Friday, February 03, 2006

ETC: And THAT'S How I Spent My Summer Holidays

I've finished another book, but much as I enjoyed it, I don't feel like writing about it right now. So instead let me tell you about the greatest coincidence I've ever experienced. EVER.

Almost ten years ago, after years of rumbling about it, Rusty and I finally made good on our plan to get the hell out of southern Ontario and move to British Columbia. We had the genius idea that we would sell almost all our worldly goods, pack up the cat and some clothes in the trusty hatchback, drive across the country (yes, with a cat), drop the cat off at a kennel in Vancouver, then drive some MORE up to northern BC, plant trees on the sides of rocky mountains for three months, then drive back to Vancouver and set up permanent base camp.

So, yeah, we ploughed our way through most of that itinerary fairly uneventfully (so long as you don't consider bear encounters, helicopter-fuel fires, and makeshift hottubs in the back of pickup trucks being driven by drunken university students to be "events"), and we were in the process of wrapping up our summer with a sojourn through the Rockies, from Jasper down to Banff, then due west to Vancouver.

It was evening when we got to Banff. Now, the sensible thing to have done would have been to find a cheap hotel room and then maybe stroll the streets, grab some fondue and overpriced fudge, and then eyeball the geodes in all the rock shops. Us? We blew off all that and went to see Independence Day.

Now, you have to understand that for three months we'd been deprived of not just total contact with family and friends, but also with the world of culture. The last movie we'd watched was Twister, and you'll know we were starved for the arts when I tell you we hooted and cheered throughout the second half of that movie like it was... I dunno... Star Trek II: Wrath of Khan. (Sorry, that was a lame simile. I couldn't think of a good movie to end that sentence with, so I asked Rusty. This is what happens when you ask Rusty what kinds of movies he cheers during.)

Hmm... I just realized that the paragraph I just wrote is not germane to this story at all. Skip it if you want. This next paragraph, however, contains semi-important plot points. Not as important as the plot points in the paragraph after it, but you should probably pay attention anyway. If nothing else, it's good practice.

By the time we came out of the movie it was late... too late to rent a hotel room, in our considered opinion. We were reluctant to part with money we'd earned with our blood, sweat, and tears if all we were going to have time to do was sleep. (I don't know about you, but I don't feel like I've gotten my money's worth out of my accommodations unless I've watched a couple of hours of cable TV, taken a bath AND a shower, and used all the towels.) So we decided -- this is the part where it's obvious we were young and dumb -- to park in a truck stop (aka a parking lot) outside of Banff and sleep in the car.

We slept exactly as well as you'd guess, woke up early, pledged never to do that again, and started driving, full of piss and vinegar and fire for the open road. For about seven minutes. Then we hit a road construction site and were forced to sit and idle with all the other losers tourists losers.

Still stiff and cramped from our night of vehicular slumber, Rusty decided to get out of the car and stretch.

Okay, this is where the story gets interesting. But I realize that I've neglected a few salient points that I probably should have found a way to work in earlier:
  • We'd been virtually incommunicado for months, but one of the few letters that found us was from Glark, sent many weeks earlier, merely stating that he'd been offered a job in LA and was planning to move there at some undetermined point in time.
  • You need to understand that Glark is like the stinky little brother we never had. Until we started our little odyssey, we were accustomed to the pleasure of his company almost every single day. To say that we were experiencing Glark separation anxiety -- and that we were especially saddened that we knew not when we'd see him again -- is an understatement.
  • As a statement of our platonic life partnership, Glark had designed a limited edition (limited to three, to be precise) t-shirt that prominently featured a proto-emoticon he'd labelled a "glark".
  • Rusty had trashed most of his civvies while treeplanting, but had diligently preserved his Glark t-shirt. It being the only presentable item in his wardrobe, he was wearing it for our road trip.
  • Rusty had bleached his dark hair platinum blond. (All the cool kids were doing it.) His own mother wouldn't have recognized him.
Got all that? Okay. Here's where things get all Twilight Zone-y.

Rusty gets out of the car on the Trans-Canada Highway -- a highway that is
7,821 kilometres (that's 4,860 miles) from end to end -- wearing his Glark shirt. Minutes later, he hears his name being yelled. Then again.

You guessed it! It was Glark, who was driving to his new job! You're so smart.

Thinking about the chain of events that led to this serendipitous event is mind-boggling. What if we hadn't seen Independence Day and hosed ourselves out of renting a hotel room? What if there hadn't been road construction? What if we hadn't slept in our car, causing Rusty to need to stretch his aching limbs? What if Glark hadn't designed those shirts? What if Rusty hadn't been wearing his?

