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 04.12.06


From wheelies to behind the wheel

Today I would like to talk about something even scarier than my Beaconsfield tax bill: my teenage son's learner's permit.

Now that he has it he is always looking for any excuse to get behind the wheel. Do we need groceries? Do we need batteries? "Any errands you need to do, dad?"

But it isn't like I can now send him out to do all the irritating chores that clutter my day. No. Because he only has a learner's permit I have to be in the car with him when he drives - biting my nails.

"Just remember to watch the other drivers on the road," I say.

"There's only two kinds of them, dad. You taught me that. Anyone driving slower than you is a moron and anyone driving faster than you is a maniac."

"I can't wait to take you to England," I say. "I can't wait for you to find out what it's like to drive on the left side of the street legally."

One day my wife and I were both in the car with him at the wheel. I said: "Stay more to the left."

My wife said: "You're driving too fast."

He said to his mother: "Look, who's driving this car - you or dad?"

But it is touching. I remember when he learned how to walk; now he is learning to drive. Time is passing so quickly. He is becoming an adult. And getting behind the wheel of a car is an act that does require maturity - as we all know by the behaviour of the many drivers we encounter on the road.

Like the guy who zoomed past us while I was trying to keep my son down to 30 km/hour in a school zone. My son studied so diligently for the written driver's test. I wish I could get him to put that much effort into high school. But it's all about motivation.

The reward for passing his driver's test is the instant gratification of getting behind the wheel. The reward for getting good grades in high school is two years of CEGEP and then three years of university. Do well at school and you'll get - more school!

And now he even wants me to buy a new car. He showed me a picture and I found out why they call it a Chrysler.

"Jesus Chrysler," I say, "how much?"

"But it's so cool, Dad."

"I know why you want me to buy it," I respond.

That's right," he admits. "Soon I'll be cruising the West Island in . . . in . . . what? A minivan? Noooo! He wants to "pimp my ride."

I knew that having a kid would mean having another mouth to feed, but what I didn't realize that it would also mean having another mouth to listen to. So I say: "It's amazing how you can learn how to drive but can't master a lawnmower."

"Dad, don't you have any faith in our generation?" he asks.

"Of course," I say. "Look at the debt we're leaving you to pay."

It's a right of passage, especially out here in the suburbs. Without wheels, your freedom is restricted. And with it, your self-esteem. Perhaps it would be nice if this wasn't so, but it is. So look out, World - there's a new generation taking the wheel.