Thanks a lot, Gillican

As of late, I have been watching reruns of Gilligan’s Island on TV. You know what? This is the first time I watched the show. I couldn’t watch the show as a kid, that stupid Gilligan made ME feel stupid.

Bullying is a funny thing. Well, actually, it isn’t funny at all; what it is, is damaging.

When I was a kid, some idiot thought it would be funny to stick a nickname on me. Not just any nickname, but of all things, Gilligan. He was so dumb, he couldn’t even pronounce the name correctly, calling me ‘Gillican’ instead of Gilligan.

Being named after a popular television character isn’t always a bad thing, but when the character is a bumbling idiot, it hurts. I actually felt stupid.

This is not to say the bully was any different. Given he was as big as any adult by age 10, he was given the nickname ‘Moose’, which he still answers to today. He was always a big dumb ox, and sadly, nothing has changed.

A few summers back, Moose came home to the island for a family reunion. His mother, a sweet lady, hired me to play a bit of music for their party. I hoped Moose wasn’t there, but of course he was.

My DJ equipment is very heavy, and as I struggled to move the large speakers into the tiny hall where the dance was being held, I heard a voice behind me.

“Gonna strain yerself Gillican.” he said. When I turned around, there he was, Moose. He had a lot less hair than I could remember, and a gut twice or three times as big as it was back when we were kids, but it was him, I could tell from the way he pronounced that horrid nickname.

“I see you has youself a fine woman. Why she with someone like you, Gillican?” he asked.

“She should be with a real man, like me for instance” he stated.

It is funny, (well, not THAT funny), but I was almost afraid of him, but bit my tongue and whipped back “My WIFE is with me because she can appreciate intelligence. She wouldn’t be with you because you have none!”

I don’t know who was more surprised, me or Moose. Surely he didn’t think the tiny, skinny kid who reminded him of a Bob Denver character could ever talk to the biggest kid in school in this manner. I couldn’t believe what I said either. It was one of those ‘Did I think it or did I just say it out loud’ moments. I was almost ready to duck when suddenly, the room filled with laughter.

“He sure told you, Moose!” one guy harped. “He is right you know, you always lacked intelligence.” said another, both those guys former victims of his torturous bullying.

The big guy’s response? “Well, I guess you are right, I don’t have a lot of intelligence” he said.

“That’s alright Steve” I said, ” We all know what you are like.” It took me 40 years to stand up to this guy.

Now if you will excuse me, I have to go. I am in the third season of Gillican’s Gilligan’s Island. This is the episode where Gilligan does something dumb and ruins yet another escape from the island.

cars my dad drove

I was talking to my dad yesterday, and he expressed how he just loves his current car. He drives a 2005 Pontiac Vibe he purchased used in 2009. The car has served him well, always dependable, never breaking down. It gives us peace of mind for him to have a car as worthy as this one.

some of Dad’s cars weren’t so favourable. (Yes that word is spelled right, if you live in Canada, so WordPress, I am ignoring your little red line).

My dad’s last car was a Hyundai Elantra. The thing spent more time at various garages than it spent in his driveway. The windows wouldn’t roll down, the transmission slipped, and the electrical was constantly a problem. He was lucky to sell that one.

Dad was never one to ask much for his cars. He put the Elantra for sale for $200. This bozo comes up and asks if the car comes with a warranty. It was a 2002 for crying out loud. The guy asks my dad to Guarantee the car will successfully travel from Newfoundland to Toronto; of course my dad gave no such guarantee. Luckily we never heard from the guy again, so I guess the car did make it.

Before the Elantra, my dad drove Toyota Tercel. What a great little car that was! I believe the car was a 1996. The car was the wagon version, and boy was it handy. My dad carried everything from lumber to laundry, and the car always started first click of the key. He would still have it, but our Newfoundland winters and the enormous amount of salt took its toll on the little Japanese car. My dad was sad to sell the car, but the guy who bought it said he transferred the engine to two more cars and the little motor is probably still running.

The Tercel was certainly an upgrade from the 1982 Chevy Citation. This was one of the first front wheel drive vehicles my dad owned, as well as it being one of the first front drivers Chevy built. Although the little v6 engine was powerful, the car was troublesome. Again, being a station wagon (they called it a hatchback), my dad used the thing like a truck.

