The Quillquatch Debacle

in dtube •  6 months ago  (edited)

On August 16, 1977, Elvis died. 

I was nine years old. At the time, my family had a horse farm outside of Regina, Saskatchewan in Canada. I didn't know who Elvis was but obviously my Mom did. My older brother and I were still on summer vacation and when my Mom explained what had happened, we started making jokes. Elvis is, after all, a pretty unusual name and it invites commentary. 

My Mom immediately threw us out of the house and made us go paint the side of our barn (grey with white trim, in case you're wondering). In the summer, Saskatchewan is as hot and dry as the Sahara and the side of the barn we were painting wasn't even in the shade. It was miserable work and it was neither the first, nor last, time that a woman would punish me for my sense of humor. Indeed, at 51, I've become so accustomed to being in trouble with one woman or another, that my world feels askew if I'm not. Thankfully, the gals in the Power House Creatives have collectively dedicated themselves to ensuring that my sense of balance is ever maintained. 

I digress.

That memory of Elvis' death, and painting the barn in the blazing sun as a result, is indelibly inscribed in my mind, even more than four decades after-the-fact. Neurologists call this "flashbulb memory." Here's Wikipedia's description:


A flashbulb memory is a highly detailed, exceptionally vivid 'snapshot' of the moment and circumstances in which a piece of surprising and consequential (or emotionally arousing) news was heard. 

For as much as that Elvis memory was permanently seared into my synapses, it actually pales by comparison to the memory I'm about to recount. If Elvis' death was a series of flashbulb photographs ... this was a full-blown video. 

In my mid-twenties, I was working as a High Net Worth Financial Advisor in Halifax, Nova Scotia in Canada. In essence, I told rich people what to do with their money so that they'd get richer. As was common at the time, the company I worked for provided Reward Vacations to their Top Producers (and their spouses/dates), of which I was one. That year's vacation was on the island of Kawaii in Hawaii. 

It's a long flight from Nova Scotia to Hawaii and planes typically land in Vancouver, British Colombia to re-fuel before heading off over the Pacific. As we were going to be landing in BC anyway, my date, Sela, and I decided to turn the stop into an add-on mini-vacation. And so, we departed Nova Scotia five days early and spent the time touring southern British Colombia. 

We rented a Jeep and visited, amongst other things, a Provincial Park which, given the gargantuan size of Canada, was itself huge. We stopped at one of the internal parking lots and went for a hike with the intention of picnicking on a mountain plateau overlooking a beautiful lake. 

It took us about an hour to ascend and we were laying out our picnic paraphernalia when I felt the call of nature. So, I excused myself and headed for the trees. As I stood relieving myself against a tree, I unexpectedly heard a voice ... which, if I'm being honest, damned near stopped my heart.

"Nice watch." 

I zipped up as I whipped around. To my surprise, I could see no one.

"Up here."

I glanced up and spotted the vague outline of an individual amongst the branches of a tree. Bizarre. 

"Are you a betting man?"             


"Are you a betting man?"

This incident was already pretty surreal and I didn't know how to respond and so, due to my lack of loquaciousness, I played along. "That depends, I suppose. What did you have in mind?"

"Well," came back the baritone voice,"I'll bet you your wristwatch that I can play a whole game of hop-scotch up here in this tree crotch."


"Hop-scotch, tree crotch, wristwatch. Whatta ya say?"

Of all the insane things I'd heard in my life, this took the cake. Sela called to me, "Quill, you gorgeous piece of man-flesh, are you coming?" I yelled for her to come and join me, which she did. I explained what was going on. 

As you've undoubtedly noticed, young men will go to almost any length to impress young women, and young women will go to almost any length to be impressed by young men, irrespective of the stupidity employed in the making of such impressions. It is, in effect, an unspoken conspiracy between the performer and the recipient of the performance, both of whom are determined to not let the inadvisability of an action diminish its intent. Anyway, Sela wanted to see what would happen which, of course, triggered the necessity for me to demonstrate my male prowess via one of the most ancient proofs-in-the-pudding, the betting of one's watch. And so, I agreed. 

