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!