Friday, August 22, 2014

Life's a Beach: Excerpt #7

June 27th 2013

Some guests in cottage one had a barbeque problem and they were a little annoyed at the whole snafu. Maybe a lot annoyed. They really wanted to fire up some chicken wings that were marinating nearby, a sea of guts in a large bowl. I hopped on the radio, explaining the issue to Gary. How two out of the three cylinders inside the barbeque were not catching, so there wasn’t enough heat to cook anything except a grasshopper. “We probably need to replace it right away,” I told him.
These pachucos were having none of it. Disgusted with the subpar service, they made insulting comments underneath their breath, engineered to be just loud enough for me to hear: “Fucking stupid idiot,” said one generic fool.
We probably need to replace it right away,” one of them said, mocking me in a nerdy white guy voice. *Sigh* If people only knew what it’s like to be white in the 21st century.
There was no denying it—I was infuriated and humiliated. It was the maddest I’ve been at any guests since I started at Stillwater. I wanted to smash the butt of my radio into the first piece of scum that made a move towards me. I was burning with white-hot rage at these fucking Latino jerk-off punks, each one of whom I could totally kick the shit out of in a one-on-one battle (probably not). My anger bolstered my confidence. You learn to size a man up pretty quick at Stillwater if you want to keep those teeth in your gums. If it’s in your nature to be allergic to aggressive posturing, that will either change pretty quick or you’ll find another job. I’ve slithered out of all the potentially violent confrontations by either feigning superpower strength or feigning to call the police. Either way it’s all bullshit.
            The bulging muscles of a beefed up dude will affect the level of respect you accord him. I tone down the sarcasm and become respectful really fucking quick if the guy is 6’2” 220lbs. Luckily, most of these high school kids here tonight have a pea brain stuck between two spaghetti arms. Talk to them in the correct way and they bow at your feet; you can put them back in line with a stern voice. Not these particular teens. I started to fear that I was dealing with a drug cartel and not recent secondary school graduates. Why are they not respecting my authority? They just arrived and they’ll be kicked out from their beautiful riverside cottage if they fuck with me. Are they cray-cray?
I walked away from the group to hear Gary more clearly over the heckling. I’m going to be here well into the night with these dopes as they get progressively more fucked up,  and the slightest provocation could ignite the latent primal male rage that surely resides within me and I’ll probably get hurt real bad even though I upped my bench pressing from once a week to every five days. My soft feminine hands are filled with middle-class rage! So lookout!
            When I get off the radio with Gary, one of them, with an aquiline pencil-thin beard asks, “So, yo, you gonna fix it or what?” There was a smattering of snickers from both the boys and girls. I got the sense that they were from Toronto.
            I took a deep breath and sighed. A loner amongst hostile forces all leering derisively at me, I replied with a mendacious, Walter White-esque quip: “Do I look like a barbeque repair man to you?”
            They didn’t like that comment too much, and there was a collective, “Ohhhh” and as I quietly walked away, not wanting to incur any physical wrath, they were muttering insults under their breath and I was simmering for the next hour. I avoided them for the rest of the evening, only having to endure their stink eyes and smirks as they walked by towards the convenience store for some zig-zags and smokes. By the time the gang was coming back from the store I made sure to be somewhere else.

I have seen so many good looking eighteen year old Ontario girls in the last couple months it is nothing short of stupefying. It is positively life affirming! I have a renewed sense of faith in humanity! The milky skin and pert breasts, the taught haunches and shining blonde hair. Canada is full of healthy and vibrant women! As Yakov would say, “What a country!

June 29th 2013

At Cottage Court tonight, Friday night on the Canada Day weekend, I laughed truly and heartily for the first time in a while. It’s 7pm, and the hour-long thunderstorm is over. The stifling humidity has been sucked out of the air and it’s a cool night. Most of the guests are a racially mixed lot from Brampton. White, brown, and black kids are running wild all over the property hootin’ and hollerin’, not a care in the world. Oh, to be young and dewy-eyed again!
An immaculately toned black kid, clearly the class clown type and clearly drunk, whips out his cock and balls and jiggles them around for the whole world to see. I didn’t really want to see this kid’s penis, but like the sun I stole a glance at it before my eyes burned. You’d think an atom bomb of funny exploded. A few kids had the presence of mind to whip out their iThingamajigger’s and immortalize the lurid display. A lot of these teens reach for their hip instinctively whenever something remotely out of the ordinary happens. Reaching for an electronic device is like an outlaw reaching for his six shooter; you got to watch out for Billy the iKid. Now, I didn’t actually see the young black man’s genitals; by the time I glanced over he was zipping up. That’s not what made me laugh. What made me laugh was the reactions of his buddies, who I’ve come to know in the past couple days and am fond of. For one comes to know, understand, and bond with people in a deeper way during a dramatic life event, (ie., passing through the requisite, liminal lost weekend at the beach that proceeds the graduating of high-school and precedes entering post-secondary education and/or work. In other words, not a boy, not yet a man). Everyone was falling all over themselves, wailing and laughing so hard--it was infectious, and I too joined in from a distance. There is no feeling quite like laughing as hard as possible with a large group of friends. If only we could bottle that up and sell it for twenty bucks a shot.

