Actually ... when the octogenarian and nonagenarian walked into the bar ... they didn't. They did, however, walk up to a busker and it is funny … but not funny, funny. And the punchline ... well ... it ain’t funny at all.
Yesterday afternoon at VALUE VILLAGE, North Broad Street, Regina, Saskatchewan, CANADA, the temperature being three degrees with the welkin grey and the wind crisp, a hearty octogenarian walked up to a busker, a busker who was actually spending more time warming his hands than strumming his twelve-string, or blowing into his harpoon. The octogenarian was HANK’S POTATOES, so named by the busker, because he was a potatoes entrepreneur.
Hank is 85 years old. Hank used to be a cannonball trucker, but upon his retirement from the highway at 65, he became a corporate potato head. Every morning Hank drives out to the Market Gardens in the fertile Qu’Appelle Valley, and loads sack after sack of potatoes into his sports utility vehicle, and then drives back into the city and delivers potatoes to several Greek restaurateurs and a few other places, one being the ISLAND KITCHEN at VALUE VILLAGE. Whenever Hank has extra potatoes, he sells them directly out of his truck right in the parking lot at VALUE VILLAGE.
I’ve known Hank since I’ve been a busker at the VILLAGE. He has gone out of his way to introduce me to his son and to his grandson. As we refer to in PSYCHO-SPEAK, Hank and I are familiar strangers.
Yesterday afternoon at VALUE VILLAGE, North Broad Street, Regina, Saskatchewan, CANADA, the temperature being three degrees with the welkin grey and the wind crisp, a somewhat frail nonagenarian walked up to a busker, a busker who was actually spending more time warming his hands than strumming his twelve-string, or blowing into his harpoon. The nonagenarian was August, who is 92 years old. August is a not-that-long-ago retired farmer. Just two years ago August was trapping the beavers damming his ponds and shooting the gophers running in his pasture. Now August has completely retired into the city of Regina.
Both Hank and August are guitar aficionados. Both men played lots of guitar in their youth; both men played in several country bands; both men taught guitar; both men still collect guitars; both men are tristful, love to reminisce about their guitars and their whilom band mates; both men are unabashed and yet remain as gentlemen. In a blink Hank will be gone; whereas, August loves to linger.
|HANK AND AUGUST|
Really with the welkin grey and wind crisp it was a rather wretched day to be busking. Even so the busker had promised his readers that hockey was closing and that busking was beginning. However, as fate would have it, that very first day of spring busking happened to be the very last day for ELMER LACH (see picture atop this blog entry). Up until his yesterday, Elmer had been the oldest living NHL player.
And how is Elmer’s passing in connection to this busking afternoon? Dear reader, this hockey segue is not contrived! Elmer was the famous hockey product of Nokomis, Saskatchewan. In 1940, Elmer left REGINA by train for a tryout with the NHL MONTREAL CANADIENS. Unlike the tales of Hank and August, the rest of the Elmer Lach tales are documented history.
Elmer went on to play 664 games in the National Hockey League, all of which for the Montreal Canadiens. When Elmer played the game of hockey he played in the hammer lane. In his 664 games, Elmer had his nose broken seven times, his jaw broken twice, had his elbow broken, and his skull fractured. In 1966 Elmer Lauch was elected into the NHL HALL OF FAME.
And now, dear reader, I shall deliver my punchline to AN OCTOGENARIAN AND A NONAGENARIAN WALKED UP TO A BUSKER ...
ELMER LACH played centre to the famous TOE BLAKE on the left wing, and more famous ROCKET RICHARD on the right wing. This forward threesome dominated the NHL for four seasons and was affectionately known as the PUNCH LINE.
HAPPY EASTER, EVERYBUNNY!
(And this is the final punch-line for this blog entry.)