I am a twenty-something prairie boy who lives on the west coast. i love red wine, live jazz and spaghetti bolognese. i work full-time at an itailan restaurant and am in a part-time relationship with netflix. if you love to laugh and treat yourself to multiple night-caps this is the site for you.

 

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    Tuesday
    Jan212014

    a time to thrill: redneck disneyland

    I kid you not, but the majority of my childhood was spent in the back seat of a Navy Blue Dodge Station Wagon. My dad was a Pilot in the Canadian Air Force, so at a very young age I grew accustomed to moving boxes and tape guns. By the time I was seven, I had lived in Ottawa, Los Angeles, Toronto and Winnipeg. For the longest time I believed a house was not a home unless it had a swimming pool and ice machine.

    Fast-forward twenty years later and here I was again, in the back seat of my father’s rental Nissan. The air conditioning was blasting as we pulled on to the I-40 and left Nashville en route to Memphis. In days gone by, I would have been singing show tunes and throwing stuffed animals over the front seat, except I was tired and still hungover from the last four years of my life.

    As we meandered in to the backwoods of Tennessee, I was intrigued by the adventure that was coming upon us. Imagining myself to be deep within the pages of a John Grisham novel, I dreamed of all the dead bodies and salacious secrets that were buried in the steady stream of green outside my window. Daydreaming bestsellers and box-office hits, I closed my eyes and drifted in to sleep.

    Before I knew it, I opened my eyes to find us cruising down Elvis Presley Boulevard and coming to a complete stop at Graceland. Stepping outside the car, I almost fainted when I got my first taste of real Southern Heat. Without a fedora or parasol to shield myself, I reached in to my bag Hunter and began slathering myself with SPF 45. I had not experienced such warmth since my summers on the prairies.

    My lips were dry, my mouth was parched and my eyes were spotted in black. Feigning heat stroke, I knew a cold pint was my only salvation. I look around for a “COLD BEER” sign but all I could see was a hotel named Heartbreak and a jet plane called Lisa Marie. Finally, my eyes rested upon my best bet within walking distance, the Rock N Roll Café.

    “Dearest father and most gracious mother,” I beckoned to my parents. Wiping the sweat from my brow, I carried on, “I think it best that we indulge ourselves in a quick bevy before carrying forth in to Mr. Presley’s mansion.”

    Fortunately, we were all on the same page and proceeded to make a b-line for the entrance. Placing one suede shoe inside, I felt as if I had just stepped in to a Kid Rock video. The restaurant was furnished by a yard sale and featured a plastic rainforest and make-shift stage with a cardboard cut-out of Elvis. A sign next to him read, “LIVE MUSIC 7 NIGHTS A WEEK.”

    Scanning the faces in the room, it occurred to me the men had more ponytails than the women. I led my folks to the most inconspicuous table I could find and tried to downplay the fact I was dressed as a vonTrapp child.

    “I knew I should have worn my ripped jeans and Salvation Army shirt” I whispered to my dad.

    “Just push down those bloody socks and no one will know the difference,” he said.

    We sat for what seemed like hours before the waiter finally arrived at our table. I debated writing a poor review on TripAdvisor but was muzzled by the fact there was no complimentary Wifi. When the server finally came over, however, I realized it was well worth the wait.

    With platinum blonde hair, brown roots, and no less than three piercings in each ear, Billy was a breed of homosexual I had not run in to since ordering room service in Vegas. Dressed in a tight black shirt, ripped acid-washed jeans and faded sneakers, he was the pauper to Carson Kressley’s prince. Like him, his wit was also sharper than a Samurai’s sword.

    “What?” he asked me, as if he could not be bothered to finish the rest of the question. I loved him already.

    “Beer,” I replied. He and I both knew that we spoke the same language so there was no confusion on the matter. I knew our pints would come light, chilled and with just the right amount of head.

    I have the deepest respect for Southern gays. They are not spoiled like us Northerners who drink non-fat lattes for breakfast, get divorces and bring their kids to the Gay Pride Parade. These are some of the strongest bitches on the planet earth.  

    I watched Billy intently for the next three pints we drank at the Café. I watched him walk up to a table with six kids and two adults and ask them if they were a family or daycare centre. I watched him walk right passed any guest who rolled their eyes at him until they realized he was the only person standing between themselves and a drink.

    One day I hope to create a character as brilliant as Billy. For now, I will have to log his existence here.

    To be continued at a different coffee shop with a different outfit.

     

    Monday
    Dec022013

    a time to thrill: red, white and blue

    I woke up the next morning at the Best Western Belle Meade to the sound of my father’s fist pounding against the door. I lifted up my sequined eye mask and rolled over to see the time on the alarm clock: 7:06am. I rubbed my eyes, stretched out my arms, and began the painful process of getting out of bed. Outside my hotel window, the sun shone bright while the birds chirped and the interstate roared. 

    I opened the door to greet my father and watched his expression turn from excitement to disbelief when he realized I was dressed in nothing but a designer pair of hot pink Calvin Klein briefs.

    “Rise and shine,” he stuttered, passing me a cup of take-out coffee he had brought up from the lobby.

    It was obvious that he had a lot to say; except the neon colour of my under garments had drained the colour from his face. I have often wondered what it would feel like to be the heterosexual father of a homosexual son. In retrospect, I think it was a good thing I dated girls in high school. I don’t think my father could have coped with the thought of his beloved daughter and son both out on a Friday night riding in cars with boys.

    “Thank you good sir,” I reached out my hand and took the steaming cup before he dropped it on me.

    It was apparent he was not going to a form a full sentence until I found a pair of pants, and so I reassured him I would not be late for our long-standing family tradition of complimentary continental breakfast. It is amazing how a small box of Frosted flakes can really bring you back to your roots.

    I shut the door and turned on the television with the remote control. The plan for the day was to drive to Memphis. Our first stop was Graceland, where we were scheduled to rendezvous with my sister and her partner as well as take my dad's photo in Elvis Presley's "jungle room." The evening was reserved to party on Beale Street with excess amounts of live blues and beer. My own secret agenda for the day was to find a boy who looked like Justin Timberlake. 

    I unzipped my suitcase on the bed and tuned in to the weather forecast. The kind lady with the big hair on the tv screen informed me that it was going to be 98° outside. Luckily, because of my extensive knowledge of boy bands I knew that meant it was going to be hot. Whether or not it was going to be Nick Lachey hot or Drew Lachey lukewarm I was unsure. 

    I began sifting through my limited summer clothing options, and found myself growing upset. The fact is, fashion and I simply do not get along when the temperature rises. There are basic fashion truths, and yes, less is more when you have a six-pack and a tan that you bring with you to the beach. However, when your upper body resembles one of the white dinner rolls you pass around in a basket at Christmas dinner, proper layering is vital to maintaining one's sense of self-esteem. 

    I glanced at the clock and knew that I did not have much time to wade in the shallow end of of life. I still needed to moisturize, update my Facebook status and decide on an outfit. 

    Debating between one of two possible outfits, I finally made the executive decision to go nautical. I would bring a little bit of the West Coast to Nashville. I reunited my navy blue shorts with a classic blue-and-white striped shirt from Club Monaco and finished the ensemble with a pair of matching Hugo Boss socks pulled up to my knees. Satisfied with the final look, it did not occur to me until hours later that day that I had dressed up as the American flag.

    One miniature box of cereal later, the three of us pulled on to the interstate to Memphis. Peering outside the window, it was not long before it hit me I was in the land of gun shops, Baptist Churches, college football teams and hit country FM stations. The adventure had officially begun.