drop the credit card knowing that the next two days would be filled with smoke, beer, girls, movies, and smiles so fuck it heres your fucking $200. Greedy bastards! they learned that from us you know.
Can't go back to Canada for free till 2010. what a load of bullshit, I was singing blame Canada from South park for the next five hours.

5:06 PM  
Blogger WickedMary said...

Madame Ceremony. I like that much better than the 2nd. It's got class.

8:50 PM  

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