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Storytelling…

December 16, 2004

Okay, so I owe a couple of stories to people.  First of all, the two truths and a lie…

It is a lie that I have smoked pot with my best friend’s husband. I’ve never smoked pot.  In fact once I was offered it most insistently at a Dave Matthews Band concert by some friendly fellow I didn’t know, and I just kept saying, “No, really, thanks.  You keep it all for yourself,” and smiling at him.

It is, therefore, true that I have accidentally left the country.

Last year over Labor Day weekend, my best friend Diana and I went on a quasi-road-trip.  We flew to San Diego and drove to El Paso, Texas, from whence we flew back home.  So we got to do a road trip through the desert, but only take five days doing it.  Anyway, I wanted very badly to go to Mexico but had forgotten to bring my passport on the trip.  Stupid stupid me.  So we skipped Tijuana while we were in Southern California.  Had an excellent drive through Navajo country, which made us both want to move to the Southwest. Made it to El Paso with about three hours left til our flight, so I suggested we drive down to the border so I could beg one of the border people to let me step across just so I could say I’d been to Mexico.  Hey, who knows? It might’ve worked.

In any case, we headed south and once I saw signs that we were approaching the border, I looked for a place to pull off the freeway.  Guess what?  I now know why outlaws always flee to Mexico:  YOU DON’T EVEN HAVE TO SLOW DOWN ON YOUR WAY IN!!!

All of a sudden we crest a rise and I see this huge sign blazoned with “Bienvenidos a Mexico!”  Diana screams, “What the hell?  What are you doing?”  I shout, “I dunno! I need to get off the road!”  Looking over my shoulder, I see that this is not an option; I have a car on my right so I can’t get over to the exit.  So we drive into Mexico.

The really fun part is that while you can drive into Mexico at about sixty miles an hour, you spent approximately thirty minutes at a dead stop when you’re trying to get back into the U.S.  Being accosted by Mexican entrepreneurs trying to sell you candy bars, soda, newspapers, and velvet pictures of Santa Ana.  I am not making this up.  The SUV in front of us was yanked over into a search bay, where the border patrol opened the trunk, the hood, looked under it with mirrors, and ordered everyone out so they could search them.  It of course had Tijuana plates and was full of Mexicans.  Honestly, I saw more racial profiling while I was in the Southwest than I have ever seen in my life.  The other two times we were stopped at border patrol checkpoints (because we were within thirty miles or whatever of the border) they’d never even asked for our ID.

Anyway, when we got to the gate, the guy asked what we were doing in Mexico.  I told him it was a mistake and that we’d not meant to go there.  He asked how long we’d been there.  I said long enough to turn around and get back in this line.  He waved us in without even asking to see our driver’s licenses.

What I find even more humourous is that this summer, when Mom, Dad, and I were coming back into the US from Canada, we were given the grilling of a lifetime.  The border guards couldn’t understand why we would drive through Canada and all the way to New York State if we were trying to get from Indiana to Vermont.  Does no one take the scenic route anymore?  O.o

SO that’s my story of accidentally going to Mexico.

The other story is my explanation of why dandypants and I ended up in jail together a couple of months ago.  Sadly, it is a surprisingly boring tale:

Crawfordsville, Indiana, has the only functional rotating jail in Indiana (if not the US, I can’t remember) and we were there for a meeting.  So we got a brief tour, and were put inside the jail and saw it rotate.  Very interesting, and very claustrophobic.  But how cool is it that one person could guard about twenty prisoners, and make them dizzy just by cranking the jail around in circles?  Hee.

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