A little Geddyup for the ski season 

On the patio, basking in the last remnants of Tuesday’s direct sun, watching high wispy clouds roll in, the vanguard of a storm front holding the hint of a promise of face shots sometime in the near future, I lamented the utter failure of yet another experiment. I can report, with almost complete scientific accuracy, that walking Zippy the Dog and mixing drinks without the aid of mechanical devices is an insufficient exercise regime if you want to be at the top of your form for the beginning of ski season. Not even close.

I’d rocketed carefully down the available terrain at Blackcomb in what can only be described as near-hysterical control. Rock skis I’d never skied on before seemed to sense my indifference towards scraping their bases over barely hidden rocks and reciprocated by tracking as though they had a mind of their own. A wandering mind. An imprecisely focused mind. A mind not unlike recent presidential and prime ministerial candidates – promising but sloppy on details and short of attention span.

Surviving the season, I decided, meant admitting defeat and heading for the gym. Such a bleak prospect deserved extra careful consideration, hence the patio, the sunshine and a refreshing Mother’s Pale Ale from our hometown brewery. And then another.

I stretched my mind – a prelude to stretching the rest of me – to try and remember just where I might have carefully put the 10 visit card I bought last fall for the Wreck Centre. I was sure it had eight or nine unpunched spaces left on it and was knee-deep in mental detritus looking for it when reality intruded like a priest busting in on a peep show.

"Yo Bro."

Oh no, I thought.

Peeking under the bill of my cap, into the low-angle sunlight, I saw him shambling towards me, a back lit apparition of hallucinogenic proportions. Half for the weirding out effect it had on people and half because dumpster divers can’t be too picky about their wardrobe, J.J. Geddyup looked like something out of a margarita-fuelled nightmare. Ratty Deerstalker hat, Peruvian sweater with corduroy patches tearing loose at each elbow, skin-tight, faded blue, padded stretch ski racer pants and snowboard moon boots, J.J. could have been a skid row paper doll dressed by a colourblind, mentally deranged two year old.

"J.J. my man," I said, waving at the chair next to me. "Sit down before I get dizzy looking at that outfit."

He shook out a couple of Gauloise Blues as he sat and offered me one, knowing I’d prefer to just throw blazing tobacco into my mouth than suck on one of those foul, French cigarettes, equal parts D grade tobacco, floor sweepings and the best dried Turkish camel dung.


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