Gary relocates me to Bayside, supervising a much smaller group on my own. Bayside is the best chunk of property to guard because most of the time I’m the fox in charge of the henhouse. At Cottage Court, there’s usually three or four guards on duty. Here, I can order a shot or accept a twenty and grant permission for a kid or two come aboard the party train without much fear of getting caught.
A drunk Indian kid in a tank top was running around, accosting guests and being generally annoying and unruly. He didn’t have the right wristband. I approached the young gent to kick him off the property but he was “bro, bro, bro-ing” me. I was in no mood for his nonsense and I clenched my fists and the words just spilled out: “Get off the property or I’ll break both your arms and then your Daddy will have to jerk you off!” I don’t know where it came from. It was meant to be serious--and I was--yet the line came out kind of funny and some of the guests laughed. He was too drunk to realize the full import of my warning so his two buddies grabbed his shoulders and ushered him towards Mosley Street, towards the next beachfront motel party.
            As they were walking away, he suddenly turns sober and serious and says “Yo, why you have to get all aggressive with a sixteen year old?” I cocked my head and shrugged my shoulders as if to say “You gotta do what you gotta do” and I never saw him again.

I know what it’s like to be in the Walking Dead. I live it most nights at Stillwater. In the early hours of the morning, they walk along the street, stupefied and stumbling, moaning incoherently. I’m the only one not infected (well, most of the time). 

July 2nd 2013

As previously mentioned, the best part about the 6am cleanup shift are the pristine goodies laying amidst the rubble of another mega beach party. Today I found four quarters, three bottles of Canadian, one can of Coors Light, a flash-bang firecracker and a pair of sunglasses with Canadian flags in the lenses.

A good chunk of my time on the clock is spent standing at the entrance to the various Stillwater properties and many folks will walk by me all day either say “Hi” or will sometimes stop and chat with me. I get asked all the common greeting tropes: “How ya doin?” “How are you?” “Doin alright?” “Yo, what’s up?” And of course, the least labor intensive verbal greeting, a mere reflexive guttural emission: “’Sup?”
Then there are various nods and waves of recognition in lieu of actual sounds coming out of your face to convey acknowledgement: Winks, smiles (showing teeth, not showing teeth), barely perceptible head nods, the casual two-fingered salute. I’m standing around, greeting dozens and dozens of people every damn shift—I find myself bored with answering with “Not bad” and “Doin alright, sir” and “Hey there” dozens of times a day, and organically I began to incorporate new phrases. This weekend, my go-to response to the eternal, “Greeting another human being for the first time question,” is the old clever talk-show line, maybe Rickles or Newhart said it.
TALK-SHOW HOST: “How ya doin’ _____?”  
GUEST: “If I was doing any better, it would be illegal.”
More than half a century later, the sunbathers who will never be on TV still seem to like it. Kind of clever if you’ve never heard it before; it comes off as witty—a verbal wink. The phrase itself is quite absurd when you think about it. What does it even mean? “If I was doing any better it would be illegal.” Like my life is in a zenith state, perfectly matched up with my dreams and if one more roll of the dice went my way it would be too much fulfillment and I could actually be ticketed and/or arrested because things are so darned good? I’m that high on life? 
Also, currently, I’m punctuating greetings directed at males with “Boss.”
“Doin’ alright, boss?”
“Having fun, boss?”
“Gonna fucking party tonight or what, boss?”
“Can I get a beer from you, boss?”
“Just chillin’, boss?”
“Hey, you got any blow, boss?”
“Hey, you got anymore blow, boss?”

July 4th 2013

A group of one hundred twenty five young adults from Mississauga came up to wonderful Wasaga Beach, Ontario, Canada to celebrate their high school graduation with a three night stay at Cottage Court. I began cracking jokes and most of them were pleased, putting me on a first name basis right off the bat. This one girl, rather plain, but definitely DTF, kept talking about how she was going to, “Smoke my cock. Room number nine.”
            “You’ll need a lighter with a lot fluid to smoke this cock,” I said. Her friends laughed, and it was all a half-serious charade with the security guard.

