Month: February 2013

Trifecta week 66: Deja Vu

Imagine that you are watching a movie. Perhaps it is the late night movie on a Friday night. You are alone, sitting in a dark living room staring at the big screen television that you spent last week’s paycheck on. Imagine that the movie is a horror flick, one of those cheesy movies that probably cost less to make than the car you have parked out back.

The movie you are watching is about a murder. The lady of the house is mixing drinks. She has long blonde hair and she is quite beautiful. The camera zooms in to show that she added something to one of the drinks, perhaps to doctor it to her purpose. You guess that maybe she plans on poisoning someone, someone who is yet to appear on the screen. You fall asleep half way through the movie.

It is morning. You are scheduled to meet with a new client, one who could possibly bring a ton of money to your company if she is interested. You dress appropriately and head for her office.

The office is down a long hallway. When you enter the room the place looks vaguely familiar but you can’t figure out why. A  blonde enters the room; you think you have seen her before but again you cannot remember when. She is carrying a tray that holds two drinks. She asks if you would like a drink, and seeing how nervous you are, it seems like a good idea. While drinking the beverage, you remember where you seen the room, and while you are remembering this, you also remember where you seen the blonde lady. That movie you watched, it was her. She was in the movie. How could this be?

That drink, did it contain poison? Your head begins to spin and you hit the floor quickly. Everything goes dark, everything goes silent; forever.

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This little tale is my entry into this week’s Trifecta Challenge. The word is Doctor ( a material added to produce a desired effect)

 

would you like flies with that?

My dad doesn’t get out much. Being an excellent cook, mom makes sure that he cooks most of the meals. Today was different. Today dad said that for the first time, he wanted to try McDonald’s. That’s right, he is 75 and has never ate McDonald’s in his entire life.

We take the drive through. There are two lines inside the restaurant, mostly filled with teens getting their school lunches, and knowing my dad, he wouldn’t want to stand at the end of a line filled with teenagers. I don’t blame him actually, there is only so much texting and giggling a guy can take.

When we get to the spot where they take your order a voice comes across a little speaker. The voice is not Newfie, more like Filipino or Pakistani. “Tee hee may I know your order sir” the machine says. My dad, whose hearing is not much better than mine despite the fact that we have matching hearing aids, has a difficult time understanding the little lady. “Sir, what do you like for to eat?” she said, in what must have been a translated version of “what would you like to order?”

“I want a McBurger meal, and some tea” my dad tells the now confused person on the speaker.

“you want the meal, do you want flies?” she asks. I think she meant ‘Fries’.

“Flies? you ask if I want Flies? What do you take me for little lady?” my dad asks, not sounding a bit angry.

“Not Flies sir, Flies, do you want flies or salad?” she asks, me laughing and my dad fuming.

“Little lady,  I don’t know where you come from, but here in Newfoundland we don’t eat flies. If you have fries I will have some, but no salt please”

“Sir, you are very difficult to understand. Could you please speak more clear?” she asked.

“So your order is big flies and a burger and tea and no salt?” she reads. “You have to have salt, we have no control over salt, but you can ask for less salt if you wish” she says, not quite as clear as I just typed. “No Pickles either, hate those things” my dad adds.

By this time my dad just wants to leave, but there are cars in front of us and cars behind us, so we are stuck here at the ordering spot, horns honking everywhere. Finally she gives us our total and we move up to the window. I pay for the meal and move up to another window and another foreign girl gives us our order.

When we get home dad opens his burger to find more pickles than meat. He complains. He opens his fries to find that they practically gave him ten pounds of fries. When he asked for big fries he meant the other kind to the shoestring fries, not enough fries to feed a third world country. There was enough salt to kill a medium sized horse, even though he requested no salt. Apparently the girl couldn’t understand us.

Things have changed in our town in the last few years. When I was a kid we only had one black family in the entire town, but now we have people from all over the world. With each new person comes their cultures and practices, as well as their language. We Newfies are known for our unique dialect, I say that anyone who chooses to live here should get used to it. Just saying.

As for my dad, he didn’t eat his flies, he found them way too salty.

 

For Sale, Cheap~!