Is your mind boggled? Is your flabber gasted? Are you whelmed, perhaps overly?

At any rate, we hugged or something, then convoyed together to Vancouver, with a stopover in Kamloops or Kelowna. I always get those two mixed up. Maybe it was Vernon. Regardless, we got lots of quality Glark time -- with the added bonus of Papa Glark time; he was accompanying Glark on this trip and he is a lovely man -- so we were satiated with sufficient Glarkness to tide us over till our paths crossed again.

And that's how we all knew we were destined to be Best Friends 4ever!

Glark recently unearthed this Polaroid (remember Polaroids? They were the '90s equivalent of digital cameras for the I-want-it-NOW generation) he snapped of me and Rusty moments after we discovered each other on the Trans-Can. I have no idea why we're posing like that, other than to speculate that maybe it was subconsciously because Papa Glark used to be a cop.

Good god. We look so young. And HOT. Is it immodest to say this about your decade-younger self? I mean, yes, we were also filthy. Granted. And sunburned. And I bet we were feculent with road-sweat stank. Still, I wish we could jump into a time-travel machine and go back and have an orgy with ourselves. Is that wrong?

So top that story. I double-dog dare you.

22 comments:

Antipodean said...

That is hands down the coolest story I have ever read. I shall not attempt to top that.

Oh no. My flabber is well and truly gasted!

One question: How did Glark manage to pull over in time - did the shirt draw him like a beacon?

Rebecca said...

I can't believe you invoked the double-dog dare!

In 1999, I moved to Halifax to do my master's degree. Besides extended family (who lived outside the city), I didn't know a single soul there. However, by the end of the week:

- I almost ran over a former high school classmate who I hadn't seen in years, and, as it turns out, was going to be in the same program as me;

- I'd discovered through my roomate that a guy I'd known mostly in high school (and had a class with in university) was living in the apartment directly below mine (neither of us had any idea the other was going to Halifax);

- A good friend of mine was married to the best friend of one of my classmates, who was from Newfoundland (the strange part of this story was that she and the other girl who had been in the same program at the same university, but a year apart, didn't know a single soul in common, and here I was, a stranger from Ontario, who knew someone who she'd known forever.)

Glark said...

That summer they were building these little animal tunnels under the roadway every so many miles so that deer and foxes and all those guys could cross the road without becoming endeadenated.

They stopped traffic for 5 minutes every 10 minutes or so. I almost got through but ended up the second car in a line that ended up growing to over a hundred cars.

At some point I just happened to look in my side view mirror and I saw the 'glark' logo (which is where I took my online handle from) about 15 cars back and the rest is history.

Anonymous said...

....A story about coincidences, you say?

(sits down)

It was 1992. I was at the Halloween Parade in New York with some friends; we were all in lame last-minute costumes, watching the parade. At some point, I happened to glance over my shoulder back into the crowd behind me, and at that moment someone was pushing through the crowd behind me, and this person was wearing the best Halloween costume I had ever seen -- he was dressed as the figure from the Maigritte painting "The Son Of Man" (the one with the guy standing and facing forward, and an apple is suspended in the air in front of his face). The guy had a suit on, and a bowler hat which had a little green fake apple dangling from the brim with fishing wire. He paused behind me to tip his hat at someone else in the crowd, then continued pushing through the crowd and on his way. I watched, grinning, and recovered with barely enough time to tap all my friends on the shoulders and say "Hey, looka that guy!"

Years went on. Time to time, I'd tell people the story of The Best Halloween Costume I Ever Saw.

In early 1996, I started dating a guy that to this day is one of my closest friends; we were really smitten with each other from the first. Anyway, one day we were talking about art and artists. "Did you see the Maigritte exhibit at the Met a few years ago?" he asked me.

"Oh, God yes, I love Maigritte!"

"Me too! In fact, it gave me a great idea for a Halloween costume that year -- I was going to be watching the parade, and I got a bowler hat, and....uh....why are you looking at me like that?"

....Yes. We confirmed it through comparing addresses where we were in the crowd, and he even still had the hat and dug it out so I could see it. HE had been the guy I'd seen four years earlier.

Every once in a while I still get him a silly little trinket with a "Son of Man" motif.

Kim

Nicole Steeves said...

The below email exchanges comprise the best coincidence I've experienced.

