The last car ahead of them sped off into the darkness of the United States territory, and Steve, reluctantly, slowly, pulled the car up to a stop in front of the border guard. He gave Ollie one last glance, trying to let him know not to panic. The border guard peered in. He was a middle-aged man with a tightly trimmed Army regulation mustache and a face that had the roadmap of Texas on it. He looked pissed off.

"Where are you boys headin'?" He asked, leaning uncomfortably close to Steve's face.

"We're going to Seattle, sir," Steve replied. "I live there."

"And where do you live?" the guard said to Ollie.

Ollie looked dumbfounded. Still not all there. Still thinking about the weed (where the hell could it have fallen)? He was silent.

"I'm talking to you, boy," the guard said again, thrusting his burly head even further into the cab.

Ollie looked surprised, caught off guard. He looked up at the officer with that wandering eye. "I'm. . .I'm from Virginia."

The guard eased back a bit.

"Mmm hmm. And what were you doing in Canada?"

"We just went up for the weekend," Steve answered. "You know, just checking out Vancouver. My friend here is visiting me in Seattle."

The guard straightened up and walked around to the front of the truck, looking down at the grill. He sauntered back to cab and leaned ever so slowly into Steve's face.

"If you live in Seattle, how come you got California plates?"

"Oh. . . I. . .I just moved here from San Francisco about a month ago and just haven't had my plates changed. That's all." Steve could feel his heart rate rising. He didn't like this guy at all. Something was weird.

"Drivers license, please, both of ya" the guard asked, leaning back again.

Steve handed his ID over and waited as Ollie, hands shaking visibly, fumbled through his wallet for his driver's license. He finally produced one and handed it across, sweat beading across his forehead.

The guard studied both of them. Flipping between each card. Shuffling them, looking intense. He then directed his steely gaze at the two men in the truck, tapping the licenses against each other and letting out a snort.

"California plates, Washington license, Virginia license. It seems a little fishy to me. Pull over there into that empty stall and go into the building and wait. We're gonna look your truck over."

Steve's eyes grew wide, his mouth agape. He looked over at Ollie for a brief second. Ollie looked pale now, almost succumbing to his fate. Steve looked back at the officer. "O. . O.K., sir."

Steve parked the truck at the empty stall and they slowly got out of the cab, both looking in the door jams, on the floor, on the seat where they were sitting, anything, anywhere, one last attempt without looking obvious. But nothing, nothing was there.

The Drive
American Jokes
West Hastings
Waiting Room
Homeward Bound