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.