It’s time for Friday Fictioneers hosted by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields, the photo provided by Danny Bowman.
They stood side by side, the older woman’s arm around the younger.
“Between those two humps, your great, great grandmother buried 2 children – it was cholera. Three days later she gave birth to twins in the back of the wagon. They had to stop when the babies came, then they travelled through the night to catch the other wagons. She walked the whole time, a baby in each arm.”
“Yes. You come from a long line of strong women. A broken heart might hurt like hell but it won’t kill you.”
A long, comforting hug. “I promise.”
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I don’t normally do this but this video showed up on my Facebook feed and I watched it and then I had a lot of questions. One sentence in the video, in particular, had me confused.
“The Christians will finally come out of the Shadows.”
I had no idea there were Christians hiding in Shadows. Exactly what Shadows are they hiding in and where are those Shadows? Are there schools and hospitals in these Shadows where they can be educated and receive medical care? Do they have Garbage Disposal? Because it might get kind of nasty in the Shadows if the garbage starts piling up.
If real Christians are hiding in Shadows then who are the people that are claiming they are Christians but aren’t hiding – like the ones that go to the church across the street from me, or the ones on TV or the FaceBook groups? Are they fake Christians? Are they just pretending while the real Christians are residing in some horrid Shadow?
Why are the real Christians hiding in the first place? Who are they hiding from? We don’t allow Lions in arenas full of Christians anymore, do we? That would be fucked up if we do and I’ll start writing Protest Letters to the UN immediately if that’s the case.
Are these Hiding Christians in Canada too? Does this explain Andrew Sheer, Jason Kenney and Brian Jean? They aren’t hiding so does that make them fake? How can I tell the real ones from the fake ones? If I see a person hiding in my shrubs should I assume it’s a real Christian and offer them chocolate and a blanket? If I suspect someone that isn’t hiding in my shrubs is a Hiding Christian are there identifying marks or secret handshakes that will let me know what they are? Are they dangerous? This guy is talking Civil War and that sounds kind of dangerous to me. Is there a Hotline I can call if I have suspiciously identified one of the Civil War-causing Hiding Christians?
Are there nice Hiding Christians? Should we be working on Safe Houses for them? I would donate some food for them if I know where to send it all. The Shadows might be a big place and I wouldn’t want my donation disappearing to other things that hide in the Shadows. And speaking of food, if the Christians that are not hiding (fake Christians) don’t mind me Bar-B-Quing, should I immediately stop Bar-B-Quing in case the real Christians are repelled by the smell of roasting meat? You know…..like Hell? I ask because if the Christians I see all the time are not real Christians then I have to question everything I know to be true.
There are so many unknowns now. I’m asking myself “What would Jesus do?” but I’m drawing a blank. I suppose if Jesus was around the real Christians wouldn’t be hiding, right? Ormaybe Jesus would be in hiding too, waiting for someone to impeach Donald Trump so he could come out of the Shadows with all the other real Christians.
So, if I have this right, if the Americans impeach Donald Trump, Jesus can come out of the Shadows with all the Hiding Christians. And maybe there are enough nice Hiding Christians to stop a Civil War that the not-so-nice Hiding Christians want.
That sounds totally plausible to me.
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People don’t listen to me. I talk and they nod like they are listening and then they go and do as they damn well please! Like I hadn’t spoken at all! I believe in doing your own thing and being your own person but when I’m paying for something I’d like them to LISTEN!
I just got home from the grocery store and I’m still a little annoyed. Safeway sells wonderful collapsible square bags that are actually boxes that stand on their own, can handle a lot of weight and are easy to carry – I have many of them. So when I got to the cashier, I placed the box in front of my groceries and moved down to the other side where she was packing the box. She put in a six pack of canned flavoured water and I said….
“Just leave both six packs and the jugs of Cranberry Juice out of the bag. I won’t be able to lift it if there’s too much weight.”
Her: I was going to put all the light items in a plastic bag and the heavy stuff in the box.”
