Sunday, July 09, 2006

A story I forgot to relate about Canada

It's pretty lame that I'm making another post on a blog about some stuff I did on vacation only a little while after the last post, like I'm some loser that doesn't have anything better to do than write stuff on the internet. I pine for the days of yesteryear, when losers were cool dudes with leather jackets, who drove around in Mustangs, snorting cocaine and pushing over motorcycles starting a domino effect and ruining a bunch of bikes because they were cheated at a poker game or they lost some money at Keno. Now losers are just guys who type shit on the internet and people are like "fuck you, you're such a loser." There's no glory in it, no interesting stories to relate about it, nothing anyone would want to hear. You can't relate your internet stories to friends at a dinner party and be all like "Oh yeah, I saw this really mediocre website with like pictures of cats, so I sent the guy a really mean email and told him his cats were ugly."

But here I have a REAL story. It's not quite a funny story unless you think it's funny that I could have drowned, but I guess that's funny in its own way too.

I had decided to take the canoe out into the lake by myself, since our cabin came with a free canoe and our neighbors weren't using it because they were too busy being loud and stinking. Of course, my first mistake was that I was taking the canoe out by myself. The thing was huge, and not like a rowboat with the oars being held in place with rungs on the sides. If you wanted to go a different direction in the boat, you had to switch sides with your oar and paddle like a son of a bitch, meaning that I always had a choice of either going left or right at any given time.
My second mistake was wearing shoes and socks in the canoe, along with a long sleeve flannel shirt and a pair of Aviator sunglasses. Of course with an outfit like that, it was a given that I would flip my boat over the first two times I tried to get in, completely soaking me. My third mistake was not taking that as a sign to just go inside and change my clothes and enjoy some delicious hot chocolate. I could have done that at home.
My fourth mistake, and probably the worst one, was not noticing that it was a particularly windy day, and that the water was behaving more like a rapidly flowing river than a lake. Once I finally managed to successfully get the canoe into the water with me in it (the canoe, not the water), the boat was immediately pulled downstream (downlake?) at a speed of roughly twenty miles an hour. My dock disappeared from view about three minutes later, and it was about then that I decided I could barely even steer this damn thing, let alone paddle it back home. Luckily, my canoe managed to smash into someone's floating dock, and the rope at the end of the canoe snagged onto a piece of wood before I was pulled further away.
I had to make a decision at that point. I could either scramble onto the unstable dock and call for help, potentially humiliating myself, or I could jump into the water and try to pull the boat to shore, also potentially humiliating myself, but hopefully less. Mistake number five was jumping into the freezing water and basically going into shock for ten seconds. I grabbed the rope and wrapped it around my arm three times before pathetically doggy-paddling towards the nearest shore (I was at a FLOATING dock, mind you). I then proceeded to walk along the shallower waters, latching onto docks and struggling to keep my boat with me as the current threatened to steal it from me. This was, of course, still easier than actually pulling the thing onto dry land and heaving it that way, since I would still have to cut through peoples' properties to get back to my particular piece of shore. This didn't stop people from occasionally launching barbs at me from the safety of their beach chairs, though. "You know, canoes are much better when you're actually inside them, eh?"
Had both my hands been free at the time, I probably would have flipped them off, but instead I just shouted "Yeah, I guess."

What I Think Of Canada

Canada has been kicked around by Americans for a long time now. I mean, there's just so much about Canada to make fun of, like the fact that they pronounce things differently from us! Also, they have that horribly misguided "socialized medicine" policy, which (get this) allows ANYONE to get health care! Those obviously don't understand that doctors won't do their job correctly unless they're paid ungodly amounts of money to do very little work, and that they get sloppy when they have to operate on poor people. Come on, Canada.

But really, Canada's all right. After spending a week there, the only problems I had were the extremely high price of food (eight bucks for a six pack of soda?!?), the poor exchange rate (which is actually America's fault), and the accents of the French Canadians.

Let me elaborate on that for a moment. I don't mean any actual disrespect to French people (or even French Canadians... Reclamare...). The French language is beautiful, and the French Canadians are a proud people, or so I assume from all the complaining they do about making Quebec its own country, but holy SHIT the French Canadian accent is grating. It's more guttural sounding than proper French, for one thing... like a German guy who learned French and then had his tongue cut in half down the middle. Our downstairs neighbors kept mouthing nonsense words to their baby to make it stop crying, but it came out as an extremely loud "GUIIIIIHHHhhhhhh!" And they would do this for hours! How could they spend so much time basically shouting in their baby's face and then go for so long without changing its diaper that the smell literally travelled out their windows and into ours before embedding itself in the fabric of our furniture, only to make itself known again whenever we sat down?

And another thing: I don't know if it's like this all over Canada, but the drivers in British Columbia are some of the shittiest drivers I've ever seen, and I've been to Texas. EVERYONE'S a tailgater, and nobody even thinks about driving the speed limit. That goes for city driving, too: you can't make a left turn without some dude cutting in front of you, or blasting past you when you're trying to stop for a pedestrian. Incidentally, I don't think I saw one police car for the entirety that I was up there. Canadians seem to just take all their bad driving for granted, though, and don't even seem to get angry at the people that are inconveniencing them by driving the speed limit. I didn't get the finger once, or even garbage thrown at my car. Wish I could say the same about Spokane.

But the positive aspects of Canada. The border guards never even checked my car (even though I was a lone, unshaved American with dirty hair and only one bag of luggage), unlike the American guards, who stopped just short of strip searching me and taking my car apart to find marijuana hidden in some secret compartment of my 1994 Ford Aspire. The Canadians were friendly and never treated us like tourists, even when it was extremely obvious that we WERE tourists. The legal drinking age is 19, so I was able to just walk into a bar and order a drink without even getting carded. Also I saw a house that was actually converted from old-timey river boat. You'd probably get the neighborhood association pounding at your door if you tried that around here.

So anyway, enough about Canada. I'll try to get the new comic finished by tomorrow, and maybe I'll also be able to unveil the first comic of my new college newspaper series, "Generic College Newspaper Comic Strip." It stars two college students that make jokes about drinking and how hard their classes are. Bet you can't find any OTHER webcomics like THAT.

Saturday, July 01, 2006

Vacation time

I'm going to Canada for a week for a vacation (or "holiday" for you British types). I'll most likely be back on July 8th, and will have hell of new comics up shortly after. I'll have lots of free time to do nothing while I'm up there, so hopefully I'll be drawing comics while doing nothing.

In other news, where are you, Reclamare? Buy your stupid computer so you can make some more stupid comics, stupid! Stop having a broken computer!

Also, my brother has apparently disappeared somewhere in Texas and nobody can find him or even call his cell phone. He occasionally calls us and leaves us with cryptic messages about where he is or what he's doing, but all I've been able to piece together is that he's living in an abandoned farm house and hiding bones in the desert or something. If you're reading this, Josh, come back home and take care of your damn dog. Wherever you are.