Before the Citation, dad had an old Chevy Nova. Piece of crap. I should know, I had one as well. A 1976 Nova, the thing was constantly broke down. We later used the car to bring us back and forth to the woods, where we worked together as pulp cutters. The car fell apart on the road one day.

Dad didn’t pay anything for the Nova. Instead, he traded his 1972 Dodge Club cab Pickup for it. The old Dodge. I have fond memories of the truck. When Dad purchased it, it had a green patina paint job. These days the hot rodders would have left it that colour (spelled correctly in Canada), but my dad hated the colour. My uncle volunteered to give it a ‘psychedelic’ paint job.

As you laugh, you must remember, this was the late 1970’s, so driving around in a two tone blue truck with paint highlights around the windows similar to a ‘tie dye’ t-shirt was somewhat cool. Okay, not really, but the paint job was free, and my Uncle Albert got to brag about his outlandish paint scheme. He actually coined the term ‘psychedelic paint job’.

I believe my dad’s second favourite car was the 1972 Ford Cortina. A little British Import, my dad loved this little car. Despite being second hand, the car was in beautiful shape, and ran like a top, as my dad put it. I remember sitting in the car, and pretending to drive around. It was light blue in colour, and I can still remember how proud my dad was to drive such a nice car. Our cold damp Newfoundland winter was quick to destroy the little car. I guess British cars and road salt didn’t make a very good combination.

Before this car, Dad drove a 1967 Ford Falcon. We have pictures of the snow white Ford. I can’t remember whether it was a two or four door, but I do remember a story about the car.

My dad bought the little car used. He and our neighbour agreed to fix it up and give it a new paint job. When they attempted to remove the left front fender, they were surprised to find it difficult to remove, until our neighbour discovered the fender was nailed to a 2×4 that was nailed to the chassis. Some backyard mechanic actually used lumber to hold the car together. Good thing we didn’t have termites on the island, or else my dad’s car would have been eaten before the rust could have did its job.

I know before this car my dad drove a terrible little fiat. The Fiat 500 was so slow, my dad had to back up hills in order to climb them. The exhaust constantly leaked in through the holes in the floor. I don’t remember much about this car other than what dad says now.

I don’t remember much before that, but my dad talks about a few of his other cars, such as a ’55 Pontiac, and a Nash. He says the Nash once had a flat, so he filled the tire with sand and drove it home. He still talks about the rough ride.

He tells another story about the Nash. The four door was a bit rough, and lacked certain body parts, namely rear door handles. He tells a story of a time in which he and a few friends were driving on a slippery winter day. The hill he was climbing was very steep and icy, and when the car began sliding backwards, one of the passengers got scared and said ‘Bail Out!’. My dad opened his door (the only door with a handle on it) and jumped from the car. The passengers all attempted to do the same, but the lack of door handles caused them to endure the ride backwards down the steep hill, and into the ditch at the bottom of the hill. Dad still laughs about that to this day.

In those days, cars didn’t have to pass inspection tests, which was lucky for my dad, not so lucky for his passengers. It sure is nice to see my dad in a safe car, with all the door handles.

 

 

Oh to be young again

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PHOTO PROMPT © Sarah Potter

The one thing Abigail always wished for, was to be little again.  After losing her husband when she was just a young woman, she raised their five children on her own;  her life was anything but easy.

Then one day, it happened.

“Twinkle Little Star!” she sang, as she played with her dollies.  Sometimes Abigail cried, but only for a little while, eventually returning to her childish games.

As their mother played with her toys, her sons and daughters looked on sadly. It was not an easy thing to watch as the woman they admired reverted back to her childhood.

This little tale of the best side of a bad situation, is my reaction to this weeks’ photo prompt on Friday Fictioneers,

 

A tale of two cars

car

“…AND FURTHERMORE, IF THOSE OLD CARS ARE NOT GONE BY THE END OF THE DAY, I AM TAKING THE KIDS AND LEAVING!” His wife yelled.

Charlie left her standing there, and headed to the garage to polish the  beautiful antique cars he bought with the couple’s life savings.

“It’s an investment.” he thought to himself. “Women just don’t understand. I can fix these old cars up and double our money! Imagine the trip we could have then.

“It’s me or the cars” she hollered. “Well, start packing!” he yelled, as he put  For Sale signs on each of the cars.

This little ditty between an otherwise happy couple is my entry into this week’s Friday Fictioneers.

