Saturday, 1 March 2014

The Chef Gordon Ramsay Drinking Game*

*This(or anything I say) should never be taken seriously. Drink conservatively, et cetera and basically just don't be a dick. Okay, onto the fun!

I was watching a Kitchen Nightmares USA marathon recently(don't ask me why) and invented this game. 

The Rules are easy: You drink if…


  1.     Anyone says the word “EVER.” Example:. The narrator says "The most explosive Kitchen         Nightmares...ever!
  2.     When Chef Ramsay says “Shut it Down!”
  3.     When Chef Ramsay says “disgusting, donkey, diluted/stubborn/ect.”
  4.     Chef Ramsey does family counselling.
  5.     Anytime you see a Mexican in the kitchen.
  6.     An owner says his food is 10 out of 10.
  7.      When the head chef says his “hands are tied” by the owner.
  8.     Anytime Chef Ramsay says “you could kill somebody!”
  9.     When Chef Ramsay is shown wearing a Simon Cowell style t-shirt way too tight.
  10.     If the end of the show the narrator says “they went back to their old ways” you finish your drink.
 Please make up your own rules as you go along! 

Wednesday, 11 July 2012

Free Drinks! Mint Juleps at the Serpentine Gallery

Fact: In the 1920's Little People were only permitted to drink Mint Juleps in the US South.

My friend Nigel gets invited to a lot of parties. Never twice by the same person though. He has a tendency to abuse the free alcohol like an American kid at a chicken nugget buffet.

What usually happens is that he ends up shouting at somebody’s auntie then falls face first through a glass table whilst in mid soliloquy. He remembers nothing but has the scars to prove it.

He was invited to a gallery opening at the Serpentine in Hyde Park, some pretentious this or that, but often there is free booze. He was standing, well swaying, listening to a pretty little Oxbridge undergrad prattle on about the meaning of life and death. He politely nodded while fingering his ironic Tom Selleck moustache; drinking the only beverage available, free Mint Juleps, in order to get through this nightmare of a conversation. 

Nigel was beginning to lose interest in the conversation and wanted to have fun. This is always the dangerous moment where he shifts from an intelligent hipster into something much darker. I believe it’s called Oliver Reed Syndrome and if’s not, it bloody well should be!

“You're a writer I hear?” the Oxbridge girl asked, adjusting her thick black framed glasses.

“Oh, do not believe everything you hear my dear,” he said.
“I’m sorry, I thought you said that you were earlier.”
“Worry not, it happens all the time. What I said was that I am a biter.”
“I’m sorry?” she said, looking worried now.
“Sorry, I have a cold, yes I am a writer.”

She said nothing and let the last exchange pass as if it were a fart in a lift. It’s there, everybody knows it, but you say nothing.

"SO what do you think", she asked.
"Pardon me?"
"What do you want written on you're tombstone?"

Nigel had previously not been listening to the conversation between the douche class. He had been trying to figure out how many Mint Juleps it would take for him to be so drunk that the pretentious installation they were all pretending to be there for would actually become interesting."What's with all the ladders?" he said to me later.

The pretty little Oxbridge girl probably wanted him to say something witty and urbane, like on Dawson’s Creek. Or maybe something playfully cheeky like,
“See. I told you I was ill!”
"Oh you!" They would proclaim. "Absolutely top drawer that one Nige!"
But he didn't do that. He has a hard time fitting in at the best of times and after fifteen minty cocktails, he would not even attempt to.

He calmly said, and without hesitation,
“In place of a tombstone I would like a television connected to a CCTV camera in my casket. That way, people can pop round anytime they want to and watch me decompose. Wouldn’t that be lovely? Bugs eating my eyes, worms nibbling at my testicles. Of course I would be completely naked, that would be good wouldn't it!” he said, nudging a skinny tweed jacket wearing emo with black plastic framed glasses. Nobody laughed. Nobody took it as a joke. I wonder if he was joking really? Maybe he was just trying to get a rise out of the painfully hip/posh. Maybe he is seriously mentally ill? Nobody knows for sure. I thought it was funny.

In conclusion, Nigel is a moron. That much is certain. He is selfish and stupid, yet clever and insane. Nigel also shagged that pretty little Oxbridge girl not two hours later. So, there must be some method to his madness. Or maybe she thought it would be ironic?

Saturday, 23 June 2012

Londoners Love Affair with…Baseball?

Police say the cause of the incident stemmed 
from the driver using his salad fork with his main course.

