relationships

 
 

Heard it on the grapevine

Although the BC coast is vast, and paddlers are few; fewer still are sheltered coves with gently sloping sandy beaches suitable to beach a kayak for the night; so we all tend to wash up on the same shores, marking them religiously on our charts, and sharing their location judiciously with fellow initiates.

Tents pitched, and boats secured above high water, we relax and do what kayakers do best – staring into the embers of a driftwood beach fire, we pass the bottle, tell tales of epic paddles – the wave heights increasing with each telling – and we gossip.

Make no mistake, there is an active bush telegraph on the coast, and gossip spreads with the speed of a brushfire along that string of secluded coves. So it is no wonder that when Paddlin’ Bette set off solo from Seattle, bound for Alaska by kayak, news of her passage spread up the coast far faster that the 20 or so nautical miles she paddled daily. It spread almost as fast as the news reverberated that Joselyn had finally gotten fed up with Bare-foot Brian, and had de-camped from their rustic floating B&B in storied Marijuana Cove to the bright lights of Sointula.

Although approaching her sixth decade, the word, from the greybeard fraternity, was that Bette was a very handsome woman- quite a complement when considering how difficult it is to look alluring in a dry suit after 8 days without bathing. Her vital statistics were repeated, campfire to campfire -( you know -boat type, paddle length, and so forth,) as was her pedigree- a solo Vancouver Island circumnavigation, and another of Newfoundland, and many lesser paddles. Bette was clearly a figure to be reckoned with- strong , sexy, and, (of special note to mature batchelor paddlers), single and unattached.

Bare-foot Brian didn’t rate quite so highly amongst the ladies of the campfire- he’s become a mite eccentric after four decades in the bush, but on the plus side, he has long term squatter’s rights on some prime back country real estate, and the collection of unique floating cabins he’s built over the years has become a mecca for wilderness kayakers. He is a man of substance in the backcountry.

Bette, defeated in her attempt to reach Alaska, not by any hardships of the expedition, but by a covid-closed border, had begun re-tracing her steps when she first heard of bare-foot Brian on the bush telegraph. Now, To paraphrase Jane Austen- “it is a truth, universally acknowledged, that a single man, in possession of a backcountry B&B must be in need of a female companion.” Bette, being of forthright nature, immediately professed herself to be in need of a man- and pointed her bow towards Marijuana Cove, Brian locked firmly in her sights.

Bare-foot Brian, via the same telegraph, quickly learned there was a target on his back, and that romance was paddling inexorably his way, at about 20 nautical miles a day. Never one to mince words, he provided his thoughts on the situation at some length to the kayakers held captive as passengers on his semi-regular water taxi service back to the big island. A sanitized precis ? – he didn’t much like being anyone’s target, and a woman was the last thing he needed in his life at the moment.

While the stage was thus set, from the seat of a touring kayak the world floats by walking pace, so it would be weeks of suspense before our protagonists could meet. The gossip mill fairly buzzed with anticipation and the bottle was passed around campfires up and down the coast, with speculation growing intense. As Jane Austen also wryly observed “For what do we live but to make sport for our neighbours, and laugh at them in our turn?”

Oh to have been a fly on the dock when Bette finally paddled into Marijuana Cove and two strong-willed and fiercely independent individuals at last confronted each other, but alas, the meeting was private. Probably for the best, since gossip functions best when unencumbered by facts.

Was the encounter cordial, or did sparks fly instantly? Was the atmosphere electric with animal magnetism, or rife with the odor of revulsion and unwashed paddling gear? Some pundits delighted in inventing outlandish scenarios- while others offered quotes from a well -thumbed copy of Jane Austen to their fellow kayakers. Was it:

“they had no conversation together, no intercourse but what common civility required”

or , “Is not general incivility the very essence of love ?”

or perhaps “It is not time or opportunity that is to determine intimacy- it is disposition alone. Seven years would be insufficient to make some people acquainted with each other, and seven days are more than enough for others”

All we know for certain is that a few days later a lone female paddler was spotted headed south, head held high, with a beautiful forward stroke effortlessly eating up the miles towards home.

“adieu to disappointment and spleen. What are men to rocks and mountains?”

Categories: fiction, humour, kayaking, relationships, Travel | Tags: , | Leave a comment

Infernus Sanguinum

It was a dark and stormy night in Port Hardy.  Port Hardy, as you may know,  is the end of the line- the terminus of the Island Highway, and the dropping off point for parts unknown.

It was also Saturday night, and the start of our vacation. It was time to show my lady a good time. Continue reading

Categories: Etiquette & manners, humour, Reflections, relationships, Travel | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

How to Show a Lady a good time

Ours was an arranged marriage . We were prodded out of our comfortable, but untidy living arrangements by my parents, who gently but inexorably nudged us towards the altar; eventually hosting the nuptials to ensure the job got done.

The event was planned for December 27th, to coordinate with the annual gathering of the widely dispersed clan for the Christmas festivities.

I awoke to my first as a married man to discover that my bride was deathly ill- probably the flu,  but just possibly a delayed shock reaction to my impulsive decision (for the first and only time in our married life) to shave my beard for the wedding ceremony.

Our honeymoon was to be a free-form driving excursion down the coast to Tijuana, (which, being young,  I thought  seemed like a suitably  romantic destination)  so I bundled my ailing and feverish bride into my aging VW Rabbit and pointed it south. Not wanting to detract from the spontaneity of the event, I had eschewed all forms of advance planning. We would be gypsies, free as birds and responding only to the siren song of the open road.

