News from The Gentlemen's Club with The Kansas Farmer - curated by Paul Nichol (Feb. 24)
I have a big milestone birthday coming up. It will put me into one of Statistics Canada’s upper percentiles. Now, I’m not a big one for parties. And I would certainly never draw attention to myself. But I had to ask my good wife how the celebration plans were coming along.
She let on that she didn’t know what I was talking about. I said that it was a big day for me, and it would seem sensible to invite all my friends over for a birthday party. She replied, “You don’t have any friends anymore, except for maybe Bob Pearson. He’s the only one around here that’s not too picky about the company he keeps.”
To clarify, she informed me. “No one in town wants to associate with you nowadays ever since you started writing those stupid columns. They’re all afraid that you are going to make fun of them in the paper”.
“Interesting,” I replied. “Jo-Ann McDonald and I were just talking about that very thing the other day. She told me she has the very same problem. But we both agreed it shouldn’t matter much. Nobody reads The Citizen anyway.”
“Won’t David Blaney come?” I asked.
“He doesn’t live here anymore. Don’t you remember he and Sheana left town after your last big birthday party? They were looking for a place where that sort of thing never happens to them again.”
“What about King William III?”
“Nope, he’s off snowmobiling that day.”
“But there’s no snow after all this rain,” I exclaimed.
“Bill says if he has to go all the way to Yellowknife just to avoid your birthday, he will.”
“Surely Rick Demaray,” I pleaded.
“He’s given up on you too,” she replied. “These days he’s got his sights set on some new gal down at ‘The Purple Bike.’”
Then, dejectedly, I sighed. “Well if Rick’s not going to be here, Marguerite Thomas is certainly not coming either.”
“How about the ladies down at the Liquid Store? They always seem friendly towards me.” That’s when I really caught it.
“Of course they are kind to you,” she said. “You are responsible for 70 per cent of their gross revenue! Now, you better get this through your head! As far as they are concerned, it’s just business. All business and nothing else.”
In a last-ditch effort, I considered inviting Doug Garniss from Lower Town Wingham. Then I thought better of it. The Thynne and Garniss clans have feuded for generations ever since my great-great-grandfather stole a hog. (Or was it a cow? Or maybe a wife?) Anyway, I don’t expect Doug’s anywhere near ready to bury the hatchet just yet. Plus he’ll probably be off playing pickleball somewhere.
Well, my dear readers, I expect I’ll be eating my birthday supper of burnt toast and canned wieners all by myself. Come to think of it, maybe I can get Bob Pearson to jump out of a cake?