Me: I don’t want a plastic bag. Just leave the heavy items unbagged and I’ll hand-bomb them into the car.”
She put a six pack of the flavoured water in the box. I reached in and took it out and put it loose in the cart. She scans in the second six pack and puts it in the box! I take it out and put it beside the other six pack in the cart and said….
“Don’t put the Cranberry Juice in the box. I would like it loose and unbagged, please.”
She scans in some cereal and the fresh produce and deposits them in the box. Then she scans the Cranberry Juice and puts it in the box!!! What. The. Fuck?! She pretends I’m not even there!
I just gave up at that point. I paid for my damned groceries, muttered all the way out to the car and came home. If that was the only example I wouldn’t have much to complain about, but it’s not the only one.
About 6 weeks ago I went to the dentist and it was a total shit show and the ultimate end product was an incredibly painful TMJ issue. I went back to the dentist, he took an x-ray and said my TMJ was just fine. So I went to a physiotherapy clinic and they recommended I see Anne, the Traditional Chinese Massage Expert. I told her what the issue was: the entire right side of my face is killing me and the pain shoots up from my neck, through my jaw, up through my temple and across my forehead. I explained that the dentist said it wasn’t TMD so it must be from the huge lump on the back of my neck.
Her: Your face hurting but problem isn’t face. Your face like computer screen that not working. You think the problem is screen but it not screen. It hard drive or software.
Her: Lay down face up. Show me where the pain is.
Me (laying down, face up, waving my hand all around the right side of my head): Everywhere but mostly in my jaw and temple.
Her (poking my jaw): Here?
Me: OMG!!! Yes! That fucking hurts!
Her: Ah! You see? Like radio. You hear radio but radio not here. Is over there. You have to follow wiring.
She carried on talking about computers and radios and cars and other shit I wasn’t listening too. I wasn’t listening to her because 1). She’s using her hands to point at the invisible computers/radios/cars, and 2). I can hear the ticking of the clock and every tick is another minute I’m paying for while Vanna White is NOT fixing my problem!
The next appointment I said my face was feeling well enough for me to feel the lump on the back of my neck stabbing into my brain. She shook her head at me and said….”Not neck. You feel pain in neck but neck is not problem. Your neck like computer screen that not working. Not screen problem. Software problem. Blah. Blah. Blah. Blah. Blah.”
And she tortured my face some more.
Next appointment – my face is still hurting and now I can’t even touch it because she’s bruised every muscle on my entire head! AND my neck is really hurting from the big lump. I take her hand and push her finger on the lump. Right there!
She smiles and nods. “Lay down face up. Neck not problem. Like radio. You hear radio here…….” Blah, blah, blah, blah BLAH! And she tortured my face in between her Vanna White impressions. I go for 4 appointments with her not listening to me. She would torture my face for a little bit, but then she decided to torture my left leg because I have nerve damage and walk with a limp! What. The. Fuck?! That’s the furthest place from my neck that she could possibly be and I’m almost certain my damned leg isn’t making my face/head/neck hurt!!
Two can play at this game, you know!!
The next appointment I said my face feels wonderful! No pain. It’s very good now. She showed me a demonstration of how my jaw joint works. She asked where the pain is and I said….”I have a terrible headache. It is the back of my head all the way over my skull to my forehead.
She smiles and nods. “Lay down face up. Forehead not the problem. Forehead like computer screen. You think forehead is problem but it not the problem. No. You have hardware or software problem.”
And she finally worked on my neck like I wanted in the first place!! Gawd!!
And then there’s The Damned Viking! He only listens to the first 3 words in my sentence, decides what I’m about to say and then starts hollering, like he’s a fucking Clairvoyant! I stop talking and make the universal sign of WTF by turning my palms face up in front of me with a confused face.
Me: So, I was thinking that I should get……
The Viking: WE CAN’T AFFORD ANYTHING RIGHT NOW!! DON’T YOU UNDERSTAND THAT WE NEED TO SAVE A LITTLE MONEY?
