Bye Bye Blaster Hank

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Date: April 12, 2007 8:46 AM

Well, Blaster Hank left today. If not for the marathon hockey game last night, I would have written for him a passage in this here journal. I at least saw him off this morning by reminding him about our M.V.P. candidate goaltender, which only gets him pricklier than normal. And that is pretty prickly! He’s off back to his life in Campbell River and work in the outback. Patti and he can get reacquainted with one another and the life they know. For that, I’m happy. So too shall Hank be reacquainted with real food and his taste for beer and whisky. Only no driving for him. That’ll be Patti’s job. Lunches at the Lantzville pub, drinking at the legion, fixing the fence posts at their house before putting it on the market, and getting back to what he loves, which is blowing shit up. Playing with dynamite and getting paid well for it… Hmmm. If I ever feel the urge to stir up some shit I’ll know who to call! Hopefully he’ll never find his way back here. His grumpy attitude was only pushed and pushed by his intolerance of a great many who passed through this place. Kelly, Fur Dog, The Nod-father, Baby Huey, Hinkleman, Roy, Stinky (Mike), everyone in the back dorm when he first arrived, Sarkozi, Heinrich, Leatherface. Even Miss Edwards the cutie! The list could go on. Come to think of it, I could probably count on one hand the few people that he didn’t mind. Al, Rick Greene, Jim Fisher, Bankhead and yours truly, thank God! I couldn’t imagine what derogatory name he would’ve pegged upon me if I were seen as being in his cross-hairs. As it was, he would refer to me as Jamaica Mike from time to time but only if he was in a light mood. Every morning he’d be grumpy as hell due to lack of sleep. Be it snoring or farting or even existing as far as I could tell, the various dorm-mates he shared his bed-space with impeded upon his beauty sleep, I suppose. Either way, every morning he’d be the first in line for breakfast and without fail, each time he received his meal, he’d come away with the most sour look on his face, shaking his head in disgust. It just made me laugh. Firstly, why stand first in line when you know it’s garbage that you’re going to get and secondly, couldn’t you try to come round to a point of acceptance or tolerance of the situation? I just think his time might have passed a little easier for him if he had. Ah, but he is an old dog and you know what they say about… For me, Hank was a good joe. Sharp as a tack, his intelligence was just too easily offended. I ought to know because I see the same potential for myself. Thankfully I just let it slide. It’s just not worth it.

Playing pool, ribbing each other about hockey loyalties and shooting the breeze were the things that we shared in and I, for one, was appreciative of those times and moments. To me, he was one of the last from the old guard here that I really got along with. It is just a little lonelier around here without his presence but I’m sure he doesn’t mind. It’s off to freedom for him. When my bit is done I’m sure I’ll look him up when up Campbell River way. Go to the legion, have a few beers and shoot some stick on a real pool table. Till that day I’m sure he’ll do his best at combating any reasons to be so grumpy. However, maybe that’s the way he is all the time!