My dad went to sell his car once. The car was a Hyundai Elantra, I think it was a 1998 model. The car was in great shape, as my dad fixed everything that ever went wrong and replaced any broken or worn parts with new parts ordered directly from the factory. He also babied the car, washing and waxing the car on Sunday of each week. The year was 2010, so while the car was anything but new, it really wasn’t all that old.

My dad is such an honest person that he pondered on exactly how much to ask for his car. I remember passing his driveway and looking at his sign. FOR SALE: FIRST $200 TAKES THE CAR!

Nobody answered his ad. He was confused. How could anyone turn down such a great car at such a great deal? I asked if I could sell the car for him, and reluctantly, he agreed. My sign was a bit different.

FOR SALE: ’98 Hyundai in Excellent Condition. All New Parts. Asking price $1500 or Best Offer.

He had ten calls. I was so proud. This guy showed up late Sunday evening, right after my dad washed the car. Unfortunately I wasn’t home at the time, so my dad worked the sale.

The guy oohed and awed, and finally made my dad an offer. He offered my dad $500 for the car. My dad agreed. I would have held out for more money, but my dad and I think differently sometimes. My dad’s way of thinking was that he had the car for a few good years, mostly without problems. He felt that the car had served him well and that he had got his money worth, and he wasn’t out to make any money from the car, he simply wanted to sell it and buy something else. That’s my dad.

Anyway the guy said that he needed some time to come up with the money and asked if he could take the car and bring the money up later in the week. Lets get something straight right away, my dad is a fair man who always looks for the positive, but he ain’t no pushover either. He told the guy that if he wanted the car he had to buy it now, and that he couldn’t hold it for him or anyone else. The guy then asked if there was any sort of Warranty with this car. Buddy, this is a car you are buying for five hundred bucks. A warranty? Was he serious?

My dad was speechless. A warranty on a used car that cost less than $1000? That was crazy! He calmly told the guy to leave his driveway and never look back. Surprised, the guy left. I was lucky enough to be at home the next time someone came looking. I instructed that we didn’t need tire kickers. I assured the guy that the car was a dependable vehicle, but didn’t guarantee anything. He agreed that asking for a guarantee on a used car from a private owner was preposterous, and he was glad to pay the money, the full $1500. Maybe I missed my calling.

A few summers ago we had a garage sale. It was our first and last garage sale. When my lady and I moved in together we had two of everything, so selling the microwave, the color printer, and other household items and equipment was our only solution. Since the printer was out of ink, but still a great printer/scanner/fax machine, I decided to give it away for free. I put a big sign that read ‘Perfectly working Printer. Take it for free.’

I put a price tag of $10 on the microwave. Hell I only bought it a few months earlier and paid $80 for the thing, but like my dad, I didn’t need it so I wanted to get rid of it quickly as I could.

This guy came over. He was looking over the printer. “Free? What’s wrong with it?” he asked. I assured him that it was a perfect printer,  all it needed was an ink cartridge. “You trying to rip me off?” he asked. It was free. How could I rip him off by giving it to him for free? He walked away, complaining.

Another guy showed up to look at the microwave. “Ten dollars? What is wrong with it?” he asked. I told him that it was only a few months old and that I didn’t need it anymore. “Ah, I see your game, you are trying to rip me off with this piece of junk.” he said. I told him that it was a good item and that if he didn’t want it to walk away. He did.

Then I thought of my dad and his car. With that, I tore the tape from the microwave and instead of $10,  I listed the price for $50. The same guy came back, and when I looked over, he was standing in the lineup with the microwave under his arm bragging to everyone around about the great deal he had found. “Now THIS is a great microwave, much better than that ten dollar piece of crap you tried to sell me.” There is just no help for some people!

Just as the sale was about to end the printer guy came back. He said that he checked online and the exact printer was over a hundred bucks at Walmart. He went on to say that the cartridges were on sale at Futureshop. Then he shocked me. Here he stood, free printer in hand, and had the nerve to ask if we delivered. He lived some four hours away. I wanted to chase him out of the yard with one of the spatulas we were selling.

Trifecta 65: The Bride and the Gloom

The wedding celebration was one that the entire town would be talking about for years to come. The groom, a confident, successful naval officer who acted like the world was his and his alone. The bride, an unbelievably beautiful blonde who was excited to get the night over so that she and her new husband could leave for their honeymoon, hurried the guests out of the reception hall soon after the feast had ended; obviously she had other plans.

