The Countdown

June 3, 2010


The Seagulls are still here. They are traumatized.  I don’t think they’ll be going anywhere for a while, at least not until they’ve had access to counselling.

I think it’s one thing to get lost flying across Canada. I think that may happen  a lot. I think maybe, in Prairie communities across this land, little clusters of Seagulls settle down every Summer because they got sidetracked flying over Nova Scotia and now their wings hurt.

It’s another thing, however, to find yourself, at the end of May, after a week of blissful heat, in the middle of a frigging blizzard.

Seagull 1: [Shivering] Mate, I can’t feel my beak.

Seagull 2: [Hopping from one claw to the other] This is not fucking funny. Is that hail? Is that fucking HAIL?

[Both birds hop up and down on the roof to avoid the hail]

Seagull 1: Has this ever happened before?

Seagull 2: [Covering his head with his wings] I don’t know, mate. I always go to Mexico. It’s that Bernard’s fault I ended up here.

[Both Seagulls stare at Bernard, who is sitting alone on the next roof, ducking to avoid the hail pellets.]

Seagull 2: Told me I had to see Newfoundland. I always fly south of it, y’see, and across America, but he said, no, mate, you got to see it, it’s like Scarborough.

[Pause]

Seagull 1: Is it?

[Pause]

Seagull 2: A bit.

[Pause]

Seagull 1: I like Scarborough.

[Pause}

Seagull 2: Yeah, it’s alright. But then I lost my sense of direction and just kept flying, see, and now I’m here. [He turns in the direction of Bernard. Shouting] I fucking hate you, Bernard.

[The hail subsides. It continues to snow]

Seagull 2: They don’t even do decent chips here.

Seagull 1: [Looking crestfallen] Really?

Seagull 2: What I’d give for a portion of chips and gravy from Golden Fry right now.

[Bernard looks up]

Seagull 2: [Shouting]  Bugger off, Bernard! I’m  not letting you have any of my chips! [Pause] NOT EVEN IMAGINARY ONES!

If you ever needed proof of a traumatized Seagull, there you have it.

I caught a seagull once. Years ago. I brought it in through the kitchen window and left it under the bed for my Dad.

Anyhoo, the countdown has begun and, in two weeks’ time, The Mushroom and The Baby head off back to The Cave Troll and the Hippy, and my Dad is following a week after. I thought I would be bundled into that box again and sent on a plane, but no. This time, it would appear, I’m going on a ROAD TRIP.

I am WELL EXCITED.

I’ve seen films about road trips. They look AMAZING. Quite a lot needs to organized before I can go, though. I need:

a) a gun,

b) a bottle of some hard liquor. I was thinking bourbon, believing it to be a Hard Man’s tipple, until I realised that Southern Comfort was bourbon, and that is drunk mostly by old ladies and teenage girls who mix it with coke, so I don’t want that.  Then I thought Jack Daniels, but all I really know about Jack Daniels is that it turns people into twats and I don’t want to be a twat on a roadtrip. I think, maybe Johnny Walker then. Have no idea what it is.

c) some kind of hat,

d) a leather jacket, with studs on the back spelling out something cool and a bit menacing. Like, I don’t know, ‘Bad Cat’. Yeah.

e) Ooh, a bandana!

e) a motorbike.

Is this all going a bit ‘Easy Rider’?

I am not sure, upon reflection, that all this would work. I don’t think I could ride a motorbike on my own, and I don’t think my Dad would be able to ride it with me AND Fluffy Usurper, and cart all our worldly goods across Canada. Right, then, I’ll just settle for sitting in the front of the Jeep with my Dad (Fluffy Usurper is TOTALLY going in the back), swigging my Johnny Walker and wearing my leather jacket and my bandana and my hat and AVIATORS, I need those too. I am going to look BRILLIANT.

I must admit to being mildly concerned as to how my Dad is going to sneak us into his Trans-Canada motels. Is he going to pretend to be pregnant? Are we going to be stuffed into his holdall? Are we going to have to sleep in the car? But it’s all okay, though, cos I’m going to have a GUN.

Right. Off to work out how a cat can get a gun in Saskatchewan. I’m reckoning it won’t be too hard…

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