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 12.18.02


Nothing beats a good neighborhood watch

My West Island neighbourhood reported an 80 per cent increase in break-ins last year. I have a burglar alarm system in my home. But it isn't enough.

Let me explain. Last week, I was at a clothing store on St John's Boulevard across from Fairview. My son was next door buying crickets for his lizard. My cellphone rang. It was my wife saying she was leaving the house. We made plans for dinner.

I started to shop. Then my cellphone rang again. It was my house alarm monitor company. The alarm had sounded. Should they call the police?

Because we had new windows put in our house last week perhaps my wife had simply failed to bypass one of the open circuits. I had already received my false alarm warning ticket from the police recently. So I told Chubb not to call the police.

I went back to my shopping. As I was about to pay the clerk told me that I could save $50 if I signed up for a credit card on the spot. Hmm $50! I agreed and they began the paperwork. But as I waited doubt preyed upon my mind. What if my house WAS being burgled at that moment? Wouldn't that be ironic? I have had this alarm system for 10 years now. Finally it does its job and I ignore it!

Panicking, I phoned my wife on her cell. It was off. She never has her cellphone on unless she is expecting a call. Dear, isn't a cellphone for precisely those times when you are not expecting a call?

My son returned and saw that I was edgy. The clerk continued the paperwork and I looked at my watch. Crooks have had 15 minutes to clean out my house. And I gave it to them! Hello? I'm a mug. Please rob me! Am I still insured if I ignored my alarm? Probably not!

My son asked what was wrong. I told him. Then I angrily told the clerk to hurry up. I was becoming the classic unpleasant customer.

My mind raced. What if I call Chubb back and tell them to call the cops and it IS a false alarm? Then the police will give me a real "false alarm" ticket for over a hundred dollars, completely wiping out this 50 that I am trying to save by waiting for this paperwork to finish.

"Dad, this is just like Curb your Enthusiasm," said my son, cheerfully. He was referring to the hit HBO television show in which comedian Larry David is dragged through similar life-like situations. Critics praise it because it succeeds even though the lead character is so unlikeable. And I was quickly becoming exactly like that character.

I was breaking into a sweat. "Just one more minute," the clerk announced. I tried calling my wife again. I got the recorded message announcing that her phone was off.

"Why don't you call our neighbours?" my son suggested.

"I don't remember the number," I admitted.

"I do," he answered, and rattled it off.

I quickly called them. They told me that they had heard my alarm go off and had walked over to investigate. They had looked in the windows and tried the doors. There was nothing suspicious.

I was so relieved. This time there was a happy ending. Because alarm systems are good but nothing can ever beat neighbourhood watch.