Thursday, January 5, 2012

Our Lake's Authentic "Red Green"

Jack S is the kind of guy that you’ve probably noticed around your office. Not content with being successful in his own right, he always figures the “political angle” into most things he does. On this one occasion, he figured it wouldn’t hurt his career to invite his “big” boss up to his cottage for the week to get in some fishing and quiet time, a little drinking, and some story telling.

Probably to Jack S’s amazement, the boss accepted. Just the two of them, Jack figured, and no one to run interference between he and the boss. Jack S would have the whole week to impart some of his wit and wisdom and create that great impression that could have a mercuric impact on his career.

Now to really appreciate this story, you’d have to meet Jack S’s boss. Since that is impossible for most of you, the description following may give you a sense of what he was like, and God forbid, remind you of someone in your own work world.

Tony O Lawless was a no-nonsense sort of guy, a sergeant-major type whose precise and proper manner had everything under control, including the minutest details of everything his subordinates did. His clipped British accent fired out rapid machine gun orders that were to be followed to a “T,” including business meetings that started at 6:37 am without regard to where you lived or how long your commute was. And God forbid if you were late. Protests about these early morning meetings always brought the same "no-nonsense" response---"The meeting will start at 6:37 old chap...I don’t care if you live in Timbuktu!"

Anyway, Jack S and the boss arrived at the public dock, Tony O opting to drive both up in the comfort of his Jaguar limo. Jack S started his boat to warm it up for the 8-mile trek across the lake to his water-access cottage. While he and Tony O were loading the boat, the motor conked out. No problem, thought Jack, as he once again hopped into the boat and proceeded to fire it up. No luck! His repeated attempts ran down the battery. What a start to the impressive time I`m showing the boss, Jack thought!

"The motor`s dead," Jack S reported apologetically to Tony O. "I guess we’ll just have to sit in your Jag until a cottager comes along who can help us out. Maybe we can borrow a set of booster cables and some tools and we’ll take the battery out of your car and boost the boat."

Jack S and the boss sat in the comfy confines of the Jaguar for what seemed like hours waiting for assistance to arrive. Jack S had not considered that this was a week in June when most sane cottagers forego the pleasures of the cottage leaving the place for the hordes of black flies that inhabit the North at this time of year.

No doubt, Tony O was impressed with Jack S’s wit and wisdom during the wait. Not used to waiting on anything, he probably wished he was back in the familiar surroundings of his Caledon Hills Horse farm.

Finally, at about 11 pm a motorist came down the cottage road, a young lady all alone, hardly the kind of help Jack S was looking for. Without a blink, however, Jack S hopped out of the Jag asking, "Skuse me miss, you don’t have a set of booster cables with you do you? My pal and I are stranded and can’t get to the cottage. Our battery’s dead!"

"Sorry! I don’t have any booster cables! Wish I could help!"

"You can," Jack S replied, "My pal and I would really appreciate a lift to my cottage."

"Well okay," responded the trusting lass reluctantly, realizing that cottagers always helped others in distress. "Where’s your cottage?"

"It’s about eight miles down the east arm," said Jack S. "Where’s yours?"

"I’m down the west arm and don’t know your part of the lake especially in the dark," answered the trusting lady. "Why don’t I take you down to my cottage?"

At this comment, Jack S’s imagination swung beyond his wildest dreams both at once forgetting about his battery and about his boss.

"Once I get to my cottage," she continued, "You can borrow my boat and return it in the morning."

"Really appreciate your help," Jack S responded slightly embarrassed at his mis-interpretation of the earlier remark.

Jack S and Tony O piled all of their stuff into the aluminum boat that was already burdened and climbed in for the long trek. Reaching the Good Samaritan’s cottage and helping her unload, Jack S and Tony O continued their journey to Jack’s cottage reaching it shortly after 1:00 am.

Getting up early the next morning, Jack S and Tony O travelled back to the public dock with some tools to fetch Jack S’s boat.

Jumping into the boat, Tony O said, "Let me have a look Jack?" Within seconds, he had diagnosed the problem as he held up Jack S’s fuel line which was disconnected from his motor exclaiming, "You know I hate wasting time Jack! And to think we wasted hours over this!"

Needless to say, Jack S did make a big impression with his boss. It wasn’t, however, the kind that he wanted to make. No doubt, Tony O went home thinking of Jack S as Jackass. And Jack is still waiting for that mercurial “break” in his career.

And, of course, any resemblance to individuals dead or alive is purely co-incidental. Oh yeah!

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