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The Dad "Bobbo"


TRIBE Member
It's easy to dismiss Bobbo when you're young and meeting eccentric weirdos.

Weirdo's who are older, cause, when you're young, you tend to think that all old people are either weirdos or perverts. The strange, but obvious fact of course, is that we all become thosse weird perverts.

ANyhoo, Bobbo started out like a nice normal dude like we all do. Went to a nice Canadian school and graduated with a paper that meant some things to lots of people around the dominion.

Anyhoo, he started coding for Hewlett Packard back in 1968, came up with a pretty interesting way of processing punch cards through mechanical means. Well, you do the calculations. The project was coming at the best of the end of it's time.

In recognition of it's usefulness, despite it's absolution, Mr. Bobbo-san was granted a kind of kushy existence, better than most of white salary-men would aspire to... The kind of crap that will put a white fence on his yard and treat his kids for cancer if they should ever get it.

On his way to work he would think about all the things that everyone who has to work thinks about.

The drudgery, the uselessness, the hypocrasy, the irnoy, etc.

Oh dont get me wrong. Lot's of people don't think about this. These are the people who are sufficiently satiated that it generally isn't in their interest to think about it. A dude at work told me this story last week:

Son> "So, why should I work hard then?"
Father> "Well if you work hard, you will have more money"
Son> "But what will I do with this money?"
Father> "Well, you will save it!"
Son> "But what am I supposed to save it for?"
Father> "Once you have saved enough money, you won't have to work any more!"
Son> "But, I don't work right now? So...."

{repeat conversation}

Anyways Bobbo was smarter than most of you. So he started making dough art. He would sell it at the market. He quit his job at HP. His wife was abit angry about this.

Since his income had decreased seriously, he had to walk to the market. He couldn't afford a car anymore. On his way to work on sundays with the Mennonites, he would find many things on the road.

Gloves, keys, shoes, sometimes wallets, lighters, strange notes... He kept them, and along side his dough art, he set up a 'lost and found' table. There, he put the articles he found while walking to work. And for a small charge and great coincidence, you could buy your own stuff back if you happened to notice it.

About this time, Ross started playing "leonard cohen's blue raincoat" in a wildly distant part of the world.

Sadly the dough art business didn't pick up, so Bobbo abandoned it, but surely not before he gave up on the lost-and-found business.

And every sunday he would go to work and pick up whatever stuff he happened upon along the way.

A bit more than a year ago, I went to the beer store on Phillip street in Waterloo Ontario. On the way in there was a colourful man playing an improvised picollo next to the door. I was with my dad on the way in so I didn't pay that man too much attention, but he made sure to catch my eye. He was dressed in a ragged poncho and worn sandals. He ported an open guitar case full of change, though his instrument was nothing more than a piccollo, as i mentioned. His hair was long and braided in dreadlocks. He had a scar on his left eyebrow that was sure sign of a former piercing, though the wrinkles on his skin said he was at least 40. Forty, unless he had some kind of unknown condition that a young buck like me wouldn't have understood at the time.

And on the way into that beer store, the man with the piccollo stopped me and asked "Hey, where is the wizzard?"

My dad overheard this but carried on into the beer store as if nothing happened. I'm sure he figured I was either dealing with a crazy or had some kind of previous drug connection with this man. I said to him: "I don't know what you mean." And walked through the automatic door.

My dad bought a case of blue or labatts or whatever it was. I added on to the order a can of "Faxe". Then we left.

Out the door, the man with the piccollo spotted my dad, then spotted me with the "faxe", and to me he said:

"The next time the wizzard comes back from BC, tell him I miss him very much, and you and all your friends are welcome back to my place in the bush, just over there.." He put down the piccollo and pointed. Then, he closed his eyes and resumed.

Anyhoo, next time I saw Bobbo, he was back from collecting this strange pebbles that accumulate on the Queen Charlotte Islands.

He had walked there from Winnipeg, though that was 6 years ago, and along the way found a nice bag of weed in Lethbridge. When I met Bobbo though, it was back in Ontario, and he was there for more sombre reasons, but he was trying his best to invite me up the QSI. And to be honest, I had no reason except the shit that the world pours on our shoulders. He had every and all arguments to dismiss them, and I agreed, but, I was weak.

Anyhoo, he is now collecting these pretty stones that are geologically unique to QSI but otherwise unvaluable. I met a boy in Japan last week whose mom is Thai and father Japanese; and this guy spent the last 9 years working in Texas, and he told me about his aunt, who now lives in QSI by divine coincidence:

"Some people call her eccentric. She lives in the middle of nowhere now, you wouldn't know the place.. But I hear from her once in a while, and she's a real inspiration.."

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