Meth? No thanks, I’ll stick to egg salad.

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“I’ve gotta quit hanging out in the ghetto.”  That’s what I should be saying to myself.  Luckily, I have no plans to ever quit, so this blog shall carry on!  This story is from a long time ago, and I mean a LONG time ago. 2013 maybe?  It was summer time, about 9:00 on a Saturday night, and I had just arrived at the home of the girl I was dating at the time.  Once again, this all takes place on South Hill in Moose Jaw… Shocker…  Anyways, I get to her house, she’s got no food, I’m hungry, and Fast Orange needs fuel.  I decide to go to the Subway a few blocks away for a sandwich, which conveniently has a Co-op gas station next door.  Perfect… Right?  Of course not.  Nothing is ever perfect.

So I get to the sandwich shop, and I’m telling the sandwich artist how I want it assembled, when this crack-head looking fella comes bouncing through the door.  Now, I’m no drug-addict expert, so let me describe him:  He’d look tall from far away because he was so skinny, but up close he was maybe 5’8″.  He had on a t-shirt that was white once, old pill-balled basketball shorts, worn-out running shoes, and no socks.  His hair was reddish-brown, almost an afro, and his facial hair was short, thin, and incomplete.  His teeth, or tooths, rather, were bad.  Really bad.  He had glasses as well, but they don’t ring any comical alarm bells.  “Hey, whose truck is that outside?”  he asked, immediately concerning me, as Fast Orange was the only truck out there, and I figured he’d crashed into it.  “The orange Chevy?”  I replied.  “It’s mine.  You didn’t hit it, did you?”  What can I say?  Modesty doesn’t get anyone anywhere…  “Haha, no man, but we need to talk.”  Perfect…  All I wanted was a damn egg salad sandwich and a tank full of regular unleaded.

So I go outside to talk to him, and he’s circling my truck pointing out all the imperfections.  Nice.  The paint color was wrong, the interior wasn’t restored correctly, blah blah blah…  I haul garbage with it, and built it on a budget that virtually wasn’t there.  He proceeds to tell me that his uncle runs a shop, and that they’d buy it, fix it up, and sell it again, as it looked like a profitable project.  He had a real way of sweet-talking me.  “Now, I don’t have the cash on me right now, man,”  he said with a euphoric confidence, “but I’m prepared to pay up to $7000.”  I laughed.  How could I not? I’d just spent $3000 on wheels and tires.  “$7000?”  I could hardly get the words out.  “Get bent dude.”  I continued laughing, as he stared at me in stunned silence.  The assistant sandwich artist who was outside for a smoke was laughing, the guy at the corner on his cell phone waiting for a cab was laughing, and Crystal Meth Customs just stared, completely oblivious to the fact that I had no counter-offer.  “Well man,”  he said, still stunned.  “You might have more into it, but that’s all that it’s worth.  Guess we don’t have a deal today.”  Then he took off…  On foot!  A pedestrian wheeler-dealer with no cash or socks.  Not only did he take off on foot, he took off in the direction I was going to head after I got fuel.  I never went to the Co-op that night.  Instead, I fueled up at the Husky about thirty-five blocks north of there, went another twenty blocks east, and took the long way back to avoid seeing him again.  Guess who was in trouble for taking almost two hours to get a sandwich?  It’s okay though, as I was just dating her “at the time”, and that time has long since passed.

Girls, Golden Wedding, and Gasoline.

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Let’s set the scene:  September long weekend, 2016, and I’m traveling through Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan.  I’m on my way to go camping with everyone in the car club.  Fast Orange is loaded up with all the necessities, and I’ve just bought enough food and liquor to get me through the entire weekend.  It ‘s hot and sunny, mid-to-high 20’s on the Celsius side, I’d say, and I’m single and childish enough to know that I want ice cream for lunch.  Snow Hut it is!  For those of you that don’t know, Snow Hut is thee ice cream institution in Moose Jaw.  Regina has Milky Way, Saskatoon has that little Dairy Queen on 8th, Craven has Snack Shack, and Moose Jaw has Snow Hut.  It’s located on the northbound one-way by the underpass and low-income housing on the east side of South Hill.  Clear enough?  It’s actually a long ways out of my way on a trip like that, but they have Tiger Tiger ice cream in the five-gallon pail just like when I was a kid, and be damned if I’m going to settle for Dairy Queen with that even reasonably close.  Not only that, but I wouldn’t have witnessed the scene I’m about to tell you about at the apartment building across the street if I’d stopped at DQ.

