It was once upon awhile at 7 a.m. on May 15 1919 that the anarchist barbarian Bolshevist rogue was nabbed in the act of deflating bicycle tires and opening the diaper flaps of idling dray horses while posing as a monk.
The upshot was that quite a bit of crap goosed and smothered the leafy arteries of Winnipeg's Wolseley neighbourhood in that historic time.
The barbarian-poser-monk was caught in the general area where the Westminster Tot Lot and the Organic Planet Worker Co-op exist today but for reasons of national security we are unable to be more precise, or even to disclose how we came on this info.
Suffice to say the rogue Bolshie-barb claimed complete innocence, pleaded for mercy and said he was simply going door-to-door canvassing for alms. But really, there was little doubt in the minds of most that he was a disturber of gumbo-quality excrement. And besides, no one there at the time had even heard of alms.
He was caught when an observant Wolseley gardener, peering from behind her cannabis and rhododendron bushes, saw that the Rasputin-like sneak had the only wheels with air. And she smelled a horse-dung vapour trail mere footsteps behind wherever he trod. The Bolshie-rogue poser also was wearing that weird purple robe you see on monks today when they stand together in unity with President Barack Obama in Myanmar, which was then Burmese territory of British India and Obama was not yet elected even for the first time.
Anyway the purple robe was a dead giveaway, when you really stop and think about it.
And so folks of course knew intuitively that the anarchist-rogue was a ne'er-do-well. And when he made the mistake of rapping on the ornate oak door of the home of Charles Frederick Gray the jig was sauced. "Begging for arms? I'll show you arms!" Gray poncified, as he also happened to be the city's mayor. And so C.F. Gray called the fire brigade. (Or there was something going on between third parties and the mayor and fire brigade.) But C.F. Gray ended up reading the Riot Act, and one thing led to another and the good people of Wolseley certainly gave poser-nose barbarous Bolshie-man all the alms he could beg for alright. They tied that rogue-culprit-monk to a wide Wolseley elm so that he could contemplate through the day the suffering they would later inflict on him.
Now it remained early in the a.m., remember, and so off was the direction in which most of the Woleseyites fucked, as they went to work and arrived against the granularity of others who were not working that day, it being the apex of a general strike. Still, they huddled together and pondered what to do with the rogue-alien smell-bad man. "Look at the hook on that Bolshie - he's one of those foreign fakirs," suggested the mayor. "For certain this is the son of a father-fakir and mother-fakir," agreed the educated water-cooler crowd around city hall. And they got whipped into a bit of a froth over the whole thing. "The eyes. Rather like those of the football club manager," said one frother. "He likely does capital markets business at Deutsche Bank," whispered another.
An aperitif; Winkler sausage
So on and so forth, back and fro-to. Until finally the good folk of Wolseley decided the best course would be to throw rogue-bad smell mother-fakir into the Assiniboine River after they got home from work, had an aperitif, dinner, and laid on every bone a good beating. This was justified seeing as how Mr. poser-rogue hook-mother was probably from the North End, anyway.
But it was precisely at this juncture in the day – high noon - that the local ice wagon driver (who sold harpitars, Fuller brush and Avon products, Singer sewing machines, Colliers Encyclopediae, MSG-free Winkler sausage and vacuum prototypes as well as ice blocks) was driving his cool wagon along the Wolseley rues and vards. The ice-vendor saw the misbegotten poser-rogue tied to the tree and quizzified him.
"So what's on you mother-fakir? You feel me? Why are you tied to this tree?"
(The iceman-Fuller etc incidentally wore a strawberry-hued cap with a vacuum cleaner advert that said: Filter Queen Sure Sucks. And we can say here and now that he was not the sharpest sword in the celestial armoury.)
"Ah, some men have put me here because I won't accept their money," explained mother-rogue monk-poser think-ahead sneak.
"What do you mean, you won't take their money? And why do they want to give it to you?" asked ice-man-Fuller-feely man, his eyes narrowing.
"Can you not see from my Obama-appealing robe that I am a contemplative? They are trying to corrupt me. Godless bunch these Wolseleys."
"I feel you," said iceman, who had a suggestion and a plan. And so he unbound the barbie-fakir from the tree and they changed places.
Later, following an aperitif, dinner, and a few digestifs, the crowd gathered beneath the phattest neighbourhood elm for an early evening beating and river-tossing. They put a sack over the head of the Fuller-ice-sausage-feely guy. Down to the riverbank among the scrub-oak branches which rose all scraggly like the arms of the crucified, they dragged their victim.
And together they tossed him into the Assiniboine.
Now in 1919 the Assiniboine River was at its highest and swiftest since 1883 when everything got disrupted by Krakatoa, the sky turned a queezy purple, and Charles F. Gray's second cousin Marvin strangled the six starlings. So ice-man drowned.
The day followed the night and Wolseleyites were amazed to see the rogue-nosed barbarian-mother enter their hood on an ice-wagon with all of this Avon-Fuller vacuum paraphernalia dangling out all jingly-jangly.
"Where have you been and where did you get that MSG-free Winkler sausage?" they asked.
"In the Assiniboine are kindly spirits who reward all who jump in and 'drown' in this manner," said the rogue, taking a swig of bottled Avon-water.
In almost less time than it takes to tell, all of Wolseley dashed to the Assiniboine and leaped in.
And this was how the anarchist-barbie son-of-a-mother-fakir took over Wolseley.
(Top Image: Man With Blue Thoughts 14x11 w/c, by David Roberts; Inside image: Sea and Stone 12X16 w/c India Ink by David Roberts)