Something I didn't think about

232323.jpgI left my show in Oakville at 1 in the morning. I figured I needed to hightail it out of town to avoid Toronto sunrise traffic and make it to Buffalo on time for my morning flight. The weather report called for quite a bit of snow so I maneuvered my rental car through the Canadian roads towards the United States of America. With a hot cup of tea between my legs and a song in my head, I drove and watched the snowflakes float like graceful drunkards from beyond my windshield. By the time I got to the border, the Immigration man gave me the third degree and checked and rechecked my passport and kept asking me what I did for a living. "Why are you playing shows in Canada?" he asked in an accusatory tone. "Why don't you just play in San Diego where you live?" "Why are you such an asshole?" I didn't say. "Because that's how I make my living" I really said. "What kind of music do you play?" he retorted. "How come I've never heard of you?" "Because my records have only gone tinfoil" I chortled. "Whaddya mean tinfoil?" he asked with no sense of humor whatsoever. "It means I'm not that well known. I just drive for hours and play to a few people everywhere in different cities." "I don't know how you can make any money doing doing that" he added with disdain. "Well, I sell guns and heroin on the side" I didn't say. "Ummm I don't know. Jeez Mister I'm trying my best. I really play my heart out every night. People sometimes buy my cds at the shows and the club owners usually pay me and feed me" I said defensively. "I also play in people's houses and they feed me great meals. Why just the other night I played a house concert in Meaford, Ontario and they cooked a huge roast beef dinner with Yorkshire pudding and mashed potatoes and veggies and a great dessert to boot!" I felt like I was defending my life to the life defining authorities. I thought that if he decided what I was doing wasn't up to par with the life defining standards of the immigration life act #2242 that I would be sent to a re-education camp to find a new life's purpose. I waited in my car for his answer as the snow flakes fluttered toward my windshield like ticker tape rejects until he finally looked up from his computer screen. "Yorkshire pudding?" he asked. "Mmmm, I love Yorkshire pudding. Did they make gravy that you could use for dipping?" "Oh hell yes!" I shouted back. "Ok, you can go now. Drive real careful, it's really starting to come down." "Yorkshire pudding" I thought to myself as I drove off. "Who woulda thunk? I should have mentioned that first." By the time I got to Buffalo it was 3 in the morning and the roads were in bad shape. I figured I'd drive as close as I could to the airport and find a hotel. There was no room at the inn. Anywhere. I started frantically calling every hotel in the book. Zip, nada, zilch, nothing, zero. Then that slow sinking sad feeling hit me at 3:30 in the morning as I slid through the parking lot of another no vacancy hotel. The clerk said to me "you're not going to find anything for miles. It was Monday Night Football here in Buffalo. A home game versus The Cleveland Browns. A shit load of folks from Cleveland came up to the game and football here is religion." I trudged back out to my rental car in the icy snow and left the motor running and cranked up the heat as I laid down my seat. I finally fell asleep and had bad dreams that someone was going to see my lights on in the car with it running and try to rob me. Or that somehow the exhaust was going to leak in and I'd wake up dead. Instead I woke up at 7 am with my leg sound asleep up to my hip. The gas tank was on empty and there was snow all over like it was Christmas morning. I stepped out of the car and peed in the parking lot like a hobo and then slipped and fell in my own pee. I thought about all the people in Guelph who could have used that wasted liquid. (see blog entry about Guelph- below- to follow that thought) I started laughing and shivering at the same time and got in the car and went to the airport. I guess I should have tried to book a room from Canada. That's something i didn't think about. Am I any smarter from this little incident? No- but I did sleep in the parking lot of a Holiday Inn Express. Yours in Yorkshire, Steve