Told from the perspective of impromptu tour manager, Chelsea Martin, aka Mamma Bear, aka Jung Owl, aka megan?
in the summer of 2013 I made the stupid decision to go on a dumb adventure with my friends, acting as the tour manager for their band, The FAPS. It was loads of fun, I certainly don’t regret it one bit. I call it a dumb adventure because that’s exactly what it was. Some sort of fucked up family vacation that three weirdos embarked on. I can’t speak for those other two fuckers, but I know that I certainly won’t be the same again for something dark and strange has been rudely awoken inside me and it has no plans of going back to sleep anytime soon.
Chapter 1: Holy fuck, we’re never leaving the city.
We started tour off the right way; with complete chaos. Chaos in the form of a house party, a house party in the form of gross sweaty bodies, loud music and strange banana beer. I don’t think it was actual banana beer, it just tasted oddly like banana and it was delicious. There were people everywhere at all times, some people were smoking things, some people were putting things up their nose, sweaty humans falling down the stairs. Dear lord, those stairs were treacherous. Three flights of wooden stairs with no banister and nothing underneath them, if you looked down you could see all the way to the first floor from the third floor. Plus, some steps were incredibly loose. Loose to the point where they were removed and you had to jump two steps or literally fall to your death. I’m surprised no one broke their neck that night.
There were like ten bands playing that night. Well, more like 6 but six is a lot. There were actually six performances. A dude named Matt Alvarez started off the night, which I missed. Second was Pandas In Japan, I also missed them because I was busy drinking beer somewhere else. After Pandas was a band called JUMBO, apparently I watched them play but I’m sad to admit that I don’t really remember them at all. Then there was Sexy Preacher, I seriously love their name. Uhhhh after Sexy Preacher were The Forrrrrks? Yeah. The Forks. And finally The Faps. Shout out to Matt Castle of Castle River for telling Skyler, aka Gangle Wizard, to stop cuddling with drunken people on the couch and do his job.
I’ll stop boring you with stupid house party details and get to the good stuff. Meg’s at 4:30 am with Blair and Kate and I wanna say Troy but I don’t know if Troy was actually there. This was the point in the evening where nothing existed before 4am Indian food and nothing existed after. I vaguely remember Nguyen and Logan showing up soon after we had gotten there but I have no evidence of this really happening. Somehow Blair Kate and I ended up safely at my house, I’m quite certain we took a cab or imaginary Troy drove us. Muskwa was somewhere.. fuck it, I’m just name dropping now and I don’t think anyone reading this really gives a fuck about who was there.
I feel like at this point I should tell you, Dear Reader that I realize I am making myself sound like some drunken slob who goes to stupid parties and doesn’t pay attention to any of the stupid bands. I promise that is not the case here. None of this is stupid. Well no, all of this is stupid. I woke up sick as fuck when the sun came up. There, see? That’s what I get for drinking my face off with my friends at a kegger.
Blair and Kate crashed on my couches; I woke up, puked, got dressed, puked, then got my shit together and loaded my stuff into the van when Skyler showed up. So far so good. First stop: Kelly’s Café for a big greasy breakfast.
We left Kelly’s full to the point of almost regret, I wasn’t sure if I’d be able to keep myself from throwing up all over the place. Somehow I survived.
We dicked around for a bit, drove back to Skyler’s house for I don’t know what, eventually we said our fair wells to Kate after we dropped her off downtown.
Beloved Reader, this is where everything gets dumb. As we said good bye to Kate, we said to good bye to sanity and all common sense.
Full of a sense of pioneerism, as we climbed back into the van, the soon to be tropical hell, the thirst for adventure in our hearts, eggs and hash browns sloshing around in our hungover tummies. Oh my poor tummy. We had just gotten out of the city so close to freedom, so close to adventure and sunshine and rainbows and FUCK! Ten minutes out of Saskatoon and Skyler realized we still had the tap for the keg in the back of the van and it needed to be returned or else no one would get their deposit back. We turned the fuck around and drove all the way back to Skyler’s house, almost an hour later, back on the road. This, my beautiful Unicorn Readers is what tour looks like. A series of “oh fuck we have to turn around and go back there.”
To be continued…….
Chapter 5: Haunted Highways and Houses - Coffee, Cigarettes, Cocaine and Boners. All day. Every Day.
Disclaimer: If you have not heard of or listened to a band called Liars (or even if you have), please take the time to do so now, while you are reading through this blog. I’m not kidding, up until this point I’ve been pretty loose with reality and have put a satirical spin on things. If you’ve been reading all of my word vomit up until this point I think you need to go download the album, Drum’s Not Dead by Liars to fully understand the atmosphere of what I’m about the describe. Listen to it the whole way through and if you like the album go buy it. This chapter is where the magic happens.
The drive from Red Deer to Calgary at 3:30 am is probably something I am going to remember for a long time, if not forever. I mentioned previously that the temperature was hot. All the time, fucking hot and muggy and sweaty. I’ve said the words Hot and Sweaty so many times because I don’t know how else to get you to feel as gross as we felt.