Me: I was thinking that I should get busy doing the…..
The Viking: DON’T YOU HAVE ENOUGH THINGS TO DO THAT YOU DON’T HAVE TIME FOR WITHOUT DOING MORE THINGS?!
Me (sighing heavily): I was thinking that I should get busy doing the laundry. Your dirty clothes corner is almost touching the ceiling.
The Viking: I’m almost out of underwear.
And then there are the cats. They don’t fucking listen either, unless I’m shaking the treat container and then they are listening so hard I’m tripping on them.
I don’t think I’m asking too much for people to fucking listen when I’m talking! I’m becoming more and more convinced all the time that cranky old people are only cranky because no one would fucking listen to them and they’ve had enough!
I don’t need my cane to walk anymore but I’m thinking of taking it with me anyway, just so I can poke those non-listening fuckers! And maybe I’ll sharpen the end into a point. A nice sharp point.
I missed the last few Friday Fictioneers because The Viking tricked me into marrying him. Okay….talked….me into marrying him. So, there was that and then his brother and wife came to visit from Denmark and then a Honeymoon. All of which kept me from getting too much time with a computer.
But I’m finally back in the swing of things so I have time for FF, hosted by the great and wonderful Rochelle Wiseoff-Fields. And the photo prompt this week is provided by Jan Wayne Fields.
“What was that?” Cheryl’s legs scissored and kicked inside the sleeping bag. “There’s something crawling on my leg!!”
Steve rolled his eyes. “There’s nothing crawling on your leg, Cheryl. It’s all in your head.”
Scrambling out, sitting heavily on Steve’s stomach (Oooff!), she shook out her bag. A beetle about an inch long plopped on her pillow.
“I knew it!! This is why I hate camping!! There are bugs in EVERYTHING!”
Steve tossed the beetle outside immediately after Cheryl bolted, taking her pillow and bag to the car.
“So it’s hotels and room service forever?!” He yelled after her.
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Izzie: What do you mean, ‘I suppose so’? Don’t you have any curiosity in your soul? Don’t you ever want to know why?
Teddy: Not particularly. As long as there is food in my bowl I’m pretty content.
Izzie:Gawd! You and your kind are the reason we aren’t the dominant species on this planet.
Teddy: That’s a little stereotypical, isn’t it? Just because I’m not curious about water swirling down a hole doesn’t mean I’m not curious.
Izzie: It’s not just water swirling down a hole! They keep the lid down so we can’t see what’s going on in there.
Teddy: Maybe nothing is going on in there. Maybe they just don’t want you playing in the water. Mom was pretty pissed the last time you played in there. You mixed our pooper stuff in the water and flicked it all over the walls and floor.
Izzie: It was an experiment! I told you that already!
Teddy: Hey, you’re preaching to the choir here. I don’t care if you want to play in it, I just don’t happen to share your curiosity.
Izzie: So why does The Viking pull his thing out and put more water in there only to swirl it down the hole? It just doesn’t make sense! What’s the matter with peeing in sand? Why sand for us but water for them?
Teddy: Maybe it’s because they don’t like digging in sand. Have you ever seen them dig in sand for any reason? Maybe it gets under their claws and they hate it? My other sister never dug either because she didn’t like sand in her claws. I was the one who had to bury her poo.
Izzie:Of course you were. So why does Mom sit to pee but The Viking stands? Wait! I just had a thought! What if he’s just so proud of his thingy he wants to show it to me all the time. Like when I kill mice and show them to him.
Teddy: Maybe. I’m impressed with it. He’s got me beat by a mile. I’m sure he wouldn’t mind a nod or a purr of delight when he shows it to you.
Izzie: I don’t really care about that. I’m more concerned with what Mom is doing. She sits all the time and I have a suspicion that it’s not just because she’s humble. I think she hiding something.
Teddy: What would she be hiding in the water?
