Grandma Getting Arrested Was Not My Fault

It wasn’t so much that she was arrested as dropped off in the middle of the night by police. Despite what everyone will tell you, it wasn’t my doing. Really if anyone should get the blame it’s my maternal grandfather, he was the one shouting at the bouncers. But I’m getting ahead of myself here.

About a decade back, my Dad took my whole family on vacation; me, my sister, my Mom, my Dad, my Gran, my Granddad, my Dad’s mom and even my boyfriend at the time, we all went to a resort.

The vacation was exactly like this. Only substitute all the kissing and racy bits with shuffleboard. (Photo Credit : amazon.com)

The vacation was just like this. Only substitute all the kissing and racy bits with shuffleboard. (Photo Credit : amazon.com)

If you’ve ever seen “Dirty Dancing” this resort was exactly like that, only without all the interesting sexy bits and desperately attractive men lurking in every corner. Also I never once saw Patrick Swayze. Not exactly a place where a teenager would go to have fun for a good time. However Diana and I were with our family so we were happy. Though I must confess the evenings were quite slow. One night at dinner my family decided that we would all go dancing.

This was around the time that my Mom’s parents used to go out and win West Coast couples dancing competitions. My parents would also attend said competitions but didn’t podium. My boyfriend and I, inspired by watching these two couples had begun to take ballroom dance lessons as well.

Unfortunately Diana was only eighteen at the time so my parents were unsure whether she would get into the bar at the hotel. Exasperated my Gran blurted out “You MUST have a fake ID.” And not surprisingly, Diana did. It was passed around and scrutinized by every member of my family but my grandfather who was in the washroom at the time. After everyone inspected the Northwest Territories driver’s license, it was deemed an acceptable fake.

After dinner everyone returned to their respective hotel rooms, except for my sister and I who always want to spend more time with our maternal grandparents. We sat on their bed chatting merrily while my Gran and Granddad got dressed in their matching cowboy dancing outfits and my Granddad donned one of his impressive western hats. The mood in the room was jovial and excited.

Walking over to the bar with the prospect of spending an evening with his family and getting to dance with his two granddaughters, my Granddad was his extroverted self. Seeing the bouncers’ hackles go up at the sight of Diana and me, he waved cheerfully. “It’s ok boys! They’re my granddaughters.” Grabbing Diana’s shoulders he proudly added “This one’s eighteen!”

“Granddad!” Diana and I shouted indignantly in unison. “What?” My grandfather asked stopping in his tracks. In Manitoba, where my Granddad grew up, the legal drinking age is eighteen. In Ontario it’s one year older.

Kicking at the ground Diana turned on her heel and left in a huff. Walking into the bar Granddad’s shoulder were hunched “I didn’t know, I didn’t know.” He repeated sheepishly. However soon the music started and the mood lightened as the couples began to dance.

A group of three men a little older than me stood awkwardly around the bar. Thinking of my sister who was probably sitting in the hotel room bored to tears while my eighty-four year old grandma knitted an afghan, I had an idea.

“Hey do you want to keep a hot girl company?” I asked. The boys shrugged but then listened eagerly when I told them my room number. They left the bar soon after.

In the mean time, after realizing that she wasn’t going to spend the evening cha-cha-ing with her family, my sister had found another under age youth sitting on one of the resort’s rolling hills. Together they sat in the darkness and shared bottles of booze that the young man had pinched from who knows where.

The three men from the bar, having given up any hope of finding fun in a place filled with middle aged people dancing the East Coast swing, headed over to my family’s hotel room. They knocked on the door.

By this time my grandmother had changed into her nightgown and was getting ready for bed when she heard a rapping at the door. The sight of the three lumbering young men inquiring if there was a hot girl inside ( I hadn’t bothered to give them Diana’s name), spurred my elderly grandmother into action. “No. Only me.” she replied curtly, “Now please go home.” Then, strapping on her fuzzy slippers, my grandma walked off into the night in search of Diana.

This entire time, the hotel police were parked a distance from the hill that my sister and her new friend had been illegally drinking on. The officers were well aware of the illicit goings on, however the amount of flack they’d receive from the patrons of the hotel for busting the privileged teenagers for the offense was greater than the good that would come from stopping it. At any rate, my sister and the young man were not causing any harm.

Around the time that Diana and her companion packed up their bottles and headed back to their respective rooms the hotel police received word that there was an elderly woman wandering around the property in her nightgown. Off they sped in their cruiser to avert disaster.

Diana arrived back at the room just as my parents and I did. Everyone was confused as to where my grandmother had gone at twelve o’clock at night. Then for the second time that night there was a knock at the hotel room door. My father opened it to a squad car with its lights flashing and an official looking man in uniform standing next to his mother. “These nice men gave me a ride back” said Grandma as she stepped past my father into the hotel room.

