22 November 2020

A Sawmill Worker and His Typewriter

















29 October 2020

Sonja (Cheryl)

15 years ago the one and only Dope City Free Press began as a means to tell some stories about a man named Beer and his dog the Hammer. Soon other characters joined, characters which, like the Hammer filled Beer’s days with joy. Chief among those characters was Beer’s long time love Sonja.

Sonja and Beer met in 1967 when her oldest brother Henrik invited Beer over to his parent’s place after school to play marbles. Sonja was 3, Beer was 8. Sonja’s mom tried to keep her Shirley Temple lookalike daughter from playing with the boys that day and for many years afterwards. Sonja was always real good about listening to her mom but was deaf to the no playing with boys shit. Her mom was right of course. Over the years Sonja suffered many injuries playing with the boys. Her dad, tasked with taking his girl to the hospital, would always stop at the Dairy Queen on the way home once the doctors had fixed her up.

When Sonja was 14 her mom died. The next couple years were tumultuous for her as a result. Her dad re-married poorly and soon his second wife drank up their savings and the proceeds of the family home sale. Still she was determined to overcome this setback and make a good life for herself.

Beer meanwhile was living a life that made Sonja’s stepmom look like Mary of Guadalupe. He was taking on whatever sawmill work he could find and living like there was no tomorrow. Still friends with Henrik he could not help but notice Henrik’s tomboy little sister becoming more attractive and more feminine. At a New Year’s party they found themselves attracted to one another. Beer walked her home that evening and began questioning his life plan which was to remain a bachelor until he retired should he surprise everybody and live that long.

Shortly thereafter, on a snowy, blustery day Beer spotted Sonja returning home on the sidewalk from the neighbourhood mall’s concourse where he was sheltering from the storm. Sonja was carrying several bags of groceries, her body bent into the wind. “Fuck is that admirable,” he thought as he followed her out of sight. Beer admired many things but none more than a willingness to work hard in poor conditions.

Later that evening Beer phoned Sonja and asked her out on a date on St. Valentine’s Day. She accepted. Beer was a cute crazy fucker after all. Their dinner date was at a new restaurant in town. The first fancy restaurant their working class neighbourhood had ever seen. They fell in love that night. A love that would last just shy of 40 years.

The pair soon shacked up together and lived well, you might even say they lived the Canadian Dream, despite the trying economic times they lived in. Sonja’s practicality balancing Beer’s Jerry Jeff Walker act to perfection.

Sonja died in hospice on September 26, 2020 after a valiant 6 year battle with cancer. Beer is always going to love her. Near the end of her life she told Beer's mom and stepdad, "Your son is a good man. He's a really good man." Beer never set out to be anything more than that. He will miss Sonja until the day he too makes his way to the other side.

29 June 2020

Fear On the Streets

There’s been some fucking scares in my life. The ever present possibility of a big fucking earthquake; the ever present possibility of nuclear war; the ever present possibility the nearby volcano might blow the fuck up; a parade of sexually transmitted diseases; more shit scares than I care to think about.

And now a wee pandemic.

I’m still here to write about it, motherfuckers.

30 May 2020

Too Much Dope City, Where’s My Mountain At?

Go on field trips or summer camp when you were a kid? Day trips, overnighters and week long ones if you were lucky as me.
Had day camps in the neighbourhood park for several summers. Government should have never stopped doing that shit. Mind you about all I remember of it was being hit repeatedly in the head with a tether ball.
One summer I got to take a week’s worth of day camping in a better part of town than the part I lived in. It was held in a park pretty enough to film a remake of Robin Hood in.
Another week I remember was a week at what would one day be my junior high. It was run by the man who I would one day help chase back into his principal’s office in one of the more epic snowball fights ever.
Overnighted on the island seaside with my Cub Scout buddies; Cypress Mountain with school and Maple Ridge where a last ditch effort to save my soul failed miserably. The ocean stunk; the snow was deep and the cigarettes unfailingly good.
I have not been more than 40 miles from my home at any time in many months. It is beginning to show.

29 March 2020

Joints That Make You Feel Good

One of my grocery go-tos is a Vietnamese store. It is one of those family run joints that make you feel good when you patronize them. Had not been in since The Virus fucked up our world but I needed some of his stock on account I have been cooking nearly all Sonja and my meals at home.

I was the only white guy customer while I was there. All the Vietnamese were wearing masks. And gloves. Very nice of them. I, the fearless half fucking drunk guy, of course was not. No one got within 15 feet of me. A couple people left.

You get a true measure of people when Fear moves into your every waking and sleeping moment.

Pandemic Blues

So...two weeks ago people were giving me dirty looks for getting my groceries virgin bagged because everybody pictured a whale or a turtle choking on every one I walked out of the store with. Now it is fuck the whales and turtles!

Everything is bagged, double bagged, triple bagged - whatever you want. I half expect people to begin walking around in bin liners. 

We have The Virus to think about and grocery bags are the least of the whales‘ and turtles’ problems because our waterways are suddenly swimming with rubber gloves tossed out faster than condoms into the sewers in the ‘80s.

24 March 2020

You Do Not Get To Choose Your Natural Disaster

Way back in 2005 when it seemed like a good idea to get the Dope City Free Press going I thought it possible I may one day write about my experience and observations of a big as fuck natural disaster. Like a 9.0 earthquake.

Instead I get an incurable fucking virus. An incurable fucking virus that half the fucking population does not give a fuck about.

Dope City indeed.

25 February 2020

Mind Your Head!

When the Dope City Free Press began 15 years ago we did so with the clear understanding that shit is so fucked up you could not unfuck it with all unfuck antidote in all the universe’s neighbourhood Anarchist pharmacies put together. And has shit got worse since then!

9-1-1 was just the opening feature, wasn’t it my friends?

But, what the fuck? Might as well keep trying to unfuck everything with all your might. We are still free, right? And if we remain free we might as well keep acting like our freedom fucking means something.

18 December 2019

Christmas Party Time

Christmas party time. Only time of the year the fucking boss buys.

Me and the boys, our girlfriends, boyfriends and what have yous,  a drunk before they set up cover band and two bartenders. What could possibly go wrong?

This year, nothing. Old guys, like myself, we got smashed as usual. None of us punched a manager in the fucking head. All the old guys with fire in their belly all retired or fired I guess. Young guys spent more time in the parking lot smoking their brains out more than ever. Pot smokers are so boring!

At least a couple of their girlfriends showed off their titties on the dance floor around midnight. The boss may not have been happy with his bar tab but he was fucking happy about that! Nothing says Christmas like strange titties.