The first thing I should have realized was that it's a bad idea to act fishy to the border guard.
“You only gave me two passports,” he said. “There are four people in this car. Who are the two in the back seat?”
“Oh, those guys are artists, sir. Art teachers, actually. I mean, also”
"Doug Anderson and Dennis Nolan." He read their names and studied my face. "Why do you want to go to Canada?”
“We want to go to the museum to look at the paintings of a guy named John William Waterhouse.”
The second thing I should have realized was that it’s stupid to make smart remarks.
“How do you all relate to each other?” he said.
“Very well, thank you.” I glanced over at Jeanette. Her eyes widened. She wasn’t smiling. Neither was the guard.
He snapped the passports shut. “I see that two of you have never been to Canada before. We would like to get to know you better. Please pull over to Detention Building 2.
We sat in a bleak room with a lot of desperate looking people and signs about FIREARMS written with capital letters. An hour went by. Finally my name got called. A hard looking lady started asking me a bunch of questions. I pulled out the sketchbook. What did I have to lose now?
“Could you make this take as long as possible?” I asked. “If you don’t mind, I’d like to draw your portrait.
This time it worked. She looked through the sketchbook and actually smiled a little and eventually sent us on our way.
We lost a lot of time before we finally arrived in Montreal, and we’ll have to make up for it tomorrow.
Addendum: Steve, here are the earlier posts on Dennis Nolan. Art History: A Fresh View and Two Things to Remember.