Izzie: That’s exactly what I don’t understand. She does something, puts paper on top of it and then swirls it all down the hole before I can find out what it was.
Teddy: Maybe it was just some poo.
Izzie: So why won’t she let me see it? Why hide it if it’s just a poo?
Teddy: Then what do you think it is? If it’s not poo then what is it?
Izzie: I’m not sure but I think it might be Treats. She’s obviously trying to keep it away from us and what is the one thing that we like more than anything else?
Teddy: Treats?! She wouldn’t be that cruel, would she?
Izzie: Who squirts you with water when you claw things you’re not supposed to claw? It’s not The Viking – he just yells. It’s Mom who’s trigger happy. Who knows what else she’s capable of?
Teddy: Noooo! But I liked Mom! She scratches my chin and gives me massages!
Izzie: That’s how she lulls you to sleep so you don’t catch on to her nefarious treat drowning scheme.
Teddy: Wait. She gives us treats though. When we come home when she calls, when we bug her and stare at the treat cupboard, when we do something cute……she gives us treats! There has to be another explanation.
Izzie: Well, I can’t think of anything else that we really like.
Teddy: What if it is just poo but she just doesn’t want us to see it?
Izzie: Well that’s just crazy talk. Why wouldn’t she want us to see that? The Viking doesn’t mind. I know that for a fact.
Teddy:Whatever, Iz. I’m going to see if there’s more food in my bowl.
Izzie: There isn’t. You know the schedule and it’s not time for more food.
Teddy: I’d rather be looking for food than staring in the swirling water bowl.
Izzie: Go ahead. But some day I’m going to figure this out and then you’ll be worshipping the ground I walk on.
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Last night, Mom called for Teddy and I to come home. She does it every night and most of the time we comply. Every once in a while though, we are in the middle of something and we just can’t make it home. She locks us out and we can’t get in to eat and poop until morning but that’s a price we’re willing to pay. Sometimes.
Last night she called us a few times. And then Peter – that dirty, rotten stool pidgeon – calls back to Mom….
“Are you calling for a little black cat?”
Mom: Yes. Have you seen her?
Man: I see her all the time.
Man: Sure. She’s a beauty.
Mom(incredulous): Hasn’t she swatted at you?
Man: Oh sure! She swats at me all the time! But I have bird feeders and she likes to lay under a tree and watch them. She never catches them though. They are too smart for her.
Mom had walked down the sidewalk by now and could see the guy that she was talking to0. He was watering his lawn.
Mom: Wow! I had no idea!
Man: She has a pretty bell and tag so I was sure someone loved her.
Mom: Yes, we do. I’m just surprised that she’s made friends with you. She hates everyone.
Man: She was in my basement day before yesterday.
Mom: WHAT?! She was in your basement?
Man: She somehow got the screen off the basement window and was sitting on my washing machine.
Mom: Oh my Gawd! I am so sorry!
Man: No worries! I just let her out the front door when she was ready. I saw her a while ago, really early in the morning, like 5:30 or something and she was hanging around my front door.
Mom: That dirty cat!! She wouldn’t come home so she had to stay out all night. But that only happens once in a blue moon.
Man: I was pretty sure that was the case but I went and bought some cat food and I put it out for her now.
Mom: Wow! Thank you for looking out for her, even though she tries to kill you a lot.
Man (laughing): No worries.
Mom: I’m Lori, by the way. I live in that house there.
Man: I’m Peter. Nice to meet you Lori. Don’t worry about Izzie. I keep an eye out for her.
Mom: Nice to meet you too Peter. Stop by some time for a coffee. We run a business out of our home so we’re home all the time.
Peter: Thanks. I always have coffee on too.
Mom: Well, I hope to meet you in the daylight sometime.
Peter (laughing): Same here. Oh, there she is! Good night.
So! Now she knows! She told The Viking all about it and he started laughing like an idiot.
