Tuesday 29 November 2011

secular fundamentalism

This picture has been doing the rounds out on the Internet.  Rose saw it and she was so upset that she left the room.  She slammed her door so hard the frame popped.

Bruce Fish said: "Ah hell she's just fed up with the whole world some days".

Pancake was pretty sympathetic.  His dad has always been a mystical guy.  Currently, Pancake's dad calls himself a Zen-Christian.  Good thing Rose had left.  Pancake is perpetually in her bad-books.

I said my standard line: "Never let religion get in the way of your faith".  Standard, yes, but I mean it.  The people promoting this idea seem to be against religion and doctrine; so we might be at a stalemate.

Sweaty shrugged and said, " it was all bullshit."  He was as ambiguous as usual.

French had this to say before we changed the subject:  "It puts forward some tough ass questions, but these secular fundamentalists are a worrisome bunch".

What do you say?

Tuesday 22 November 2011


Tough guys don't cry - they make people cry. Sounds like a t-shirt that Mean Dean would wear. Words to live by right?

Once Pancake came up to me at my locker and said that French had "lost it". He said that French was sitting in his shed crying. That sounded a bit off. I couldn't imagine French crying. Something really bad must have happened.

I cut class, yet again, and walked over to French's place. Sure enough he was in his shed. There was music playing: Johnny Cash. I knocked and he let me in. I went in and shut the door. He didn't say anything. French just sat slumped on his handmade bunk. When the tape ended he'd flip it over and listen to the other side. We listened to the same Johnny Cash tape all afternoon.

I guess on some of the songs his eyes looked a bit moist.


I try not to listen to too much Johnny Cash (Rick Rubin days, or My Mother's Hymnbook) when I know I'll be in public.

Tuesday 15 November 2011

The Guitar Lesson

French can play guitar.  He often says: "I don't remember a time when I didn't know a C chord."  I believe him.  His dad had him and Sweaty jamming all the time.  There was an abundance of musical instruments in their house: drums, guitars, a bass, a piano, a banjo, a mandolin, and various other small percussion instruments.

French's dad loved nothing better than to pack his kitchen and jam out.  He would hand out cold beers and instruments.  If you couldn't play, he'd hand you a shaker or a pot to bang on.  These were totally great moments.  If his dad was too tired, we'd do the same thing in the shed.

There came a time though that I wanted to play guitar; I'd had enough of pot and pans. I tried to get French to teach me.  He wasn't the most patient guy, but he finally gave me a lesson.  He took my pick and tossed it into my guitar.  I looked at him in disbelief.  This is my lesson?

He then showed me how to get it out in seconds.  I have to admit it works every time.  So my first guitar lesson was a damn fine one.

This video reveals the method:

Wednesday 9 November 2011

French's Amp

I bought my son a Bass Guitar...cool eh?  French caught wind of this and said he had an amp for him kicking around somewhere. 

First we went to his parent's house.  We looked around his basement and even in his legendary shed.  His dad came home and found us rooting around.  He said: "what in the flying fuck are guys looking for?"  French said his old bass amp.  French's dad said, "that hasn't been here is a good god-damned dog's age." 

French thought that Sweaty had it, so we checked in at his place.  We found out that Sweaty had used it for a few years, but lent it to Mean Dean for gig up in Lanark about six or seven years ago. 

We called Mean Dean. He swore, "he gave that fucking thing back." 

We were shooting pool with Pancake and we were talking about the bass amp.  Pancake said, "oh shit, your old bass amp from high school?  That is at my grandmother's house."

Turns out Mean Dean dropped it off at what he thought was Pancake's house four years ago.  It was actually his Grandmother's house.  It was near the High School and we'd sometimes hang out there and eat her baking at lunch. 

So we drove over there to pick it up.  Pancake's grandma said: "some drunk guy dropped it off years ago." 

We found it in her garage.  Sure enough, there it was...well some if it.  It was really beat up; in fact, most of the interior was missing.  It was basically just the cabinet.  We turned it around.  There was a nursing cat with three kittens inside.

I thought French would be pissed, but he just said: "I coulda sworn this amp was bigger."

Tuesday 8 November 2011

Remembrance Day

Back in High School...

We all went down to the Remembrance Day assembly.  French was already there setting up chairs.  I was sitting with Pancake and Sweaty.  The ceremony was brutal: a couple of poems were read, the mic kept buzzing, the trumpet solo didn't work out, the Veteran that was coming to talk to us didn't show, and the students got bored and started talking.  It got really rowdy really fast.

French came up and said, "let's go."  Our lockers were right outside the door of the gym.  We grabbed our coats and started walking, almost running to keep up with French.  He didn't say where we were going.  I realized after a while that we were going to the cenotaph.  The town's ceremony was in full swing.  It was freezing, windy and the snow started up during the last post.

The town's veterans all marched to the Legion.  French followed them all the way inside.  The four of us really stood out in this group, but they sat us down at a table.  We talked to the vets of World War II, Korea, and some Peace Keepers too.  They brought us coffee, hot chocolate and heaps of sandwiches and cookies.  It was awesome, just awesome.