Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Kingside Hassling

I realise that by exposing what I, and those near and dear to me, do on our spare time might subject our claim to being cool dudes to tremendous ridicule, but I'll risk it anyway.

For many months now one of my oldest and dearest friends (the drummer for The Constantines, who appears here occasionally as D), my twin brother C, and I have been playing chess using seperate chess boards and emailing algebraic moves to each other. Recently, we took the next step and started a blog to post past games on:

Sans Passant

Funny name, huh?
(if you laughed at the name of the blog, you're a nerd)

To complete the transformation from Teen Wolf to dateless wonder Scott Howard, we also built a league page to log wins and losses on.

801 Chessmasters

Any aspiring chessmasters are welcome.
But if I meet you on a chess board, expect me to treat your ass like grass, and smoke it.

Danza Gonna Make You Mona!

Beer shows are populated by colourful individuals.
But, like a Corpse Flower, these individuals bloom only rarely; and the result is usually equal measures of the sublime and the horrible.

Perhaps it was because both my brother and I were sporting muttonchops. Maybe it was the matching bowling shirts with our names on them. Or it may have been the magical combination of the two that coaxed one such Homo Amorphophallus to come over and confide in us his most intimate secrets. The secret of his special sexual maneuver--a procedure so edgy that some of the continent's most liberal sex columnists have cautioned against its application in the bedroom.

A- (addressing my brother, C)"You guys look like guys who know what a donkey punch is, eh?"
C- (realising, quite correctly, that the path of least resistance is to agree)"Certainly we do!"
B- (nod in compliance)
A- "You fellas" (leaning on our table like it's the last stop before landing on the floor, snickering)". . .you fellas ever hear tell of the 'Tony Danza Donkey Punch'?"
B&C- (shake heads "no" in unison)
A- "Okay. . . "(snickering, near uncontrollably)". . . so you're doin' you lady from behind, right?"
B&C- (nod in unison, smiling--it's already getting good)
A- "So. . ." (more snickering)". . . while you're doin' her, you yell out, 'Whose the boss, bitch?'--but you keep doin' her, right?"
B&C- (nod in unison)
A- "And when she looks over her shoulder and says, 'What?'"(snicker snicker)"You punch her in the face and say, 'Tony Danza's the motherfuckin' boss, bitch!'" (unrestrained belly laughing)
B&C- (nod in unison)

This is where the story passes from merely an amusing encounter with domestic abuse, and make the leap to 'truly surreal domestic abuse'--the guy's girlfriend chimes in (oh yes--she was there the whole time, grinning away with the last three teeth God gave her)
G- "First couple times I dinn't git it!"

Now everyone is laughing hysterically. . . well, they are. C and I feel like police officers watching a very intoxicated man do field sobriety tests. The spectacle is funny, but it's hard to enjoy because you can't stop thinking about what could have been (or may still occur).

I know it seems almost too outrageous to believe; and had I created it in my mind, I would have likely chosen the "Scott Baio Donkey Punch" ("Whose in charge? Charles is in Charge, bitch!"). It just goes to show, well, two things: there are plenty of opportunities to entertain yourself without sitting in front of the television; and, what people will say in do in public has ceased to amaze me.

Michael Hutchense preferred "Hangin' With Mr. Cooper Autoerotic Asphyxiation"--and just like the show, it happened while no one else was watching.

Friday, November 24, 2006

Not in my backyard

I doubt it will come as any kind of surprise to those who know me, that when recently presented with the opportunity to make MY HOUSE the location of a 'Theory of a Deadman' afterparty (yes--with the band--who else would masquerade as 'Theory of a Deadman' if not the band?)

(no one)

Yes--I said "no". Or I may have said, "Absolutely not".

If the idea of hosting Theory of a Deadman in your house sounds even remotely appealing I hope that you've stumbled across my blog by way of clicking the "Next Blog" option in the menu bar at the top of some Spanish blog. If not, trust me when I say that we two will never speak again. And like ToaD, you are also not welcome in my house.

In one small way I do agree with ToaD--at least the title of one of their songs off 'Gasoline'--"Hell Just Ain't the Same" since I came within a c-hair of having Theory of a Deadman in my house. In fact, this close call has taken a lot of the sting out of my eventual arrival in Hell.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

The Tongues of Navarone

Kissing the calibre of Bogart and Bergman in Casablanca does not exist at a booze show.
In fact, to use Casablanca as a frame of reference, kissing more on the level of Sydney Greenstreet and Peter Lorre going at it is more of the type of eroticism one might witness at a booze show.

How do I know? What makes me the expert?

cheeky little bastards--I'll tell you!

Because at the last booze show I worked, I opened a Kissing Booth when we ran out of beer.
Don't believe me?

Unlike a blurry photo of a Sasquatch or some metal pie plates spotted "hovering" over Montana, this picture clearly shows what I will call "The Exposition" of this story.

The Building Action:

People began to mill around our booth, curious about the chalkboard; asking eagerly if we were "for real". We most certainly were. It helped stem the flow of drunk dudes staggering up to our booth, tickets in hand, looking for a sample; all we needed to do was point at the chalkboard and ask, "One ticket, or two, sir?" They were pretty quick to retreat.
People were laughing, taking photos, and what had initially been awkward and embarrassing (running out of beer an hour before the end of the show) became a triumph of the adage, "When life gives you lemons, make lemonade!". . . only, I guess in this case, it would be, "When life gives you bitter Hallertau Hallertau Magnum hops, make beer!".

Everything is hilarious until someone loses an eye. Or their will to live. And their innocence.

A pair of fifty-something crones approached our booth, their cheeks rosey with gin blossoms.

A- "Oh! Tsk! I'm too old for something like that!"

the smaller one giggled.

D- "I'm not!!"

the bigger, slightly more hideous one bellowed.

And with that, D slammed her hand on the table, palm flat on our blue table cloth. She drew back her hand with the cold composure of a poker player turning up a Royal Flush--but, to my abject horror, I got two tickets on "the river". Two blessed little tickets, crumpled and curled from sweat. Two tickets happy to be free.

Two tickets meant "French Kiss"--but surely to God she didn't expect a French Kiss!? This whole Kissing Booth concept was a joke--HA HA HA--no one would want a French Kiss from me!

I looked to my brother--my older brother, I should point out--for help. But his ear-to-ear grin told me I was in a fix. A fix I had created by putting chalk to board, like the clever little jerk that I am, and advertising kisses at rock bottom prices.

The Climax:

It's fair to mention in my Victoria Cross citation that, in the face of enemy I showed great valour; I saw her mouth agape and a tongue floundering on the shores of her craggy, Dieppe-esque features, and I charged in anyway.

I have since described the ensuing 13 seconds thusly: imagine taking a broomstick, slathering it with vaseline, and ramming it into your mouth. For 13 seconds. And with the energy of someone in the throes of death. That's what this kiss was like

Even C, who had started out laughing, soon fell into a hushed horror.

The Denouement:

Deprived of oxygen for so long, I had hoped for some kind of brain damage to shield my mind against the memory of that kiss, but no such luck. Indeed, every time I brush my teeth I shutter. When others are enjoying French Stick bread, I can only excuse myself, draw a bath, and weep while I try to wash away the sin. If I happen past the butcher's counter and spy as beef tenderloin, my teeth clamp shut so tightly I'd swear that I had stepped on a rusty nail earlier in the day.

Our CFO has found the silver lining; as he points out, those two tickets represent 100% profit for the company, as no product was sampled.
No product, so long as my dignity isn't dispensed in green bottles.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

UNDRESED: Open Relationship

I pumped more iron shooting "Undressed" than at any other 2 week period in my entire life. On some shots, you can tell that we're on our umpteenth take.
(JP, my 'open relationship' boyfriend was super hot!!)
UNDRESSED: Gay Wedding

Sitting in a hot tub for 8 hours a day making out with dudes is harder than it looks.
Even harder, is trying to make crappy beer explode when opened.
UNDRESSED: Twins, part 1 of 2

My first foray into loving men for money. I loved that suit!
This is not the first episode of "gold" from the Undressed series.
UNDRESSED: Twins, part 2 of 2

I thought that some folks might get as much of a kick out of this old clip as I did finding it on YouTube. (the part where I'm talking with my mouth full of muffin was overdubbed in Toronto using a somewhat less-appealing mouthful of toilet paper).

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Humane Society on Orange Alert

My mother has dressed up our poor poodle again.

As the 'Queen Bee' of her Red Hatters posse, she figured that it was selfish to hog up all the fun for herself, and therefore conscripted the dog.

If you see this dog running down the street, please put him down.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Pomebody's Serfect

My Mother, clearly still working through some Empty Nest Depression issues, persists in dressing up our senile toy poodle Kelsey like a mammalian Barbie--even though, at 98 (in dog years) he is the most senior member of our family.

Deep in his eyes, it seems K is thinking, "It ain't easy being apricot."

My Mother, as an added dig to me, corrected the mistake I made with my D in "Pobody's"; she printed the D right way round (instead of my abysmal spelling performance on my own shirt, where the D was featured backwards).

My brother, C, and I are using this as the high water mark in our own mild elder-abuse, when the time comes. I am particularly excited to put a radio controlled squiring flower on Pop's lapel which I can control at family functions.

For Mumsey, because of the affront to my own ego, will get the radio controlled whoopie cushion (although she likely won't need it).