 London- In a shocking and bold move, the new owners of the Los Angeles Dodgers professional baseball club have decided to move their club to London for the 2013 season. It is an historic announcement and one that has shaken the city and has the people of Los Angeles in an uproar. Picketers and demonstrators have already taken up round the clock vigils outside Dodger Stadium in an effort to put a halt to this surprising turn of events.

When reached for comment, one of the new owners of the Los Angeles Dodgers, former Los Angeles Lakers basketball star, Burger King owner, and late night talk show host, Earvin “Magic” Johnson said,
“I don’t really know shit about baseball, you know? I’m a basketball guy! I am strictly going by baseball cap sales alone. And what we’ve discovered is that the city of London, as it relates to baseball cap sales must have the biggest baseball fan base in the world! It seemed like a no brainer.”

This intrepid reporter decided to take it upon himself and take to the streets of South London, inform the youths about this surprising turn of events and ask a few of these chaps wearing the caps about this historic news. On a recent visit to Peckham, I asked a group of youths wearing Dodgers caps what they thought.

Connor: Hello lads. I can see you are big baseball fans!
Youth: Baseball? That’s like rounders yeah? For fucking girls bruv! What the fuck is you on about?
Connor: I was just wondering what you thought about your beloved Dodgers moving to London next year.
Youth: Who the fuck is you bruv?
Connor: I’m a journalist and I just wanted to know your thoughts.
Youth: Who the Dodgers you fucking idiot?
Connor: They are the team on the cap that you’re wearing…right now. The professional baseball team.
Youth: I don’t watch no fuckin’ baseball, yeah? Shit, you better get the fuck out of here!”

It’s an open and shut case. Baseball is England’s sport of the future and London will be its epicentre. There is only one thing left to say. Let’s play ball!

PETA, Paul & Mary Jane

Yeah, they love Grey Goose Vodka!

Is it just me, or does nobody give a shit about fur anymore? I remember a time in the 90’s that if you wore a fur coat, sploosh, you got a face full of red paint by some hippie. Not only that, but your bitchin’ fur coat would get fucked up!

Nowadays, Kanye and Snoop wear fur and nobody says a goddamn thing about it really, apart from PETA. Now don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against PETA, and I believe they have their place and do some good in the world. But in another way, they are a bit like ‘The Boy Who Cried Wolf.’ They kick up a stink about every little thing and it starts to become white noise. They need to choose their battles a little more. Sure, save the whales and make sure animals aren’t abused. But I’ve got to say; I couldn’t care less about a jellyfish, cat or a rat. If you want to eat those, I say, go mental. There are loads of them and they aren’t going anywhere. I am being told that we should not eat cats…I stand corrected. Other than that I stand by what I have said!

When in comes to fur, as it relates to clothing, I guess people are too busy worrying about climate change, Wills and Kate, the Olympics, David Beckham, something Jeremy Clarkson said, phone tapping, Afghanistan and to a (much) lesser extent, Greece. I seem to recall that I myself used to be against fur…at least I think I was? It’s hard to remember now what with the years of boozing and let’s say, extra curricular activities. I remember when I was a bright-eyed youth living in Tokyo in my early twenties and tried to be a vegetarian. I’d heard that Paul McCartney was one and I am a huge Beatles nerd so I decided to give it a go. But then he married that woman, you know the one I mean, that pirate broad. It was then that I realised that sure, this guy wrote a few good songs back in the day, but he is clearly just some idiot like me. Not that I ever married a pirate, but I have definitely been with some scurvy dogs.

Speaking of dogs, what the hell is a chinchilla? Anybody have a clue? Would you know one if it ran past you? Is it a dog? The simple answer is, no. Basically, they are giant mice that are from South America. If you said you had a jacket or a stole made out of mice, they would fucking lock you up! The Walk Disney corporation would sue your ass and/or make you disappear from the face of the earth. I’m telling you, they bloody well would. Those dicks will sue you for anything. And by dicks, I of course mean private detectives…yes…that’s the ticket…I mean… I myself love Mickey Mouse and all that shit and…et cetera.  Are we cool Walt?

Anyway, what was I saying? Oh yeah, if you wore a Mickey Mouse stole, people would think you were mad! They might say,

“Hey, that person is mad!”

Or something to that effect. And what about the mink? As in the mink coat. You’ve heard of that. But what is it? Have you ever seen a mink running up your drive? They are like an otter or a weasel, or a combination of the two. Much like an Ewok I would like to think, though I’m no scientist. Would you really wear that cute little fuzzball that was a bit gay for Han Solo’s leg? I mean, what kind of monster are you?