The night air was cool but still humid so this created a dense fog while we were leaving Red Deer and it was quite eerie. On Blair’s awesome recommendation we had been listening to the band Liars and were determined to go through their whole discography while on tour, which was a good fucking choice since they’re an amazing band. For our drive to Calgary we listened to the album, Drum’s Not Dead, [and I seriously hope you took my advice and are listening to it right fucking now.]
I don’t know if it was the environment I was in: a dark van, driving through the fog in the middle of the night, or our conversation about reoccurring phenomenon we’ve all experienced- but I could have sworn I was seeing people on the side of the road. Or a pair of shadowy legs coming out of the fog on the road ahead of us. Maybe I was losing it after sweating non-stop for three days and drinking 8 gallons of water and iced coffee. But maybe not, this seemed real to me and I’d rather not try to justify or rationalize the experience. It was it seemed to be. We talked about haunted houses, strange things that have happened to us and dark times while the music played on. Creating even more of a macabre-esque atmosphere and I continued seeing shapes in the fog.
And then, we were silent and I had laid my head down to rest my eyes for a while and was drifting in and out of a dream world, warm and comfortable.
When I opened my eyes, I had opened them at the exactly rightfully spectacularly perfect moment. Haha that sounds like an over statement but it’s not. My favorite song was on. It’s called The Other Side of Mt. Heart Attack and it’s the last track on Drum’s Not Dead. I had heard this song before and have always loved it, but never in these circumstances.
Ohhh you Gorgeous Mythical Creature Readers, You Unicorns of the Night, next time you go on a night drive I strongly encourage you to play this song at least once.
It was one of those moments where you begin to understand the sheer power that music has over people, the way lyrics can affect your mood and your thought process, how simple notes can pull so much emotion out of you. In this moment I felt secure. I was with people that I care about, we were on an adventure, I felt immortal and yet very mortal as if Death was watching us beyond the fog, above the stars and I was ready for it. I was content with my life and my place in everything. And I thought about my friends back home and how much I care for them. And don’t get me wrong, Critical Reader, I understand the simplicity of the situation, I know that this is quite the boast and that I was just on a small tour with a couple friends and it wasn’t some grand life changing event but you know what? It didn’t need to be. It was just perfect all on its own and this is what I call magic. And I woke up at the exact moment that I should have and experienced the exact emotions and memories that I needed to and it just put everything into perspective. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jwhiXr7Xr_Y
I hope you can relate to this, Revae Bonner and all you on lookers out there. I hope you have some sort of an equivalent to this and a special song, or moment that makes you feel so many things at once.
It was such perfection. I wanted to tell my friends, but this is such a sappy thing to talk about, so I guess they just have to read about it.
Also, check out a band called Frog Eyes, holy shit.
Okay, ANYWAY back to reality, we arrived in Calgary at like 5 or 6 am or something ridiculous. We are so lucky to have such a good friend in Calgary named Keith. He was still awake and waiting for us to show up, that man runs on coffee and cigarettes. I’ve never met anyone with as much energy as Keith. He understands my need for coffee all day every day.
[Shout outs to The Pack Art Collective Wolf Pack!]
We peeled ourselves out of the van, the tropical hell bucket on wheels, and dragged some of our shit inside.
Keith, you have such a lovely home, buddy. I dropped my things in the living room and immediately headed for the shower to wash the slime off my body. Feeling refreshed and human again I joined Skyler, Keither and Blair in the living room. We chilled until it was time to pass the fuck out. We slept for a loooooong time and it felt amazing after our shitty 3 hours of sleep in the van the night before. Exhaustion is a thing that can happen quickly and easily. We woke up hungry and made a delicious meal of ramen noodles, chick peas and cut up veggies in a stir fry style and poured a mango curry sauce over that shit and let it simmer to pure perfection. Oh what a delicious feast we had made! We sat outside on the grass beside Keith’s house and hung out with Basement Jerry, who lived in Keith’s basement and you guessed it. His name is Jerry.
Skyler and Blair were still infected with the plague and I really didn’t want to pick it up so Keith suggested we eat some raw garlic to battle the germs growing inside our bog like bodies, he also gave us some garlic for the road in a plastic baggy.
Much needed relaxation before we had to venture into the cluster fuck that is downtown Calgary. So many one way streets that lead to dead ends due to the construction trying to repair the damage from the flood, shit got confusing.
Our venue was called The New Black, an All Ages venue for punk/metal/whatever bands.
I helped load the gear in, set up the merch table and looked for the fart face I was supposed to be shaking down for cash at the end of the show. Mamma Bear breaks thumbs and knee caps, Yo. Where’s mah money man? Where’s mah munny.
Anyway, all ages shows are interesting, especially when the whole audience is under the age of 18 and there is no liquor being sold. Turns out, kids actually buy shit. Like CDs and shirts and they get so stoked due to the lack of previous experiences to compare things to. The only down side about all ages clubs are the all ages bands that play at them, but whatever, kids have to start somewhere.
The Faps melted everyone’s faces off as per-usual and we got the fuck out of there.
Flying down the streets of Calgary like a bat out of hell in search of some motherfucking breakfast shiiiiit, it was Canada Day, drunk people milling about all over like fungus ants.
