Bass players are a dime a dozen. Apparently that’s the attitude my band adopts when it comes time to cross the border from Canada to the US.

We all piled out of our bus yesterday and inundated the office at a customs entry point. I needed to use the restroom (I read a book a few years ago that says that everyone needs to at some point) so I budged in line to more expeditiously check into our glorious country. I was processed promptly and pleasantly which left me some time to do some processing of my own at their facility and told a few people from our bus so, mostly as a precautionary measure.

After I was done with the necessary paperwork I walked outside to find everyone gone and the bus nowhere in sight. It was freezing outside and I just had a little track jacket. I looked all over the parking lot and between buildings but could not find our bus for the life of me. I suppose my aimless wanderings attracted the attention of a border guard because the next thing I heard was, “Stop! Turn around and get your hands out of your pockets!” (Remember the part about it being freezing?) I told him my situation and, after a few choice expletives, he directed me back into the same building to go through more processing. Inside I found the atmosphere to be a little more warm and friendly, and the personnel very helpful. I didn’t have my cell phone with me and therefore did not know any numbers to have them call to get the bus turned around.

One guy’s great idea was to look up our band website to try to find a phone number. I assured him there would be no help there, but try they did anyway. “Hey look, that’s him!” they cried, seeing my picture on the website. People that had been snickering when listening in on my predicament start outright laughing, hopefully good-naturedly. There was a group of Asians that had been caught smuggling produce into the US that would look at me, say something Asian amongst themselves, then laugh and look at me again. I was a true star. In the end I had the border patrol ring up my wife.


“Is this Sarah Warne?”

“Uh, yes.”

“Wife of John Michael Warne?”


“Uh, yes.”

They then proceeded to tell her the situation and assured her that I was okay and “under their protection”. For a while I guess she thought someone was pulling her leg, but eventually she thought better of it and decided to believe the guy. She then called Thiessen who told our bus driver to turn around.

Back at the detention center they apprised me of the conversation they had had with my wife and told me to meet the bus at the distant McDonalds in town, apparently the international rendezvous point for refugees. I thanked them and started off, in my mind on a slightly shorter version of the Ididerod (remember the part about it being freezing?). Lucky for me one of the people that overheard what was going on approached me, offering me a ride and an escape from my cold trek. He was on his way to a worship practice at his across-the-border church. Thanks Andy!

I arrived at McDonalds with a few minutes to spare, so I enjoyed a warm meal a la Morgan Spurloch that gave me the McGurgles. Moral of the story: Don’t sweat it if you get left at the border. You might just get a #7 value meal and a chance to get rid of some of your funny colored Canadian money.


Listening to "Truly, Truly"
from the album Light 'em Up
by The Fags