A quick trip back to the old manor and they were in each others arms, making passionate love. Eventually she fell asleep in his arms.

Rutt awoke at 12:00. Rutt was not a man to sleep this late, but the wild and exciting night with his new bride seemed to take his toll on his body. He reached over to kiss Pamela, but found that she was gone. Where was his new bride, the woman of his dreams, the beauty that he had met and immediately fell in love with?

The house that was left to the couple by Pamela’s grandparents was huge, and that made it all the more difficult to search. Rutt worked to exhaust all possibilities as he searched each and every room in the house. His search became frantic as each room turned up empty. Finally he decided to look in the basement.

The basement was unusually dark, not a flicker of light anywhere. It was so dark that the tiny spark from his lighter seemed to light up the entire room. He found her, sitting on the edge of a large wooden box.

“It’s morning baby, I am starting breakfast. Would you like a bite?” he asked

“I thought you’d never ask” she said, and with that, she plunged her fangs deep into his neck.

This is my entry into this week’s Trifecta Challenge. This week’s word is EXHAUST:  to consider or discuss (a subject) thoroughly or completely /  to try out the whole number of <exhausted all the possibilities>

Oh no! My firewall is transmitting Negative Energy to Mick Ru Suft

So I get this call at 3 am from some foreign guy from a Florida phone exchange. I tell the guy how late it is and that I didn’t appreciate being called at this hour by this jerk or any other. He insists that he is calling from Mick Ru Suft and that he calls this late because he knew I would be working in the morning. He tells me that my Windows firewall is transmitting illegal signals to Mick Ru Suft. When I explain that he is full of crap, he gets VERY vocal and starts yelling that my firewall is transmitting DANGEROUS signals as well as negative energy (??) and I have to give him my ip address so that he can fix it. I tell the idiot that I have a Mac computer and suddenly he apologizes and says that his information must have been incorrect. The number is 813-384-8161. What a crock. Firewalls cannot transmit dangerous signals.

The next night my mother receives the same call. Poor thing doesn’t even own a computer, unless you call a dollar store calculator a computer. Either way, the jerk (with the east indian accent (no offense to east indians) argued with my mom, who finally managed to get a good night’s sleep despite a two month battle with shingles! That was until 3 am when the jerk woke her up and she couldn’t go back to sleep!

My mom argued with the guy for a good fifteen minutes, all the time trying to explain how there are no computers in the house, and that even if there were, she had no idea to what a firewall was to start with. That’s when this guy sets into high gear and tries to scare her. He tells her that her computer (which she doesn’t have) is transmitting illegal signals to Mick Ru Suft (none of the idiots could properly pronounce Microsoft) and that if she doesn’t provide her credit card, she could be charged. My mom is no fool. She told the jerk that she didn’t own a credit card either. He didn’t wait long to hang up, but not before thanking her for her kindness and wishing her a good night…JERK

A good friend of mine was not so fortunate. Knowing absolutely nothing about computers, firewalls, ip addresses, or con artists from the other side of the world, he gives the crooks the info that they asked for. Poor thing, at 82 years old, he was scared. First thing someone is in his computer, moving his cursor, opening web pages on his computer, God only knows what else. Then the guy tells him that they fixed everything, and that he owes them $500, which they will take from his credit card. Even at 82, he was savvy enough to realize something was wrong and hangs up. The next day my friend calls me to take a look at his computer. I find several Trojans hidden in his files, and after a complete format, as well as a bit of knowledge sharing, my friend is able to sleep at night.

We seem to live in a time where SPAM is no longer that annoying email or comment on a post. SPAM seems to have taken to the airwaves and polluting our phone lines. I’ve even noticed that I have been receiving calls from those and other jerks on my cell phone. They even had my name, and asked to speak to me personally. There has to be something that we can do to get rid of those bastards.

I only wish I had those bastard’s phone numbers. I would wait until 3 a.m. East Indian time, and give them a call. See how they like it! Just saying!

My furry Friends

Thought I would share a bit of my world with you. Below are my two best friends. My dogs. Boots is 20lbs of faithful, mostly to my lady. I would imagine that he would protect her from anything that ever threatened her. He isn’t the biggest pooch, but he looks like a giant compared to Halle!

