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 07.04.05


Montreal's West Islanders have a lot of balls

I am a sedentary kind of guy. Lazy? No, I like to think of it as…philosophical.

When I exercise it has to be a by-product of doing something else. Something I enjoy. I cannot exercise for the sake of exercising, sweating on a stair-master or pumping weights. My mind rebels.

The gain for me is not worth the pain. But I will ride a bike or walk to go somewhere. And as I do so my mind takes off in flights of fancy.

To give you some idea how contemplative I can be, I say to you: Fishing - now there's a sport!

But here on the West Island I find that athletes are all around me. It is a very physical culture. Everyone seems to be involved in sweaty physical exertion of some sort, seeking health and longevity.

And beauty. God, we have some good-looking people out here. All blond and tanned and fit. And that's just the seniors.

So my family has absorbed this local compulsion. My house has filled up with balls. My garage is absolutely awash in balls. Basketballs. Baseballs. Footballs. Soccer balls. Soft balls. Hard balls. Beach balls. Whiffle balls. Bouncing balls. Balls flying through the air. Balls being caught. Balls being thrown. Balls being kicked. Balls being hit with sticks.

Tennis balls - hit with hockey sticks and bouncing against the garage door.

Golf balls: - "Don't hit those around here. You'll break a window!"

- "No I won't."

Swat. Whack. Crash.

- "Oh."

- "Why didn't you listen to me? You see I'm older. I have developed what we call foresight. I knew it would happen. That's one of the things you gain from being "Philosophical".

My son plays baseball, basketball, and football.

My daughter plays soccer.

My wife plays tennis.

Balls dominate our schedule. There is a ball event every night of the week. And we juggle our schedule like a juggler juggles his, er, balls. (Even my metaphors and similes are becoming spherical.)

I am not complaining though. I think it is a good thing, especially for the kids. Ball games teach them truths about life that are very hard to learn any other way. Timeless truths. Indeed, the geneses of these ball games disappear back into the mists of time.

Graphic representations of figures tossing a ball or polished stone have been recorded as early as 5200 BC. Some place the first football game in the east of England - where the locals played 'football' with the severed head of a defeated Danish Prince! And in medieval times, towns and villages played against rival towns and villages - and kicking, punching, biting and gouging were allowed. And some people think things are getting too rough today.

My life has been altered by the rigorous pursuit of orbicular excellence. I have gained a new circle of friends and acquaintances whose lives also revolve around balls. I have dined with tennis players, and their orphaned families. I have spent weekends in hotels with baseball families. I have shared the agony of defeat with soccer moms and baseball dads. I have celebrated with them at the Dairy Queen and shared the sweet soft chocolate taste of victory.

And I have learned to accept it. People are very ballsy out here on the West Island.