15 October 2016
Let Out All the Prisoners Because That Is A Jubilee
The only thing like it is finding an overturned beer truck and its bubbly load spilled on the road, no police at the scene and not a siren within earshot. The power went out at the sawmill Friday afternoon.
My foreman immediately scurried off for a quick huddle with whiskery management. Even with the level of technology sawmill hands work along side with, our industry is still tied punk rock close to an age old equation - labour generates profit - when we are not working management smells money burning.
"Won't take the cheap cunts long to send us home," Old Charlie, the head sawyer told me, as he checked his watch impatiently.
Everyone was checking their fucking phones. Some of our wives, girlfriends and such had already been sent home from their work places. Our thoughts drifted, as they do, to the possibility of unscheduled afternoon sex.
Sure enough we were walking out the gate to our cars moments later. Every man smiling like a death row prisoner accidentally released.
I like the comfort of routine as much as the next fellow but that comfort does not half compare to the joy of chaos a decent windstorm brings.
Sonja was waiting in our own powerless house when I had snaked my way through the fallen trees home.
"There's no power in the pub but it is still on at the Jap place," she told me. We were soon there, at our favourite table, 600ml Asahi for me, red wine for my reason for living. Japanese music plinking its mindless mysteries from hidden speakers.
"No come long time," the owner's daughter commented with her wide as Nagasaki smile.
"Japanese has always been winter food for Beer and I," Sonja confirmed. "You will be seeing lots of us between now and the election campaign next year."
The owner's daughter nodded, understanding not a word, her understanding of English, like many Koreans, restricted to menu items and the brands of her favourite cosmetics.
After we had had a few and finished our meal we phoned a neighbour to see if the power was back up. It was not so we had a few more.
Eventually we heard the noise of a small tv coming from the kitchen and much giggling from cook, the owner and his daughter.
"What are you watching back there that is fucking funny," I asked when the daughter freshened our drinks yet again.
"Kim's Convenience," she told us. "About funny Korean family. You want watch?"
Next thing you know we were in the kitchen drinking with the Koreans watching two episodes of the CBC's newest series on their portable Korean television. The Koreans were at once embarrassed and happy to have shared the moment with us. Shots of Korean grapefruit whisky helped our tv party and our lack of a shared language along.
I know there are not many of us left who watch the CBC. You are missing out if you are not one of them.