I texted my nephew Andy when my bus pulled out of Caronport which is about 20 minutes west of Moose Jaw. I thought that would give him ample time to make his way downtown to pick me up at the bus station. The reply came back, “I’m right beside the bus depot having a beer at Booby’s. Come over when you arrive.”
Booby’s? Really? I didn’t expect to find my nephew at a strip club while his wife and three-year-old twin boys waited at home, but I suppose if the wife’s cool with it…
The slightly seedy looking bar turned out to be RIGHT next door to the bus station – the front door just steps from where I was standing when I read Andy’s text. I looked up to see a sign that clearly read “Bobby’s”. Yep, two B’s, not two O’s. I was slightly relieved to know that Andy wasn’t watching pole dancers on a Friday night, or any night for that matter.
The bartender poured us each a draft and I brought Andy up-to-speed on the details of my trip before we headed to his home around 11:00 pm. Within a minute of stepping foot in the house, Andy’s wife Kerri heard me cough and said: “You’ve got bronchitis. I’ll phone a prescription in to the drug store in the morning and Andy can pick it up on the way to work.” Four or five days later the antibiotics had kicked in and I was breathing normally and not keeping anyone awake with my cough. (Tip for out-of-province backpackers: It really helps to have a doctor in the family!)
The twins, Julian and Henry, were in bed when I arrived but when we were introduced at the breakfast table they made no attempt to hide their supreme disappointment. There was severe pouting and they played strange the whole morning, eyeing me cautiously from the far end of the living room. Apparently I was NOTHING like what they were expecting.
Kerri had told the boys that “Uncle Mike” was coming to visit, and in the mind of a three-year-old that registered as “Mike The Knight.” When the guy sitting at the breakfast table was wearing jeans and a golf shirt, with no sign of a sword, shield, suit of armour or valiant steed, it was a severe letdown. This guy was clearly a fraud.
The way I look at it, I’ve got five days to win them over with gripping tales of Greyhound bus rides and Vegemite breakfasts with Aussie backpackers. Either that or head to the local Dollarama in search of a “Mike The Knight” costume. Hmmm.