I suppose it all started with a broken lawn mower, an insane work schedule and the offering of a sanctuary where one can literally tie an aluminum canoe to the back of a 1978 Chevy Suburban with parachute cord, load the boat with as many people that can fit. Then have a person strap some short skis on their feet and tie themselves off to the back of the canoe, place the loser of roschambeuax in the bed of the truck and start filming as the driver does twenty five miles an hour down an ice and snow covered road at 10:30 at night. Oh, did I mention the tossing of fire crackers at the tail man on the skis? Yeah, that happened too.
This is considered a “Normal” night with the garage gang, especially when it snows. We are a motley crew of mechanics, cops, fire fighters, line cooks, contractors, baristas, land owners, sailors, business owners, and various other rebels and rowdies. Everyone seems to have a nick-name and everyone seems to contribute to the beer fund, soda fund and food fund. The smoking lamp is always lit. The television seems to be stuck on either the History Channel or the Discovery Channel with the sound off and some sort of musical mix from Youtube blasting through the speakers.
If you smoke, you can let your ashes fall on the floor and even snub your cigarette out there, in my case, it is my cigar. All plastic, aluminum and glass bottles however end up in the recycling bin. For holidays, there is usually a pot-luck feast with enough food for everyone to take home pounds of leftovers. If it’s your birthday… forget about it… the party starts by someone painting a happy birthday sign on the windows in the morning and ending the next morning when the booze and food is tapped out.
Inside this denizen of friendship where the walls are covered with hand written quotes made in drunken stupors or laugh induced highs. The room has a desk, two couches, a van seat and a plethora of beach chairs. Next to the desk is a keg-o-rator with a skull tap. Scattered around the walls are house speakers, a decent sound system, and photographs, license plates, bar lights, mirrors, car parts, pellet pistols and remote controlled cars. Newcomers are usually over-whelmed by the decorations, camaraderie, laughter, inside jokes, and crudeness that is all wrapped up and delivered without judgment, prejudice, or snobbery. Everyone is equal and all are welcome. No one is turned away.
If you survive your first visit and care to come a second time, you are welcomed with hearty handshakes from the men and warm hugs from the women. The children running around soon learn your name and suck you into their fantasy world of play which usually involves fire crackers or a motorized vehicle or two… or both in some cases.
There are no conversational topics off limits but it seems anyone rarely brings up religion or politics. I believe it is because none of us truly care about that shit once we walk inside the haven of stress relief. After all, who wants to get upset, angry or even stressed out in a place that has been designated via popular lack of voting as a place to unwind from life’s daily strife? No one that’s who. I’ve yet to experience a person bring up in serious discussion those topics but if it does happen, I don’t want to be there for the carnage that will ensue by them breaking an unspoken and unwritten rule.
It seems I have become fortunate in meeting this group of miscreants, derelicts, rogues and renegades. It has truly shown me how much I needed to stop being a person who lives mostly in his head and that friendship, no matter how close or distant can make one’s life just a bit better.
Have a great week and enjoy the Super Bowl if you are partaking of the festivities that is.