Wednesday, April 05, 2006

04-03-2006 -- patio times

F-f-f-f-fuck it; no matter how cold it gets, I’m not going back downstairs into the warm womb of the Black Dog. Just a couple minutes ago, I was proudly glowing on about the marvelous spring-mania of Edmonites, how the minute the mercury (or coiled bi-metal, or red-tinted alcohol) gives double-digits a kiss on the cheek we squeeze our fishbelly winterflab into beachwear and pretend it’s summer, and I’m not going to swallow that pride just because the sun’s gone behind a few clouds... and the horizon. I’ve put in the screen door, I’ve washed my Cuban and Hawaiian (Tahitian, actually) shirts and I’ve switched seasonal beers (Lucky rather than Bowen Island; ‘cause the can’s lighter-colored, right?)… it’s summer, damnit, and if my core-body temperature can’t deal with it, that’s just too freezin’ bad.

See, this kind of guns-sticking is part of my new “What Would Ralph Do?” policy, a sort of personal alternative Klein Legacy. Since I haven’t yet filed my taxes for ’04 I haven’t been able to drink up the Legacy everyone else has been swilling, so I had to come up with a tribute that didn’t cost any money, and what could be a more fitting tribute to The King than becoming a stubborn conservative? You whining libs ought to try it sometime; it’s really easy, especially when you’ve got enough cash lying around to handle almost any problem – any problem that can’t be shot, shoveled and shut up about -- by cutting it a check and telling it to solve itself.

What were we talking about? Oh, yeah… seasonal weather. As a lazy columnist, this is one of a my favorite weeks in the year, the others being the first week I see a pretty girl in a cozy earth-toned wool sweater, the first week I freeze my ass off, and the first week I sleep naked in a hammock because my west-facing bedroom’s hot enough to braise lamb. I feel a little awkward about it this year, though, since Ralph’s victory lap was cut short. Walking through the river valley with my new pals Henry and Martha, I couldn’t admire the balmy browns of spring without reminding myself that the premier was sitting (fun factoid: in private, Ralph never stands) somewhere even balmier and browner considering, as they say, his options.

I’m not talking about his options vis-à-vis leaving office; there were no options there, ever. His good lady wife and whoever else can shriek all they want about shadowy forces and betrayal and backstabbing, but not even Big Dinner has enough malevolent psychic mojo to mass-hypnotize a conventionload of conservatives into pulling out the knives against their will. The writing was on the wall, and we all know the premier can read... how else could he plagiarize? I just feel bad he got cashiered before he could fully fluff up his private-hospital featherbed.

No, the options I’m talking about are the ones familiar to anybody who truly enjoys the good things God’s Green can provide. That is to say, beer or wine… or perhaps the “third way”: hard liquor. Returning to severely normal Henryhood, out of the eye of the public and a gotcha-playing media that just loves to blow something like a limousine-driven drunken tirade against a couple of bums all out of proportion, Ralph will soon be free to enjoy as many glasses of wine with as many dinners for as many days in a row as he likes. The only time he’ll have to climb back on any kind of wagon is when he goes on Stampede hayrides, and even then nobody – nobody right-thinking -- will tut-tut when he pulls a mickey from under Colleen’s bonnet and has a little nip or twenty. I mean, when a man’s given so much to the people of this province, doesn’t he deserve a drink in his dotage? For Pete’s sake, people!

I’m raising an unopened can of Lucky I found under the couch, Ralph; I was a nervous virgin and a social drinker when you first brought your smile and style to The Office, and now I’m a confident drunk who’s been fucked for twelve years. Here’s to you, my liege!

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