* Log Cabin Chronicles Ricky Blue's column Dad's Guide to Summer
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Ricky Blue's Other Life
Ricky Blue
Ricky Blue
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is a Montreal-based humorist, singer, and writer. He and partner George Bowser are the famous Bowser and Blue comedy act. Here's his bio from their Bowser and Blue website.

Ricky Blue was born in Liverpool, England, but raised in Maine, New Jersey, and Toronto. He has an MA in English from Concordia University. He has been involved in bands and media music in Montreal for over twenty years. In 1981 he won an international 'Clio' award for excellence in advertising.

He once appeared on television naked.

His life had no real meaning, however, until he began to play with Bowser and Blue. Rick plays guitar, mandolin, and harmonica, and sings in a rather pleasant baritone when George will let him.

His columns are archived here

Posted 06.28.06

RICKY BLUE

Dad's Guide to Summer

This summer I will be attending many sporting events. In my family there is a soccer player, a football player, a baseball player, a softball player and an umpire - and I only have two kids. Consequently, in my mini van I carry:

A wad of computer printouts with the names and directions to all the parks in the city, and my little map of my home municipal parks. This is how I learn geography. If anyone gives me directions to their house now I just ask: What park are you near?

Two little seat-cushions with built-in backrests I purchased for ten bucks at Wal-Mart so my derriere doesn't get sore from sitting on the hard aluminum bleachers. And a fold-up armchair (with little cup holders in the arms) I got from Canadian Tire that I can place right behind the screen near home plate and pretend I'm in the "Catcher's Club," or midway along the sidelines of a soccer field where there are no bleachers at all.

Hats and sunscreen to protect myself from the searing carcinogen sun. It seems to be a park rule that seating areas never have shade. And the hole in the ozone layer is always located directly above my rapidly receding hairline, warming my globe.

By the way, I have noticed that the visiting team is always given the sweltering side of the field, and although this might give the home team a competitive edge I would like to point out that it does not teach the kids good hospitality.

An umbrella and rain jacket for the inevitable downpour that will occur just as the game begins. Once again, because there is no shade from the sun there is also no protection from the rain, and it has rained every weekend for the last two months. As I strolled through my little village on a sunny Monday last week I realized that everyone said the same thing: "Beautiful day - it must be Monday."

Bitter? I say its God's little joke. He says: "I've told you silly humans time and time again, stop artificially dividing time into days of work and days off. When will you learn?"

Muskol mosquito repellent so I am not part of that Twilight Gourmet Buffet we sports parents unwittingly provide for our plump and pampered suburban insects.

A blanket and a heavy jacket for the 10-degree temperature drop that takes place five minutes after the sun goes down.

Bottles of water to keep from dehydrating. The empties can also become containers, because so many parks provide little or no facilities. As with every level of government today, taxes have all gone up and services have all gone down. So even if the park has facilities they will probably be closed. And these days if a middle-aged man is caught in a park exposed to the elements - the bladder defense does not cut it. So it's into the minivan with an Evian empty.

A few Cuban cigars in a ziploc baggie and a flask of single-malt, just in case my son hits a home run or my daughter kicks a goal.

I also have to remember not to park near a foul ball area. Anyone who has had any bodywork done recently knows that a ding on the hood will probably cost exactly the amount of the deductible. Insurance companies have this down to a science.

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