Monday 29 March 2010

A Call from Bruce Fish

Bruce Fish has never called me. He actually still has a rotary phone, but rarely uses it. I was thus surprised to hear from him this morning around 6:30. He had just had a dream and wanted me to hear it. This is more or less how the call went:

"I had a dream last night. I'd just watched Wrestlemania with Pancake and Rose. I went to bed and dreamed that Kane and King Kong Bundy were fighting a tag team bout against Job and Jacob; you know from the Bible. At the end of the match Jacob hip tossed Kane into Bundy, knocking him flying off the ring. Job tagged in and caught Kane in move called the "gird up your loins", a sort of a sharpshooter type move. They won the belts. Double J are the new champs".

I told him that that was a crazy ass dream and that I was jealous of his vivid experience. He interjected that there was more:

"We fight them in a title match at the next pay per view. The Dump Disciples versus Double J. Me and you buddy; title match. Go gird up your loins...anyways...good bye."

A title match eh?

Check this out...

Thursday 25 March 2010


Pancake's dad never stared at goats as far as I know, but he has split clouds. Pancake's dad, like French's dad, always sat on the front porch. Sweaty, Pancake, French and I were all playing a very chippy game of basketball. A lot of knees and elbows were smacking around. (French liked to play tackle basketball.) Bruce Fish was sitting on the porch, as well, and he called out to us: "Lads finish your game...rain's a coming".

There was this huge anvil shaped cloud coming down from the valley. Pancake's dad got up and said: "Don't worry about it boys; keep playing". He stood at the end of the driveway with his hand choppping like he was at a Cleveland Indians Game. He was concentrating hard, and sweating worse than Sweaty.

We all stopped playing. The basketball rolled down into the deep ditch. The cloud slowly started to split in half and drift off into the east and west.

French said: "How in the sweet fuck?"

Pancake's dad let us in on the secret:

"I just imagine a huge hand chopping, a huge hand of air, but strong, solid, but air. I've done it a hundred times. I'll split clouds for roofers, for a small fee."

Bruce Fish asked him what else he could do.

"I can stop my bladder on a cross country long haul in my rig and I can see potholes and rabbits miles ahead. Nuff about that. I split that cloud so you can play. Don't you little bastards waste my effort".

I climbed down the ditch to retrieve our ball.

Wednesday 24 March 2010

Lonesome 50

We didn't have dance bars in my small town. Hell, we had taverns. They were all dark and scary. The floors worn down in a trail from the door to the bar. As teenagers we'd dare each other to go into the Rideau, or the Russell Hotel. These taverns were tough. Dozens of eyes would dart up from their drafts and whiskeys. We'd turn and leave before the regulars kicked our asses in the back rooms.
The only one we ever had any luck in was the Lee Tavern. We had a few adventures down at the Lee. I got served in there when I was fifteen; the best part was that I was wearing a high school jacket at the time. Another time we were there at 11:00 am, because that is when the taps opened.
There was a regular that was always in the Lee. He sat in the darkest back corner. He'd always be drinking a pint of Labatt 50. When he finished his beer this pretty little barmaid would fetch him a fresh one automatically and take away the empty.
He didn't socialize, at all; he never talked to anyone. He never even looked at the pretty bargirl. All our eyes'd follow her as she walked to the back of the bar. This guy was a legend; and everyone had a theory as to his behaviour, each more bizarre and sad than the last.
I must have gone in there twenty or thirty times and every time he'd be alone: Lonesome 50.
I popped into the Lee last weekend to bend a tap for old times sake. There was 50 sitting there: a little older, a little greyer. Someone was sitting with him: odd. This someone turned around. It was French. He waved me over and ordered a round of cold Labatt 50 quarts.
That Lonesome 50 is a pretty good guy.

Friday 19 March 2010

Of Johnny Cash and Tattoos

Sweaty and I sat together all day watching the NCAA tournament. I picked Kentucky and he has Kansas to win it all. 16 games in one day is excessive, but we have a case of beer riding on our brackets.
During one of the overtime games French showed up. He never played much basketball, he'll only ever watch UFC or Wrestling. He had some big news; so he said. Sweaty and I were glued to the screen. We both kept French waiting (double overtime). Too long too! French got up, sick of being ignored, and said "fuck yahs both". I looked at Sweaty and we both got up and followed him outside to his truck.
Sweaty said: "Sorry, what is your big news?"
French replied: "Never mind go watch your basketball".

It continued back and forth:

"Is it about a girl?"
"Yes it is about a girl".
"It is always about a girl with you, French."
"This is different."
"How so?"
"She has a tattoo of Johnny Cash".

Damn, this is different.

Friday 12 March 2010

Snow Beers

French and I were drinking a few Beau's beers out on the front porch last night. Just sitting, talking, strumming our guitars and enjoying the first spring warmth.
We kept a few beers cold in the last of the snow.
I brought up the point that when we were younger we'd drink, fight, fall down, get-up, drink more and even shoot guns out the back door of Pancake's garage. Once we even tried to chase some dump bears with Bruce Fish. We did a lot of dumb dangerous shit.
I finished my lament with this: "French we are getting old, bud".
He paused, strummed a few chords an replied: "yeah it's fucking great".

Monday 8 March 2010

Number 13

French was by on the weekend. He said we really outta go out and see a Hockey Game. I was thinking NHL - Major Junior, no, French and I went to see a couple of Junior B teams smash it out. I was reluctant, but what the hell?
We downed a few pints and went down to the rink. Cumberland was playing Rockland. We sat down at the Rockland end; even though we were in Cumberland.
He kept a keen eye on the Rockland team. We went out at the intermission and snagged another pint. He told me to watch number 13 during the next period.
13 was good; he'd come up the ice pound a few heavy checks, then blast shots from the point.
At the next intermission we went out to the car for beers again; as per tradition. I said to French: "the kid plays exactly like you, he even skates like you". French replied: "That's because that is my kid".
My can of beer slipped out of my hand and exploded in a frothy bomb: "Dude, you have a kid"?
"Yep now let's go watch the last period".
Turns out an old flame of his turned up back in town: this super cute french girl that he dated about 17 years ago called him up and gave him the news.
We went back in to see the end of the game. This time we were both huge Rockland fans and we were cheering hard for number 13 - or Little French as I was calling him.

Wednesday 3 March 2010


Our art teacher loved to take us on trips. We went every semester for a big day long bus ride.
One trip to Montreal was most memorable. We were going to see some museums and take pictures for our photography unit.
French, Sweaty and I headed down into old Montreal; and like all good high-school students we went straight to a the first fast food chain that our little town didn't have. The museums could wait. We slammed a few burgers down and headed into the john.
There was someone in there when we went in. We watched this slick looking dude in a fancy suit snorting cocaine right in the McDonald's bathroom. He had the coke lines on top of one of those cookie boxes you always got with the happy meal. He snorted the coke through a drinking straw, stuck it back in to his super sized coca-cola, took a huge swig, looked right at us and said: "okay, much better, back to work". Oddly, he shook each of our hands before he left the bathroom. He even gave French a quick brotherly hug.
That is pretty much all I remember from that field-trip.