I do, however, like the inclusion of the expression, "Hey bro!". It paints pictures in my mind that Kelsey really rocks the apricot afro when he's out with the neighbourhood pooches.

Sunday, September 03, 2006

"Beware of cowboys bearing gifts."

It's good to be back in Toronto. . . even just for a day or two! One truly forgets the charms that only Hogtown can offer!

In fact, I'd almost forgot what it was like to have a confrontation with drunks, hobos, and drunk hobos.

Waiting outside the Gladstone two nights back, after a dear friend's birthday left me out past last call waiting on the Queen Street Vomit Comet to Etobismoke, I overheard a panhandling hobo ask one of my fellow commuters for spare change. The fellow commuter, a drunk punk with his own copy of Fubar at home in the VCR, told my hobo friend that he would give him two dollars if, and ONLY if, the hobo would give me the bag he was holding.

The Drunk Punk didn't call me by name, and even though I wasn't looking at him I knew it was me to which he had directed the hobo--there weren't many options at the streetcar stop. I also knew that the "present" being delivered, by special request, was a bag of garbage generated by his falafel, and tied with a bow. At the moment, I was wasn't in the market for a fresh bag of garbage--I had a feeling that I was going to get pissed off in 3. . . 2. . . 1 . . .

H- (pushing the bag in my face)"Here. He wants you to have this."
B- "I don't want his bag of garbage, thanks."
H- (with desperation in his eyes; under his breath)"Take it!"
B- "No."(to the 'Giver')"Hey, pal, thanks anyway, but I don't want your fucking garbage!"
P- "It's not garbage, dude! It's a happy fun party bag!" (gales of laughter)

There was only one dude enjoying this, and it wasn't me, and it sure wasn't the hobo.

H- (under his breath, more urgent)"Take it!"
B- "No."(to the Punk)"Hey! Tell you what--I'll take your happy fun party bag if you accept a bag of broken nuts."
P- "What's that? A bag of broken nuts?"
B- "I'll show you--Come within an arm's length of me and I'm going to punch you in the testicles. That's a bag of broken nuts! Have we got a deal, Pal?"

I have no idea what inspired me to say the word "testicles"; nor do I truly understand why my mind automatically went to socking this prick in the nuts. The only thing I can figure is that I was trying to follow the "bag" theme, and a scrotum was the closest bag to which I could apply violence to; but once the words had left my mouth, we all had to live in this new world I had created.

The hobo and the punk smiled blankly, and there was a moment of silence as we all tried to figure out a go-forward point. The hobo was first to act: he dropped the so-called 'happy fun party bag' at my feet and took a few steps back. Then the punk turned to him, told him that he hadn't done the job according to his wishes and therefore only got one dollar (which he threw on the ground). The hobo grabbed the discarded loonie and got the hell out of Dodge.

I said nothing.
I had already said enough, in my opinion, seeing as no one was speaking to me any longer.

With a sigh, I went back to waiting for the streetcar.

I think "testicles" sounded too clinical to be threatening; if I had a Mulligan, I think I would choose "balls".

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Art Imitates Life

My dear Mum recently paid me a visit, and besides the usual Alberta tourist activities (visits to West Edmonton Mall, Wild West Shooting Gallery, World's Largest Cowboy Boot) we took in some culture. SNAP Gallery was throwing a fundraiser which Steam Whistle sponsored; a fundraiser which raised proceeds through a silent auction of custom printed tees and underpants, and, of course, the sale of beer. My poor Mum was nervous about attending a function at an art gallery.

Prior to her arrival, we had a sweet little exchange on the telephone:

M- "Well, B, I don't know. What should I wear to this art gallery thing? I have a new blouse and blazer that are nice."
B- "It's not that kind of art gallery. All you need is a tee shirt and jeans."
M- "I don't know. . ."
B- "Trust me, Mum; unless you have a blouse and blazer from the early 80's, just bring some jeans and we'll buy you a cool tee out here."
M- "Are you sure?"
B- "Positive."

Once M got to Calgary, we agreed that in order to really get into the spirit of the event, we would create our own tee shirts using the late 70's/early 80's as inspiration. The results speak for themselves:

What was meant to simply be a pair of humourous tee shirts ended up cutting a little close to the bone when I, in a blatant exhibition of stupidity, put the D in Pobody's on backwards.
My Mum was pleased, as she said it added a certain veracity to her tee shirt.
I had the perfect excuse: pobody's nerfect, Mum. Poooooo-body.

Long gone are the days of unconditional parental support; here are the times of cold, harsh realities.

In Case of Beermergency, Flag Me!

Rolling through a less-than-savoury part of town today, up near the Trans Canada Highway, I noticed two motorcycles pulled over on the side of the road. As I approached in Betty, my bright green Chevy, one of them began motioning for me to pull over. Ever the Good Beer Folk, I complied.

B- "You fellas having some trouble with your hogs?"
A- "No--we want beer."
B- blink. blink. "Pardon?"
A- "Beer. We want some of your beer."
B- "So you're not in trouble?"
A- "No. We want beer."
B- "I'm sorry, you've mistook me for someone else. I'm a SALESman; you're looking for a GIVEAWAYman. That guy gives the beer away--I sell it. Want to buy some?"
A- "We want you to give us some."
B- "Yeah, like I said--I'm in the business of selling beer, not giving it away. Oh, and thanks for flagging me over, too; I love it when people waste my time. Drives me wild with excitement."

Then the guy who hadn't been doing all the talking pipes up just as I'm pulling my foot in the door to close it.

C- "Hey! Fuck you! It's your fucking job!"

In a rare moment of clarity, and showing surprising restraint on my part, I closed the door. Then I counted to 5, turned the key, and for a brief moment flirted with the idea of stopping on R as I put Betty into gear. Showing even greater restraint, I continued to D and rolled on.

But I made a promise to myself that if I ever see those two yokels again, I'm going to give them the Christine treatment and run them down.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Have Truck, Will Travel.

It's quite a common affair for me to come across people who've seen my lovely green truck Betty bombing around town (folks never report seeing the driver--he's just ballast in a bowtie compared to the relative beauty of Betty).

Working Taste of Calgary this past weekend I got a lot of "You drive that green truck!? That truck is awesome!" and "Hey! You drive that green truck? You're my neighbour!" and "Hey, you drive that green truck? What year is that?"--most comments fall in to one of those three categories.
But, as with all things in life, there's a first time for everything.

Manning the booth, a guy walked directly up to me and said:
G- "You drive that green truck ,right?"
B- "You bet."
G- "I saw you do an awesome burn-out at the Southland Liquor Store!"
B- "Was Journey playing on the stereo?"
G- "I don't know. . ."
B- "Still sounds like me."
G- "It was pretty cool."
B- "I live to serve."

Please forward all resumes to replace me upon my death to Steam Whistle Brewing, The Roundhouse, Canada.
Must have relevant burn-out experience and radical music collection.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

.3 Karat Monkey

A while back a dear friend of mine, who will even remain initial-less, revealed a heart breaking story of lost love.
The fact that he lost his love to her own cousin--no. fucking shit.--adds an unsavory and wholly unbelievable element to this story.

Her own fucking cousin!

Here I thought that losing, say, one's wife to a lesbian would be damaging to the ego; losing out to someone's own cousin is pretty much the most outrageously shitty thing that could happen.

Believe it.

So here he is, for TWO YEARS walking around with the rejected engagement ring in his backpack. Usually the monkey on your back is just a metaphorical monkey--not a bona fide burden!

Oh--and the cousin had triumphantly announced to his beloved that "It's perfectly legal for us--I checked."

Moving on. . . so I find out about this who crummy life event, and he produces this engagement ring from his everyday knapsack, and my first reaction was:

B- "Pawn that! Get that THING out of your knapsack and pawn it!"

He hummed and hawed.

I begged him to at least stop carrying the God damned thing around. He did so.

Three days later I return home, set my own knapsack (well, I think it was a man purse at the time, actually--it was Toronto, and I did live downtown) and turn to see, on the floor before our teevee, an xbox. Brand new.

And a note.

The note read something to the effect that:

"Hey Guys, I did what you said and pawned the ring and bought an xbox. Enjoy!"

Like a treasure map to recovery, xbox marks the spot.

For the first time, and maybe the last, I thought about what a full fucking dude he was, and smiled.

I also thought, There's no way that shitty ring raised enough scratch to buy an xbox!, but that's beside the point.

Monday, August 14, 2006

Devastation of Musculation

What, pray tell, is it to be devastated by musculation?

To answer that most unlikely of questions I went personally to have a Thor sighting at Broken City here in Calgary a month or so back.
I got in for free, and I don't think that I got my money's worth.

How Thor went from this:

To this:

. . . is between him and Ronald MacDonald--but the fact that Thor now tries to cover up his bowl full of jelly vis-a-vie a poorly-fitted latex breast plate (subtly accented with heroic chiseled abs)--speaks to the delusional mind now controlling our faded Glam Rock God who likely also still believes that he can sing.
Thor can barely draw enough breath to feed his brain, let alone carry a note.

But we all have fallen heros, and I wasn't above getting my photo taken with Thor. . .

He smelt not unlike boiled skunk assholes, and that un-Godly funk transferred to me after our man-hug was completed. I now smelt so bad that, rather than shower, I wanted to set myself on fire.

I bought a concert tee anyway. I wanted to have something from the concert tour Thor died on.

And NO FEATS OF STRENGTH! What the fuck!