I lived in Moose Jaw around 2008/2009.  I lived downtown behind the Safeway in a tiny little apartment with no lobby and shared laundry.  It sucked, so I was rarely ever there.  I worked with about forty people so there were bound to be a few decent ones worth hanging out with after 6:00, right?  One night, one of them invited a bunch of us over to his place for drinks.  He was a really soft-spoken guy, and always very polite around the ladies.  His sense of humour was absolutely perverse in an all-male crowd, and his love for cigarettes and gambling was over-shadowed only by his more secretive love of loose women, weed, and cocaine.  His apartment was up two flights of sketchy wooden stairs, which were located on the outside of the building. They bounced and shook so bad that I was positive they were anchored solely to the vinyl siding.  Once inside, the smell of cigarettes and piss tingled the nostrils.  The kitchen table and chairs were white plastic patio furniture, heavily yellowed with age, and the centerpiece was a coffee can half-full of cigarette butts.  The kitchen/living room partition was plywood with wallpaper on it, and the living room doubled as the bedroom.  I chose not to check out the bathroom…  I can only imagine the horrors.  Why is all of this so important?  It’s the very same apartment that this story took place in.

Back to present-day.  I’m sitting on the tailgate of Fast Orange, enjoying my two-scoop Tiger Tiger cone, when this little grey Chevy Cavalier comes flying by.  It cranks a dirty lane change across all lanes of traffic, grinding the front driver-side wheel and tire into the curb.  A young lady gets out of the driver seat, roughly my age, wearing a tank top and pajama pants, hair a mess, and she may have even had slippers on (keep in mind I’m having late lunch, and it’s almost 4:00pm).  She marched up the stairs in a rage, flung open the door of the apartment, and started screaming at whomever was unfortunate enough to be inside.  I was getting a free show!

After about five grueling minutes, she stormed back out, only she now had cargo.  In her left hand, the bottom half of a sixty-pounder of Golden Wedding whiskey.  In her right hand, a one-gallon gas can.  The bottle of whiskey got tossed into the back seat of the car, while the gas can was left safely on the curb.  She didn’t leave, though…  Oh no, she wasn’t done.  She marched back up those stairs (still shaky, fyi), and screamed for another five minutes at least before storming back down, tossing the gas can on the front passenger seat, and leaving the scene with the go pedal buried into the carpet.  Whoever she was screaming at never did make an appearance, so who knows, maybe it was the same guy I used to work with?  Regardless, next time I’m in Moose Jaw for lunch, I’m eating at Snow Hut. I like the atmosphere and the live entertainment.

 

Wiener-Burgers and Chicken Nugget Hot Dogs…

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If you know this story just from the title, then you lived it, as I don’t think any of us that were there have ever told the whole thing.  Let’s set the scene:  a car show in Glendive, Montana set smack-dab in the middle of a two-day bender.  Take a second and look it up on the map…  Glendive isn’t exactly the most popular tourist spot on Earth.  Anyways, Friday night we arrived, and three of us decided to check out downtown.  What goes on in Glendive, Montana on a Friday night in June?  NOTHING!  Somewhere around five bars were open, and there weren’t enough people in any of them to fill the stools.  Brutal.  The only saving grace was the fact that one of us didn’t drink, and we didn’t have to walk.

The show went on all day Saturday, and what better to finish off a Saturday with than a Saturday night?  This time, however, all three of us were ready to party, so we walked.  How far was our motel from the bar district, you ask?  Two miles.  This was the Delila’s Donair walk three years or so prior…

It goes without saying, that once we got downtown, we were thirsty.  The first bar we stopped in was your typical, small-town, alcoholics/VLT’s/hurting country music type of place.  A solid one-beer establishment.  NEXT!  Round two took us to a night club, but not just any night club, as this was the place that people went when they got thrown out of every other establishment.  There was a dude outside wearing a wife-beater with a pink skinny tie, and he was bleeding… A little bit from everywhere judging by the lack of legit white on his ribbed beater.  There was a chick with a Mohawk that I was 100% convinced was a dude.  There was another chick (the prettiest one, fyi) whose ribcage was deeper than it was wide, like it was installed sideways.  She had thin, stringy, dark hair, and your typical meth-addict teeth.  At one point in all of this, the cops pulled up to talk to bloody-beater-tie.  The only thing he had to say was “why are you guys always harassing me?”  Guess he felt he looked fine…  We went in for one awkward drink, the same as the previous place. NEXT!