On the flip side, it you wear a Chinese raccoon dog coat like Jay Zed, then hey, it’s cool. He’s married to Beyonce so it must be fine, yeah? He’s got 99 problems but a “bitch” ain’t one. See what I did there? I meant the dog…

In essence, my point, if I have one, is this; why do we use these specific animals, and a few more I’ve not mentioned, for fur coats and other clothes? They seem to be animals that we rarely see. Is this done on purpose I wonder? Are we as humans, in this day and age, not able to live alongside our clothes? Is it because they are coats that we don’t see them, or do we not want to see them, because they are our clothes? Are we ashamed that we use these animals for fashion, and others like a cute puppy dog, or a fluffy kitty cat, we do not. Have you seen a baby chinchilla? They are cute as fuck man! Do you have a leather jacket?  Maybe. Do you have a cocker spaniel vest? Not likely. Think about it. Now, I am no vegetarian and I do own a leather jacket. Do I agree with fur…hmm, I guess not. Am I going to do anything about it…man, who has the energy anymore?

Mayan Destruction 2012! (Or I was a bit busy)

So, does this thing have any beer in it?


So, I've been hiding in an underground bunker for the last year a la Brendan Fraser and to a much lesser extent, Hitler. Apparently I took the this whole "end of the world in 2012" thing a bit too seriously. Also, to be fair, I was hoping to give the whole London Olympics a miss as well as I'm sure it's going to be a f@£$ing nightmare! Unfortunately, I ran out of fags and beer and had to resurface to scavenge for supplies but it turns out everything is fine...well relatively I suppose. I don't think Greece and Spain would agree...

Anyway, back to the nonsense!

Friday, 2 December 2011

Your momma is so...something something.

 Okay, I was working on a blog but got distracted by something(none of your business what!). I therefore have decided to post this joke I wrote instead. That is all.

Your mama is so nasty, that if you added hops and barley to her lady places, in 5-7 days, you could drink beer from her vagina... That joke does require a basic understanding of the fermentation process and the art of beer making... You see i am implying that she has a yeast infection... You see when yeast is added to soaked hops and barley, that's how alcohol is created... You know what, just google it.

Thursday, 24 November 2011

Ow, Canada. See what I did there!

This is a previous adventure of mine from when I lived in the Land of the Rising Snow. It is quite long(and awesome) so I recommend getting a nice refreshing beverage at this point. Enjoy!

The Third Annual Canadian Crashed Ice Competition
A Gonzo-esque style sojourn into the depths of
Fear and Loathing in Quebec City

 It was closing in on dusk, cold and bloody January, as we barreled the three hundred horsepower Ontario made gas guzzling Dodge Charger down the 401 Eastbound from Toronto. Destination unknown. Well, that’s not exactly true – as we were heading to Quebec and I damn well knew it. Hell, it was my idea to go there in the first place… but what was waiting for us there, no man could know. Gas had hit the price of a dollar and ten cents per liter and I didn’t have much cash on my person.
  We were driving at a smooth 130 km/hr pace in an attempt to cut down on costs as we were traveling on a miniscule budget. The emissions from the spewing, leaky, ominous blue and black smoking Junkers on the road around us in the frigid – 20-degree (with wind-chill) weather was toxic and vile. Luckily we didn’t give a crap about the planet today, who has the time anymore? Al Gore be damned!
  The tea I’d consumed had me groggy but luckily the Jagermeister and Red Bull had done their job well enough to allow me to function at something of an acceptable level.
  I had a driver for this mission so it didn’t much matter what sort of mental condition I was in. The worst thing that could happen would be that I might get an open alcohol in a moving vehicle citation, and I couldn’t care less about that. I was being careful anyhow and keeping one eye open for cops as we roared down the highway.
  My driver was a driver by trade, as he had explained to me previously, and claimed to be used to highway conditions that included: “drunks, assholes, old ladies, chicken shits, Chinese, and the terminally stupid.” He was a very crude and disturbing valley boy and I didn’t have much use for him or his opinions in the real world. But real world this was not. This was a story! So, I took him at his word and self medicated so I wouldn’t worry about the road and not have to be raped by his conversation or insane racist ramblings. He assured me that the snow covered roads were nothing to him, and the tea that he had smoked, at first liberally, allowed him to relax just enough to handle the pressures of my ensuing deadline.