I'm not sure what precisely I was expecting, but I mostly certainly wasn't expecting what I received. Astonishingly, the guy ... actually started playing hopscotch in the tree-crotch. And, he was doing a bloody fine job of it too. How he'd mastered this machination beggared the imagination.

In any event, when he was finished, he performed a dismount worthy of an Olympic gymnast and stuck the landing. And that's when things got real. Towering above us was an eight foot individual covered from head to toe in ... fur

Sela fainted.

The individual extended his hand, "Wristwatch." Flabbergasted ... I handed over my watch. He smiled and without another word, turned and traipsed off into the forest.    

I bent down and helped Sela to her feet as she came to. We stared at each other in utter disbelief then staggered back to our picnic spot. We hurriedly packed up our belongings and descended the mountain as if we were being chased by wolves. We jumped in the Jeep and made for the park's exit. At the closest town, we checked into a motel and, still incapable of processing what had just occurred, I called my Dad in Nova Scotia.

My Dad is a retired Mountie and as I began to recount the story, he went silent. When he finally began to speak, his voice was the clipped staccato of a professional. "What hotel are you staying at and what's your number?" I responded and, after commanding me to stay put, he abruptly ended the call. Such abruptness was out of character, but then again, I'd never seen my Dad in the heat of battle. 

About an hour later, there was a loud knock on the hotel room door. I opened it and there stood a Mountie in Red Surge. He asked to come in and quickly dispensed with the niceties, subjecting Sela and I to an onslaught of questioning. 

The next day we headed back to Vancouver to catch our flight to Hawaii. We had a great time but, in the back of our minds, we couldn't help but wonder what was transpiring back in British Columbia. I never did get all the details but, interestingly, much of what transpired made it into a song by Canadian folk singer, Stompin' Tom Connors. Take a listen:          

On DTube:

▶️ DTube

On YouTube:

Incidentally, I never did get my watch back.

Have you had a similar experience? If not with Sasquatches, perhaps with aliens. I hear they like sunglasses. I have found it helps to share, to unload the burden of carrying about traumatic memories. So, please ... fell free to unburden your soul in the comments section.


This post is dedicated to my good friends, @lynncoyle1 and her husband, Brian, who are also Canadians ... and therefore possess the same ridiculous sense of humor as do I. Laughter does not relieve us of our burdens ... but it lightens the load. 


All images are linked to source or are QuillFire originals or modifications of images in the public domain. The video is a parody of original works and therefore relies upon the applicable exemption from copyright.

You guys know the QuillDrill. Be verbose ... but articulate.

And remember ...     

Go Love a Starving Poet     

For God's sake ... they're starving!  


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Well I am glad you finally made it to DTube! Welcome, Quill!

I think you did a great job. Kind of reminded me of late, great Roger Miller


Thanks Ol' Guy. Chug-a-lug ... good advice. :-)


Laughter does not relieve us of our burdens ... but it lightens the load.

Ain't that the truth! Thanks for the laugh buddy and the dedication ❤️

By the way, Sela and I go wayyy back. She has been so busy but did get your message on Twitter and asked me to say hi to you, and to pass on her apologies for not making a personal appearance here. She's going to buy you a new watch just to prove her sincerity.



That is very generous of her ... and thank you for acting as our in-between. :-)


I read a cool few passages but I have to reread the whole thing again later.

I have to Kachamak now.



Ah, yeah, I've heard that song. That's why I haven't worn any wristwatches in decades. So glad to know where it transpired from!


You know, given how much money Stompin' Tom made off that song ... you'd think he could have sent me enough to buy a new watch. :-)


Sure, but if you bought a new wristwatch you'd keep it till the next tree crotch...


You definitely spin quite the engaging and entertaining yarn! Loved this story and the great way you told it! I have nominated this for the next 'Daily Member Suggestion' 😃


Thanks Kitty, greatly appreciated. :-)


I'm sorry I missed this. On the day in question, that which you reference in your opening line, I was literally engaged in a pelvis, a hips way if you will.
Here is an artists reproduction of the in counter.