When my lady and I first got together, she always said that she would like to have a dog. The fact that we planned to raise her two year old son together, I always felt that a boy needed a dog. I visited the local pet store and had a look at what they had to offer. The guy, who is a known crook here in the area came out with a furry little pup. He said that it was a Collie Terrier. I had never heard of the breed. When I asked if it was a true breed, he hesitated and then guaranteed me that it was. When I asked for papers, he told the truth. He said that it ‘should’ be a breed. Ha!

I still liked the little guy. When I asked the price, he quoted $850. Outrageous! How could he charge that much for a mixed breed puppy? He tried to argue that since the dog was one part collie and one part terrier, the total cost should be a sum of their values. Nonsense! I began to walk away.

He ran to the door. He dropped the price to $600. Then to $300. I kept walking. When I got home the phone rang. He had a new price. He dropped it to $100. I agreed that this puppy was cute enough to pay a hundred bucks. I know that if I held my ground I could have got him for free, but I didn’t want this poor pup in the hands of this idiot any longer, and it was well worth the hundred to get him.

When I went to the shop, a lady had my pup in her arms. She was ready to pay $200 for him. I argued with the owner, and for some reason, he kept his word. I got him for the $100 we agreed on in the first place.

I still remember the look on my lady’s face when I brought him to her workplace. I had him behind my back. The little thing was buy 4 weeks old, far too young to be away from its mother. I think that is why he adopted my lady as his mother. It was love at first sight. To this day, the dog doesn’t let her out of her sight. When she goes to work, he lies in the doorway, head down, looking depressed. When she drives up the driveway you would swear he won the lottery. Total different mood. Dogs are amazing. So is my lady. Anyway, without further ado, let me introduce Boots!

Heinze 57 with parts of Terrier and Border Collie, he is faithful and loyal
Heinze 57 with parts of Terrier and Border Collie, he is faithful and loyal

We got a call two summers ago from my lady’s grandmother. She had been given a small Pomeranian because one of her grandkids couldn’t take care of it. The little dog was sassy and spoiled. If she put the dog down without a leash, the little thing tore out of the room like it was on fire (the room, not the dog). The little thing (all 2 and a half pounds of it) was saucy and was known to nip whatever it could when anyone got close. Boots hated it, and even though he was more than ten times her size, he feared her.

Gran said that she could no longer take care of the dog. She just lost her husband and she didn’t want to be tied down, and she felt that having a small dog tied her down. She said that she didn’t trust anyone else on the earth to take care of her dog and she wanted me to have her. I was reluctant to take her, but eventually my soft heart took over.

This was in the spring. I worked with the dog every day, teaching her her place. I worked to help her realize how to obey. I used a thirty foot string of fishing line which I tied first to the collar of the dog, and then to my waist. I then went about my business as I did each day. If I went for a walk, she followed, but at the end of the line. If I did yard work, she followed as well, even though she didn’t want to. Eventually I didn’t use any line, she would simply follow.

I then took her for walks in the forest near my home. At first I had her on a leash. If I was walking, she was expected to walk. When I went to stop, I would tug on the leash and say the word ‘STOP’ firmly. She eventually began to listen to me. When I felt she was ready, I unhooked the leash and waited for her to follow. It took me two hours to catch the little devil.

The next day I repeated the procedure. After the summer was over (and I dyed my now grey hair seven times), she began to obey. Once I had her understand how to heel, I worked on her behaviour. I socialized her by walking in the park, leashed of course. Then I tried something different. I began taking her to visit seniors living in retirement homes. Instant success! She loved the attention. They loved the attention. Even the grumpiest seniors came around. The seniors loved the little dog. I visit the homes often, always with Halle on my side.

You might ask how she and Boots get along. The first day we brought her home, Boots seemed terrified. By the evening they were the best of friends. How you ask? He lifted his leg and pissed on her. After that, he was boss. This worked. Leave it to the animal world.

