Friday, January 25, 2013

Colonel Curmudgeon

Wow, there is someone even more curmudgeonly than me. And I know him, but at the risk of embarrassing 'Ned Peas' (anagram) I will not name and shame him here. Not that he'd care, I suspect, as he's so proud of his curmudgeonliness he uses "Curmudgeon" as a middle name on his F***book page.

Anyway, the other day he wandered into the store and, without a hello or any other kind of greeting, pronounced, "Hell is other drivers." Then he mumbled at his boots for a moment before following up with, "What a shame it's so difficult to buy guns in Canada."

"Er, why?" I inquired. "Because I'd have killed two people already this morning," he spat, before returning to mumbling at his boots as he shuffled exit-wards. "Have a nice day, 'Ned Peas'!" I shouted after him.

"Mumble, mumble, mumble..."

Friday, January 11, 2013


I don't know what it is about the gorgeous Sharon Van Etten's voice that unfailingly turns me to jelly, but it does. And, hands up, I've not had a crush on a "pop star" like this since the days of Debbie Harry, so I guess that's also part of the effect.

So when she tackles one of the most beautiful songs ever written by my main man, Nick Cave - with whom she's soon touring, frustratingly appearing nowhere near here - then I am always going to be in trouble. And so I was when I watched this just minutes after waking up this morning, all confused and ugly with bed-hair. It's an incredible performance.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

The Things That Happen # 3

Not that anyone has noticed, I'm sure, but it was way back on June 28, 2011, that the last 'The Things That Happen' post appeared here. It concerned how our visiting friend Nik did himself extraordinary digital mischief when simply having a scratch on the way home from a lacrosse game. As you do. This one, however, reports something equally ridiculous that happened to me, today.

Over the last few days there has been a noticeable fly infestation in the downtown music store I work at. While the invasion has not reached the level of an unmanageable swarm requiring a napalm solution, enough of the little bastards have appeared to cause extreme irritation and distraction, not to mention concerned/bemused reactions from customers as ignore them to tear around the store after flies with various weapons in hand, intent on bludgeoning the winged horrors into the middle of next week.

Our boss is guessing that the source of and life's focus for this filthy squadron is "something rotting upstairs." A while back a rancid stench hung over a small section of our store, and an investigation by a pest expert revealed the likelihood of a decomposing mouse somewhere in the walls. We just had to mask the odour as best we could and grind it out until it finally dissipated. (I couldn't give a toss if I never smell Febreze again.) This time there is no such smell, so we think there must be something yukky turning to goo in the only elsewhere that exists in our building - the landlord's offices upstairs. The landlord has been on vacation for weeks, but it seems flies have moved in en masse to feast on whatever foodstuffs he presumably accidentally left discarded before getting on the plane. Or maybe a rodent or other creature has found its way in and bitten the big one, to the fly population of Nanaimo's utter delight. As I say, it's all guesswork.

Anyway, we've been swatting these chunky little mofos at every opportunity, and one such perfect chance came late in the afternoon when a fly landed on top of the till. Steve, behind the counter, and I, in front of it, saw it land at exactly the same time. Steve's eyes lit up as he stealthily reached for the nearest weapon - a CD. I stood perfectly still so as not to disturb the fly or give the game away. With blinding speed and murderous intent, Steve anticipated the fly's escape flight path with precision, smashing it to bits. I saw it literally disintegrate and felt great satisfaction at the total destruction of this fearsome enemy. It was all over in the blink of an eye. Then Steve started laughing so hard I thought within moments he might well puke.

The reason? The fly had exploded with such force that, William Wallace-like, its remains had been scattered towards the four corners of the kingdom (read: 'record shop')... and some of it had ended up in my beard. So, there I was, euphoric from victory as I brushed blobs of fly guts, fragments of fly thorax, and chunks of fly exoskeleton from my beard. As you do.