Finally cleared for take off

I thought of bringing Sadness along to my Cancer Centre visit yesterday (I’d have packed her in my backpack so no one would question my carrying a doll), but J. nixed that. She rightly predicted no need for sorrow.

The news was good, leukemia notwithstanding. So good, in fact, that I was finally taken off the sick person’s No Fly List. Sure, I could have travelled across any border I wanted anytime, but the consequences would have been dire were I to get sick. The potential risks of travelling without insurance seemed too high.

But yesterday, since my blood work raised no new red flags, Dr. Blood moved me to the Travel with Caution List. I have been stable, except perhaps on my feet, for over 6 months now. My demise does not appear to be imminent. Yes, I’m as good as I’m gonna get.

Little did I know that J., in anticipation of this news, had started surreptitious vacation planning. Behold, her library holds, which she seemed especially anxious to retrieve, consisted of fresh-off-the-press travel books. She had also arranged for our friend and dog sitter, Triple D, to take care of Jelly for a few weeks. Just in case.

Then my 2016 horoscope appeared in today’s newspaper. In addition to a promotion at work–what work, I say?–it predicted “with Mars in [my] sign for most of this year, [I] will have a high level of physical energy.” Maybe I’ll stop falling asleep on the couch at 7 p.m. most evenings, if I haven’t napped in the afternoon, or even if I have. Trips are so much more fun when I’m awake. Yes, all the stars are aligned.

But I’m so out of border-crossing practice, I’m not sure I’ll know what to do when I get to Customs, after I proudly display my expensive new passport. Thank goodness for Border Security, the best reality show ever. Have you caught an episode yet? The theme song is Would I lie to you? Every episode is a fascinating study in human nature.

The show follows random travellers stopped by customs agents. Those agents are insightful and sneaky. “Do you mind if I look at your cell phone (where I expect to find your job offer despite your abject claims you have no plans to work here without a visa)?” Or: “May I check your bags (which I suspect are full of undeclared foodstuffs, and, no, I don’t care that you’re a heart surgeon)?” How about: “You seem somewhat agitated (and I’m wondering what drugs you’ve ingested for purposes of trafficking, and I’m so glad I don’t have to be the one to retrieve them).”

Then there are the passengers, who are most often lying but sometimes not. J. always guesses correctly, of course. I, on the other hand, have no idea.

As if the show weren’t perfect enough, there’s often a dog subplot. Yes, the sniffer dogs are called in to locate excess currency or food or drugs on the detainee. Those dogs are brilliant, while Jelly would never meet the job qualifications. She can’t even locate stray kibble on the floor. I guess she’s not getting a promotion this year either.

Watch the show. You’ll never lie about the whole smoked duck in your purse again. Thanks to Border Security, I’m ready for anything those customs agents could throw at me, and you know what a bad liar I am.

Customs sniffer dog (beagle) sniffing out luggage



8 thoughts on “Finally cleared for take off

  1. Love your writing style and wanted to say, “Congratulations!”. I hope to do some traveling overseas and then around N. America when I’m done with my leukemia treatments (late summer). I’m glad to read you’re doing so well!


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