Chapter 3 – Bad Bad Mr. B

Posted on: June 4th, 2018 by wrayadmin No Comments

It had been a miserable trip to Windsor. The van broke down just outside of Bracebridge so we had to rent a trailer and pull it behind my 1969 Chevy Bel Air. Unfortunately the fully loaded car and over loaded trailer made the 3 hour trip take 10 - with us at the side of the road overheating every few miles. Eventually we limped up in front of our destination - a nasty looking club in a nasty looking part of town. This was about as industrial an area as you could get without having to wear a hard hat. Abandoning the steaming car, we headed inside - only to discover the club owner was equally nasty. He wore a lot of rings and his hair was extremely wet. But, he was very insistent on one thing: Stay away from the guard dog, Mister B. We never saw any dog, but we agreed anyway and he gave us the keys. Rooms were on the second floor. No singles this time. It was Terry and Laurie in one room with Jeremy and I in the other. I stood at the window and drank in the view. It was pretty uninspiring - unless you`re a fan of belching smokestacks and lumpy water. Jeremy pulled a drummer magazine out of his coat, sat down on the bed and started to read. Laurie looked in the room and yelled disapprovingly: No time to admire the view boys - let`s go! He was right. We had a trailer and what was left of my car to unload. I took a shortcut down the fire escape. All the way down, I kept my eyes peeled for the dreaded Mister B but it was getting dark and I couldn`t see anything. I headed back to my car and grabbed my gear.

My luggage consisted of two Adidas gym bags and two guitar cases. I had a pretty good system. If I looped my arms through the gym bag handles, I could carry a guitar case in each hand and get everything to the hotel room in just one trip. On this night however, there were several variables that I didn`t factor in. One was the fire escape. While it was fine for one person at a time, if two people got on it (or one person with 2 gym bags and 2 guitars) it became dangerously unstable and would sway from the building. I however, was unaware of this fact and happily barrelled up the darkened fire escape, fully loaded, two steps at a time. Suddenly, out of the depths of hell came a growling, snarling devil beast with epic jaws snapping away just inches from my ankles. It scared the CRAP out of me! I jumped up a step but with all the weight, the fire escape shifted and I nearly fell over the side. It was close - and I didn`t know what had attacked me. All I saw was a huge black demon with very big, very white teeth. Gathering myself, and my stuff, I gingerly climbed the rest of the fire escape and noted to myself that I probably should have shown more respect to Mister B.

Mister B was a master of the ambush. You hardly ever saw him. He had the run of the fenced yard but he always stayed hidden. Waiting.

After our show ended at 1 AM, we went over to Detroit to jam with a band that we had met earlier that day called Iron Mountain Country. Great bunch of good ol`boys who showed us Canadian fellas a pretty good time. When we got back to our side of the river it was just before dawn. We were still buoyed by an evening of smokin' tunes and cheap American beer. Then came the final challenge: four giggling drunks, a wobbly fire escape and the lurking Mister B. As the boys wobbled up the steps, I waited at the bottom. Just as their heels got to the strike zone, he pounced. 200 pounds of oh-no-you-don`t came charging...snarling...barking...growling...snapping. I figured, enough was enough. Mister B and I were going to settle this thing once and for all. I marched up to the fence and met Mister B eye to eye, his paws thumped down on my shoulders. Spit bubbles erupted between his teeth with every rumbling growl. (He was a lot bigger up close...) `Gimme a hug`, I slurred. His tail started to swing. `Gimme a huuug...` Mister B melted into my arms and gave me the biggest, warmest, smelliest hug and slobber-wash I`d ever had. Those on the fire escape were dumbfounded, but from that point on, Mister B and I were pals. 

In hindsight, that is one of the dumber things I`ve ever done. Don`t do that to a strange dog ever. But, I`ve always had a way with critters. And I don`t think Mister B made many friends. We just connected I guess. Now, when I think of playing that nasty bar in that nasty part of Windsor, I can't help thinking about my great, big, scary, sweet old friend...Mister B.

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