Friday, June 28, 2019
Here's a short summer story for today's ROBBLOG folks. It came to me as I watched a similar situation unfold a few days ago. It's best to be read out loud in a sultry, hot, southernish accent y'all can muster. Ask yer Mama or yer Man to play the Serina part! Oh and have a Happy Canada Day!
A hot summer day in a small Canadian backwoods town. Sweltering actually. The kind of day when you pray for a cool breeze- any kind of cool breeze but it just doesn't seem to materialize. The world goes by but everything appears to be at a much slower pace. People can seem to be stupid and ill-mannered. Suddenly, you start to talk and think in a thick, southern-style accent. The kind you hear in a dull, old Tennessee Williams Play.
Serina is leaning up against the hood of a 1957 Ford. Light blue. Convertible. She's a beauty.
The car- not Serina.
Serina is blond. Bottle blonde. She's wearing a blousey white top, open down a few buttons. Her bleached hair is tied up on top of her head but strings of hair fall like a fake, blonde landslide- straight from a box of Clairol colour, falling haphazardly down her cheeks. She's wearing powder blue jeans that are rolled up to her calves. She has bangles- seven to be exact, jingling around her right wrist. They clang in the hot, late morning sun.
She's wearing flip-flops each with a huge, purple, petunia-like flower on the strap. On her nose are propped a pair of black, oversized sunglasses.
One foot is resting up behind her, caught in the Ford's ample bumper as she appears to be striking a model's pose.
She's not perfected it at all.
Her right hand is holding a rather long cigarette.
Maybe a Virginia Slims.
Maybe a contraband cigarette from the local reservation.
She pulls a long hard drag as she watches a bare-chested young man dig a trench a few yards away.
The man's chest and arms glisten with sweat from the unbearably high humidity- yet he keeps digging. His bluejeans are soaked from pocket to crotch. He seems oblivious to the notion that he's being watched. Glared at...
Serina calls over to him in a sultry, southern, sexy voice...
The young man doesn't answer but keeps digging as sweat rolls down his neck and falls between the thick, black, matted hair on his olive-tanned chest.
Serina:(louder). Hey! I said Hey!...Can't y'all hear me? she puffs Whatzsamatter big boy? Cat's got yer tongue.
Man: Oh, I hears ya all right.
Serina: Then, why don't y'all answer me then- huh? (Her bangles clash and clatter on her wrist)
Man: (His shovel clangs against a rock in the trench slash ditch) 'cause I am suppostah be digging this here trench Ma'am.
Serina: Oh! Ma'am is it? I ain't you're Ma'am, I tells you that much. You think I'm old enuff to be your Momma or sumptin?
Man: No Ma'am. Not et all. Just being proper like.
Serina: Zat so. Zat's what proper is like on such a fuckin' hot morning as dis?
Man: Could be...
Serina: Could be! Dat's all you and your heavin' big muscles gotta say fer yourselves?
Man: 'ppears so Ma'am....I uh mean- Miss.
Serina: (she drags on the cigarette and holds it aloft in her right hand supported at the elbow by her left) I ain't no "Miss" dat for sure. Hey, whatz yer name anyway?
Serina: Buzz? Like the bee? What kinda fuckin' name is that for a man such as yerself. Buzz? Why I ain't never hear of that name for a young, healthy-looking fellah such as yer self.
Buzz: Well, that's what they's call me. That's for certain. (He keeps digging in the hard, stony earth and only pauses long enough to take a red hanky out of his back jeans pocket to wipe his brow)
Serina: Huh! Buzz. Don't that beat all. (She flicks the ash from the end of her huge cigarette).
So...Buzz...how long have y'all be digging ditches?
Buzz: Trenches Ma'am...
Serina: It's god-damned Serina. "Sir" like a Mister and "reena".
Buzz: Serina. Pardon Ma'am. I means Serina. Glad y'all cleared that up. I was wonderin' somethin' fierce!(He looks down for a second at his work) Oh and this? This is a trench not a ditch.