From: Nikki
To: Regina@televisionwithoutpity.com
Subject: Crazy Marie

I just read your recap of the Alias Season One Finale and noticed that you mentioned the "Wendy's on Lawrence." I thought, "That's funny, I live by a Wendy's on Lawrence." Then I read your Staff info on the Alias page and saw that you dislike the CTA and your neighbor "Crazy Marie." I thought, "That's funny, I despise the CTA and have a neighbor named Crazy Marie." You don't happen to live at Ainslie and Seeley, do you? That would be weird. Because then we either live by each other, or we ARE each other.
-Nikki, your possible neighbor or other personality

From: Regina
To: Nikki
Subject: Re: Crazy Marie

Dude. You're not my other personality. I live at Ainslie and Seeley. 4XXX N. XXX, #3. That is just...WOW. Are you my downstairs
neighbor? Freaky. Soooo freaky. I haven't seen (or heard) Crazy Marie for ages. Do you think we got lucky and the dog ate her?

R.

From: Nikki
To: regina@mail.televisionwithoutpity.com
Subject: Re: Crazy Marie

Yeah, I am your downstairs neighbor! Funny. Unfortunately, I see Marie and her ugly little sweater-dog all the time. She has a really bizarre sense of conversation and personal space. Sometimes I see her purposely close the door when I'm really close to the building, and other times she'll start talking to me when I'm halfway down XXX.
So, I think our building has some sort of mystical energy of convergence, a la Ghostbusters. I was in New Orleans a year ago and
met this nice couple. We were chitchatting and eventually figured out that she grew up in our building in the apartment across the hall from you, and her parents still live there (you know, the old German couple). Or, I've been reading too much Jasper Fforde and am overly sensitive to coincidences right now.
-Nikki

From: Regina
To: Nikki

Hee! Okay, this is totally hilarious. And now we really do have to have many drinks together. Every time I've run into you in the past, you're always nice enough to invite me to join in on whatever shindig you're throwing and every damn time I've been working. That's what happens during the Alias season. From September to roughly May I work most nights on the recaps and other freelance writing projects. On the weekends? I sleep.

But the season's over, so we'll have to hang.

Marie has no idea who we are, dude. She thinks we're all the same person and that we all have the same schedules and do the same things. My run-ins with her are the stuff of pure unadulterated comedy. I'll throw you a link to a piece I wrote about her recently. I'm not looking forward to the summer. You'll see why. And that cotton-ball-tailed decrepit snaggletooth of a dog. Good jeeyasus, isn't that thing dead yet?

Here's the piece:
http://www.redhead-papers.com/casino_rouge/archives/000034.html. She's just...well, there's a reason we call her "crazy".

I'm wondering if our building is, indeed, the seventh ring of hell. Perhaps that's why you keep spinning into vortexes (or is it vortecies?) involving distant people from distant lands who wind up living either in our building or, possibly, in your very own apartment. Or maybe it's you - YOU are the vortex. And you are taking us down with you.

It could happen.

I never talk to the Germans. I think they think I'm a raging alcoholic because every time I step out on the porch to set my garbage down, it clinks like a brewery dumpster. Yeah. Maybe I have a problem.

R.

Anita said...

You won! You won! The Best of Blogs award . . .and you are very deserving IMHO. Congratulations!!! May many new visitors find you - - because they'll be very happy they did.

Karen said...

I met my husband through a mutual friend. We later found out that our moms had gone to college together 30+ years before but had lost touch, as many college friends do. Oh, and that my mother had lent her wedding gown to his mother. YES, OUR MOTHERS WERE MARRIED IN THE SAME GOWN! (And it goes without saying -- but I'll say it -- that if our mothers had ever tried to fix us up, we'd both have run screaming in the other direction.)

You can find lots of other great coincidence stories in "I Thought My Father Was God," edited by Paul Auster.

Doppelganger said...

Rebecca, I know! I breached protocol by skipping the dare and the double dare, but I couldn't help myself.

Hmm... y'all do seem to have some pretty good coincidence stories, and I think Karen trumps us all because hers gets added points for sentimental value. Dang. *shakes fist*

Oh, and thanks, Anita! If it hadn't been for you, I still probably wouldn't have even known I was nominated. I just checked, and my site traffic's increased by almost a third, which is saying a lot!

Anne-Marie said...

You're making this shit up right?

Reading along, I thought to myself "wait. there's no way...just no way... THEY'RE GONNA RUN INTO GLARK! In the middle of the motherfreakin' TransCanada!". And then, you did. Unbelievable.