  I’d spent the previous evening drinking at a nearly empty Wild Mushroom Bar and Grill in Niagara Falls when I’d decided on a whim to get out of town for the weekend. There were hardly any tourists about at this time of year; hence there was absolutely bugger all going on in town. The casinos depressed me in the wintertime and I’d spent so much time inside over the past few months that I could easily be mistaken for an albino. I felt like as if the walls of my apartment were closing in on me. And the medication that I’d been taking to pass the time recently had stopped working. If I could afford a trip to a psychiatrist, I was sure that I would have been diagnosed with Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), but I couldn’t afford that course of action. I therefore had no choice but to self diagnose and self medicate the ailment to get through the long depressing Canadian winter.
  While I sat alone at the nearly empty bar, I saw the tail end of the six o’clock news, leave on a happy note style bubblegum piece on the CBC about an event that was taking place this weekend. Something immediately clicked in my head and I decided straight away to write an article about the event for whoever was willing to publish it.
  The “Crashed Ice Competition” was taking place in Quebec City that very weekend and was being hyped up on the news and in newspapers throughout the country. The event was supposed to be something of an X-Games Extreme sports hybrid that could only have been put on and celebrated by this hockey mad nation.
  The Third Annual Canadian Crashed Ice Competition was a sort of downhill skiing competition on hockey skates, with competitors wearing full hockey regalia and helmet, minus the sticks. I’d heard about the event in previous years but had never had a chance, or the inclination, to see it. I knew very little about it except for that it was meant to be the kickoff of the big 400th Anniversary of Quebec City event. They expected up to 70,000 spectators this year, which would mean a chance for a great party…er…story. There would be events going on in that city this weekend, things that didn’t normally go on there. Things that intrepid reporters of the news like myself must see. It’s a tough life, but someone had to give the underground point of view. I reluctantly took the gig…from myself.
  It would be a strange subculture of miscreants and maniacs who were willing to hurl their delicately constructed human bodies down a rock hard sharp turning spiral with icy slopes at speeds of up to 70 mph for the grand prize of five thousand dollars. Five grand? I knew of much easier ways of making that kind of scratch and with much less risk of grievous bodily harm. For an event sponsored by such a major corporation as Red Bull, one would think that they had a little more advertising capital available for a nationally televised event. If only to lure the more talented, higher grade maniacal jock daredevils. I think that the grand prize for that strange hockey fight event that was in the news some time ago was more than that.
  What kind of individual would volunteer to do this? What sort of desperate mind would subject themselves to this sort of real personal danger for the chance of such a small payoff and the risk of so much personal calamity? Probably the same sort of character who was willing to risk brain damage and loss of teeth in order to win a stipend in the much-beguiled hockey fight catastrophe. I couldn’t be sure of whom there lunatics were, but I proposed to find out.

  I’d endeavored to do a pure Gonzo journalism piece for some time, and like a thunderbolt sent from almighty Zeus himself, knew this was the perfect opportunity. As soon as I’d caught wind of this “race”, I knew that I was the man for the job. As homage to the late great Hunter S. Thompson, I knew that I had to go all the way on this one. I couldn’t do this half assed like any “real” journalist. This was a freaks event plain and simple. And there would surely be freaks traveling en masse to this strange and mysterious event, surely to envelope the entire scene. I had to leave no stone unturned. No bottle half full. No lead… un-followed? Like the good doctor said in his most celebrated work, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas,
“If a thing is worth doing at all, it’s worth doing right...”


My driver and I rolled into Ottawa at just past seven in the evening and decided that the most economical course of action would be to hole up at my trucker friends winterized cottage just outside of Smith Falls for the evening. He always had plenty of beer and meat on hand, with some sort of dangerously fun winter vehicle we could jeopardize our intoxicated lives on.
  It wasn’t easy to find the place, especially since my friend wasn’t there to provide directions. There was also the inconsequential detail that my friend hadn’t the foggiest idea that we were going to stay there. He was on a long haul to Seattle, or some such place, and thus out of touch and completely untraceable as I didn’t have a CB with me for some odd reason. I reckoned that he wouldn’t mind if we stayed there for the night as long as we replenished his beer supply and didn’t burn the goddamn place down.
  We found the cottage just after eleven o’clock after driving around for hours in the middle of nowhere. The tin canned/trailer park boys/unabomber like structure was smack dab in the middle of cottage country, on snow covered roads that no one in their right mind would dare tread at this time of year. That is unless they had no sense of their own personal well-being.
  We decided to stop on the side of the road with our four ways flashing to collect ourselves, regroup, and partake in some of BC’s finest Earl Grey. It didn’t help our sense of direction very much, but certainly did succeed in lightening the mood in the vehicle. By this time we were out of our ever-loving minds, which is why I was certain that we would naturally find where we were going.
  There were no lights or landmarks or hitchhikers in any direction in Jason Voorhees country and there didn’t appear to be a living thing for miles. I envisioned the long ago murdered Iroquois of the region having the same sort of problem after eating too many magic mushrooms in some sort of long forgotten spiritual rite of passage. The young braves would wander around the area in a stupor, seeing long lost relatives in trees with bows and arrows, ready to impale them through the abdomen.
  I knew, but my driver didn’t, that with four grams of party accessories in my briefcase that it wouldn’t be much longer until we tried to recreate that same experience ourselves. However, in a moment of clarity I decided against that course of action, as it would only succeed in making our situation that much more dire. 