Serina: S'iff ders a difference. Y'all pulling on my leg or somethin?
Buzz: No Miss Serina. I is not pulling yer leg.
She pauses and stares at the young man's rear end as he bends over to pick a big rock out of the trench and throws it, sending it sailing though the thick, humid morning air. It plunks down with a thunk in a brown field a few feet away.
Serina: So, y'all been diggin' these "trenches" fer long or you been diggin' other things s'well.
(she puffs and draws long and hard on her cigarette. The smoke circles her head)
Buzz: I don't always digs dees ditches. I do what's I'ze asked to do if'in the monies right and good.
Serina: So y'all digs trenches then for money. (pause) U'huh... Much money? (she places her right foot flatly on the hot earth next to her left and waits for an answer)
Buzz: Enuff all right. Enuff to keep bitches likes yer self guessin' in the late mornin' of a haus and pfeffer day such as this...
Serina: Bitches? Y'all calling me a bitch Buzz?
Buzz: If'in the name fits. Say, y'all lost the buttons on that blouse of yers or are's you just too poor to 'f'ord 'em?
Serina: Fuck off Buzz!!. Whatch y'all know about anything anywhay other than diggin' dem ditches and throwin' rocks a few feet away from where ya stand. Big hairy deal Buzz. Big fuckin' hairy deal!
Buzz: Why, y'all 'ppears to have a mouth on ya...'mungst other things.
Serina: Oh, so ya's not just a rock digger after all. Ya's also just a typical slimeball of a young asshole just trying to look a girl all over, up and down, top to bottom. I knows your type Buzz.(she points at him directly, bangles clashing as she nervously points)
Buzz: And I knows yours too Serina. Believe me- I knows yours too. Y'all stand there watching a poor, hard-working, half-nekked man such as myself here and ya's goes all to town ogglin' and a watchin' and a sizin' me up. I got's yer number sweetheart and it starts with a big "S"!
Serina: What? Why, you smart-alec'd piece of shit. I outta come right over there and slap you across your indecent mouth. Y'all think I'm a standin' here for the good of my health? Fer the fun of it on such a hot, damn day?
Buzz: I don't know what yer all standing over there for Lady. I ain't quite figgerer'd it all out but I'se gots the beginning of an idea and it ain't fitting for a lady. No lady. At all. Nevah.
Serina: So, (puff, drag) what's this word of yers that starts with a big ole "S"?
Buzz: Wow, y'all not such a smarty-pants, is ya now? Why girl, that big "S" stands for Slut and dat's exactly what's you are standing there for, thinkin' yer a-temptin me with all that girly stuff goin' on and lawrd knows what else ya gots hangin 'round in dat half brain of yers.
Serina: Now listen here boy- mister big shot trench digger with the heaving chest muscles and all them tight things there lining yer skin back and forth across yer belly just above yer jeans top, I'se just standin' her trying to grab some air, having a refreshing cigarette and passin' the time of day and y'all hauls off and starts to insult me by calling me names like "Lady" and "Miss Serina". Why there ought t'be a law. If'in my Daddy were here 'bouts he'd wup your sweaty ass right tuh the other side of town. That's what's he'd do to some piece of sweaty bugger shit like yerself- Mister Buzz whatever yer last name happens to be.
Buzz: Windsor- Haven.
Serina: (she stops and looks as the man as if he just recited the Lord's Prayer in Pig Latin) What the Windsor-Haven fuck? Dat's yer last name. Windsor-Haven?
Buzz: Y'sm. Dat's it. My Great Granddaddy was a Duke over in the old country.
Serina: Well, I'll be good, god-damned. A fucking piece of royalty standing diggin' a fuckin' trench right on my fuckin' street on the hottest fuckin' mornin' of the whole god-damned fuckin' year. Now, ain't I the fuckin' lucky girl?
Buzz: 'ppears you is Ma'am.
