Monday, October 15, 2007
Week 4: Bravo Two Zero, + Tax.
This week our heroes venture across the boarder for a shopping extravaganza in the form of a day trip to the US and take the infamous BC driving test, the ultimate test of man's courage; skill, wit and determination, a feat only surpassed in difficulty by a day's shopping in the United States.
With the Canadian dollar now at parity with the US dollar; but with Canadian retail prices 25% higher than those in the US, we decided to participate in the much loved Canadian pass time of cross-boarder shopping. Having listened to and noted down all the advice given to us by seasoned campaigners about organising such a cross boarder raid; a plan was duly drawn up and team of specialists assembled.
It soon became obvious that there was only one man/women who could pull off a job like this and it was decided that the team should be lead by the very experienced and veteran retail commando Corporal Jones. Also selected for the mission, was Unit scrounger Private, (1st class) Dingus and Unit Whinger, Private (1st class) Wingus. Ed (pronounced Wing-gus and Ding-gus). At the last minute, it was also decided to take along someone from the motor pool to deal with all the transportation issues and so, the team was joined by Private (definitely 2nd class) Sushams. So with the team assembled, it now became a waiting game ... wating for the green light.
Mission: Assault as many US retail installations as possible and liberate with extreme prejudice targeted goods ... also, have a spot of lunch.
Date: Sunday, September 23rd.
As the sun rose, the unit assembled with Private Wingus leading the dawn chorus with a barrage of whinges worthy of his lofty rank. Private Dingus also chipped in with an "it's far too early to go on a mission Dad" and that a full cook up was in order before he would even consider getting his kit on. So to quash this mutinous rebellion I turned to our illustrious leader for support, but it was to no avail, as she was upstairs drying her hair. So we broke out our mess tins had some scoff and made a brew. Ed (They had breakfast). The dawn came and went and it was 0830 hours before the team started to load the specially prepared vehicle that Private (2nd class) Sushams had spent all night working on and with the co-ordinates now loaded into the state of the art GPS navigation equipment, the team headed for the boarder.
It was decided that we would cross the heavily guarded boarder, at grid reference (911-999), a little know town called xxxxxxx and from our intel we were lead to believe that this was a very quiet crossing. Our plan was to masquerade as a British family, with Canadian residency status visiting the US for the day, this would surely be enough to confuse any suspecting boarder guard, as it still confuses me on occasions. This crossing was also to be our agreed extraction point, unless the team got split up and if that was the case, we would go to plan B, which was to meet outside 'Build A Bear' in the Bellingham Shopping Mall.
The journey to the boarder was uneventful, with clear roads and good weather and with the GPS navigation equipment functioning perfectly, the team made good progress. Private Wingus, who it turns out is a distant cousin of Robert Albert Einstein Oppenheimer, inquired on repeated occasions, as to the ETA of the unit at the target area and also suggested several technical modifications that could be made to the unit vehicle, which would speed up our journey, (many of which involved the fitting of rocket motors and nuclear particle accelerators). Private (2nd class) Sushams from the motor pool acknowledged the suggested modifications and said that he would get back to him on that one.
With less than a mile to go to the target area, the vehicle rounded a corner only to be confronted with a stationary queue of traffic and there we stayed, inching our way forward, until finally two hours later we arrived at the boarder. By now troop morale was at an all time low. Private (1st class) Wingus was ready to abort the mission with one of his nuclear bombs and Private (1st class) Dingus even offered to give a hand and when our illustrious leader started talking about aborting the mission, I knew we were in trouble. However, with the boarder now in sight, discipline was restored and the mission was now back on.
At the check point, Private (2nd class) Sushams from the motor pool drew in a deep breath, wound down the window, smiled and calmly presented to the US boarder guard, four British passports. "What's the purpose of your visit to the Untied States?" inquired the humourless man in a stern, approaching rude, turn of phrase. "Pleasure" came the reply from Private (2nd class) Sushams from the motor pool, still managing to hold his nerve. The humourless boarder guard looked the private straight in the eyes and parried back with a testing, probing question, designed to crack the toughest of adversaries; "And how long do you intend to stay in the United States?" The atmosphere in the unit vehicle was electric, it was make or break, would the private from the motor pool hold his composure, or would the relentless interrogation from the surly boarder guard finally break the metal of Private (2nd class) Sushams? ... "At this rate, about 5 minutes" replied the Private with a nervous laugh. The unit simultaneously gasped for breathe. What was the Private from the motor pool thinking, did he honestly think that now was an appropriate time for at best, suspect humour? The pause that followed lasted a lifetime and was then shattered in an instant, when Private (1st class) Dingus, decided to break-wind with all the gusto of an Asian Sirocco ...
The Humorless boarder guard had seen right through our facade; "Park your vehicle in Bay 23 and proceed to the Boarder Control Office. You're not going anywhere, until we get fingerprints and photo ID's" he said. Surely, now with our cover blown, the mission was over, but we had one last chance ...
In the Boarder Control Office, Privates (1st class) Wingus and Dingus decided that they would check-out a possible back door exit strategy and went to the toilet. While Private (2nd class) Sushams from the motor pool, was instructed to stand behind Corporal Jones and say nothing. Now, up and till now, the Corporal had been keeping a very low profile; even pretending to sleep in the unit vehicle on the way to the boarder. But this wasn't fooling anybody, as nobody snores like that in real life, therefore, she must have been faking it. Private (1st class) Wingus likened it to a moose with a heavy cold, but 'cometh the hour, cometh the Women' and the Corporal stepped up to save the mission. Inside the boarder control office, we were asked to present our passports and as calmly as you like, the Corporal handed over the documents, along with (tucked inside the top passport), a wedge of US dollar bills. Genius, thought the Private from the motor pool; the old bribe the boarder guard trick, ... risky, but worth a chance. Well, it seemed to do the trick, as the entire unit was duly finger printed, photographed and processed and sent on our merry way, the mission was back on!
The Editor: I apologise to you the reader, but I have decided to pull this story from the blog as it is quite apparent that there is NO story here. The Andy McNab wanna be, is getting carried away with this self indulgent twaddle. To summarise, they went to Bellingham, had a very average Thai lunch, bought a screwdriver, two Teddy bears from 'Build a Bear' and a cheese grater. Then they had to come home, as they had run out of time. Oh and as for the bribe, it costs $6 per person for a temporary visa for the USA. However, please continue to subscribe to the blog, as our usual columnist returns next week from his holidays, to report on our heroes and the dreaded BC driving test.
Take care and Love to all.
J N C & T.
Bravo Two Zero + Tax.
(L to R) -
Private (2nd class) Sushams: Motor Pool.
Private (1st class) Dingus: Unit Scrounger.
Corporal Jones: Patrol Leader.
Private (1st class) Wingus: Unit Whinger.
Posted by John sushams at 2:27 PM