I went to see him bend some steel! Blow up a hot water bottle! Tear a phone book in half--something! Anything!!
We mere mortals have come to expect these things from our Glam Rock God!
What we were treated to do was an endless parade of latex masks gleaned from some Dungeons & Dragons nerd's jerkoff sketchbook, and Aliens movies; and a never-ending barrage of references to his younger, studlier days spent boning chicks on the set of "Rock 'n' Roll Nightmare".

As I told my dear friend D: I didn't know whether to laugh or cry. So I cried.

Saturday, August 12, 2006

COPS: Live in Calgary!

The other night I lay me down to sleep in the twilight of an oppressive Calgary heat wave, unawares that the city had other plans for me. It was nearly 3am, and both body and mind had agreed that the time for bed was well past--I'm not saying that, though not yet at the age of 30, I'm too old to be partying late into the night--but I'm also not not saying that I can't party like I did when I was young.

Follow me?

Before I go on, those of you from Toronto should know that the Calgary constabulary have not one, but two, copper choppers;
Toronto, on the other had has not one, but none. I pity the fools who have to live in that place.

My eyelids were bobbing on their hinges, flirting with each other, when what sounded like an air invasion began right outside my window. The Copper Chopper was in MY hood. MINE! I immediately got nostalgic for Parkdale, and began fearing for my life.

Peering out the window--but staying low enough that any Jamaican drug lords wouldn't be able to get a clear shot--I saw Calgary's Finest Airborne circling low and tight over the block across the street. They were using the spotlight, and if you've never seen one of those puppies in action--well!--I could almost read a book, and it wasn't being aimed at me.

I thought, "Holy shit! There's some serious shit going down tonight!"

And then I thought, "I should get my housecoat on and check this shit out!"

And then I thought, "If it really is some serious shit, I don't want to get myself up shit creek without a paddle!"

So I decided to stay in and let my opportunity to be a hero come to me. But I promised myself that if I heard shots, or an officer call my GO! word ("Foxfire!"), that I would be on the scene like a sex machine--no questions asked.

After 15 minutes of the Huey roaring around in a circle, flooding my neighbourhood in artificial sun, it shot off into the night as quickly as it had arrived. But it left behind a pile of curiosity and sleeplessness.

Yesterday I happened upon a Po-Po and decided to pick his brain about what had gone down, and he was able to lift the worry and concern from my shoulders: they were busting a couple who were rip-roaring drunk, and had decided to go skinny dipping in the outdoor pool around the corner. For those that are curious, the female companion had a nice body--or should I say, allegedly had a nice body. The Huey was serving two purposes: extra light on the scene; and cheap thrills for the pilot and co-pilot.

I wish that I had someone to go allegedly trespassing (skinny dipping) with; I have a feeling that if I was caught buck wild in the pool by myself, trying to beat the heat, no helicopter would show up. Or if one did, they would likely throw me a towel and ask me to cover up.

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Wilder in the Streets

Today I enjoyed driving through my bee-u-tiful neighbourhood of Marda Loop even more than usual, because today, Bon Jovi provided the soundtrack to Saturday morning. And nothing I have found makes kids with Down Syndrome, plagued with the relative boredom of waiting for the bus, dance harder than Bon Jovi.

Waiting at a stop light, my beautiful truck Betty's windows down, and her stereo turned to 22, Dr. Jon Bon and company were talking about groovin' to the backbeat, making love in the back seat, and generally being Wild in the Streets--stuff that nearly everyone can relate to--and just as I was beginning to air drum on my steering wheel, I heard a shout out surely meant for me.

D- "Nice truck!"

I looked over to see the glowing benevolence of a twentysomthing fella with Downs who was giving me an enthusiastic thumbs up.

B- "Thank, buddy!"
D- "Nice music, too!!"
B- "You like rock n' roll?"

Like anyone ever needs to ask that question.

D- "You bet! I love to rock!!"

He was getting excited; so was I.

B- "Maybe I should turn it up? What do you think?"
B- (turns up Bon Jovi) "How's that? Louder?"

I didn't receive an answer--my new friend was dancing like it was his superpower.

There are only two appropriate reactions to this situation, and I did both.
1) Turn the Bon Jovi up to maxiumum;
2) Do a burnout.

How do I know that the other people waiting at the bus stop thought my friend and I were the two awesomest cats on the face of the planet?
When dealing with matters of rock, you just know.

And for many reasons, it doesn't matter what the fuck they thought.

I need to install a dance floor in the back of Betty for situations like that.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

100% Cotton Levees

Anyone familiar with the film "Crimson Tide" starring Gene Hackman and Denzel Washington will be familiar with the scene in which, after a hull breech, Rick Schroder (who is really Ricky Schroder in a vain attempt to be taken seriously post Silver Spoons) must seal a hatch, thereby sealing the fate a his fellow seamen. It's pretty emotional.

I had a similar experience this evening after trying to flush some old homemade hamburgers down the toilet; the only upside was that I was now cast in the role previously realised by my childhood hero, Ricky Schroder.

Delicious as they were, one man can eat only so many hamburgers before their appeal begins to pall. My limit was 6 meals in a row. Wanting to honour them with the reverence they deserved (and not wanting my garbage to smell of mad cow and crawl with e.coli) I decided that the remaining 4 burger patties should be buried at sea.

Something in the pit of my stomach told me that I hadn't broke them up into small enough pieces before setting them adrift in the toilet--but having no frame of reference, I ignored the pit of my stomach. Neither one of us had ever broken hamburgers up and put them in the toilet before, so my stomach and I had to agree to disagree, and wait and see.

It wasn't long after the first large chuck of chuck disappeared into the throat of the toilet that the swirling stopped, and the water level began to rise unchecked. The beefy funeral pyres were beginning to look pretty menacing; I had flushers remorse almost immediately.

Without thinking, I grabbed my personal towel from the rack and began to fashion a levee around the lip of the toilet bowl. Unfortunately, a bath towel lacks even basic similarities with a levee, and as the water rose I knew exactly where my evening wasn't going: down the toilet. And for once, I wished it was.

Toilet water surging over the towel, the triumphant burgers flirting with the crest, I began to cry and holler just like Ricky in Crimson Tide. It wasn't as dramatic as it could have been; without Hans Zimmer's soundtrack adding the appropriate flavour of heroism, I had trouble envisioning my Victoria Cross ceremony.

Trying to get a plunger into a toilet already full to over-flowing is another challenge in and of itself. You have to choke down the natural instinct to avoid any more toilet water spillage, because when the toilet bowl's volume is so close to capacity, the addition of any mass is going to create more, not less, mess.

When all was said an done, and with the aid of a plunger, I urged the burgers to face their destiny. Sure, it wasn't pretty--but you have to break a few eggs to make an omelet, right?

Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to go listen to some Whitesnake and try to turn this evening around.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Well he IS!

As of 5pm today, my little website represented the number one Google destination for "Superman is a prick".

Sometime the truth hurts. . . even a man made from steel.

Superman kicked my dog, too.
He's a dirty prick!

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Spontaneous Bathtime!

In the category of "Unpleasant Ways to Get Wet Unexpectedly" comes this cautionary tale of driving with your window open.

There's few things I like better than the smell of a summer's breeze after a rainshower. Delightful. It fills my heart with all of the lovely thoughts and feelings that I never get in springtime because there's too much mud.

Until last week.

Driving along a freshly soaked highway, enjoying the romance of it all, I was abruptly sacked back into reality by a giant wave hitting me in the side of the head.

A wave? That's funny? I'm in Calgary, and it doesn't get much more land-locked than that.

Oh--it wasn't a tsunami! It was a massive road puddle splashed by a speeding motorist, sending the rain runoff across the median and into my window (and, as a result, into my underwear). How pleasant.

Had it been a tsunami, at least I would have had a good reason showing up at my next customer's bar totally soaking wet. And I could have probably done some quality looting on the way.

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Truth in advertising.

Two nights ago I was leaving a beauty of a honky tonk bar here in Calgary when I bumped into a guy on the sidewalk who said:

G- "Check out what they're selling at the Sony Store across the street! Read the sign!"

I always do as random drunks ask, and this was my reward:

What elevates this sign mutilation from mediocre sophomorish humour to brilliance is the last statement: "Its so delicious".

Believe it or not (and you may not) but just after I took this photo a kid drove past on the street, stopped, leaned out his window and said:

C- "How ironic. I have vagina blood on my boxers right now."

We were Doubting Thomases, but the kid produced boxers which, sure as God made little green apples, appeared to have vaginal blood on them. . . that, or he had a serious bladder infection.

My newfound drunk friends took these bloody boxers and stuck them up on the sign; the kismet of the situation was too irresistible.

Folks, I could not make up this stuff, even if I tried for a month of Sundays.

Stampede Silouette.

When in Calgary, do as the Calgarians do.

. . . and that includes eating three squares of oil a day.

How to Fail at Dating.

I recently met someone of the opposite sex online.

I know--super-duper lame, but. . .

Over a casual drink, with no sparks flying, the subject of my failing marriage came up--fine--I'm happy to discuss it, for the sake of transparency.

However, sometimes one can be too transparent:

B- ". . .you know, truth be told, I'd still rather be happily married."
D- (silence)
B- "Uh, I know how that must sound."
D- (Uncomfortable silence)
B- "Shall I get the tab?"
D- "Yeah, I'm pretty tired."
B- "Yeah."

