July 17th @ Free Times Café

A few years ago our washer stopped washing, or maybe it was the dryer that stopped drying. In any event there was a laundry issue at the house. When machines like washers or dryers stop working the thing to do is call the appliance repairperson (I am stating this position in a gender-neutral fashion although I have only known appliance repairmen; I hope that, if nothing else, this choice of words is aspirational).

If you haven’t called the appliance repairperson to your house for a while here’s what happens. They arrive; they look at the non-functioning machine. Then they tell you that all the washers and/or dryers made now are pieces of crap. Despite all the fancy electronics they can’t hold a candle to the old machines which were made in Canada, as opposed to this sorry lot. And while you’d like to disagree with the appliance repair savant, you recall that your mother/father/aunt/grandparents’ washer and dryer ran for years with no problem and so in your heart you know he – or she – is right. You then have the choice of forking out a bunch of dough for a repair or just junking the thing and getting a new one. Whatever road you take, it will take a while.

And so, faced with that situation, I readied myself for a trip to the laundromat. I planned this trip carefully because there was a lot of laundry and as delightful a place as the laundromat is, I really didn’t want to spend any more time there than necessary. So I arrived on a weekday afternoon on the (correct as it turned out) assumption that it wouldn’t be crowded and I could get all the machines I needed for my washing and drying.

There were only two of us in the laundromat that day, me and another person. How best to describe this other person? Well he, for he certainly was a he; I think is best described as a troll. And by a troll I mean literally a troll. He was about five feet (maybe a bit big for a troll) and about the same width as height. He had flaming red hair that stuck out all over his head and a gigantic red beard. We didn’t talk much, just did the guy-troll head nod thing most of the time. I still remember however the last thing he said to me as he prepared to depart the laundromat, his laundry bag over his shoulder, ready to return to whatever bridge it was that he lived under. He looked me in the eye, smiled, and said “I got to get me a woman” and then he disappeared.

There were so many things I wanted to ask him but never got the chance. I wanted to say “Hey Rumpelstiltskin, is it really that easy to find a woman, you just ‘get’ one? Where do you find them? Does it help that you can show them how to spin straw into gold? Are there other tricks?“ I thought maybe we could start up a dating app – Troll Life – that could corner the lucrative Internet dating market. But sadly, I never got the chance to ask him.

Maybe for a troll it’s easy to find what you want, but it’s clearly not that easy for us mortals. Unless of course what you are looking for is music on Sunday July 17. Because if that’s what you’re looking for I have just the thing for you. Gordon’s Acoustic Living Room will be holding its monthly soirée this Sunday. Staring at 8 pm and going to 11 pm you will hear a rare range of music that will make you want to laugh, to cry and to applaud wildly. And where will this be taking place? Why at the Free Times Café on College, just west of Spadina. But you might be thinking, I can’t afford to pay the cover that one would expect to pay to hear a band of such talent and renown, I have to save my loonies and toonies for the laundromat. Have no fear, because, amazingly, there is no cover.

Hope to see you there.


P.S. In light of the weather please keep in mind these wise words: It’s not the heat, it’s the cupidity, or stupidity, or impossibility or inevitability or invincibility or something like that. Anyway whatever it is, it’s not the bagpipes.

July 17th Set List:
Set #1: Set #2:
Drunken Rustic Piper
Diamond Girl
Wedding Dress
Come Monday
Reason I Left Mullingar
Neil Gow
Tunnel Vision
Golden Ring
Nigel’s Love Song
Have I The Right
Unchain My Heart
Hillbilly Beach
Five Days In May
Hanging Round The House
Andrew McNeil
It’s All Your Failt
Together Again
A Prayer
Ruby Tuesday
Wild About My Loving
Bonaparte’s Retreat
Something In The Air
When The Night