Serina: I be snookered up, down and sideways. (she butts out her cigarette and then lights another with the sharp snap of her lighter opening and closing) So, y'all know what- Mr. Buzz Windsor-Haven?
Buzz: What's dat?
Serina: It may jist be the heat but I'se don't gives a flying fart. Anyhoo, yawls just been peering over here tuh have a look see at my womanly bits and boobies. I sees dat. Y'all may be high-flootin' and stuff but yers still a god damned man with a prick and I ain't fooled one bit.
Buzz: Well, Ma'am, Serina, y'alls welcome to yer opinion.
Serina (she points at him with a cigarette clenched between two long, slender fingers)
Yes, well, y'all gots that right. Now, den, just averts yer big ole bug eyes and gets back to your diggin' and throwin' stones and leave a lady to enjoy her last few minutes of a glee-orious summer morning.
Buzz: Yes Ma'am. I cans do dat. I cans do dat exactly. (he laughs)
Serina folds her arms across her bosoms and Buzz continues to dig- while shirtless, at the hard, parched earth beneath his feet. The blistering sun throws down darts of stinging sunshine to all those- like Serina and Buzz who care to be outdoors on such a morning as this...
Posted by Rob Reid at 10:53 AM
Wednesday, June 19, 2019
A bit of this and some of that...
Last time, I wrote that we were planting Leyland Cedars along our front wrought iron fence as well as along a backyard fence. The idea was to afford us some privacy. We have since made a gardening change and are now the proud "parents" of 15 Portuguese Laurels. Here on the Island, Laurels have a thick leaf and stay green year round. This particular variety grows fast, loves full sun and makes a great hedge. These 10 litre pots hold plants that are about four feet tall now. In a few months they'll be at five or six feet in height.
Things grow fast on our Island.
I love this this time of the year.
I loved summer in Ontario too but I really love this extended summer and long, almost year round growing season that Vancouver Island affords.
Now, that a our gardens are full- and I do mean full, after 12 months of growing, we needed to add something to bring them to life- namely bird feeders. The Hummingbirds already visit twelve months of the year but we wanted to see other feathered friends enjoy our yard. We bought two feeders and boy did the birds come! Robins and sparrows and more. Everything was great until we experienced a couple of bird deaths. One may have come by way of our orange kitty Dickens.
We didn't actually see it happen but we found the expired birdie in the garden near our Easter Island statue. It could have been from a pair of cats that live in a neighbourhood a couple of blocks away. We can't be sure but now we supervise Dickens more when he's out for his short playtime twice a day.
|Dickens doing what he does best- relaxing!|
One event stands out.
Our schnauzer Missy was sleeping on her pouffe minding her own business when one of the brothers decided to pee right next to her- on her really.
She was bathed and the pouffe was either laundered or thrown away.
I can't remember which.
I still check the Winnipeg Lost Cats page for Doyle almost daily, hoping for a miracle. Just two days ago a cat that had been missing for three years turned up at the Winnipeg Humane Society. He was chipped. The WHS called the owners and later that day they were reunited.
What a great ending!
I want the same ending.
Doyle will have been gone two years this August 19th. He jumped from our RV at 1030 at night as we sat parked at a KOA in Winnipeg.
Not having closure has been hard.
Finally, with all this right-wing, bullshit and politicians playing havoc with our world, I want to draw your attention to a BBC series called "Years and Years". It's in six parts and is a must see.
It smartly shows us what may happen in a world run by right-wing conservative types. It even alludes to the fact that the world has seen this before.
Those in power lying to the people.
Painting the media as being false and untrustworthy.
Incarcerating people like you and I.
Think, Ford(s), Scheer, the People's Party, Communists, Nazi skinheads and that lardass with the orange hair.
I don't want to give any of the story away but as the Mister and I watch we realized that this could be our "real" future. This could be our Canada in a few years- and I am not talking a decade.
I mean less.
You might have to find an online link where you can watch it. The BBC Player will not work in Canada no matter how hard you try and disguise your ISP.