On a first (and last) date, there are only a few other statements which could bring the evening to a screeching halt:

B- ". . . Hitler had a few good ideas, though!"
B- "On my 2006 'To do' list is 'No more mind games--they hurt the ones you love'."
B- "Want to compare prior convictions? . . . You don't have any? Come on! Everyone has something!"
B- "Does anyone know that you're out with me tonight? No? I see. . . "
B- "I've always wanted to have a threesome--are you close with your mother?"

Having not dated in forever, I'm quickly discovering that I'm hopeless at it.
Oh--and under no circumstances should you wear a gold lamee unitard on a first date.

"Unitards do not show confidence or a sense of humour--they exhibit gross inadequacies. Now let's wrestle!"

Monday, July 10, 2006

How To Fail In Business

We've been getting a lot of hail in Calgary recently.

Two hail episodes ago I was stuck on a rooftop patio for a "Summer Solstice" party; it was me and a bunch of wine guys and gals. It was hailing cats and dogs, and of course I was the only dude without an umbrella. Because I'm just the beer guy, right?

Perhaps it was the pounding my poor brainbox was taking from the marble-sized hail that led me to choose, after 15 minutes of pretty steady precipitationl, to assemble an ice ball from my table top and throw the most perfect bean ball right at one of my retailer's head. Normally I have the worst aim in the entire world.
Couldn't hit the broadside of a barn.


This time, my ice ball connected perfectly with E's ear. She was that type of "surprised" that, if you read between the lines, was thinly veiled hatred. I felt bad. To make up for my poor choice, I threw a few more ice balls at the wine guys--and my aim, I'm glad to report, was flawless.

My arm was so red hot that an Italian guy I didn't even consider throwing an iceball at collapsed and started clutching his head, either out of fear or natural predisposition to melodrama.

. . . but at least Superman is a prick too. Hey Metropolis! Check out what kind of SPORTSMAN your precious Man of Steel is!!

Douchebag Anchorman

I recently did a "Cooking with Beer" demo for a Noon News segment, during which all the wheels fell off the wagon.

I had decided to make "Lumpy's Dressing", a very easy, very pleasant salad dressing I chose because of its bacon content. Worried that the studio burner wouldn't work, I pre-crisped some bacon; I figured that of the ingredients (fresh minced garlic and shallots, Steam Whistle, oil, vinegar, and bacon) bacon was the only real thing that presented a problem if the burner was MIA. Or the anchor Kosher.

Sure as shit, I get all my stuff arranged perfectly on the cooking set, pretty as you please, and the moment the camera turns on myself and the anchor, I discover we're up a creek:

A- "So, shall we get started cooking with beer?"
B- "I thought you'd never ask!"

(click. click. click. The dial on the burner was producing a spark, but no flame.)

B- "I'll willing to bet you a beer that this burner is out of gas."
A- (totally pissed off, no longer covered in a polite veneer)"Can we get someone in here to fix this!?"

That someone was the poor bastard standing just off camera--and he had nothing. His shoulders were shrugged, and his palms were turned upwards. Perfect. No problem. I've got the pre-crisped bacon!

I soon realised that, as a result of our little setback, my anchor buddy was now not interested in our cooking segment in the least. I was starting to sweat.

After miming the delicious smells and preparation of "Lumpy's Dressing" I poured it over the salad which A had, gracelessly, "helped" assemble. Moment of truth:

B- "Wow! This looks delicious! Would you like to try some?"
A- "No."
B- (at a total loss for words)"Are you sure? There's plenty for both of us!"
A- (firmly)"No."
B- "Oooooooo-kay then. . .more for me."

And with that I took the biggest forkfull of lettuce I could, and stuffed it into my mouth. I'm sure it looked worse than it sounds.

B- "Well, we've got a bit of time--how about we grab a Live Eye and head out to the parking lot? I'll do a burnout demonstration for the kids at home."
A- "No."
B- "Oooooooo-kay. Well, I made you this thank you card because my mom is watching by satellite; I didn't want her to think my manners had gone to pot since I moved out to Alberta."
A- "Thanks. That's sweet. Did you want to say 'Hi' to your mom?"
B- "Sure! Hi mom!"

Take me out behind the barn and shoot me.

My phone rang once I had finished packing up and was loading my truck in the parking lot. It was mom.

B- "Yello!"
M- "That guy was a total asshole."
B- "Hi mom!"
M- "Thanks for saying 'Hi'--your aunt E saw and she just called me and told me that she thought it was sooo sweet!"
B- "I try."

So, at the very least, it makes me look that much better than my cousins; I mean, when was the last time they said 'Hi' to their mother on teevee? Like, never.

The Restorative Power of Journey

I stopped at a liquor store the other day, and the middle-aged manager was feeling pretty low. Her store had just been sold from one chain to another, and the future looks uncertain. And the beer delivery had arrived, which meant a lot of heavy lifting on a lazy, hazy Thursday afternoon.

I hate to see people suffer.

So I asked her:

B- "Hey!"
C- (Long face, joyless eyes)
B- "You look pretty down in the dumps, C--would you feel better if I went out to my truck, pumped Journey on the stereo, and did a burnout?"
C- (brightening)"Yes."

And so let it be written, so let it be done.

I climbed into the truck and my stomach began getting butterflies--this would be my greatest burnout ever. It had to be.
Turn the key.
I adjusted the iPod, and rolled my clickwheel to Music:Artists:Journey:Don't Stop Believing. I pressed the UP arrow on my stereo until it read 32--it's maximum (who makes 32 the maximum?).

I glanced in my rearview mirror; C was waiting patiently, with a grin on her face from ear to ear. Anticipating the miracle--placing all her hopes and fears on the rubber wrapped around my American Racing rims.

B- "Come on, B! Do it for the Gipper!"

Place left foot on the brake.
Place right foot on accelerator.
Begin the 'teasing revs'.
Press Play/Pause on the iPod.

S- "Just a small town girl, livin' in a lonely world. . .She took the midnight train goin' anywhere!"

I wanted to make the "boulevard" (as sang, "boul-eee-vard") know that I had been up in it.
And with that, I drowned Mr. Steven Perry out with the voice of an angel--my squealing tires desperate to grab the asphalt, but their failing tread unable to comply.

And in a cloud of blue smoke, I was gone.

S- "It goes on and on and on and on!"

The manager, from what I could see, was clapping and laughing like she was 16 again, and buying her first denim jacket with her waitressing tips.

. . .and at the Tim Hortons nearby, some men raised their coffees to me. As is custom, I raised my index finger from the wheel in a return salute.

"Journey needs Steve Perry, like Steve Perry needs a haircut"
Take that as you will.

Sunday, July 09, 2006

There's Something About Scary Mary

I have a housemate who lives, and has lived for quite some time, in the basement bachelour apartment in my house. It's a dark, dismal little cubbyhole fit for dwarves, spiders, and not much else.

Scary Mary, a late-fifty-something wire-haired woman of great personal acreage seems, on the outside anyway, to be someone terrified of leaving her home. Nearly all of her goods are delivered to her via a number of different men in cars, and she views most people with a very wary eye.

She spends some of her idle time poking peanuts through her wartime storm windows to the happiest squirrels in Calgary; the rest of her time, she spends trying to seduce me.

Or, at least, that's what i think.

Our first meeting was not long after I moved in. I had been warned that SM was a bit of a recluse, but I am so full of confidence in my charm that I saw her as more of a challenge than an obstacle. And I needed help turning on the clothes washer (it's a decommissioned coin-op with it's own set of quirks, you see).

Knock knock knocking on her door produced an awful lot of crashing about, and a nervous call to "wait a minute". More than a minute later SM answered the door, her massive corrective lens aviators riding low on her nose, a nice top, and the most moth-eaten pair of jogging pants--can you call them that when they clearly serve no such purpose?--barely covering anything. So dilapidated were these "pants" that she had to clutch part of a pantleg to cover her "bathing suit area"--even still, I saw a buffet of inner thigh that I would certainly not revisit for a second helping, regardless of whether there were popcorn shrimp or not.

SM- "I wasn't dressed when you knocked."
B- (in my head) "You still aren't." (Out of my mouth)"Sorry to interrupt. . . I can't work the clothes washer."

SM moves like those large-boned beasts you see moving around MacDonald's; they always seem to be falling forward, rather than walking forward, and as a result move in a series of small hard stomps.

After a helpful tutorial on the washing machine, SM got serious on me:

SM- "If you find me lying in the hall, don't worry--unless I'm bleeding. I have epilepsy."
B- "Should I do anything? Put you in a recovery position?"
SM- "Just leave me."
B- "Good to know."

Weeks later, SM furthered her seduction of B when she approached me, in the glow of basement twilight, to tell me:

SM- "After 11pm I have my bath, and usually don't have any clothes on when I go to my bathroom."

Her bathroom is by the laundry room, outside her apartment.

B- "Oh!"
SM- "So if you could not come down--I'm not dressed."
B- "I will avoid it at all costs--I promise."
SM- "Thanks."
B- "My pleasure."

I couldn't tell if I was being propositioned or warned. I've been treating it like a warning.

Monday, July 03, 2006

Closer to the Flame

I don't say this to brag, but yesterday I got a bit of unexpected action in my bathing suit region.
Unexpected, and somewhat unpleasant, unfortunately.

Cruising along the Blackfoot Trail, with its steady volume of traffic clipping along pretty well, I suddenly became aware of a crawling sensation working its way up my inner thigh. A creepy, crawly, squirmy sensation that, the instant I felt it, drove me to the edge of panic.