They think they’re so smart! Ross, the guy across the back alley, tattled on me for taunting his dumb dogs and now when they start barking Mom hollers “Izzie! Leave those dogs alone!” Ross wanted to be friends but I nipped that in the bud with a good Saa-lap! I’m only here to bully your dogs!
But then, my collar got caught on the fence and my beautiful beads snapped apart. Ross brought them to Mom as proof and now I have to wear my baby collar and it’s hideous.
Then there’s RJ and Stephanie who live next door; they are okay I suppose. I like to run through their sprinkler when RJ is watering his lawn. It’s best when I get really wet and then come home and walk all over Mom’s paperwork. She loves it. And again, RJ wanted to be friends but I gave him a Saa-lap! too. I’m only interested in getting on your garage roof so I can bully the neighbor’s cat! His kids are a different matter. I kind of like short people; they don’t tower over me so much.
On the other side of RJ is a guy who wanted to be friends. Saa-Lap! I’m only interested in bullying your ginger cat! The guy told The Viking that I was a bitch. Me! A bitch! Asshole. Apparently they like Teddy but Teddy won’t get anywhere near other people.
My point here is that I don’t mind people if they just let me do my thing. And once Mom finds out what I like doing, she suddenly doesn’t want me doing them. So, now I will have to be super vigilant so she doesn’t find any of my other hang-outs. A girl needs her own places, you know.
Oh! A Happy Black Cat Appreciation Day! Go ahead and appreciate me.
So. I’m no longer living in sin. I’ve been legalized. Gone is my hippie rebellion against the norms of tradition. My naked, mutinous ring finger is naked no longer.
Almost three weeks ago at 11:00 in the morning I rejoined the Wife-Force. I was a little belligerent about the whole thing if I’m honest. I’m not going to obey The Viking! I’m not going to let him boss me around! He’s not the head of the household! And I’ll decide when and how much I’ll honor him depending on his behavior at any given moment and not because some official tells me I have too! Because I was happy as a sinner!
And because I was busy ranting against Wife-dom in my head, I forgot my bouquet at home. We were half way to the ceremony when I said “Ahhhh fuck!! I forgot my bouquet!” And now I’m going to be late for my own wedding. I muttered all the way back home about the stupid trappings of an obsolete institution that has kept women in subjugation for centuries.
When we finally arrived at the park, an itty, bitty, teeny, tiny woman marched to the car like a miniature Stalin. I hadn’t met our Commissioner of Wedded Bliss before this moment and, quite frankly, I didn’t know they made them so small. The top of her head barely reached my chin!
She took one look at me and started chanting soothing words and platitudes. “You made it. That’s great. Take a deep breath. Let it out. Take another breath. Let it out. This is your special day so enjoy it. Concentrate on your love. Your soon-to-be husband is a wonderful man and he’s waiting for you.”
I thought, “Don’t tell me how wonderful his is! I’ll do the deciding around here!”
But he was waiting for me and he is wonderful. He was smiling and his face said “Take it easy. It’s going to be fine.”
My face said “I’m not going to be a great wife, you know.”
His face said “I already know that.”
My face said “Thank Gawd!” and “Can I have a Lemon Gin and Tonic now?”
His face said “Soon, but not right now because it would break a couple of laws and might anger our miniscule Commissioner of Wedded Bliss.”
We held the ceremony under the trees beside the Bow River in Bowness Park. It was a pretty place and convenient and we didn’t need to make reservations or pay an exorbitant fee.
We had only just begun the ceremony though when a helicopter came buzzing in low from the east. Someone said “It’s the Paparazzi!!” Our Commissioner of Wedded Bliss looked annoyed because this was a solemn occasion and no place for jokes!
I further annoyed her because I couldn’t figure out where she wanted us to stand. In my defence, she kept moving. She would stop and stand still so The Viking and I positioned ourselves in front of her, facing each other, and then she would move somewhere else. Every time she scurried I would lose her behind the drape of my jacket. It was like a Marital Musical Chairs game except there weren’t any chairs and there wasn’t any music. This wasn’t supposed to be so difficult. Stand still for fucksakes!