We watched the series on our Amazon Fire Stick. Check it out at amazon.ca
or do a search for Amazon Fire Stick. You might find a local company who can set you up with more and even provide you with the stick in their installation price.
Some sticks allow you to watch a 3000 channel universe- all in real time.
Sometimes, I watch Eastenders at the same time it plays on BBC in England. One just has to take into account the time difference.
Finally, speaking of time, did you hear about the US Math Professor from Virginia who ended up in Calgary instead of Carleton University in Ottawa? Of course both Calgary and Carleton begin with a "C". Can you understand his confusion?
I couldn't either. Neither can Lucy & Ethel...
|Huh- and he's a professor, eh?|
Oh, I think so Lucy...
After checking into the Calgary Westin he called for an Uber. He checked out the GPS as he climbed into the back seat to see how long his ride would take. The GPS showed him a very long route to Ottawa and Carleton University.
Finally, our Professor figured it out.
He was in the wrong city.
In his own defense, he says when he booked the trip from home, the Calgary Westin looked a lot like the Ottawa Westin- in nightime photos...
Posted by Rob Reid at 4:15 PM
Thursday, June 13, 2019
"All gardeners know better than other gardeners"- Ancient Chinese Proverb
There you have it folks.
I thought I'd talk about gardening here on the Island since I have been doing a lot of looking at plants over the past while.
Last weekend the Mister and I toured seven gardens in Chemainus- about 15 minutes from us and right on the Pacific. The gardens were for the most part in Olde Town Chemainus but two in a newer section of town. Well, by new, I mean 2004 and upwards.
We saw a garden bathed by Ocean breezes and the smell of salt water. It was private with a hedge of Yew- if I remember. The hedge had grown up and around a deer fence and all one could see was green. It was wonderfully private.
|A Bee on our Butterfly Bush|
Just ask our neighbour "Tall Steve".
They are lovely animals until they start destroying your garden. I spray a product called Plant Skyyd on rocks around the garden's perimeter. It seems to work.
We also try to plant non, deer-friendly pants.
Other gardens on the tour featured vegetables mixed with flowering specimens and one with a plethora of palms, yuccas and Mediterranean type foliage.
Listen to me talk all garden-like.
"Specimens". "Foliage". Huh...
I especially loved a neighbourhood and two gardens in particular that could have been at home anywhere in Florida. The neighbourhood was fairly mature at about 15 years old. Huge palms were planted on many front yards. Sturdy Yucca's and evergreen plants including Heather was everywhere.
It was a delight and houses all seemed to have that Floridian or Island feel.
A nice afternoon and only 12 dollars each for admission.
|Butchard Dancing Waters "Ross Fountain"|
One hundred and eighteen if you plan to have a glass of wine.
Anyhoo, after the initial shock of the admission price wore off, the gardens were amazing. I liked the Mediterranean Garden best since all the plants inside would grow here at Palm Villa.
The Rose garden was huge and the Japanese Garden quiet and thoughtful with a miriade of water features.
Seventy or more gardeners both full and part time keep the Butchard Gardens looking pristine. It kind of feels like being in a Disney Movie what with all the colour and diversity.
After seeing the private gardens and the public- yet pricier, Butchard Gardens we knew we had to tackle the privacy issued we have at Palm Villa. Without going into lots of detail and copious amounts of "we said, they said, he said", let me just say that we have expressed our feelings to the Owner/Developer of the neighbourhood where we live. Privacy is the main topic we hear from prospective buyers as they walk alone the side street on the south side of our house. The builder- and I suppose North Cowichan official,s have deemed the space between houses is just fine and the lack of privacy in many yards- including ours, is "no big whup".
Well it is a "big whup" and I have told the builder that on several occasions. We are lucky we have a corner lot but we have a house built behind us that tower over our back yard. We even have a footpath about 10 feet from our backyard fence. Black, chain link fences look like a row of dog kennels and YES I have also used those words when face to fence with the builder.
His eyes glaze over when one talks of privacy concerns.