We took heed in a Denny’s and have never looked back since. Our lives significantly changed by eggs and iced coffee. Keith had joined us and it felt like the Last Supper as if the Last Supper was going to Last Forever and be every single night, and every day is Sunday. It was beautiful.
During our time in Calgary we learned two things which became our two tour rules.
Rule #1: Don’t talk to the Hippy, he is easily distracted.
Rule #2: Don’t let the Hippies talk to each other or no one is going anywhere.
Keith is a hilarious man of many talents; he’s a full time artist able to scrape by while doing so. His house is filled with ancient cameras, books and artwork, there was so much to talk about and almost no time to finish a conversation so we jumped between a million topics, talking about everything under the sun excitedly a million miles an hour like he just did a line of coke. The great thing is, Keith doesn’t do coke, he drinking coffee like it’s his life source and I’m starting to think that’s the key to the Fountain of Youth. I wish we could have stayed long enough to meet the rest of the Pack Art Co, but there will be more time in the future, I’m sure.
The next morning we tried to wake up early enough to leave for Revelstoke, our next destination. We prolonged our goodbyes for about an hour and a half, hugs and farewells forever! Seriously, Rules 1 and 2, think about it.
We got maybe 10 minutes from his house before we realized we had his parking pass in the van still so we turned the fuck around, I ran back into the house, tossed the pass to Keith and we were on our way again. “Holy fuck, we’re never leaving this city” is a mantra that rings clearly in my mind when reflecting on this.
Driving off into the sunset, pulling over to piss into the wind and screaming bloody murder all the way to B.C
————— Tune in next week or when ever the fuck i decide to write more about this piece of shit of an adventure. :)
Chapter 6: Part 1- Everybody Needs to be More Like Johnny. Pap Smear, Pap Smear 2 for 1 Over Here. #BeMoreLikeJohnny #CantGetDirrtierrThanTheDirrtyShow
The heat was really getting to us, we were tired and thirsty, our bodily fluids were probably 80% iced coffee and beer at this point. Honestly, I don’t really like Alberta and this was pretty much desert weather. We were all dehydrated despite my efforts in downing a liter of water every two hours. So far it had felt like a lot of driving in a sweltering metal box on wheels. I’m sure we were damaging our ears due to the windows always having to be open because the van doesn’t have air conditioning and I the fact that I would die in the back seat without the constant wind pressure in my face drying out my eyes and fucking up my hair. I didn’t care though. I expected that we’d be much dirtier and smellier by that time anyway. We were very lucky to be able to shower at the Almighty Keith’s house.
Crossing the boarding from Alberta to B.C is interesting. Our spirits were immediately lifted as we were blasted in the face by a load of salty, fresh, cool air. It was amazing how quickly our mood changed from, “Fuuuuuuck it’s fucking hawwwt in heeerrrre dear god I cant breeeaaathe.” To “ HEY! MOUNTAINS!”
We really could not wait to arrive in Revelstoke. We knew it was to be the highlight of our trip and the highlight of this blog. It’s all downhill from here if you can believe that you were ever uphill while reading what comes next here.
Man, driving through the mountains listening to Liars is pretty rad. I think the next album we were on was their self-titled one.
-For those of you just tuning in now or those of you who do a lot of drugs and can’t remember (I’m not judging) , while on tour we were on a mission to listen to the entire Liars discography because they’re fucking awesome and you should go check them out right now if you like themyoushouldfuckin-buy-thealbumafter you steal it fromtheinternet runonsentencesftw.-
Needless to say we were so ready to rip the heart out of Life and eat it while Life watched to gain Life’s powers and live forever.
Unfortunately I only spotted on beautiful majestic animal while we were in the mountains, but it was all I had hoped it would be. We were driving past a grove of trees with some sort of body of water behind it, and at first it thought I was just looking at a big brown cow from behind; until it lifted its beautifully magnificent head and I saw its giant antlers. I knew it was an elk because it didn’t have a big stupid nose on its face. And I yelled, “HEY LOOK, AN ELK” but no one else saw it, so I was a little sad. Sometimes I feel like things don’t exist if I’m the only one seeing them. I mean, it exists to me, I saw it and I felt the reaction of seeing it- pure delight and seeing such a large creature in “the wild”. But I like sharing those kinds of experiences with someone or someomes; memories ‘n shiiit.
Ooooo one of my favorite memories from driving through B.C is when we stopped at the side of the road and hung out beside this raging boner river. The rapids were intense; it was as if the mouth of the river, wherever it was, had been perpetually throwing up. It was beautiful. We found some large rocks to sit on and stuck our feet in the icy cold glacier water. The river literally roaring at us, being there was so amazing.
“Mmmmmmmm,” says Skyler, “so glorious.” As I am writing this I’ve been copying and pasting little excerpts and sending them to Skyler and Josh Robinson over facebook for feedback. Well no, not feedback, more like gauging audience reactions. As if I even have an audience haha.
When I got up and put my boots back on I noticed that across the road, running down the mountain rock wall were tiny water falls. I waited until there weren’t any vehicles coming around the corner before I ran across the road to stand under these little water falls. Blair joined me and I think Skyler took some pictures but I hope he didn’t because I hate having my picture taken. Uuuugh. But this little roadside adventure was pretty sweet.