Although I technically did send a group of strange young men to my family’s hotel room searching for my sister, I still contest that Grandma wandering around in the middle of the night and being dropped off by security is NOT my fault. Clearly its Granddad’s lack of awareness around Ontario’s drinking laws and his overactive bladder.

 

 

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Adventures in Driving

My learning how to drive was a much laughed about debacle, between my confusing the brake and the gas pedal and the many times my mother gripped the arm rest in and yelled “Get on your side. GET ON YOUR SIDE!” to which I would reply “I am ON my side” immediately after, a car would appear and be driving head on towards me and I would realize that I was not in fact on my side of the road.

Tex lives in a place so north and so remote that there are only gravel roads. Until I moved here, I thought I understood how to drive on gravel roads however what I was used to were packed dirt roads with gravel on top. Driving on gravel roads is a bit like surfing.

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This is sort of what it’s like.This wouldn’t be so bad.(Photo Credit: theguardian.com)

 

Only it’s more dangerous because you’re surfing with a car.

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Ok, this is seeming like less of a good idea. Photo Credit : quora.com + the Great Unwashed’s amazing Microsoft Paint Skills

On pointy rocks, instead of soft wavy water

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Who in goodness’ name thinks this is a good idea? Both the car surfing on rocks and The Great Unwashed using Microsoft Paint like it’s Adobe Photoshop.

A reluctant driver at the best of times, I wasn’t enthusiastic about driving on gravel however last week Tex and I bought a new car so Tex wanted me to try it out.

I got behind the wheel and Tex then commented “Oh, there’s a combine up ahead.” This didn’t worry me because I figured that combines are kind of like wild animals; if I don’t bother them, they won’t hurt me. So there we were plodding along at twenty kilometers per hour (about twelve miles an hour for my American friends). “You’re doing great” encouraged Tex. I increased my speed to thirty milometers an hour. “Look at you go” said Tex “I’m proud of you”. All the while the combine stayed ahead of us, making its equally slow way along the road. Then all of a sudden, it signaled that it was going to pull over. “It wants you to pass” observed Tex. As I carefully passed the combine I turned to Tex and asked “How mad are is the farmer going to be when he realizes that I’m slowing HIM down?”

That Time That The Government Was All “Show Us the Goods, Unwashed”

I got audited. Hard. The Canadian Revenue Agency showed up at my door, kicked it in, and then frisked me. Afterwards, just for kicks, the CRA stuck my hand in the toilet while singing “Swirlé, Swirlé Swiiiiirrrrlééé”.

Ok, it might not have happened exactly like that, but it was close. 2014 was kind of a nutty year for me. I decided to follow it up with an even crazier year filled with two cross country moves, a wedding and a baby. The baby was four days late and arrived in 2016 but the vast majority of the baby-making occurred in 2015. Anyways, because of all this moving, shaking and baby-making, I didn’t get the letter where the government was all like “We need proof of these antics; send us your receipts, proofs and your third grade report card”, what I got instead months later, was an angry letter demanding me to pay them allllllllll of the money. To which I sniffled “But, but, but, I don’t understand!” and after that promptly paid them alllllllll of the money, then stood on street corners singing the blues with my hat held out for people to throw nickels in.

Last month, I finally received all the mail that had been sent to my former address the previous summer, including the aforementioned letter in which the government wanted to see written proof of my life up to and including Mrs. Bobbitt’s thoughts on my third grade Claymation project and life started to add up again.

So I dutifully, gathered all the documents and sent them into the heads of our true north strong and free. Even though my receipts, letters and Mrs. Bobbitt’s praise for my addition skills explained a lot, I felt the government deserved the whole story.

 

Dear Bilingual Dudes and Dudettes in suits,

Bonjourno! Wait, that may be the wrong language. At any rate, hello! How’s it hanging up in parliament? That’s great! Sorry; I stopped listening after the first syllable because no one except for Justin Trudeau cares that much about politics. Unless of course politics involves our Prime Minster taking off his shirt.

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This man’s shapely torso is the answer to voter apathy. (Photo Credit : http://www.alanifagan.com)

I received your letter and enclosed the requested documents but I thought I should explain, I mean, I totally understand your incredulous response to my year. Looking back, I can’t even believe that I bought a house, went back to school for ten months, worked part time and traveled for three months. It doesn’t show it anywhere on those documents, but I met the cowboy of my dreams in there too. What can I say? It was a super packed year. Clearly I didn’t sleep. But even still, I see your questioning eyebrows, Canada Revenue Agency, you’re saying to yourself “These numbers don’t add up, we need concrete proof of this tomfoolery and possibly a road map” so let me draw it out for you.

