While traveling on the Trans-Canada highway with C, we saw nature's wonder in great abundance. We encountered the living, breathing niceness that seems to be the hallmark of what it is to be Canadian. We drove through flurries of snow, forests, rock cuts, and limitless flatness. But the thing that sticks out in my mind isn't all that. It's Ron, a welder's assistant on the gas line running near Swift Current.
In what we thought was an abandoned Travelodge, while soaking in a hot tub with some Steam Whistles we imported from Ontario, a pot-bellied Teddy Bear drove up in his truck, came into the pool area, pulled off his clothes, and jumped in with us. We became fast friends, and soon learned he was employed in the hard-knock life of the pipeline. He made a hospital's ER sound akin to a walk in the park when describing his occupation; he painted a portrait of a man being paid to flirt with danger 12 hours a day. We were duly impressed.
As with all initial contact between males, it turned out to be macho posing. After a while, the truth materialised; replacing the portrait of a roughneck pioneer in the wilderness of the Prairies, was a Lite Brite sketch of coffee breaks and extended periods of slacking off. . .in the wilderness of the Prairies. . .far from a supervisor. The only thing consistent with his original portrayal was the extremely good pay. But such is bonding between males: first, it's how tough your life is; then, it's how much easier, sweeter, it is. I do it myself.
From out of nowhere two pre-teen boys materialized and began romping in the pool. The presence of young, impressionable ears took none of the colour out of Ron's stories; he was just getting warmed up. He had just begun to elaborate on his statement:
R: "Roadhouse is pretty much my favourite movie, because I lived it every day back in the late 90's."
We had to know more.
R: "My first night bouncing at my buddy's bar, this Indian lady picked a fight with another lady--white lady--and I thought 'Cool! Cat fight!'. But they wouldn't stop, and it was getting out of hand. I told the Indian lady--she was lying on the floor--that she had to leave, but she could come back tomorrow. I was bent over her, and she grabbed my hair and told me to 'Fuck off!', you know."
The two boys overheard this and started to giggle and whisper.
R: ". . .and she wouldn't let go. I didn't know what to do. My boss came over and said, 'You let go off his hair and get the fuck out, and I'm not going to ask twice!' Then he just took his steel-toed workboot and kicked her in the cunt."
Yes. He dropped the 'c' bomb. Like it was no different from an "if" or "but".
R had a big grin on his face.
The boys looked horrified; all splashing had stopped.
Chris and I nodded appreciatively; any man who skips pussy, vag, clam, hair taco, 'the pink', and twat in the company of relative strangers is a man we could learn a thing or two from. What we now had to come to terms with was that everything R knew about life and living he learned from this man. . .