"Bet you don't have people walking by twenty feet from your back Lanai, do you"- I asked him one day. Imagine a glazed look at this juncture.
|Palm Villa South garden|
|Our Arbour Roses|
We are having a landscaper plant a good bunch of Leyland Cypress trees along a section of our side yard and back yard.
This hedge is fast growing and will give us the privacy we need. Our gardens receive many accolades from neighbours and visitors alike and if you knew us in Orillia, Ontario and knew our gardens at lovely Pine Tree House you know we have a lot of plants!
Eight to ten feet of height is all we need from the Leyland Cypress and these plants can reach fifty!
Pruning sheers are at the ready!
Now, we don't need thick privacy that would allow Hugh Jackman to sunbathe naked if he popped by for tea, wanting to work on his "all over" tan as he sipped away.
Although, it would be nice if he paid a surprize visit...
Sort of private enough so we can't see a hacking, cigarette puffing neighbour accepting a weekly delivery of reservation-made, contraband ciggies to enable coughing and inhaling to continue through the next week.
No, just nice and Secret Gardenish to be able to pull one's nylon boxer shorts out of the crack in one's arse after one has bent over to smell the roses.
It's the little things- isn't it?
Posted by Rob Reid at 3:17 PM
Friday, June 7, 2019
So, an Easterner tells me that Canadians- as a whole, are excited about the Raptors.
In fact- apparently, one out of every five households are thrilled with the Raptors and are glued to their TV sets.
Not exactly Johnnie.
I surveyed Island neighbours.
Three say- "I don't give a Rats...!"
That's not your typical, friendly, warm Island response.
Another mentioned they heard fellow workers talking about Raptors this past week and had no idea what co-workers were talking about. For one thing, we have a Raptor's Centre here in the Cowichan.
Not the two-legged, basketball playing variety but the two-winged, non-basketball playing variety. At this Raptor's Centre you can see these birds of prey up close and personal.
Two different things.
Apples and Oranges.
Are there any Canadian players on this Eastern Team even?
I have never been a fan of basketball what with all that dribbling and the shameless display of long, sinewy legs. It would appear as well, that this game is a "black man's" game.
I dunno why.
White boys can't jump?
Basketball is always featured it seems in movies that film scenes in a ghetto type situation.
Again, dunno why.
I believe a Canuk- a white one, invented the game even though- like most Canadian things, he had to get approval from the all powerful, all knowing Americans first before the game caught on. On television, the Heritage Canada Minute shows the inventor cutting the bottoms out of bushel baskets in order to curb the time-consuming practice of climbing a ladder to fetch the ball every time a player gets a "basket". I have even heard that early players sat on porcelain baskets to stop opposing teams from dribbling in a shot. Don't take my word on that. It could be a bum story...
No, it's not my game to be sure so you'll have to be excited without my assistance.
I'm more of a Tony Awards kinda guy. Now, that's another American institution like Gidget and Malt Vinegar- on fries? Whaaat?
The Tony's are great to watch but I feel so far away from Toronto and New York Shows living here on the Island that it hardly makes any sense watching the awards but I do for the musicals.
I mean really, what 100% Canadian Gay Guy doesn't?
Handsome men with great voices and the ability to dance the night away- in unison no less.
What's not to get excited about. Now if you want to talk legs, let's talk about the legs of a live theatrical showboy.
If you want to see more than just legs check out You Tube for "Broadway Bares 2019". Have your pacemaker handy. Broadway Bares is not for the faint of heart and it's much more interesting than watch a bunch of skinny, black boys dribble their balls.
No, Broadway Bares is more of a "cupping your balls in your hand" experience so as not to expose them to those thousands assembled in the theatre.
Although the exposing of balls- both white, black, brown and yellow, comes close, very close, there must be a NYC ordinance preventing their flopping about "willy-nilly" on stage during this charity-driven Broadway presentation.
Oh to be a fly on the dressing room wall.
Posted by Rob Reid at 3:02 PM