Stephen Harper’s Revenge

003To anyone affiliated with Canada Customs: The events described in this post are fictional. None of this ever happened. It’s an imaginary story. I made it up. As a matter of fact, the characters in this post are make believe, too. Any resemblance to me or my friend D is purely coincidental.

Returning from our recent shopping day in Washington, D and I got held up in a two-hour line. When it was finally our turn to be grilled by the border guard before being allowed return to our home country, D flashed her brightest smile. (She hates paying duty.)

“Anything to declare, ladies?”

This was going to be easy: just a couple of dresses for D and my handbag…oh, and two boxes of wine we got at Target.

“Two boxes of wine?” Suddenly, the guard was like a pig who’s just discovered the mother lode of truffles. “How big are these boxes of wine?”

“Not very big,” said D. “Each holds the equivalent of one bottle.”


Not really! Hers was a jumbo sized box that held FOUR 750 mL bottles. Mine was a cute little wine cube that held TWO bottles. Together we were smuggling the equivalent of six bottles of wine. I think the limit for a trip under twenty-four hours is, like, zero.

“Really! They’re just teeny one-bottle boxes, right, Nanette?”

“Mmm hmm.” I couldn’t meet his eyes. Would we do hard time for lying to a border guard?

“Since it’s only one bottle a piece, you can go through.”

D rolled up her window and put the pedal to the metal.

Once we were safely out of official earshot my normally law abiding friend laughed, “No duty for us! Screw you, Stephen Harper!”

This was an image upon which I preferred not to dwell.

Fast forward a couple of weeks and I finally cracked my oh so cheap, duty free box of American wine. It was harsh and acidic and tasted more than a little off.

But it was the only wine in the house, so I drank a glass anyway.

I spent the rest of the night awake, straddling the miserable cusp where nausea meets a pounding headache.

Ugh! I’ve got Stephen Harper’s revenge.