And then two young ladies floated by on the river in a raft and Brad pointed at Junior and yelled “Single man here!!” Then one of the ladies in the raft shouted back “Single girl here!” The Commissioner sighed heavily and gave Brad the Stink Eye.
When it was time to make our vows to each other……. “OH MY GAWD I’VE LOST MY VOWS!!!” I started patting myself up and down and turning in tight circles, there was a pressure in my head and my vision started to blur. The Viking was standing there, his vows in hand, more than a little alarmed. Just before I passed out, someone calmly touched my arm and handed me my vows. The Commissioner of Wedded Bliss was chanting “Take a deep breath. Take your time. Take a deep breath. Take your time.”
We finally made it through the vows. I lost my shit twice but everyone just stood there and waited for me. That’s the thing about having only my closest loved ones at my wedding – they already know me and expect their patience to be tried.
There were other comments and more laughter and the Commissioner’s make-up began to settle in scowl lines around her eyes. She had a few more things to say about marriage but, to be honest, I wasn’t really listening because I was married. Again. Holy. Fuck.
And everyone breathed a sigh of relief. Mission accomplished and no one had to go to the hospital.
Once she had completed her duty, The Commissioner of Wedded Bliss sprinted to her car, shouting over her shoulder that she would file the paperwork. This was, in all probability, the least solemn and dignified ceremony she had ever attended.
And then it was time for pictures. Ugh!! A gaggle of young women in spandex and baseball caps came through like Olympic Speed Walkers and Brad wanted to get them in the pictures. More rafters floated by, unintentionally photobombing us. The Paparazzi made several passes overhead, forcing the photographer to shout her instructions.
We climbed among the rocks, sat on a bench, hugged, kissed, smiled and smiled some more. All the while I couldn’t help thinking “Where in the hell is my Lemon Gin and Tonic?!”
The Viking kept saying “Be careful, Babe! You’re going to fall!” every time I had to move to a different rock. Junior and Erik had their hands out, ready to catch me at the slightest wobble. All I could think about at that point was the Sponge Paper Towel commercial with the Sponge Guys surrounding the kid with a huge jug of orange juice. And that made me laugh (maybe a bit hysterically) which made me wobble even more.
However, I didn’t fall, didn’t break a leg/arm/finger nail and we all made it back to the house for a big Danish Feast. My part in this thing was finished, but it didn’t stop me from trying to interfere. The Viking kept sighing deeply and shoving me out the door to sip my drink in the shade.
Erik & The Viking served up the most delicious Danish Feast ever and Annette created a beautiful table to serve it on. We were surrounded by people we love and were feeling like the most blessed couple on the planet. And then the Completely Viking Wedding came to a crashing, shouting, screaming halt.
Because Brad turned our Wedding into Fight Club. It took us days to come to grips with all the carnage. We had been under the strictest orders from Mim to be especially kind to Brad because they had had a fairly severe fight the week before. So we did our best to ignore his bullishness throughout the day. It was all for naught though, because he couldn’t have killed the Wedding faster if he’d brought a machine gun.
I’m in knots about it. I’m ashamed that my new sister, Annette, was treated so disrespectfully. I’m embarrassed that Junior’s friend was witness to the whole debacle and even our neighbors heard the shouting and screaming. I’m furious that our Wedding was ruined. And I hate the taint on what should have been the happiest day of our lives. I’m particularly enraged at the position Brad put Mim in. She was as embarrassed and ashamed as the rest of us but he weaselled his way out of any accountability; trading on her love for him in order to forgive what he did to us.
We’ll be asked to get over it, to refrain from bringing it up so he doesn’t feel like it’s hanging over his head for the rest of his life. The memories we have will be less important than his feelings no doubt, and we’ll try to do it because we love Mim. Maybe had he come with a sincere apology it would have been easier but that’s not what we received. We received a belligerent, narcissistic declaration that negated any responsibility on his part. He breezed into our home, said “That conversation shouldn’t have happened last night!” and then breezed out again.