She is a little darling now. A bit of love and understanding and I have a finely trained dog that I can bring anywhere. Whenever I go for walks, she walks by my side, no leash in sight. She is very loving, and her and Boots are inseparable.  And of course, you all want to see her….Let me introduce you to Halle (like Halle Berry…we didn’t name her)

2.5 lbs of Toy Pom, a delightful little friend who is always by my side
2.5 lbs of Toy Pom, a delightful little friend who is always by my side

Hope you enjoyed this little post!

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A path not taken

She was 17, I was a mature for 18 and a half year old teenager. I met her through a friend, and she was wild. I liked the wild ones back then. Hell, when you are an 18 year old and you meet a wild carefree gal, your first instinct is to go for it, at least mine was.

I never met up with her at her home. She would always meet me in the Food Center parking lot, a popular cruising spot here in town. My friends and I would gather to talk cars and girls, and eventually she would come over and get in the car. Something inside told me to take it easy, to watch out, but another side of me said jump, and I did.

I was always greeted with a long romantic kiss. Man those lips! She knew that I had a fondness for redheads. Redheads always seemed to lead me down the garden path.

We dated for two months and I have to say, I was beginning to fall and fall hard. During the day I thought of her, and couldn’t wait to get home, jump in my car, and head for town to meet with my Diane.

She gave me her number today, and asked if I could call her from time to time. “Never call after nine, my mom is very old and very sick. She goes to bed at nine and I don’t like to wake her.” she said. I honored her request, at least I did for awhile.

I always loved seeing her stroll to the car. She wore SKIN tight blue jeans, the ones with little flowers sewn on the back pockets. Her hair was a deep red, and long with curls. She had the perfect amount of freckles to highlight her perfect cheekbones. And she smelled nice. Not sure the perfume she wore, but it was perfect. Just right.

Things seemed to be going just right when things started going wrong. One evening she asked if I could bring her home early, as she wasn’t feeling so well. I obliged. This continued for the next few weeks, she wanted to go home early every night. Diane seemed tired all the time, definitely not the same person I had met earlier. I asked if she was sick, she denied that she was not herself, almost to the point of getting angry and telling me to mind my own business.

Why now? I asked myself. Hell, things were going so well that I almost thought that we would soon begin making love. We used to kiss a lot, and maybe a bit of fondling, but we never got to second base, at least not yet. She wanted to take things slow, and I was beginning to fall for her, so I went along with her wishes.

One Friday she called to say that she wasn’t feeling well enough to go out. I was heartbroken. Later that night I drove through town, mostly to clear my head. I glance over in the parking lot and my whole world came crashing down.

Sitting in the front seat of a Pontiac Firebird Trans-Am was my red headed Diane. She had her arms around some thug with tattooed arms. Back in the eighties, only sailors, soldiers and criminals had tattoos. I wanted to go over and haul her out, and talk to her. Maybe this guy forced her to get in his car. When you are young, hearts seem to break easily, but this wasn’t easy, this wasn’t fair. Maybe it isn’t her. Maybe she has a sister or a cousin or maybe this is some other hot red head with long curls and freckles in all the right places. It can’t be Diane.

I headed for home. When I got home, mom and dad asked if I was okay; I looked like a ghost to them I guess. I ran for the phone to call my Diane. Maybe this isn’t her, I prayed.

Her mom answered the phone. She said that Diane was out. I asked her if her daughter was feeling okay, and she replied that although she may have been acting strange, there was a good reason for it. She went on to say that her daughter, although beautiful, was a chronic liar. She even went on to say that the reason why I was not permitted to call after nine was because I would wake the baby.

My mouth went dry. “A baby? Whose baby?” I thought,then I asked. “That asshole of an ex boyfriend, that’s who” she replied. “He is back in town, has been for awhile, probably since you knew my daughter, him with his big fancy car and his attitude.”

I asked why she hadn’t been feeling well, and was floored at her mother’s response. “Diane isn’t the girl you think she is. You seem like such a nice boy. I wish my Diane could see how lucky she would be to have a life with you, but you don’t deserve that life.” she said.

“My Diane is pregnant with her second child” She said. A razor could not have cut as deep as her words. “I know you aren’t the father, it’s him again. Every time he gets out, she tries to make him jealous with nice boys like you. Run for your life, that’s my advice to you. I know I am her mother, and I love my daughter with all my heart, but she is bad. She always was.Go before that ex-con asshole takes out his jealousy on you.” She said.

