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Technician recalls: OK, I’ve got some fresh content coming very soon but a few people have been asking me about the old columns so I thought I’d start digging up some oldies but goodies and post a few of them here. The annual spring grayling odyssey to the Deh Cho always made for good column fodder. I think this was one and only time I’ve ever been mistaken for Justin Trudeau but you never know what’s going to happen when you head to Sambaa Deh for Victoria Day weekend. So, please enjoy. Fishin’ technician from May 31, 2006. I still have the nipple ring.

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Well, I’m pleased to announce that after seven years of abusing guests and torturing myself writing this column, it’s finally been recognized for a national newspaper award.

The fishin’ technician from May 31, 2006. The technician makes his annual pilgrimage to Sambaa Deh Territorial Park in this column.

I missed out on the $500 grand prize, which would’ve been very helpful right about now, but did get runner-up for outstanding columnist of the year by the Canadian Community Newspapers Association. See mom, I told you doodoo jokes and documenting getting my nipples pierced would win me national prestige one day. I’m sure all I need to do now to get the top prize next year is get a Brazilian bikini wax job. I’d love to be able to show off my tan lines.

Anyway, Rifflord, SnowKing a.k.a Anthony Foliot and I survived another annual pilgrimage to Sambaa Deh Falls over the long weekend. It used to be a nice, quiet getaway – lots of grayling, few people, but it was bloody Daytona Beach out there this time around.

Some people camped out on the nearby Redknife River even brought a 12-foot tall projection TV out there. They held a Karaoke night too, but I avoided that. A group of partying grads a few campsites over were so rowdy I swear they didn’t sleep the entire weekend. I didn’t see any tents, just a lot of pick-up trucks parked in a
row.

Just call me Justin
A young fella named Thor – from Fort Simpson? – stumbled over to greet me while I was out searching for my wayward dog early Sunday morning.

He passed me a Kokanee and said, “Justin! Justin Trudeau! Remember me from the Nahanni River?”

“Yes,” I replied. “How’s the party going?”

“Great man. Hey, I want to party with you!” he shrieked, and then grabbed a lithe, young lady by the arm as she passed by.

“Hey baby, it’s Justin Trudeau. Come over and say hi.”

“Hi,” we both said to each other. She was wearing a halter- top, a sarong and little else.

“This guy’s the dude, man,” my new friend gushed. “His dad was a big TV star. He used to be on North of 60 or something like that.”

“Beachcombers, actually,” I replied politely. “You know, he played Nick – the guy with the boat.”

“Yeah, yeah, hey come on and party with us,” Thor said, dragging now both me and the girl by the arm down to the campsite.

Fortunately, he stumbled into the ditch and I was able to make an escape.

There was a lot of silliness going on that weekend for both good and ill. The fishin’ was still pretty good for the most part if not a little crowded.

Yikes! I forgot, I’m not supposed to be writing the column this week. SnowKing was supposedly given the contract and promised $75 to do so, but he left his notes on the back seat of my truck. Very good notes  actually – a lot better than mine. All I managed to scribble down the entire weekend was, “Where’s the big bag!” on a box of Uncle Ben’s.

Let’s see, what have we got here: “The camp site is idyllic and serene… the blaring sounds of truck stereos and slamming vehicle doors, as they echo through the woods and always, the laughing and squeals of alcohol-fuelled parties now ring out the early birds (May
22).”

“The North Arm park reveals a major flaw to us. The BBQ pits have no drain holes and are all full of water. I guess they take fire prevention seriously around here (May 23).”

“(Co-op) No air for tires! Mike says, ‘In a town of 20,000 you’d think there’d be air! I can’t go down the highway on these tires! *@%*%!’ No luck at the next gas bar and we’re still looking (May 17).”

The last one needs discussion. We went to four different gas bars before we found one with a working air hose. “Sorry, it’s been broken for a couple weeks now,” is what we heard.

This is just plain lousy. If I or anyone has to spend $130 to fill up a gas tank, I want some
bloody air for my tires. I suspect next I’ll be told I can’t wash my windows because the window washer has been carried off by ravens.

Wake up and serve your customers properly!

Cheers, I hope I don’t get another flat tire.

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Mike Bryant

Mike W. Bryant is the managing editor for NNSL Media. He started working for Northern News Services as a general news reporter in 1999. He is the recipient of numerous national and provincial journalism...

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