Out of the ashes though were a few salvageable memories. The love and laughter we shared with everyone else was lovely and we’ll cherish the fact that they were here with us on our Wedding Day. Junior’s friend turned out to be a great girl and we consider ourselves lucky to have met her. I hope she’ll come back sometime so we can show her what we’re really like.
So, there were some redeeming moments that we will try to focus on instead of the shitty way the day ended.
Hello friends! Welcome to Friday Fictioneers hosted by the incomparable Rochelle Wisoff-Fields. I had 100 words to tell a story about the photo above, taken by CEAyer.
A huge troll lived in a cave by a fjord. He loved the peace and quiet of the ocean. One day there was a terrible din across the water. Humans were building a church. He hated humans; worse, he hated churches!
He howled…..growled but the church was getting bigger and taller. Then bells, clanging, clanging, driving him mad.
He awoke one morning to the horrible sound of deafening bells and many humans singing. He could take no more. He picked up an immense boulder, hurled it across the fjord and squashed the church.
Then he went back to bed.
This is a much edited story from Denmark. A friend took me to see the Troll Stone at a nearby Kirke, complete with a plaque that tells the story. The Viking translated it for me so I could condense it down for this week’s challenge.
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Erik and Annette arrived in Edmonton smiling but exhausted while The Viking and I were almost jumping up and down with excitement. Almost. Because it’s unbecoming for Double D boobs to start flapping around in crowds – someone, other than myself, could get hurt and The Viking’s little jiggles would offer little distraction from my epic display. So we waited impatiently without jumping.
Then, through the sliding doors, behind a fussy little guy with a mountain of luggage, I caught a glimpse of Erik. “THERE THEY ARE!!!” The Viking pushed me out of the way so he could verify the sighting – like they were Yeti’s and I couldn’t be trusted with visuals.
We spent the night in a hotel near the airport then drove back to Calgary. The following day would begin the ‘Victoria or Bust’ Vacation/Honeymoon Tour. My legs were shaved, exfoliated and smeared with the best lotion available in the hopes that British Columbia sunshine would give them even the faintest of tans. My legs are tan-resistant, always glowing in the dark like they belong to a damned Vampire. Oddly, my feet tan just fine. I’m pretty sure I know why though.
“Yea, though I walk in the shadow of my boobs, my legs shall fear no sunburn: for the great boobies protect them from UV rays. Bugs will bite and thorns will scratch but no burn will afflict mine legs. Surely their whiteness shall beam for all the days of my life.”
Um…… where was I? Oh yes – travelling. It didn’t take us more than an hour and a half to completely corrupt Annette with Canadian food – Tim Hortons to be exact. A breakfast sandwich, a large double/double coffee and Tim Bits ruined her for life. And we didn’t do it just once either; we shoved that shit down her throat for a week before The Viking and Erik decided we had to stop with the Tim Bits. The breakfast sandwiches were still okay in their opinion but Annette and I would be starved of the doughnutty deliciousness until further notice. It was only on the final leg back to Calgary that the Doughnut Police finally decided we could have Tim Bits again.
“What. The fuck. Is that?!” Annette and I wanted to know when they showed up with coffee and a teeny, tiny, miniscule little box of Tim Bits – like they were for Ken and Barbie or something. The Viking was beaming like he was offering us gold bars while Erik nodded his participation in the offering.
The Viking: We thought that since this was the last day of our road trip we would treat you with Tim Bits.
Me: Did you do the math on this?
The Viking: The math?
Me: Yes. The math. There are 4 people in the vehicle and 20 Tim Bits. That means we only get 5 each!
The Viking: That’s enough, isn’t it?
Me: Oh, it most definitely isn’t enough! It might be months before I get Tim Bits again and you’re rationing us? What is this? War time or something? What if I put you on a licorice diet? Only allowed you 5 pieces of licorice once a day?
