Enter Sandmen

Hi Folks! It's your foppish friend, Sawbones, here! Why, you've stumbled either directly or indirectly upon The Unvarnished Truth... the blog that dares you to read it, then begs you to forget it. The by-product of hypocrisy, alcohol and embarrassment all rolled into one!



Big Words And Bigger Tree Crushers


Our travels last week took us on an inter-provincial tour! Well... two gigs, anyway. But that's still a tour in my book, you eager lil quidnunc! (Editor's Note - God! I've gotta get the dictionary out AGAIN???)

First was Mackenzie, BC (home of the world's largest tree-crusher), following a 10 hour drive. It's not so bad, dear reader, for every time we leave our hometown of Dustbowl, AB, we're greeted by the local townsfolk for a lovely sendoff complete with care packages containing road snacks, road beverages and assorted ointments for road rash. And also condoms for me even though, as God as my witness, I've yet to use to one. Maybe my luck will change on this tour and meet a beautiful, British Columbian Smokeshow!!

Every town needs a 'big' thing. And this is it.





'Twas a corporate gig for a mining convention. Now normally, the word "corporate" gives your cynical ol' Sawbones the same feeling one gets when in the presence of a snake or a weasel. But corporate gigs are a whole 'nother thang altogether so please don't obfuscate the two. (Editor's Note - Dammit!)

Upon arrival, we discovered our accommodations were not of the norm. No. Not the cozy hotel room replete with creature comforts but a stalag-style work camp with communal showers & porcelain conveniences.


P.O.W. P.O.V.


It's a long way down the hall if you wanna rock 'n' roll


We saw very few women at the camp, ergo few opportunities to turn on the ol' 'Bones charm. I will say, much to the other band members bemusement, that a beguiling but "slightly older" cleaning lady was flirting with me as she rolled her bucket and mop past my dorm-style room. She complimented me on my hair and then I of her janitorial implements.


Didn't score.



Playing In The Sandlot


Though it's nothing we've experienced before, we dove into the work camp lifestyle and had a ball! Including a day in the dunes just a short walk from camp, as evidenced here:


The PDC Three: ready to frolic                            "Ready for my closeup, Mr. Bandmeister!"  



 As much as you wanna say it... it's not Bubbles           Capt. Sean sporting his shillelagh



I must say that the looks we got from the forestry workers at the camp as we frolicked gleefully in the sand were priceless. To them we must have came off like a bunch of poncey, behatted goofs as we ran around with sticks & camera phones, looking like Cirque Du Soleil audition rejects. I'm pretty sure this is what Led Zeppelin did on tour in the olden days to pass the time. Only with more acid.



Radio Ga Ga


We were fortunate enough to get a little airplay via Mackenzie radio. In this case it was the mighty 103.5 CHMM-FM And Thrift Shop (see photo). There, one could do an interview and purchase local curiosities in the same visit. A friendly man named JD was the DJ. He had an avuncular quality about him that reminded me of a dear, old tee-totaling relative of mine (only without actual JD).


Radio station and thrift shop... together at last            PDC and DJ JD: On The Air! 



Thanks A Lot, Prince George


The actual show was held in Mackenzie proper at their local hall/rink/convention facility. I'm not sure the conventioneers were ready for us. Though the stage was big, the production crew were capable and the sound/light system ample, something was missing. And after one set, it was people! In fact, I recall an announcement had to be made mid-way thru that set saying that the "bus to Prince George was leaving in five minutes". So off they went. But that didn't stop us from bringing our brand of rollicking, Punch Drunk entertainment to the leftover masses. No sir. We shall always endeavour to put forth the best show possible, even if there are fewer folks in the audience than on stage. 

Thanks to a welcoming and hugely accommodating staff of damn, decent folk.... Brenda, Dale and "Shuh!" Nick.



Dude (Looks Like A Terry)


The next day we said goodbye to camp life, hit the road and made our way to a familiar haunt, Better Than Fred's in Grande Prairie. We always have a grand time there and John & Co. always treat us wonderfully but they never seem to get our name right on the marquee! Hey, as long as they keep booking us, they can call us Stinky & The Pinheads for all I care.



BTF's digs PDC. No doubt about that. Friends and fans who've seen us elsewhere always come out. Plus, we also make new friends with every visit. But once again, the cruel fairy of fate stuck it to me.

After a particularly rip-roarin' show, if I do say so myself, I was feeling quite smug about myself and standing at the bar chatting it up with a comely lass. I tried to be as charming as possible because one never knows when one's charms charm the charmee and start working like a charm. Just when I thought I was doing great, the young lady (Alex is her name) reminds me that A) we talked at the bar the last time PDC played here and, B) I look just like her father.

Well if that doesn't drain the blood out of one's.... face. After, yes, recalling that incident, we all laughed a hearty laugh (mine of the disappointed kind) and she then produced an iPhone picture of dear ol' dad... who actually is the spitting image of your scribe! Behold....

My Grande Prairie doppelganger 


Fear not... for I did receive permission to post this pic by my daughter.



And that's the unvarnished truth. Except for the part about me having a daughter.