Two Canadian atheists go on a cross-country speaking tour of American Bible Colleges, and oh god, they end up committing all sorts of blasphemies. Philosophy meets Stand-up.
(In The Road Trip Dialogues, the prequel, Rev and Dylan are charged with blasphemy for adding “‘Blessed are they that taketh and dasheth thy little ones against the stone.’ Psalms 137:9” to a Right-to-Life billboard just outside Algonquin Park. As a result of a well-publicized court trial, the American Atheist Consortium offers an all-expenses-paid speaking tour of American Bible Colleges. The Blasphemy Tour tells the tale of that tour.)
Rev slowed as they approached the border at Fort Erie and chose a car lane that had virtually no line-up. Carefully maneuvering into the narrow lane, which was marked by concrete dividers on either side and a huge concrete pillar on the driver’s side—whose function intrigued, and absolutely eluded, her—she pulled up snug behind the car in front of her.
Almost instantly a voice boomed out over the speaker. “BACK UP YOUR VEHICLE!!” Simultaneously, a border guard appeared out of nowhere and walked briskly toward their car, making forceful ‘back up’ signs with his hands.
“BACK UP YOUR VEHICLE NOW!!” The voice commanded.
“All right, all right,” she grumbled, puzzled by their urgency, and put the car into reverse. She grabbed onto the back of Dylan’s seat for leverage, turned to look behind, and started to back up.
“Rev!” Dylan said almost immediately. But too late.
She heard the clunk. Then the clatter. And when she turned to face the front again, she saw that the rear view mirror on her door was gone, clipped by the concrete pillar. So that’s what it was for.
She mumbled something as she opened her door to retrieve it.
“REMAIN IN YOUR CAR!!”
“Oh, for Pete’s sake,” she ignored the command. It was just a rear view mirror and it was sitting right there.
“DO NOT EXIT YOUR VEHICLE!!”
She exited the vehicle. More or less.
“Shit,” she muttered.
Dylan didn’t dare glance over—he was staring straight ahead in disbelief, exclaiming with full Irish, “Bloody hell—” Besides, he knew what had happened. “Please tell me you fell out, you’re on the ground, and you’re going to stay there,” he managed to say.
“Yes, yes, and—” she tried to stretch her legs, but apparently her knees were doing their very best imitation of concrete—“don’t have any choice. I hate this growing old—” she growled.
“Yes, well, we can commiserate about the tragedy of being over forty later. Perhaps when we turn sixty. Because at the moment we’re surrounded by half a dozen border guards. All of whom are seriously armed.”
“What?” she popped her head up.
“Men with guns!” Dylan shouted.
“Oh.” She ducked back down.
“PUT YOUR HANDS WHERE WE CAN SEE THEM!!”
Dylan raised his hands.
Rev also raised her hands. Her head hit the pavement. “Shit!”
Dylan winced. “Are you—still conscious?”
“Yes. Unfortunately. I really—”
“—used to have abs. I know.”
“STEP OUT AND AWAY FROM THE VEHICLE.”
Dylan did as he was told.
“STEP AWAY FROM THE VEHICLE!” The voice repeated.
“Just give her—” he looked over at her—“an hour.”
“Oh shut up.”
Two of the three guards who had been aiming at Dylan swivelled to Rev.
“She was talking to me,” Dylan said quickly. “Rev?” He was afraid to look directly at her in case that looked like they were colluding to—do something.
“M’AM, KEEP YOUR HANDS RAISED, STAND UP, AND STEP AWAY FROM THE VEHICLE!!”
She grunted. And cursed again.
“He called you ‘m’am’,” Dylan said out of the side of his mouth. “That should give you—motivation.”