Little Bunny Foo Foo mumbled something that sounded like “In Iceland, events are a fish westerly caught” and slumped off his bar stool. Now that LBFF had joined him on the floor, Mazzer was able to make the point he’d been trying to make for the last fifteen minutes. “We need to talk to a leech”. LBFF looked blankly at Mazzer. “You know, a leech, who can prostitute for us”. Rob, the owner of the Oxford Arms, (or “the office”) as we called it, leaned over the bar and clarified matters “I know a good lawyer, if that’s what you need. Someone who can prosecute for you. And I agree, revenge IS a dish best eaten cold. But I think you’d better get home now, I’ll call Keys Please”.
A lawyer was indeed what was needed if we were to rescue anything from the disastrous project that as President and Other President of Irecan/Republic Architectural (Not Incorporated) we’d been discussing. The following account of that project is of course, entirely fictional and bears no resemblance to any actual persons or events that are or may be the subject of a lawsuit in the Higher Court of Ontario, or anywhere else for that matter.
Our heroic finish carpenters (for that was their business) first met after being introduced by a mutual acquaintance who was fascinated by cheap Chinese tools. Escaping the monotone droning of Mr Cheapdeal led to a dingy downtown London sports bar where Little Bunny Foo Foo thrashed Mazzer at pool, darts, shove ha’penny, pool (again), shuffleboard and mental arithmetic before deciding that they could work together. A week later, hurtling down the 401 towards Hamilton in LBFF’s Civic at 140kph, the car’s barely rubberized tyres clinging to the road, the partnership was born.
The boys decided that because of Foo Foo’s distain for keeping records, paperwork, taxes and observance of regulations (he described the speed limit as ‘guidelines’), Mazzer would handle the finances, taxes, legal stuff and contracts, while Foo Foo (who if he’d been a Spice Girl would have been described as ‘The Really- no I mean REALLY- Scary One’) was in charge of the day to day work - Operations, Site Management and Shouting at People.
Over the next three years the partnership went from tiny little projects, barely earning the boys their Tim Hortons money, to securing the biggest Architectural Millwork (posh carpentry) project in Ontario. Irecan/Republic Architectural (Not Inc.) scored top marks with architects and woodworking firms, successfully pulling off projects like the Hanging Panels Of Chatham, The Library/Stripjoint Fitout, The East Side Mario’s That Went South and The Little Doors That Could’nt. Our Celtic chums survived meeting characters like Terrytubby, who’d twice won awards as World’s Most Obnoxious Man, and who told Foo Foo, after a particularly heated argument about American Imperialism that if he did’nt like it in Canada he could “f*** off back to his own continent”, which only served to confirm Foo Foo’s view of the importance of Ireland on the World Stage.
Increasingly, as projects got bigger, IRA(Not Inc) engaged additional help, especially Politico Steve, another very talented craftsman who always came through when deadlines were tight, despite the fact that he was often busy losing his deposit in local elections.
Finally, in January 2006, a long awaited contract, the biggest of its type in Ontario that year, installing 192 kitchens in a local Halls Of Residence, commenced. The contract was awarded by a local cabinetry company who we’ll call Good And Slow. Our fearless contractors had some minor reservations about working for this company because they’d seen employees taking site measurements for the custom kitchens Good and Slow were to produce. GAS’s employees had a rather unconventional system of measurement, which employed words instead of fractional numerical increments. For example, when measuring a dimension slightly over forty one and a half inches, and slightly less than forty one and three quarter inches, the measurer would proclaim the dimension to be “forty one and a half ‘strong’”, or “forty one and three quarters ‘weak’”. The relationship between “strong” and “weak” and more traditional measurements also seemed to be time dependant, in that on Friday afternoons “strong” or “weak” took on a broader meaning, encompassing more fractions than it did on Monday morning.
These reservations notwithstanding, the project was a relatively straightforward one and calculations were being made of how long we could vacation in Cuba after it was done. It would take a very special kind of talent to make a mess of this project, and, as we unloaded our carpentry essentials on-site – kettle, stools, playing cards – spirits were high. Then the project started.