Clearly, there was an insect of indeterminate size working its way towards my family jewels; a prospect that, even though I haven't had much activity in the nether regions over the past half year, did not thrill me in the least.

I immediately began fumbling with my belt buckle like an adolescent virgin on Grad night who, as the result of some dry humping on a hotel pool table, is getting very close to having his first shared sexual experience solo.
The belt buckle beat, I went to work on unlocking my button fly--my driving had begun to suffer, but it didn't occur to me to pull over--THERE WASN'T TIME!--I had to get whatever it was in my trousers OUT (and by OUT I mean I wanted it done, like, yesterday).

Red light.

Thank God; I could use two hands on the rapidly developing situation in my pants. . .
. . . and that's when I heard a voice float through my open window.

A voice which seemed to float from somewhere above me.

A voice which was clearly addressing me:

V- "What year is that?"

With both hands busy pushing my trousers down towards my ankles, and my eyes fixed like a hungry dog on my thighs for any sign of life, I had two choices: look up and calmly answer, "It's a '68! Ain't she a beaut?"; pretend that I don't hear.

Ever the salesman, I looked up into the face of a plumber, who was peering down with admiration from his Super Hemi 4x4 Monster Machine.

B- "It's a '68! Ain't she a beaut?"
V- "She sure is. Where'd you get the paint job done?"
B- "Toronto. It's a beauty of a paint job, eh?"
V- "It's a beauty all right."

Traffic lights are always too long--this one was endless.
By the time the lights turned green, the only thing that had improved was my trouser infestation, which seemed to have solved itself.

Maybe the plumber had seen nothing, transfixed by the lovely chrome and lime green beauty that is my four wheels?

V- (as they pulled away)"Well--won't keep you from your business. Good luck with that. Har har har!"

No such luck.

And as I pressed the gas, I felt some squirming and fluttering down my right pant leg.
Son of a bitch!

It eventually turned out to be a moth.

I kept expecting to get an email sent to the Roundhouse outlining how someone had encountered a Steam Whistle salesman in a green truck interfering with himself on a 'family highway'. I would have blamed altitude sickness.

Saturday, July 01, 2006

Viet Cong & Beaver Trapper: Brothers in Arms

On this Canada Day I thought that I would share an interesting encounter I had with a fella from Vietnam one summer while I was working in the States.

Waiting in line with this Kiwi I was working with, we were kidding around and he began to tease me about being a Canuck. A Vietnamese gent behind me tapped me on the shoulder and asked if I was Canadian (and I most certainly am).

V- "You know, we two have a lot in common."
B- "Really? Why do you say that?"
V- (conspiratorial look around)"We are the only two countries to ever beat America at war."
B- "How do you. . .you mean the 'War of 1812'?"
V- "Yes. During the invasion we learned about your war, and how you were outnumbered, and how you won."
B- "Geez! Most kids in Canada don't know much about the 'War of 1812'--I'm very impressed!"
V- "We knew that if Canadians could beat the Americans, then we too could do it."
B- "Hell! We whooped 'em! The White House is white today because we sailed down to Washington and burned it!"
V- "YES! We two share a bond because of this."
B- "I appreciate that."

I've always loved that run-in, because: 1) I'm a huge War of 1812 buff; 2) I've always felt kids in Canadian schools should learn more about their short heritage in Canada--farther back than WWI & Confederation (although I think WWI is an pivotal moment in Canadian history--so is, I guess, Confederation). I mean, here we have a guy half a world away who likely possesses more knowledge, albeit for propaganda purposes, about a key moment in Canadian history than most contemporary school children.

To me, that's something to be very proud of. In a dark moment in Vietnamese history, gallant little Canada was a source of light and hope.

Totally radical!

Friday, June 30, 2006

Wisdom of our Fathers

Last weekend I helped out with a CD launch (Randy Hutchings--Atlantic Avenue--it's very good) and, of course, there was beer involved.

And once you break the seal, as we all know, you pay the price.

So, I was in the can settling up a debt when this dude strolled in, saddled up beside me at the trough, and decided to strike up a conversation.

I was wearing a nice, summertime straw fedora.
I needed to say that for the story to make sense.

A- "Nice hat!"
B- "Thanks! I'm pretty keen on it myself."
A- "It's very nice."
B- "Yup. It covers up my pattern baldness, which is swell."
A- "My father used to say, 'If you've got a good hat, you'll get great head'."

He smiled broadly. We were making a lot of eye contact for the urinal.
. . . .

I hadn't heard that expression before, but I was pretty sure that it should have sounded more like, "If you've got a good hat, you'll get A great head".

I was a bit at a loss for words; urinal discussions can be like that.

B- "Well, my father used to say, 'The hat makes the man'."

Up I zipped, splashed some water on my hands, and strolled out.
I couldn't tell if I was being propositioned or not. I'm used to the crowd in Toronto at Buddies being a lot more direct--like, explicitly direct--to see if they could make me sweat. One friend used to tell me that every straight guy was 10% gay, and he was going to find my 10%--which, after a few shots of Jagermeister, might make it up to 15%.

Regardless of what may have been implied, it's not a great 'saying' anyway. A good haircut does more than a good hat.

The Aging Boomers

Yesterday I was visiting one of my favourite live music venues in Calgary, Broken City.
The sun was out--it's golden rays warming all the lovely Steam Whistle Pilsner drinkers on their rooftop patio--and life, at that moment, seemed perfect.

Then I went back to my truck, which was parked in the alleyway, only to discover a rough looking guy pissing behind my wheels.

B- "Hey!"
A- "Sorry, buddy! But at my age, when you got to go, you got to go!"
B- "How old are you?"
A- "Forty seven."
B- "Well, to be honest, I hope when I hit your age I'm not so incontinent that I start taking slashes, in broad daylight, behind bright green trucks, in busy alleyways. You couldn't have picked a more conspicuous place to piss, pal."
A- "Yeah, well. . . you got any samples?"

I need to emphasize that while this exchange is taking place, he's still pissing.

B- "I think that you've had plenty of hydration."
A- "Bye!"
B- "Yeah."

What possessed him to try and solicit free beer from me while while standing behind my truck with his penis in his hands I'll never know.

I tried to back out extra slow so that I didn't splash any of the effluence on my lovely unnamed truck.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

The Wonders of Pert Plus continue. . .

With the 21st Century phenomena of a cell phone in every hand, I've realised that social habits on the mean streets of Calgary have changed.
It used to be that if you were talking to someone, a third party wouldn't interrupt the conversation until: 1) the first conversation was finished; or 2) the third party was invited to join in on the fun.

Yesterday I was on the phone while parked in my '68 Chevy Pickup Truck (it's a very bright, Steam Whistle green) with someone who I'm not wholly familiar, nor they me, and one of Cowtown's colourful Bottle Depot crackheads approached my open window for a chat.

Now, I have a Palm Treo, which is the size of a sandwich, and is impossible to miss when it's pressed against my ear. Let alone the fact that my hand is up around my head, which can only mean two things, really: 1) I'm on the phone; or 2) I've been hit in the ear with a spitball.

But the fact that I was otherwise engaged didn't stop this admirer from interrupting my call:

A- "That's an awesome fucking truck."
B- "Yes--"(to the phone)"pardon me--yes, it sure is."
A- "What's in her?"
B- "A 350.
A- "That's an awesome fucking paint job. I'm a painter, so I know. And it's fucking awesome."
B- "I know."
A- "You know how to keep this looking like new?"
B- "Barely. How?"
A- "Pert Plus. You know Pert Plus? That shit will make your truck shine like the sun! It'll make it look so fucking hot! That green will pop!!"
B- "That's a great tip--thanks."
A- "Pert Plus. Not Sunlight or Dial or some shit. It's fucking awesome!!"

And with that, he raced off to join his buddies, who were Bogarting a joint on him.

I had to explain to the gal on the other end of the phone that my life is divided into three equal parts: selling beer; sleeping; and talking to everyone and their Uncle Kevin about my truck.

Oh--and sometimes I'm saving the universe from blond alien bombshells who are trying to take over the world by sleeping with college boys. (Look for Decoys 2:Rebirth--Coming soon!)

Parade of the Exiled Bachelourhood Brick-a-Brack!

So far the most tangible advantage of my newfound bachelourhood is that I may now repatriate some of my favourite pieces of crap!

How this stuff didn't assure my eternal bachelourhood in the first place speaks more to my dear departed E's own poor taste than mine.

Joan Collins

A stuffed crocodile? Why not? At least he died with a smile on his face. . .

Crosschecking Christ

For a guy who grew up in the desert, he sure looks pretty comfortable on skates.
Perhaps the Christians and the Jews could settle their differences once and for all with a game of shinny?

The New Holy Trinity

Santa has a lot to be thankful for--that little fella in the manger is his gravy train. If it wasn't for the Lil' JC, St. Nick would have his sleigh yolked to Irish immigrants.

Oh snap!

My most prized piece of art, "Have a Nice Day". I don't know what possessed someone to capture this particular conflict in oil and canvas, but it got me through some tough days in University. No matter how shit things seemed, I was never having a day as bad as the badger.

. . . I've always really loved the badger's expression: equal parts of surprise and pissed off.

Never judge a book by its cover.

Yesterday, while attempting to exit one of Downtown Cowtown's most difficult street level parking lots a guy startled me by coming up to my window and poking his head in while I was tuning the old iPod to some Journey.

