Wednesday, March 17, 2004

So I’m back after four days of no phone, no ADSL, no connection to the outside world save Jetbot and Mr. Sweets’ phone and yelling really loud out the window. Timeline: first we stopped receiving incoming calls. We summoned Telus, only to have the landlord shoo the serviceperson away lest there be some kind of charge for the visit. Then we waited for three days while the landlord routed wire, drilled holes, tore a gash into our wall, trod grit into our floor, and left us with…no dial tone. I called the landlord for a progress report: “You’re gonna have to call Telus now.” They came Tuesday and put everything right again.

While all the drilling and plaster gouging went on, Fancy and I were in Victoria, spending the money we won on a pull-tab ticket a few weeks ago and living the good life. We stayed over Friday and Saturday nights, walked around tourist town, went to the museum, tried to find where Fancy and Jetbot had their store, ate a breakfast of pure holocaust at rebar, and shopped.

Downtown Victoria is only about four blocks by four blocks, but it’s an action-packed patch of land. While Fancy was at Value Village, I checked out Lyle’s Place, having been amused by their homegrown TV ads that ran on CHEK 6 for years. It’s a pretty decent store, with tons of metal at sub-Scrape prices. I was hoping to find mass vinyl, but they only had a couple of sad, neglected bins in the back. Their classification system was dubious as well—who put Bif Naked in the punk/alternative section?

After that, Fancy took me down Fantan alley to The Turntable. This was more like it—a total prog/psych freakshow of rare vinyl and obscure CDs. Finding a JPT Scare Band album was the first clue that I was in friendly territory. The second clue was the copy of VdGG’s H to He tacked up on the wall. Clearly I’d have to be on my game in this place. Those bins could be hiding anything. I didn’t have all day to rifle through everything, so I tried to recall some titles I might find. When I flip through LPs I inevitably get distracted and forget things as quickly as I remember them. Luckily Fancy was there to back me up, scoring me a copy of Portrait of the Artist as a Young Ram. Holy jeez. Have I mentioned lately how much I love that woman?

We even managed to live the good life on BC Ferries (as impossible as that sounds), eating at the Pacific Buffet and avoiding the riff-raff on the trip home. It beats choking down chicken strips and taco salad on the Queen of Nanaimo to Mayne Island. While gazing past my hillock of mashed potatoes at the scenery through Active Pass, I began to hope that everything would be fine when we got home, that we’d have a dial tone and no longer be at the mercy of other people’s cock-ups. Then I got home and picked up the phone…

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