A few weeks ago, Maritime decided to hop into his truck and drive to Kingston, Ontario. It’s a long drive - a few thousand kilometres, and in a Montreal traffic jam, Maritime’s truck began to make a strange noise. He tried to ignore the sound as he shuffled along with the other stuffed up vehicles. However, the further he drove, the louder and more persistent the noise became.
So poor Maritime nervously hung onto the steering wheel as he aimed his truck for Ontario. It was a-bumping and a-shaking and only getting worse.
Finally, near Iroquois, when partially past an exit ramp, Maritime harshly swung the steering wheel to the right and exited the 401. A dangerous driving technique. At the stop sign, he spied a small building with a sign that said: “We serve all vehicles”. “A wee miracle,” he thought, and why not?
Maritime walked in and said, “My truck is doing a lot of shaking. I was wondering if it’s safe to drive?”
“Mind if I take it for a test drive?” the mechanic said.
“Fill your boots,” he said, because Maritime is a Maritimer.
“Your wheel is falling off.”
“Son of a Halibut!!”
Needless to say, the loose wheel was tightened promptly.
He spotted a long line of grocery carts parked by the front door. Each cart had a little slot where you deposited a quarter, so the cart would let go of the other cart. When you’re finished with the cart you can return it and get your quarter back.
After he’d put his quarter in the slot and then found the right door to push the cart through, he saw a man with a basket. “I don’t need a cart,” he said to himself. Because he wasn’t planning on buying much.
So, he returned the cart. However, the cart wouldn’t let go of his quarter. Maritime pulled and yanked, but not for too long because he didn’t want other shoppers to think he was a country bumpkin who didn’t know how to get his quarter back. So he let the kleptomaniac cart keep it.
He then walked into the store, grabbed a basket and walked down the many aisles collecting a loaf of bread, sliced cheese and a few other things.
Suddenly, he heard a loud bang. What was that? It sounded so very, very close.
Simple answer. Befuddled Maritime had accidentally grabbed two baskets and the bottom one had fallen down.
“I’ll put it away for you,” an employee said.
Later, when he was paying for the few groceries, he asked for a bag or two. The kind lady gave him two bags. For free. They’re usually five cents a bag. So, Maritime thought, the cart thief only owed him fifteen cents. A little ironic justice here. He showed the grocery carts his swear finger as he left.
Maritime visited some of his family. When he visited his son and family, he parked his truck in their driveway. Then he, his son and his grandson walked to the park.
Here his grandson got looking all super cute and everything when he climbed into a yellow tube, slid down it and popped out at the bottom. However, he never shouted “wheeee!” I mean, really, who does?
“I’ve got to take a photo of this,” Maritime said. So, he walked back to the parking lot and located what he thought was his son’s car. “Duh,” he said to himself. “What an idiot. The camera isn’t in my son’s car because I left it in my truck and I left my truck in their driveway. I’m losing it.”
So, Maritime picked his way back through a gaggle of children who were in the midst of a chaotic, almost-finished, school picnic party. It was beginning to spit rain as he said to his son, “I’m such an idiot, I walked to your car to get my camera. I must be losing it, because I left it in my truck. Duh!”
His son, looked very, very carefully at Maritime. Maritime is at that age when younger people look very, very carefully at you.
“But Dad, we walked to the park.”
That’s a double, double “duh”!
Maritime walked about three K and then decided to return to his truck. On the way back he encountered an unusual problem. So, he grabbed his cell phone and called a friend in Cape Breton. A girlfriend, if you must know.
“Hi sweetie,” he said.
“Nice to hear your voice,” she said.
“I think I can give you an indication of just how this trip is going,” Maritime said.
“Why is that?”
“Well, I’m on this nature trail and I’m kind of trapped. You see, there are these geese: two very big ones, plus some medium-sized adolescent geese and a bunch of little geese and they won’t move off the trail. The biggest one keeps hissing at me and stepping towards me every time I move. I think I’m trapped.”