A- "This got a HEMI in it? Har har har!"
B- (startled to the point of prairie dogging in my shorts) "No. It's too old--it's a '68."
A- "Cool. You look like a guy who does acid."
B- "Nope, sorry."
A- (looks at me like I'm a dirty liar, then raises his eyebrows as if to say, 'What about now?')
B- "I drink beer."

He skulked away like I had stung him deep.
I've learned recently that one person can think they know someone, but they really don't.

Friday, June 09, 2006

Rectum? I nearly killed'em!

Yesterday I was walking past a falafel place in Calgary's downtown when I overheard a conversation going on between a vagabond on the sidewalk, and a dude (girlfriend in tow) who was sitting on the patio eating.

V- ". . . I've got a rectum a mile long. . ."
D- (distinct look of dismay)

I have no idea what that has to do with anything.
I would've given him some pocket change to not repeat that statement while I was eating.

He blowed up real good.

So my wife left me, and the biggest change I've noticed so far (aside from the lack of her, her belongings, and general happiness in my house) is how it's affected my relationship with telemarketers.

And let me tell you, the telemarketers and I had it good before my wife pulled the kill switch on all that.

Let me take you back to monday, and the sad duty of what I referred to as "the division of spoils". Little E, having already returned to Toronto, left me in charge of her belongings, and subsequently the two Newfoundlanders who came to move all her stuff out. I'm a natural leader, so I was happy about this.

But, and no candy-coating here, it's pretty fucking sad seeing stuff you're used to having around the house for the last 6 years stroll out the door NEVER TO BE SEEN OR HEARD FROM AGAIN! (it's also pretty fucking exciting--well, not super exciting--to be able to release all of my old ugly junk from exile). Anyway--

Just after the parade of belongings had embarked for Toronto, some poor bastard G called from "Children Blown Up By Landmines Unexpectedly Foundation" or some like-minded agency. I wasn't in much of a chatty mood.

G- "Thousands of children every year are maimed by landmines--your donation of $200 would go towards purchasing a wheelchair for one of these unfortunate kids."
B- "Sorry, I'm not flush enough right now to help out."
G- "Well, imagine this: these poor children were running and playing in the street one day when suddenly a landmine took away their freedom to be a child. Your donation of $100 could go towards giving them back their freedmon."
B- "Yeah, look, I'd love to help out, but it's like I said, G, I'm just not flush enough right now to do it."
G- "You know, most of these children have been orphaned by warfare in their--"
B- "G? G? G! I have told you twice now that I'm not flush enough to help out, okay? And I don't appreciate you pulling this sentimental manipulative 'legless orphan on a dirt floor' shit on me to try and wring out some money!"
G- "It's a serious issue--"
B- "I know landmines are bad--they've always been bad, that's nothing new--but my wife just left me! Who's going to help me out? Huh? You?"

I threw the trump card out on the table.
I couldn't believe I had just yelled such a statement, at a stranger, into the phone.
I couldn't believe that 'hanging up' didn't occur to me first.

Not surprisingly, neither of us knew what to say, so there was a laboured silence on the phone.

G- "I'm just speaking from the heart, sir--"
B- "Well, I have no heart anymore."

And THEN, only THEN did I hang up.

What kind of a line is that? "I have no heart"--what the hell is this? "The Wizard of Oz" by Tennessee Williams?

After I got over the shock and surprise of my own behaviour I realised that "My wife dumped me", as a phrase, has a lot of potential. Unpleasant company? Aggressive salesman? Drop the bomb!

Saturday, June 03, 2006

'68 Chevy in Cherry Condition

Driving home on the highway yesterday a middle-aged "lady" yelled at me from the centre lane. I nearly steered into a road sign--she startled me so!

Between the highway lines, holding a fair gallop of 100km/h, the following exchanged ensued:

A- "How old is that truck?"
B- "It's a '68!"
A- (huge laughter)"I lost,"(laughing out of control)"I lost my virginity in a '68!!"

They sped off down the highway.

To myself:
B- "That's some decent mojo for my wheels, that is."

Any takers? No reason the '68 can't still work it's magic.

Coug a loo ra loo ra!

Yesterday afternoon I had the real pleasure of spending it on a golf course pouring draught beer out of the back of my truck with a good friend and lots of sunshine.

Later that evening I was asked by a blitzed-out cougar in a cowboy hat if I wouldn't mind sharing a drink and doing a duet with her of the Eagle's classic "Hotel California" with the live band (who bill themselves as a "Jameoke" band--you sing, they play).

Lo, how quickly things can change!

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Putting the 'Sub' in 'urban' culture.

The other day I boarded my neighbourhood bus in Marda Loop to begin the trek downtown for a beer-related event. Good times! The sun was setting in Big Sky Country, and the evening was turning out to be a postcard perfect summer night.

I had one of my tie-your-own bowties on (one that matched the bright red sport coat I was wearing, ofcourse) and I was ready to party. The guy in the business suit across from me did not look like he was ready to party, but as I soon found out, he was "with it". Was he ever.

An absolutely stunning gal boards the bus, and all the men are stunning into silence. The kind of silence where people are even afraid to breath. She was decked out to the nines (not unlike my own dashing self) and knew it.

Once she had found her seat at the back of the bus, the Suit (A) gave me an approving smile. I took the liberty to challenge his smile with a remark:

B- "You know, thank God for summer. The Lord blesses us for four months a year where gals wear fewer layers."
A- "Word up on that one, brother! Word up!!"

Word up? Word up, brother?
You've got to be kidding me. A dude in a suit does not get to repeat something he saw on a beer commercial.

Osama ruined my tee shirt!

During Hot Docs this year--Hot Docs, incidentally, is my favourite time of year--I was catching a between-doc pita along Bloor when I saw a fat nerd take the ball passed to him by a cute girl and pop it.

The Poindexter was wearing a tee shirt depicting Yoko's John Lennon, who in turn is wearing a tee shirt that says "NEW YORK". It's a "classic" image.

The cute girl, whether she was just trying to pass time in the line or actually start a conversation I don't know, commented:

C- "That's a really cool tee shirt!"

The awkward nerd's response?

N- "Yeah. . . I bought it before 9/11--like a day before. So, yeah."
C- ". . .oh. Cool."
N- (struggling to follow up)"I only wear tee shirts, pretty much. I've got Cannibal Corpse, Pantera, bands like that."
C- ". . .oh. . ."
N- "They're all pretty cool."

The flickering ember of his virginity burst back into a roaring fire. I wish I could have been his Cirano di Bergerac and led him away from discussing his tee shirt only clause. How would I have improved upon the situation?

B (as di Bergerac)- "These guys are never going to serve us! We need to do something or we're all going to die from hunger! Let's Roll!"

It wouldn't have improved his chances of getting laid, but come on! Pantera concert tees? It would have at least amused me.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Carry On, Diana Ross!

Doing beer tastings at liquor stores is just one of my many responsibilities. I really enjoy the activity because you meet a wide variety of folks (some encounters which I have recorded here in this very blog--the most notable entry involved a Shi Tzu dog which catapulted my Google visits into the teens!). Two weekends ago I had a classic encounter.

Two admittedly gay men in ridiculously small shorts approached my booth and I plied them with some of our fine golden brew. They were in a fabulously rowdy mood, and things rapidly descended into the realm of a "Carry On ______!" movie.

Commenting on our lovely green packaging and sexy bottles:

A- "If we choose beer by the appearance of the packaging it MUST mean we're GAY!"
I told the boys I had different criteria for establishing sexuality.

They howled with glee and mentioned something about sucking cock.
I told them they were getting warmer.

The Saturday afternoon gin shoppers were getting nervous.

He was really vamping it up.

The train really came off the tracks when I invited them to try my fellow salesman Neil's beer.

A- "If there's a Bob here then this beer will have some head!!"
Huge squeal!

Neil. Bob. Head.
But it's actually a very good pun as well; beer, of course, is best enjoyed with a bit of head.

They were the highlight of my day.
They were not Neil's highlight--he's true blue Calgarian.

Monday, March 20, 2006

Decoys 2:Deep Throat

All in a days work on the set of "Decoys 2:Rebirth", you might say.
This particular evening, movie magic took a back seat to movie petroleum jelly, as I was attacked by a beautific blond Decoy in the horrifying climax to Scene 111: Nick's Blue Balls. The latex tentacles wrapped around my arms were slimed up and tied to my wrists; off-camera an SFX guys looking much like Charlton Heston in Ben Hur, clasped to the tentacle 'reigns' while I writhed in fear. The menacing tentacle trident was animatronic, and would pinch at will. That greased-up beauty forwent passing "GO" and landed right into my mouth. I'm shy, and struggled with admitting here that the KY Jelly didn't taste so bad. (Other actors asked to execute the same intimate action needed honey applied to the tip; I'm only a gentleman from the skin out, and required no such inducement).

After this, a greased-up FX performer (one of the SFX designers, Sylvania Yau) got into her latex alien suit and straddled me as I lay prone in the snow. Lying in the cold, wet "snow" (at this point, we had shifted to an indoor set) under an alien matron, covered in KY Jelly, I felt about as close to being "reborn" as I'll likely ever get.

Dig the Hawaiian shirt I got to wear!

And yes, that is lipstick smeared around my lips. The lipstick isn't mine. And I didn't get it off the tentacle.
It belonged to the talented Lindsay Maxwell, an alien temptress I managed to outmaneuver in order to save my own skin.

