Ready to get buck and/or doe?
I’m always up for an adventure. Always. When my friend floated the idea of crashing a Buck and Doe party in her hometown I immediately said “PICK ME! PICK ME!” Then I was all “it doesn’t change my answer but what’s a Buck and Doe?” The short answer is that it’s a wedding fundraiser. The longer answer is that it Is An Experience. But we’ll get there.
I’d slept not enough, and coffee’d too much. Which bode well for a frenetically chatty train ride from Union Station to Brantford. It was exciting. My friend and I don’t hang out that much, but every time we do we’re like “why don’t we hang out more?” So having an hour’s train ride to catch up was a stellar way to start a neat trip. More importantly, she hadn’t had breakfast yet (I on the other hand tore chunks of chicken from a rotisseried carcass and dipped them in tomato sauce, while crafting a big ol’ chicken sandwich for the ride. I’m trash inarnate and I’m okay with this). She was talking a big game about the snack cart and avidly awaited its arrival. An attendant came by ot check our tickets. “Oh, you’re getting off at Brampton. That’s the next stop.” The snack cart FINALLY arrived just when we were about to offload, so my friend got her ham and cheese croissant and we tucked in hurriedly. We finished maybe a few minutes before arriving, then jumped out all hopped up on snack induced pep. Second wind time!
Her dad picked us up at the train station, and drove us back to their home in Simcoe/Norfolk. Look, it’s one of them, but amalgamated provincial town politics ain’t my specialty. They have no Starbucks. They do have three Tim Hortons. More importantly, they have a Giant Tiger (which we did visit, and I narrowly avoided dropping $34 on a colossal human sized teddy bear. It was touch and go, but I knew I’d need to carry it back on the train). We arrived at her place and met her mum. Her parents were so goddamn nice and friendly, it was crazy. They were practically falling over themselves to be hospitable. Her mum had expected a larger group (who were coming later in a packed car), and had set out enough spreads for a Greek wedding. Mini muffins, chocolates, several bags of chips. A toddler sized bag of popcorn. It was just like being back at Nana and Papa’s house as a kid. Just couldn’t do enough for us. It was very sweet looking around their place, a comfy spot with so many treasures, baubles and memories from over the years. The customary baby photos of my friend were around the place (I’m usually not good at seeing adult features on babies, but she looked IDENTICAL). We hung out and chatted for awhile, before she and I walked into town.
I hope I didn’t imply in any way that it was a journey. Town was maybe ten minutes’ walk. We visited the aforementioned Giant Tiger (which I guess could best be described as a small town discount Walmart?), and walked around a bunch of closed signs. It was 4.30pm on a Saturday, most establishments had closed for the afternoon/weekend. We went into an adult store and chatted with the owner a bunch about the ins and outs (okay, pun kinda intended) of running an adult store, locals with specific tastes, and competing with Amazon. She was a friendly chatterbox and we managed to get out my invoking a need for coffee. We wandered the streets, and looked around. It was quiet, nay, empty. A few passing cars, maybe, but mostly a gentle state of serenity. We walked through a lakeside park, all untouched snow and wintry trunks. Geese flew overhead, no doubt shitting over everything. Ducks swam idly though the lake, occasionally taking brief flight only to come skidding back across the surface of the lake. It was like they were skating. We bought personal NY cheesecakes from a local food truck and roamed the streets, amazed at the size and stature of local homes. We weren’t in Toronto anymore, Toto.
Oh wow, I haven’t even gotten to the Buck and Doe yet. We did around 9pm, after a few beers and evening game show watching. Her mum had prepared a big dinner for all of us, but everyone else was still stuck back in Hamilton picking up travellers. So we just ate a bunch. There was KFC (I mean, I needed to accomplish the chicken trifecta. Breakfast, lunch and dinner), sweet and sour meatballs, rice, coleslaw and pasta salad (and of course we were offered dessert post dinner. I swear her mum was just about to ask if I was eating enough. That I’m just skin and bones, etc. I also shit you not, as I’ve been writing this at the kitchen table she just dropped off a plate of meat and cheese, a fruit platter, mini muffins and chips. She already made us bacon and eggs. Jesus it’s an onslaught). So we arrived at the Stag and Doe already stuffed. Her mum had a sore foot, so she was driving. I told her I couldn’t in good conscience accept a ride for the 200m or so to the event. I was sure my mum would astral project and guilt trip me into walking regardless. Also, more accurately, I wanted to smoke a bowl and I was already bonded to my friend’s parents. Even if it’s totally legal, I didn’t want them to be disappointed in me.
