Snow Job, Part 4
One morning about two or three weeks into the job, Barry called me into his office. He told me that Sam was going on a cross-country trip with her boyfriend and would be leaving Hawaiian Snow. Even though I was the youngest guy on the team, my sales figures were good and I had a driver’s license with a clean record. After today, I would take Sam’s place as driver, and be assigned her truck (which I could use to get to and from work) and someone to be my runner.
Sam congratulated me with a hug when I left the office. “Nice going, kid. I’m going to miss our singalongs.”
Singalongs were a ritual that Sam and I had. When we were driving in the truck, we’d roll down the windows (no air conditioning), turn the AM radio to full volume and sing along with 1050 CHUM, which was a top 40 radio station back in 1985. We had the narration from Paul Hardcastle’s 19 down cold. We massacred the falsetto parts from A-Ha’s Take On Me and did a decent two part harmony on Honeymoon Suite’s Wave Babies (for you Canadian readers, we also sang along with another CanCon hit of the time, Gowan’s Criminal Mind). We made up dirty lyrics for Tears for Fears’ Shout and Bryan Adams’ Summer of 69. We’d sing Walking On Sunshine to people on the sidewalk while we sat in traffic. And we just bopped along to the two big instrumentals of the time, Harold Faltermeyer’s Axel F and Jan Hammer’s theme to Miami Vice (click those last two links for wonderful MIDI goodness).
She tossed me the keys to the truck. “I want to take it easy on my last day. You drive.”
The Biker and the Missionary
Zach, our born-again Christian friend came by our stand late in the afternoon. Business was pretty good, but there was always a lull just before 6:00 p.m., when people were thinking of dinner and not shaved ice. The “Chessus loves chu, chu stupid bitch” incident hadn’t deterred him from trying to save souls. While he seemed rather naive, I had to respect his tenacity.
“I’m going to witness to that guy over there,” he said, pointing at someone down the street.
“Not the biker?” Sam asked.
“Uh, Zach, have you seen the patch that says ‘Satan’s Choice’ on the back of his jacket? They’re like the Quebecois Hell’s Angels. You don’t even want to look at them the wrong way.”
“Look at the size of him. Maybe you should try to convert someone a little less…huge,” I added.
“Relax, guys,” Zach said, “it won’t be so bad. First, there are a lot of born-again bikers out there already. They were bikers before they found Christ, which means someone had to convert them. Someone like me, who had faith. Like Daniel in the lion’s den.”
“Well, try and convert him close by so we can get help.,” said Sam.
“Thanks, but it won’t be necessary.” Zach walked towards the biker.
Yea, though I walk through the valley of darkness, I shall fear no evil, for I do not fully comprehend the situation.
Sam suggested that I make a shaved ice and keep it handy.
The biker looked unimpressed as Zach approached him. Zach was wearing one of his “Jesus Is Lord” shirts, so the biker must’ve known what he was in for. “I don’t want to ‘ear your religious shit,” he said with a stong Quebecois accent.
“It’s not shit. It’s the truth.”
“Tell it to somebody else. I’m jus’ trying to eat my ‘ot dog and mind my own business. You should do da same.”
“Have you given any thought about where your life is going? Ever wondered if it had any meaning?”
“Why don’ you jus’ fuck off before I beat da shit out of you?”
Sam turned to me and said “I’m amazed these Bible thumpers manage to convert anyone at all. They’re just not convincing.”
“Look,” continued Zach, “I’m just trying to save your soul.”
“Someone’s going to have to save you if you don’ fuck off.”
“Jesus loves you.”
That was the straw that broke the camel’s back. Apparently, if you’re annoying somebody, the thing that will push your target over the edge is to say “Jesus Loves You.” The biker grabbed Zach by the shirt, made a fist with his free hand and prepared to slug Zach. Sam and I, along with some other nearby people slowly and carefully moved towards Zach and the biker. The biker didn’t seem to care. He just stared Zach down.
“If God wanted to,” choked Zach, “he could make a force field in front of me that would stop your fist.”
The biker pull his fist back and got ready to test Zach ‘force field’ theory.
“…but He doesn’t work that way!” he blurted.
He most certainly not work that way that day. Zach took a right cross to the face and dropped to the ground.
Sam cautiously approached the biker with a shaved ice. “We don’t want any trouble. Here, have one on the house,” she sadi as she offered it to him. He took it and nodded, then turned to Zach who was still on the ground, his hand rubbing the spot on his jaw where the biker had connected.
“Next time you give me your Jesus shit, I’ll really fuck you up,” he warned as he finished his shaved ice. He hopped on his bike and turned onto Yonge Street.
I shaved some ice to make a snowball and handed it to Zach, who was being helped up by Sam and a few nearby street vendors.
“Isn’t there a prayer,” said Sam as she helped Zach into a folding lawn chair, “asking for the wisdom to know the difference between the things you can change and the things you can’t?”
“Yeah,” said Zach, “but I never really understood it until now.”