Sunday, March 19, 2006

What happens at West Ed stays at West Ed.

Those visiting the West Edmonton Mall--The Greatest Indoor Show on Earth (not counting my performance in the sack, which isn't necessarily limited to the in of doors)--can consult the Sea Lion enclosure's "Wall of Fame" to see none other than trusty B cozied up next to Jazz, the Sea Lion Adultress!

I am in exceptional company! My mash photo is right next to Ben Mulroney's (although he looks altogether too uncomfortable with a sea lion that close to his hair) and underneath some guy who looks a lot like Bronson Pinchot (his claim to "fame" I suppose).

Whether I deserve such a lofty accolade is neither here nor there.

What could be next? The "Wall of Fame" at Dangerous Dan's Diner, your favourite alien courtesan attempting to finish one of James' Coronary Burgers? Let's hope.
Maybe James will let me wear his fruity hat?

. . . if I promise not to smudge his Mayim Bialik autograph.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Have you seen this cruel, evil bastard?

Returning to my job as a beer salesman might sound like a harsh dose of reality after battling buxom blond aliens, but it's less arduous than you might think.

Fact of the matter is--I love my life.

Sitting at the rail of my new favourite SWP account, I inadvertently bellied up beside a total class act. Barely able to stand, the first alarm bells should have sounded when he took one look at my tweed snap-brim hat (which I love to bits) and said:

A- "Are you an Irish Catholic green beer drinking bastard?"
B- "I'm at least two out of the four things you listed."
A- blink.

Then he proceeded to explain to me the following formula. I'm going to have trouble writing it down accurately, because it made absolutely no sense.

A- "Did you watch the Oscars?"
B- "Yes."
A- "What a crock of shit, eh?"
B- "Ye--"
A- "They give out 24 Oscars, right?"
B- "No idea."
A- "They give out 24 Oscars. . ."
B- "Sure, if you say so."
A- "They do. Twenty four. And they give out 24 Grammy Awards."
B- "Okay."
A- "Now add those two together. Do it."
B- "It's, geez, 48."
A- "And multiply it by 2, for two awards shows."
B- "Easy, slow down. Uh, 96."
A- "What happens to the other 4?"
B- blinks. "What 'other four' are we talking about?"
A- "That other four. . .what happens to them? Who gets them?"
B- ". . . uh. . . who?"
A- "I don't know--but I'd like to. I'd like to get my hands on them--those four--and I'd like to win 4 Nobel Prizes as well."

This calculation, although meaningless to me, obviously meant something to him. He certainly wanted those Nobel prizes; he went on about them for a few minutes. . .until he sidetracked himself, and dropped this bomb:
A- "The Easter Bunny, he's coming around soon--that bastard!"
B- "What beef could you possibly have with the Easter Bunny? He's pleasant, well-dressed--"
A- "He never has any pants on when I see him!"
B- "Maybe because he's always crapping out chocolate eggs for children?"
A- "Yeah, hey, he gives children candy, right? Chocolates and eggs and gum, right? But what does he give the elderly?"
B- " . . .nothing, really. My mom--"
A- "--He fucking. . ."(index finger up to signify an important point)". . .eats them. Eats them whole!! Dirty fucking--"
B- "He doesn't eat the elderly! He's friendly and jolly!"
A- "That's Santa, and he fucking well does! If I were you, I'd stay the fuck away from him this year. You're getting a little old for the Easter Bunny. He's gonna put some sauce on you, and eat you up whole. . .dirty fucking Easter Bunny that he is!"

It was around this time that my friend's agitation had attracted the notice of management. Moments later, pockets out-turned, A was gone. I leaned to the bartender and said, "Dude was blitzed! Did you hear what he had to say about the Easter Bunny? Eats the elderly?". The bartender nodded; A had already told her that tidbit of information.

I wonder if it was fear of the Easter Bunny's appetite for elderly that gave Peter Pan his unhealthy obsession with youth? I already know that Michael Jackson's security entourage caught the Easter Bunny with ol' MJ's head in his mouth, all chewed to shit.

"Little Rabbit Foo Foo running through the forest! Picking up the elderly and bopping them on the head!"

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Maid in Man-underwear.

Hotel living can be trying when done in long stretches; and over the last three months, I've done my share of it.
It's not that I'm crazy about making my own bed--it's not that at all! I just always feel like I'm being watched and graded. What kind of underwear does he have in his suitcase? What kind of books does he read? Is he this big a slob at home?
I have to tidy up my room and fold my towels before I leave just so the maid doesn't think I'm a piglet.

My mother used to make the bed before we left hotel rooms for the day--little did she know, that's the worst thing you can do to a maid.

Unless your twin brother C is visiting you, and when he leaves the room to let you take a nap, flips the "Please Make Up" sign on the door.

The scene:
Me, lying on top of the duvet in my underpants, mouth hanging open, dead asleep 32 minutes after playing host to my family in an Edmonton room.

I was startled awake by the feeling that someone was in my room, watching me sleep.
I was right. Some poor middle-aged maid was gaping at me, eyes like saucers--neither of us had expected to find the other, and certainly not in this condition.
She fled.
Then later slid a note under my door asking if I would kindly leave a note outside my door telling her when it was okay to come back. I didn't realise how uncomfortable the situation was until I left later that day to shoot some scenes for Decoys:Rebirth, and noticed that the tag on the door had invited the poor maid to her fate.

M- "Yeah. The guy in room 1208 is a total pervert. He was even waiting on the bed for me! In his underpants!! Pretending to sleep!!!"

Talk to the door.

There are a lot of firsts in life. First steps. First words. First kiss. First time having a woman rip a door off its hinges and throw it at you. First recital. First Communion. First airplane flight.

Perhaps I should back up a bit.

Last night, while you all slept (surely--it was around 4am) an alien babe ripped a door off its hinges and threw it at myself and a couple of my movie buddies.
To give this brand of entertaining stunt to the folks at home takes no less than three different types of doors: the real McCoy; a wooden door; and a foam door. Even upon closer inspection they all look pretty similar; so much so, that the actress who did the throwing didn't realise the door had been changed until she tried to use it.

Today I get a slimy tentacle in the face.


Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Ride Mindbender or die tryin'.

Maybe those familiar with the spotted past of one of West Edmonton Mall's brightest stars won't find the title to this post funny. But riding the Mindbender knowing that it's got a taste for blood makes the experience all the more enjoyable.

Friday, February 24, 2006

Hollywood measuring stick.

Shooting for "Decoys:Rebirth" has been going very, very well.
A couple of days ago we did a party scene at the U of Alberta campus bar featuring the musical stylings of local ska band (Mad Bomber Society) and a packed dance floor with only the best beauties Edmonton has to offer. But I felt, after submitting my character 'Nick' to rigorous dramaturgical analysis, I needed something more. Something to give "Nick" a 'third dimension'.

I asked the director for a cougar.

. . . and no, I don't mean the kind of cougar that steals babies out of splashing pools in the backyards of Southern California.
A real, "experienced" lady.

A call was put in to the casting director, and a cougar was produced.
When I met her, I tried to be diplomatic:

B- "Hi! I play 'Nick'; they've told me that you're my date for this scene. Nice to--"
C- "--I'm your 'cougar'. Nice to meet you, too!"

I can honestly say, there is no business like show business.

As I approach my late twenties, I've realised that there really is no male equivalent to the graceful transition from 'college hottie' to 'cougar'; there is just "horny young guy" and "dirty old man". I've begun my steady march downhill. Oh snap indeed.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Exterminate with extreme cleavage.

Friends and lovers,

It is a deep pleasure to tell you all that I am currently shooting the sequel to that blockbuster sci-fi horror classic "Decoys".

Not this kind of decoy:

This kind of Decoy:

Appearing in "Decoys 2:Rebirth" realises a lifelong dream of mine to perform in a genre of film that has occupied more shelf space in my voluminous film collection than any other.
A synopsis for the original chiller thriller read:

". . . college boys find themselves in a scary position when they make the discovery that some of the most lovely coeds on campus are actually aliens in disguise who are using sexuality as a means to conquer Earth"

Decoys 2, though not yet encapsulated so succinctly, might read:

". . . college boys once again find themselves in a scary position when they re-discover that some of the second most lovely coeds on campus are actually aliens in disguise who are using sexuality as a means to conquer Earth. . . only this time, fo' sho'!"

It's a much lighter take on Extra Terrestrial domination than Steven Spielberg's laugh-dry snorefest "War of the Worlds", and there is (I promise) considerably more frontal nudity. There has even been threats of my own nakedness--look for my bare barrel chest and soft milky shoulders to be tastefully lit for the sake of advancing my subplot.

As scripted, two aliens attempt to seduce me "using sexuality"--but suffering for one's art has become a hallmark of mine since receiving simulated fellatio from a man in a hot tub during the "Undressed" years. The indomitable Joel Greenberg, an acting professor, director, and friend whom I greatly respect used to tell us to "earn it" when referring to actions on the stage; after reviewing the script, I am proud to say that Screenwriter Miguel Tejada-Flores has given me the tools with which I may earn the T&A placed before me.

I promise you, in all the solemnity blogging will allow, that when I say, "She wants to jump your bones, bro--what're you waiting for?" I say it for you. . . the people who got me where I am today.

Please direct all well-wishes to my agent.

Much love,

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

"Do you heart Alberta beef, punk?"

