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The painful exercise of Blue Bomber fandom

The Jacksons from the July 7, 2016 issue of the Manitoba Co-operator

So, who’s watching the Bomber game tonight? Anyone?” Andrew Jackson leaned back in his chair as he spoke, and set his coffee cup down on the table. There was a brief silence from the other occupants of the table.

“I have better things to do,” said Grant Toews after a moment.

“Really?” said Andrew. “Like what?”

“I’m painting the garden shed this afternoon,” said Grant, “and I’m planning to spend the evening watching the paint dry.”

“Very funny,” said Andrew. “What about you Doug?”

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cartoon image of a family seated at a table
cartoon image of a family seated at a table
cartoon image of a family seated at a table

Doug Holmgren took a long sip of coffee before he replied. “I think I’ll just find a nice wall somewhere and bang my head on it for a while,” he said. “Seems like that would be less aggravating.”

“Oh ye of little faith,” said Andrew. “You guys are so… what’s that word Pallister used there a while back? Fickle. That’s it. Fickle.”

“Hey,” said Grant. “Mind the accusations. We’ve been absolutely faithful these last 26 years. Every year we’ve been promised this and that and the other thing. And every year we’ve been disappointed. It ain’t us that’s fickle. And it ain’t the hand of fate either, contrary to popular belief.”

Andrew leaned forward, picked up his coffee cup and heaved a deep sigh. “Who am I kidding?” he said. “I feel like I should watch, you know, go to the games when they play at home, cheer them on. But then I think, couldn’t I do something more fun instead like, get a root canal, or a colonoscopy?”

“I had a colonoscopy last week,” said Doug.

“How was it?” asked Grant.

“I don’t remember,” said Doug. “I don’t know what kind of Men In Black thing they do, but I can’t remember a thing. I recall the proctologist saying they were gonna give me something to relax me and the next thing I remember is my wife telling me to put my pants on because we’re going home. But I was still so relaxed I told her just to go on without me because I didn’t plan on ever wearing pants again.”

“Those are some good drugs they give you,” said Grant. “I’ve been there. I remember it as a happy time.”

“Good to know,” said Andrew. “I’ll keep that in mind next time I need an excuse not to go to a Bomber game. Because I would have picked the root canal over the colonoscopy, but now I won’t. Because I’ve had a root canal and it was definitely not the pleasant experience you describe. My dentist used an industrial grade jackhammer to drill down through my nose and upper lip and into my eye tooth, and then he pried the root out with a pickax his grandfather brought back from the Yukon. And the only anesthetic involved was the half-glass of Scotch he drank before starting the operation.”

“I didn’t know you and I had the same dentist,” said Doug.

“He’s a nice enough guy in real life,” said Andrew, “but in his dentist’s office he’s like John Henry reincarnated.”

“He’s a steel drivin’ man, that’s for sure,” said Doug. “Which is not a good thing in a dentist.”

“Speaking of Scotch,” said Grant, “have you ever tried the Ardbeg 10? Karen and Kendra gave me a bottle for my birthday.”

“What’s it like?” asked Doug.

“It’s like shoving a chunk of charcoal between your teeth and doing a face-plant with your mouth open in the mud on the banks of the Assiniboine River,” said Grant.

“So, really good then?” said Doug. “Lots of smoke and peat?”

“Exactly,” said Grant.

“Maybe a flask full of that would make watching a Bomber game less excruciating,” Andrew suggested.

“A flask full of that would make a root canal less excruciating,” said Grant.

“Unless your dentist doesn’t share,” said Doug, “in which case it would just make it worse.”

“Not for the dentist,” said Doug.

“Stop talking about the dentist,” said Andrew. “It aggravates my PDTSD.”

The other two looked at him quizzically.

“Post Dentist Traumatic Stress Disorder,” said Andrew. “Everybody knows that.”

“Everybody HAS that,” said Doug. “At least everybody who’s ever been to the dentist. You have to learn to cope. I suggest an occasional glass of Arbeg 10, or maybe a colonoscopy.”

“Can’t say I’ve ever thought of using a colonoscopy as a coping mechanism,” said Grant.

“It’s the healthiest coping mechanism there is,” said Doug.

“I think I’ll stick with the Scotch,” said Andrew. “Not that I have anything against proctologists.”

Grant raised his mug. “I’ll drink to that,” he said.

“Hear hear,” said Doug.

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