I busted into cabin six, and later cabin seventeen, to collect on the Taylor Tax. The ghetto party inhabitants were more than accommodating. Giving the security guard a shot is like feeding a monkey at the zoo: you’re not supposed to do it, but it’s irresistible.
I was feeling oh-so-fine and went to chat with a group of fifteen kid’s barbequing and smoking all sorts of things on the back porch area. This massive porch is about one hundred feet long and ten feet wide. It’s where the BBQ’s and graffitied picnic tables are. It’s where the kids hang out most of the time; where beers, faces, joints, and hookahs are sucked.  Across the river, the lights of the main strip waver in the humidity. Throbbing beats from the nearby clubs echo back at the Stillwater guests, delayed and out of time.
Below, at the fire pit by the banks, another drunken multitude is roasting dollar store weenie’s. They all laugh at one girl who’s weenie has fallen into the fire just as it was ready to eat. 
            In front of her whole clan, this girl again asks for me to see her in room number nine and makes the international blowjob motion, jerking her hand by her mouth, pounding her tongue against the inside of her cheek. “I’ll smoke your cock. You can finger my ass,” she says to the delightful laughter of the group.
            “How many fingers? One or Two?” I ask, and the group roars their approval at my willingness to participate in the game. I smile and walk away. Big brother is watching me and I’m supposed to be at the front of the property, not cavorting with the guests in back. 
            Speaking of smoking things--all the kids nowadays sit around massive octo-hookahs and huff flavoured tobacco. They don’t ever smoke pot out of these hookahs. Their tall glass bongs are kept right beside the hookahs. Or they smoke joints. Usually both. I’m still dumbfounded that practically every teenager smokes pot up here. I understand it’s a party resort, but these kids all smoke pot back in Mississauga or Ancaster or Toronto during their regular day-to-day life, too—they all tell me so. Christ, they haul the humidors and the bongs and the grinders all the way up to Wasaga like it’s their toiletry bag.
I’ve witnessed countless glass bongs topple over and shatter. Perhaps there’s a market for fixing these vessels of the magic herb; a golden opportunity for a shrewd entrepreneur to open up a seasonal bong repair shop. Let’s call it Bong Voyage. Guys with their names stitched onto coveralls in sweeping cursive--Bob, Gary, Don--with resin blotches smearing their faces, wiping their brows after a hard day’s work cleaning and repairing glass bongs.
            Marijuana is so integral to modern Canadian teendom, you wouldn’t believe it unless you saw it with your own two eyes. It’s outta control! I’ve seen some studies that say only a tiny percentage, like 3% of teenagers smoke pot daily but that has not been my experience this summer. At any moment the sweet, burnt pine smell of potent bud wafts into my nostrils while I’m pacing back and forth on the grounds. Joints, blunts, bongs, you name it, they smoke it. Seems to me that people smoke blunts as more of a display of wealth than any other form of smoking marijuana. These guys are the show-off types who like mega bling. Blunts are the five star hotel of marijuana smoking. If you smoke blunts, it says, “Yeah, I have enough fuck you money to burn this big ol’ thing full a weed rolled with the most expensive, thickest type of cigar paper.” Or, they’re simply connoisseurs of the herb and spend thirty minutes with their scissors and their wraps and their pile, carefully plucking out the stems and dropping them into the ashtray with a little rattling ping, like a doctor removing body lodged bullets out of another drive-by victim. And they put in a filter, usually a small rectangle cut out from a pack of zig-zag’s, and lick the blunt twenty times, pulling it out of their mouths and holding a flame under it to harden the fuselage and ensure it stays uniform while burning down. If these potheads put that much effort into world peace, we’d be shitting flowers.
            On any still night in town, there is a haze of marijuana and camp fire smoke that hovers in the air creating a thick, flagrant, muggy fog. Kids keep their appurtenances on the picnic tables in full view of the cops that drive by every few minutes. Wasaga is nice that way. You can freely sit outside your room or cabin and smoke away and the staff or the law won’t do a goddamn thing about it.  The kids get a kick out of it when I inform them upon their arrival that they can smoke weed right in front of the cops. “It’s all good,” I say. “This is private property. Smoke away!” If they’ve never been to the beach before, their reaction is incredulous delight at the freedom. God bless Canada! Young men and women come here to dance in their thongs and smoke weed in their bongs, shaking it to cheesy beats that loop and loop, a robotic voice spraying nonsense in between drops, fists pumping furiously into the air. This is freedom in the great white north. This is what kids do. They get fucked up and get fucked and eat sloppy hamburgers, and get half of it on their face, and then they hit REPEAT.
When a group of fifty plus teenagers sit around, drunk and stoned, inevitably one of the jocks whips out a football and three or more guys fan out and start tossing it around. One guy goes long. Too long. The ball ends up on Mosley St, where it’s like ‘60’s California: guys showing off their tricked out anachronistic rides. In Wasaga you don‘t simply go for a ride to get from point A to point B, the raison d‘etre for the ride in the first place is to go cruising by the strip and along Mosley where the resorts are. To show off the whip and gawk at the girls. ‘Tis a pity I don’t care much for steel horses. Doesn’t matter if there’s a good engine under that hood or if it runs on unicorn tears—all I know is I would look good in a new model, two door, black BMW. Men visiting Wasaga will sidle up to me and get all technical about an engine or valve like we grew up on the same block and had discussed the finer points of automotive maintenance many times. “The viscosity rate on the V5 block is atrocious,” he says.
            “Oh yeah, totally,” I say knowingly.
            If only I could talk Wimbledon with some of these nitwits! Don’t they know that it’s the men’s semis tomorrow!? Don’t they know Jerzy Janowicz is playing Andy Murray and that a Brit hasn’t won Wimbledon in like three hundred and fifty eight years and Jerzy is a great young Pole who has never made it this far in a major tournament? Jerzy is an emotional wreck, getting progressively more pissy-eyed after each win, but it’s true sports glory, the greatest kind of reality TV, and if that doesn’t hit you right here, than you, sir, have no soul.
But no. They want to talk about rims, upholstery, and matte black paint jobs.
We’re all on our own, and here’s to each and all of you.  

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