Tuesday, 2 September 2014



Tuesday Night’s All Right for Complaining


September; is it me or does the sun suddenly seem a little cooler, the air a little sharper? The lawn seems to have stopped growing. Ann’s begun cutting back the garden. The harvest from our summer-long vegetable growing experiment still isn’t quite all in. We’ve got tomatoes, peppers, spaghetti squash… and zucchini.


Anybody want a zucchini? Seriously. It’s an amazingly versatile vegetable: delicious baked or barbecued; a key ingredient in salads, stir-fries, soups and sauces; a fine pizza topping, sandwich stuffer and it adds a certain je ne sais quois to scrambled eggs. Shredded zucchini ensures cakes and spicy loaves are always moist. You can use them as compost or sex toys. Anybody want a zucchini? Please?


There are mundane chores to be done before the frost. The stairs leading up to the back door must be sanded and stained. The wrought iron railings repainted. The garage has to be cleaned out and reorganized. The patio umbrellas must be stored along with all of the flower pots. I’ve already washed all of our windows inside and out, the vehicles too, with oil changes and winter tires yet to come.


Everything is not completely melancholy. Canadian football and professional baseball have reached the stage in their schedules when the games begin to matter a little bit more. Hockey’s just around the corner and the Canadiens are unbeatable at this moment in time. The good news is that the boys are back in town and we’ve got our Tuesday night quorum of four cranky men once again.


Jack has returned to Alberta after four years in Texas. He is reacquainting himself with the province’s healthcare system. Sometimes I think he scrolls through WEB M.D. and ticks off the illnesses, diseases and syndromes he hasn’t had yet. Stats Guy spent his summer holidays in the British Columbia Interior caring for his aged mother; it was touch and go there for a while. He believes anything unrelated to James Bond, baseball or Canadian university hockey is communist: tough to argue as it’s tough to get a word in. Ray is an artist, a sculptor. He’s just returned from a lucrative artist-in-residence gig at a chi-chi resort. I’ve sat beside him on a hockey bench and gagged as he smacked his separated shoulder back into place.

From now until the onset of next summer we are going to taste test every $12 hamburger available in Edmonton. We will criticize the presentation of the food and the temperature of the beer. We will talk amongst ourselves. We will watch TV and mutter. We will attempt to flirt with waitresses less than half our age. We gather tonight on Bourbon Street in the West Edmonton Mall. A new year is underway. I’m looking forward to seeing the guys again. As a token of my esteem, each manjack will be presented with a fresh zucchini. It’s the least I can do.

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