We arrived in Golden sometime before sunset, I had stopped paying attention to the actual time as it seemed irrelevant while I was having so much fun. The T in Tour stands for Tim Hortons. If you didn’t know that, then you’ve never been on tour. Amirite?
We hung out in the parking lot while we ate our timbits and threw them at Skyler, trying to land them in or around his mouth area while he talked on the phone with Jacquo because she’s awesome and deserves nice phone calls, telling her about all the weird shit we’d gotten ourselves into.
It was kind of late when we pulled our sludge mobile into Revelstoke, we were so happy to have finally gotten there. The Faps were scheduled to play the next night but we had decided it would be a good idea to show up a day early to hangout and promote the show. Before we left Calgary we had printed out a bunch of hand drawn handbills that Blair had drawn up. The picture on the handbill was of Blair and Skyler looking very sick and very sweaty, which is an accurate portrayal of the events prior to the riveting Revelstoke experience extraordinaire extravaganza.
Upon finding the venue The Faps were to desecrate in the next 24 hours, we climbed out of the van, the warm metal womb on wheels, born again, we began handing out the printed handbills to some people smoking outside The Last Drop (the venue, stupid.)
We asked what was going on inside and some guys told us that there were two women singing about gargling an old man’s jizz. Blair and I looked at each other, “We’re home.” Is the thought that we share telepathically in this moment. We downed a few cans of beer and the three of us headed inside unprepared for the beautifully terrific horror that awaited us inside.
Greeted by the lovely sound of guitar and two female voices singing in harmony with each other, sweet and beautiful, we made our way to the front of the stage. The only people in the bar standing.
Laughter ensued as soon as we realized what they were singing about. I believe the first song we heard them sing was called, “Fuck Myself.” The lyrics to the opening verse are,
“It’s a nice I could go outside/ take a walk to the beach or go for a drive/ I don’t need fancy/ I don’t help/ yeah it’s a nice day to fuck myself.”
FUCKING BEAUTIFUL. Seeing two women on a stage singing the raunchiest shit, but in a classy way, is probably one of the best experiences in my entire life.
And they’re not shy about it either, they go all out with their content and it is magnificently honest and hilarious and heart warming and oigjsdhodfhgkdf. Just so good. I highly recommend checking them out. We made the collective decision that of fucking course we would buy their album. I’m thinking we may have been laughing the loudest out of everyone in the bar, I am also pretty sure we appreciated them the most. Blair and Skyler’s fear of maybe being a bit too offensive for the likes of The Last Drop were quickly vaporized when The Dirtty Show began singing a very graphic and detailed song about giving birth.
There was one song called The Titty Shake and they had pointed at me hoping I would also do the titty shake but since I’ve never done the titty shake I wasn’t very confident in my ability to do so, so I politely shook my head and declined. Thinking back, I wish I had just done it. I have no idea when a band of ladies are going to ask me to shake my tits for them again, I feel like that may have been a once in a life time opportunity AND I MISSED IT.
We talked to Kayla and Melody (Yes, these women have NAMES) after the show and learned they are from Red Deer, Alberta. They’re also very humble and sweet human beings, we asked them to stay and have a drink with us but alas they were tired and I think they had to be up early the next day.
After the show we got drunk and started handing out more handbills, trying to promote the show for the next night. We drunkenly talked to some locals, made some friends or even frenemies. It was great.
Blair is a mother fuckin genius and saved the fucking day! We didn’t really have a place to stay that night, we were hoping to just find a sweet hotel but Blair went and talked to Barman Johnny, the chillest and illest of the chills and ills, and was able to snag the three of us hotel rooms for the night.
Man, everyone needs to be more like Johnny.
We already had rooms booked for the next night, it was included in the payment for the gig, so now we have THREE rooms for TWO nights. Fuck. Yeah.
Skyler and I went to check out our rooms while Blair schmoozed people in the bar. Each room had two beds, a mini fridge and a tv. Regular hotel room shit but after living in the van, the metal sauna box, this felt like royalty. Skyler and I exchanged glances, “This is fuckin Dumb.” We said. Dumb in the raddest of ways, dumb in the sense that we may have felt a little undeserving of these royal gifts. But fuck that. The Faps 100% deserve all the hotel rooms, all the Dom Perignon, all the Mini Fridges.
Abso-funken-lutely. I immediately pushed the two king sized beds together in my room, and began jumping on them and giggling like a child. Because why the fuck not. We were way too RevelStoked. I know that pun is terrible and over used, but so were we.
TO PROBABLY BE CONTINUED WHEN I DECIDE TO FINISH THIS SHIT. This seems good enough for now.
Chapter 6 is a long unwanted pubic hair.
Chapter 3 – Day 1: Don’t joke about capes in strip clubs.
Good evening and welcome to this week’s installment of, X-treem Wesbrohemian Faptist Sk8Board TOUR Boners4Life Why Are We Doing This? Tour Diary. This Chapter features Unique Experiences and Encounters in Dreadmonton. Sorry I mean, Edmonton.
