My Birthday

Today I am the age of the Answer to the Question of Life, the Universe, and Everything!

And better still, tonight I will eat a lobster for dinner.

I do that every year, now.  Even though I prefer crab.  But lobster is so…so needlessly complicated, that I’ve decided to have one every year..because what in the hell are we all waiting for?  Is one lobster a year really going to knock us out?  HAVE ONE, Internet!  You only go around once in this life, for God’s sake!  A lobster a year is not going to break you!

Think I’ll have a couple of Okeover oyster shooters, too, just to warm up.  Yes, I think I just might.  Although I always feel like a mild idiot paying for the food I used to just pick up off the beach…I mean what’s next, paying for MUSSELS?!

Lobster, though;  you can’t get that, here.  You can get clams and oysters and mussels and cockles and geoducks (although I don’t care much for geoducks) and crab and ling cod and prawns and snapper and salmon, and my favorite-ever breakfast, fried grilse…mmmmm…we used to call them “trout”…

Boy, are those days gone…

Like the days of casually reeling in a great big coho, saumon argent as they call it in French…now, my favourite salmon of all time is the Spring (my Dad prefers the sockeye I think because that’s what he used to reef out of the stream by his house with a pitchfork, when it was spawning season), but as much as I like the Spring, and as much as my Dad likes the sockeye, neither of them is a patch on the coho in terms of sheer beauty — because when that coho comes out of the water, over the engine, and into the boat, Good Lord!  One is simply dazzled.  Coho grilse, is what we used to get.  Peppercorn crust…bit of lemon…mmmm…

Sorry, what was I saying?

Ah.  The ferocious coho.  Coho salmon.  Why you could hardly dip your paw into the water, when I was a boy, without bear-like coming up with a coho in your grasp.  I remember days when my brother and I used to race to see who could finish cleaning their coho first.  Rust and grease and green water, and the lovely feel of fish-guts in your hand.  Salt in the nose.  Automatic punk-rock hair.  Couple of cuts on the thumb.  Bit of tang.  Jokes about tetanus.  Being told you’re “in the bight, idiot”…

How I miss those days.

I’ll be off to them again, Internet, in just a few days, and not to return ’til the apples fall from the trees, and the ocean waters sting like cold blue bees…meantime I’ve been cooking up a couple big essays for you, and I’m not gone yet, and I still have to tell you about my Steve Gerber Explosion…though Sean Witzke and Harvey Jerkwater may tune out for that, as they know most of it already.  My, but it’s been an interesting two-and-a-half years!  Has it only been two-and-a-half years?  It’s been long enough that I’ve stopped marking my Blogoversaries, and now I’m into actual personal numbers.  For example, I am forty-two today.

Forty-two, and if I may be permitted to get maudlin for a moment, Internet…I’m disposed to think our relationship just may last.  Seriously, man;  I get a lot of good from you.  It feels so strange to say it, but…

I feel lucky.

Thanks for reading, writing, and linking.  I go back into the hammock (“the hive”, my Dad calls it) soon, pretty soon…but you never know, I may get a laptop one of these days.  Bees buzzing.  The sound of the linnet’s wings.  Soft breezes.  Lazy destinations.  Tap tap tap.

It could happen.

Okay, time for me to go to bed.  Just bought crisp new sheets;  gonna read a little Michael Chabon.  Maybe have a Popsicle for breakfast tomorrow.

Sky’s the limit.


20 responses to “My Birthday

  1. Happy birthday!

    And know that I envy you your seafood, particularly the big fat Dungeness Crabs out there. The local variety, the Chesapeake Blue Crab, looks like an hors d’oeuvre next to a Dungeness. Not to mention, the Blue Crab requires an absurd amount of effort to eat. As with lobster, it’s needlessly complicated. Delicious, but complicated.

    Man. Now I want to go out for crabs.

