CHRISTMAS -- IT’S THE MOST WONDERFUL TIME OF THE YEAR! I chuckled to myself as I crumpled my a-go-go chore list which was longer than Saint Nick’s sled into my pocket. I had just completed a short gig as Santa, and handing presents and ho-ho’s to the little gaffers in our school daycare program, and now had to race from store to store to get things done! Rush rush rush because ... it's CHRISTMASTIME!
As I marched across the parking lot for my first stop I chatted with Myles (busker/drug dealer), his guitar slung on his back over a greasy blue snow suit, attempting to light a cigarette en route to his buskingdom in front of the liquor store. It is minus 25 degrees! The sky is cloudless; the air windless; the sun bright … but … it is minus 25 degrees! It is a typical Canadian Christmastide!
Two more days, he says, and then I’ll know for how long. Myles knows he’s going to jail (see previous blogs).
From that mall I drove my pearl white ACURA ILX over to the gym to pump some iron. Entering and leaving the fitness facility, I can’t help but notice the garbage barrels on the walk have runneth over with pizza slices and cardboard cartons and plastic pop bottles. A twenty-something woman bundled in a brown woolen coat, complete with Canada red and white mittens and scarf, along with who appears to be her adolescent daughter, too, wrapped in wool and wearing a Canada red and white toque, singing Joy to the World a cappello, are picking through the garbage barrel and placing certain items into big and black, plastic garbage bags.
Then at my last stop, a specialty liquor store, I needed to grab some last minute German beers and American bourbon. At the front door, an elderly cadge, donning a thin and long Santa hat, and drips of snot from his runny nose running down his red cheeks. With his both palms outstretched he asked, You have some spare change, sir?
Sorry, Santa, just my debit card, I replied.
Yah right, he says and shakes his head, in a chivvy at my response.
Just as the snowflakes are beginning to fall, I drive into the parkade of my downtown apartment building, and Randy the picker, in the lambent shadows, gives me a wave. He seems more out of sorts than usual. This evening, of all evenings, he is bare-headed and bare-handed, his parka open, and his eye glasses off kilter on his visage. The temperature gauge on the dash of my car reads minus 33 degrees -- it is even colder now! Randy comes around our building every evening to pick bottles from our community disposal bin in the back alley.
Late at home and on the couch in my living room, sipping a beer and licking the salsa from my nacho fingers, my youngest son, TRAVERS, stops in to borrow my laptop. He’s going to a BIG ASS PARTY and he’s in charge of the world skyping to be set up. He tells me that as he was leaving the GERMAN CLUB in Regina, some 250 pound ASSHOLE was calling him on and physically pushing him, insisting that he step outside, so ASSHOLE could kick his ass.
TRAVERS is just back from spending the month of November in Afghanistan.
AH CHRISTMAS, THIS AMARANTHINE BEHEMOTH, IS THE MOST WONDERFUL TIME OF THE YEAR!
MERRY CRISTMASSE … MERRY CRISTMASSE … merry cristmasse …