First of the season

Town day yesterday.  Same ol’, same ol’.  Trek in, run around, split-when-exhausted and dog-schlep the last leg to load stuff in-and-out-of-the-boat as dusk turns to dark.  That part is now routine monthly restocking and somewhat normal going for us. But yesterday was the first big storm of the nasty season.  Lots of dire warnings.

We were trying to be quick-like-bunnies. The idea was to start early, get it all done and escape the worst of it before it comes down like the hammer of Thor. And we mostly succeeded.  Soaked to the skin but setting a fire in the house just as the skies opened and dumped a literal waterfall, we did manage to beat the worst of it. Biggest plus was getting unloaded while the seas were still calm.

Can’t say as I was calm the whole day, myself, tho.

We so much appreciate the extra effort that town-folks usually give outer-islanders when they know you are on a ‘town-day’  Their usually casual and molasses pace picks up and they help you keep to schedule.  As a rule.  But, as a rule, we do not ‘play’ the outer-islander card unless stressed or simply by way of explaining why ‘coming back tomorrow’ doesn’t work for us.  It’s all usually pretty good.

So good, in fact, I decided to try calling ahead to have orders ready this time.  You know, storm and all?

That didn’t work.  The doctor’s office was supposed to call the pharmacy days before (even with an extra reminder the day before) but hadn’t.  Sal placed the call back to them while standing in front of the pharmacist who was annoyed that Sal was using the phone!  The doctor’s receptionist said, “Oh!  Oh, yeah.  I’ll do it now.”

That’s pathetic.  Sal would have been quicker carrying the paper.  That little hiccup added over an hour to the trip.  Why?  Because our order had to go into the ‘queue’ as per store policy.

I needed some more lumber and parts.  So, I called the BIG store and made the order.  “It will all be here except we don’t cut lumber til you are present.”  “OK.  Fair enough.  But every time I do that, your ‘cutter’ seems to be on a break or has disappeared.  Takes forever.  I’ll pay double.  Can you get it done?”  “Sorry sir, against store policy but tell me when you are coming in and I will make sure our guy is there.”  I told him.  And I went there.  And the guy was there.  17 years old.  First day on the job.  Couldn’t find the wood.  Barely found the saw.  Worked like a sloth on Valium.

He had to cut four sheets of plywood in half lengthwise.  I saw him do one.

“Yo! Dude.  Small hint:  You can run all four sheets at once.  Saves time, makes better cuts and all the pieces are the same.”

“Huh?  Sorry, sir, you are not supposed to be on that side of the line……..”  So, I stepped off.  That transaction took 50 minutes.  If I waited for him to lash the materials to the car, we’d still be there.

Last stop was to check in at the doctor’s office.  She had forgotten to get a BP reading while on her ‘remote rounds’ the other day and they love BP readings.  I like her so I was willing to do that.  But, knowing me, if I had to sit in the waiting room for no bloody reason for more than ten minutes, my readings would be off the scale.

AND I had just experienced an unforgettable hour with sloth-boy and then the always frustrating BC ferry.

“How ’bout I just tell you what my blood pressure is and we can all save time?”  

“I’ll just be a sec,” said the nurse, as she wrote in a file and ate some apple slices.

“Sit in the chair with armrests and we can do it in the waiting room.”

I sat.  Calmed myself down and started counting back from 600 (that’s ten minutes). I have had a personal policy for years: I keep my appointments.  Always.  You (whoever you are) get a 15 minute ‘allowance’.  After that, I am gone.  That applies to doctors, lawyers, gangsters and royalty as much as it does to anyone.  I keep my appointments. And I leave if you don’t keep yours.  She was quick enough, tho, but she could see I was ‘verging’ on leaving.

“Tough day?”

“Town day.  Always stressful.  Makes me tense.  And tense makes me grouchy. Grouchy makes me dangerous (i then growled at her).  I am generally a lot sweeter than this.  Cuter, too.  I’d try to get more likable for ya but that would take time and would actually make me worse.”

“Hahahaahahah……..”  (She thought I was joking)..“You said that you could guess your blood pressure…?”

“Yeah.  Days like this, 145/90.  Days at home: 120/80.”

“OK, let’s see…………………wow!  117/74.  Looks like you are handling the day rather well.”

13 thoughts on “First of the season

  1. Saw a biker walk into a florist shop and line up. He said in a loud voice, “Does someone have finger trouble?” Out from the back of the store came the manager and opened a new till. Got any biker gear?


