Rollin’ on the River: There’s no home like back home


I thought it might be interesting to get somebody “from away” to write back to a local yokel who had written to them. If you happened to read last week’s column, a local feller sent a letter off to a buddy in Alberta so here’s the return letter.

Dear Old Friend Bob,

I got your letter and must say I was impressed with your letter writing abilities. I have been here now for almost a year now and it has flown right by. I’ll never forget getting that call from Tony telling me to come out here as you could pretty well pick up money right off the streets. Well, as luck would have it, I got off the plane and there it was, a $5 bill laying right on the pavement. I reached down to pick it up and thought, to heck with that; I’ll wait until Monday to start work.

I can tell that I have been out here too long already. Last week I was doing one of them there talks on the computer with my sister back your way and she told me that Mike that I used to work with got a ‘trip.’ I told her I was happy for him and hope he sends a postcard. Apparently, the place he’s visiting doesn’t have postcards and he didn’t bother going and taking some tanning lessons ahead of time either. Mike always could throw the bone hammers pretty good and could dropkick your neck off but I guess the cops were not all that impressed. I bet he got lunch while the other guy got supper.

One thing I miss about being back home is the chance to get some nice fresh “kicker snacks.” Out here they are as scarce as hen’s teeth and when you do find them, they will set you back the price of a small car. And don’t even get me started on the reaction I get whenever I ask for them by name.

We had a big party for a guy I work with out here last night and let me tell ya, it was a time. As the story goes, his girlfriend back home is having a baby pretty soon so we all chipped in to get him some nice gift cards and stuff. He’s been out here for a year straight now so I questioned about the baby stuff as it seemed a little odd to me. I didn’t know if I should or not, but then he told me there’s a year and a half between him and his brother so I guess it all makes sense after all. I felt kind of stupid after I asked and now I wish I would have paid more attention in math class when I was in school.

We were all sitting around the lunch room a month or so ago when one of the guy’s cellphone rang. It was his brother calling to tell him his Dad passed away back home. Let me tell you, this guy is making the big bucks so he told his brother to go all out for the funeral and he’d cover all the costs. I think he felt guilty about not being able to go back home. Anyway, the bill rolled in and he didn’t blink an eye and sent them off a cheque like nothing. Then, he kept getting a smaller bill every week and after he paid one or two of them, he called back home to see what was going on. I reckon there must have been some sort of a misunderstanding because the family went out and rented dear old Dad a tuxedo. Here I thought that me signing up for Columbia House under my pet’s names was a racket!

This guy’s in a real mess now.

We’re putting a new coat of siding on this place I’m staying in before it gets too cold. Last night it was so cold out here that the flashers were just describing themselves. Anyway, I gotta run.

Your old buddy,