Recently, my wife visited our daughter in Vancouver for the weekend.
This provided a rare opportunity. You know, to paint the town red, rave it up, raise high the roof beam and things like that.
"Oh, Bacchus, your gleaming trumpet I shall sound roundly!" I declared, watching my wife depart in the Volvo station wagon after having promised not to make a mess at home.
In the empty house, my shout-out to the god of good times sounded peculiar. It echoed. Ollie, our pug, regarded me blankly.
It was a Friday night. First order of the day - organize a rip-roaring boys' night out. I phoned my friend Norbert. But he and his wife were having a "date night." He was supposed to drink chardonnay and watch Downton Abbey on DVD.
"Downton Abbey?" I said. "Are you mentally ill? We should rent a Mustang and drive to San Francisco or something."
Norbert said he really needed to hang up because his wife had just inserted the Downton Abbey DVD and was tapping the rim of her wine glass.
I made other phone calls. Fruitless. Nobody was available for a night - of bacchanalian revels. It was apparent my friends were too staid and set in their ways.
"Note to self," I said, setting down the phone. "Make new, funner friends."
No matter; I'd concoct my own fun. First off, barbecued ribs for dinner. And a big bottle of double IPA. Then, after my man feast, I'd hit the town solo. Maybe catch some live music.
But after consuming the ribs and beer, hitting the town seemed less appealing. Mostly I felt sleepy. Ollie scampered about excitedly. The rib smell was driving him bonkers, so I gave him the leftovers.
Dragons' Den was on television that night. Usually, it's taboo viewing because my wife doesn't like TV shows where people are mean to each other (in Dragons' Den, rich people explain to ordinary folk why their inventions are stupid and unprofitable).
After Dragons' Den concluded, I had another idea. Listen to rock music loudly. This, too, is usually verboten.
A gander at my CD collection revealed a problem. I hadn't bought a new disc for quite a while. Listening to the Barenaked Ladies' Gordon turned up to 11 didn't seem as appealing as it would have in 1992. So I checked out the radio stations on our cable TV feed. The best one was Flashback '70s. If you grew up in the '70s, listening to this stuff is like eating gummy bears.
Perhaps encouraged by the double IPA, I started dancing to Tie a Yellow Ribbon 'Round the Old Oak Tree. During the ribbon-tying part of the dance, I noticed our neighbour staring at me through his window. When I waggled my fingers in a "hey-it's-my-crazy-bachelor-night!" kind of way, he just closed his curtain.
Ollie snored in front of the fireplace in a rib-induced stupor. Walkies time. I started inserting him into the American Apparel hoodie he's supposed to wear when it's chilly. Because he's so fat, getting Ollie into this stupid thing is like stuffing a sausage.
But then I thought, hey, let's throw caution to the wind. I'm going to walk my dog without his dog coat.
My friends, there were many bachelor-guy antics. Like washing the dishes, but instead of drying with a towel, letting them air-dry. I wore the same shirt two days in a row instead of getting a nice clean one.
The first night, I slept with CBC Radio on because it was too quiet in the house. Ollie isn't usually allowed in bed, but that night he was.
When my wife returned Sunday, she asked how my weekend was.
"Pretty crazy," I said. "Boys will be boys."
"Are those dog hairs on the bed?" she asked.
I grabbed the lint roller.
"Oh yeah," I said. "Ollie got lonely."
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