Friday, April 14, 2006

Gentlemen, Start Your Engines

Good Friday. The most solemn day of the Christian liturgical calendar. A day when prophesy is fulfilled and all us sinners are redeemed.

I like Good Friday and not just because of its significance and the fact it is a holiday. I like Good Friday's style. Not content to fall on the same day of the calendar year after year, Good Friday picks and chooses its occurence annually seemingly willy-nilly anywhere from the last week or so of March through to mid-April. This capriciousness is very appealing to someone as disorderly and scattered as myself, who basically does things when the mood strikes and I'm not quick enough to avoid the blow.

Regular readers will notice I am somewhat obsessed with lunar phases, and so is Good Friday. It occurs on the Friday before the first Sunday after the first full moon after the sun on its northward journey passes directly over the equator. Complicated, but so am I.

I didn't always like Good Friday. In the days of my adolescence in Montreal it was the only day in the year when the Quebec licensing laws closed the bars, from midnight to midnight. The liquor establishments in this province stay open until 3:00 AM, and were allowed to open their doors the first second after the stroke of midnight on Saturday. So 11:45 PM on Good Friday precipitated a mad dash down to the local discotheque or pub for three hours of binge drinking before they closed again. So much liquor, so little time.

This annual race was as exciting as any LeMans start. With a night's worth of pent-up partying just oozing to be released, we were entombed in our parents' houses by lack of anywhere to go, eyes on the clock, the hands of which seemed to slow down Dali-esque as they approached the midnight hour. Then all it took was the sound of a single car's engine peeling down the road driven by some trembling teenager who could no longer take the strain. This triggered a mass opening of doors, spilling hordes of youth out onto the streets, piling into cars, grinding their starters, and laying rubber on asphalt as everyone sped to the bar of their preference for a few precious hours of blessed release until the cock crowed thrice.

Now, all is secular, and Quebec's bars serve 365 days a year. Good Friday is no longer a lenten day when the government forces us to give up alcohol and disco mirth.

Somehow, the years get less charming the older I get.


Blogger Tea and Books, etc said...

Glad to see you're back, Nanuk!

Should you and Phosgene Kid ever meet and go fishing or drinking or whatever manly-type things you'd do, I am quite certain that your respective posts would be extra somethings to behold. And I mean that in a good way. :-D

You both have a wonderful facility with words and your 'adventures', reminiscences, daily doings, thoughts always sound so good, in a poignant kind of way. :-)

10:47 AM  
Blogger nanuk said...

T&B,etc.: Now you've gone and got me blushing. Thanks very much for the very kind words!

3:11 PM  
Blogger Anna said...

You need to see an Irish Good Friday - they actually cover the alcohol with shrouds here. Not only can you not buy it, you can't look at it either!

For some reason, train stations (and trains) are exempt from the ban; the bar in Connolly Station was hopping at 2pm today - go figure!

7:39 PM  
Blogger The Phosgene Kid said...

Fishing, did someone say fishing??

12:37 AM  
Blogger mummified said...

Wouldn't there have to be fishin' and shootin' for proper male bonding ? And I agree with Tea (I seem to do this a lot, I'm getting worried that I am becoming a yes-mummy) - it would make for a pretty amazing set of postings afterwards

6:33 AM  
Blogger The Phosgene Kid said...

If we weren't eaten by half-crazed wolverines!!

1:02 AM  

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