Apr 25

They called me Pork Chop

Yep, for a week each year, my moniker was Pork Chop. It wasn’t because of my weight, which was above average, but because of my prophet-like ability to see into the future. Let me explain.

Every fall/winter we would head up to the camp for a blissful week of drunken shenanigans, mixed with a little bit of  slaughter. I say a little bit, because we rarely came home with meat, but we always had a story to tell. Now we had a bunch of different guys that we hunted with over the years, and one of those guys was Cecil. Cecil went by the CB handle of “City Slicker”, and it was quite fitting for a man such as him. He was 90% Toronto, and 10% Bancroft, but he wanted to be 100% Cardiff. He was one of the most amiable guys you would ever meet, and he’d share his last half a sandwich with you if you were hungry. He was just a great guy, and because of birthing logistics, grew up in a completely different part of the province than he should have. Cecil was also one of those guys that would talk to anyone, and a lot of times, about things he shouldn’t. That was just his way, and it made him a lot of friends, because for all of the “out there” shit that he did, he was always welcome around everyone’s camp, and the only reason was because we all knew he meant well, and he was a funny SOB. Continue reading

Dec 18

I got some things I need to say

I just don’t know where to start. I guess the positive is a good place to start.

The positive (sort of)

I was just chatting with an old pal of mine, and he recently had a baby girl. He’s one of those really good guys, that’s nice to everyone, he’s funny, smart, and loves life (No, it’s not me). He’s the kind of guy that deserves to have a little bundle of love waiting for him when he gets to his days off. Yeah, he doesn’t get to live with his daughter, or even near her, but as soon as he’s done work, he’s trekking across the province to see his little girl. You know why he does that? Because he loves her and that’s what you do. Just because you and the child’s mother aren’t together anymore, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t spend every possible moment with your kid. I know quite a few people that barely make the time to see their kids on their scheduled visitation days, and they live in the same town. This guy drives probably 15 hours to spend as much time as he can with her. He’s a proud daddy, and he knows that his daughter’s life is more important than anything else. I liked him a lot before I heard this story, and now I’m almost in love with the dude. Seriously, can you find a better reason to be proud to know someone? Anyhow, I just thought that all of you girls that say there aren’t any good guys left, can rest assured that there are. I’ve said it a million times, just to get told that all of those guys are all taken. Hey, open your eyes, they are right in front of you, but because there’s nothing for you to change about them, you aren’t interested.

Sorry for getting all high and mighty there. I just thought I should turn a really nice story into a rant about women liking “bad boys”; it’s sad, but you all know it’s true. I really am happy for my friend, and I’m happy for his daughter for having parents that will work together to make her life wonderful. I also have some other happy news. HOME IN THREE DAYS!!!

That Chin guy is going to get to work the night shift, then get a free flight to Calgary. Awesome, right? Not for me. I have to drive the water truck to FSJ (8-9 hours), then the Green Goblin to Calgary (9-10 hours) to make a six o’clock flight to the homeland, where my sweet baby will be waiting for us at the airport. I just remembered that at 9:00 the next morning, I have a dentist appointment to get this hideous bastard fixed.

…and that, son, is how not to open a beer with your teeth.

That should be fun; Mrs. Birdman will get me home by 2 AM, and I’m sure we will go right to sleep, so I’ll get six hours sleep, right? Not bloody likely. I don’t care though, I just want to kiss her lips, and hold her again. It’s been way too long for this cowboy. The stolen hugs by the mandaid and the security guard just don’t cut it; I need me some cocoon time, and I’ll give up being awake while my toof gets bilt to get some.

Now for the negative

An old work friend passed away, and his funeral is tomorrow. Sadly, I won’t be able to make it, but I would like to pay my respects anyhow. Aaron and I worked with Jim on different jobs, and he was just a good, funny, easy going guy. When I was trying to learn to run cat, he was very patient, never getting upset if I screwed things up, and always giving me hints that he had learned in his years of  working in the patch. I’m embarrassed to say that I sucked as an operator, and no amount of teaching or hints would make me passable, so it wasn’t Jim’s fault that I never was any good. Anyhow, get some rest, buddy. It was a pleasure knowing you, and break up is just around the corner.

Okay now, why the fuck does anyone give two shits about whether or not someone says Happy Holidays? Get a grip on something, folks. Not everyone celebrates the birth of Christ, or the whole commercial aspect of Christmas. I would rather celebrate Neil Young’s birthday than Jesus’. At least I know that Neil Young has brought me great happiness, and that he exists in the flesh. I know Jesus exists in your hearts, but please don’t cram it down our throats. Yeah, I celebrate Christmas reluctantly, but I always try to use “xmas”, because then I don’t have to capitalize it or recognize that it has anything to do with Jesus. Not everyone in the public school system, the civil service, or the major corporations buys into your horseshit religion, because they have their own horseshit religions. They aren’t yelling Happy Diwali, or Happy Hanukkah at you angrily, so why the big deal about Christmas? No one is saying that you can’t say it, but why do you expect a Chinese or Indian greeter at Walmart to say it because it’s your belief? What’s wrong with Happy Holidays anyhow? Everyone gets their statutory holidays, and I’m sure they’re happy about that; maybe not happy enough to believe in Jesus, but happy nonetheless. So why not just smile and say “Thank you. You enjoy yours as well.”? I don’t know, maybe I’m not running with the pack here, but those are my two cents, anyways.

