Asshole Border Guards

Greetings from the US-Canada border crossing at Thousand Islands. I knew I was back in a strange land when I noticed the larger-than-life black MIA/POW flag hanging over the the immigration desks, where in Canada a big happy face emoticon would have been. Yep, back here again.

I also noticed the dual smirking photos of Bush and Cheney. I suddenly felt very sorry for these poor people.

Here’s the situation. I suffer from migraines, so I have a constant supply of prescribed Tylenol 3 (which is acetominophen with codeine, a controlled drug in Canada, but available over the counter in the USA). Members of my family have the same prescription. When hastily throwing things into my luggage for this journey, I didn’t notice that the bottle of Tylenol 3 that I packed was actually my mother’s, not mine.

A lot of cheaper pharmacies also cut corners when dispensing “C3” (one assumes unintentionally, cough cough) by mixing in some C2 pills (which do not contain codeine). So the bottle I was carrying had my mother’s name and had a mixture of C3 and C2 pills. Oh, and did I mention that the bottle is 4 years old and had likely expired?

Of course I get the asshole customs inspector who finds the bottle and has conniptions. Exactly what crime he thinks I was committing I have no idea, since you can get this stuff over the counter at walmart in the US. He was less upset that the bottle had my mother’s name on it, and more upset that there were C2s mixed in –which is weird, because why would I “spike” my illicit codeine with more regular legal acetominophen?

He insisted that the pills “don’t look 4 years old” (’cause he’s also a pharmacist, right?) And he contended that I was using the old bottle as “subterfuge” to smuggle in a mix of new pills.

When I opened my mouth to explain, he cut me off with, “Don’t bother. I can tell from your face that you’re lying!” Well, I could tell from his face that he was a jackass.

The entire affair was quite embarrassing, since it was done in front of the other bus passengers (there’s no privacy in bus travel). I had to actively prevent myself from lecturing this doofus on how dispensed Tylenol looks different from otc Tylenol, which is why they brand it with numbers. But what’s the point? He’d ask me how I know, and I’d have to admit to being a fake doctor and the whole thing would just get weirder.

Can’t wait till the bus stops again so I can take a piss on this country. Oops, I meant “in” this country. My bad.