I’ll admit it, I bought a house. It was a small house though, which meant the mortgage was manageable, even as a single, quasi-employed lady. Also then I sold my car. Ok, the word isn’t sold. I took my car to the junk yard, poured out a little for my mechanical homey and then was driven home by my friend Gordy. So that saved money. Lots of money in fact, have you seen what insurers charge in Ontario?

Then, to fund my piling tuition bills I took a page out of Burning Man’s book

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Everything good can happen when this is the model one works from. (Photo Credit : http://www.rollingstone.com)

and started trading topless pirate Macarena dances for watermelons. Not really, but I did exchange meals at my house for rides to places I wanted to go. I relied on my friends that year. I am especially indebted to my close friend Gordy; he drove me everywhere and offered to fight evil, trash can tumbling raccoons cum burglars for me. But don’t call him to verify this; Gordy’s so humble he’ll claim that he didn’t do anything.

Even with lots of help, that still didn’t save enough money to fund ten months of schooling, so I kept cutting my budget. I shopped at Giant Tiger and ate produce which tasted like blue cheese. I raided my Dad’s pantry and mowed down on ten year old wild rice. When that wasn’t sufficient, I cut out all activities that weren’t free or directly related to school. CRA, you don’t even want to know how many walks I took.

I know, taking all those cost cutting measures into account, the numbers still don’t add up. Dearest government, that’s the best, most comprehensive explanation I have for that year. All I can say is when I look back; I was running, running, running the entire twelve months. I hope this helps to clarify matters. If it doesn’t, you’re welcome to call me at home, although I wouldn’t suggest it, I’m even more inexplicable in person.

Inscrutably yours,

The Great Unwashed

An Unabridged List of my Robberies

A while back I asked my mother why my father ate tasteless frozen blueberries for breakfast while we sat at my kitchen table eating said tasteless blue balls of ice. “I didn’t think you bought frozen fruits” she answered. “I don’t” I replied, “I stole them out of Dad’s freezer”.

“Does you father know you’re doing this?” she probed. “No” and “I’m not going to tell him. Well I won’t tell him until I’m unable to steal anymore.

Given that I’m moving a plane ride away from my family, it will no long be possible to pillage my father’s pantry and freezer. Thus I am confessing all of my stolen sins in one go. Online. It’s like Confession only I’m not Catholic so I need you all to absolve me.

A Review All of the Delicious and Quasi Delicious Edibles I Stole Shamelessly From My Dad’s Cupboards

(Because to Take Them and List Them Is Not Enough- I had to Share my Enjoyment or Displeasure)

Half a bag of soup mix– I didn’t check the expiry date on this one. I figured it was in both of our best interests. I found it bland; I’m hoping that was due to a lack of spices and not age.

One of two cloth bags full of scone mix– Sir, you don’t bake. Why keep one bag of scone mix let alone two? I’m considering this petty theft to be a favor; I freed up space in your cupboard. You’re welcome.

A box of Kashi cereal– We both know I eat steel cut oats for breakfast because I enjoy standing over pots for an hour in the morning hissing “Cook dammit” at my food, so this item was an altruistic steal for my former roommate Meredith. According to the rules of Stolen Food Karma Logic my guilt and any wrong doing in cancelled out my roommates enjoyment of said cereal.

Seven Vanilla Girl Guide Cookies– I left all of the chocolate. I’ll admit, it was a dick move.

The second bag of scone mix– What can I say? They were delicious. I had intended on leaving one but after I baked up the first batch and devoured them in one sitting, the temptation when I spotted them in the cupboard during my next visit was too great.

Brownie Wafers– This was a bizarre snack food. That’s all I will say.

Five bottles of Maple Syrup of varying sizes – In my defense one of those was a really small bottle, practically not even robbery. Also I did this over a period of a year and a half, otherwise I’d have diabetes right now from consuming all that in one go.

A bag of brown sugar– Again, sir you don’t cook! I would have left it if you put on your oatmeal but as it was I enjoyed it on mine. I also served some to you when you visited. The sweetened bowl of breakfast food was deemed “delicious”.

A Ziploc Container Three Quarters Filled With Wild Rice– This grain is unreasonably expensive, also I remember decanting it into the ziploc container well over a decade ago, again you’re welcome.

Three boxes of pre-seasoned couscous– Delectable. I can see why you enjoy them and keep multiple boxes on hand. Would steal again.

Two jars of medium hot salsa– Much like with the couscous and the maple syrup, when there are multiples of one item, it invites looting.

 

So dear readers, am I absolved? Or a petty thief? Or even worse, a petty thief with questionable tastes?