    • Appreciate the sartorial suggestion but, well, I seem to achieve a dark glower when pressed and it, apparently, is visible….that sometimes works. The other day, I went into a shop and watched three clerks chat for a minute or two (laughing and smiling) before tentatively raising my hand like an elementary student. One of the slackers looked me right in the eye but they continued on languidly with their friendly chat. I walked out. As I was walking out , I heard, “Sir, sir? We’ll just be sec…”
      “Take your time. I don’t need anything that bad.”


    • Hell’s Disrupter? What disrupts hell? Peace and quiet? Smiles and kisses? You a lover? Or are you a disrupter working for Satan? Forcing chaos and disorder wherever you go? Either way, it is a helluva moniker. Definitely a title for a movie. Hmmmm….act one, scene one: ….a biker walks into a florist’s shop….


          • I was in rural village in PEI ( an oxymoron, the entire province is rural) a few weeks ago. Went to the local McDonalds to get a coffee. The place was dead. “Tim’s” is the place to be.
            Anywho. I stood in line behind 2 people waiting to order. I watched a lady, possible in her early 50’s behind the counter. She was gossiping with staff, gossiping with customers, gossiping with herself…..It took almost ten minutes to get to me……there were 5 people standing behind me. Her coworkers were beginning to see that the customers were about to turn into a mob.
            I was quietly livid.
            Had my money in my hand and steam was boiling from my ears.
            She looked up at me and said, ” I’m ready for your order”.
            I walked out.
            The rest of the people were laughing their heads off.


  2. About 30 years ago I was working for “team canada” aka E.I.
    I was sneaking down to Mexico for a few weeks and I had to drop off my pogey stubs at the local EI office before I left.
    Unbelievably dreadful lineups. 2 wickets out of 10 were open. 1.5 hour wait to see an E.I. adjudicator. It was brutal. Slothful, lazy, surly federal govt workers lording their authority over the unemployed peons …..Groups of them were standing in full view of everyone laughing and joking around a co workers desk . The grumbling in the waiting area was audible.
    Mexico was definitely the cure.
    Came back 2 weeks later and the place was a paragon of efficientcy?!?!?!?
    There were 10 staff at the wickets and no line ups?
    WTH had happend?
    Apparently whilst I was working on my tan in ole mexico someone in the “captive audience” aka the “bullpen” snapped at the long wait and the lazy staff.
    He grabbed a fireaxe off the wall , jumped over the counter and proceeded to smash and chop computors to bits. Screaming non stop at the staff. ….. Then he ran out.
    They never caught him………….
    Insanity sometimes does work.


    • “Hey! I wasn’t insane. I was just frustrated!”

      Well, that one WASN’T ME but I have gone over a few counters and desks in my day. Escorted off the lot at Busters Towing by Andre the giant and his bigger brother once. Another time when I was being stonewalled by excuses and owed a substantial sum, the secretary whispered, “We are going bankrupt. The last creditor threw a computer through a window to get a cheque…might work again.” So, I called the manager over and gave him the option: write the cheque and save a computer and a window. He wrote the cheque.
      Collecting the money from the bank was a whole other story in brinksmanship.


      • I stole my truck BACK from Busters Towing.
        was towed on a Friday night. Realized it at about 3am. walked to Busters and waited for the gate to open to let another “customers” car out of “jail”. I walked into the dark lot and found my truck at the front of the line. Hopped in and waited. A few minutes later a tow truck arrived with another “customers” car and they opend the gate to let him in and I started my truck and waited……tow truck in….





        • I met the owner of Busters a few years later at a Christmas Party. A really nice guy.
          He’s jewish and has the tattoo from a german concentration camp….tons of stories.
          I told him my story and he pissed himself laughing.


  3. We do weekly trips since it is easier for us to get to town (no tides but we do have wind waves to think about). Know what you mean about town trips being crazy making, cramming so much stuff into a little time, especially this time of year. – Margy


    • Struck a chord with us too! We do the monthly thing, and usually show up in Campbell River with a list longer than both our arms put together. We always try to schedule things that require waiting (appointments, line ups, etc.) first, while we still have some patience. We also have a galley, bunk, and head in our 24′ runabout, so when things get too hectic and we are driving back to Sayward at 9:00 pm in the dark, rain, wind, and other unpleasantness, we just crash in the boat rather than try to tackle crossing Johnstone Strait in the dark. It doesn’t completely alleviate the stress of “shopping day”, but it sure helps to inject a bit of sanity in into the madness.


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