“I’m going to take off my cool sun-glasses for one thing. I think my cool demeanour is disturbing them.”
This is what Maritime actually did.
First, he took off his sun-glasses while still chatting to his girlfriend. He then stopped looking at the geese, after they’d had a good gander at the whites of his eyes. Then he shoved over until he was so far to the side of the trail that he was standing in water, because this section of the trail cuts through a swamp. Then he repeated a small, generic bed-time prayer before he stepped out in faith and marched right smartly forward.Throughout this whole ridiculous maneuvering, Maritime had kept up a steady rapport with his chuckling sweetie-pie.
Glory hallelujah! It worked! Maritime was free! Free Willy! Free Maritime!
He then said, “Good-bye and thanks for the help,” to his girlfriend.
“I love that man,” she said, as she put her cell phone away.
Maritime first had to properly park his aging truck on the golf course parking lot. He made sure his truck was parked straight, true and totally parallel to the other vehicles, to within plus or minus one degree of parking error. Because expensive cars were parked to the right of his truck and to the left of his truck. Rubbing shoulders with the luxury class.
Alas, Maritime has a problem. It often happens when he enters swanky places which enclose high opinions.
You see, as he got closer to the door, he began to forget that he knew his p’s and q’s, he’d learned the alphabet from a to z, could do his time-tables, could drive, is toilet trained, shops fairly proficiently, is able to walk and chew any kind of gum at the same time, can almost use chop-sticks and knows that the sun shines forth brilliantly on everybody, including Maritime.
Because as soon as he stepped inside - boom! Maritime Mac instantly felt uncouth. Unfashionable. His knees knobby in his not too cool shorts. Because the club he’d stepped into seemed to Maritime to be stuffed with esoteric, heady, intelligentsia, with fuzzy thoughts far above his level of understanding.
Of course, on another level, he didn’t really believe that, but tell that to his unruly emotions who just won’t listen to the little boy part of Maritime who keeps saying, “But the emperor is stark naked sir. Just look at him.”
So, because Maritime wouldn’t listen to the poor little fool on the hill, he was left with feeling incapable of speaking intelligently or fluently. He could only make words and sounds like “Duh, duh, duh. Yuk, Yuk, Yuk,” and maybe a few simple one syllable words like, “How are ya, eh boys?”
On top of that, the folks he was supposed to meet hadn’t shown up. They were AWOL. Long drive for AWOL people. Luckily Maritime had other important things to do.
So, Maritime vacated the building in an orderly fashion. However, he loitered on the front porch for a short time, where he couldn’t help but over-hear a woman talking on her cell phone.
“I don’t know if I want to go south this year,” the well-dressed, fashionably coiffed woman said. “I have condos to worry about and I’m already carrying fifty-thousand dollars a year on the one condo.”
“Duh, duh, duh,” Maritime thought. “What would I ever do if I had that big problem?”
The first day he drove to Fredericton, where he stayed at a large motel. A three-storey motel. He was exhausted and tumbled off to sleep in no time. However, at one something a.m., he was awakened by banging. Banging across the hall from his door. Then more bangs. Some seemed to originate from above him and then below him and then beside him and then inside him and then all around him. Who the hell knows, but he was hoping this old hotel wasn’t haunted.
So, Maritime jumped into his clothes and headed for the front desk.
“I keep hearing banging noises,” he said to the reception desk lady.
“They’re doing some work. The owner told them they could, but I’ll send them home.”
The owner lets construction workers bang away in the hotel at one am? Duh, duh, duh!
“Sometimes city folks are crazy,” Maritime thought to himself.
However, once Maritime was back in his little cabin and was looking out the window at a flock of blue jays who’d landed near by, he thought to himself, “God sees the little sparrow fall, so surely he’s going to look after all those city folks too. Might even let that woman get her condos in order so she can spend some quality time down south. Where the sun doesn’t just whistle Dixie for anyone.