  The tea had turned introspective on me and I was beginning to lose all faith that we would ever find our pre-planned destination. I cursed Zeus for tricking me into this journey and when I did, we finally rolled up to my friend the trucker’s shack. I was quite relieved and took a long haul from the bottle of Jager to celebrate and toast Zeus and opened the car door to get out.
I remember my racist driver ironically saying something like, “be careful, you’ve drank a lot of that Nazi shit man!”
I then recall politely saying, “How about fuck yourself?”
I stepped out of the vehicle and gravity kicked me in the bollocks, sending me reeling head first into a fresh, white as the fallen snow…well…snow bank. I slashed my knee in the process on what could only have been a snow covered barbed wire fence. The combination of tea and Jager had a dulling effect on my wound and made the gash much more or a curiosity than a concern.
  My driver, a much smaller man than I, was able to jimmy open the back window and slip inside with ease. I waited by the front door smoking a cigarette with my laptop in my non-gloved frozen Popsicle Pete fingered digits for what seemed like an eternity. He finally came around to let me in.
“What the hell took you so long?” I said irritably. “I’m bleeding to death out here?”
My driver looked at me as if I were mad. “I had to take a dump dude…what’s your problem?” he said casually, and walked away.
“You goddamn sociopath!” I yelled. “I could have died out here, or worse!”
He didn’t seem to appreciate or understand the gravity of his actions, but at the same time, I didn’t have the wherewithal to make a thing out of it. He was a slack jawed hillbilly and no amount of cajoling would change his dim-witted mind.
  Like any good Neanderthal, my driver made a fire to warm up our frozen joints as I disinfected my wound, which was luckily not as bad as I’d first feared. A trip to the hospital would have been a real bummer and put a damper on the entire proceedings.
  I sat down and stared at my laptop hyperspace screensaver for five minutes as my driver stalked around the cottage opening every drawer and cupboard, touching everything like he was putting his scent on it like some jealous beast. I couldn’t concentrate on my story, but reckoned that since we hadn’t yet arrived in Quebec and hadn’t really done anything, I didn’t need to start working until the next day.
  We sat in front of the TV with the fire roaring and had a few beers listening to the old squawk box. A George Thorogood and the Destroyers song came on and suffice it to say, it wasn’t long before we were into my trucker friends good bourbon, scotch, and beer.

“Always do sober what you said you’d do drunk. That will teach you to keep your mouth shut…” Ernest Hemingway

The previous night at the cottage was hazy to say the least. I vaguely remembered getting into the scotch but had no recollection of finishing it. I was on the floor in front of a still smoking fire with the empty bottle a few feet away from me on the floor. I scanned the room for some hint at what had gone on the previous night but could not conjure up any memory. My head felt as if it had swollen to twice its original size and my mouth tasted like a combination of beer, scotch, cigarettes and something that tasted slightly of old Alfredo sauce.
  I dusted myself off and got to my feet with much pain and agony. I lit a cigarette and sat on the couch with my eyes closed. After a few puffs I was feeling a bit better and decided I was fit enough to get back on the road. The Crashed Ice Event was waiting for me and I had to get there as early as possible if I wanted to see the event from beginning till end.
  It suddenly occurred to me that my driver was nowhere in sight. I went into the bedroom and the bed was made and un-slept in. He hadn’t crashed in there. I wouldn’t say that I was worried, but I was certainly a little concerned. Not for him…but for me!
I had a vague memory of planning to take my trucker friends snowmobile out for a spin the night before except that after a quick survey of my clothes and physical state, I reckoned I had not done so. I could not be so sure about my driver though.
I went into the backyard and into the back shed to investigate. The doors were flung open and a high drift of snow blown inside. My friend’s snowmobile was indeed gone. My driver had taken it and was probably dead in the middle of a field somewhere. I got the paranoia and worried about what I would tell the cops about this situation.

