Monday, 30 July 2012

We've arrived at the end of the World (Day 28)

I found out where Greg got his do-it-yourself tendencies
             We spent the night in a hotel room after failing to find a campsite open at midnight. I had been trying to implement my secret scheme: get everyone drunk in the back of the van, wait for them to pass out as I kept finding excuses to keep driving, and then brave the mountain passes of the interior in the middle of the night to get us to Greg’s house in North Delta at 3am. But nobody bit and we ended our journey in Kelowna. 

Another delicious dinner of meat and beer
                We pulled into Greg’s house at three pm that day. We had made it intact, with only a minor amount of damage on the van. We were greeted by three men whose mannerisms and jaw lines bore a striking resemblance to Greg’s. They were his father and brothers. As I explored the interior of his house, I discovered an assortment of items that could only belong to the McLeod’s: chemistry books, musical instruments, and a hallowed out version of War and Peace which was hiding calculus for dummies. 

                We had a show lined up for the evening at the one 20 bar and grill, some kind of bar and grill hybrid that seemed to attract the beefy broish clientele of the Surrey/North Delta area. As I entered the venue, one barmaid scolded us: “It’s 8 o’clock. You said you would be here at 7:30,” and other trite remarks which I couldn’t be bothered to listen to. She then proceeded to storm out the door. Clearly she had never heard of musician time, which means that whatever time musician tells you, add one hour. As far as I was concerned, we were early.

Our venue on the Surrey/North Delta border
                The McLeod family and Greg’s friend provided a sizable crowd for the evening. It was a good feeling to play for them, being our last show of the tour and for the foreseeable future.  Martin and Greg kicked off the evening with some piano with Greg’s accompaniment, followed by another solid set by the Martov backups. Given as they had never practiced together before the tour, Matt and Greg did an excellent job filling in and had got their parts down by the end.

I kept getting distracted by the Olympics
                Then came the Argyle set. We pulled out all of the songs we could, new and old, that we had learned on the trip. We had really come together as a band. GD was solid on base, Matt’s drumming tight, and I had even become proficient at soloing during the instrumental sections after the chorus. I was playing so fast it felt like I was strumming the sax rather than pushing down buttons. The entire time, Greg wore a grin that could only be rivaled by his stage energy. We closed with Low Point and Lights, and it was over; Greg closed with the line, “we were the Argyles”; and then we had a hot, sweaty group man hug on stage. The tour was over; we survived.

The McLeods are like fives strings on a bass
                Rolling deep with a collection of Greg and his brother’s friends, we went back to the McLeod residence to celebrate. Having driven us to and from the venue, I had some catching up to do; GD wasted no time polishing off the van whisky; we went outside and Greg pulled a long, brown stick out of his pocket and lit it. I had never enjoyed cigars, but by the end of the night, I was sucking it back and enjoying the sweet flavours that only  carcinogens can provide.

But Greg, despite being from BC, was a natural
I learned to love the cigar
                 I found myself outside without any Argyles but Greg and a collection of his friends. As if driven by some impulse buried within their DNA, they began Toronto bashing. Fortunately, I had dealt with this situation before. Usually, after announcing that I was from Toronto and the other person failed to respond, I would follow with, “it’s unfortunate, isn’t it?” which had been good for a few laughs. Sometimes, telling jokes can be facile. But this time, I decided to own up to my former inclinations about Toronto being the centre of the universe: “Well, I wasn’t actually sure that the rest of Canada existed until this trip. I thought all the people I met from the rest of Canada were part of some nefarious, left-wing scheme to trick me into denying Toronto’s rightful status.” I think I've got an idea for a sitcom character.

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