At random

The column I won’t get to write. A column by Roger Knox.

Roger Knox

Roger Knox

I am sitting at my desk. It’s early in the morning and I’m struggling to write this column. It seems every time it’s my turn in the column rotation, there isn’t anything going on in the world that I want to express my opinion about.

I started – twice, as a matter of fact – to write a column giving nine reasons why I don’t like the Toronto Blue Jays. Turns out I had about 39 reasons. But, I rationalized, it would only bring about hatred, nasty emails, venom-spewed phone calls and bitterness, and I have enough of that on a regular basis.

Besides, I’m a Boston Red Sox fan and, as of this writing, the Sox enjoyed a five-game lead on Toronto with 10 games to play. I could gloat but see paragraph above.

I started to write about the first day of autumn, how it’s my favourite time of year with the baseball playoffs on the horizon, as is my birthday, and my favourite apple, the red delicious, will soon be out.

I deleted that idea and started to write about the topic that seems to be on everybody’s mind these days, the tragic breakup of Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie.

Delete.

You know how Jerry Seinfeld has a show out called Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee? It’s a great show with Seinfeld and a fellow comedian driving around in a car discussing life while they get coffee. I have a new premise for a show called Driving With 16-Year-old Boys after having three of them in my Hyundai Accent last weekend.

We discussed everything from sports equipment to how to successfully get out of a financial institution’s ATM kiosk after apparently locking yourself inside said kiosk. But not enough material for a column there.

Then it hit me.

I’ll write about Vic.

My friend’s dad, Vic, one of my biggest critics and fans, all rolled into one.

When I wrote once about how I discovered a great new beer, he sent me a letter and offered to buy me not only that brand but his favourite, a brand I’d never heard of.

Every time I saw him, he’d ask me when was I going to write something meaningful.

Vic was delightfully British, extremely sophisticated and had a great sense of humour.

I remember one summer, he and his wife, Bea, had returned from a trip to the United Kingdom and brought back some genuine Irish moonshine.

In a big bottle. On top of his clothes in his carry-on bag.

“Well they weren’t going to suspect us, a couple of old people, of bringing back anything illegal,” he chuckled.

He offered his son’s friends a sip of the ‘shine. You could have driven to Vancouver and back on it. It was like gasoline. It’s taste was harsh and burning. He laughed.

Vic moved into a care facility and said that I needed to come over to talk to him and his new friends for a column. There were all kinds of great stories to be told.

I said to his son that I thought that was a fabulous idea and would love to do that for a column.  My friend told Vic and we were going to set up a time for me to come visit, most likely at lunch.

It never happened. Vic moved into an extended care facility. I saw him on the day he moved in, and we shared some more laughs, but no column ideas.

Vic died last weekend, aged 91 or 92. He lived a long, great life, raised four very cool boys and is now reunited with his dear Bea.

It’s the column I never got to write, Vic and his friends. Damn.

I’m going to miss you, Vic.

 

There. I wrote something meaningful.