I have zero flash bulbs of it myself. Which is probably a good thing. Every year the news stories remind me how old I am getting.

I have been brain frozen in regards to writing. But this is the closest I've come to being inspired to write. Thanks. I think there is a ballad in it somewhere, awaiting a rebirth.


It's not the make, it's the miles ... and you've got more miles than most. There is a ballad in there somewhere ... I'd love to hear it.

Good to hear from you, Marg.


Well, I gave your comment my 11 cents worth instead 😊


Marg, you're one of my largest upvoters. You're Quill's "deep pockets." :-)


Love you PHC Bro 💕 Cheers to 60 😎😍🙌🙏

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@thereikiforest ,

I think this one may have set a record for silliness. I can't help myself. Whenever I explain one of my "brainstorms for a post" to my daughter, she just shakes her head. :-)


And just as amusing...the #powerhousecreatives discord channel after you announced your latest masterpiece. 🤣

Bravo for rhymes I never thought my life was missing, but which are now seared into my memory like a flash...


You know, it the girls' fault. If you gals would stop laughing at my stupid jokes, I'd stop telling them. :-)


I make no apologies for laughing at stupid jokes. 😜

@quillfire, you are awesome at storytelling!

I remember the day that Elvis died for the same reasons.

I was somewhere around 11. We were in the yard of our farm in Kittitas WA. A new foal had been born. My Dad and I were examining the foal to determine if he was healthy when my Mom came charging up to tell us about Elvis.

That foal's name was Elvis. :)

Memory association is interesting for sure.


That foal's name was Elvis. :)


I left it out of the story, but the day that Elvis died, August 16th, was also my Dad's birthday.

There's something about Elvis that I find particularly tragic, almost Shakespearean in scope. Of all the male singing voices in the world, there is not one I would rather possess. And yet, despite "having it all" ... he managed to make a series of hugely self-destructive choices. Death by a thousand self-inflicted cuts. Watching videos of his latter performances ... is painful.

It is hugely inadvisable to surround yourself with people who can't say, "No." Your friends are there to protect you from others ... but also from yourself.


You know he seemed like a real genuine nice guy. I have a cooking book by his long time cook with all of his fave meals etc. But the interesting thing is she said she wrote it in the house where she has lived that the King bought for her. You dont hear much about generous stars today.

Speaking of painful... he is obviously struggling, but yet you can still hear the man try so hard.


You know he seemed like a real genuine nice guy.

I agree 100%. He was a really nice guy. Genuine and generous ... and hence, the Shakespearean tragedy. He so badly "wanted to please" ... but in "playing the part," he lost himself. He just couldn't find the "balance point" between what people wanted him to be (The King) and what he was (a simple guy with simple pleasures).

The video you included ... it was close to the end and, as you can see, he's so spaced out of drugs (he had numerous doctors prescribing him endless amounts of "legal drugs") that he can barely articulate a sentence. And yet ... you can still feel how badly he "wants to deliver" for his audience.

Human beings need boundaries. The alternative is chaos.


Interesting... I never have appreciated Elvis and I blame it on my age.

I was old enough to see the end of the story... But too young to see the beginning.

I only saw it backwards. Meaning he was already gross and ruined before I discovered there was a time when he wasn't.

On someone like... Amy Whinehouse. I can feel the pain of the loss because I watched it happen.


Hahahaha! This is BRILLIANT Quilly!!!!!! Going to save the resteem for later today and we will make sure it gets you your 60! MWAH!!!


Thanks Jaynie. You know, the retelling of this story brought back a lot of memories ... including those of Sela. Unfortunately, I've lost her number. So, I tagged her on Twitter. Hopefully, she'll get my message.


I have known a few people in my day that would swear up and down with all seriousness that they have seen bigfoot but none of them had as entertaining a story to tell about it as you :)


This is what happens when people feed the wildlife. They get used to living in close proximity to humans and before long they're overturning trashcans ... and stealing wristwatches. Sasquatches are not pets!!!