There was only one more bar within reasonable walking distance (reasonable meaning we weren’t walking further than the two miles we’d already covered).  When we got there, we’d found our place!  It was a Legion, of sorts.  Kind of like an Eagles Club, not really a private bar, per se, but a relaxed, well-lit, cheap place to get drunk.  We were home!

Once inside, we were overcome by the smell of warm food, cheap scotch, and urine.  There were flags, medals, old pictures on the walls, and even a giant banner that read “Weinberger Family”. Um, we just crashed a family reunion…  By accident…  Oddly, no one asked us to leave, nor did anyone tell us we’d done anything wrong.  Did they think we were family?  Did they not care?  I think shots of Southern Comfort were two bucks, so we weren’t saying a word.  I’m not sure how long we sat there drinking cheap drinks, but I’m going to say a couple hours.  They had home-made munchie mix and custom koozies, how could we bail on an event like that?  A couple of non-local oil riggers actually came in by mistake as well, and ended up joining us at our table for the exchange of some solid drinking tales.

When we left, we planned on getting a cab to save the two mile walk.  Not necessary, as the oil riggers had a sweet Chevy crew cab pickup with one door and rocker panel caved in (they also had names, but this story is old and it’s all long gone).  We opened the doors, slid the assortment of rifles, shotguns, beer, engery drinks and chew cans to the middle, and were on our way. Not wanting to call it a night on an empty stomach, we stopped at the gas station for some munchies, and of course some cold offsale.  Now, I’m a vegetarian, so I just bought some Doritos and cheese dip, but for omnivores, Montana has so much more to offer.  Taquitos?  Check!  Shiny rotating footlong wieners?  Check!  Wedge fries with nowhere near enough dipping sauce or seasoning?  Check!  This place knocked it outta the park!  They had one item, however, that only one of us dared order…  The chicken nugget hot dog.  That’s right, a mechanically de-boned portion of chicken mixed into a slurry, extruded into the form of a hot dog, breaded and battered, and placed onto a hot dog bun.  Delicious…  Or not.  After that, we left the gas station, headed back to the motel, hung out in the parking lot for a while, and that was it.  We never saw the oil riggers again, nor did we ever see another chicken nugget hot dog.  All I have to remember the night by is my koozie, and now this blog entry.

 

 

Do they call it a stampede stamp?

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Sometimes, it starts as innocently as a regular Wednesday at work…  Except this was not a regular Wednesday, oh no, this one will go down in the history books as why one should always carry a camera.  Oh, before you go jumping to conclusions, this is not about boobs.

Midway through the afternoon, a cowboy needed some yard stuff loaded up into his busted-ass diesel truck.  He was your typical cowboy: skinny, short (stood tall with his shit-kickers on), grubby wranglers with a big dirty chew ring, and a t-shirt that was probably funny a decade ago.  Top it all off with a felt cowboy hat, gas station sunglasses, and a handlebar moustache, and you’ve got yourself the stereotypical Saskatchewan, mid-twenties cowboy.  “The orange Chevy yours?” he asked, obviously knowing I was the only one on staff when I greeted him, acted as cashier, and loaded up his purchases… “Yeah.  It’s a ’72.  350, Turbo 350, 12-bolt 3.73, non-posi.” I replied, hopefully answering any follow-up questions he might have.  “I’ve seen this truck around,” he said, “and it ain’t no 350.  Pop the hood, I’ll show ya.”  Dick…

So I pop the hood and stand back so mister expert Chevy-small-block-face can prove me right.  I’d recently wire-brushed the numbers clean myself to see what it actually was, and it turned out to be a 350 with mis-matched 305 heads.  Would’ve lost that bet…  That being said, I live off protein shakes, cheap beer, caffeine, and nachos, so I lack the knowledge-rich vitamins that come in a can of Skoal…  Anyways, this guy is bent WAY over the grille of my truck, his head way back by the heater box on the passenger side.  I have no idea what he thought he’d find back there, but as he reached way down, his shirt climbed way up, exposing his identifying mark:  A lower back tattoo!  Some sort of symbol from one of the Asian alphabets, roughly twice the size of a Skoal can, right above his Wranglers!

I was taken back at this point.  The world stopped spinning, I couldn’t breathe, I didn’t want to start laughing, and I certainly couldn’t pay attention to whatever he was trying to tell me about my dressed-up junkyard engine.  There he was, totally confident in educating me, while all I can think about is how he likely thinks his tattoo says “courage”, when it more-than-likely says “dump load here”.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m not a lower-back tattoo hater, nor am I one to call them all out as “tramp stamps”, but fellas, for the love of God, anywhere but there.  I wanted to get a blacklight out and check it for DNA evidence.  I’m confident my research would’ve proven more successful than his did…  The moral of this story, you ask?  Always carry a notepad for the story, but also carry a camera for the proof of the truth.

