The Outsider: Red eyes for the red necks
|By Will Jones - The Outsider | October 19, 2017|
You know when you’ve done something that you’re not quite sure about, something that at the time you thought was a great idea but now, in hindsight you are not so proud of?
It was as the smoke billowed over us, causing us to stagger coughing and spluttering across the yard that I first took stock of the scene before me. Friends from out west had come for a visit. They’d parked their RV in the driveway and we’d wandered down the garden to the fire pit for a beer and an evening relaxing by the bonfire. But the rain came down, and, while a more sane group of folks might have simply given up the outdoors vibe and gone inside, we thought it best to put up the awning of the RV and set up lawn chairs right there in the driveway.
Ten minutes later, with the less than dulcet tones of Stompin’ Tom drifting from the vehicle stereo system and cans of Molson Canadian in our mitts, there my guests and I sat, plaid shirts, baseball caps and stupid grins, all round. We giggled at our predicament - knees pushed together as space under the awning, and out of the rain, was rather cramped. We looked like a group of extras from an outtake of the Trailer Park Boys.
We even fired up the diesel generator to add a bass drone and certain olfactory excitement to the ambiance.
But that wasn’t trailer trash enough for Little Z and new best buddy, Cam the Man. Oh no, they decided we needed a fire and set about creating a make-do fire pit right there in the driveway. A ring of stones and a pile of damp pine needles came together quick as a flash. Then they lit it.
Immediately after, chairs fell backwards and beer was spilled as numerous adults lunged blindly from the smoky awning into the soggy night air gasping for breath. The kids fell about laughing.
“What the hell are we doing?” I spluttered, as I sucked in fresh air and got rained on. “We have a wonderful house just there, within actual spitting distance and we’re huddled like a bunch of hillbillies, drinking beer under canvas in the dirt of my yard!”
Enough was enough and we decamped indoors and talked seriously about politics, Third World problems and Booker Prize winning literature.
OK, that last bit was a lie. Politics may have come up briefly but I stamped that out smartish. My eyes, on the other hand, are red and still smarting from that pine needle smoke. Proof of our less than finest moment. And, Little Z now wants me to swap my truck for an RV “because with a van with a tent attached we can go party in anyone’s driveway, daddy!”
WILL JONES - is The Outsider