Thursday 28 October 2010

This is a Bombtrack

I was about to watch a very early morning hockey game last weekend.  French and I were sipping a cup of coffee, topped up with just a dash of Canadian Club, up in the chilly stands of the local arena.

French pulled out an earphone splitter jack and plugged in his headphones.  He told me to plug mine in as well.  French had made a mix for the game.

He waited for the exact moment for the kids to step out on to the ice and start skating their warm-up.  When the first kid touched the ice the words: "bring that shit out" nailed me.  French continued the audio assault with a crazy mix of Rage Against the Machine hits and a smattering of P.O.D.

It was sweet when my son scored on a massive slap shot during the ripping power chords of Bombtrack.

When the game wrapped up and the kids were shaking hands French said: "that is pretty much the only time rap-rock is acceptable".

Saturday 23 October 2010

38 years old

Phone rang early ... real early.  All I could hear on the other end was the sound of 38 Years Old by the Tragically Hip.  The line "never kissed a girl" was sung with massive gusto.

This was followed by whoops and hollers from Sweaty, Pancake and Bruce Fish.  The song ended and French said: "happy birthday yah fucker".

They had stayed up till 4 am just to "get me".

I was up giving Gunnar a bottle  - jokes on them.  Good lads though...good lads.

Thursday 14 October 2010

Lock Down

There is a series of codes, forms, and protocols that swing into effect in case the school gets threatened.  The trend seems to be to throw a mountain of bureaucracy at the threat to vanquish it.  In fact, tomorrow we have a Lock Down Drill.  French deals with these "threats" in his own way.

A young guy in his early twenties came in to our computer lab a while back.  This intruder was soaking wet with sweat, his hair was long and stuck to his face; the worst part was that his knuckles were bleeding.  He came in, sat down at a computer and started to check his email.  He acted like this was the most normal thing in the world; very casual.

This young fella had been spotted coming in and had taken off from the admin team.  The school went into full lock down: doors locked, windows covered, huddle in the corner...police on their way.  French stepped up.

French went right up to the guy and asked to speak to him in the hall.  They talked like they were old buds.  French handed him a handkerchief for his bloody hands and walked him to the back door.  The intruder left the building and French locked the door behind him.

Once a school is in lock down it is a long process to get it off that designation.  As we waited for the official all clear French regaled everyone with "the story" (even though it was "all clear").  Everyone asked: "What did you do?"  He answered each question the same way: "I talked to him".

The lock down and police sweep continued for three hours.  I like French's direct method better.

Posted to this fine site: Imperfect Prose

Thursday 7 October 2010

The Rules

French has been in a lot of trouble in his days.  I've been there as an observer, witness, participant; in those fist swinging moments.  I've waved to French as he waves back from the back of a cop car, but he has stayed out of trouble for the longest stint I can remember.

He still looks the rebel: sleeved, punkish hair, cowboy boots, and he sticks a cigarette behind his ear and ducks out for a butt as the bell rings at school.

I asked him - what gives? - How come he has kept it on the level the last few months?  He replied "the rules".  He continued:  "When I see trouble brewing I follow them religiously".


1.  Look surprised.
2.  Deny everything.
3.  Seem sincere.

I asked: "Those are the rules of life?"

French said: "No those rules are totally fucked for life, but they are to be followed at all times at work".

Fair Enough.