Sunday 9 November 2014

The Investigator

Don't read this...I was tired when I wrote it and Louise keeps pointing out mistakes and errors. I just don't care any more tonight.

My dad was an investigator with Customs and Excise Canada. He started out working in an office downtown checking on things being shipped in from the States. I can remember him bringing home comic books with the covers torn off when I was sick. When they checked a trucks contents I guess that a sample was given so that they didn't need to unload the whole truck.

I was in high school when he became an investigator and it was a cause for celebration in our family. It meant that the family would have more money to spend (on me?) and dad’s job would have more meaning. The coolest thing was that he got to carry a badge and could call in the Mounties whenever a subject of his investigation would give him a hard time. In the USA, customs investigators carried hand guns and were considered peace officers with the right and duty to arrest wrong doers.

His being a member of Canada’s law and order community lost its appeal for me when I discovered the benefits of mind altering substances. If I were to be arrested, it might reflect poorly on my dad with his superiors. If I were arrested, my last worry would be for what dad’s co-workers would think. Over a period of a couple of years, I devolved into a long haired, tie-dyed, pot smokin’ hippie. My dad told me that if I were to see him on the street downtown, I should pretend that I didn’t know him as it would look bad for him. I told him I understood and would honour his wishes. What I didn’t say is that if I were to be seen talking to him it could have a detrimental effect on my reputation as well. I didn’t want to be seen talking to a Narc in broad daylight on Yonge Street.

Our mutual worry’s never amounted to anything and over the year’s, societies views on the counter-culture mellowed quite a bit. I just fell into a lifestyle that millions of other kids followed, so I was nothing special. I’m still nothing special when it comes right down to it. Dad settled into his job and it turned out that he was more or less just an accountant that would do audits on companies to ensure that they were paying the proper amount of import taxes. Many didn’t and often when we were driving around town there would be a boarded up building with an overgrown parking lot and as we passed dad would say “I did an audit on that company, they used to import coffee makers.” Pretty cold dad!

Dad was just doing his job and if it hadn’t been him, then some other cold assed fed would do the dirty. Eventually, dad got tired of the bullshit because every now and then, Ottawa would contact him and tell him to wrap up an audit on a large employer (read big political supporter). There was one audit that dad did and for some reason, the minister wanted the owners put in jail for fraud. Dad told the minister that they did underpay import duties, but they were given incorrect information from our government. They were more than willing to pay the taxes, but didn’t feel they should pay any fines and dad agreed with them.

The minister didn’t agree and ordered dad to nail them to the wall as it were. Dad weighed his options and decided to take an early retirement. Just after he put in his papers, he told the minister to go fuck himself. Who hasn’t wanted to say that to a member of our government? 

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