The Final Tour, Okotoks, Cochrane, a few select shops in Calgary. A few final things before I depart, general treasure hunting, nothing I needed.

Stop in the crazy thrift shop in Bowness, packed to the brim, overflowing, can barely move, there has to be something here...nothing...

The owner, or proprietor, or maybe just the shopkeep, is on the phone, an older lady, loudly conversing with an invisible other:

"I tell you, it's going to happen...no later than a week after the election"

"No, she doesn't believe it, some people, they're not ready for the truth...."

"We need to buy land...somewhere remote...that's why I'm asking you...the more people the better...."

"...I'm telling you, it's going to be World War Three..."

"...I'm prepared, I've got a ski-doo suit and mitts, I mean, I don't have any Mukluks or anything..."

I keep shopping, this is too entertaining to leave. I've got a boyfriend for her...she's the perfect counterpoint to John Goodman in "10 Cloverfield Lane"...Pretend to browse, look long and hard at the dusty rubbish for sale, I try to buy something, it's not for sale, she doesn't want to sell it, polite but rudely declining to show me, poor preparing for the end of the world in my book, but I get her, get every conspiracy-nut-job out there, she's doesn't believe it's going to be the end of the world, she's praying for it, wants to be vindicated, off the hook for any real world responsibilities, wants to be right just this once in her life, the leader of her own dysfunctional tribe of survivalists...If there's ever a final world war, and these are the "survivors", the human race is doomed anyways...

She's possessed of a certain Union Mentality, the new waitress. She tells me the minimum wage is going up. It doesn't matter, not to us, our income is tips, our wage is salary. And we can't argue that we're even close to minimum wage, we're not, minimum wage in the service industry would be the death of a lot of restaurants and small business. Maybe let the wait staff keep the tips and keep their minimum wage low...

She's new, and a bit nervous, breaking things, we gently tell her that we buy the glasses...a leftover from the days of G*** who in his nervousness would get drunk and then start breaking things, ..."That's illegal", she tells us, maybe so, but maybe be a little more careful...

Deliveries come, food, produce, liquor and wine. "I'm not going to put my back out to lift anything..."  she tells us, then busies herself behind the bar polishing the same glasses she polished the day before. We're slow enough they haven't been used or washed. 

She's one of those people who knows all of her rights, but none of her duties or responsibilities.

I met enough of these people in construction, the union guys who would do no more than they had to, would threaten to tell the union, the labour board, workman's comp, never the most popular guys, you'd never hire one but they would never show their flag until after they got the job. She's looking like one of those. She's found the wrong job, odd she hasn't sensed it, the owner's contempt is transparent, it doesn't matter, if she's not smart enough to figure it out she'll know when we bring in her replacement...

Not even 24 hours into the vacation and I start getting texts. From the Nephew, the Owner has just left for Italy (with his Canadian Girlfriend, no doubt doing for Canada's reputation in Italy what he's done for Italy in Canada...returning the favor you might say) - and no sooner did he get on the plane than his daughter showed up, found the key to the liquor room (hidden, especially from her...) and began to have a party. Oh yeah, and what a party it was...her daughter is 15 (same as mine. You'll see the reference in the texts...)

The owner will return to a fine situation I'm sure...

In the mood for a burrito and so I head down to my favorite fast food franchise...

The employee/burrito assembler, I know him, recognize him from the Gay Bar, we've chatted, he's flaming but nice...

It's a quiet night and so he's a little more engaging than usual. It's his second last night, he's taking a month off, renewing his work permit, he tells me he's Indian (East, obviously), he's surprised I didn't guess, (flaming has it's own accent that obliterates all others), I didn't, courtesy really, didn't want to speculate and as I was ordering a burrito I was kinda hoping he was Mexican...

"I haven't seen you forever...last time you were with that cute man..."

"My Son" I say...

"Really? Is he single?..."

"He is, but you know, I think he's straight..." I say the last apologetically, like I raised him wrong and have to live out a lifetime of disappointment, a lot of people think "straight" means "homophobic" but that isn't the case with us, still,...

He continues..."I thought he was your lover. Well. You know, I've slept with 23 Men and 19 of them said they were straight....I'm pretty sure I could convert him..." This is followed with an invitation to go on a date, how will we keep in touch, and I'm thinking we're keeping in touch just fine and if he's not here then I'll run into him at McDonalds or Wendy's or wherever, or not at all, and I profess to being a Luddite, no phone, email, facebook, and he kinda gets the hint, I'm saved by the arrival of other customers, and I'm thinking that maybe I've gotten a little too liberal...