Category Archives: The Olden Days

Don’t Let The Cat Out Of The Bag? – Comedy Open Mic Round 31

When we were kids, we had a live trap by the garden to catch the rabbits that pilfered our produce. It was a homemade one that was pretty effective at capturing the little varmints.

My stepdad, Paul designed and built it with two by twos and the leftover wire mesh from our rabbit cages. It wasn’t efficient at first, but with some R&D and a little trial and error, we had it working pretty fine.

Here is a professional looking blueprint

So I would have to check the trap each day when I got home from school and dispatch the usually wild rabbit in the trap. It was not a great feeling when you slide the barrel through the mesh, but we couldn’t let them go and eat all our vegetables. I would always try to get as close as possible, so it would make less noise and be a clean kill.

Until one day

I got home and there was the cutest little cottontail in the trap. It wasn’t wild though. I put the gun down and put on my leather gloves. (I didn’t want it to bite me as I was petting it.)

It was so tame. I picked it up and cradled it in my arms. It absolutely loved me. I was stroking its fur and it was vibrating (Probably with the emotions of finally finding its boy.) I decided that we wouldn’t be eating this bunny. It was going to be my pet.

I went to the garage and found an empty beer case. I threw a bunch of grass in it for the bunny to eat and then closed up the top so he wouldn’t hop out when we went into the house.

While we were in the basement, I called my mom at work to tell her about my new pet. She started to get a little heated when I answered her question as to where the rabbit was right then.

“Jesus Christ, get that thing out of the house before Paul gets home! They are full of lice and all kinds of other bugs.”

“Mom, I’ve already been petting him. He doesn’t have any bugs.” I said as I looked down at my hand and closely studied the skin.

Oh great. My skin was crawling with something but it was too small

It was right about then that I saw and heard the beer case starting to pop around the floor. Then the top blew open and that rabbit came flying out with the fear of death in its face.

After stammering a bit on the phone, my mom asked if the rabbit was loose in the house. I couldn’t lie my way out of this one.

“Yeah, but it’s okay.”

I tried to make it seem like everything was cool as I watched a ball of fur start racing the length of the house, stretch out and completely clear the couch, slamming headlong into the fake wood panel wall, right under the window.

“I gotta go, Mom, I’ll get it out of here.” I had about fifteen minutes before Paul pulled into the driveway.

I sprinted to the corner where the rabbit would have landed but it was a lot quicker than I was. It shot itself into the wall behind the TV. I started pulling the TV stand away from the corner but it was already on its way down the other long wall. This time it didn’t slam into the wall, it just rounded the corner and started towards the couch again.

WHAM!

This time it was a little closer to the window, which was probably five feet up the wall. That’s when I realized the bunny was trying to escape but the couch was in the way and it didn’t know that it could jump off the couch and easily make it.

Well, easily hurtle through the two panes of glass and most likely get sliced to bits, ten minutes before I got a spanking and had to go cut some lawns to pay back the $15 it would probably cost to replace the two windows.

I also could foresee me cleaning up all the blood and having to putty the new glass into the frames.

I grabbed the beer case and ran to the window as the bunny went back for another leap of freedom. I waited there as it made it over the couch and right into my cardboard catcher’s mitt.

The fight was on!

I immediately crumpled the box around its body and started running for the stairs. It clawed its way free and popped its head out of the box and screamed wildly at me. It was frightening.

Not as frightening as when I tripped at the bottom of the stairs and my face pressed into the box as we both went into the netherworld for a split second of screams mixed with gnashing teeth and my mouth full of lousy rabbit fur.

By the time I reached the top of the stairs, I had the bunny by the scruff and it was flailing like Phil Robertson at a pride rally.

It was a few feet to the back door and I pushed it open it with the rabbit. Two more steps and I flung that thing out to the front yard. I watched it do a few circle jumps in the air and then shoot across the lawn, road, and ditch into the field near the creek.

I put the beer case back in the garage and went to the basement to put everything back where it was when the fiasco started. As I went back up the stairs, I heard Paul’s truck pulling in. I walked out to greet him in the driveway.

He got out of the truck and stared at me as he walked up to the house. Then he looked into the garage.

“What happened to your face?” He asked

I remembered the close encounter on the stairs. “I got into a little fight.”

He looked back into the garage and then asked, “With that beer case?”

“Uh, it was involved,” I replied.

“I don’t even want to know. Did we get anything in the trap?”

“It’s empty. The carrot is still on the hook and I’ll set it tonight.” I hoped that would be the end of it.

“Okay. I’m going to lay down for a while and then we’ll cut the lawn.”

I eagerly agreed to that sentence. It was far more lenient than the one I had envisioned earlier. I went to the washroom to look in the mirror and wash the parasites off of my hands.

There were some burning claw marks on my cheek, in addition to the bite on my lip that was starting to throb, but I doused everything with a couple foamy shots of peroxide and went out to finish my chores.

That was the last time that I tried to keep a wild animal as a pet, and the first time I changed the statement in the title to “Don’t let the rabbit out of the box.”

Thanks for reading and I would like to nominate @amberyooper and @smithlabs to partake in the merriment. You can learn more by checking out @comedyopenmic’s last post. It has a link to the rules and everything.

Probably.

Fort St. James – Home Of World Class Chicken Racing

Imagine you are going on your vacation and you drive by this. What do you do?

Photo credit – Linda Glover twitter @GloverLindaJ

You immediately get your copilot to Google what the hell that sign means.

