Thursday, 22 December 2011

Hope God serves Labatt 50 in heaven


When the grandparents were finally dispatched to their final resting spots, my mother moved us to a small apartment in the north end of town.

It was a big change for us, leaving the six acre fruit farm and entering the world of urban dwellers.

I was all for it.

I was a teenager by this time, sixteen and in the prime of it, and had finally broken my protective shell. I wanted to put my lips to the world, as they say, and living in the city was just the button I needed to reboot my life.

My mother's apartment became a hub of teenage hormones and merriment. Every weekend, there was a crowd of my high school friends who would come carrying boxes of Labatt's Blue and 50 -- my mother's favorite -- and we would sit around, listening to tunes on the eight track and watching dirty movies on Global television. We got our first color television in 1972 and we sat crowded round watching flying boobies on the Baby Blue Movies they played at midnight.

I remember fondly a naked ballet. I had never seen a penis before -- really, I am Liz Lemon!-- and it was odd and slightly unnerving watching the dancer's member floppling like a dead halibut as he shifted his weight, toe to toe.

I have never since been able to watch the real ballet without trying to envision the dancer sans codpiece.

It's a fetish. I can't deny it.

Christmas holidays at my mom's place were the best ever.

My crowd, the freaks and geeks from the Audio-Visual club, mixed it up with my brother Gary's rowing crowd and hilarity ensued. I loved the rowing boys, as I would love photographers later, and the girls in my crowd fished from that pool for a steady stream of hot, hard-bodied boyfriends.

But the geeks and freaks were my all time crew.

Molehead and Wayne would tart up the apartment with strobe lighting which bounced along with Alice Cooper and whatever other heavy metal we were listening to at the time.

Fitzie, the son of the town fire chief and a navy cadet, kept us in stitches telling off color jokes, and filled our heads with his stories from time served on navy destroyers. He also liked to recite ribald limericks. Here's one I remember.

The sexual life of a camel
Is much stranger than anyone thinks.
In the height of the sexual season
He tried to bugger a sphinx.
But the sphinx's exterior orifice
Filled up from the sands of the Nile.
Which accounts for the humps on the camel.
And the sphinx's inscrutible smile.


While the boys played with the stereo, we girls would experiment with all manner of frothy drinks made with the blender. Pink Ladies were an all time favorite.

Southern Comfort was a staple.

We would dance, we would frolick, we would rock and roll.

The next morning, we would hurl.

I'm not sure exactly how mom didn't get arrested for aiding and abetting under age drinking and puking in the parking lot. The cops came a few times but basically let us go with a warning.

This was St. Catharines in the 70s after all, a car town where the only entertainment was a night at the Welland House taking in the beer and ballet.

I miss those days.

My mother was never happier than to have a crowd of kids in the house. It made her feel young again, helped her reinvent herself in her middle age.

My aunts would come over and snap a few caps with her, but it was the High School Musical which really turned her crank.

I'm glad we gave that gift to my mother. She had a hard life raising us kids on her own and cleaning up after old people who made her feel bad about herself.

The kids loved Vera, and Vera loved her kids.

I even remember her holding somebody's hair while they rode the porcelain bus.

Vera wasn't exactly the greatest role model. She would never have won Mother of the Year.

But she gave us food, aspirin and a safe place to play.

And made us feel like we mattered.

Miss you, mom.

Merry Christmas.

If there is Christmas in Heaven, I hope Jesus breaks out the Labatt 50.

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