“How To Shave a Moose With a Ford Focus” or “And I Thought my Set Was the Worst Thing That Happened on Sunday”
The summary of the evening goes like this: I opened a corporate gig for Andrew Grose for some hospitality workers that did not want to have anything to do with me. Thinking that the five minutes I should do should be clean without spritzing left me in front of them not engaged in the show at all. They’d been golfing all day, dealt with 45 minutes of raffle numbers to pick up framed hockey memorabilia, and really didn’t feel engaged at all. Andrew and I took off for Edmonton where we soon hit a moose. The car still drivable we then assisted two people who rolled their pick-up truck into something the size of a Timbit. Crappy night, eh? I know! I should have done more crowd work.
The night starts as most things do on stage where the corporate gig that I’m opening for will have none of me. I just need to do five minutes to get people used to the transition between the day of golf, eating, drinking, and gathering raffle winnings so that Andrew can have a good set. Even before the show begins, Andrew and I know that I’m taking a huge bullet for him. They truly couldn’t be arsed. Not to say that they were blameless. I went in thinking that I should do nothing but straight time and didn’t realize that I could actually do crowd-work to engage the folks into the show. Lesson learned for next time.
Andrew wanting to get back to Edmonton after the show offered me a lift with him. I graciously accepted. Fire up the Tim Horton’s and then off we go. Everything was going fine, then I saw the silhouette. Up on the passenger side came into view the shape of the moose. Apparently, Andrew had seen it coming out of the ditch, but I just saw it as it approached the side of the car. Now, the anglers or people who have had a gun waved in their face among us will always tend to exaggerate on the size of the size of the fish/Glock that they say. I can honestly say that this moose was huge. A bungalow with antlers. The head loomed way above the car roof and through the complete luck of timing we only grazed the front of it. Any other combination of space/time/distance and one or both of Andrew and I would only be remembered by a really crappy corporate gig.
As with all life-threatening events (shootings, explosions, pregnancy test result examinations), everything slowed down. I saw the huge frame of the moose as we cruised under it. I saw the sideview mirror on my side disappear. A huge explosion of glass sent window shards everywhere. My first instinct was to go limp to roll with any impact that might follow. I then noticed that I was covered in glass and had hair in my mouth. I would find out later that that was moose hair. I thought my window had blown out, but it was in fact the two windows behind me. I was taking what seemed to Andrew my own sweet time figuring this out. Andrew, who drove through the moose perfectly and kept us alive, concentrated on the road and had no idea how big the damage was in the car and, as a result, thought my head was removed. I let him know my head was still attached. The damage as we strafed across the front of the moose dented the back passenger door, blew out the two windows and jammed clumps of moose hair into the window sides. Still driveable, we toured off for Edmonton, shaken and stirred, feeling like the burned-out-car scene in “Planes, Trains, & Automobiles” [Two ‘PT&A’ references in two successive blogs. Stop it. – H!ITVA! Ed.]
As we drove along discussing all that transpired we noticed a flashing light in the median grassy patch. As we approached we saw a man approach the highway waving for assistance, walking away from a vehicle that looked like it had just been driven out of the showroom…if the show room was on the 10th floor. We backed up to help the folks. The guy that greeted us was in shock but walking. His buddy pulling himself from the wreckage was cut, battered, and bleeding, but not profusely. A call to 911 later and a few more good Samaritans later, we were able to get everything settled before the ambulance arrived. The vehicle was actually a pick-up truck, but now looked more like a Mini. It had rolled so many times that the initial thoughts were that it was a minivan. The contents of the truck had been thrown everywhere, and thankfully the passengers weren’t. Seatbelts. A good thing.
As we got into the car to continue on our journey (as directed by the on-scene constabulary), I turned to Andrew and asked, “So, what else have you got planned for OntarioBoy?” He replied, “Well, now you’ve got an answer for ‘Did you see any moose on your trip?’.” True enough. So that’s the story. We’re safe, sound, and now rested.
And I thought the five minute spot was the worst thing that could happen. As I write this, I’m eating an elk burger. Not the same as a moose burger, but I still feel somewhat vindicated.