We rolled into the city of Death and Despair at around 8pm, parked our metal chariot outside the venue The Faps were scheduled to play at, The Brixx. What the second X is for, I can only imagine. Hot, Sweaty and Hungry, we peeled ourselves out of the seats and I’m sure we smelled terrible. We were quite excited for the first show of our journey but it didn’t take long before we realized that the promoter wasn’t there and wasn’t going to be there. I helped Blair and Skyler load their gear down the stairs into Brixx, I guess the bar was in a kind of basementy area with little ventilation and giant industrial vans blowing this way and that. It was still early but there were quite a lot of people milling about, I looked around me at all the sweaty drippy faces and suddenly didn’t feel so bad about pouring salty water out of my pours constantly.
It sucks a lot when you’re in a city you don’t know very well, in a venue you’ve never been to before where you don’t know anyone except one person who you’ve been corresponding with but they’re not there and are not answering their phone. Shit gets confusing. Blair attempted to ask the sound guy what was up and what time they would be playing at, but was answered with, “Go ask Kevin.” Blair said he didn’t know who Kevin was and the sound guy said, “He’s a guy with shoulder length hair.” Blair looked around the bar. Every guy had shoulder length hair. What the fuck.
I think this is where I got the name Mamma Bear. Blair came back and told Sklyer and I what Mr. I Don’t Like Helping People Out Sound Guy had said, and I think I had said something like, “Fuck That.” And marched over to the sound booth and broke both his thumbs, held him in a head lock and demanded that he tell me who this mysterious Kevin was. Sniffling and crying he pointed a broken finger over to the bar where a man with shoulder length hair was pouring beer. I dropped the sound man and he hit the ground with a soft thud, carefully making my way over to the bar hand resting ever so slightly on the sword at my hip ready to unleash its brutality at a moment’s notice.
“Are you the one they call Kevin?” I asked, eyes narrowing, focusing on the man’s face and searching for any sign of deceit.
Kevin nodded solemnly, and I loosened the grip of my hand on the hilt of my sword. We talked to Kevin and figured our shit out, when to play, where to set up merch and all that Jazz.
The show went well, and we learned that Edmonton gets rowdy as fuck. It might be because they get to drink at the age of 18 as opposed to the rest of the country drinking at the age of 19, so all these young kids are ready to mosh and tear shit up with endless energy fueled by beer and hormones. The Faps were up and blew everyone’s brains out with their loud abrasiveness, even Nice Guy Kevin was impressed. Later Blair decided it would be a good idea to make some handbills advertising the next show they were going to play in Edmonton, which was to be the following Thursday at a place called Wunderbar. I don’t know what possessed us to make them as offensive as possible but we did and it was terrible. I’m not exactly proud of the things I wrote, but at the same time I am because they are hilarious. Not racially offensive, just more grotesque and body party related. There is nothing wrong with body parts, they’re natural and awesome, without boners none of us would be here. Think about it.
We wrote maybe 100 and some on the back of recipe cards and Blair walked around handing them out, most people laughed after they read them. Blair didn’t get punched in the face, so our mission was clearly a success.
When the show was over we stuck around and chatted with the people working at the bar, Skyler and Blair were hell bent on finding a strip club. I had never been to one before so I was also pretty curious.
This, my beautiful white knight fairy readers, is where shit gets real. Maybe up until this point I have been bending the truth slightly for the sake of a better story but the truth is twisted no more.
We found the strip club.
Walked in, and it were in a small foyer with a big heavy door to the right and kind of a bar window thing in front.
“Hey guys hows it goin?” said the man standing on the other side of the glassless window, he’s the man that takes the money for cover. I could see behind him their little office area with another window that let me peer into the actual strip club area. I could see some women walking around, none topless though, but there were those classic red light bulbs that give off that seedy feeling like they don’t want you to see how gross and dirty everything is. The man behind the counter had one of those speech impediments where he pronounces his ‘r’s like ‘w’s. We asked how much it was for a lap dance and Counter Top Toby told us it was 30$ per song. As three broke bums we clearly could not afford this and I wasn’t sure I wanted to even spend time here. I think I just wanted to experience to be able to say I’ve been to a strip club, the place felt dirty and like they were hiding something. We stood there for a while chatting and humouring Counter Top Toby, asking silly questions like, “Cant I wear a mask?” “Can I dress up like Spider Man?” he said there were no masks or costumes allowed.
I asked if I could wear a Super Man cape and he looked at me and said with full confidence and seriousness, “You would pwobably get waped”
Uuuuuuuugh dear readers that when this place became even more strange and grotesque.
“What?” I said in disbelief, like, did he really just say that?
“Yeah, there’s a man in thewe that would wape you. He’s into that sowt of thing.”
Man, I wanted to get the fuck out of there after that. Maybe it was a joke, it sounded serious and that’s not the kind of thing I like to joke about. Plus, that club didn’t even serve alcohol and was full of gross old men.
So we left in search of pizza. Pizza solves everything. Edmonton is bumpin at night, people milling about everywhere. We wandered back to where the van was parked, in front of Brixx, but as it turns out there is an after-hours club AND an all night pizza place next to Brixx. We didn’t bother with the after-hours bullshit, the line was long and looked stupid. As we entered the pizza place is was close to, if not exactly like, walking through the gates of heaven. The three of us were hungry and drunk, well I was drunk I don’t know about those other tow butt-heads. I don’t even remember the kind of pizza I got, but it was massive and greasy and flavourful and oh my god.
