Zip and Tuck

It seems to be crazy story-telling day…

In the interest of beating Dave to the punch (referred to in the comments of my last entry), I am going to post this story about us. It took place years ago, when we first went white-water rafting together.

We decided to go with Wilderness Tours. They have a big “Barn” facility with a bar in it, as well as a dance floor, and a patio. During the evenings, they have a party for the rafters. We decided to go to the fire pit, where there was a stage and some singing going on.

There were twelve of us, but only a few of us engaged in drinking of the heavy kind. I’m not sure if it was the Okanagan Cider, or the beer that plunged me into darkness. Perhaps it was Dave’s Sicilian Kiss (Amaretto & Southern Comfort) that sped me along the Inebriated Interstate. All I know is drinking almost an entire 26 Oz bottle of Screech after the aforementioned alcohol is probably not really a good idea.

Screech is a funny thing. This elixir of the East coast imbues one with strange powers. It granted me the power to jump up on the performance stage (where a guy was playing guitar earlier and left the microphone on) and tell a joke starting with the punch line. From there we moved to “the Barn” area where I discovered that I had the power to dance to techno while standing on some stairs (not very smooth at all). After this, my powers waned, and I decided to have a lie-down on a picnic table located on the patio of the establishment. One of the bouncers came by and told us to leave (not very politely). I told him to watch his tone. Of course, the words probably came out like a Pentecostal zealot speaking in tongues…

Dave valiantly accompanied me back to the camping area. It was slow going. I think I chundered a couple of times on the green mile back to the campsite. Dave insisted on keeping us moving, in case the Nazgul were looking for us, I guess.

Memories of that journey are hazy (I actually had to phone Dave while writing this to verify a few things). Needless to say, I knew that I passed out a couple of times. They eventually got the car to haul me back to the site. The next day I woke up fine. Rafting was fun, and no-one got injured. My mutant ability to bypass hangovers was in full effect, earning me a cool rep. But little did I know that the events of the night before were to haunt me for the rest of my life…

Two years later, we were going rafting again at the same place. We were eating some chow the night before we were to hit the river, when Dave walked up to me and asked me if he could talk to me in private, away from everyone else. I agreed, and we took our pints to another table.

” So, I’m not sure if you know this, ” Dave began, ” And I kinda wanted to tell you in private. “

” Sure, ” I replied, sipping my Sleeman’s, ” Go ahead. “

” Well, ” Dave looked at me earnestly, ” You remember the walk back to the campsite two years ago? “

” Yeah. “

” There was a point along the way back where you had to pee. So you pulled out your equipment and pissed. And then you fell over. “

” I don’t remember that. Did I fall in my own pee? “

Dave laughed, ” No. You fell off to the side, and rolled down a small hill, away from your puddle. “

” How the hell did I not notice when I woke up? “

Dave sighed again, ” I, er, did you up. “

I was taken a bit by surprise here, ” Um, what? “

Dave shook his head, ” Don’t worry, I didn’t have to do the ‘tuck‘, ” his right hand made a motion like a gopher diving under his left arm (a large gopher, I might add), ” Just the ‘zip‘. “

I looked at Dave with some amazement and admiration. He was definitely a true friend, ” Thanks man. And thanks for telling me in private. I mean, it’s not really THAT embarrassing, eh? But still, it’s nice to know before everyone else. “

” That’s what friends are for, manus, ” Dave stood up and picked up his beer, ” Let’s get back. “

We walked back to where our friends were sitting, and his girlfriend (now wife) Sarah looked up and said 7 words that made me laugh and cry at the same time….

” Did he tell you the pee story? “

Best friends are such a pain in the ass….

Gourmet vs. Food

The word “gourmet” is an interesting word. As a noun, it indicates “a connoisseur of food and drink”. As an adjective, preceding the word “meal” it would denote some kind of sumptuous delicacy. It is also a deceiving word. It is so much larger than the word “food”. Three letters larger in fact. So you would expect a gourmet meal to be much better than a meal.

However, this is not always the case.

– We interrupt this rant to bring you some important background information –

During the end of January and first few weeks of February, Toronto is abuzz with Winterlicious. A gastronomic celebration of cuisine all across the city. During this time, a lot of high-end restaurants have a prix fixe menu to allow mere mortals who don’t have a lot of cash to sample their food (this is not the only reason, but this is the reason that my wife and I go). It is excellent, as the average entrée cost at some of these places can be twice as much as the Winterlicious prix fixe menu price (usually including appetizer, main and dessert). The wine pairings are also well done. A couple can walk out of there spending a cool $100 or so for a decent meal and wine.

– We now return you to your regularly scheduled rant –

We went to a “high class” establishment on Saturday for dinner with some friends. Mrs. J made the reservation back in January, and it was going to be a nice night out. I suppose we should have been duly warned when she read a review stating that the portions were small at this place.

We arrived, checked the menu (usually they offer different choices for appetizers, mains and desserts), and ordered our meal.

I will briefly sum up my own experience by saying that the goat cheese tart was small but okay. The main course (duck) was succulent, but too small. The dessert (créme brulée) tasted like charcoal, and was about 2 tablespoons worth of dessert. Not exactly worth $30 in my opinion. It’s a good thing we ate before we went (just some appetizers, but they helped to fill the void).

I suppose it was disappointing because the place looked great. Sophisticated, even. And while the background noise was a bit loud (you can’t fault people for yapping at the top of their lungs. Oh wait, you can…), it was still comfortable.

The simple fact remains: It can be the coolest looking eating establishment in the world, but if the food tastes like excrement, then it is going to fail. Well it should, anyway. Lucky for them, not every critic cares for taste. Some critics are blown away by the presentation, rather than the taste. I, for one, would rather eat a simply designed cube of food that tastes good than have a meal that looks likes a portrait of the last supper but still tastes like doo doo.

A lot of these new places open up with the promise of a wonderful dining experience. When they get their positive reviews, the food quality goes down the toilet (or perhaps the food now comes from there).

This is, by no means, written to dissuade people from trying “nice places”. In fact, we have had great experiences with other restaurants. But keep in mind that there is a lot to be said about some of the less chic places, too.

Support your local hole-in-the-wall!

Funny Story…

Not all of the content on here will be intellectual, thought provoking, or even inspirational.

Case in point: I originally posted this story as a comment to one of CHEEZEMO’s entries. It’s too funny not to share:


Once some friends and I were watching a movie. I cracked a knuckle, and my buddy sitting next to me did the same thing. We started cracking knuckles one at a time.

Fingers. Wrists. Shoulders. Ankles.

It was a game of Touch You Last, but with cracking limbs.

So, I had done the most recent crack (my last, actually, nothing left to ruin), and he says, “I can crack my tailbone. “

The room goes quiet, anticipating his tailbone crack, and he lets one rip. A nice, palpable gas expulsion. He honestly was only trying to crack his tailbone. That’s what made it so funny.

Farting now can be referred to as “Cracking the Tailbone”.

This is how legends begin…