At least there was pizza…

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Just because there isn’t some sort of car event on, doesn’t mean we can’t get together and have a few drinks.  This past weekend, a few of us decided to attend the last roller derby bout of the season, or in reality, the last after-party.  As usual, there was a lot of cheap beer, and a fairly early departure time.  Where does one go at midnight?  Downtown, of course!  O’Hanlon’s Irish Pub was way too packed to party, so we legged it down the street to a little place called The Fat Badger.  It was definitely a better crowd for us, despite the fact that my beer ended up with a cigar floating in the bottom like the worm in tequila.  It was nearing 1:30am, so I finished my Coors Light with ash garnish (I left the filter, though), and we made our way north to the bar district.

It took literally forever to get there, and I’m pretty sure it’s uphill the whole way…  We’re car guys, walking is not our thing!  It was louder and darker downtown, but really, it wasn’t any better.  What a waste of a night…  Just when we were ready to call a cab, a guy walked by with a flyer.  “Delila’s Donair, Pizza & Hookah Lounge.  Open until 4:00am”.  Sold!  It didn’t seem like that long of a walk, so the three of us set out on another leg of our un-adventurous adventure.

We misjudged,  it felt like we walked forever (2.5 miles total, as a matter of fact), but we made it to Delila’s by about 3:30.  Two of us ordered pizzas, and the other one ordered a donair I think?  He asked for extra pickles, and in the awesomest way possible, he got extra pickles.  Nope, not on the donair, but rather a big handful stacked on the plate beside it.  I forgot to take a picture, sadly…  The music was odd, the décor was dark, the air smelled of smoking water, and we were the only ones who spoke English in the entire place, but it was the highlight of the night.  Had I a good grasp on Russian or German, I may have been able to ask how the Hookah was, but I guess I’ll just leave that review up to any of my readers who dare to try it.  I recommend going after midnight, you might even see me there on a Saturday night…  After all, where else are you going to get an amazing pizza in an international atmosphere at that hour?

 

The Flea Market Was Closed…

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Grab yourself six tall cans in the plastic seagull catcher, this is a long one.  To understand this story, I have to start way back in 2011, when two other NSSR members, along with myself, went to the Goodguys Great Northwest Nationals in Spokane, Washington.  On the way home, we stopped at a hillbilly flea market in Idaho, where the vendors lived in tents behind their tables.  I purchased a pair of Christmas decorations from a lady who could best be described as “Ozzy Osbourne with tits”. They were made from PBR cans (tallboys, obviously), sharp on all edges, and contained no bonus contraband inside of them (I looked).  She invited me into her tent to do Jell-O shots, and had I not had to cross the border without sunglasses in thirty miles, I may have taken her up on the offer.

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Ever since that day, they’ve hung from the ductwork above my bar, reminding me of both the awesome trip and the Ozz-Woman.  Fast-forward five years, and there we were, headed back to Spokane once again. It was the same three guys, the other two with dates, myself with a flash drive packed only with the hardest of rock.  There was a catch, though, as our Calgary member had terrible news:  The flea market had been shut down.  I guess whoever owned the land chased them off to parts unknown, meaning no more dickering, no more barrels of shotguns, and no more Ozz-Woman…  That was it, I was getting a tattoo.  Maybe not my best quick decision, but it certainly would always be there to remind me of the trip.

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Fast-forward once again to the Saturday of the Goodguys event.  I had called a few days ahead to a place in old downtown, and told the guy on the phone that I could be there in the afternoon.  He told me to show up any time after 3:00pm, so I left the show at 3:00pm on what was supposed to be a fourteen minute journey.  Long story short, I had a Google fail, didn’t account for the one way streets, and got there at about 3:30pm. Even though 3:30 is still technically after 3:00pm, the door was locked and the lights were out.  The dude in the store next door told me he hadn’t seen any activity there all afternoon, and that I was likely out of luck.  My only saving grace was that he mentioned there was a tattoo guy in the back of the hairdressing shop down the street next to the coin wash… A bit sketchy, but what the heck, right?