Just after we finished, this roughed up looking woman walked in wearing broken flip flops asking if she could use the washroom. The people working there said no, that there wasn’t a restroom available to customers and she offered to pay them 50$ just to use their bathroom. They still said no. I suggested that the woman use the hotel bathroom, which was across the street and she told me she wasn’t allowed there anymore. This made me wonder, even though it wasn’t any of my business. She then proceeded to talk to me for what felt like hours, but I think it was only 20 minutes, about her broken shoe and how she needed a bathroom. She repeated herself a lot.
Finally she left and apparently paid like 15$ to use the bathroom in the club next door.
With nowhere to stay in Edmonton, we slept in the van, in the parking lot next to the most amazing pizza place in the entire world. Probably not the most amazing but that’s how it felt at the time. Sleeping in the van was shitty, uncomfortable, hot and probably smelly. Skyler slept in the divers seat, with the seat leaned all the way back, long spidery legs up on either side of the steering wheel. I was in the passenger seat, also reclined pretty far back, one foot on the dashboard, one up all the way to the windshield; my toes were pressed against the glass. I’m sure that in certain light you can still see my toe prints on the inside of the windshield. Blair was in the back, trying to sleep across two separate seats with the seat belt buckle probably wedged into his back. Yes, this was a mini-van, but there was no bench in the back, it was two separate seats with a space between them. We crammed a blanket into that space to try and bridge the gap but it didn’t really work as well as we had hoped.
Did I mention it was hot? It was fucking stuffy as fuck. Worst sleep I had the entire trip, which isn’t bad considering this was the first stop of many.
We woke to the sun beating down on the van, turning it into an oversized slow cooker and Blair was nowhere to be found.
DUN DUN DUUUNNNNNN
Chapter 4: Day 2: Do not. I repeat, Do NOT pick up those Bus Tickets. You gotta pay for your PIIIIIISSSSSSSSSSSSS.
Dear Deer Revea Bonner, we had The Worst. Sleep. Ever. My feet were asleep, my legs felt cramped and my back was like, “Why can’t you stretch me out?”, I can only imagine how Skyler, that spidery man, felt with his long wild limbs caged for the three hours we actually slept. The van was hot, like the Hot Hot Heat. We immediately opened both doors to air that shit out, wondering where the fuck Blair went, that dude is always going places. We sat there invented possibilities of things that could have happened to him. One of them was that he had found a comic book store but some old man had abducted him, thinking he was a 14 year old. “He’s abductable.” Skyler reasoned, referring to Blair’s compact nature. After minutes fretting about what could have happened to our beloved friend and drummer extraordinaire, Blair randomly shows up. Turns out he had to shit and the closest bathroom was at the mall, somewhere, so he had to walk like, five hundred miles and then walk five hundred more, just to be the man who walked a thousand miles to poop.
With the gang of unruly creatures all back together again we headed down to Whyte Ave to do some sight –seeing and find somewhere half decent to eat, no more Tim Horton’s bagels for these chaps.
You wonderful Reindeer Revea Readers, Rule #1 of tour or travel: ICED MUTHAFUCKIN COFFEE. You need that shit. I need that shit. We needed that shit. Our first stop in Whyte Ave was at some fancy coffee shop/expensive as shit bistro. We plugged in our computers, bought some coffee and sat in silence for a good hour and a half. The coffee was expensive but delicious and exactly what I needed, iced Americanos are life savers, at the very least Day Savers. Feeling hungry we decided to get the fuck out of there and look for something half decent and half cheap, but Whyte Ave is full of fancy-ish expensive restaurants. Too expensive for us. How are we going to buy beer and coffee if we’re spending all our money at the Elephant Castle on pasta? I know the Elephant Castle isn’t fancy but they charge way too much for spaghetti.
We walked past an older fellow selling shitty t-shirts and gay blankets, (some blankets were rainbow) and asked him where a good place to eat would be. I thought this was a safe bet because he was a local and spent a lot of time in that area? Fuck I dunno, it was a bad idea anyway. We told him we were looking for a place that had a lot of vegetables on the menu, as Blair is a vegetarian and vegetables are just the shit anyway. So this old guy names a bunch of pizza places and says there’s a McDicks somewhere in the area. He points north and says, “There’s an A&W over there, they’ve got vegetables on their burger, lettuce and tomatoes..” we thanked him and left.
“I don’t think that man has seen a vegetable in his life.” Blair said as we left. It could have easily been true. The man had also mentioned a Vietnamese Sub place but said he’d never been there before. Thank the good Flying Spaghetti Monster Goddess, this place was awwwweeeesssssoooooooooome!
For those of you who are confused, a Vietnamese Sub is a sub with Vietnamese food inside it. Like friend veggies** and various meats and what not and, AND! It’s cheap as fuck! I think it was like 6$ for a sub, a drink and a salad roll on the side. Holy mother of Spaghetti it was delicious [But not as good at the Cup Cakes Revea Bonner made for the Faps for their Birthday in that piss hole of a town that rhymes with Vagina]. And we were hungry, and poor.
