Monday, November 06, 2006

In my talks to students in schools, I usually talk about how much I like writing in restaurants and coffee shops. Big-eared, nosy people like me never tire of eavesdropping… Here are some notes taken during a certain recent book tour…

Overheard in a BC Café

Indulged in another road trip favourite, a tasty Reuben sandwich while making some
notes about my day for later typing into the blog. Kept getting distracted, though, by the raucus group of ‘these-could-only-be-Canadians’ chatting away at the next table.

Here are a few snippets from said conversations,
“So there are these six lights floating there by the side of the road…” and he says, “What the hell is that?”

“Three moose!”


"Yeah - their eyes were shining like flying saucers! They looked like they were floating at the side of the road."

“Man, you don’t want them suckers running out in front of you.”

“Yeah, truck killers, man.”

This is followed by one tale after another of trucks, tractors, four-by-fours, and flatbeds getting stuck in places where such vehicles were never meant to be … buried in mud over the axels, tipped over in huge holes, sunk in rivers, stuck in trees… These tales are told in two parts.

Part A: How the vehicle came to be stuck in the first place – while the owner was hunting bear out of season, or popping wheelies to dump a load of lumber off a flat-bed truck, or taking a shortcut during flood season, or some such…

Part B – How the stuck vehicle was pushed/pulled, or winched out of trouble.

These are simultaneously cautionary Canadian tales and outright bragging. “Well, ya think that’s bad – you know that old tractor I had at my Dad’s place? Well, this one time when we had to pull these fence posts out in that wet area down by the gully…”

This series of exchanges then moves on to a really wild series of stories involving various domestic pets and their run-ins with grizzly bears, vicious squirrels, raccoons, birds, and packrats. The latter not only mess with domestics, they also steal things, and, apparently, enjoy eating distributor wires, copper caps and all…

At which point I had to force myself to finish up my instant decaf, close my notebook, and head back to my cozy room.

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