Ah, you see officer…no, no, this is not my house. It is my friends place… No, I'm not sure why he told you that he didn’t give me permission to stay here... I just assumed that he wouldn’t mind…Breaking and entering? What? Never! Well, a bit…but with an explanation. You see I’m a journalist and on my way to Quebec but…I work freelance and that doesn’t always pay very well, you see? No expense account you see. Pardon me? Drugs in my car you say? I don't have the foggiest idea where they came from…must have been my drivers…poor bastard. Blood test you say? Okay well, I may have had a bit...

This was a bad scene. I would be charged with breaking and entering for sure. Manslaughter or murder as a worse case scenario. Just then I heard a revving of an engine in the distance. I looked in the direction of the roar and saw the bright red and yellow jacket of my driver. That sonofabitch was alive. I would kill him for this!
 When he got within shouting distance I gave it to him.
“Where the hell have you been?” I shouted.
My driver pulled up with a big smile on his face.
“Man is this fun. You have got to try this!” he said.
“Yeah, this is a hell of a good time, I mean it dude.”
“Where the hell were you?” I yelled.
“I woke up early and decided to go for a ride. What’s the problem? You were stone cold so I figured that I had time to take a spin. You drank a whole bottle of scotch last night bro! I’m actually a bit surprised that you didn’t asphyxiate yourself in your sleep” he said with a laugh.
“I thought we both drank it?” I said.
My driver put the Bombardier snowmobile back into the shed.
“Oh no” he said. “I had maybe two or three shots. You had fifteen or twenty!”
Well…no harm done I suppose. With everything explained away, we set about tidying up the cottage and replacing the beer, which I had in the car. I didn’t have any scotch with me so left an I.O.U. in place of the Glen Fiddich.

  We were back on the road by nine AM and gave ourselves five hours to get to Quebec City. We stopped at some family restaurant in Ottawa and had a greasy and satisfyingly medicating breakfast. We’d had to convince the waitress to mix us up a couple of Bloody Caesars as she claimed that she could not do so this early in the morning.
“I’m sorry sir,” the waitress said. “I’m not allowed to serve you right now.”
“This will not do,” I said. “Please get the manager, straight away.”
The young waitress went off and the even younger looking young male manager came up to our table.
“What seems to be the trouble gentleman?” he said.
“Hello…Wayne” I said, leaning over to read his nametag. “We would like a couple of Caesars please.”
“I’m very sorry sir,” the acne faced manager said. “Ontario law prohibits me from serving alcohol before ten AM.”
He was a snooty little bastard who took great joy in the very little power that had been thrust upon his twenty-year-old, high school dropout shoulders and therefore took great exception to his statement. Generally, I have no problem personally with family restaurant managers. I do, however, take exception to mad with power children who don’t understand their place in society…though I was quite sure he was absolutely correct in what he said. I decided that I wouldn’t allow this travesty of justice to continue, as I had a ravenous hangover. My stomach couldn’t yet handle the beer in the car and I needed some hair of the dog as soon as possible.
“Madam” I said curtly.
He did not like that one bit.
“My friend here works for the Ministry of Public Health and Safety, do you understand?” I said, not knowing if that was an actual Ministry or not. “And if we do not get these drinks, tute sweet my good man! He has the ability to make sure that this establishment will not pass its next health inspection.”
Our waitress, standing behind the manager with her arms crossed looked skeptical, and justly so. I was full of crap and she knew it. But I was not yet finished with this production. My driver was a part time security guard and carried his badge with him at all times to use on naïve young innocents. He quickly flashed the badge at the manager and we were served our drinks without delay. I felt bad for giving the waitress such a hard time as she was just doing her job and was cute, but we made up for it by leaving her a nice tip.
  I had decided at breakfast, that when we were an hour outside of Quebec City, my driver and I should each eat a gram. My feeling was that if we did so, it would give the whole event much more of a grandiose and larger than life atmosphere. So, we each ate a gram of the Swiss grown fungus and saved the other two for later.
Somewhere Near Quebec City…
 Ten minutes outside of Quebec City, my driver had something of an emotional and/or mental breakdown. I was unaware that he had never consumed fungus before, as he had not mentioned this to me prior to consumption. He was completely unaware, and therefore, completely unprepared to deal with their often-overwhelming effects. He became completely deranged and seemed to be in a state of incapacitating terror, much to my chagrin, as he was still behind the wheel the whole time. I attempted to get him to pull over but he would not listen to me. He thought that I was trying to abandon him and that if we pulled over that I would leave him by the side of the road for dead. I knew we had to get off the road as soon as possible or some shit eating Quebecois copper would see us swerving all over the road and pull us over. I had no interest in trying to explain myself to a “français seulement” police officer who would love nothing more than to bust a couple of Anglophone assholes from Southern Ontario.
  Different substances affect different people in different ways. I knew a guy in St. Catharine’s named “Bob” (name changed for security purposes) who was the nicest, quietest, and sweetest fellow’ you’d ever want to meet. When he got a little mushroom into his system, he would often end up wielding a large kitchen knife threatening to murder everyone around him while yelling,
 “There out to get me!”
I on the other hand, had never really experienced that sort of negative reaction like that. All they really did was succeed in amplifying the colours and sounds around me making everything that much more interesting and exciting. Occasionally I would see the mish mash of colours and auras but that was only on rare occasions.
  My driver was having a “Bob” type reaction and I knew that this was only the beginning. I had to get him off the road and get some beer into him ASAP. That would level him out some and allow us to get into Quebec City as least. One thing for sure was I was now my driver’s driver. Really this guy was useless to me now and I considered leaving him on the side of the road as per his fears but decided in the end that it was a bad idea.
  We stopped at a plaza with a convenience store and a Laundromat with a large parking lot and parked away from the general buildup of vehicles. I made my driver get into the back seat and forced him to drink a beer.
“What in this? You’re trying to poison me you bastard. Help! Police, he’s trying to kill me!”
“Shut the fuck up you hic!” I said. “You just took too many. You’re trying to fight the effects too much. You can’t do that, all right? You just have to go with the flow and follow where it leads you and you’ll be okay.”
My driver stared at me in awe as if I were the lord Jesus Christ himself. I can’t imagine what he must have been seeing at that moment and really…don’t think that I want to know.
  I convinced him, finally, that if he drank a few beers that he would feel better and that the more debilitating effects would be dulled. After much coercion on my part he eventually agreed and after an hour or so of tense beer drinking, he calmed down to the point where we could get back on the road.

