Last night we pulled in to Lanigan, SK and grabbed a room, so I have a bit of time to tell you about my new traveling companion. I have learned that Chin is a man of integrity, sarcasm, courtesy, cynicism, honour, intelligence and honesty, just to name a few. He loves his family, friends, and fishing, as well as change, adventure and flatulence. I didn’t know him well, even though we had worked together for a year and a half, but when you spend time traveling with a person, I like to think that you gain a little bit of insight into who they are under their crusty, snarky exterior. Chin is kind of like me, in the sense that work is work, and personal is personal, if you tell someone you are going to do something, you damn well do it (unless you forget, because I’m sure I’ve done that a lot.), and people sometimes don’t know how to take our sense of humour. We also don’t really care what people think or feel about us. You either like us or you don’t, end of story. That being said, I’ll tell you about some of the things that may or may not have happened on our trip, so far.
We started off at around 10:30 in the morning on Friday, and Chin was waiting patiently at the door. I knew from the look in his red, swollen eyes that we were in for a wild ride, and I couldn’t be happier. I love emotional turmoil when I have to go on a trip with someone, partly because I love to see people in pain, but mostly because it makes them unpredictable. This trip was no different. We had to stop in Bowmanville to get a pita at J.P’s(true) and we figured we might as well grab a room, because the Hojo was right there, and there was a special discount for retired truckers. The real reason was that I found it hard to resist his Axe body spray. After 2 fun-filled hours we were back on the road, rejuvenated, ready, and looking for trouble. Chin found the trouble in Cochrane, when an unwary OPP pulled him over for no reason, and as the officer was walking towards the car, Chin said “Watch this”.
Fuck me. As he put the window down, the officer looked in at us and said he was pulling us over in a random spot check. Chin proceeded to tell him that he had no right to pull us over, because we hadn’t done anything wrong. The officer explained that there were several people driving around with suspended licenses, and they were randomly checking for offenders. He asked “Can I see your license?” and I stupidly handed him mine, as if there were suspended passengers as well.
Chin gave his license over and remarked that the officer was profiling, and there was going to be something done about this, and after several minutes the officer came back and mentioned that there was some confusion because I had the same birthday as another Chris Bird with a lengthy criminal record, but there was a year difference. He then mentioned that I couldn’t be that Chris Bird, because I was clearly white. Chin came unhinged. He flew out of the car and got right in his face, calling him a profiler and a bigot, and something about the commissioner hearing about this. The officer then stammered a few things and ran back to his car, with Chin screaming “Yeah, I got your number, pal. We’ll see who’s suspended next week”.
Then we went to Tim Horton’s. (true)
In reality, we’ve been zipping along at a pretty good clip. It’s nice having someone that you get along with, and can do some of the driving. I enjoy riding once in a while. Like right now. We’d be in pretty big trouble if I was typing this out while I was at the wheel. We are having a good trip, and we got to drive through the prairies at -31, and almost out of gas; that was really fun. It was so cold that the water temperature wouldn’t come up off the pin. The gas station in Sheho was closed and google wasn’t showing a gas station in Foam Lake, even though I had assured Chin that there was fuel there, so we were starting to worry a little bit. We also met a kid from Oshawa that moved to Saskatchewan years ago with his parents, because they bought a house for a dollar. He was pumping our gas in Foam Lake, at the gas station that I knew was there, but just had a moment of self doubt. I should have just trusted my instincts, because they are right thirty percent of the time.
I can’t wait to get settled into wherever I’m going for the next month. Believe it or not, I am looking forward to a routine, or at least a reasonable facsimile of one. I like my new life of semi-responsibility and step-parenting, and I’ve been picking up tips from the Chinster. Believe it or not, he has been a parent and step-dad for close to twenty years, and he retained a bit of knowledge over that time. I now have some new insights into the world of bringing up a couple of girls in this crazy, but beautiful world. By the way, Chin is going to put up some of his thoughts on our little adventure, so look forward to that very soon.
Yeah, I’m a believer, I couldn’t leave her if I tried,