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Tool Time (06.21.00)

You wake up, one shoe is in the sink and you're sure last night your head was used in a science experiment. Yeah we've all been there, the wasted night, and then the worst part the waste of a day, just you, the couch and faint memories of a night's debauchery. It was a morning such as this that I first found my home improvement guru.

Quarantined by the liquor lads, I was destined to spend the day becoming one with the couch using only the slightest motor skills to utilize "the conch" (fancy talk for TV remote). The blaring TV immediately told me it was Sunday by having several race cars scream by *click* "then the lord said" *click* "and if you buy now" *click* then I had what some would call an epiphany. "Hi, I'm Shell Busey and today we're going to build a deck" - we sure are!

It was perfect, there were no sudden movements, noise was kept to a minimum, and the man has such a gentle disposition you got the distinct feeling that he doesn't mind you just sitting on the couch while he slaves away. So for the next half an hour I watched this giant man build a deck. And after it was all done, I felt invigorated, like I truly accomplished something. Sure I didn't actually built a deck but I knew that if the opportunity arose I would at least have a rudimentary knowledge of what to do. I'd call Shell Busey. So it was from that moment on I loved Shell Busey.

First friends dismissed my ramblings as those made by someone who was on a Jagermister IV drip. It was only after I procured a life-size standee (fancy trade talk for cardboard cut out) of my home improvement guru did they realize the frightening extent of my obsession. So when Cliff at Mountain Building Centers made it known that Shell was coming to town I, was quite excited. Not 'night before Christmas' excited, more of a 'new beer at the brew pub' excited. So as the big day approached I marked my calendar every day until the big day. I even considered making an advent calendar for the event but decided it was too much of a sucky Martha Stewart thing to do. Big breath, heart racing. here I go. Standee under one arm, tape recorder under another, ready to meet the one true home improvement Jedi master.

As I approached, one of his cronies behind the camera glanced at me then at my standee and said "oh, so you're a Shell groupie eh?" well this certainly took me back. There were really several things wrong with that sentence,. first of all Shell has groupies? Eewww, I can only hope he meant groupies in a fan-boy way and not. well, eeewww. So after we established my prerogative, I approached the friendly giant with all the composure of a school girl at a Ricky Martin concert. He was more than happy to sign the standee which he signed, Shell Busey 'it's just that easy' and he also took some time to answer my questions.

I thought I'd ease him into the interview with an easy one so I asked him 'as a trained professional, what would you consider the true test of metal' Apparently it has something to do with hydraulics and nothing at all to do with single track. Then I asked him a question which we will all need answered soon enough. "Shell, I'm about to have woodchips flying all over the place. Instead of just letting them litter the streets, can you think of some creative uses for them? Well at this his eye's lit up. "Woodchips! Well there are a lot of things you can do with woodchips. They're great to decorate the garden. Plus It will keep the likes of slugs off any veggies or plant life. Hmmm, if environmentalists and protesters are no better than slugs maybe this will keep them out of town. Could this have been the plan all along? (conspiracy theory #293). As for what music he played in the workshop. well it comes as no surprise that Shell likes down home country. It's true, there's nothing like a little Johnny Cash or Merle Haggard to get the home improvement juices pumping. So to all of you wanting to meet your hero. just go up and say hi, 'it's just that easy'!

Bryan stalks, er, lives in Squamish


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