We are SO proud to have you as a member of our
FANTABULOUS Power House Creatives family!
uvoted and/or resteemed!

❤ MWAH!!! ❤

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No one is more proud to be a Member of the Power House Creatives than I. Thanks as always for all the support.


They say truth is stranger than fiction, but that's some pretty damn good fiction! Or it could be. ;-)


They say truth is stranger than fiction ...

I know, right?

Sela and I lost touch after this incident but I'm hoping to re-establish contact. Maybe, just for kicks, we could go shopping for a new wristwatch. I guess it's about time to accept reality and give up on ever recovering the original.


Originals are overrated.

Say, what's happening to reputation? We've both been downgraded to 25.


Steemit is a "Depression Chamber" ... it's trying to crack us. Like a POW camp. Name, rank and serial number. Stiff upper lip.


Looks to have been temporary. I guess someone opened the window.

This post was shared in the Curation Collective Discord community for curators, and upvoted and resteemed by the @c-squared community account after manual review.
@c-squared runs a community witness. Please consider using one of your witness votes on us here


Thanks as always, guys. If I ever become a Whale, you guys are going to benefit.


  ·  6 months ago (edited)

@quillfire You sure made me laugh! XD

...young men will go to almost any length to impress young women, and young women will go to almost any length to be impressed by young men, irrespective of the stupidity employed in the making of such impressions. It is, in effect, an unspoken conspiracy between the performer and the recipient of the performance, both of whom are determined to not let the inadvisability of an action diminish its intent.

And! I just love how astute this observation is about human nature :P


I am convinced that one of the most interesting phenomena in the universe is the "stereotypical interactions" between males and females ... which is why I'm furious at feminists for trying to kill them off. They're trying to neuter the most fascinating, and in my opinion, the most beautiful, behaviors of our species.

Guys showing off for girls ... is ENTERTAINMENT par excellence.

Take Note ... of this fella's Quills. But these girls ... tough crowd. :-)


Great story.
Looks like you got caught with your pants down.


It's a fair observation. You know, there's probably a lesson to be learned from all this: Don't enter into negotiations ... while having a whiz.

I wonder if that would sell on a T-shirt.


I'm not so sure, a lot of people are up for awkward bathroom banter. Especially at sports bars, maybe not in the forest though.

Anyway this post is in resteem rally now.

An odd, but amusing tale! I liked it, well done!


Odd indeed. And, I think it's time for me to get over the trauma ... and buy a new wristwatch.


I don't know how I missed this one. I had been checking your blog because with this electricity shit we are having here, I can't tell when I'll be able to be online and I am missing a lot of posts. I would swear I checked your blog yesterday. This will give you an idea of how capriciously time is passing now for us.
This was arrechisimo ( great!)

For a second I thought it was actually you reciting/singing in the video. The lyrics sounds like something you would come up with.
I had not heard of that folk singer. Pity. He was great.
I have my strange-guy-up-in-the-tree story.

Like you, I was releaving myself against a tree. It was a tree that was planted just by our house entrance. I would have never done such a thing but i was 17 and had been holding it since I left a party and just by the time I was about to open the porch door I felt I could not hold it any more. I was half way when it occurs to me to look up. And there it was a guy, whose face I could not recognize because it was a dark, laying on the tree looking at me.

I was not drunk, can't recall if I screamed, but I do know that I could not finish my business there and a few seconds later my father was at the door asking me what was going on. I pointed at the tree but noone could see a thing. By now, my mother and one of my elder brothers were also there.

I promised not to come back home late ever again and just to be on the safe side, my father had the tree chopped down.


... arrechisimo

THAT word just got added to my vocabulary.

Stompin' Tom Connors was actually something of a Canadian legend. His most famous song was, "The Hockey Song." Keep in mind that Canadians are obsessed with hockey ... like South Americans and soccer. It is a psychological disorder that afflicts almost the entire country.


