Thursday 25 November 2010

getting in

We went to the Sens game this week, but we had arrived a little late. We could not get into a restaurant or, more importantly, a bar.  Sweaty was getting snarly; he kept saying: "I need one a them big beers and a straw" -  over and over again.  French told him to "shut it" each time. Pancake was hungry and looking a little faint.  Bruce Fish stood in awe with his usual dazed/bemused expression.   We stood in line for 10 minutes.  The line was not moving at all and the wind was ripping fierce across the parking lot.

French just took off and said "be right back".

A couple minutes later we saw him inside the restaurant gesturing for us to come in.  One of the staff members actually came out and brought us in - somehow we had gone from schmucks to V.I.P.s.  We came in, brushed the snow off our coats, to see French chatting up a pretty little waitress.  He was sitting in a huge booth with two pitchers of beer waiting.  We all piled in and Sweaty started pouring.

He had snuck around the back through a service entrance, worked his charm,  and snagged this great table.

Monday 15 November 2010

Pure Olsonomics

French gave us a fine display of high school economics today in the staffroom  He mentioned that he had overheard a student who had a little financial operation going.  The students would cut a deck of cards in half on the bandsaw.  Then he would sell the cut cards for two bucks a pop as tickets.  This student would collect at least $104 dollars - more if he sold the jokers.  At the end of the day on Friday he'd pull a card out of a hat and give the winner, who held the matching half, a 20 ounce bottle of booze that he had stashed in his locker.

Solid economics - the kid would clear around $80 - depending on sales.  Underagers would gladly gamble two bucks for the chance to win some hard to come by liquor.

All the teachers that heard French tell this story reacted in disgust and proclaimed the fall of humanity.  One teacher even said: "I weep for the future".

The bell rung and they all left.  I burst out laughing.

French said: "Good on yah...keeping a straight face".

This story of the card cutting booze supplier was fully biographical in nature.  French pulled this deal whenever he was low on cash in his high school days.

Wednesday 10 November 2010

Lonesome 50 and the Big One

We were having a few beers with the usual crew: Sweaty, French, Bruce Fish, Pancake, Lonesome 50 and me, Old Ollie. Usual group, usual place, usual beers - until sweaty finally coaxed Lonesome 50 to tell a story from World War 2.

Sweaty kept buying Lonesome 50 his favourite, and namesake, Labatt 50 quarts. He just jumped into the story after being silent for most of the night:

I was in Italy, and damned tired of walking.  The Captain asked if anyone knew how to drive a motorcycle.  They needed a new FOO (forward observational officer).  The former one had been taken out by sniper fire.  I put up my hand and went up and took the bike.  I didn't know how to drive it, being a poor farm kid, but I learned that night.

My job was to drive up ahead and do a bit of scouting; avoid German and Italian troops and report back.  I'd go ahead to the next village and buy up all the wine and spirits, and hide it.  I'd resell it to our lads as they caught up. 

By the end of the war I was a liquor tycoon.  I'd just repeat that process over and over.  I just tried to survive, make a bit of coin, and supply me brethren with fine booze. When the war was over I went straight, worked the trains; but that was a damn fine business.

We bought him another round after that fine tale.

Tuesday 2 November 2010

Bench Seat

 A strange pick-up truck pulled into my driveway tonight.  It looked old, but clean; rust free.  The horn honked and French got out grinning.

"So whadya think?", he said.

"Cool old truck...but why?", I replied.

He explained that he had bought it off Lonesome 50.  He had lost his licence because his sight had faded.  French promised to drive him around, and had paid him a healthy market value.  French went on with his explanation.  I'll paraphrase: "This is the important has a bench seat.  And nothing makes picking up girls easier than a bench seat.  You put a solid mix; these days it is Taylor Swift along with a few old classics.  Your lady friend can slide right over.   This is the beauty of the bench seat."

He pulled out soon after to pick up his current girl; the one with the Johnny Cash tattoo.

I think I need a new old truck.