Friday, January 11, 2019

Heck With You and Anyone Who Looks Like You

Yeah, we laugh at shit.

At the Southbeach Casino in Brokenhead First Nation my cousins were playing the machines. An elderly lady fell down. So one of my cousins, went to give aide (most likely he was being nosy). As he was bending over to ask how the woman was doing, another cousin walked by and poked him in the arse. He screamed, fell backwards, flaying his arms all over the place and rolled around a little bit. He is kind of a big guy so he couldn't jump up and recover like a Ninja. Another cousin was sitting at a machine and witnessed the commotion. He did not tell the cousin on the floor who had poked his arse. The elderly lady was fine and same with my cousin who rolled around by the slot machines.

When my Dad started getting forgetful and on his way to having Alzheimer's, my brother Don and my brother-in-smiley visited him quite often. They also used to tease him. Dad was living alone after Mom had died. They would be sitting in the kitchen having tea with Dad. Some how my name would come up, with Don and Smiley saying "Steve's going to put you in the home".  Our Reserve has an old folks home, otherwise known as a Care Home. Dad would be asking "what for?"

My Dad was very much against using the same Funeral Home who did my Mom's services. He said Giesbrecht Funeral was a "rip-off." My Dad also didn't want to be buried with a casket. My brother Don and Smiley would tell my Dad, "Steve's going to use Giesbrecht for your service".  My Dad would get wild and swear about Giesbrecht and the funeral industry. "It's a scam. Big money for a box. If you put me in there I'll fucking kick myself out of that casket."  Dad was adamant about Geisbrecht being a crook. Turns out he was right. A few years later Geisbrecht was busted for defrauding dying people. We didn't end up using a casket for Dad and we didn't hire Geisbrecht.

My brother Pancho had a brain aneurysm. So he was rushed to the City hospital by ambulance. My brother and I met our sister-in-law Jeannie at the hospital. The doctor came and spoke to us and he was pretty grim about the whole picture. I tried to ask questions and Jeannie didn't say anything. So my brother told the Doctor to operate and give him a chance to live. We went to the waiting room after the discussion. We looked at our sister Jeannie and told her "geez, your already kicking dirt on his grave and he's not dead yet", as we laughed about the whole situation. Jeannie denied she was throwing mud on Pancho. She married into this family so she knows the price. So the teasing is constant. Pancho never did recover, he did end up dying.

The Vancouver Winter Olympics of 2010 was a mixed bag for the First Nation community; some welcomed the party while others resisted. In Manitoba there was a rally to bring a spotlight on the Indian situation in Canada. The Olympic flame was being driven through Manitoba. A few stops were scheduled on the route to give some locals the chance to carry the Olympic Torch. The Town of Richer was one of the stops. So a group of Indians, with their horses, a bus load from our Reserve and a number of individuals in their own vehicles drove up to the Trans Canada Highway. There at the cross roads near the town of Hadashville. Hadashville is on the Trans Canada Highway, (known as Number One Highway) and is 40 kilometers east of the town of Richer. So there are these Indians on their horses, a few Chiefs with their Headdresses, and some Indians with Eagle staffs, and some with signs.  I am there with my camera. The day was cold and windy. We stood at the side of the road. We waited for the Olympic Torch.  Finally, we were rewarded for our wait as a cascade of black SUV's drove by. You could see little Canada flags hooked onto windows. We all stood there.  We watched the cars carrying the Olympic flag drive by.   We wondered "Hey didn't they see us?" Nothing happened, they didn't stop, wave at us or even slow down?  So the Indians on horse back had nothing to do so they went up the road for a little ride, I took pictures. The people laughed and teased each other. They loaded up the horse trailers and the buses, and we got in our car and went back home. It was a good day.

I was a bar with some of my cousins. This was at least 39 or more years ago. My cousin and I were playing pool against his older brothers. We won the game, surprisingly because one of the brothers was a skilled pool player.  We won a buck each. So we teased and we teased the older cousins. The oldest cousin, didn't like to lose. He took out the dollar bill and wiped his arse with it. We let him have the dollar. I look at this as a teaching moment. I see people kissing money.

At a Band meeting (public meeting held with  the community and Chief and Council of our Reserve) the people were talking about what offices would be open during the holiday season. There were a number of old people there. My Dad said out loud "hey for those of us who don't work, do we get a holiday too?"  An old man who was known to never work said "Yeah, what about us?"

"Heck with you and anyone who looks like you. Never did like you anyway."  Words of endearment from the reserve. 

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