When we finished stuffing our faces with delicious deliciousness we headed back out to explore the larger than life Broadway of Edmonton. We found a sweet Comic book shop where Blair looked for things to get the lovely Lady Krissy because she’s awesome and deserves nice things. I bought a bag somewhere that immediately fell apart and I had to fix it later, but I fixed it well and it will never break again ever.
I don’t think it really matters to you what we did, I could say that we robbed a bank while we were there and you’d just be like, “Fuck, get to the good parts already, I’m so tired of reading your bullshit.”
I’m sorry! It’s not my fault that this whole trip was bullshit. Awesome bullshit though. Can bullshit be awesome? I’m sure it can..
Anyway, as we were walking we passed this.. man? I thought this person was a woman but I guess not. He/they had long scraggly hair and his/their face was all purple and swollen on one side and he/they were/was bent over kind of, yelling out, “My bus tickets! Someone pick up those bus tickets for me!” there were indeed a few bus tickets on the ground, but no one was picking them up. So we kept walking. We found a CD/Record Store, went in and looked around, Blair and Skyler gave the dude working there one of their EPs and asked if he’d plug the up-coming show. I stood around and half listened, then we left. Went somewhere that would let Blair and I pee, because in Edmonton and I guess most places, you have to be a customer in order to use the restrooms.
We passed the Bus Ticket Bum again, but this time he/they were on a different part of the street, bus tickets on the ground again and yelling, “Someone pick up my bus tickets!” I found this fucking bizarre.
Homeless people or crazy street people don’t usually phase me, I’ve worked downtown in Saskatoon, I’m familiar with the moo-moo lady and with Ozzy and Dougie, and Sailor Dan, I know that people can be weird but if you give them a chance they often turn out to be kind of badass. Not the moo-moo lady though, she’s fucking nuts. But this was just strange and we wondered what he/they did to the person who picked up those bus tickets, or how his/their face had gotten so fucked up in the first place. So many questions! So many imaginary scenarios!
At this point we had had enough of Whyte Ave, we’d been walking around all day decided it was time to move on out and head to Red Deer. The Faps were scheduled to play at, [insert bar name here] that evening so we figured we should give ourselves time to get comfy in the new city.
Dear Red Deer, I’m not sure if you’re aware of how strange your city is. Your roads are confusing. Are they one way? Are they two way? Are there two lanes but the road only goes one way? How am I supposed to get to safe way? Why is it so gosh darn hot out? Why do all your women look like porn stars? I don’t understand it, Red Deer. I just don’t get it.
Sincerely, The Faps.
[We may or may not have been driving on the wrong side of the road in Red Deer more than once, trying to find Safeway, the Safest of Ways.]
The bar we played at in Red Deer was pretty sweet looking on the inside, I just wish I could remember what it was called. The lighting was dim and it looked like any other dive bar except the walls had these giant air brushed murals of Rawk Starrrrssss. Like Ozzy Osbourne and some other guys that people who like classic rock would know. But the murals were actually really well done, it added an interesting feel to the place.
I was originally going to squeeze our time in Red Deer into Chapter 5, but I might as well get out with it now, Chapter 5 deserves better than Red Deer, Alberta.
So, I know that I had mentioned how fucking sweaty the van was, and how god damn sweaty Brixx was but neither of those experiences hold a candle to how FUCKING SWEATY it was in that bar in Red Deer, I seriously can’t remember the name of the place.. but it was rough.
I think that was the sweatiest I’ve ever been in my entire life and I wasn’t even playing. I was just standing there selling merch. The place was packed wall to wall with douche bags and women that looked like porn stars. That’s not an exaggeration. This was a Sunday, but it was also the day before Canada day and a long weekend, so naturally it was badass.
The show was an open mic and that we had signed up for at 8pm, but The Faps didn’t go on until like 2 or 3 or something ridiculous. There was a wide variety of performances, anywhere between really poorly sung folk to death metal. The crowd gaze zero fucks about the music, everyone was clearly there to drink their faces off, and drink their faces off they did. I stayed sober for this one, I wasn’t feeling like dehydrating myself and passing out in this swampy fucking bar. This shit was seriously bog material.
By the time The Faps were up the person hosting the open mic had told all the performers that they only have time to play two songs. So The Faps indeed played two songs.
I don’t know if I mentioned it before, I don’t think I did and im not going to go re-read everything I’ve written to check for sure, but Skyler started the tour off with a cold, so he’d been breathing and coughing all over us in the stuffy van and naturally Blair had gotten sick too. At this point I was still feeling like a champ, but they were both feeling like death at this point, so the two songs they played must have been like gargling nails during the vocals. Does that sentence make sense? Revea, I haven’t been revising any of this so far. I just write it and then I post it, im sure there are tons of seppling mistackes and grandmerical errors, just pretend their not theyre.
So we finished our shit, packed up and crawled back into the metal womb on wheels and peeled outta there. On our way out we saw two drunk men calling to a drunk as fuuuuck woman who was pole dancing on the boulevard beside the bar we were at, she was clinging to the sign pole and spinning around. I wish we had taken a picture because it would be an adequate description of.. THE VAT!
Revea, the bar was called The Vat! Haha I remembered.
