Story time… – Danny Machal

Years ago I was habitually abusing over the counter medications.  All uppers, downers, and psychedelic drugs you can obtain by walking into any store.  You just just have to know what to get or what to extract.  Naturally a habit like that will get pretty costly.  Like any other junky I started stealing and I got pretty good at it.  For years I was able to obtain thousands of dollars worth of medications.  When I would visit a new town or a new place I was more concerned with its Pharmacies and Drug stores then any attractions.  It became a game almost.  Me against them.

About 5 years ago the DEA cracked down on a lot of things and you had to start showing ID, limiting the amounts of things you could purchase, and you couldn’t buy directly from chemical suppliers anymore.  I actually went liget for a while and stopped stealing but after the DEA shut down all the chemical suppliers things were back to the old way.  Masquerading as the chemistry Department from (insert college here) for botanical experiments wasn’t going to work anymore.  Back to breaking the law.

Then I moved to Chico.  Oh boy! A new playground for me.  I was in Chico for about 4 months and then it happened.  I picked up about 40 bucks worth of product at the Raley’s on East Ave.  As I walked out the door someone grabbed my arm and flashed a badge.  Busted… great… Petty Theft Misdemeanor, printed, booked, mugshots, the whole nine yards.  (yes I had to resist the Tator Salad urge)

Here is a link to my case

So what does this have to do with my trip?  You can probably guess.  I was denied my entry into Canada because of this infraction.  Here is the excerpt from the Canadian Immigration act that covers this.

“(2) No immigrant and, except as provided in subsection (3), no visitor shall be granted admission if the immigrant or visitor is a member of any of the following classes: (a) persons who have been convicted in Canada of an indictable offence, or of an offence for which the offender may be prosecuted by indictment or for which the offender is punishable on summary conviction, that may be punishable under any Act of Parliament by a maximum term of imprisonment of less than ten years, other than an offence designated as a contravention under the Contraventions Act; (a.1) persons who there are reasonable grounds to believe (i) have been convicted outside Canada of an offence that, if committed in Canada, would constitute an offence that may be punishable by way of indictment under any Act of Parliament by a maximum term of imprisonment of less than ten years, or (ii) have committed outside Canada an act or omission that constitutes an offence under the laws of the place where the act or omission occurred and that, if committed in Canada, would constitute an offence that may be punishable by way of indictment under any Act of Parliament by a maximum term of imprisonment of less than ten years, except persons who have satisfied the Minister that they have rehabilitated themselves and that at least five years have elapsed since the expiration of any sentence imposed for the offence or since the commission of the act or omission, as the case may be;”

Basically, if 10 years haven’t gone by or I didn’t apply for my certification of rehabilitation “do not pass go and do not collect 200 dollars.”  You can imagine how it felt.  Escorted back onto the Ferry, signing my retraction of application to enter Canada – it all brought me back to my arraignment day.  Sitting in a court room with the scum of society and I was one of them.  It wasn’t who I wanted to be, but I can’t deny what I did.  I just wasn’t prepared for that skeleton to be brought out of the closet.  Not like this anyway.

After I got back to the good ole USA – I delt with it like any American.  I found a bar, ordered a double Bushmills, a beer, slammed them both and walked out.  I needed to figure out what to do.  It took a lot to fight the inner urges to do something wreckless and stupid.  I got my head on straight and got a hotel room.  Found the nearest eatery/bar and drank my face off.  So now that I’m sufficiently hungover and watching the Golden Girls I have to figure out my next move.  Not quite sure what I want to do yet.  I’m not upset anymore, it is what it is.  So now you know 🙂

ps. I’m taking a nap, suggestions are welcome for what I should do :p

October 23rd, 2008

Posted In: Personal, zEverything

  • Zebulon

    That Sucks man.
    I can tell you that my personal trips to Canada have been unpleasant.

    It looks like Port angeles is only about 85 miles from Seattle. One option would be to visit the city and see what attractions are currently being advertised.

    You are also backed up to the Olympic National Forest. I however Don’t really know much about that area However.