I promised not to come back home late ever again and just to be on the safe side, my father had the tree chopped down.

LOL. Good Ol' Dads ... the simplest of solutions. :-)


I think you had way too much fun doing this. It was very enjoyable.


I've got this whole post creation thing down to a system:

  • Come up with a handful of stupid ideas;
  • Share said stupid ideas with my daughter;
  • Take note of the one that receives to greatest amount of eye-rolling and gasps of utter disdain;
  • Spend a half-hour arguing about why said stupid idea will not, in fact, ruin my reputation;
  • Invest a ridiculous amount of time trying to convert said stupid idea into Art;
  • Throughout said process, actively suppress the thought that she was right;
  • Post;
  • Complain that, as an Artist, I am dramatically underpaid; and
  • Repeat.


Sounds like the perfect plan.

Speaking of painting the fence...

(a la Tom Sawyer?)

(or the original Karate Kid version?)

And BTW, Elvis is alive and well.

He can be seen enjoying a 7-11 Big gulp slurpee most Friday nights near Makalapa clinic, Hawaii...

Enjoyed your post immensely.

Namaste, JaiChai


Thanks mate. That was my first DTube and YouTube video. It took about 100 times longer to make than expected. :-)


"It took about 100 times longer to make than expected. :-)"

Ha! Welcome to my world LOL!

Yeah, that vid looked like it would be a time consumer. Gotta teach that Sasquatch photoshop, then you can scratch your crotch and sip some tea!

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You'd be surprised at how difficult it is to find a photo of a tree crotch where you could plausibly play hopscotch. And turning a cavern into a tavern is not facile for the neophyte either. :-)


I too remember where I was when he died; also remember where I was when John Lennon died, Jimi Hendrix, princess Diana and a few other legends of our times...


Hey mate. Yeah, me too ... Princess Dianna especially. Our world is like a room and when you suddenly remove a piece of furniture to which we've become accustomed, it's a shock.


Good times with the Sasquatch! I've never had such an experience myself, but with your precision writing I don't need to. It is now indelibly ingrained in my memory as well. :-)


Oh dear, Jen ... I hope you can still sleep tonight. This is pretty traumatic stuff. Darling ... be brave.

You know, if you wanted to be literal about it, the Sasquatch was actually engaged in a "Pants off, Dance Off," wasn't he? Contestant No. 1. Food for thought.


Whatever happened to our dear Pants Off, Dance Off? I was positive that @zord189 had plans to introduce it to the world at large near the beginning of this year. Perhaps @theycallmedan's delegation contest made him forget‽

On an unrelated note, please bring back the interrobang. I miss that most wonderful of punctuation marks.

For those of you in the cheap seats, it looks like this:



On an unrelated note, please bring back the interrobang. I miss that most wonderful of punctuation marks.

Yes, really. Jen ... you are a crusader.


It would be so useful nowadays, don't you agree?

We could replace many a question mark/exclamation point combo with one simple and beautiful mark. It would save at least one character per tweet, for those who count such things.


It would reduce the consumption of Resource Credits ... it would solve the Scaling Problem!

@matttifer for Top 20 Witness!


Thank you for this kind nomination! I'm in.

Wait, no I'm not.

I don't know how to live this life!!


I don't know how to live this life!!

That hasn't stopped our existing Top 20 Witnesses, has it?


Bravo! C'est vraiment comique ce que tu a écrit :D

Last summer we were visited by Stompin' Tom's son. He told us the story of his dad's life through song.

He never sang that one song. But he is back in Kirkland Lake this summer, a town not far from where I live. He's still touring the same places his father did and playing his songs.


Thanks Foxy.

If you ever get a chance ... show him my video. If he were still with us, I'd be willing to bet that Stompin' Tom would be tickled to know that people are using his song to generate a few laughs ... which would seem like an obvious intention given the nature of the song. :-)


I sure could do that.

I question how he even thought of this song. Brilliant and funny, I wonder how it came to be.

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Pryde ... I thought I'd call you over on this post as it happened in your neck of the woods.