Thursday, 29 January 2009

Vodka Tasting Poshness Followed by Kensington Foosball Death Match

Being the brazen adventurer you all know and love, I embarked on a night out last night with my intrepid friend Greg. The night began on a streetcar named, not 'Desire', but 'Flooded' with icky snow and rivers of water in the aisle as it was snowing like nobody's business out. Heroically we braved the streetcar perils and arrived at the posh 'members only' Spoke Club on King Street with brave hearts, hungry minds and thick with thirst. The place was quite gorgeous really, speaks of being the home of the literary and business elite and is pretty nifty. I found it populated by rich people showing off hot arm candy, nice suits and just how wonderful they were by being members of such a nice swank 'members only' affair. And then there was us classy dudes, shown above, who were specially invited to get some free vodka down our parched hearts and burgeoning souls... Err, yeah. Hehehe, sure.
And so a free martini (Ketle One; shaken not stirred) which was damn good to be honest, followed by the official tasting and some history and learning from the lovely Ketle One lady (see below) who taught me that all vodkas ain't the same, that all vodkas ain't made from pertatoes, and coincidentally that Ketle One vodka is the bestest ever booze onza planet.

Admittedly it was really smooth, and not as harsh as the others. Hey, it is Dutch though. And this Dutch boy was sold at that. So, we tested (Kettle One, Grey Goose, and Absolut) and scented and swished vodkas and got a little buzzed and I wanted to smoke, but didn't smoke as I just bloody well quit smoking. Ahhh, memories!

This was pretty fun, then another martini. Being a wine and pints man, I didn't really know about Martinis. So the second one I tried dirty and it was the last time I do that. It was like drinking pickled pickle brine. UGH. Bammo though. Hit me good. Like a good night out with a dominatrix. Mean and dirty and GREAT. Oh, but I've said too much.
Anyways, having survived and having no offers by the many beautiful women wandering the beautiful Spoke establishment(they have specialized micro implants that sense wealth) we opted for the fine and filthy shores of lovely Kensington and a serious Foosball tournament of death at The Last Temptation, one of the great haunts of Toronto, if the right bartender is in playing the right music.

Epic battles. Monumental goals. Horrible own goals. Dexterity and wisdom and finely honed talent. Drama. War. And victory! Praise and adulation, wreaths and glory for the conquering hero. Carson vanquished and paying for the pitchers as a result.

Sweet night.

Wednesday, 14 January 2009

The Building

The building's collapse
Was foreseeable
So stop the mourning
The crying and gnashing of teeth
For all you've lost you the forlorn
Show some grit and fight instead
Collapse can in truth
Be for the best
Especially and if and when
Foundations had begun to
So finish the job
And do it clean an' quick
Burn and smash
Knock it all down good
So that even the ashes be further reduced
By hammer strokes and howling winds scatter
Survey and see the damage done
Eradication of the old
So you might build anew
Towers of splendor
Structures sound secure
And this time be sure to
Pretty up the cornerstone with etchings
That defy and praise the gods
Pretty up thy banners too
That they be ready to flutter proud
Then drive them posts down an' deep
Hammer hard and cruelly pound
Let them bite bedrock
Let them bind things well
And stone and steel be beckoned
Only then can you rise
Only then can you climb
To heights
Bringing forth a new place
Where you might shine and
Be safe
Somewhere far from harm
And the cold dark nights

Wednesday, 7 January 2009

Part 4: Malbec and The Boy Racer (intro)


The place is rather eccentric, much like us group of four who gather here bi-weekly in weather fair or foul, during time of peace or during war, in times of pestilence even we remain, especially as we come here to be polluted and most certainly toxified. Tiki bar which seen better days we come to on schedule, at least when there is nothing better to do in our eventful, sorrowful, gleeful and most trepidatious lives.

The place is covered in dilapidation and dust and far too much bamboo. Walls are encrusted with fake vines and real vines. You can tell them apart as the ones that are real are all dead. Palms too in various degrees of failure, stuffed parrots and other tropical birds, a fake python and other notable snakes of merit look cheap and plastic. There is even a guerilla suit stuffed and mounted with a cigar sticking out its mouth. We thought the stuffed and fading lioness, which was once a real lioness, was too depressing and so Angie, the place's owner, he took her away. We sometimes still drink to her though, the old girl. Fake stalks of too bright green bamboo live with live ones not looking as hale, also palms and other things tropical cling to life amidst constructed rock ledges and waterfalls and pools.

Walls are built from greyed out and time stained bamboo back here in the patio area. There are groupings of giant goldfish and the like in aquariums filled with dirty water which have seen better days. They blink lazily and forgetfully as they swim on through the dim, eyes rotating on differing axles, mouths endlessly opening and closing. There is even a small shark and a turtle in the bigger aquariums. They do not seem to overly hate their lives here at the Tropical Jungle Tiki Bar and Grille, but seemed resolved to their lot and unafraid.

The turtle, Ricky, stares out sleepily from the murk of his tank, then clambers onto a shelf where he watches us imbibe and blinks slowly those glassy black eyes. He eats some carrot bits methodically and seems wise enough to judge that we are the lesser intelligent species. He winks and cranes a long neck, settles down and in for a snooze.

The place is almost always deserted except for a few locals who are generally of the lowest kind of scum and villainy known to humanity, which suits us to the core. Oh, and us. Eccentric us; four rogues of happenstance friendship and wild element.

Our table is usually made up of four as that is all that tend to fit. There is yours true, of sparkling eye and happy heart, whom you are acquainted with, sitting hunched slightly, sipping from a narrow straw and grinning, bending and unbending long legs under the table and my bad and cranky knees, tossing and flipping back and forth my pack of Luckies. Felix across in shorts and too large flip-flops which keep falling off, ill-shaven and dirty blonde bearded, Hawaiian shirt hung open with a tank top under with a tank on it, with them Egyptian symbol tattoos of his and pirate earrings, whom you've also met at least the peripheral of. His smile you are never sure of what to make as he chews a wedge of lemon and winces good, slams down a shot glass. Malbec and the Boy Racer are alright too. One dances like a gypsy, the other waltzes like a god. They are two-fucking-pees-in-a-pod. The latter one tall, lanky, his hands massive and well manicured, calm as right before the storm which be Malbec, the former, and his mate o' mates, tiny, bunched, hard wired and swift, fiery and short tempered, oh-so quick to flush with love or rage. The Boy Racer is tall and oddly made, somewhat peculiar, saggy skinned and pale, with large square and white front teeth, larger square glasses too so he might see the better. His smile though is generous and kind, mostly less you offend him highly in which case them massive hands would come in to play. Malbec is the shorter and thicker and seedier and greedier, but brainy and bright and full of mirth and glee. He shall abscond with your woman unless you are very careful or politely ask him not to. That is if your woman is into incredibly short swarthy types. He claims to have killed a man in a knife fight, but not a one of us believe him.