Friday, January 13, 2006

Adventures in Indie Rock: Issue 2

The Frenchman and the Beaver: Part 1 of 2

The two men had been walking in the cold for 2 days. Over the floor of the pine forest they trudged, desperate for food, chilled from the snow. In his hunger Tim had attempted to capture a chipmunk with his bare hands, but instead had his pants rip off on a bush. As he attempted to retrieve the pants the Chipmunk had doubled back and pulling the pants off the bush scrambled up a tree. Now pantless and exhausted he continued on. Nearing the end of their strength it was Syd who spotted it first. As they walked at dusk towards the sound of moving water they came across a small encampment next to a rapidly moving stream. A small fire was burning and animal skins had been layed out on the ground. Sitting next to the fire was man warming his hands. He was short, and wearing a large bearskin coat and brown pants over heavy leather boots. He jumped up as he hear them approach and pointed a musket at them.

"Where did jou come from," he asked in a French accent.

"The woods," Syd answered.

The Frenchman stared at the large bearded man who was naked from the waste down, and wore a strange plastic helmet on his head.

"Where are jour pants?" he inquired.

"A chipmunk stole them," Tim said ignoring the firearm and walking to the fire to warm his naked shame.

"Jou are British," the Frenchman said accusingly. "Jou know zat the Algonquin 'ave banned jou from trading with zhem."

"We aren't British," Syd said eyeing the fire that pantless Tim was enjoying.

"Perhaps not," the Frenchman said eyeing Tim. "I do not recognize jour accent. Where are jou from?"

"Brooklyn," Tim said.

"I am not familiar with zis Brooklyn," the Frenchman said, " Jou are not Indian and jou are not French."

"Where are we?" Syd asked trying to change the subject.

"Jou do not know where jou are?" frenchie said narrowing his eyes. "Zhis is Quebec."

"Shit we're in Canada," Tim said.

"What year is it?" Syd continued.

"What year?" this question made the Frenchman stare at syd as if he was insane. "Jou cannot be serious!". Syd said nothing. "Zit is sixteen thirty five of course."

"You son of a bitch Syd," Tim said getting up from the fire, "I told you not to take that pamphlet on quantum mechanics from your dentists office. I told you not to build a time machine. And I forbid you from turning it on!"

"It'll be ok," Syd was trying to be re-assuring.

"Ok?" Tim was furious. "A four hundred year old chipmunk stole my pants! That's about as far from ok as you can get."

The Frenchman looked back and forth at them as if he had encountered a rabid bear. Syd saw his confusion and held out his hand in a friendly gesture. "I am Syd," he said still holding his hand out. "And this is Timothy." The Frenchman took his hand hesitantly and they shook.

"My name, " the Frenchman started, "iz Jean Nicollet. I am a Coureurs de bois."

"Oh," Syd said not knowing what that meant. "Well we are Les Savy Fav."

Jean nodded his head but obviously had no idea what they mean either.

Many hours later the men had settled around the fire and Jean had provided the two with furs to keep warm, and Tim with a tight pair of pants. The Frenchman had insisted on giving tim a backrub, which was much more enjoyable than Tim had thought it would be. After the rub Tim had settled his head onto Jean's lap. Jean had taken his furs and laid them on the ground. Underneath he was wearing what appeared to be an eleborate Chinese robe.

"Whats with the robe," tim asked as he lowered fresh salmon into his mouth.

Jean puffed out his chest proudly. "Zis is a real Chinese robe. I will wear it so zat when i discover the northwest passage to China, i will be properly dressed."

Syd and Tim looked at each other. "Uh," Syd started, "there is no northwest passage to China." Jean looked very dissapointed. "Is that the only reason you are out here?" Syd asked.

"No," Jean said looking at the stream. "I am 'ere in search of a legendary animal. A castor so big, that its fur would be worth a fortune."

"Whats a castor?" Syd asked. Tim looked lovingly up at Jean.

"It is a river dwelling animal. With large teeth. Zey cut down trees with zer teeth and build damns."

"You mean a beaver," tim interjected.

"No. I do not know zhat that iz. I speak of a castor."

"Well how big is this , uh, castor?" Syd asked.

"The indians say it iz zee size of a bear."

Syd and Tim doubted that such a creature excisted. They were silent as they continued to eat their fish. Jean stared down at tim, smiling. He touched the hair on his face.

"Jour beard," Jean said looking intently at it, 'it iz spectacular. I 'ave traveled throughout zee forests of zis continent, but i have yet to see a forest more spectacular zan zee one that grows on jour chin."

Tim felt pride at the recognition of his beard. "I thank you kind sir," he said. "Would you give us the honor of joining you in your hunt for this castor?".

"Yes," jean said proudly," together we shall conquier zee animal. We shall depart at daybreak." Leaning down he kissed Tim on the forehead.

Next week part 2 of 2: The hunt!