Congrats on your award - you still gonna wanna hang out with us lay-folk?

alexis said...

Five years ago I had just finished my first semester of unviersity, and was cleaning out my violin case to go home for christmas. In it I found a photograph of a bunch of people I didn't know hanging out somewhere I've never been. There were about 15 people in an apple orchard wtih mountains in the background. I was confused but busy, so I put the picture back in the case and forgot about it.

A few months later a friend and I were auditioning for the university's Gilbert & Sullivan society when I remembered the picutre. I took it out of my case and showed my friend, and she had no idea who any of the people were either. One of the people was wearing a shirt that said "Vanier Athletics" but other than that there were no clues as to who these people were. We packed up our stuff and went to leave, but when we got to the hall my friend said "That's the shirt!" One of the guys in the picture was there.

Now, the incredible part is that this guy, who I'd been chatting with earlier but hadn't recognized, had only just that minute changed into his dance clothes, which included the shirt. It turns out that the picture was of the university's German club, on their annual trip apple-picking in the Laurentiens.

How it got into my case remains, to this very day, a mystery.

Doppelganger said...

Alexis, that story is beyond coincidence and is just plain eerie. Also, have you ever noticed how the German club in any university always plans the coolest, weirdest activies?

Anne-Marie, it is all true. As an editor by trade, I normally don't have any problem with tweaking a story to heighten it's narrative potential (should I be admitting that here?), but in this case I did not have to change a thing. Crazy, huh? It still blows my mind ten years later.

On a completely unrelated note, the verification word that Blogger has thrown at me for this comment is the cutest made-up word I've ever seen:

kzodpsoo

Try saying it out loud. It's fun!

Christa said...

YAY KELOWNA!!!

laura said...

In October 1996, I went to India. In the waiting room at Heathrow, I met another solo traveller about my age, who turned out to be from Waterloo but living on an ashram in northern India. She kept me out of trouble that first night in New Delhi, and I visited her village a few weeks later.

A year and a half later, I moved from Ottawa to Vancouver. Wandering around Jericho Beach near the hostel very late one night, I met four strange and interesting people who lived over the Naam (legendary vegetarian restaurant) and gave me a flyer about their mandala workshops. Welcome to BC!

A few months later, my roommates and I were driving past the Naam when I space-filling-ly mentioned that I'd met people who lived there. One roommate said she did, too: a girl who had been in her dance classes in Hamilton ten years earlier, whom she'd recently recognized in a shop. She had been invited for tea that very evening. I went along. There was travel talk. In the course of conversation, we discovered that my roommate's boyfriend was the ex-boyfriend of the girl I met at the airport.

It was all so darned coincidental.

Doppelganger said...

Heheh, Laura... I call that the Vancouver Effect. People here are so social and well-travelled that I hear stories like this a fair bit. I even have a couple myself:

- When Rusty and I were travelling around southeast Asia a few years back, we spent some time in southern Thailand. One night we went to this crazy restaurant/club thingy that was in a treehouse built on an ocean cliff. Where we met the guy who had given me one of my tattoos four years earlier. He recognized the tattoo from across the deck and came over to say hi.

- On our last night before coming home, we were tooling around Bangkok. We saw a white couple walking ahead of us in a thick crowd of people. They were both tall, and the woman had long red hair. Even though I only saw them from behind, I said to Rusty, "Hey, that looks like Millie and Dan" (friends of friends whom we know fairly well through the house-party circuit). And of course it was.

Stories like this make me wonder about all the near-misses, the times when you *almost* ran into someone in an unexpected place, but happened to be looking the other way or walking down a parallel street.

Kate said...

The glark symbol is a guy! I never noticed that before. I always thought it was a sideways F. It never occurred to me that it might be a little dude with a monobrow and no mouth.

Anyway, great story, and fantastic photo.

Anonymous said...

My family and I were driving through Oregon about eight years ago (we're from B.C.) and my dad was going through a Beanie Baby phase (...sigh). We were stopped at a roadside antique store (which probably sold Beanie Babies) and we ran into our real estate agent. So bizarre. We had no idea he was even IN Oregon -- and we were randomly stopped at the side of the road!

My sister and mother were in Banff three years ago (I guess Banff, along with Vancouver, is the land of wacky coincidences) and they went into a bathroom somewhere and ran into our Grade 8 math teacher (we all live in B.C.). Weeeeird.

