Our dirt bikes bring all the boys to the yard. Damn right, they're better than yours.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

“Do you know what’s gayer than same-sex intercourse?”

No, (debatably) not these chaps – you’ll learn more about them below.

The answer is: “One thousand boys wearing neckerchiefs.”

This was John Stewart’s take on the fact that The Boy Scouts of America doesn’t allow any of its members to be gay. Last Friday Stewart was in Toronto to do 90 minutes of stand-up at the beautiful old Massey Hall, because apparently he’s, like, not busy enough doing The Daily Show. The tickets Alana scored weren’t cheap, and we were so far up in the nosebleeds there was a decompression chamber halfway down the exit stairs, but fuck, we were lucky to get tickets (the show sold out in minutes) and Stewart was on.

Content-wise it was what you’d expect: heavy on hilarious right-wing social/political/religious/Bush criticism, with a dash of pop-culture references and some pointed words for the left, as well – but with more naughty words, sex and stories about his dog eating garbage, getting diarrhea, eating the shit, puking it up, then eating the puke and barfing again, etc… . Other topics included the frustration of dealing with smarmy teenage salesmen when upgrading his Mac, and knowing that everything was back to normal in post-9/11 New York the morning he caught a homeless guy in a trench coat whacking off on his front stoop. A-material.

Then we were off to a bar called the Bedford Academy (seriously), where we met up with Christie, Kris, Mike, Garnet, plus Mari Sasano and boyfriend/musician Paul Bellows, who arrived from Edmonton on a giant Slip ‘N’ Slide covered in Alberta crude. Much ribaldry ensued that eve at ye olde Bedford Academy [lights cigar, uncorks brandy decanter, pets basset hound].

The next morning Alana, Christie and I drove to Buffalo, just for something to do. Although it’s right on the Canadian border, you really feel like a foreigner. Buffalonians (Buffaloans? Buffalites? Bufflets?) have a distinct accent that’s sort of a light variation of the Boston tongue. Everything’s covered in stars and stripes, and there are a creepy number of overweight couples wearing gold and sports team sweatshirts. We saw several of ‘em at The Anchor Bar, which is the place Buffalo wings were invented 41 years ago. The food is unhealthy as hell, but tasty like there’s a party in your artery and all the fat kids are invited. Of course, the best part of the place was the gift shop, which features rubber Buffalo wing-shaped hats. Couldn’t justify the $25 USD, but the picture contains plenty of foodwear hilarity.

Next stop was the art gallery for a cool exhibit on abstraction, then Target, which is the classier version of Wal-Mart with more clothes and better quality crap. You know you’re at Target and not Wal-Mart because the Bush-Cheney stickers in the parking lot are attached to SUVs. I bought a pair of flannel boxer shorts with cowboys on ‘em, and discovered that apparently a “Large” at Target is an “XL” in Canadian sizes. Gotta be extra careful the steer doesn’t escape the corral I guess.

Regardless, Buffalo is recommended alone on the strength of its cheap, delicious beer. We found a nice divey local bar for $2 pints of (good) beer. Went to another street full of low-key pubs later, met some friendly folks and got drunk on affordable liquor. U.S.A.! U.S.A.! U.S.A.!

The nest day we went to the tourist supernova called Niagara Falls (the Canadian side). Hadn’t been there for years – since a grade seven class trip – and it’s really been developed over recent years in a Vegas family fun kinda way. The crowds were huge, the Falls still breathtaking, and now Clifton Hill is insanely crammed with wax museums, haunted houses (will did a travel piece on them in the current issue of Rue Morgue) family restaurants, garish gift shops and various other attractions that actually make the bills in your wallet jump out and run away screaming into the neon abyss (that said, I managed to only buy a tube of delicious Twinkie-flavoured lip balm). Despite all the stuff I hadn’t seen, I insisted on revisiting The Ripley’s Believe It or Not! museum, which is a Mecca for things weird, lurid and inane. Medieval torture instruments? Check. Two-headed taxidermied animals? Check. Lock of George Washington’s hair? Check. Giant picture made out of dryer lint? Check. Actual shrunken head? Check. Picture of a chicken smoking? Fuckin’ check!

For a radically different atmosphere we drove to Niagara on the Lake: the Hamptons of Southern Ontario. Basically it was a lot of pudgy white guys in wool sweaters walking around a very upscale Disneyfied main street. We found a pub that had been there since before the war of 1812, ate some pub food, drank some pub draft, and got the hell out of there.

On Monday we lazed around until meeting up with other former Edmontians for the first annual Displaced Rednecks Thanksgiving Day Japanese Dinner, at Ho Su restaurant downtown. Wheatniks/former Gatewayers in attendance were myself, Alana, Christie, Kris, Mike, Garnet and Leah. Nothing like raw fish and politically incorrect jokes about… well pretty much everything. Good to be among like-minded friends when you’re missing home.

Last stop for the weekend was at the theatre to see Werner Herzog’s Grizzly Man documentary about Timothy Treadwell. Treadwell wad a ballsy but clearly insane hippie who lived among the Grizzly bears in Alaska and taped himself interacting with them, until one of them ate him and his girlfriend. Not a perfect doc by any means, but touching, hilarious, tragic, and full of jaw-dropping footage of a deluded nature nut with a Prince Valiant haircut walking up to giant bears and having conversations with them. How he went that long without getting eaten is a mystery up there with the Caramilk Secret and Ben Mulroney’s hair-cap. I think it makes the strongest case yet that it would be better to fight a gorilla than a bear.

Not being a huge fan of being eaten by a grizzly to begin with, the film also gave me crazy nightmares last night. I don’t remember this, but Alana said I woke up gasping and babbling about a nightmare. I recall being chased across field by giant scary-ass bears, which, as far as nightmares go, could only be more frightening if one of them was being ridden by Freddy Krueger. That said, Freddy Vs. Jason Vs. Bears would kick a lot of dick. Or Bears Vs. 1000 Boy Scouts in Neckerchiefs.

Shit, that was a long post. My first one and already I’m one of those wordy dickhead bloggers. Oh well.

Over and out in Ontario.



Blogger mike w said...


7:40 AM

Blogger enthrall said...

Whoa... did someone come by and set up a community here while I wasn't looking?


Keep up the posts. It helps to have somewhere to go to dull the nightmarish boredom of a day job.

9:26 AM

Anonymous Steve-Dave said...

GOD, that was good. *lights cigarette*

Glad to see someone knows how to blog around here...

11:54 AM

Blogger Lori A said...

I read your entry, was mildly entertained, but am struck by what a BALD-FACED, DIRTY ROTTEN LIAR you are, Dave.

That trip to Niagara Falls was in GRADE 9.

Try not to be such a bullshitter next time. It erodes your credibility as a professional journalist.

3:24 PM


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