Friday, January 31, 2014

Winter blues

Back when I toiled in the Budd plant in Kitchener there was a shorthand used to refer to your co-workers.

We worked among Rastamen and Polskies and Ukes and Newfs and Frenchies and Krauts.

Every Portugese guy was known as Goose or Magellan or Vasco de Gamma.

One night after second shift let out we headed for the all-night liquor store in Stratford. A couple of home boys and a couple of Rastas in Frenchy's Javelin, with Frenchy driving.

I don't know to this day whether there actually was an all-night liquor store in Stratford, but we almost died trying to find out.

I do recall there was a 24 hour beer store in Toronto. We did make it there one night.

But Frenchy's Javelin ended up in the ditch on its roof that winter night, with five thirsty guys just getting thirstier.

Winter blues.

There's something about winter that makes desperation more desperate.

Me and Kipling headed out west to make our fortune in the dead of one winter. Went in the ditch 50 miles east of Winnipeg. Went in the ditch at a high rate of speed while I was both napping and driving simultaneously.

Winter blues.

If you're watching this at home, kids, don't drive and nap simultaneously.

It's not a happy thing.

There was a Neil Young song popular at the time that glorified going to Alberta. I think most of us were just going to Alberta because Neil Young had sung a song about it...

Years later me and Terry ran out to Calgary in the dead of winter. Lost a wheel bearing somewhere around Bumfuck Manitoba in the middle of the night when it was -40 degrees outside.

You can't fix a wheel bearing without going outside.

-40 is really fucking cold!

Winter blues.

Winter adventures.

The Kid still swears that the best day of his life, and he's had an awful pile of great ones, was the day I picked him up at the hospital in Vegreville, in the dead of winter, and we toured all the way into the foothills and beyond, all the way to Mount Robson, him with his bottle of pills and me with my case of beer, and we ended up in Edmonton totally fucked up and just in time for a Triumph concert.

In the dead of winter.

Winter blues.

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