I couldn’t believe it. I thought she liked me. This couldn’t be true, Her story was too real, too honest. I had to find out for myself, so I played dumb.

The next night, I was parked in the lot with my friends. Just like clockwork, those two backside patches strolled down the street again, directly to my car. Despite what her mother said, I still wanted her to slide next to me, hold me, and kiss me with those soft lips, and she did. At that moment it didn’t matter what I was told, it didn’t even matter what I saw the night before, I wanted her now, more than ever. But then reality struck.

I confronted her about last night. “A friend of mine said that they seen you downtown, in a Trans-Am!” I said.

“Then your friend is a liar. I was home with my mom, taking care of her. She is old you know!” she lied.

“Why didn’t you tell me you were pregnant? Who is the father? Why didn’t you tell me about your baby? About your boyfriend who had just got out of jail? Why did you lie? I thought you liked me.” I know there was a cry in my voice, but I held my ground.

“That bitch, she ruins everything. Tell me who told you I was downtown last night, or I will get out of this car, walk away, and never talk to you again!” she yelled, her words cutting like knives in my heart. “It was my mom, wasn’t it?”

“It wasn’t your mom, it was someone I trust and I should have listened to a long time ago. They seen you in the arms of some thug, and you didn’t look like you cared too much about getting caught. You looked real comfortable” I told her.

“I am getting out of the car. I am walking away. You will never know what it feels like to make love to me, for me to love you. You don’t know what you are missing, you never will!!” she said, and she did what she said. For once she told the truth. I watched as the beautiful but dangerous redhead exited my car and headed down the street. I watched as her tight blue jeans with the flowers on the back pocket strutted away, and I never seen her for a long long time.

A few weeks ago I seen her. Oh the years were not kind to this woman. At 48, she looked an old 60 or more. She must have started smoking, as her once beautiful lips were drawn tight, with wrinkles that didn’t belong there. She was as thin as a rake, virtually unrecognizable from the girl she was back then, except for her hair. It was as red and curly and long as it was when her tresses fell upon her gentle shoulders. She sat in an old pickup truck, next to a maniac of a man. Still the same tattoos on his arm, which was revealed by the cut off jean jacket he wore. He swore at her, called her a whore when he caught her glancing over at me, and she responded by kissing him.

My friend who was in the car with me knew her. He said that she lived next to a friend of his in Ontario. He said that she was a terrible woman, and he couldn’t figure why I caught her glance, and why I would even notice her. He said that she was an abused woman, beaten every day by her jealous husband, the guy in the truck. He went on to say that this guy was gone most of the time, mostly in jail or even prison. He said that when the guy was gone, this skinny redheaded woman was visited by many men, but only at night. He said that she raised six children who have all turned to drugs and to crime, and that they repeatedly robbed their neighbors, including his friend who lived next door. Wow, thank heavens I saw the light and I went downtown for that drive, and thankfully I spoke to her mom and found out the truth before it was too late.

I turned away from her glance, which was now more like a stare. I shoved the car in drive and drove away, thanking my lucky stars I got out while I could. I never looked back! Sometimes, when you take a certain path, it is best not to look back.

Post # 500: The Redhead on the Highway

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Archon just wrote a story about hitchhiking. He mentioned that he got the idea from reading one of my stories (the one about the hitchhiker carrying an axe.) From his story (which was incredible and very interesting), I got the idea to write another. This story happened when I was a teenager and I had my first car, a 1968 Pontiac Beaumont SC. Read on….and give Archon’s story, ‘Hitchin’ A Ride’ a read while you are at it, like everything he writes, his story is a great one. By the way, this is POST 500 for me. Been an honor.

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Mom used to warn us NEVER to pick up a hitchhiker, but of course, I didn’t listen. One time I was driving down the highway and there stood a beautiful redhead. I was seventeen at the time, and without a girlfriend. Of course you know what I did. In no time at all we were cruising down the highway, her in the seat next to me, arms out the window of my old Pontiac. Allison was her name, and she said that she was heading to Barachois Park, a popular Provincial Park here on the island. She said that a few of her girlfriends had tents set up, and that they planned to party all weekend. Then she asked if I would like to share a tent with her. Did I mention that I was seventeen at the time? Of course I agreed to go.

