Thursday, 29 January 2015



Of Aphorisms, Euphemisms and Bullshit


There was during the 90s a line of skater-punk clothing called No Fear. My friend Paul who’s generally miserable unless he’s listening to the Stranglers, riding his Harley or watching Man U on the pitch envisioned a more realistic competing brand designed exclusively for the vast majority of people: Scared Shitless.


Yesterday was the day of many errands. Though January in central Alberta has been alarmingly tropical, winter is still the time for interior projects as summer’s lease hath all too short a date. I’ve big plans for a portion of our basement, plans so big that someone who knew what they were doing might spend a couple of days seeing them through to fruition. But me, I have to gird to even over-think the job at hand and that process can take up to a week. I’m as plodding and potentially as useless as a Royal Commission. Still, I’d stood around in the basement doing little more than sipping a beer long enough to know that we had to hit the marketplace for crucial supplies.


The hardware department clerk, pardon me, retail associate, at Canadian Tire is unsure of her inventory. And tools on sale and advertised in the weekly flyer? Ain’t that peculiar. No, she herself doesn’t have a copy of the flyer, doesn’t know what’s in it, but we can get one ourselves somewhere, a pixie hand waves, over there. Lady, it’s a big fucking store; where is there? Appreciate your help. Thanks.


Our cashier does not exhibit any obvious passion for celebrating life in Canada. In fact, he may be the most morose member of the Canadian Tire family. Pardon me, this item’s on sale, it’s advertised in the circular. No, it’s not. It’s displayed on your centre power aisle. Go get me the sign. Dude, you sullen, mealy-mouthed little shit, we’re the customers here.


If our two engaged CT souls were employed by Target, they would be doomed team members. How the fuck did Target fuck up against fucking inbred competition like this!? I mean, the insane Soviet utilitarian hell of Costco is a warmer, more satisfying shopping experience. And I fucking hate Costco the way Ahab hated the whale or Khan hated Kirk or Dave Davies of the Kinks hates his brother and band leader Ray. Fuck.


I hate painting too. I have recently learned however that good quality house paint is worth paying for. Its application is easier and if you do a decent job, you won’t have to do it again for a long, long while. Painting requires planning and girding. We require a fresh gallon of Benjamin Moore Prairie Lily, a muted red I’d describe as ‘brick’ but I’m neither a designer nor an interior decorator. The guys and girl working the counter and mixing the paint know their product and they don’t seem to have Human Resources titles imposed upon them; I search happily in vain for an Eggshell Colour Expert Team Member Sales Associate.


But. The paint store just doesn’t sell paint, brushes, rollers and drop sheets. No, it also sells lifestyle. This means ceramic or stone do-dads or framed signs that read Family Friendship Love Happiness in various uplifting fonts. Are we so detached and self-absorbed that we must decorate our homes with trite reminders of fundamental human values? Don’t follow your dreams, chase them! Fuck me, there’s probably an app for this Lululemon-like motivational, inspirational bullshit.

Paint the sky, make it yours. Floss! If you reach the end of your rope I sincerely hope you’re dangling from a joist in your garage. May you always do what you are afraid to do. And after it all goes horribly wrong, Paul will gladly sell you a t-shirt.

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