Every time I come into town and go shopping with my sister, I wonder aloud: “I wonder if I’ll run into someone I know?”. My sis will inevitably answer: “No.” because, for all the times I’ve asked, I’ve yet to run into a single familiar face. So, there we were yesterday at the local Adonis market, chatting amidst the guavas and quince, when I happened to look up and spot…a familiar face. “Hang on!”I said, “I think I see someone I know.” Then headed off in hot pursuit.
As it turned out, my eyes were not deceiving me. Wandering the aisles in search of real nutmeg for his famed punch-a-cream was my old buddy Bertram –
Bertram was one of a group of people, dubbed The Hong Kong Movie Nite Crew, I used to hang out with in my pre-Stargate days. So-called because, every Friday night, we’d gather to watch a Hong Kong double-feature, covering everything from swords-and-sandal epics to gangster shoot-em-ups. Anyway, he informed me that the former host of HK Movie Nite, my buddy Nigel, was having a little get-together tonight and he needed to find proper nutmeg he could grate for his punch-a-cream, a Trinidanian specialty comprised of eggs, condensed and evaporated milk, lime zest, bitters, plenty of rum, nutmeg, and, of course, love. In the end, we never did find that nutmeg.
About an hour later, I got a call from Nigel who happened to speak to Bertram, found out I was in town, and insisted I drop by. I suspected I’d be tired come evening, I didn’t really feel like driving all the way to Laval, it was raining and the weather channel was warning of icy roads – but come 8:30 p.m., I decided “What the hell”, hopped into the rental, punched in the address on my trusty i-phone Maps app, and headed off. As it turned out, the driving was only slightly terrifying and I only got lost once, taking a wrong turn through an eerily quiet small town – you know, the kind that city folk go to looking for help when their cars break down only to end up being stalked by a family of in-bred cannibals?
Anyway, I eventually found the place. Nigel was waiting for me outside the front door, watching out for me like an anxious mother on her kid’s first solo car ride.
He welcomed me in and, after offered me a drink…
After that, I went on the grand tour of his sprawling new house, eventually finding my way in his vast downstairs entertainment center boasting enough bass to trigger a grand mal seizure. And, at the heart of the room, there was his personalized SupaNige carpet…
More guests began to arrive and the introductions were made. Also in attendance…
Missing were many of the former movie nite crew including: Sushi Man, Flipski, Big Daddy, and Champion. Most of the guests were Nigel’s clubbing buddies, a significant portion of which were busty women in low-cut tops. Food was served – jerk chicken, natch – and I ended up finding myself in an argument with some crazy lady who accused me of being culturally insensitive when I said “Un huh” after she told me about visiting China and being grossed-out by some guy who blew his nose in a fancy restaurant. After that, it was downstairs to watch Shotta, a Jamaican gangster movie with dialogue so heavily accented and nigh incomprehensible we ended up viewing it with subtitles. Every so often, between the copious onscreen bloodlettings, Nigel would pause the film to give us all a Jamaican cultural lesson covering everything from music to politics to quaint island expressions like “pum pum” and “bloodclaat”. The off-screen action turned out to be equally exciting. At one point, an overly-enthusiastic Nigel jumped up – a little too high – and ended up bringing one of the mounted speakers crashing down. Thankfully, the other speakers were more than up to the task of compensating with their brain-numbing booms.
Finally, after almost everyone in the movie had been shot and killed, the final credits rolled. Nigel informed us that we would not be screening the second part of the double-feature on this night, Third World Gangster, another Jamaican spectacular, then turned on the music and announced that the party had just started.
Which meant it was way past by bed-time. I thanked Nige, said my goodbyes, resolved to get in touch with Ron to plan our joint Tokyo trip, then headed out for a memorable white-knuckle ride home. Damn, it’s been a while since I’ve driven in freezing rain. And, frankly, I don’t really miss it.
Today = lunch with the cousins! And I’m guessing Third World Gangster aint in the cards.