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CLOSED! Lights out! Door locked! Strike Two!  God had it in for me that day, I thought…  I threw in the towel, got in my truck, cranked up Rancid’s first album, and headed south down Division street, the one-way street that messed me up previously.  On that street, I saw the most glorious hitchhiker I’ve ever seen in my entire life.  He looked kind of like Kelso off That 70’s Show, no shirt, sweat pants, sleeping bag over his shoulder, and a sign.  On that sign, there was only truth, it read “Headed south.  Have sleeping bag and weed”.  Brutal honesty, ladies and gentlemen.  Had I been heading further south than Sprague, I would’ve picked him up just to share the story.

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As I made my way further south, I noticed a little red 50’s Dodge Cornet out of the corner of my eye.  It was a two-door hardtop, and on the side in giant letters it read “TATTOO”.  As I slammed on the brakes and simultaneously changed lanes twice without signalling, I managed to avoid running over a cyclist and make my way into the parking lot, laying the front crossmember and both exhaust pipes into the concrete hard.  I parked, shut the truck off, and observed silently.  The neon sign said open, and someone was just getting into his car with a freshly shrink-wrapped leg.  Be still my beating heart…  Could this actually be working out?

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I got out of my truck, walked inside, and went up to the counter.  “Do you do walk-ins?” I asked.  “Yeah, whaddayagot?” he replied.  I laid out a picture in front of him.  It was a picture of Jay Adams.  He was a skateboarding hero of mine when I was a kid, and he’d passed away two years earlier, almost to the day.  On his chest, he had a piece that I always liked.  It was an oddly drawn skateboard cross with the words “100% Skateboarder” underneath.  I wanted a tribute to that, but with wrenches and the word “Hotrodder”, as I have a skateboard that I’m both hopeless and dangerous on.  He drew it up real quick in MS Word, using wrench clip art that he found on Google.  The font I wanted didn’t have numbers associated with it, so he offered to draw the “100%” freehand.  When I saw the fine, plain, black numbers in a smaller mis-matched font, it reminded me of a liquor label, so I told him to leave it for comic relief.  I almost had him change it to 100 Proof Hotrodder…

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He finalized the drawing, we agreed on a price, and I sat down in the chair.  The walls of his little room were covered in punk rock stickers, and a giant Ramones poster was displayed proudly in the corner.  There were shelves covered in 80’s toys, and Happy Gilmore was ready to start playing on the television.  The background music was the entire Rise Against discography, or at least I assume it was, as nothing else was ever played in the two hours I was in the chair.  This wasn’t an accident, everything happens for a reason, and I was supposed to get it done here all along.

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In those two glorious hours, I found out the guy doing the work on me not only worked there, he also owned the shop, not to mention another one across town.  The Cornet was his first car sign, and at his other location he had an early 50’s Bel Air with the same graphics.  His daily driver was sitting outside as well, a 46-48 Chevy Stylemaster street rod.  I was getting a hot rod tattoo from a hotrodder.  Not only was he a hotrodder, he also owned a punk rock club back in the day. Seriously.  Those two hours ended up  being all old cars and punk rock, and those two strikes with locked doors ended up getting me a home run at the third stop.

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That was all a month ago now, and not a morning goes by that I don’t walk by my PBR can decorations to the bathroom, look in the mirror, and laugh at how awesome my liquor label skateboarder tribute is.  The flea market being closed?  Oh well, after writing this, I’m over it.

The wrong side of the tracks feels so right sometimes…

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Over the past six weeks or so, my career direction has changed drastically, and I’ve decided to grab life by the short-and-curlies, and see if I can’t take my writing to a higher level of international awesomeness.  As I write this, I have a pina colada Rockstar on the go, and Metallica cranked up to eleven.  If that’s not deep into the secondaries, I don’t know what is…  Anyways, I started this blog to show the world how awesome hot-rodding can be.  It’s not all drive-in trays, poodle skirts, and crying baby dolls out there anymore kids, it can make you feel alive like rock-and-roll, and I like it.  There’s live music, licensed after-parites, lowbrow art, and a whole lot more that never gets the coverage it deserves, and that’s just the beginning of what this whole thing is about.

The big shows are put on in the big cities, but rarely is there any reporting done outside of the fairground gates.  Ever see a primered ’57 Chevy in a yard in the old part of town, but were too scared to talk to the guy about it?  How about that first-gen Camaro that you’ve always wanted to ask about, but you’re not sure if the chain on that Rottweiler is strong enough to keep him away from the door?  This blog is based on each and every experience that I’ve had in the past thirteen years, just like those two examples, with plenty more to come!  If you’re still reading this, grab a drink and check back regularly, as it’s always an adventure when the secondaries are wide open…