Dude, are you crazy?
Do you know anything about me?
Do you even read this blog?
I am not going to Toronto with those crazy people. I’m going to Toronto to get away from those crazy people!!!!
But thanks Unfinished Dude for guesting—your Giga pens are on the way (if I spelled your name correctly).
My apologies for screwing up the title of your post. You’d think a person with a blog entitled Prefers Her Fantasy Life, would know how to spell Fantasy.
You’d be wrong.
It’s been well-documented that I s*ck at the English language. Please don’t tell anyone that I actually used to teach it.
Anyway, I have been going up to Toronto to visit a college friend for many years, and to the Film Festival for five.
You see, I live in an industrial Midwest town that is quite different than Toronto. My city was made famous by three people:
1) John Denver – he once wrote a song about how the sidewalks here are rolled up at 9:00 pm (these days it’s actually more like 6:45 pm).
2) Jamie Farr (Klinger on MASH) - boasted of the Hungarian hot dogs at Tony Pacos. Yes, real place. Real Hunky Dory.
3) Carleton S. Finkbeiner - Our mayor made national headlines by his response to complaints of unreasonable noise from residents near the airport. His suggestion: Let deaf people move out to live by the airport. Makes perfect sense, I guess. And let’s move stupid people to Alaska. Just kidding.
Yes, my town is the bowling capital of the world and home to the
Mudhens—our baseball team and the Walleyes--our hockey team.
So going to Toronto is a big deal for me. They have restaurants that aren’t chains, they have pubs not located in strip malls. They have people there wearing something other than OSU sweatshirts.
And it’s only 4.5 hours away. Of course, you have to cross the border to get there and that always make me a bit nervous.
When it was my turn in line, the immigration officer asked the purpose for my travel. Of course, I was well-rehearsed.
To visit a friend and go to the Toronto International Film Festival. I omitted the part about drinking myself silly because I’m leaving the family behind.
Oh, are you a director or producer? he asked, almost a little too enthusiastically.
No just a lover of film. And popcorn, of course.
Do you like independent film?
Ah, yes. I watch a lot of indie films.
I was involved in an indie project here in Windsor.
I glanced in the rearview mirror at the line of Americans behind me anxious to get their cheap prescriptions filled in Windsor--go US healthcare!!
Wow, that’s great! I replied. Ummm. Do you need to see my birth certificate?
No, that’s OK. God, I wish I were going with you.
Yeah. Me, too. I mean, thanks.
Have a nice day!
On the way back into Detroit, however, it was a bit different.
What was the purpose of your visit to Canada? a stern voice questioned.
To go to the Toronto film festival.
Where did you stay?
I stayed with a friend.
How do you know this friend?
Ah… I started to sweat. From my hometown.
And why is she living in Toronto?
It’s a he and ah…he got a job there after college.
A job? What does he do in Toronto?
I’m being interrogated. I’m being frickin interrogated. He’s a dancer.
Yes, a modern dancer. You know. Contemporary dance. Like ballet, but without the toe shoes and the gay music.
The immigration officer is suspicious. What does he think? That I’m visiting terrorists? That I’m funneling money to them. Not that I ever would, but yeah, like, right, get in line after MasterCard and Visa and American Express.
He begins to scutinize my driver’s license and birth certificate.
I’m about ready to crack. Spill it out. Tell him I met an Iranian in Toronto. And that the guy was sympathetic to the Palestinians. That I’m sympathetic to the Palestinians. Hell, I used to date a Palestinian. But I like Jews, too, Hell, I used to date a Jew. My Dancer Friend is a Jew. I used to date my Dancer Friend the Jew.
...and I met a guy from Northern Ireland. I never dated a guy from Ireland. But Liam Neeson...hell, I’d
...but Toronto is a cosmopolitan city. I’m a friendly girl. And very tolerant—I’ve had a Catholic Dude guest blog here for crying out loud. I met lots of people in Toronto. Like the Romanian Guy. From Romania. Romania the former Communist country. But I’m not a communist I swear. Although I did like the Motorcycle Diaries.
But communism? They lack a sense of humor now, don’t they?
The officer looked me over seemingly comparing me with the photo on my license. He said nothing about my new sassy hair color.
You visited your college friend who is a dancer?
How long ago were you in college?
Well… a long time ago. Blankety Blank years ago.
Yeah. What can you say? he smiled. You know I can see your age here.
I laughed. But not too hard for fear of peeing my pants.
Did you purchase anything in Toronto?
I showed him my recycled Film Festival tote bag.
You know they have over 300 films from 55 different countries, I throw in just because I’m a friendly girl. You should go sometime.
I’ve been to Toronto lots of times. I don’t like Toronto. Do you know why I don’t like Toronto?
Ah, yes. I mean no.
Because you have to pay $40.00 a day to park in a garage there.
And I’ve traveled all over the world and there isn’t another city where you have to pay $40.00 a day to park in a garage.
Interesting. I glanced at the line of Americans behind me anxious to forgot their losses at the Windsor casinos and check the scores of the college games.
Except maybe Hawaii, he continued. You pay a lot to park in Hawaii.
Is that right? I nonchalantly reached for my driver’s license.
But it's worth it because it’s beautiful there.
Yes, I’ve heard. Did some guy actually honk behind me?
But Toronto isn’t beautiful.
Toronto is ugly.
Right. Maybe they should move the blind people there, I wanted to add.
He handed me the license. Thank you, sir. I started to roll up the window.
By the way maam, he added. You look good for your age.
I knew there was something I liked about that guy.
For more folks that don't look or act their age, visit Humor-Blogs.
Stay Tuned for Toronto Story Part II - Films, Fun and Famous People