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Manufacturing a Pipe Organ


TRIBE Member
Before you start to read, begin playing this:


There was a time, many years ago, when I worked for $12 per hour and had dark brown hair.

It was a cold winter, in the frost belt, where my parents dropped me off at a Victorian home heavy with age and light on attitude.

me> "Looks good."

As if I had any idea what a house should be, and as a renter, I had no equity.

For those of you who need reality, it was on Nelson St. in Alliston ON, and I was building robot cells at Honda Manufacturing.

But none of that mattered to me when Torry, the Norwegian, walked inside those enormous doors for the first time.

I was stood halfway up the staircase, a mighty staircase, as he walked through the double doors and promptly dropped his belongings on the floor.

Oh what a fantastic piece of male he was. The frost escaped his face as he looked up at me, aha.

I wasn't quite accustomed to his level of brevity, indeed, I hardly considered myself gay at the time.

Tore-Jan> "Hey Jeff, I made some apple cider, do you want to try it?"

His eyes were the most fantastic shade of sapphire, I was sure he was looking straight into me and knowing that I had some kind of secret.

me> "Sure Torry, you mean downstairs?"

The house was, is, large and old. Most weekends, I went back to my parents', but it so happened that one weekend I stayed.

Given that Torry's parents were in Norway, he was the only other person who stayed in the house. This made me a kind of excited.

me> "Hey Torry this Cider is pretty good."
Torry> "I'm glad you like it."
me> "Does (landlord) know you're making it?"
Torry> "No, that's why I chose the basement."
me> "Gotcha."
Torry> "Have you seen that small door on the stairs?"
me> "Maybe."
Torry> "It goes to a pipe organ room."
me> drinks more cider
me> "What?"
Torry> "That small door goes to a whole room."

At this point Torry lead me out to a large circuit breaker, and he pushed it.

Suddenly, somewhere in the basement, large equipment began operating and it were as if a heavy lung sucked the air out of me.

Torry grabbed my hand, and I gave up to him.

Somewhere between the third and fourth floor, there was a door, at the crook of the stairs, into which he drew me and there was to see a fantastic pipe organ four stories high.

While I sat down to play Toccata and Fugue, which is the only thing one should play on an enormous pipe organ, Torry lifted himself of his clothes, and as much as I wanted to watch him do that, I focused on the keys and pedals.

He danced nakedly in the cold whilst I played.

Alex D. from TRIBE on Utility Room


TRIBE Member
I was asleep at 11am as the night before I had a gogo dancing shift at the local gay bar. I wasn't drinking at all, but those shifts are pretty hard on the body.

Ha, "hard on".

"Fire! Get out!"

I was pretty groggy and otherwise would have slept through this claim but whoever was shouting sounded pretty serious. In nothing but underwear I got out of bed and opened my door

And the entire house was filled with dark, black smoke. By memory I walked myself down the stairs and out the front door, where I was met by my two roommates and a half naked Italian math student on my front lawn.

The incident began the day before. I was quietly attending to my psychedelic mushrooms, which I was growing, when I heard some commotion outside my room. I opened the door to see an enormously obese lady attempting to lift a crippled guy in a wheelchair up the stairs. I would have laughed right there if I weren't so concerned about my mushrooms at the time.

me> "Can I help you?"
lady> "We're just helping (so and so) move in."

I wasn't aware that there were more rooms into which to move, but, whatever. I closed my door and went back to my mushrooms.

Later that morning. I went downstairs to watch TV. (So and so) was now here and pontificating on the nature of fire safety. The other roommate sparked up a joint.

me> "Who are you?"
Fireman> "I'm (roommate)'s friend. I'm a math grad student at UW. You need to be more fire conscious, in Italy we...." and he yammered on.

The crippled guy was familiar. I had seen him out and about at UW, he is hard to miss as his wheelchair is adorned with an enormous fire engine orange drapeau, I guess, presumably, so that you move your toes before he rolls over them. He is equipped with a power wheelchair.

While standing on the front lawn during this fire escapade, it occured to me that nobody had phoned a fire department or police or anything.

me> "Did anyone call the fire department or cops?"

At this point, the Italian math student ran into the house. Moments later he was throwing a mattress out of the second story window.

Nat> "I fucked a virgin on that."
me> "Isn't that your friend in there?"

At this point my friend, my roommate, and I decided to go in and take a look. There was lots of smoke, but didn't look like lots of fire. Inside we found a pot of burning food and we took it outside. Turns out it was a pot of bacon. Travesty averted. YAY.

The Italian math student later conceded that he had set the bacon fire on purpose, to make some kind of point.

It turns out he was living with the obese lady rent free, on the condition that he would participate in various sexual activities with her. He did this untill it became, somehow, "unreasonable" after which he moved in with the cripple, who was a friend of hers.

The problem was, that the cripple began asking for the same demands. And so the Italian grabbed the cripple by the ankle and held him over the balcony, threatening to drop him. Neighbours saw this and called the cops. Because of that, the Italian was on the run and needed a new place to calm down for a while. Which is why he ended up at my house.