We also ran into my mom's principal (she's a teacher) while camping about 10 years ago, but that's less of a coincidence because his family and ours went to the same campground most years (though we'd never run into them before, and we didn't know they were there at the time, and we didn't hang out socially or anything. My mom just knew that they went there). We didn't see him at the campgroud, though, but in a town about half an hour away.

-laconicchick

Anonymous said...

My dad was in the military & back in the 70's we lived near Frankfurt Germany. One week, we went to Munich for a vacation and did the tourist thing around the area. We stayed at a military guesthouse & I vaguely remember seeing another family there with two kids, one of them a girl about my age. Our rooms overlooked the courtyard, the other family's was opposite and we all got in trouble for playing with the metal rolling shutter things on the windows.
We moved to a town in Texas the following year and then moved to another neighborhood when my parents bought a house. On the second day at my new school, I met a girl named Yvette. We had similar backgrounds (military dads, time in germany, etc) and became good friends.
Six years after Yvette and I met, my mom started working getting all the family photos into albums. One day, Yvette and I were going to hang at my house and when we stopped in to say 'hi' to Mom, Yvette looked down and said, 'Hey, why do you have a picture of my little brother and dad?"

Yep. Yvette and her family were the same family from that week in Munich. They appear in several of the photos and in one of the 8mm movies my dad made that week. Freaky!

**
We lived in Germany twice. The first time, I had a school mate with an usual name but let's call him 'Victor'. We moved back to the States and Victor & his family moved to Switzerland or Austria (Victor got a role in a TV movie/series that ran in the US for a year) 3 years later, we're back in Germany, in a different town and guess who moves there? Victor and his family.
This was 30 years ago. I've since lived in Texas, PA and now I'm in Maryland. Guess who works 5 miles from my old apartment? Victor. I googled his unusual name & there he is. I was able to determine that I moved to MD first but I still feel too stalkerish to ever go look him up. And really, I just remember him because of his weird name and the TV thing.

Anonymous said...

OK, I have a few - this is fun!

1989-90: I went to middle school in a small town in Hawaii. There was a girl who hung out in the same group named Megan, who was only at that school for most of 6th grade & half of 7th grade. They also went to the same Christian church. Her family tired Hawaii out, didn't like it, and they moved back to Pennsylvania.
1996: I was in Hollywood for three weeks, in a bondage club on a Thursday night. The place must've had 400 people in it. I walk to the bar, light a cigarette, order a water, and bump into the person standing behind me. I turn around to apologize, and there Megan is, blonde hair died black (I had pink hair) dressed head-to-foot in pleather.

The second one is a fmaily thing, didn't quite happen to ME:
My Dad, Pat, is an only child who was moved to Pasadena when he was 1 year old, and went to the same public school thru high school. He had a best friend, John, in 3rd grade, and when they were in 10th grade, they aquired a third to the grouping; Bill.
This third had 2 sisters, faternal twins Claire & Colleen, and managed to introduce John to one of them; Claire. They got married a few years later, but my Dad missed the wedding - he was married & going to college at Berkley.
When he got divorced several years later, he came back down, to visit his Mom and old friends. At this time, Colleen was living in the mother-in-law house at the back of John & Claire's property. She never came into the main house.
Pat dropped by to say hi, was only planning on being there 10 minutes, and was suprised to meet his friend's sister-in-law for the first time. She was in the main house because there was a leak.
10 minutes later, they had a date scheduled, and less than 1 1/2 years went by before I was born.
And...
They're still married!

Here's a twist: they went on their first date to a French restaurant in North Hollywood, in 1976. They ended up buying a house within 3 miles of that restaurant (they both lived 25 miles away at the time, and hadn't really been looking in that area). That's where I lived until 1986. In 2004, after my seperation from my ex, I moved back to LA, looking for Santa Monica work/living space. Because of where I found work, I moved into an apartment half-way between that restaurant & the house I grew up in.

I have more, though not as complex as the last one. Like, my boyfriend's best freind grew up 4 houses down and across the street from my Dad. My boyfriend went to the same private Catholic school as my Mom & her siblings. And got expelled at the same age as my uncle. And he lives down the block from my ex-husband's grandmother's house. And we're both allergic to mushrooms... but he likes 'em & I don't.

Nilbo said...

Here's one with a couple of turns, but I think I can tell it intelligibly. A warning - this is like a crime drama, in that even the most irrelevant-seeming details may be the hinge upon which the story swings, so pay attention:

A couple of years ago, our neighbour invited us over for Easter dinner. We had been in the habit (tradition?) of going to her place for Easter dinner, and she and her husband to ours for Thanksgiving - but when she and her husband broke up, that sort of just fell by the wayside.

