A person I know, probably not my son...

1 Week. Spring Break. He's not having a good time. Home to visit family, friends, to Calgary, he's finding that he has less and less in common with everyone he once knew. Friends, they're boring and conservative. They go for drinks...

The clubs, he wants to hit HiFi on my recommendation, they're happy at the National. Chalk and Cheese. And, being outnumbered, he invariably capitulates, the nights grow long and without purpose. I understand, been out with those friends, but we have the bars we compromise on, The Ship and Anchor springs to mind...and failing compromise I'll just say "Fuck it, see you later". The National, on 10th, a good source of vacuously good looking bimbos and juice monkeys, I'll do it for an hour, tops, then we gotta find someplace a little more interesting, this isn't my scene, not by a long-shot...his rare nights out are wasted...

There's a Burlesque show at Arts Commons, U of C, the point of burlesque, adult humor, ribald, suggestive, naughty, sexy, fun, erotic, but it doesn't cross the line into pornography, imagine a more sophisticated striptease where the girls get to keep all of their dignity and some of their clothes and you have the idea...a civilized but rambunctious night out, I urge him to go, I'll pay, I can't or I would, I have to work (Always, always, but spring is coming and the plan is brewing...), He tries to persuade his friends to come, he'll pay, they don't want to, think it's perverted. He's irate beyond measure, wants only to get back to Victoria...

An excellent example of what he probably didn't miss: 

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I completely get it. It's the old Thomas Wolfe - "You can't go home again...".

I'd given him a set of portable lockpicks for Xmas, hidden inside a bogus credit card, for emergency use, or practice, the thought, inspiration, that he might become a double nought spy...he got busted with them flying from Victoria here, interrogated, released, he's not flown with them since, decides he's going to practice. On with a pair of old handcuffs...

Nobody with a high-school education should find themselves in handcuffs for longer than 5 minutes. No child of mine, anyways, the quick release and then vengeance, but the gaps in my parenting are soon exposed....I'd never taught him how to pick handcuffs, you don't need lockpicks, they're for the barrel-tumbler locks, like doors and padlocks and such, for handcuffs a bent piece of wire, a paperclip would suffice, or slender aluminum shank, to slide between the ratchets...

Half an hour later the cuffs had grown so tight the circulation to his hands is cut off, they began to swell, turn purple, he drives himself to the police station. They can't help, their keys don't work, they're not amused. From here to the firehall, where the firemen eventually use bolt cutters to remove them.

If he'd of called me, I could have told him how, but then, being in that situation would not be the position to call me from. I get it. He tells the story without any sheepishness, he's resigned, knows exactly how it appears, I laugh, it's without a doubt the best story I've heard in a while...

For future reference. Practice picking handcuffs before putting them on. When you've mastered that, then put them on and pick them. When you've mastered that, practice picking them when they're on behind your back. And if you haven't mastered it, for god's sake, keep a set of keys handy...

There are a couple of morals here, one, if you find yourself in any way needing the assistance of the police or fire department things have probably gone very wrong for you. And two, maybe don't go to the police for help...they aren't generally of any reasonable assistance.

I try to reassure him, he's bright, I can understand this, we've all been in similar positions...

"Don't worry...(the daughter) will be the rocket scientist. You just work on being an actor...."