LXXVII – Shovelry is not dead!

Monday June 22nd, 2015

There are many days when you sit at the computer and you want to blog but the idea doesn’t gel. And then there are days when you can’t wait to get to the computer and let it flow. This is one of those days.

This weekend was one of the race weekends of the Little Current Yacht Club. Our local racing consists of;  the Cooper Cup and Eaton Cup on the June weekend, the Centis cup in July and the Bousquet Challenge and Anchor Inn events in September. Typically we may get 8 to 12 boats divided into two classes: Spinnaker and JAM (jib and main). LCYC race events are plagued with light to no air days. Saturday was such a day but Sunday was a much better wind day. Oh ya the shovel…

One of the participants has traveled up from down in Georgian Bay for as many years as I can remember. They come with fast boats and experienced crew. They win a lot but they also help us become better and give us something to shoot for and at. So…

Let’s call the crew member Spud. Spud decides to walk up to the grocery store to shop in Little Current (just one of the benefits of having visitors in Little Current) and as he leaves he decides to walk the long way. The route would take him by the restaurant at the corner. As he passes by the restaurant the owner comes out and challenges Spud, “you steal restaurant”. Did I mention the shovel? The restaurant owner has a shovel over his head. As weapons go a shovel is a multipurpose one. Not only can you club your assailant into submission, you can also dig an appropriate hole to dispose of the unfortunate previously ‘shoveled’ victim.

And then a somewhat bizarre two man parade ensues. Spud in the lead with a bag of groceries and the restaurant owner wildly gesticulating  and challenging. Did I mention the restaurant owner does not speak English very well or at all, other than you steal restaurant. The niceties of Shovelry or Chivalry kick in and the restaurant owner stashes the shovel somewhere along the route back to the boat. The gesticulating and challenging continue along the route.

The Captain of Spud’s boat sees the two man parade coming down the dock and as Captains will do he walks down to intercept, intervene or join the parade. The Captain tries to discuss the issue with the owner and is not getting anywhere with the negotiation. The parade has grown in size and moves on to the Coffee shop downtown where the crew always has their breakfast on Saturday mornings. The restaurant owner stakes out the coffee shop outside after borrowing their phone to return outside to make call(s). The owners wife arrives and has better facility with English but is unable to settle the issue in the mind of her husband the shovel wielding restaurant owner.

Ultimately and unfortunately the police are called and investigates and after Spud assures the officer that he was never on the property of the restaurant owner ever the issue seems to be diffused. Or at least the restaurant owner disappears.

On behalf of the town and the yacht club I would like to apologize that this unfortunate event occurred. I can’t recall any previous shovel event in my 58 years here in Little Current. (I’m 62 so  I’m not a Haweater).

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