Turns out that there is daily chicken racing in Fort St. James, BC. A place that I only knew of because my Mastercard got sent to their bank instead of the Fort St. John branch that I was supposed to pick it up at.

I totally see the mixup. Really.

We found out that we had missed race day and would have to come back by 11:45 AM any other day. We decided that we would stop in on our way home and see what this was all about because we do love us some chickens.

So we passed the Shovel Lake fire after we left Burns Lake, but the highway was absolutely choked out with smoke. We were afraid that we would miss the races as the fires seemed to be in the direction we were going. We stopped in Endako and called the district office in Fort St. James. We were assured that the skies were blue there and we believed them. This is what it looked like over the lake as we pulled into town.

And this is what it looked like an hour later.

We camped at Paarens Beach Provincial Park and it was lovely, except for the wasps and the smoke. Had a chilly dip and a scrub up and then sat around the fire (camp, not forest) for a beer and to look at the stones we found in the opal beds that morning.

The campsites were spacious and the cost was much less than the cramped site we had a few nights earlier in Port Arthur. We highly recommend staying here when you inevitably come to see this really cool piece of Canadiana.

While out about town, we found out that the chicken races were held at the Fort St. James National Historic Site.

Did you know that they have the largest collection of restored wooden buildings in Canada? Did you also know that those buildings are in danger now from the wildfires?

Well, they weren’t when we were there so this post will be happy in nature because we only thought it was a bit of smoke at the time.

On to the tour!

So after paying and all that good stuff, we went into the museum part where we learned of the Carrier people and how they fit into the fort and the town.

The museum is full of interesting artifacts and stories but the coolest thing about it is how it sort of glosses over how they had to assimilate.

Sure, there was an infographic that told a bit about it…

… but they never delve into what the consequences of the white man’s actions were. It’s a good thing because nobody wants a depressed tourist walking around, bringing everybody down.

In case you couldn’t read that, here is a closer shot.

Well, that’s a bit of an understatement, but also a loaded compliment.

To take our minds off of the injustices, they let us play dress up with a bunch of old looking clothes.

I don’t think it worked, but we need to boost our spirits for the rest of the day. Maybe some deluxe hard candies will do the trick. Happy, happy, happy!

We leave the museum and go outdoors. We are then greeted by the red chairs of last year’s 150th birthday of our great nation. A nation that is founded on the freedom of its authoritarian, Christian people.

Wow, this post is getting too dark.

Okay, well, on with the fun times!

We walked around and took a bunch of photos. One of them was a 360° panorama, but I probably can’t put it in here. I’m going to try it though.

Wow, that worked great. Thanks, Google.

Here are some common people photos. I’m not even going to try anything fancy anymore.

Pretty sure that this is the dock. I’m not an expert or anything, just going on a hunch.

The building on the left is the warehouse, the tall one at the back is the food cache, the short one in the middle is the men’s cabin and the one in the foreground is the market. I guess we were mad at the girl in the warehouse for marking our quiz question wrong, so we didn’t take any photos inside. This was outside though.

Take that, stickler.

Next, we went to the food cache.

Mmmmmm, salmon and hams. Or, if we ship the names it’s halmon.

I just learned about shipping names like Brangelina and Bennifer. I’m a little bit slower on the trends.

 

This house behind the tree is the commander’s, or whatever you call him’s, house. We’ll get to that later.

In the men’s house, we got the question wrong, but the guy was cool so Gerri took a bunch of photos.

And where would we be if we didn’t have an old photo of native peoples dressed in white man’s clothes celebrating Dominion Day by performing an ancient Scottish game?

Sorry, it just spurts out of my brain sometimes.

This one below is the market and the scene for our first video.

I think that was the only one we got right, but to be fair, they used a lot of trick questions. They just didn’t want us to win.

We went to the tanning cabin and met Nicole, who was very engaging and educated on the subject. She was doing some very intricate beadwork when we got there and we were having such a good talk that we forgot to take any photos. Either way, it was one of the better and more informative stops on the tour, so we recommend you going in and talking with her.

After that, we went to the commander’s, or whatever he is, house. It’s the one behind the tree.

It was my favourite place of all because after the boring stuff inside, there were…

Goats and Chickens!

Yep, this is the moment we’ve all been waiting for.

The world-famous, Fort St. James Chicken Races

First, we had to place our bets.

 

They forgot the -ed on the end. Just kidding. It’s just what all the kids say now. Incessantly.

Notice how confident I am? I’m using both of my hands to show you the winner and my favourite way to have chicken prepared.

We really enjoyed the level of interaction there was with the crowd.

And then there was the comedy routine that was probably just to keep us occupied while they fed cocaine to their favourites.

The second race had a bit of a troubled start and we found out who got the cocaine. Luckily for them, they were disqualified and didn’t have to get tested. The third race was my favourite. I just love the hesitation at the end.
Here’s another reason it was my favourite race.
I might have lied when I said I wasn’t spending them. Too bad my phone was getting buggy and needed a restart.
So in the end, we got to look at a lot of history, good and bad, talk to some interesting folks and watch some world-class chicken racing. We won some, we lost some, but we went home with big smiles and a button…

Oh, and a few bucks as a souvenir.

We also did some quests and I almost forgot to tell you that we got to shoot slingshots.

So, in conclusion, go to Fort St. James. We’ll be going back and hopefully for a bit longer and to possibly do a bit of rockhounding. Rumour has it that there is jade around there. Well, not so much rumour as a geological survey.