Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Animal Stories

I think most people have been amazed with our interaction with 'dumb' critters and I have some good ones.

Pneu was our first cat so named because she was a tabby and striped like a tire tread and of course pneu is French for tire. Pneu adopted us when she was about 6 weeks old showed up at the door and never left. We were constant companions she would follow me everywhere. she often walked miles along the creek fishing. I was at an age when I collected wild birds. I had cages of them. I could get Pneu to catch them for me. I would hold her on my arm and point to a bird, let her down and she would sneak up and catch it and then I would take it and put it in a cage. Pneu was a master hunter and brought home a trophy everyday like a dead mouse or bird. she even brought home a rabbit one time. (It was alive and well and we let it go)

Ming the Mighty Gander

I boarded at a friend's farm for a few months. They were sort of homesteading sort of an extended Scottish family and had a large old rambling farm. The main livestock were a huge noisy flock of semi-wild guinea hens and large flock of Chinese geese led by a large vicious gander named Ming. All movement on the farm was according to Ming. Everybody learned to keep him at a safe distance. The number of geese was getting out of hand but nobody could get close enough to the nests to cull the eggs. Guest usually had to run for their lives from their car to the door honking first to make sure someone would open it.So one night my buddy was on the afternoon shift and I was having a few beers and waiting for him to get home. it was a warm summer night with a cool breeze and a full moon. I wandered outside sipping a beer and gazing at the stars. Then I felt something tug at my pants. I looked down in horror. Ming? I had no chance to run. We both stood there for a few minutes when I was inspired. I tapped his beak with my beer bottle. He opened his beak and I poured in some beer. We shared that one and I went got another. We each went our separate ways in peace. I went inside and watched as Jack got home. he raced from the car. Jeezus! he says that gander is some mean to night but he was staggering like he was drunk or something. I laughed and told him what had happened.What is amazing is that after this Ming and I where fast friends. he never ever chased me again. He would walk up for a quick pet or a gulp of beer if I had one. I could walk in to the nests lift the geese and cull the eggs whatever I liked. If you walked with me you walked in safety.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Opium Story

In 1969 a group of us in Toronto rented an old mansion on Jarvis Street between Dundas and Gerrard.

It was not quite a commune. It was a sort of Hippie paradise. We could actually order drugs with our pizza delivery. I always seemed to pay my share of the pizza. I always seemed to wake up after it was all eaten. We actually had a girl who used to occupy the house when nobody was there. We often saw her jumping out a window or the backdoor when we came home. She didn't seem to steal anything or eat much so we didn't worry about it. We smoked pot and hash most of the time and dropped acid every weekend. One hot summer Friday night I got home after a usual night at the Pilot Tavern sometime after one. The house was empty? There was still a few beer left in the fridge? What happened? I grabbed a beer and heard a giggle from the back yard. I open the back door and there is like a dozen or so bodies lying all over the yard and Curtis and Whitey hunched over a pipe on the back step. Hey man Jeff brought some opium back from Morocco, Wanna try some? sure I say and I am presented with a lit pipe. Curtis and Whitey fade off to the grassy bed and i sit there sipping beer and dragging on the pipe. Suddenly I see across the maze of backyards and alleys a flashlight and then a woman police officer. She wends her way to the back fence and i amble over. I have had a complaint about the noise she says. I look around at the unconscious crew. You must be kidding. I say. Sorry! she says and moves off in the general direction of Away! Wow I woke up in the morning sun. Everybody else long gone for breakfast. I couldn't believe the vivid dreams. A complete different reality rather than a vague hallucination like acid and psilociban. I smoked it with my girlfriend for a few days but then I felt that little twinge of addiction and refused to smoke anymore. Much to chargin of my girlfriend and we actually broke up over this.

Sunday, August 5, 2007

Murray MacLauchlan New York

I invited Murray to come to New York with me for the July 4th weekend and the tall ships. I had to fly down to pick up the van for the SORC sailboat Bonaventure V. The boat was racing in the Onion Patch in Bermuda and coming in to New York to go up the Hudson river and Erie Canal etc. back to Toronto and they wanted me to drive the van back. Besides July the 4th is my birthday and where else to celebrate? An added goody was an invitation from the Canadian Norwegian ambassador to have a sail on the Christian Radich. (This was compliments of my sister who worked at harbour-front in Toronto) we were using Murrays agent to book tickets. The trip got complicated, my bartender Laura wanted to go home to New York so I got a ticket for her and then Krash's girlfriend wanted to go to meet Krash who was sailing to New York, so I got a ticket for her. We no sooner were in the air than somebody phoned Murray's wife and told her Murray and Gary were going to New York with 2 women. (this caused serious problems) After much ado we got a hotel room and I went to pick up the van for transportation. As it happened I got a free parking spot around the corner from the Hotel. In New York on July4th weekend etc etc. so we never moved the van until we left and took cabs. Laura took us to her old studio and the bar she used to work at. It was right at the Manhattan side of the Brooklin
Bridge which is a great a place to hang out. This was beside the Fulton fish Market which was having a fair so we ended up spending the evening at the fair. Spendoing was the operative word for Murray he went a little crazy. One of the Hanky Panks had a life sized stuffed bear as a grand prize. Murray decided he had to have it. After about 5 hours and 5 hundred dollars he finally won it. So there we were 2 o clock in the morning going back to the Hotel trying to stuff this giant bear toy into the cab. It wouldn't fit so after 15 minutes of trying Murray took a long look at the bear and said What the hell do I want with this and threw it on the street. As we
drove off the streets were empty.