The Outsider: Margaritas, wieners and waving at traffic
|By Will Jones - The Outsider | June 6 2019|
At the fourth or fifth beep from a car or truck horn, I began to realize that we might possibly be a bit of a spectacle, such as we were standing there minding our own business.
The thing was, we were standing around a red-hot burn barrel, the flames licking at the rim, and we were drinking very large margaritas. And then there was the fact that we were standing in a front yard that bordered the 118 right in Haliburton village. Hmm, I thought as I looked around and clocked the ‘Welcome to Haliburton’ sign.
We could be taken as being a welcoming party and I don’t know if that image of us standing around a burn barrel, drinking is a good thing or not. Now, don’t get me wrong, the folks that were assembled around the aforementioned burn barrel were a fine bunch. Smart, sassy, witty, beautiful, albeit one of them refuses to wear shoes for much of the year but that just adds to his beatnik charm.
We even had a yappy little dog. If only he’d been wearing a neckerchief instead of his smart collar. The thing was, we were actually standing around a burn barrel, not a camp fire, not one of those fancy wrought iron fire pit bowl thingies. It was a real 50 gallon drum and the only other times I have stood around one of those are on cold fall days on the construction site, when the barrel is the only source of heat and the smoke from the burning material is best not inhaled, never mind allowing your young son to toast marshmallows over it.
Other than that, the only association I have with a burn barrel is the obligatory scene in some gritty New York murder drama when the detectives have to go into the ghetto and talk to the homeless folk, all of whom tend to gravitate towards the warmth of the omnipresent burn barrel.
So, job site fire or hobo warming station? Take your pick but that may have been what it looked like to passersby as they drove past on Friday evening. The vehicles beeped and we waved, thrusting a large drink or equally cumbersome hot dog into the air with a gleeful cheer as we acknowledged their horn.
For a moment, I wondered what folks must think as they drove by. Were they sneering or cheering? Were they horrified or laughing hysterically? But only for a moment, then I took another swig of my margarita and joined in the fun around the burn barrel. I ate my hot dog, threw a stick for the dog and laughed as another car went by honking its horn.
The music played and the daylight turned to dark. The barrel glowed brighter and marshmallows got burned. Our world shrunk from open blue skies to a dark night and orange glowing coals, and life was good standing around the burn barrel.
BEEP BEEP. Another car, another wave. Another good night in Haliburton County.
WILL JONES - is The Outsider