We walked into a community hall, packed with people. There were small games lining one side of the room. The other side had lottery prizes stretched across the length of the wall. Blue Jays tickets, spa packs, a fish prep table, a mystery man cave pack (whatever that meant. It sounded ominous). There was a ton of stuff, and I didn’t remotely want any of it. But there was something about the event, that I just wanted to find excuses to give the happy couple money. Who, in a weird and mercenary turn of events, I never met. Even if I’d crashed their party. There was a “pick a key” game, where everyone bought a key and only one key would win a prize. There was booze curling, where participants would slide loonies across the ground towards liquor bottles. Whoever got closest without touching, won the bottle. Some dude plonked down $10 and managed to get himself a bottle of Grey Goose. Not bad, eh? I tried the “strong man” game, knowing full well I had no chance of winning. You had to hold a 35lb dumbell straight out in front of you for as long as possible. I looked at the times on the board: 24s, 35s. 55s was the time to beat. I considered 30s to be a decent goal to hit. I braced myself with liquid courage and held tight. Time ticked by all too slowly. I got past 30 and my arms started trembling. At 40, they basically convulsed as I struggled to keep the laughter in. It was so impossibly hard. 42 seconds was not a bad innings, far as I was concerned. I looked up, and dinner had been served. A full buffet table with pulled pork and all the fixins. I tucked in and made myself a big ol’ sandwich. Surprisingly, it was a chickenless meal. I looked to the dancefloor, with the DJ doing his best to hype up attendees. Like any good middle school dance, it was just the gals, as the dudes were clearly too cool (sober) to join in the fun.
My friend and I were shooting the shit, and this tall, muscular dude walked up to us. He turned to me and patted me on the arm. “So, go to the gym, eh?” I shot a look at Lily, eyes wide. Was this dude THIS brazen? I’m not used to getting hit on, and definitely not so obviously. We chatted amicably, and I tried moving the topics all around. Drunk, he kept coming back to me and my gym habits. Sure, he was heavy handed, but he was a friendly enough dude that we were sure was pretty benign. He turned to us. “So what’s your deal? Are you guys fucking?” We laughed and I replied “nope, just friends as far as we know.” He pressed on “c’mon, you can tell me. You’re fucking right?” My friend chuckled “I mean, we’ve seen each other naked, but never had sex.” “Wait.” He replied “you’ve seen each other naked and you’ve never fucked?” My face contorted to horror. “Dude, how many people have you seen naked? It’s heaps, right? How would you even have the time in your lifetime?” He lost himself for a second, then shook himself back to normal. “Okay” he responded “so you’re GOING to fuck?” We shrugged, my friend chimed in “well not tonight at least. We’re staying at my parents’ house.” He then took an unexpected turn and mentioned his girlfriend. “Yeah, she was a virgin when we met.” Beat. “She was 29.” Beat. My friend and I stared holes into each other’s eyes. The story grew. “WAIT. I HAVE SO MANY QUESTIONS.” I implored. He changed the conversation back to the gym, questioned why I was eating pizza if I wanted to keep my body in good shape. “Oh dude, you have no idea where my priorities lie here, but they’re definitely with the food.” I replied. His girlfriend came over and unprompted, started showing us photos on her phone. She was also pretty handsy. Eventually they got distracted and wandered off (don’t worry, he came back to squeeze my biceps at least once more). My friend and I stood in stunned silence. “Did the town swingers just try to pick us up?” I asked. We had a couple of drinks and headed to the dance floor.
Naturally the dude already had his shirt off and was eye-fucking the shit out of us. He had moxie, I’ll give him that.
The event all closed up around 1pm, and we meandered back along the short walk to her parents’ place. They’d set up bedding in the basement. We settled into bed and stared at the ceiling, all warm and cosy. We felt like kids having a sleepover. After a full day of fun, we said goodnight and drifted off to sleep. It was fucking charming.