(I didn’t remember. I had to text Skyler and ask him)
ONWARD TO CALGARY! FUCK THE STAMPEDE!
as always, to be continued………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. ………….. …………… ……. ……… …….. …… …
** Friend Veggies: Vegetables that you have things in common with, similar experiences and you’d like to share your life with in a platonic nature. Maybe some casual sex on the side, but nothing serious. You’re only friends.
Chapter 2: Puked like a champ!
Oh my Dear Deer Readers, sometimes breakfast after a night of drinking and hooligannery is an amazing thing, but SOMETIMES it is the worst thing you could possibly do to yourself. Especially if you climb into a 2001 Ford WindStar without air conditioning and have to sit in the back where the windows don’t open and drive for what seems like hours upon hours this is what a run on sentence looks like. I had thought of road snacks ahead of time, so we had been eating grapes and blueberries and veggie stix, I ate a few of these and swallowed a tab of Gravol to settle my poor ocean storm stomach. This did not help. For three hours I endured the waves of nausea that washed over me like a tidal wave before a barf hurricane. Finally I gave in, casually asking Skyler to pull the van over, he turned and looked at me with a look of concern on his looking face looking back turning his head to look at me looking sick. He asked if I was okay and I said, “Yeah, I think I just need to throw up for a while”. Shakily I climbed out of the van, staring at the ground, willing my body to expel the evil inside.
“Just jam your finger down your throat.” Skyler is wise. And so I did, badly wanting to get this dirty deed over with. All hell broke loose, and this weird bubble gum pinkish substance spewed out of me all over the nice grassy ditch in the sunshine. On my hands and knees I continued to wretch until my body felt whole again. Beautiful Readers, this is not for the faint of heart or sensitive of tummy. I kind of feel bad for Blair, sitting in the front seat with the window rolled down, having to listen to me literally spilling my guts two feet away from him. This was gross. I feel bad for whom ever is reading this right now. Sorry! But I’m not sorry. *Reliving this experience is kind of making me nauseous all over again. So let’s move on. I hopped back in the van, feeling refreshed and happy and excited all over again. It was like the dawning of a new day, a new day that did not revolve around how grossly sick I felt. Sometimes throwing up is the best remedy, no matter how long you try to put it off, how much you try to convince yourself that you’re not sick and you’ll be fine- you just need to pull your shit together and get it over with.
Onward to Edmonton! Ready to face any kind of whirlwind puke storm that came our way.
*i wrote this just after eating a delicious frittata made by a lovely woman named *Bridie at the little red cafe in Mortlach. Eggs and puke stories don’t mix well.
*Bridie didn’t make the frittata, Chef did. I just wanted to tell you guys about her.
I remember antlers and earthworms,
Strings and hollow bodies,
I am calling all of my abandoned creatures home.
I pulled bits of broken glass out of your hair,
We pretended they were feathers,
In your house I was scared of open doors.
We buried dead birds filled with plastic bottle caps,
In the backyard,
Found bones in the basement,
And more things I still don’t understand.
Our feet were always muddy,
Your dad left bruises on all of us,
Rusted nails and empty bottles,
Your family’s secrets were also my own.
My imagination became my sanctuary,
The only safe place I knew of,
After surviving grown men haunting flower shops,
And basement fires we started ourselves,
With the embers glowing red in our bellies.
I remember the sun that day,
Facing me, mouth open tongue on fire
Igniting everything around us,
Turning innocence to ashes,
We put the flames out with our bare hands,
Unhurt by the heat,
Because we- were always winter.
We were foot prints beneath the snow.
He watched his best friend drown in the river
Walked home and told no one,
I never saw either of them again.
The first time I saw a dead body
Was the last time I believed in cages.
I have been hiding parts of my childhood,
In the silence between the words I didn’t say.
In Edmonton, when I was eleven
I saw a man falling from a twenty story building,
I didn’t see him just but I watched his body
Hurling towards the ground,
Arms spread wide, ready to meet the pavement
This ending too soon for me
Too young to be swallowed by reality-
I will always be too young,
So i reinvent.
Watch the Earth open up, yawning into him.
Become portal that welcomes the velocity that brings him there,
Throw him out the other side into a world
He will not need to escape from.
One where rivers cradle children,
Lulling them to sleep, leaving them on sandy beaches
Dreaming of castles and crayfish in the moonlight.
A world where glass shatters into flower petals,
When we die our bodies combust into multicoloured star dust
Raining over anyone who has ever loved us,
They bring us into their lungs
Exhale through our memory,
Breathe us out into the atmosphere where we came from.
Birds are born in the dirt between our toes,
And Bruises are butterflies trapped beneath our skin,
Waiting for us to let go.
And if by some strange force, some strange sense of restlessness, tempered in and expelled by the crucible of the palm of my hand, the silent pitter patter of footsteps in the dark will give way to the voice that rises through the floorboards, and with it will come the dusk. Nocturne, and the smell of pine needles in boiling water. For what I would not give to endure that same restlessness born of the turn of dusk, the restlessness that stirs the sky fluorescent. To feel colour seep out of me and into something new. A restlessness painted the many shades of life; to endure and to be whole, to be new.