 

 

 

 

the room at the end of the hall

untitled  PHOTO PROMPT © Dale Rogerson

His room was at the end of the hall

a long walk for a little boy.

but he was sent there often

mostly when

his cruel daddy

wanted to

have his way

with the girls in the family.

Why can’t you love me

Daddy,

like you love my sisters?

DO YOU THINK I AM

A SICK MAN?

A MAN DOES NOT USE HIS SONS FOR LOVE,

ONLY HIS DAUGHTERS

AND MAYBE HIS WIFE.

Maybe that’s why

when the little boy grew up

he was

A monster to his sons

and their mother

because she refused

to give him a daughter

This tale of darkness, cruelty and two generations of abuse is my entry into this week’s Friday Fictioneers.

There’s more here…

WOTD Conflate (or The DatsFordev)

Word:

combine (two or more texts, ideas, etc.) into one:
“the urban crisis conflates a number of different economic and social issues”
Last evening, I spoke to a cousin of mine. For the first time in almost 60 years, he is living away from home, working on the big Alberta clean up. This past summer, a huge fire broke out in the area, and labourers from all across the country have been hired to clean the place up. My cousin is one of those hard working individuals. He is really lonesome up there, missing his wife and other family members. I reminisced about the good old days and we shared a few stories that made him laugh and ease his mind until he comes home. Here is one of those stories
The DatsFordev
When I was a kid, my favourite place to hang out was at my cousin Raymond’s house. Being sixteen, I always loved cars, and so did Raymond. He had built a garage on the side of his mom’s house, used the place to paint and repair cars.
Raymond was a few years older than I was, and was quite the comical individual. I could share a hundred funny stories, but today I want to focus on just one. The story of the DatsFordev.
I guess I have you confused now. Don’t worry, I will explain. You see, back in the day, there were tons of cars scrapped in various lots and in back yards everywhere. One day, Ray decided to gather a bunch of parts, and put them together to make a car. He had bought a little Datsun B201 for a hundred dollars or so, but the thing was a junk heap. (Back then, Datsun, Toyota, etc. were just beginning to sell in the country, and their quality was not up to par with the other cars of the time. Remember, this was the early 80’s)
I dropped down to Raymond’s place to find him in the garage, welding various parts to the back of the little car. He switched out the Datsun tail lights with those from an old Ford Maverick, he had a Chevy Nova grill on the front, and get this, he attached a Chevy Vega trunk lid to the back end of the little car, using of all things, Barn door hinges he snitched from his dad’s barn.
The surprising thing about this car, despite all the parts conflated together, the thing didn’t look all that bad. Raymond finished his work with a paint job using left over paint he mixed together. The colour, which consisted of at least ten different colours, turned out to be a nice shade of gold.
And then, he decided to put the thing up for sale. I thought he would never sell it, as to me, it looked like a pile of junk; but you know what they say about one man’s junk….
This guy showed up to buy it, he was some excited. “What is it? I never seen one of these before!” he said, excited.
“My own creation, made it from parts of several good vehicles” Raymond lied.
The guy proudly drove out of the driveway while Raymond and I laughed our heads off. “Got rid of all that junk, and he even paid me to take it.” Raymond bragged.
Sometimes I wonder what happened to that guy and his little ‘hybrid’. I bet he had a hell of a time licensing the car when the plates ran out. After all, what would you call it?

WOTD Gewgaw

DEFINITION: a trinket or bauble; something gaudy, of little value and use.

SENTENCE: The colonists handed out a variety of gewgaws to the natives on the two islands.

As of late, I have been checking out Twitter. I am totally amazed at the number of times the President Elect tweets his usual GewGaw. If he isn’t lashing out at a celebrity, he is sending offensive comments to very powerful countries like China. The guy really has to get the hell off of twitter.

A few weeks back, he was offended by jokes by Adam Baldwin, who, in my mind looks more like Trump than Trump does. This past week, he lashed out at Meryl Streep’s comments during her award speech. I am very afraid of what could happen in our neighbouring country if this keeps on. I even wrote a little poem to explain my fears.

There’s trouble coming

I kid you not!

He’s gonna ruin what we got.

He’s got a bad doo

and a worse attitude.

I am here to warn you

about this dude!

They gave him the house

they gave him the fame

and I’ll tell you somethin’,

they even gave him THE button.