The Viking: That’s not the same thing at all!
Me: Yes it is! Erik and Annette brought you 83 pounds of candy from Denmark and that might have to last you for 2 years. It’s totally the same.
The Viking wouldn’t cave but Erik decided to watch his man-ly figure and generously donated his share of the Bits. Annette and I split them between us because The Viking didn’t deserve any more. I then proceeded to give him the stink eye all the way home.
We graced Vancouver Island with our presence for 3 days then we headed to Pentiction where we would tour Wineries and lay on the beach. That was our intention, but it didn’t actually work out that way. We hit one Winery, only stayed at the beach for an hour and a half before it clouded over, took a ride on an old historic train and got drunk a lot instead.
We did play Mini-Golf but Erik was like some sort of Pool Shark except with golf balls. Sure, he was humble while we were playing but when he announced that he beat all of us by a minimum of 6 strokes he couldn’t hide the Victory Grin.
I asked, “Is anyone else suspicious that the guy who kept score is also the one that won the game?” The last laugh was ours the next morning though when Erik developed painful Golfer’s Wrist; we had to find a splint to immobilize it. What cost the price of Victory?
After Mini Golf we went to a Chinese Buffet and the true difference between how the Danes treat Buffets and how Canadians (at least this Canadian) treat Buffets were glaring. Annette, The Viking and Erik carefully perused the food and picked out Fishy Stuff. I perused the food and picked out the stuff I liked and put it on my plate. Back at the table, my plate was full while their plates held only a few things. They all finished their first course and returned to the Buffet for their next.
I sat nibbling on my chicken balls, watching the progress of my companions. It took a moment for what I was seeing to sink into my brain. The Viking was first, Annette was second and Erik was bringing up the rear. Their movements were perfectly synchronized! They all took one step to the right in precise unison. They all put something on their plate (the hand movements were immaculately synced) and took another flawless step to the right. They repeated this amazing show the whole way around the Buffet!! This performance would have captured them a Gold Medal if it was an Olympic Event (we should make this an Olympic Event). No swim team could have matched the precision. They returned to the table, in-step, with a military precision Korean soldiers would envy.
“Um….I don’t know if you know this but that was an incredible display of The Buffet Shuffle.” I said. “I was completely entertained. Well done!”
Apparently they had never heard of The Buffet Shuffle so I had to explain the intricate steps and movements involved. I’ve been to a lot of Buffets in my life – my father is a huge fan – but I’ve never seen the Shuffle done so well. Unfortunately, I didn’t think to get my phone out and record it until it was too late. Equally unfortunate was the fact that when I went up to get another dumpling the only person I had to Shuffle with was a very tall, very skinny guy and he was more interested in the Ginger Beef than Shuffling. I did try though, but had to stop when he caught me trying to match his movements.
We gazed at mountains and glaciers, tramped through a forest, Erik watched whales and the rest of us communed with nature at The Butchart Gardens. We toasted bikers, toured a Miniature Land and browsed 317 gift shops. We saw the Hope Slide, the Enchanted Forest, Fisherman’s Wharf and a Water Fall that used to be free but now isn’t. Erik and The Viking drank Beer with Clamato Juice and Ceasars with abandon and then had the trots. They didn’t believe me when I told them it was the Clamato Juice so they had the trots for much longer than they needed too. Annette and I polished off two bottles of Lemon Gin and didn’t get the trots at all.
Most importantly, we had HYGGE. In abundance! We just spent time together and laughed and talked and were a family. It was one of the best times of my life. You know how sometimes you spend time with people but after a few days you want to shoot them in the face? Well, this wasn’t one of those things. It was bliss instead.
We arrived home to two very love-y cats who refused to let any of us out of their sight for two days. That was fine because we had only a day and a half to prepare for my Wedding. Thank goodness Annette is a brilliant Hair Stylist. Also thankfully, she is a calm and serene island in the middle of my Stress Mess.