Wednesday 25 April 2012

Fred and French

French almost lost it the other day in the staff room. A fellow teacher made an off hand remark and French went into a slow burn. The comment was just this: "there are no more singer/songwriters anymore." French said what about Fred Eaglesmith?

The person that made the remark had never heard of him. French barely kept his cool and said: "I'll burn you a disc". I cold tell that he was angry though. He hates it when people make comments that reveal their ignorance. He usually does not let it go.

I knew what he was talking about.  I'm the one that introduced him to Eaglesmith.

French always made me listen to music in his shed. He said he was educating me. Once I brought over a Fred Eaglesmith tape and he gave it a listen. I was singing along, he told me to "shut up...I can't hear". He was taken by the music, and wanted to absorb it. He got out his guitar and started to learn how to play along. Together we have learned how to play 130 of his songs. Fred Eaglesmith has a new album out, so we have another 10 songs to work on.

Check out this fine Canadian singer/songwriter. 

Tuesday 10 April 2012

A Whole Beer and a Whole Day

Once again a holiday brought us all back home.  Back to the small town we couldn't wait to leave.  It was good to be with all my scattered friends, but I ended up spending some time with someone I had never met.  Pancake brought his grandfather over to meet everyone for the first time..

He said that "his gramps wanted to meet all us crazy bastards."  He'd heard enough stories and wanted to meet us all in the flesh. 

Pancake's grandfather is sick (with the they say in Smiths Falls).  He has bowel cancer, and it has moved on to his liver.  "Gramps" looked sick too.  Pancake says that this is it; he's going to die soon.  His grandfather was on a farewell tour of sorts.

We kept him entertained telling him old stories about Pancake.  He laughed and laughed, but I could tell we were wearing him out.   When we finally stopped, he had a few words for us.  He said at this point he only had two wishes.  One: he'd like to able to drink a whole beer (even a few sips made him ill).  Two: he'd like to have just one whole day of feeling well.

We found out that he loved, and could tolerate a touch of Scotch and water.  French jumped up and brought him a Balvanie on the rocks.

Thursday 5 April 2012

...trying to help

French found himself launched into a sticky situation last night.  This is his story cobbled together from a string of texts he sent me as it happened.

He had stopped off at a grocery store on the way home from work, and had seen a lady feeding two kids as they walked the aisles.  French called it "grazing".  The mother was having her children snag food as they shopped and encouraging them to "eat up".  It became too obvious and she was confronted, and stopped, but they did not kick her out.  Maybe due to embarrassment.

The family played it cool for a while, then started up again. This time the manager was summoned and was in the process of kicking them out, and making her pay for all the food her kids had eaten.

French stepped in, got out money, and offered to pay for the food.  Nice right?

At that point the mother just lost it on French.  She lit into him and started to yell at him about "minding his goddamn business".

His last text was: "the police are here".

Tuesday 3 April 2012

Tricked Out

A colleague asked me if I had done any tricks on the morn of April Fools.  I told him I was all tricked out. He asked me to "explain".

One summer when French and I were working up at Camp IAWAH we made a pledge, born of boredom, to not go to sleep unless we had pulled a prank.

It started out with really intense pranks:

- cement blocking the director's door shut
- filling a whole building with fresh cut brush, and tree branches
- installing four door bells in hidden places in the LIT's building - we rang them all night, until they found them
- juice crystals in the water heater - nice fruity shower
- canoes filled with water and fish in the dining hall
- kayaks hung out of the main lodge windows, three stories up
- we'd get all the campers to catch frogs all day (188 of them) - then put them in the female staff dorm
- wet and then freeze other staff's clothes - then hand the frozen clothes out during a lost and found blitz
- and many many more...

The list goes on and on.  Eventually we just got tired of it.  It became work...tiring work.  Sometimes we'd wake each other up and begrudgingly get up and pull a prank of sorts.  The next summer we couldn't even be persuaded to pull one prank.  We were retired.

Every now and then we consider doing a prank, or at least a minor rib, but so far we are still "tricked out".