John Mahoney's Free-fire Zone
John Mahoney
John Mahoney
is editor of the Log Cabin Chronicles.

His previous columns are archived HERE.

Posted 06.12.01
Fool's Hollow, Quebec


A Fool's Hollow Weekend

So it's the weekend and this is Saturday.

It starts unpromisingly. I'm struggling with a defective java applet I can't fix for love nor money.

Then my old chum Captain My Captain arrives in mid-morning with a very large trailer of damp horseshit he's acquired from some horsey folks over by the lake.

Always ready to take a break, I build us a pair of icy fortified vodka and tonics. We repair to Jane's Shade Garden to take our leisure and recuperate. He offers me all the horseshit I want.

I accept a wheelbarrow load of horse apples for our compost heap and bid the Captain adieu. I slouch back to the computer and the bad applet.

I soon hear Captain My Captain's voice in the kitchen. Get your wheelbarrow and a shovel, he says.

I knew he had a soft tire and had planned on adding air in town. But no, it wasn't a question of too little air.

All four wheels and the axles have abandoned the trailer about a half-mile down the road.

The trailer box is on the road. It is still packed full of damp horseshit. The wheels and axles are back up the road a piece, right where they landed when they left the trailer box.

Captain My Captain and I put fresh air in one wheelbarrow tire and then push the pair of them down the road. We're both of Irish blood so we felt right at home, strolling down the byway with our barrows.

The neighbor lady who lives nearby is already shoveling shit into her barrow. Captain My Captain has told her we'd put it all on her garden.

She and I have a history. Not a good one, actually. Years ago, my cows used to plunder her garden. The last time they did that, I sold them. But I think she has a long memory.

She settles for half the manure and gives me an old rug she's throwing out. I want it to kill weeds in my garden patch.

Captain My Captain fires up his four-wheel-drive and we slowwwwwwwwwly draaaaaaaaaag the trailer, the tires, the axles, the old rug, two shovels, and our weary asses down the road to where we make a U-turn and creep towards home.

There's a long-haired guy mowing his lawn. He watches us go by, slowly, very slowly grading the gravel road with the rusty trailer box still half full of wet horseshit.

I itch to ask him how far it is to Montreal. Or maybe tell him we're the new road-grading crew from Stanstead East. But we're making too much noise, what with the metal trailer box half full of damp dung scraping hell out of the road. Friction and all that, eh?

We finally inch our way into my driveway and Captain My Captain parks that piece of shit trailer out of the way. Jacks it up, uncouples it, and leaves it.

We feed him a light lunch. Captain My Captain goes home, some 30 miles up the road.

Jane and I go to a funeral - the fourth this spring. It is very sad. We come home. I fall asleep. Jane sits in her shade garden.

Captain My Captain, it turns out, went sailing on his boat – the Passing Cloud or Passing Fancy or Passing Strange. I dunno…something weird.

In early evening he calls me on his cellphone. He has switched to gin and tonics. He says his day has turned out just fine.

So I built myself another fortified vodka and tonic. Fortified means you use the large jiggers. Two of them.

Then Jane and I water the garden. I move an ancient cast iron bathtub in Jane's shade garden. On skids. About 100 feet. I sweat, I tug, I grunt.

Now, this is Sunday. The Lord's Day. A day of rest in many cultures. But in Fool's Hollow, it's a hump day like any other day.

Sure, I ache all over this morning. But the tub is out of the way, now.

Captain My Captain's rusty old trailer box sits in my yard, at the edge of the driveway, near the road.

You can still see the scrape marks in the road. The trailer box is still half full of shit. I have to shovel out the rest of it. But better a trailer half full than half empty.

It no longer looks like rain. I believe Captain My Captain is sailing today.

This is a true story. Life is like this sometimes.