  • Man fuck canada, seriously. What about Hearst Castle? I wonder how far that is. or Lake Havesu? I’m not good with the area, but there is TONS to do in the US – make it happen. 🙂


  • Sarah

    So… Here’s my suggestion… Go to Seatle.. then you can take the i5 all the way home… Stop where you feel like it. 🙂 After Seattle it goes through vancuver, tacoma, Salem and so on and so forth…. Just an errant thought. 🙂 You’ve got time to kill. 🙂

  • Michele

    Dude. Go back to Forks. Unless you saw absolutely everything you could possibly see… but you were sad to leave, why not spend another day or two there? That sucks but the bright side is you didn’t really have any plans set in stone in Canada so you don’t have to worry about canceling reservations or anything right? 🙂 You’ll figure something out!

    ps I’m about 1/3 of the way through book 4. The intensity is killing me. I’ve been happy, sad, angry, confused… so many things, at this book!

  • Mike

    OMG … darn .. I forgot to warn you … I’m sorry. I had a friend turned down at the Canadian border because of a DUI case on his record and another time I had a friend actually taken to the back room and searched and harassed because he had a very old record for possessing illegal fireworks.
    I’m fond of your decision to slam some shots and stay put long enough to get your bearings. Life is so uncertain, so full of surprises but you are young and I’m sure visiting Canada is in your future. In the meantime I wouldn’t count out a stop off at Port Townsend and a look-see at the “Wooden Boat Foundation” and a stroll down water street including some lunch overlooking the bay.
    I also like Sarah’s suggestion to visit Seattle. Never had a bad time there myself and if you want to you can take a ferry from Seattle to just about anywhere on Puget Sound and explore the beauty of the Northwest from the water.
    Best wishes for a renewed vigor and enthusiasm for the unknown you embarked upon just a few days back.

  • Michele

    I just had another idea (well actually it was Julia’s)… you could come home a day early and make it to our halloween party 🙂

  • Shayne

    I agree with Michele’s second idea! Come back to Chico and make the party! Hope to see you soon!

  • cachinnator

    Arrrrghh!!! No No No! Do not return home asap. Bad advice from friends with ulterior motives. Here’s what you should do: Go to Seattle. Go to the airport. You have your passport. You have several days left. Go to or whatever and put in an offer on a trip anywhere. There has got to be at least one flight that has a seat empty that will be sold for cheap. Just get the hell outta Dodge! You can probably get a cheap ticket from Seattle to any pacific rim city, such as Seoul, Tokyo, Taipei, Hong Kong, Kowloon, Shanghai, Manila. They will not check into your juicy sordid past. (Oh my!)
    For instance, just after a 3 minute search, I found a round trip flight to Taipei for $1000. Now, tho that’s quite a wad to drop, it’s WAY more interesting than Victoria, and you’ll get your passport stamped to boot. Tho I’d suggest Seoul or Tokyo or Bangkok as a more interesting alternative to Taipei. Good luck, Danny. :-\

  • cachinnator

    And another thing:

    I’m very simpathetic to your situation. And there are two lessons to be learned:

    1) Next time go to some place more fun and interesting, such as Italy or Thailand, which, moreover, don’t care about your wonderfully criminal and sordid past.

    2) If you are one of the lucky few who have sordid pasts (i.e., skeletons)… DO NOT have closets! That way you can’t have skeletons in your closet. You must display your skeletons to the world (except potential employers).. that way, people who care about you can warn you about potential problematic situations and, ergo, you can avoid some dastardly situations.

    Oh, btw, if you go back down the coast, remember to stop at The Sea Hag in Depoe Bay in Oregon and sample some of their world-famous clam chowder.

    And if you go thru Reedsport, stop by the Discovery Center. They have two cool exhibits there.


  • Deb

    I agree with Rhonda – don’t go back to Chico
    just yet, continue the adventure! Seattle is awesome
    with lots to do and explore! One of my most favorite trips
    was traveling the CA/Oregon coast with no agenda except
    to stop when we felt like it, stop for the night when
    we were tired, No reservations, no plans, no schedules! We just went
    for it
    I look forward to reading more about your travels
    Danny and enjoy reading about how you view things
    Safe travels

  • I won’t be going back to Chico until Sunday. Rhonda you are right. Skeletons are a bad thing. 🙂

