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...

"You know, I had to pay an extra 9% taxes...say I made $500 K last year...that's an extra $50 K in taxes...on top of what the company paid!!!"

He's not very good at math, and he's soliciting sympathy from the wrong guy. I get it, the NDP are evil, the Alberta Advantage is no longer, but I'm hard pressed to guess how the Conservatives would have handled it differently. And he's complaining to me, more than a full order of magnitude difference in our incomes, his 50K$ extra taxes, that's my entire years earnings, I get it, it's a lot, but that's a bit like me complaining to the homeless guy under the bridge that I can only afford 2 bottles of Vodka tonight, not 3...

When the days of Anarchy come, we will run them to the ground with hounds...

He's polite, articulate, he's a long-time party member, but unlike other party members he's reasonably polite, civil, greets you at the door, checks his coat, this makes him an exception not just among party members but among Albertans in general. Manners, after all, are a vanishing thing.

He presumes we're on the same page as him, expansively, liberally even, we're all intelligent, well bred people, aren't we? What can you do about a province that elected a Trudeau (again!) as PM and a woman - NDP - as provincial leader?!!! It's crazy! He presumes our agreement, and really, he has it, we're in that job where to disagree or show signs of intelligence would mean immediate unemployment. I don't agree, not with a single thing he's said, but he's pleasant about how he says it which is better than most, I have to confess...

He continues, he's expansive in his person-ability, you can see how he rose up in the party, really, the party isn't known for their charismatic members but he's definitely one of them...we offer him a drink, he doesn't drink, various reasons, health, can't, but as well, he used to own a chain of restaurants, liquor stores, hundreds of them throughout the province...

...and he's seen first hand the damage that alcohol can, does, do, the addictions, the alcoholism, since when he's sworn to never touch another drop...

...ironic this, the swearing to never touch another drop, yet the profiteering off the alcoholics, the wife-beaters, all those who weren't as strong as him, he has no moral compulsions, no desire to expound or proselytize his point of view for the fear that it might cost him his livelihood, this, this is the classic conservative, the role mode, the poster child, charming, affable, ready to damn you for a slight commission with every poison he'd never touch himself...

I have to laugh. But it's true...