Deep in the backwoods of Southwestern Ontario, in the timeless township of Ekfrid, there is a microscopic hamlet by the name of Middlemiss. This area is lush with lush’s, rednecks, wood ticks, and field cars.
I was living just outside of this hamlet of Middlemiss. Directly beside “The Thameswood Red-Neck Conservatory”. It’s rustic charm grew out of the horizon like some drunk passed out on the curb on a Saturday night. With nothing much to do, my associates and I stood around in the driveway, contemplating the possibilities of the day. With beer in hand of coarse. We began to take stock of our resources for follies unknown: a case of beer, a 40oz of Gibson’s finest, a 2L bottle of coke, a chainsaw, a truck with a dump box, an old Honda civic, an old Honda quad, and a giant bush to play in.
After a couple bubbly pops the decision was as clear as our piss. Get the car and the quad going and race ‘em around the bush. The quad started without hesitation. The tail-pipe belched out a rustic growl that only a red-blooded country bumpkin could love. With it’s retro-fit dirt-bike gas tank, bald front tires, and non existent plastics it was a sheer marvel of man’s technological evolution.
This my friends, is what separates us from the beasts.
The Civic, while mechanically sound; had no battery, and so it required a boost. Which was easy enough parked lovingly in the back yard of my associate.
We were off!
Like a parade of wounded war vet’s the vehicles roared down the road, towards the Thameswood Red-neck Conservatory.
On the road, and into the mouth of the forest trail, the Civic lead the pack. Because the Honda Civic is a small car, with front wheel drive, it is perfect for bush running.
Wind out the gears and cover yer beers.
Once we got into the guts of the trail system I found the perfect spot to hammer the throttle of the quad and slip past the dynamic duo in the Japmobile. From that point on, it was a high decibel game of cat and mouse.
It was a totally surreal scene. Somewhere between Mad Max and Deliverance.
There’s something about being chased around the woods on a quad by two half cut, cheering, laughing, good ‘ol boys in a wounded civic that makes you think to yourself “does life get any better than this?”.
As we raced between the trees, we blazed new trails and rutted the hell out of old ones. The noise of half muffled, revved out combustion echoed off of the trees in every direction. A symphony of downshifts and backfires.
Then, tragedy struck.
My associates in the Civic misjudged a turn on the course. With too much speed they raced down the hill, and although attempting to drift around the bend the car continued on it’s original line. Brakes locked, the car was forced to the outside of the turn where the saturated clay ground provided nothing but peril. They were stuck. During the short attempt at driving the car out, it died.
After some tire kicking, cigarette smoking, and situation assessment; the sad reality hit us in the face. This damn thing ain’t goin’ nowhere. No battery. No boost. No tow. No go.
So, we drank the last couple beers, smoked a cigarette and laughed about the present predicament. Then all three of us piled on the quad and headed back to my associates’ house to plan our next move.
*** I suppose it’s appropriate, for reasons of descriptive clarity and ease of narration; to give my associates involved in this debacle names. But for reasons of “plausible deniability” I will use alias’. Any likeness’ to any person’s, fictional, real, intoxicated or hallucinated is strictly a coincidence.
Driving the civic was Cooter VonLuckenstein.
Riding shotgun, and mixing up the medicine was Weiser Montana.
Now I could go on and on telling you in depth details about each of these individuals, but for reasons of “reader’s digestibility” we’ll simply say that neither of these two has ever said “I dunno man, that sounds too crazy for me”. ***
Back at Cooter’s, the sun shone warm and bright in the mid-afternoon sky. A slight northerly breeze pushed the sparsity of clouds across the panoramic heavens. A cargo train, off in the distance, echoed eerily through the surrounding forests and gully‘s. Some sparrows sang in the trees above, Serenading us with their songs of freedom…
But we really didn’t give a flying fuck about any of that shit. Cooter’s fucking car was stuck, and there was way too much daylight left to give up on fun and start funnelling swish down our throats. So what the fuck were we gonna do now?
With nothing much to do, my associates and I stood around contemplating the possibilities of the day. With beer in hand of coarse. We began to take stock of our resources for follies unknown: a 2L bottle of coke, the tail end of a case of beer, a 40oz of Gibson’s finest, a chainsaw, a truck with a dump box, an old Honda quad, and a giant bush to play in.
Now this, my friends, is where things start to become vaudevillian and hazy. Somewhere between the Three Stooges and Bevis and Butthead.
After about as long as it takes a fish to get wet, Cooter remembered that he needed to stock up on firewood. It was, after all, late November. And although unseasonably warm that particular week, the frosty shit was sure to be coming soon. Luckily we knew where there was a bountiful supply of dry wood. And so we loaded the beer, the coke, the 40oz of Gibson’s Finest, and the chain saw into the truck. Cooter jumped in the captains seat, Weiser hopped in shotgun. I mounted the quad like a Doberman on a Shiz-tsu.
And back to the Conservatory we went.
The Red-Neck Conservatory is a region undergoing a slow, deep metamorphosis. The old archaic timber is gradually dying off and being replaced by a new generation. At present the ground cover has gained a higher stake in the plot. Vast expanses smothered in stinging nettle and poison ivy. Dead fall covered in various species of mosses and fungi. A place where the fox, turkey, and cougar roam free.
It’s a sanctuary from all things modern, metrosexual, and politically correct. A place where boys can be boys, and men can be men. Pure preternatural instincts and freedom saturate the air.
Ever wonder what the world would be like if we didn’t have to worry about laws and cops and douche-bag neighbours and all that other bullshit which keeps us from exercising our true free will of intellect and action? Well I’d imagine you’d get something exactly like The Red-Neck Conservatory. Anything is possible; as long as it’s in the name of fun and “grabbing life by the balls”.
Once our little convoy reached the bush and found the best spot to log, we observed a few moments of reflection (with beers in hand, of coarse), and “assessed the situation”. Since it was Cooter’s chainsaw, we figured it was a good idea for him to do the cutting. If someone was gonna break shit, it might as well be him. So Cooter went to work chopping up the wood while Weiser and myself carried it to the truck and slung it in the back. There’s nothing like a little manual labour to get the muscles flexing and the blood flowing. Time raced by as we became more and more involved in our routine of cut, grab, toss, repeat; pausing only to catch our breath, light a cigarette, or gulp a beverage.
Zen and the art of…running out of beer…..
There aren’t many rules associated with The Conservatory. But the one’s which are in place are strictly enforced. Failure to comply may result in the offending party being flogged, or worse yet, being called a pus, or a girly-man. The rules are as follows :
1)You must be consuming a wobbly beverage at all times(generally this beverage is beer).
2) When the beer runs out, be prepared to drink the whisky.
That’s it folks. Them’s the rules. Like it ‘er lump it. If you can’t obey than you can’t play!
During one of our scheduled union breaks we stumbled over the grim realization that the beer was gone. Which meant only one thing: a 40oz of Gibson’s Finest. Being too excited about getting back to the bush, we forgot to grab cups for the hooch. So it was time to get a little rustic.
We polished off our beer, shook ‘em out as good as possible and then committed an act which would make the most puritan Red Green fan stand up and rejoice:
Weiser bartended us up some rye n’ coke’s in our beer bottles. Which proved to be rather difficult given the tint of the glass.
”I can’t tell if this is three shots or one….or six…”
The beginning of the end….