Daylight losing time
Keeping the Peace
By Tom Lessard, C.D.
(Editor’s Note: Please remember that these are memories of a time long ago, and the activities described in the following story are neither condoned nor recommended.)
My buddy “Bobbie” and I were walking back to the barracks one summer evening when, out of the blue, he says, “Let’s go to Port Huron.”
The canteen was closed and the hotel in town would be closing at midnight. With Ontario being on daylight saving time and Michigan on standard time, the bars were going to be open for a while, especially considering some of them stayed open until 2 a.m. in those days.
Away we went. With very few OPP around and the speed limits higher than today, it didn’t take too long to get to our destination. At the bar we went to, there were already a number of Canadian military enjoying some time off. We closed the place.
Bobbie was in pretty rough shape as we got to the car and took off. I was able to hold my liquor better than he could, but he still wouldn’t let me drive. About halfway home, he turned his head to barf out the window, and sure enough, t was closed. You can just imagine the mess.
Undeterred, we continued home. We pulled into the parking lot at the rear of the camp, turned off the motor, and staggered to the barracks. It was about 4 a.m. by this time, and we had to be up at 6 a.m.. Because we didn’t leave camp by the front gate, we didn’t bother getting passes, which I suppose meant we were AWOL, but we never got caught on any of our excursions.
The afternoon was very warm and sunny, and we didn’t get back to the car until after duty at 4 p.m. Our first mistake was opening the doors. The odour and flies were enough to make us throw up, but neither of us did.
We had to haul our rears back to the shack and get a bucket, soap, rags and tools. The door panel had to come off, and the glass had to be taken out. With the sun shining on the car all day, it was like an oven inside and Bobbie’s heavings from the night before were caked on the door, glass and floor. I’m sure we didn’t get it all off because the smell lingered for what seemed like forever. It took us until about 10 p.m. to get the car cleaned as best we could and put back together.
We were sweaty and smelly, so we we drove down to the beach and cooled off in the lake. We were thirsty and I remembered that I had picked up a six-pack in Port Huron. I don’t know why it hadn’t exploded from the heat, but it was still intact. When I opened a can, the beer shot into the air and left me with about half a can of warm liquid. Undaunted, I drank it up and grabbed another. Bobbie wasn’t interested. I wonder why.
Thanks to Gary D. for all the help you gave me and Rita during my rehab this winter. You are very much appreciated.