He got the bucks, so he thinks he’s the man

pickin’ on things he doesn’t understand,

He’s rootin’ in a hornet’s nest

puttin’ our patience to a test.

If that don’t make you shiver,

This guy is quite terrible

think ’bout the Chinese and Koreans

and even poor Meryl

he’s calling them out

on Twitter.

The man needs a sitter!

Next word: Conflate

WOTD Challenge

During a trip to the local Dollar store, something my wife truly enjoys, I actually found something amongst the normal junk in the store. I found a Word of the Day calendar for 2017. Being somewhat of a word freak, this is right up my alley. I vow to write a post each and every day, based on the word of the day. This is my New Years Resolution…and we all know how that usually turns out. No matter, I shall do my best to keep this one. The $3.00 I paid for the calendar is a hell of a lot cheaper than that treadmill clothes hanger I bought last January.

The word of the day for December 10, the word is Passel (Noun)

DEFINITION: a group of individuals or objects of unspecified number.

SENTENCE: The Celebrity showed up four hours late with his usual passel of hangers-on.

Speaking of words, I have this thing about poor spelling. My brother and his wife, and the missus and I went to dinner  Friday, at a local bar/eatery. I am not normally a fan of those places, given my shellfish allergy, but the owner of the place, a huge man who spends more time at the gym than he does at his restaurant, promised me shellfish is cooked in it’s own fryer, everything else is cooked in another fryer, in another room.

The bar owner, and  his everyday Passel  of gym goers, sat at the bar glancing over to our table. “Go ahead and order whatever you like, I guarantee you need not worry about getting sick in here.” he assured me. I believed him. Great food.

The missus and I ordered wings and potato skins. While glancing at the menu, my prying eyes noticed a spelling error. Not just an error, but something that sent everyone at our table into a fit of laughter…well, maybe not everyone, but my brother and myself for sure.

Desert Menu (Yes, Desert….like the place with sand and scorpions)

Lemon Morang Pie…………………………………$3.50

(Gotta have me some of that Mo Rang Pie!)

and on the appetizer menu

Latts Fries. (Gotta love those Latts)

I have been known to point out menu spelling errors, but did I mention the big guy sitting at the bar?  I decided to not tell him about this…Hey, maybe I should buy him one of those calendars….

Tomorrow’s word:Gewgaw

 

 

 

Christmas Surprise

This Christmas was going to be the best one on a long time. Emma ordered each of her eleven children a Christmas gift from the Sears-Robuck catalogue. Jack was working at the time, and for the first Christmas in a long time, the Blanchard family of Codroy Valley Newfoundland would have enough money to buy gifts for all their children, even the older ones.

That was, however, until Jack lost his job. What a time to lose a job, right before Christmas. The worst thing was the big order Emma made. How was she going to pay for all those gifts? This year it looked as if Santa wouldn’t be making a stop at their house.

Jack, ever the optimist, believed that no matter what, the family would still have Christmas, and he proved it by hiking to the post office, which was miles away from their little farm house.

When he arrived at the post office, he was surprised to find a letter addressed to Emma. He ripped the envelope open only to find a check for $20, enough to pay for all the Christmas gifts. Turns out, Emma’s sister Elizabeth, who lived in Nova Scotia,  won the money at a Bingo game, and decided to send it to her younger Sister.

The entire family, especially Emma, was surprised when, on Christmas morning, all the gifts she ordered sat beneath the Christmas tree.

My mom told this story during our Christmas meal yesterday. It is truly a gift to hear such amazing stories from the people who lived them. Merry Christmas to all my blogger friends.

Judgment Call

 

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PHOTO PROMPT © Lucy Fridkin

word count: 100 words

“I know how calm the waters are, but just look at the sky. A storm’s a’ comin’ I tell you!” Warned the old ‘Salt’.

Ignoring his advice, his crew boarded the small fishing vessel and headed out.

Well, the rumors were right, the fish were plentiful, probably the most cod in quite some time.

Heading back to shore, the winds began to pick up. The tides were rough, and the tiny vessel swooped from one side to the other, until the boat capsized.

“Hate being right” he said, as he and five other fishermen carried the casket to the church.


Many of my mom’s family were mariners who fished off the coasts of Newfoundland and Nova Scotia. We lost so many, mostly through poor decisions and rough waters. This little story is my tribute to the men who lost their lives at sea; and my entry into this week’s Friday Fictioneers