  • Mike

    I cachinnate when I read Rhonda’s comments (surprise) … I agree it’s important to find out the emigration laws BEFORE you go to visit another country .. and I’m not surprised the ferry boat company didn’t make absolutely sure you were aware of the possible reasons a US citizen might be turned away from the border … they screwed you and sold you the ticket anyway. but the fact is that it was their responsibility to warn you in no uncertain terms BEFORE they sold you the ticket. On the bright side you did get to ride through those wild currents in the San Juan strait and at least got a glimpse of Victoria … the truth is that the view from the ferry is in fact the nicest view of Victoria you get on a visit there.
    But back to the insane ideas Rhonda is spewing about skeletons in your closet. I am emphatically against exposing willingly and without reason your skeletons. She even admits it isn’t a good idea with potential employers and I agree and also suggest that it isn’t a good idea PERIOD. Some things are best left unsaid or unrevealed. It’s common knowledge that omitting items from you past indiscretions isn’t exactly telling a lie .. it’s just a prudent move. Why create doubt that no longer has significance. That was then and it is over. I admire that you chose to expose the incident on the blog and it made for good reading and created a lot of sympathy but truthfully I personally don’t care that you were caught for shop lifting as a juvenile delinquent or that you had a drug problem … who among most folks could throw that first stone considering their own pasts? I venture to suggest that many of your pals have done and been through worse so it really doesn’t matter to us BUT it does matter in certain circles beyond friendships and so I for one disagree with Rhonda the Cachinnator and believe you did the right thing to keep that closet door shut. It’s just TMI (too much information) and if by keeping it closed up in the back room avoided this same situation from coming to a boiling point at some other more important situation in your life it is easy to see how it was the right choice to keep it on the QT.
    I must admit the posting was I assume a cathartic moment for you which are almost always a relief and a pleasant experience but PLEASE … if there are other closets still unopened I implore you to leave them shut. Being an “open book” isn’t all it’s cracked up to be … the mysteries in your closets are often times a big part of what makes you the special and unique fellow we all enjoy getting to know better as time goes by, and what fun would relationships be without those illusive unknown variables, it’s those X-Factors that leave something for the imagination to ponder and something for the curious to suppose and guess at.
    It’s my contention that all of you here, that agree with the laughing hyena Rhonda, should promptly post YOUR skeletons to the blog in a show of solidarity with Danny … otherwise join me in voting for deleting the entire thread. 🙂

  • It sounds to me like you two are having a fight on my website.

    Writing out the past and giving the reasons for my denial into Canada was more therapeutic than anything. Part of me wanted to just lie right out, leave out the details but I frankly always do that and this time I didn’t want to. It is a TMI, and a big one, but its my choice. I don’t make people read it, that is their choice. It isn’t as though I exposed some deep inner part of myself and now I am an emotional lamb cast to the wolves. Shit happens, it was in the past. However to avoid explaining and having to relive this thing 100 more times – I deemed it in my best interest to do it once and be done with it.

    I don’t need sympathy, I’m my own vessel here. I didn’t write a boohoo sob story so people would feel bad for me and share my down trodden attitude. I just wanted to tell it like it was. “It made for a good read.” That is reward enough for me.

    I sometimes look at people who live a “transparent” existence and they all seem much happier. Those of us that harbor every single emotion place a lot of unwarranted stress upon ourselves. It is who we are.

    I’m not in some crazy emotional state. So every comment made here isn’t molding and shaping my attitude toward the world. It is my intention to do whatever I feel like doing just like when I left Chico.

  • Perry Fox

    I agree with everybody about all that shit they said, but I still don’t know how I got through Canada 3 years after my big LSD bust in Alaska, unless, maybe those particular laws were not in effect in’94…anyhoo a trip to Seattle &/or around the sound on the ferry would be cool…go check out Bainbridge Island or Port Orchard, both places are beautiful & fun to just explore…on the other hand, a side-excursion to Bankok will change your life in a very deep way, I guarantee it. Good luck Danny-boy, but by all means, enjoy.
    P.S. It’s spelled ‘legit’ not liget, as in short for legitimate. -Peace-

  • Rhonda

    Oh, yeah… DON’T expose your skeletons to your future spouse. They just might bring up these little sins of yours every time they run into a brick wall of logic in the middle of an argument 🙂

  • Mike

    Exactly Cachinnator ….. Just another reason to support my LOGICAL argument for keeping skeletons hidden where they belong in a locked up tight closet.

  • Kasey

    Oh bring em all on! WTF who cares? I got lots of skeletons, doesn’t everybody? sounds like you’re having blast – keep being spontaneous!!!

Story time…