But here she was, inviting us, because her sister (a recent widow) was visiting from Toronto and she wanted a big family event. Since we were the closest thing to family living on this tiny Island, and our real family is 2147 miles away, we were it.

So, we go over and everybody is introduced and we all pitch in to help get dinner ready. Along the way, my wife says something about how the crowd in the kitchen reminding her of being home in Winnipeg (where we both grew up). And our friend says "Oh, God, don't get them started with the damn Winnipeg stories."

Her sister says "I know. My husband was from Winnipeg, and right up until he died he would talk endlessly about his old neighbourhood. Good old Deer Park."

"Deer Lodge," said my wife and I, as one.

"Right." she said.

"Where was he from?" I asked. I mean, what street? Do you know?"

"Sharp Avenue," she said.

"Boulevard," I corrected. I'd grown up four streets away.

"Well, I'm sure you wouldn't have known him. His parents moved away from Winnipeg when he was 12. That would be 1966."

I blanched. "Was his name Ralph? Ralph Nichol?"

"Oh, God ..."

"Ralph was my best friend in childhood. We were inseparable till he moved away. Teenage boys don't write letters - so we never heard from one another again."

"Ralph will be up in Heaven laughing his ass off right now."

"Hey, I have our class picture from Grade Six ... why don't I get it?"

She started to cry. "Could you ...?"

I ran the few steps home and rummaged through the photos, finally feeling the familiar worn cardboard frame: "My Classmates", Linwood School, Room 6 02. Miss Syms. I opened the folder.

One student was absent that day.

*****
Post Script: My friend's sister went home to Toronto - and its five million citizens. A week later, I get an e-mail from one of my very closest friends (and one of the few people I know in Toronto), saying "The weirdest thing - I went to choir today and one of the women had been in Prince Edward Island ..."

Anonymous said...

Oooh. I've got one. When I was young (never mind how many years ago THAT was), my family took numerous road trips from Calgary to Vancouver. Tempermental child that I was, I ALWAYS demanded a stop at Roger's Pass to look at the scrimshaw in the gift shop. Roger's Pass. Scrimshaw. Every friggin' trip.

Fast forward to present. I live with the love of my life, and have done for the last sixteen years. His name? Roger Scrimshaw.

Hooray for road trips through the Rockies!

Anonymous said...

I decided at some point in my life, probably somewhere between pre-employment and sanity, that working on cruise ships would be fun. I have since learned the error or my ways. And if you’re one of those people, you know the ones, “you work on a cruise ship? How cool is that?!” you have never worked on one.

Anyway, the point is, I was fresh-faced, having just started my new job and like all newbies had not learned one of the cardinal rules of working on ships: If there’s a hall party, KEEP YOUR DOOR SHUT! I was soon to learn this as I climbed into bed at 3am, only to smell what we all know should stay inside another couple hours before coming out, and for that matter come out the other hole. That’s right, the universal smell of a good time gone bad. It’s 3am in the morning, I have to work in six hours and I’m not enough of a morning person to deal with silly things like lack of sleep. Yet there she is! Some random person, I still don’t know her name, (not that I care), hurling ALL OVER my washroom. The rest of the night was needless to say…messy. I spent at least two hours convincing her that this wasn’t her room, cleaning up her mess some of which ended up on me. It was a funny story. Everyone laughed, she got transferred to another ship so I didn’t have to ask awkward questions like, when did purple become a food colour? Then I got transferred to another ship…
Cut to a year and a half later. The Yukon, Canada, beautiful, picturesque even. I’m on a bus with a bunch of Canadians, Australians, South Africans, not that this is important to the story. We’re heading in from Skagway? Juneau? I can’t remember, but we crossed the boarder into Canada from Alaska. We’ve loaded the bus with several dozen two-fours. Did I mention I was still working on ships? Did I forget that part? Oh well, yes I still hadn’t managed to quit. We were on a field trip with another ship, and you know? I don’t even remember where we were going, I don’t think that was the point, I think it was more the fact that we were on a bus with beer. And let me say this, apparently the crew from the other ship can’t handle their alcohol, one person in particular. As I was coming out of the washroom, she was heading in and hurled all down my jacket. And I couldn’t place where I knew her from until that moment. Yes, it was that same girl. I’ve only seen her two times in my life and both times she was puking on me.

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