By the time we hit the Oregon border it was pitch dark, and  my gypsy bride lay swaddled in blankets in the passengers seat, moaning softly every now and then just to let me know that she hadn’t actually expired. When the fog rolled in, I knew it was time to get off the Inter-State and park the gypsy caravan for the night.

I took the next exit, hoping  that it might lead to into a town with accommodation, only to discover that the fog was even thicker off the highway. I could see nothing beyond the circle of light cast by my headlight, and no signs of habitation anywhere. Slowing to a crawl,  I strained  to see through the gloom, for what seemed an eternity, and rejoiced when finally,  a neon motel sign appeared out of the darkness. The sign was somewhat  dilapidated, and not all its letters were alight but it announced both a motel and a vacancy. I couldn’t discern the motel proper, just a dimly lit office, so, with some trepidation I turned in.

My first clue should have been the wire cage that protected the receptionist seated beneath faded signs declaring “CASH ONLY”  and “NO REFUNDS“. I glanced out the grimy office window in search of an alternative, but saw none. Exhausted, and with  the heavy weight of my new found responsibility as a husband of finding shelter for my sick  bride descending upon me, I ponied up the cash.

Our entry to our ‘no refund’ room, lacked entirely the  panache and romance traditionally associated with a newlywed couple’s entry to the bridal suite, but in fairness, the Timberland Motel’s finest wasn’t quite up to bridal suite standards (dubious that it was up to  local health or building code standards for that matter)

Surveying the grubby room, which reeked of stale cigarette smoke, and worse, my gypsy bride stared hard at the yellowed sheets and frayed  blanket covering  the thin mattress, and croaked, “I’m not sleeping in that” before wrapping herself in her coat, and curling up on top of the bed.

The horror of the room was surpassed only by the condition of the bathroom, a detailed description of which I will omit, lest it offend more sensitive readers. I too elected to sleep in my clothes, on top of the bed, and rationalized that gypsies probably didn’t shower every day, so there was no need to attempt the rusted shower enclosure.

The second day of our married life dawned clear and sunny, to reveal, a scant 400 yards down the road, a sparkling new and shiny Howard Johnson motel with quality  accommodation fit for a young  gypsy King and his Queen, had only we persevered not two minutes more.

Perseverance is one of the hallmarks of a successful marriage, and we must have acquired some somewhere along the way, since today marks out 37th wedding anniversary !

Now, reluctant as a fellow is to ask for advice or directions, does anyone know of a first class hotel that caters to geriatric gypsies ?

 

Categories: Etiquette & manners, humour, marriage, Reflections, relationships | Tags: | 2 Comments

Don’t go under the Mistletoe —

In the aftermath of L’affaire Weinstein, and in the face of the rise of the #METOO movement, navigating the already dangerous shoals of interpersonal relationships has become a whole lot more complicated for us guys.

No wonder then that when a dear friend posted the following query on her Facebook page it elicited several hundred responses :

LADIES! Should a man ask permission for a 1st kiss? Hot or not? Have rules changed?”

I confess I had to think about it awhile, since its been a number of decades since the  issue has had any personal relevance to me, (although I think, back in the day, I was probably more inclined to beg forgiveness afterwards than ask permission beforehand, ) but the conversation on Facebook was lively and interesting, with several wags suggesting that the only safe course for a fellow to follow would be not only to ask, but to get it in writing , with her signature on a lawyer-drawn “Consent to Kiss” form. As soon as I saw the post, I knew my duty was clear-I must protect my Bros, by crafting such a form. So, guys, here it is- no need to thank me- we’ve got to stick together, ya know! – just buy me a  beer sometime.

                                                      CONSENT TO SNOG

BETWEEN

(Guy- insert your real name here )

(Hereinafter the “Snoggor”)

AND:

(insert name of object of your affections here )

(Hereinafter the “Snoggee”)

WHEREAS: Snoggor intends to  invite Snoggee to participate in certain activities more particularly defined herein, ( the “Defined Activities”) and wishes to confirm Snoggee’s informed and enthusiastic consent to such activities;

AND WHEREAS Snoggee warrants that she is of full legal age (as defined by the Age of Majority Statute of her Province of principal residence, and/or the Criminal Code of Canada);

AND WHEREAS Snoggee  is aware that the Defined Activities carry with them certain inherent  risks, included, but not limited to, feeling of euphoria,  unexpected metabolic or physiological changes, transmission of disease, risk of developing interpersonal relationships, which can occasionally lead to matrimony, and further that Defined Activities are gateway activities, which may lead to  participation in more intense activities, including, but not limited to nuzzling, licking, groping, fondling, and/or Hanky Panky.

WITNESS that Snoggee, by affixing her hand and seal hereto as of the date  hereof does :

(select one)

grudgingly,

willingly

enthusiastically

passionately

hereby consent to participate in one or more of the following  Defined Activities and releases and saves harmless the Snoggor from and against any liability  pertaining to participation in the Defined Activities

(select all that apply)

a)    a kiss  ( French ? or English?)

b)    multiple kisses

c)   other associated and incidental activities

Dated at  ____________ in the Province of British Columbia  this    day of         2017

(Snoggee sign here )     _____________________________

 

  • definitions – for the purposes of this consent and release form  Defined  Activities shall mean and include a kiss/snog/smooch/or tonsil hockey involving interfacing passionately with another being, creating a field of physical obsession and focused arousal centered on the lips, mouth and tongue, and in the Territories a=of Nunavut, Northwest Territories and Yukon, may include, mutatis  mutandi, the rubbing of noses.

 

 

 

Categories: humour, law, Reflections, relationships | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

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