Also, I got ripped off today. It was supposed to be steak night, and instead, it turned out to be prime rib night. Awesome, right? No, no it’s exactly the opposite of awesome. I got the end piece, which was the equivalent of eating a dried out piece of boot leather. I looked around at everyone enjoying their beautiful, pink slabs of delicious, while I had to take a drink with each bite, just to get it down. Oh well, one more supper here, then it’s homeward bound.

Last but definitely not least is to state that I hate dogfuckers. People who try to dawdle and have it timed out so that they won’t be able to get another load after 6 PM. It’s unbelievable, really. We make very good money, to do very little work, and then you have guys that need to pilfer that last thirty minutes out of the oil company’s hands. Whatever. They pay us very well to work for them, and they treat us quite decently as well. Why do people feel the need to dog fuck every little bit they can? You aren’t doing anything but waiting around anyhow, grab half a load and spread it on the way out. Make them want to hire you back, because if I notice it, others do too, and the next job that they need trucks for, could be when you happen to need a job as well. I don’t know where everybody’s work ethic went, or maybe I’m just getting old, but I think that if you hate your job enough to steal from your boss, you should go find something you like better. Oh, and good luck getting a letter of recommendation, you lazy douchebag.

There, I’ve said all that needs to be said at this particular juncture. I wish everybody, safe travels, and please make it home in one piece, if you aren’t home already. Your loved ones don’t need to be IDing a body for their holidays, so drive safe, and do it sober. If you need a ride, call a cab, a friend, or if none of those work, call me, but please don’t drink and drive. Now please enjoy the greatest thing in the world.

Who’s gonna drive you home, tonight?

Birdman

 

Dec 08

The Food Here Is Pretty Damn Good

There are few things that make camp life bearable, and the food is one of them. It’s usually delicious, but if you don’t like something, there is sixty other things to choose from. Take breakfast, for instance: You can have whatever you want. I have cottage cheese and fresh fruit, except for one day, when they were out of cottage cheese. That day, I had a loaded omelet and a whack of [easyazon_link identifier=”B00I5OMFWO” locale=”US” tag=”granligh-20″]bacon[/easyazon_link]. I love breakfast, and I love choices, but I do miss my breakfast from back home. Yep, you may have guessed it; a dirty old Tim’s sandwich and The Big Breakfast. There’s a three hour time difference, so by the time I get up, eat and get ready for work, it’s 6:45, and I’ve missed everything. I miss the walks down nostalgia path with Joe, the jokes, Megan P., and Inga B., but most of all, I miss Jay Sharp. I miss his soothing voice, and the way he patronizes me when I give a filthy answer for the trivia question. I miss his smell as I drive by the station on the 401. You know the one; kind of a mixture between [easyazon_link identifier=”B00KE62DWS” locale=”US” tag=”granligh-20″]turpentine[/easyazon_link], [easyazon_link identifier=”B00LKU1O36″ locale=”US” tag=”granligh-20″]cabbage[/easyazon_link], and Danny DeVito’s ass crack. That is pure Jay, ladies and gentlemen, and even Chuck Norris couldn’t kill that powerful essence.

This photo drips sex. No, seriously, I may have gotten a little excited.

I wish Jay could wield his magic, and make The Bear in Fort Nelson play his syndicated morning show in the afternoon out here. Oh the joy I would feel if such a thing were to happen. I would frolic around the water hole, and dance my dance of whimsy, whilst singing “[easyazon_link identifier=”B0016NWX5U” locale=”US” tag=”granligh-20″]Blinded By The Light[/easyazon_link]” at the top of my lungs. I would do this until my lungs froze, and then the mandaid could put me on oxygen in his MTC, while driving me to the hospital. I wonder if you can hear the radio back there? If not, I’ll have to wait until we get to where I can listen to it on my phone. You know what they say about wishes… You don’t? Oh, I’m sure it’s something philosophical.

While I’m being wishful, maybe I could wish Joel Scott to leave the dance music for a little while, and join Jay and Meg for some serious discussions about [easyazon_link identifier=”B00RVYW2PY” locale=”US” tag=”granligh-20″]skin tags[/easyazon_link], [easyazon_link identifier=”1503166724″ locale=”US” tag=”granligh-20″]gout[/easyazon_link] or [easyazon_link identifier=”0857232924″ locale=”US” tag=”granligh-20″]archaeology[/easyazon_link]. I’m sure it will be skin tags, because I don’t think any of them are archaeologists, or have had gout. This is just a guess, mind you; I’m sure Jay has come close when his wife was out of town, and he did nothing but play [easyazon_link identifier=”B01DPUVMNU” locale=”US” tag=”granligh-20″]video games[/easyazon_link], drink red wine by the box, and eat only [easyazon_link identifier=”B00B2BR3VA” locale=”US” tag=”granligh-20″]head cheese[/easyazon_link] and butter sandwiches. I really like Joel’s personality, but can only stomach the music when the girls are in the car, or the house. I like that Joe, Inga and Meg, all go back and forth between the stations, because I can then imagine what Jay would be saying if he were there. That’s usually when I go back to bed, and listen to The Breeze in the cocoon. I especially like to call in from the warmth of the [easyazon_link identifier=”B00635VODS” locale=”US” tag=”granligh-20″]duvet[/easyazon_link], because I think that’s when my voice is sexiest.

