Friday 30 October 2009

The Best Costume Ever

23% of women dress as cats or bunnies on Halloween. I just made that stat up it is witnessed the best costume ever. Here we go:

About 1991 I was dancing away at my high-school dance. I admit I had a bit of a beer buzz flowing, but it was fading fast. This lad dressed all in green with hoses and weedy looking rags was just smashing the dance floor in a liquor fuelled whirlwind. He had on some goggles, so I didn't recognize him at first. This weird swampy alien dancing dude - whirls a couple of hoses that extended from his hand and says: "suck my finger bro". I was like: "no way". Plus a couple of FUs thrown in. He said, "it is me Sweaty...suck on it". Sweaty is French's younger brother, so I took a quick suck. It was the dirty, but lovely, burning Alberta Rye. Wow dude! As a young lad this was the best moment at a dance. He then said: "Suck my other finger on this hand". It was Cherry Brandy. Damn weird combo. The hoses were actually surgical tubes that he had taken from a recent visit to the hospital. The tubes snaked up his arm and into mickeys he had stashed under the layers of his spacey get up. Best/funniest/most practical costume of all time. Sweaty was a genius.

We danced and danced - every now and then - taking a pull of burning liquor or sweet brandy. Crazy, but wonderful night.

The hot buzz lasted right to the last chords of "Stairway to Heaven".

Wednesday 21 October 2009

French's Shed

Seeing French again got me to thinking about the first time I met him. He lived down the street, but when his dad got to drinking he lived out in his garden shed. The drinking got more regular, so French got that shed looking pretty good. He salvaged an old wood stove that used to be on a Caboose from a wrecked CNR train.

I heard him in there one night. The sound was travelling well on account of the freezing temperature. I'd been at a house party that the cops busted up and was walking home. I heard this drumming in the old shed. I looked in the window and saw French's back - his arms swinging to a beat. I knocked loud and went in. It was about -30 outside and about +30 inside. The wood stove was cranking hot. French had dragged his high hat and his snare drum through the snow. He pounded out some steady rhythms all night. We had a few beers that were near bursting from sitting in the snow.

I'd always try to listen for the drumming from the shed. I'd slip over and every now and then the stove would be humming and a few lads (sometimes French's brother too) would show up break out their beat up old flattops and we'd play some tunes. Soon you'd hear Wheat Kings, 38 Years Old, and later some Stompin' Tom and Bon Jovi (to be ironic and funny, but we loved it). The beers would stay cold outside and we'd be sweating, singing, playing and drumming in that old shed that sat out in the backyard. Smoke from our Rum and Wine flavoured Colts circled our heads. We'd blow some smoke out when we went to snag another beer or two.

These occasions were rare and unpredictable, but I always hoped I'd hear the steady thumping from the shed, or see the wood smoke rising above his yard.

The shed has been silent for far too long.

Saturday 17 October 2009

French Update

French showed up last night at "church hockey". I questioned if he was allowed here, but it turns out the ban was never French was good to go. (He'd been kicked out of church league for decking the goalie - his goalie - )

I asked him where he'd been. French got a job in Winnipeg replacing light bulbs in a skyscraper: "A Bulb Tech" he called it. He got fired when he turned on the lights in strategic offices to spell dirty/funny messages. The people down in the streets were treated to 10 storey F Us in the cold city nights.

He's back on the blades with his typical equipment; velcroed, duct-taped, and stitched up with old shoes shin pad the crazy bastard. He rolled up some old t-shirts in his hockey socks and then wrapped it tight with electrical tape.

French still has his speed though. Two years off skates and he scores four goals. Hovering at the red line pays off.

He did, however, get banned again. French got antsy for a butt so he sparked up a long American cig. You could see it sticking out through his cage when he skated by our bench. A city employee told him to take it outside. The employee meant the cigarette - French thought he wanted "to go". A couple a hay-makers later French is out of the league again.

Good to see him though - when he left he said it was off to one of his girlfriends.

Good ol'French.