Snow Tires.

You don’t really think I’m going to write about snow tires, do you? Well, I am.  A little. But then I’ll quit.

My car jockey boss has been sending me out into the hinterlands for the most far-flung vehicles, so that Dave at the garage can put snow tires on them. This makes sense for North Van cars. SFU cars, sure. They are on mountains.  But today he sent me to Lougheed. I didn’t even know we had a car there, but it gets a lot of use. Maybe we need to expand the fleet.

Anyway, I was thinking about snow tires, and I remembered my old friend Kevin from my Port Hardy gas barge days. He used to saunter up to me and say, “You’se about as purdy as a new pair a snow tires!” in this really bad Texas accent. (I may have said that to the snow tires today, but nobody heard me.)

Kevin was one of the college-boy Seine boat deckhands employed by the owner of the Joye fleet: About a dozen boats.  I called the deckhands the Joye Boyes. During term time they were in college, and then in summer they came to Hardy to fish.

A lot of the women in town resented my friendship with the Boyes, because these were some handsome young men. Kevin was one of four brothers whose ancestry was Hispanic/ Russian. His eldest brother was so astonishingly gorgeous that women sometimes walked into things, they stared at him so hard. There was also a trio of flaxen-haired Icelandic/Scottish brothers.  Hybrid vigor was the order of the day.

But even the ones without movie-star looks got a lot of (sometimes unwanted) attention from liquored-up and/or bored women in the bar. If they were fine, I left it alone, but if they looked for me and made eye contact indicating they wanted me to, I would go over do what I could to discourage the woman. These guys were from relatively sheltered, religious backgrounds, and often had little experience in fending off thirtysomething divorcees who smelled of vodka, vomit and Impulse perfume.

The Boyes reciprocated my watchdogging. Despite my most agile maneuvers, I was sometimes cornered by a drunk fisherman who believed that because I had served him as a customer, I  wanted for him to clumsily grope me and suggest we go back to his boat/hotel room/buddy’s place.  Feminist principles or none, it was very nice to be able to look around for the Boyes and have two or three guys flank me so I could say, “No, thank you. I’m here with friends.”

And when we left the bar, the Boyes and I were just a bunch of people. We lurched into one another on the road down to the docks, and I never shied away from helping out in rolling someone into a bunk.

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