Allison said that she was free, no boyfriends. She said that she was eighteen and living the free life. You have to remember, this was the eighties, and times were a bit different back then. She seemed so carefree, sitting on my black Naugahyde seats, extra short shorts and a checkered top, with the shirt tails tied high on her chest. She was a beauty, but definitely not the kind of gal you brought home to meet mom. The entire time she sat in the seat, she continuously checked the side mirror, as if she was looking for someone.

When I began to worry about whatever she was looking for, I asked her. She said that a few of her girlfriends had went to town to buy beer, and she expected them any time. She said that she was also expecting to hitch a ride with them, but when she seen my cool car and the handsome driver (me), she changed her plans. This certainly didn’t hurt my ego at this time, to have a beautiful redhead interested in me, heading to a park where I was going to share a tent with her. Me, a virgin at the time, the butt of jokes by all who know my name (apparently the only virgin in Newfoundland at the time)…I had to go along with this, no matter what mom and dad warned me about. How could I get hurt here? It was win win for me.

Not a car on the highway except for one about a mile back….When she could make the car out, she screamed that this was her HUSBAND!!!

HUSBAND? I thought she was single. She said that she didn’t have a boyfriend, she was only eighteen, how was I to ask if she had a husband?

Now all my plans were ruined. God knows I didn’t need a jealous husband speeding up behind me, maybe even denting my car (I was so fickle back then), and maybe even denting me! I pulled over and asked her to get out.

She asked why, and I responded that I didn’t think her HUSBAND would approve of me and her sharing a tent. She responded that although things certainly had changed, I could still go, I would just have to stay in another tent, with one of her friends. When I asked if they had husbands too, she nodded her head. I certainly didn’t want this, and continued asking her to step out of my car.

By now her husband was just a few feet behind the car. He was honking his horn and shaking his fist, and yelling obscenities at me (not her) and threatening to kill me if he could catch me. Now instead of hurrying to get to the park, I was hurrying to get away from the park. I never valued the little 283 more in my life, as the car sprung to my foot on the gas pedal and I took off. His crappy import didn’t have a chance against my Canadian made muscle car! I took off down the highway and never looked back…and NEVER picked up a hitchhiker again, even if she may have been a redhead in short shorts and a plaid shirt tied high on her chest. God she was sexy….

Good times and bad frights

The weather today calls for -25, a great time for reminiscing. My dad and I were just talking about the old days when we worked together as loggers in the back country. Despite the hard work and harsh weather, we were left with some great memories.

The sun shone bright this morning, so we knew the day would be hot. When we packed our gear on the old Yamaha three wheel ATV, we made sure to pack lots of water. My dad drove and I sat on the back, and through the 26 miles of rough road we had to drive, it gave us a chance to view the magnificent scenery that stood on either side of the road.

When we finally reached the site, both our backs were sore from all the bumps. The old ATV lacked anything that could be called suspension, and we knew it. Still, the trusty little bike carried us to and from work for over fifteen years, until the thing finally fell apart.

The walk to the landing, and then onto the site where we had left off the day before was quite easy today, as the weather had been hot for the past week. Even the old Timber Jack road was fairly easy to walk on, due to the dryness. The Timber Jack was so heavy that it’s wheels spun every bit of soil away from its path, leaving black mud on either side of the trail. As slippery as it was, it was still easier than walking through the tuckamores that grew on the trail, as their small crooked branches seemed to reach for your feet and trip you.

When we finally reached the site, my dad recovered his chainsaw from the hiding place where he had left it. Rather than carry the saw in and out every day, we found unique hiding places that protected the saw from the weather and from thieves.

My dad started the saw, and I was ready with my pulp hook. He sawed the trees and fell them to the ground, sawing the logs into eight foot lengths, and I used a sharp metal hook called a pulp hook to carry the logs and pile them on two lengths of wood so that the Timber Jack could easily retrieve them and haul them to the landing.

Everything was going well, trees fell exactly where dad aimed them, and seeing how the trees were growing at the top of a hill, not much water remained in the trees, making them unusually light. Then it happened.