When I finally arrived in Quebec City it was starting to get dark already. The Château Frontenac was lit up like a Christmas tree and surrounded by a giant white winding structure like an albino python. There were a few people about and some of the maniacs were running down the track.
  These were the qualifying heats and I had no interest in them. But I did want to meet some of the racers and see what the deal was with these kids.

  We checked into a motel where some of the racers were known to be staying. I wanted to try and rub elbows with some of the boys and see what kind of vibe I could get from them. I immediately saw a few of the boys standing around in the lobby looking uncomfortable and drunk. I used my “journalistic” instincts to ascertain that they must have finished their qualifying runs already.
I made my way over to the group and spoke to a kid who had his hair shaved into a Mohawk which he had dyed Toronto Maple Leafs blue.
“Hey kid” I said. “You in the race?”
He looked perturbed that I had dared bother him. “I didn’t qualify,” he said dejectedly.
Ah, balls.” I said.
“Yeah it is,” he said. “What the f@*k is your problem?”
Was he talking to me? I bit of an overreaction wasn’t it? Maybe it was the “Roid Rage?” I’d been hearing so much about. Maybe this guy was another Chris Benoit case? You never know these days. One thing for sure, this youngster didn’t have very good manners about him. I blame his parents. Unfortunately, caution was never my middle name.
“Did your father not give you enough hugs young man?” I asked him politely.
This surprised and confused the youngster.
“Wha?” he said, his cheeks turning red. Well redder.
I looked around for my driver who was now nowhere to be found. He likely went up to the room to hide from himself. I wished he were here right now. He may have been small in stature, but he was a quite a bit more violent than I. The Napoleon complex methinks.
“Listen asshole, what’s your problem?” the embarrassed youth asked me.
“Nothing…nothing my lad.” I said. “Can I buy you a beer?”
He was intoxicated and not too bright and accepted my peace offering of a nice cold beverage. It was the Canadian way.
  I entered the motel bar, commotion abounding, filled with Crashed Ice competitors and what looked to be all blond girls for some reason. Were these rink rats? Are they all blonde? I suppose it didn’t matter. We all drank like there was no tomorrow, which was not entirely true... the competition was indeed tomorrow.

