Monday 27 June 2011

the Squared Circle

French spent a lot of years wrestling in both the amateur and professional ranks.  He has wrestled in many different promotions around Canada and the U.S., but French hasn't been near a ring in a few years.  There was a wrestling show in Smiths Falls, our old home town, this past Friday.  I got tickets, and French reluctantly went along. 

It was not easy for him to go.  As a former in ring performer he was a little uncomfortable.  He believes that it looks bad to be at a show when you are not on the card.  He called it being a locker room loser.  To avoid this we kept a low profile and he stayed away from the backstage.  Just before we went in he said: "tonight I'm just a fan."  I agreed, but I knew he had slipped his old ring gear into the back of my van.

We ended up having a few laughs.  We recorded some of the matches and French pulled out some clips that he thought were good.  He called his little movie : Heel Clinic.

Friday 24 June 2011

Locker Art

French and I finished our report cards today, and then he had an idea: a photo-essay of the inside of lockers.  We grabbed the Nikon and hit the halls.  A couple of other teachers saw us and they were quite shocked:  "What are you doing?"  What are you looking for?"   These other teachers assumed that we were, or should be, doing something practical.  French told them that we were conducting an anthropological field exercise.  That seemed to satisfy them. are some of our findings.

Establishing Shot


This guy has left a legacy of stickers.

We named this locker: Candy Cane

Political Campaign

Charlie Sheen...
420 or Security Breach

The Love Tally


Keep it Simple

Tuesday 14 June 2011

Parkour vs Shortcutting

Ollie (great name) demonstrates a side vault.

Today there exists the lingering, mainly Youtube, fad of Parkour.  It is defined as: the non-competitive sport of traversing mainly urban landscapes by running, climbing and jumping. I heard a podcast recently that even named the founder: Dave Belle.  One day in the nineties he vaulted a mail box, thus Parkour was invented.  Hold up...really?...really?   I seem to remember vaulting in the seventies and eighties.  The big difference is that Dave Belle filmed, posted, and formalized this activity. What a weird media construct world we live in.

French and I did not invent Parkour either, but we had our own trend: Shortcutting.  We'd challenge each other to see who could get to school the fastest.  I guess this is the rule we broke: Parkour is strictly no-competitive.  To win you'd have to go through people's yards; this would cut entire blocks off the route. 
We'd vault fences, climb onto and over garden sheds, and sprint through lawn sprinklers to get to school the fastest.  Pancake had one secret route that went behind a garage, then across an old boat, then over a pool fence. 

French and Sweaty were pretty hard to beat.  They could really "haul ass" on the straight stretch.  The only time we'd win for sure was when French brought Bruce Fish.  He'd have to slow down and boost him over every fence. 

My sons have taken this up recently.  It is not 1979 anymore, when we got away with shortcutting, so I had to explain that in 2011 people call the police if kids run through their yards.  My sons have made some "fake" videos of  "Parkour" - consider them more about film making then Parkour.  Maybe they'll go down in history as the inventors of  Parkour 2.0, or Shortcutting 2.0, or ...?

Friday 3 June 2011

French and Fatdog

There was this huge guy back in high school call Fatdog (he actually liked the name). Fatdog was around 6'4, and he weighed at least 300 lbs.  He was a typical high school bully.  As he was walking down the halls he loved to push people into their lockers.  Then his little gang of buds would laugh.  Fatdog also slapped away kid's trays at lunch, or stole their food.  I once saw him with a huge pile of cookies, chips and puddings that he had taken from a table of freshmen.  He ate the whole pile.

Fatdog had the reputation that nobody could even move him, let alone beat him in a fight.  I saw him get the better of  Mean Dean (to Dean's credit Fatdog had 120 lbs on him). 

In September of grade 12 Fatdog did his locker bump into French's girlfriend: the little brunette.  French had had enough.  He decided to "move him".  Like Dean, French was 170 tops.  Fatdog was a beast, but French was determined to take him down.

French went right up to Fatdog, and told him: "I'm gonna move you three times this year".  Fatdog just laughed and walked away.

We had gym with Fatdog.  French made his first attempt during the wrestling unit.  Despite the weight class difference French took FD on.  French taunted FD and then fell down and nailed him with a toe drag.  He didn't pin him, but he technically moved him.  It was the talk of the school.

French got him one more time in gym class.  Fatdog was more wary now, so French had to be cunning.  One day French jumped up on some uneven bars, swung, and kicked Fatdog with both feet.  Fatdog feel down and he was pissed.  He got up swinging, but Mr. K sent them both to the office.  This event really created a buzz.

French didn't get another chance until June.  Fatdog just wouldn't go anywhere near French.  The finally met up in the smoking area after school one night.  French came towards him to shake his hand.  There were a lot of people watching so Fatdog felt pressured to end this year long feud.  French grabbed his hand and then executed a beautiful leg sweep.  Fatdog fell backwards.  French leaped on to him and actually sat on his chest, and ground his knees into this face.  He kept yelling: "who's the big man now?" over and over again. 

That was a long time ago.  These days we actually have beers with Fatdog from time to time.