Picking up myself

I had to come to Calgary today for “incoming student orientation,” which means that I get free lunch, and I would drive twice the distance for that! I pass Claresholm and see this Gerry Garcia look-a-like standing there with a sign that read “CALGARY.” I would have kept going otherwise (dear reader, you must know by now that thou shalt never give a ride to a stranger, especially a stranger with a long gray beard!), but the guy saw me checking him out and gave me a friendly wave. Dear reader, if you knowest anything about your dear author, you know that I am incapable of NOT stopping if a friendly wave is involved.

So I stop, and this guy gets in. 55-ish, long gray beard, shoulder length gray hair; he got in and I caught just the slightest hint of pachouli oil. You get the image. Right away, this guy goes to town in one of the longest monologues I have ever had the pleasure of hearing. Here is what I learned.

– He is a musician who makes most of his money busking at the Calgary zoo. He ONLY does originals.

– He has toured ALL OVER THE WORLD, with a band that had the same name as a gun and isn’t .38 special.

– While touring, you are apt to get involved in 1. Drugs 2. Orgies 3. Hell’s Angels bikers.

– This guy has over 500 songs, but not one is recorded. That is going to happen some time. He has written songs specifically for the likes of Paul Brant, Shania Twain, and (I shit you not) DAR MCBOUL (aka the old A Channel Weatherguy. If you catch this reference, you understand the severity of this). However, they haven’t heard these songs and they haven’t been recorded yet.

– He did the biker-bar circuit, with a lead singer who won the crowd over by flashing her breasts.

– He has written 10 novels, none of which are published and are sitting in a box in his apartment. Included: a fantasy novel, a childrens book about vowels (which will have an accompanying CD of his songs), a 12 step addictions recovery guide and some others that “you can’t know about yet.”

– He is a recovering crack addict, and has a concept album “ready to go” about said recovery, and also… Jesus. He is planning to tour the prison systems with his concept album: first Canada, and then the entire US.

– He is writing a jingle for Pepsi that incorporate all of their own jingles into one meta-jingle.  Once they buy his idea, “it’s all going to happen, man.”

– He has fathered children all over the world.

– After he divorced his wife, she immediately got cancer and died, but this wasn’t from him “wishing it on her,” though he has carried around that guilt ever since.

– He HATES Edmonton, and “all the bullshit that it stands for… man, you know?”

Anyways, there is more, and I will try and think of more (I had to write this all down as fast as possible, lest I forget some of the details).

8 thoughts on “Picking up myself

  1. It’s actually kind of a sad story, really – especially if the guy really believes half of what he told you. Either way, though, I’m kind of bummed out now.

  2. Well, he didn’t seem sad. In fact, a majority of the trip was him telling me about how amazing his life has been. True or not, I dropped him off and felt really good about the whole thing. Even if none of this happens, he was filled with so much hope that I found it to be a touch inspirational.

    The only difference between this guy and the rest of us is that he isn’t afraid to share his dreams. We all have unrealistic visions of the future.

  3. I’m glad this story has a happy ending, This whole story reminds me of something from “The Areas of My Expertise”.

    Also, did you know that Darr Macboul is actually named Macboul Darr? he changed his name for TV. His wife taught math in my High-School and he used to come and do guest appearances.

  4. Schizophrenic perhaps? Paul, no wonder I worry about you still! Sounds like much of Ponoka in the ’70’s when I was working there. Be glad you enjoyed him and him you and didn’t press the ‘wrong button’. I’m with Jane – hitchhikers – sketchy!

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