Because it had been so long since I’d bused out to Chilliwack, I called Greyhound to remind myself of the schedules. It was lucky I did so because that’s how I found out that there was a strike and I wouldn’t be able to get there by bus at all. I had to borrow Joyce’s car and I got in a minor scrape in North Van going to pick up Mario. Victoria Day weekend means terrible traffic and in fact I have never seen it so bad for such a stretch. It was seriously stop and go from Vancouver to Abbotsford.
When we finally pulled up to the practice space, which is above an RV place in the industrial area of Chilliwack (where Mario used to live) the entrance was blocked off with vehicles. “What gives?” I asked Mario, and he told me that there have been a lot of break-ins and other criminal activity. There was even a SWAT team down the road to arrest one of…Canada’s Most Wanted? Ah, sweet Chilliwack. I helped Mario bring his equipment in and then I decided I should bring in the swag from the trunk just in case. As I was walking back out to the car this man came running out into the street wearing nothing but his underwear (it was not a sunny day), ducking and weaving and looking around like he was being hounded by chupacabras! He barked at me a couple of times and so I decided to get in Joyce’s car (“Stan” as it is known) through the passenger seat and lock the doors. In case he started whacking the windows or jumping on the car like an angry chimpanzee I put the key in the ignition so that I could drive away if need be. I sat there probably for about five minutes as I watched him do his feral monkey gait in and out of the street and parking lots. Finally he got far enough away that I thought I could make it back to the jam space without being accosted. As I opened the door I heard a dinging noise that I hadn’t heard before, but in my state of mind and unfamiliarity with Stan’s working bits I dismissed it. Foolish, foolish me. I had just locked the keys in the car.
Mario had, in the meantime, called the police and in about 15 minutes three cars showed up and grabbed monkey man, who as it turns out lives below the jam space, in the RV park. I doubted that the cops would just get my car open for me but I had to ask. They did call a tow truck though. While the band was practicing in the building I waited out in the rain and sang along softly to myself. Another 20 minutes and $52 later I had the car open again.
The weekend picked up from there. Good thing too.