Wow, that’s what you call “going off on a tangent”. I think I’ll get back to camp food now. I suppose lunch is next, but I usually grab that at breakfast. If you are lucky enough to be around camp at lunch, there’s always a pot of homemade soup on, and usually some fresh baked bread. I’m not usually that lucky, so I choose from whatever’s left in the sandwich cooler, the salad bar, and the fresh fruit table. There’s usually slices of pizza, but a lot of the time there’s pineapple on it, so blech. All in all, it’s a pretty decent set up, for lunch anyways.

Supper is where it’s at around here, and Saturday is the day of reckoning. Steak night, is the greatest night of the week. My personal motto is “Live every night, like it’s steak night.” They go all out on Saturday, with steaks, shrimp, mushrooms and onions, garlic toast and onion rings. It’s not as good as having a beer with my baby, while we BBQ a couple of thick sirloins at home, but if you have to be in camp, you might as well make the best of it. Every other night is good too, because the cooks actually put some thought and creativity into what they are doing. The camp business is very competitive out here, and that makes it great for us, because no one is sending us to those shitty old camps, with cold floors, wool blankets, frozen windows, and an outdoor walk to the kitchen. Why would you go there, when you can stay in a nice, new camp, that has a gym, games room, and satellite TV in the rooms? Anyhow, there is a ton of really good food here, but I’m watching my intake, because I was on the verge of needing [easyazon_link identifier=”B005CSOGIC” locale=”US” tag=”granligh-20″]new pants[/easyazon_link] when I left, and seeing as I’m lazy, I sure won’t be working out while I’m here.

She got down, but she never got tired, she’s gonna make it through the night,

Birdman

Oct 12

The Circus Was In Town

mindofbirdman

First of all, I want to let you know that I’m probably embellishing this story, so if you know the story, don’t get all pissy because the details are off. I heard it in camp about 8-9 years ago, and we all know that sometimes guys lie. That being said, I’ll tell you about Mumbles, his son-in-law (we’ll call him Cletus) and the fucking circus, because Dennis reminded me of it today, and it’s pretty funny.

Mumbles was an operator with us a long time ago, and I don’t know if he’s still around or not. I didn’t know him very well, maybe rode to work with him a few times, or saw him at dinner here and there, but you wouldn’t say we were buddies. I think the only reason I remember him is because of this story and the fact that his nickname was Mumbles. I am not going to explain how Mumbles got his name, and if you need me to, I want you to walk out your front door, find the first person you see, and ask them to kick your ass until you cry.

Doot doot doody doo do, doot doot doody doo do....

Doot doot doody doo do, doot doot doody doo do….

Anyhow, Mumbles’ daughter was with a real asshat, who wanted to borrow some money for a vehicle or a house payment or something like that. I don’t even remember the exact amount, but $2000 seems to stick in my mind. So Mumbles got out of camp and lent this dude the money, thinking it was going to help his daughter out of a jam, even though he was less than excited about her choice of men.

When he heads back to work, Mumbles finds out that his idiot son-in-law took his daughter to the circus while it was in the area. A LOT. It seems that they spent all of the money that he lent them, minus $200, going to the bloody circus.

How the fuck do you do that? It’s a goddam circus for Christ’s sake. (Sorry for the taking of the names in vain.(not really)) I find it hard to believe that two people could spend $180 at six circuses, let alone $1800 for however many they went to. (I’m guessing three). Are they twelve year old kids in the 1920’s?  Two crazy kids, falling in love with the romantic, nomad life of the circus, losing their money in a con game played by a one-eyed roustabout who promised he would let them run away with the rest of the filthy transients. Perhaps they paid a lion tamer’s assistant to have a three-way while he dressed up as a clown, or maybe the handler got the elephant to give him some sort of trunk job. How else could you blow a large wad of dough at a circus? The possibilities are truly endless if you ask me.

How the hell could you be sad at a time like this, Mr. GreenFingers?

I can’t say whether or not Mumbles really knocked Cletus out to get the two hundred bucks back from him, but I want to believe he did.  I like to think he was whistling that old, familiar circus tune while he did it.

“Doot doot dootle ootle, doot doot dootle, doot dootleootle, doot dootleootle…”

Kick that dumb bastard once for all of us Mumbles.

 

Mamas don’t let your babies grow up to be cowboys,

Birdman