Race Day

I had no memory of the previous night at the bar and awoke in my motel room fully clothed, with skinned knuckles and a nasty purple bruise on my forearm. My mouth tasted of scotch, Red Bull, cigarettes, and cheese curds.
  My driver had decided that he was not getting out of bed that day and therefore was not going to the race at all. He had been scared straight by the mushrooms and apparently had had some sort of life altering experience in the process. The lucky bastard!
  I knew I was at the race before I had even arrived. I could hear the ridiculously repellant Techno beats echoing into the wintry Quebec City evening. I could see my breath but didn’t feel very cold. I’d had a couple of Caesars with breakfast, plus a few vodka and Red Bulls with lunch and was feeling quite nice.
  I arrived at the track to pomp and circumstance all around me. The competitors, wearing full hockey gear and serious game faces greeted me as I passed.
“Hey man! Great party last night dude!” someone yelled at me.
“You know it!” I said, not knowing whom the gentleman was.
“Hey pal! Way to teach that guy a lesson!”
“Hey bro! Party tonight at the hotel?”
What guy? What lesson? Who were these people? How did they know me? I had no memory of speaking to any of these people, but apparently, I learned later, I had interviewed some of them the previous night, misrepresenting myself as a journalist, which was not entirely false. I felt however they would expect to see their stories in print, which was not likely. I felt bad about this. I had no memory of speaking to any of them whatsoever, and would not be able to quote them in this story.
  I was able to speak to one of the event organizers at the event who advised me that they were expecting over 70,000 people to show up at the event. There appeared to be 100,000 people there already, though it was probably closer to 50,000.
There was still a steady stream of spectators filing in, jackets filled with booze, fighting for spots around the icy track. The Château Frontenac Hotel looked spectacular lit up in the night sky and the event felt like it was a big deal. Even the advertising laden icy track was a sight to see. It was coolly attractive, slick to the eyes and touch, much like an Inuit prostitute.

  The race began to shouts and screams and hollers and music and spotlights and lunacy. I felt like I was in Sodom and Gomorrah and was glad of it. I’d taken the last of the party
favours just before arriving and felt that they would give me a unique perspective on the race. The fact that I was intoxicated did nothing to distinguish me from the other spectators as nine out of ten of them were out of their minds blind drunk. Many under the legal drinking age, I noted.
  The racers flew down the track like some sort of deranged and bastardized Canadian version of roller derby. They crashed into the corners, flying down the cheekily designed track at speeds of up to 70kms an hour. They smashed into each other and into the icy walls when they couldn’t turn in time. Some sections of the track had stairs cut into the ice surface descending down the track that the skaters would take at full speed either bouncing down the stairs awkwardly or trying to clear them in a single bound.
The first maniac I saw hit the ice fell like a sack of hammers as his razor sharp blades dug into a groove in the ice sending him face first into the ice at warp speed. He rose with a crimson mask but seemed unfazed by it. He was after all a hockey player, something that I had completely forgotten about. With the flashiness of the event I had forgotten that these men were hockey players. They may be glory seeking maniacs, but they were hockey players at heart and therefore tough as a street footballer kid’s feet. The racer who hit the ice returned to his feet as blood dripped from his face staining the ice red. The crowd broke into a roar of approval as he took off down the track after the other boys in his heat. These boys were men. They were out of their minds for doing this. That much was clear. All for the outside chance they would take the event and the “grand prize” of $5000. You had to respect that.
  Everyone was out of their goddamned minds. Everywhere I looked the racers and the spectators were going crazy. I literally think that they lost all control of their sense of right and wrong and it became a Grateful Dead concert on ice…with violence and nudity. The spectators were beating, pounding, and slapping the icy walls protecting them from the oncoming human projectiles flying down the track. All the while, the lunatics tried to touch, slap, and beat the racers, as they zipped past. It was unreal and seemed like I was watching an art film of some sort, a satirical Nuremberg rally perhaps. I felt the vibe shifting into something ugly, something primal and scary. I don’t know if it was my condition or if everyone was in the same condition as I? But I sensed ensuing violence and knew that it was time for me to make my exit. 
I was later told at the motel bar by one of the competition officials that there had been 107 competitors and over 75,000 spectators. I’d watched several heats of the much-misunderstood Third Annual Red Bull Canadian Crashed Ice Competition and a few hours watching the people watch it. After a while though, they all seemed the same. Everyone there; the racers and the spectators, were attempting to escape their normal humdrum lives for just a little while. A miniature one-day vacation from the grind is sometimes all that we need to make it one more week.
As I sat at the bar of some Quebecois tavern drinking delicious Red Bull and Vodka’s, I wondered, who had won this race anyway? Nobody seemed to know and nobody seemed to care. I asked one of the officials just before last call and even he couldn’t remember. I suppose it didn’t really matter who’d won the race. In the end, we had all won.
If only I could find my driver…