After removing the pot of bacon, my friend was livid, and exercised his anger on the Italian. He demanded I drive him to the math department at University of Waterloo, to his office, where he could collect his things and presumably burn a different house down. He would only trust me for this task; I obliged.

The day ended rather unremarkably. I returned to my mushrooms, which were deep into the mycelial phase of rice cakes, and just generally went about my business. The Italian math student eventually stole a bike and was picked up by cops around Brantford, before his brother came from Italy to take him home.



TRIBE Member
These stories share a common ending.

In both, a family member returned from Europe in order to take their own, either the Norwegian or the Italian, back to Europe to, presumably, work out their mental illness.

While it's clear that the Italian math student suffered from mental illness, it's not so obvious that Torry did. But, sadly, he did. Perhaps I will reflect briefly on his downturn.



TRIBE Member
Torry, you see, had become quite eccentric.

Somehow, he had amassed quite a sum of money. He started a company in Calgary which used software to determine where to drill for oil. I don't know if the software worked or not but he ended up renting a penthouse in downtown Calgary and one day was drunk and on the fly purchased me a ticket to Calgary. So I went.

The penthouse was quite lovely aside from the fact that Torry handed out sharpies to everyone who came by, which was a lot of people, many either drug dealers or drug users, to write on his walls. I declined the offer and quickly realised I would need a lot of booze to feel comfortable in this place. That was remarkably easy to do. And so, once properly intoxicated, I went to the rooftop to bath in the Calgarian sun, which, in summer, lasts a very long time.

But when Torry decided to quit his job, hire a homeless person, and preach about a new religion, I had some reservations.

I wasn't quite sure if the homeless guy, Jesse, was for real or just taking Torry for a ride. Their religion, like all religions, didn't make any sense, but they seemed quite convinced of it. At least, Torry did.

In the end, Torry asked me to drive him. First past his GF's house, then past a few hotels. He asked if he could stay at my parents' house. Seemed odd. Then he asked to be driven to his hotel. Turns out he had reserved rooms at three hotels. He became too bizarre to handle and I left him at what is today the Delta Hotel. He also had rooms at the Walper Hotel, and the HoJo. Why? Forever unknown.



TRIBE Member
I totally played the youtube vid when I started reading and it really made it that much more enjoyable.

My sister also lives in Alliston, and I have family in Norway and that made me connect with the supporting actor of the story in some strange way.
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TRIBE Member
I totally played the youtube vid when I started reading and it really made it that much more enjoyable.

My sister also lives in Alliston, and I have family in Norway and that made me connect with the supporting actor of the story in some strange way.

I can say in this case the stories are 100% true and I do miss Torry that crazy Norwegian, I have no idea what happened to him.

I miss Alliston, in a strange way.



TRIBE Member
Jeff, as we venture into fall and the Octoberfest season, as a Kitchener resident I think it's time we meet up at the Frederick street tent.

Seen you for the past few Keg tapings so needless to say, beer is in order.


TRIBE Member
Jeff, as we venture into fall and the Octoberfest season, as a Kitchener resident I think it's time we meet up at the Frederick street tent.

Seen you for the past few Keg tapings so needless to say, beer is in order.

I think that's a great idea.

But why the wait? I'm free this weekend. In fact, I'm free right now.



TRIBE Member
I lived in California for a while, and at least two other former Triber's were there at the same time. Usually I would visit them, but on one occasion they came to visit me.


I lived in Santa Barbara and State St. was the main place to go, not particularly if you were from Isla Vista, but if you had some money to spend. Which I did.

Around 01:00am on a weekend night, I became irate with the club owner. He would later become convicted of various drug related crimes in Ventura county, a bit down the road, hiway 101.

But tonight, he was interested in hiring me to be a gogo boy.

My day job was writing firmware for a Scandanavian subsidiary in Goleta. This wasn't exactly exciting so, the prospect of working as a gogo dancer at a gay club downtown Santa Barbara sort of, "reach out" to me.

There was nobody to help me, I did this alone. I went to a craft and hobby shop and purchased several bottles of "sprinkles" and white glue. Together. I used this to make a paste. I purchased a swimsuit, aka speedo. Frank turned out to be a customer of the club.

frank> "You're the dancer? Oh let me show you some of our options."
me> "I'm not swimming in them, just moving around."

When I got to the club, I had to pull some kid off the dancefloor and bring him upstairs.

me> "I need you to smear this stuff all over my body"
him> "ok"

I noticed a gentleman was watching this ordeal. even while I changed into my new speedo. This gentleman I later learned, his name was "Rick", an accountant at University of California Santa Barbara.

He was about 50 years old, drove a classic BMW.

At break time, when I was allowed outside for a smoke, he, and some girls, came up to me to converse. He quickly dismissed the girls, who had no money anyway.

Rick> "Do you want to meet sometime outside this club?"
me> "Yeah. I think I would like that."

continued later/.

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