A chunk of wood flew from the edge of the chain, and into the corner of my dad’s eye. Right away he shut the saw off and fell to his knees. This happened often, but usually the thing worked its way out or I was able to remove the wood from his eyes, but this was different. The piece of wood had broken off a large knot in the tree, making it sharp and as hard as a rock. Blood began to ooze from my dad’s eye and I knew that he needed medical attention.

Trouble was, we were over three miles from the road, and twenty six miles from the town where we lived. The only transportation home was the ATV, whose ride was rough. Still, I knew what I had to do.

I covered my dad’s eye with a large bandage, hooked his arm around my neck, and the two of us started for the road. To make matters worse, the once clear sky began to cloud over, and in minutes everything went dark grey. In no time at all the rain started to pour, making the walk slippery and dangerous. Still, we kept going, mostly because we had no choice.

I could have walked to the next wood site and got help, but that was some six miles deeper into the country, precious time could be wasted and my dad could virtually lose his eye in the process. With my dad on one side of me, getting weaker with each step; and the slippery black mud now soaked with water, I carefully watched my step and tried to avoid falling down. The walk took us three hours (it was down hill) and we were finally at the place where we parked our ATV. I got my dad to sit on the back of the bike, and wrapping a large bandage around both my dad and myself, I secured my dad to me so that he didn’t fall over. I made sure to take the smoothest route home, but with a road riddled with potholes and washouts, it wasn’t easy.

When we finally got home, I got mom to help me to get dad in the car. He had lost so much blood on the way home that he passed out on the ride home. I figured as such as he leaned very close to me and was unresponsive. When we got to the hospital the doctor got my dad in as soon as he could. We waited, terrified of the worst, and then here he was, standing in the doorway. The doctor said that when I wrapped his eye, his eye watered, causing the piece of wood to work its way out, and all he had to do was remove the bandage, and the sharp chunk of wood stuck to the bandage. He applied a dressing to my dad’s eye and he was on his way home.

My dad was (and still is) a very resilient person. In just two days, he was ready to return to the forest where we made our living. This is but one adventure in the twenty five years I worked as a logger. We were always there for each other. I miss those days, but to this day, my dad and I remain as close as we were back in the days where we worked hand in hand.

 

 

HOPE

Another Friday night, another lonely cab ride home. The bar was packed tonight, it seemed like everyone had someone except for me. For awhile, the night was going great, but once the buzz from the booze began to wear off, reality hit me, and it hit me hard.

I still remember that night, the cab driver had to aim me towards the front door of the house, as I was too drunk to see it on my own. I remember stumbling towards the house and tripping over the front step. Almost broke my damn neck that night.

The next morning wasn’t much better, the hangover had no mercy, and the bump on my head from last night’s fall throbbed along with the headache. I remember uttering those all to familiar words, the same words  I said every Saturday morning. “As long as I live, I will never, and I mean never, drink again” I said the words, but I didn’t believe them.

On a few occasions I got lucky at the bar, but nothing good ever came from those fast and quick ‘relationships’. I was on my way downhill, and I was going fast.

To think that this all started when I turned 26 years old. Prior to that, I had not taken a drink in my life. But at 26, I was just over a major marriage breakup, a difficult court battle, and two years of emotional abuse by the most heartless woman a young man could have ever married. I was a train wreck running out of track.

My life continued this way throughout the 90’s. I can honestly sit here and say that that entire decade remains cloudy in my mind. Ten years of this kind of living is enough to take away any future hope, but I am happy to say that I did find a light at the end of the tunnel.

When my doctor told me that I had a tumor that could be cancer, I immediately stopped pitying myself, I pulled up my trousers, and grew up. When it turned out to be benign, I took a deep breath and looked towards the future.

If someone had approached me in my drunken stupor, back when I saw no light, and told me that when I turned 50 years old, I would be getting ready to marry a beautiful 29 year old woman who loves me all to pieces, I would have told the guy that he was crazy. If he had added that I would be the step father to a bright 10 year old boy who loved me like a father, I would have sent the guy running, mostly for lying to me and giving me false hope. If that same guy would say that I am sitting here on this day, telling this story, I would tell the guy to see a shrink.

I am truly glad that things changed, and I would be even more grateful if someone who has given up on all hope of meeting the right person would read my story, and believe in the power of love.