My brother-in-law J was in town visiting and I decided there was no better way to get him into an 'Alberta state of mind' than to take him shooting.

Now try to keep your socks on, my old Ontario friends! Don't go thinking that I'm going to take the scotch off my deer hoof gun rack, take the rack off the wall, and mount it in the back window of my pick up; I'm not there. . . yet. I just wanted to show him something distinctly Western that didn't involve 'Brokeback Mountin' or throwing all my recyclables in the garbage. And since he's over 19 the thrill of a lower age of majority in the province (18 years) was lost on him--so shooting it was.

We chose the 'Dirty Harry' gun, a .44 Magnum; and an S&W .40 Cal. Very fun little pea shooters.

While waiting to get our guns, but after we had signed a waiver stating that, in the event we face the guns anywhere but down the shooting range, we release "The Shooting Edge" from any legal liability if they take us out. Dudes wear sidearms and extra clips while walking around the store. They're ready for shit to go down. Two clips worth of shit to go down. Anyway, while we're waiting this freaky looking Albino (they're all freaky looking, I suppose) starts telling some cock and bull story to the store owner:

A- ". . . I'm gonna use this to settle a score."
O- " . . . ?"
A- "I live down in Alabama, and there's this great son-of-a-bitchin' alligator which ate my dog. I'm gonna use this here gun to kill 'em."

Yes. And how does one respond to a statement like that? A statement like that from an Albino?

O- "What kind of dog did you have?"
A- "Had a Rottweiler. Damn 'gator. But I'll get 'em."
O- "How big is the alligator?"
A- "Fifteen feet--thereabouts. I don't know what that is in metric."

How thoughtful.

He packed up his gun box--the Albino has to wait a day or two to collect his handgun--and his laser sight, and left. I don't think anyone knew what to say. I'm not even sure anyone wanted to say anything, just in case the Albino was listening and came back and shot us.

I was asking our 'Ranger' how business was, and he said that when Paul Martin threatened to outlaw handguns during the election, they nearly sold out of handguns. The 'Ranger' said, jokingly, "Everyone in Calgary must have a gun now. Man, we were busy!". Thanks, Paul. You've started an arms race in suburban Calgary. All I've got is a baseball bat under my bed; how am I supposed to protect myself from my neighbours? And what about the sewer gators?!?
Gonna have to get me a gun.

Red means 'stop'. . . or 'blood'.

My lovely wife E loves to ski.
It's her most favourite winter sport ever.

I do not come from an athletic family.
Not even mildly athletic.
My most favourite winter sport is bowling. I can bowl like the devil.
5 or 10 pin, it don't matter to the Jesus.

Living within spitting distance of the mountains now means that every morning when I wake up, my lovely wife reminds me that we should go skiing. Because we're "soooo close". When I lived close to 'Jilly's Gentlemen's Club' in Toronto, the same logic did not follow.

I relented last weekend, and while waiting for my ski lesson to begin, my lovely wife came to visit me--I was sunning myself on a bench, soaking up the 'good life'. I stood, like all gentlemen should, to greet her. She was still coasting along on her skis, and moving fast enough that, if left to gravity, she would have slid right past me. To make sure that no such affront was made, so stuck her ski pole out in front of her, like a lance, and stopped herself in a timely manner by jamming the ski pole into my crotch.
Not my thigh.
Not my stomach.
My balls.

Suspiciously, this act followed close on the heels to a discussion we had after watching a reality programme featuring families with little Holy Terrors, wherein she said, "We are--I AM NOT--having children."
Well, darling, not if you keep that up.

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Don't give me the Conch!

It is baffling to me how I became the #1 Yahoo Search result for:
what can I do when i don't feel appreciated by my girlfriend?

The fact that I successfully navigated my girlfriend from sinful living into a marriage proves nothing.

My advice?
1) Dutch Ovens. Do them often, with no apologies.
2) Get "caught" giving yourself some "appreciation" (read: jerking off).
3) Cry for no reason and, when asked, tell her "It's nothing. Nevermind."
4) Kill her pet--grief can bring people together.
5) Leave an MSN conversation window open on her computer wherein a user named "Kitty_80" constantly says, "LOL! You are so FUNNY!!"; "That's a great picture of you! ;)"; and "I can't believe that you gorilla slammed that midget at the bar the other night!!"
6) Pretend to be talking on your cell phone, and when she enters the room start laughing until tears come to your eyes, spot her, and tell the person on the other end, 'Gotta go'. Then hang up.
7) Buy a Pilates DVD and start doing it at her place religiously.
8) Bake yourself cookies and don't share.
9) Give her the finger while she sleeps, just to blow off some steam.
10) Send yourself a mock-up 'Boyfriend of the Year!' certificate and open it in front of her. Then say, in your most withering tone, 'This certainly couldn't be from you. . . does your mother have my/our address?'

This may give the under-appreciated males woefully searching Yahoo a much needed shot in the arm.

. . . Mail Order brides from 2nd and 3rd World countries may also be the answer.

With the popularity of Brokeback Mountain girls need to remember that in the 21st Century guys have choices. So always remember that YOU'RE A WONDERFUL INDIVIDUAL. . .no matter what a stinky girl thinks of you!

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Can't Fight Fate

Where do you not sing along with Taylor Dayne's "With Every Beat of My Heart" while wearing a beret and buying NY Cheesecake with a pink tube of 'writing icing' and bananas?

In line behind two dudes buying steak in a downtown Calgary Safeway next to Stephen Harper's riding.

Stopping mid-conversation to turn around and look at me, the only answer I had for them was:

B- "This was an awesome single."

I don't know why I was wearing the beret, but it didn't help diffuse the situation.
It "Ain't No Good".
It was no "shelter" for me.

New EP in '06, biz-atches. Dayne touch this!

Friday, February 03, 2006

A face only a mother could love.

I make faces at babies. Can't help it. I'm a baby face maker.
Always have been.
Always will.

Once I encouraged a kid on the 504 King Streetcar to mimic my monkey face (bending my ears out with my fingers, crossing my eyes, and sticking my tongue out in a crescent shape) and the poor little bastard got in big trouble for sticking his tongue out at me.
And he wouldn't stop.
He kept sticking his tongue out and trying to bend his tongue into a crescent with his fingers and his mother kept smacking his hands away from his mouth and telling him to "Stopit!". No sooner did she let go of his grubby, slobbery hands and they were up mushing his stuck-out tongue in half.
The kid had moxie, I'll give him that.

The other day I was with my lovely wife E, and an opportunity to pull a face at this infant in a stroller came up, so I took it.
I shouldn't have.

There I am, mugging away like a Christmas Panto champ, and I hear:

M- (whisper whisper)
F- "Excuse me? Hello? Hello? Hi."

I look up, eyes still crossed, to face two very uneasy parents. The father looked like he was ready to throw down.

B- "Sorry. I''m a baby face maker. Ha ha ha!"

No response.

B- "Sorry."

But what really hurt wasn't being looked at like I was some kind of lurking pervert--the kid didn't even smile once.
Tough crowd.

Sunday, January 29, 2006

1st Place Dick

The other night my lovely wife E and I were taking in the open mic night at Karma (a very cool little art house bar in Calgary's uber-hip Marda Loop) when some muscle bound tool--wait, I'm getting ahead of myself--when some guy with a crew cut came in with his girlfriend hanging off of his arm. Did I mention he was wearing a medal.
Out to the bar.
A medal.
Around his pickle barrel neck.

I was dying to know: 1) what the medal was for?; and 2) what on Earth possessed him to wear it to a bar?

Thankfully beer has always provided me with enough courage to be so brazen as to ask strangers wearing medals exactly what I should be celebrating them for, and this evening was no different. The owner of the bar was sitting nearby our "hero" and I stopped to ask him if he knew why A was all glamed up in gold medalions. He didn't, but shared my thirst for knowledge and encouraged me to go forth and ask.

With so many people counting on me, I plunged into A very intimate conversation with his girlfriend, G, and asked:

B- "Sorry to interupt, but I noticed when you came in that you were wearing a medal. Mind if I ask what you got that bit of hardware for?"
A- (wondering if he should punch the grin off my face and onto the floor)"You can ask. . ."
G- "--it's mine! I won it in a marathon! He put it on at my place--I don't know why. "
B- "Oh! So you're riding on her coattails!"
A- (clearly not pleased at my implication that he couldn't have done it on his own)"What's your name?"
B- "Brad. What's yours?"
A- "Scott. What's the date today?"
B- "The 25th--if these are going to get tougher, I want the medal."
S- "One year. One year from today I'll have my own marathon medal--BUT, you got to do it too. We'll meet back here, one year from today, and if you don't have a medal for running a marathon I get to kick your ass!"
B- "I'll be here!"
S- "And if you don't have a medal, I get to KICK. YOUR. ASS."
B- "Tell you what--I'll be here, but if I can't win a marathon I'm going to work out so that you can't kick my ass. Fair?"
S- "Shake on it."
B- (shakes pudgy hand)
S- "One year. I get to kick your ass. You better be here!"
B- "I will be. But don't get your hopes up about kicking my ass. I'm going to work out--pump iron. I'll be ready."
S- "One year."
B- "One year."

The owner was killing himself laughing. This dude Scott was a total pilon.

Thing is, I never got a satisfactory answer to my original question: why on Earth did he think wearing a medal to the bar would be cool? I mean, I only know of a handful of guys that could pull that kind of shit off, and they're all in the photo below:

Don't bother checking; Scott isn't there.