We're Going to See the Backstreet Boys!
It was approximately five thirty in the morning when our trip to see the Backstreet Boys in Vegas got off to a bumpy start.
In order to save money for cocktails, my leading lady Valli and I decided to fly domestic out of Bellingham, Washington. Pulling up to the American border, I turned down “I Want it That Way” blasting on the speakers, and advised Valli that everything was going to be just fine. The truth is, I have been nervous driving into the United States, ever since our family station wagon was pulled over and searched for drugs when I was five years old.
As the light turned green, I pulled my hatchback forward and rolled down the window.
“Good morning officer,” I greeted the Border Patrol Agent, whose gender I am still unsure of.
“Do you have any guns?” they replied.
Half-asleep and on a five-second delay, I started to panic when I registered the question asked of me. As the steam from our Tim Hortons coffees dissipated onto the windshield, I felt my sense of rational thought vanish with it. In desperate search for an answer, I turned to Valli and mouthed the two syllables “do we” punctuating a question mark with my eyebrows. As soon as I saw her jaw begin to shift left and right, I snapped back to reality.
“No Officer,” I confirmed. “We are currently not in possession of any firearms or illegal substances.”
I looked back at Valli whose forehead had dropped inconspicuously into her hands. While her voice remained silent, I could hear her screaming telepathically, “WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU?”
“Passports,” the Border Patrol Agent commanded.
Okay, now what happened next, I admit was roughly 62% my fault. The rest of the blame can be chalked up to bad timing.
You see, whenever I travel, I always plan for at least three outfit changes per day of the trip. Plus, I pack an additional two outfits for whenever I spill red wine on myself. Now I know what you are thinking, what do my clothes have to do with our Passports? Well, the answer is – everything.
Dressed in a cute blue bomber jacket with a floral print sweater and Werther’s Original caramel trousers, there was nothing wrong with how I was dressed; except for where I decided to store my Passport.
Reaching my right hand into my left inside coat pocket, I froze when the Agent jumped back.
With their right hand nearing their firearm, and their left pointing a flashlight directly at my chest, I started to panic again when I realized the error of my ways.
“WHAT ARE YOU DOING?” the Agent cried out to me.
“My Passport, Officer,” I exhaled deeply before inhaling a huge breath, “It is inside my jacket pocket.”
When seconds (which felt like decades) passed, I handed over my Passport as soon I was given permission to move again. Reaching over to retrieve Valli’s official documentation, Beverly D'Angelo, I did not have to look her in the eye to know that she was notably unimpressed.
“Where are you headed to?" the Agent asked.
Finally, a question I could answer.
“We are flying to Las Vegas to see The Backstreet Boys in concert!” I exclaimed.
“I was always an ‘NSYNC fan myself.”
“Gosh darnit!” I bit my tongue. My worst fear had come true.
After ten seconds of suspenseful direct eye contact passed, I thanked Meryl Streep and the Border Patrol Agent when our Passports were stamped.
Merging on to I5, I turned the volume back up on the speakers.
“Well, I think that went well,” I said, glancing over at my co-star.
As the lyrics to “All I Have to Give" fluttered into the air, I crossed my fingers she would forgive me by the time we touched down in Nevada.
To be Continued. Next up, "Ten Minutes Off the Strip."