Sunday, July 01, 2007

spike at night

Andy and I went down to Golden Spike Days Saturday night with our friends Michele and Brent. We took our lawn chairs and set up in the beer garden to enjoy a couple of drinks and listen to Tiller's Folly. It turned out to be a much more entertaining and educational evening than we had ever imagined. All in all, it was a smorgasbord of sights and sounds, and a slice of Port Moody that was a bit more than we'd expected.

We arrived about 7 to a finally sunny festival. The man at the Thai food stand told us that Friday night was dead (probably because of intermittent pouring rain and lowering skies). While he scooped us up delicious satay and curry, we chatted. Turns out he saw Sweeney Todd at his high school dance too (him: early 70s, Carson Graham Secondary in North Vancouver; us: mid to late 70s, Burnaby North Secondary). Sweeney Todd will be at Spike Days Sunday evening. At this point, the man's very tired looking teenage son perked up and reeled off his favourite classic rock groups and performers, beginning with Rod Steward (at that moment being creditably covered on the stage by a man in a tomato-red suit) and going on through Roy Orbison, Jimmy Hendrix and a couple others I can't remember. That was fun.

Inside the beer garden we noticed that we were some of the few not ID'd at the gate. The crowd was young, and loud and mostly drunk. The evening was cool, but that did not stop most of the women from erupting from various garment portals. More boobs and belly walking than I'd like to see in a week or too. Mixed in was the entire clientele of the Port Moody Legion. The beer lines were long, the porta pottie lines even longer. At one table, there was a beer can pyramid. Then the police came and escorted a red-faced and wild-eyed young man just outside the fence for a long talk and checking of pockets. About 15 minutes in, his equally robust and ruffled looking friend went out to try to talk sense into the police, while a table full of beer can stackers shouted "NOOO! don't gooooo!" When he returned un-arrested 10 minutes later they chanted his name. Meantime we were marveling at how visible thong underwear still lives (in Port Moody) and wondering how some people can wear jeans so tight that their only choices are to stand up (in spike heels, on the grass) or lie down. Meantime, the men folk were strutting about, in various fashion statements, including a rainbow of awful tropical shorts and shirts and one guy with his sunglasses hanging out of his ear canals for over an hour, even when it turned dark out. Speaking of dark, with Venus (and a full moon) rising, the "things that glow" vendor showed up with a shopping cart full of swag. Soon there were young dudes with neon swords/phalluses and women in predictable twinkle bunny ears and light-up devil horns cruising the joint. Although the crowd was seeming to thin, it was getting louder and louder in the beer garden. We had finished our drinks and fetched coffees from the fish and chip place. It was hard to see or hear much of the band, so we just sat in our chairs and watched the people around us. Then the MC from the entertainment stage came in and tried to convince some of us who had finished our drinks to move out of the beer garden and sit with the perilously scant audience nearer to the stage, so we did.

What a different world. Out there the sound was great. The band played like there were a thousand of us, even though fewer than a hundred were focussed on the show. Inside what now appeared to be a cage, the beer guzzlers rumbled and zorked. Luckily we could hear them only between songs. A few families sat in the audience, and we watched a dad and daughter arrange their chairs into a canoe and paddle/swim through a couple of the songs. Soon we were tapping and clapping and getting into the good music. By the time the encore came, everyone was into it, including a one-legged man, dancing with crutches.

After the obligatory 11pm ending (noise bylaw), the beer garden rocked and rumbled on, with only the music of bla bla Saturday night. We walked back to the car (lots of police on hand to ensure a peaceful dispersal) but were stopped by the sight of a young couple engaged in an argument. While it stayed verbal, some of the man's body language was alarmingly overbearing, and when the young woman gestured that she was through, the man wouldn't let her past him to leave. I made a quick call and the police came and talked to them. They settled down and walked off together. I thought, if he's like that on the street, what's it like when they're behind closed doors? I hope she is okay.

We came back to our place for coffee and a wee drop to warm up, and thanked our lucky stars for age, wisdom (most of the time) and vicarious adventures.

Tonight is the neighbourhood Canada Day block party. Sweeney Todd is on from 9:30-11. We'll decide later if we go, or if we've had enough already.

question: what did you do for fun on Saturday night

mompoet - through the looking glass

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