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 02.09.04


Be here now or, I once had a crush on Vampira

"That'll be $14.05," she repeated, a little louder. She had pulled me out of my thoughts to pay for my purchase.

"I was in my own world," I explained, a bit flustered.

"That's OK. I'm not really here either," she answered.

I walked away, fumbling with my change. Then I started thinking again, she's right. And if I wasn't there and she wasn't there either, did that exchange really happen?

These are the kind of thoughts that put that uniquely stunned expression on the faces of marijuana smokers. But I had not been smoking anything. I had just been walking around while under the influence of my own inner world.

We all do it. Maybe you're at Réno-Depot, and suddenly you have to wake yourself and say: "What did I come here for?"

You force yourself to focus. It can be painful because what you were thinking about was much more compelling than scouring the shelves for a 50-watt, medium base, halogen bulb.

Maybe you were thinking of a loved one. Or, remembering something that altered your life years ago. Or simply ruminating about how we are all being royally screwed by the government.

When people say 'Hi,' I often have to climb out of such a labyrinth of thoughts. They look at me as if I am slightly touched. I want to be friendly. I want to be there - in the moment. But the brain started turning, gears began grinding, and I was pulled into my little world.

It even happens at home: "What did I come into the kitchen for?"

It's getting to the point where my loved ones can hear me coming down the hall before I reach them.

"To whom were you talking, dear?"

"Oh, I was just thinking."

"What was that shushing sound? Like a whisper."

"Yeah, I heard it, too." Then the sudden realization: "Oh no, was that me?"

It happens more often as we get older because we accumulate more inside our heads in which to become lost.

"I was just reliving the 60s, dear."

"Uh-oh. Be careful of your blood pressure."

The only way to stay in the moment is to empty your head. With meditation you repeat a mantra until there is nothing in your head but the mantra. Then you give up the mantra. Of course, if you have nothing in your head to begin with you have a head start. Like if you were Paris Hilton, the famous heir (head).

Perhaps young people have an easier time being in the moment because they simply don't have as much clutter inside. When you're nine, there's nowhere else to be but in the moment.

Only when you are in the moment can you react authentically, even if it is only at the local Jean Coutu. People like me are all that sales clerk sees all day: an endless parade of customers in their own worlds, worrying about aches and pains, financial situations and family struggles. If I had been in the moment I could have cheered her up.

I would have noticed her jet-black hair, and her dark eye make-up and her bright red lipstick. I might have said: "You know, I used to have a crush on Vampira when I was 14."