Ricky Blue's Other Life
Ricky Blue
Ricky Blue
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 11.15.02


Universal law of the inverse value of things in a garage

Fall has finally arrived. I have a feeling it will be short - maybe a day or two. For many people, fall means wonderful brisk walks through the glorious foliage at the Morgan Arboretum.

For me, it means cleaning out my garage so that I can fit my car in there for the winter. And this fall, it also meant that I would learn an important West Island lesson.

After two unsuccessful garage sales this summer, our garage was filled with unwanted but we-can't-throw-this-out-because-its-worth-something stuff.

It was like the rings of a tree. Baby stuff. Toddler stuff. Kid stuff. Adult stuff. Used pieces of our life. Doors. Windows. Tires. Skates. Toys made of such indestructible plastic they can resist all attempts to throw them out. I knew I had to be ruthless. It was time to stop thinking. It was time to act.

If it is in the garage, it is not valuable. In fact, it takes on a negative value. It should be marked with a minus sign.

Here's an old kite, minus one. Here's a stack of cans of paint, still good, minus 10! Do you see? The fact that something is still good, still possibly useful and that someone in the family thinks it is still valuable - makes it impossible to throw out. That gives it less value, not more.

This is Ricky Blue's law of the inverse value of things in a garage: When an object enters a garage all its previous positive value is reversed and now becomes a negative value.

You haven't heard of it? Last year it was on the short list for the Nobel Prize.

I persevered - and I had a great feeling of satisfaction at the end. I could not believe how much room I had in my garage. That was because all the stuff was now in an enormous pile in my driveway. So I phoned the city to see if the regular garbage man would pick it up. Hey, it's what I pay my taxes for - right?

Wrong! Only if I was to cart it all to the dump myself was it included in my taxes. But there was far too much stuff here for my minivan. So they sent an inspector. He came and left an estimate. It would require a pick-up truck and $85.

That seemed a bit steep. But the next morning my gardener offered to take it to the dump for free in his enormous old pick-up truck that was as wide as my recently discarded ping-pong table (minus fifteen). I thanked him profusely and off we went.

I arrived at the Beaconsfield dump pleased that I could now claim my constitutional right as a taxpayer. I was told that I had to pay a $25 fee. I said: There must be some mistake. I was distinctly told that I could cart it myself for free. Yes, was the reply, but now you are using the services of a tradesman. But I am not paying him, I replied. Ah, but he has commercial license plates, they countered, triumphantly.

So here is the lesson I learned. In Beaconsfield it is not important whether you are paying a guy or whether he is simply doing you a favour taking your stuff to the dump. The important thing is whether or not he has commercial plates.

I guess it's a different way of life.