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Crossing the Border from Pennsic
By Master Hector of the Black Height

A number of years ago I worked as an Immigration officer at Pearson International Airport. Having just returned from my summer vacation, a week at the Pennsic War in Butler County, Pennsylvania, I was given an easy day and was assigned to the Immigration office overlooking the Customs hall that accepted cross-border passengers just flown in from the United States. A flight came through, and one passenger was referred in to me by Customs; he had no ID proving his claim of Canadian citizenship. This was a tall man in his early- to mid-twenties, with a beard, longish hair, glasses and, hanging around his neck, a Pennsic War medallion, the type issued to each Pennsic pilgrim on arrival at the event.

I asked the gentlemen a few questions and rapidly became convinced he was a Canadian who had been silly and left his ID at home. I asked him a couple more questions, including “Why were you in the United States?”

His reply: “I was visiting friends in Indiana.” Hmmm…

A few more questions, then I asked, “How long were you in Pennsylvania?” He was somewhat taken aback and responded “About five days.” A few more questions, and then “When did you arrive in Butler County?” He was even more taken aback, and replied “Er, last Wednesday.”

A couple more questions, then I pointed directly at the Pennsic medallion and asked “What’s the number on that?” He looked down and read off “2,709” (or whatever).

I looked off into space for a minute, mumbled “2,709, last Wednesday, five days in Pennsylvania…” and then looked at the gentleman and said “That’s about right. You may go.”

The gentlemen went off to get his luggage without a word. To the best of my recollection I never saw him again. If he ever reads this, I owe him a drink for giving me a story I’ve dined out on for several years now. If not, there’s one poor soul out there who knows the Canadian Government knows absolutely EVERYTHING about him.