  2. And, thanks fellows — Dungeness crab, Harvey, it’s ridiculous how easy it is to lay your hands on some…and yet Vancouver is a funny town, all you have to do is look north, and there are the mountains and the inlets…look west and there’s the sea, but most people don’t seem all that enamoured of outdoor living. Hey, today it’s just raining lightly, with a bit of a wind…but if you went by the gear and the expressions of most of the people on the street you’d think a hurricane was on its way. Meanwhile I guarantee you the shores are thick with old Chinese guys catching fish. Because you can’t bluff old Chinese guys with a little bit of wind and a few drops of water, and this cursed moderate temperature…!

    Now, one thing I’ve never had is one of those Alaskan King Crabs…man, I should really get on that. What the hell am I waiting for?

    Okay, time to suit up!

  3. Funny that you turn out to be younger than me, when I’d come to think of you as an older and wiser cousin! well, it just goes to show the illusion words can create, provided they’re used cleverly and with a degree of wit, qualities you possess in abundance. So keep ’em flying, youngster, hope the birthday was fun, and just give a yell if you ever need the benefit of my advanced years…

  4. Many happy returns, mate!

    See you in a few months then. This has been a good little water hole. Animals gather here that you don’t just see everywhere, and they hardly ever get eaten.

  5. Erm, let’s hope it does turn out to be a few months, after all. I sense the universe intimating to me that I may not be able to manage my usual five-month-in-a-row seashore style, this year…

    We shall see! I’ll keep you posted!

    But I’m not quite gone yet, anyway…

  6. Lobster is a tasty, tasty treat.

    Happy Birthday, old man.

    Speaking of getting older, are you going to start rambling in your dotage? Because your essays have just been too goddamn concise lately. One might even say concise. Or perhaps, dare I say it — laconic.

    Wield your age like a truncheon, I say! Flog the young’uns and the whippersnappers into obedience! Why, in your day, you didn’t even HAVE intertubes and ePoods and when you bought comics, you bought them down at the 7-11 or the supermarket and they had UPC codes on them and the covers were all wrinkled because a hundred greasy fingers had already pawed through the pages while waiting for their mothers to get finished shopping, AND YOU LIKED IT FINE THAT WAY!

    Oh, wait. That was too short. Hmm. You’d better toss in a few asides about Camus, and Joseph Campbell, and Emily Dickenson, and maybe some Benjamin Disraeli just to fuck with ’em.

    Yeah. That’ll teach ’em to stop telling you that you’ve forgotten to wear pants again.

    With much love,


  7. Forty-two? You’re a kid!!!!

    Enjoy your retreat and have a great birthday. Your blog is always an inspiration for me when I can think of nothing better to do than write countless posts about Batman punching people.

  8. Happy birthday, mate. Forty-two’s my age, so it looks like we’re matching each other step-by-step into senescence.

    I do admire your Summer-wilderness thing. I imagine you tracking caribou up creeks, spearing fish with sharp prongs and facing off the Sasquatch. Or is that Wolverine I’m thinking about? I get so confused.

  9. Yeah, but it’s the claws you’ve got to watch. He’s, like, slash slash slash and you’re kebab.

  10. And he’s got an adamantium exo-skeleton, a healing factor, doubles doses of testosterone and a leather jacket. And he’s irresistible to women and has a tragic, haunted past.

    No, he’s not in any sense a Mary Sue.

  11. Many happy returns. Don’t wander too far away; I have some Steve-Gerber-related blog plans hovering vaguely in the not-too-distant future that I hope will be of interest to you.

  12. A VERY Happy Birthday wish to you (I know I’m late with it, but since it’s a “wish”, it’s sorta like magick and can be cast backwards in time for a retroactive effect).



  13. Clone: Well, leave out the adamantium and the healing factor, and the rest of it describes me pretty well, too…

    Matthew: Aha!

    P-Tor: This, I can attest, is true: when your birthday is the day before the anniversary of D-Day, you get a lot of backwards-travelling birthday wishes, and it’s just like magic…unexpectedly, here comes this flood! Oddly gratifying. Every year I forget that the day after will be the big day, well-wishing-wise…

    So you’re just in time!

  14. It’s Wendigo you have to watch out for. Of course, the fact that he screams his name every five seconds might give you a heads up, so you should be okay.

    Unless you eat a guy. Then you’re screwed.

    Happy birthday! Enjoy your time away!

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