Posted by: jockmackenzie | April 29, 2009

“Dealing with Dymans” Chapter 3, Part 1

Ch. 3 Ice

Click the “start arrow” below to hear the audio of this chapter:


Jack’s list of errands took him to the big box store that sold just about everything. His potpourri of purchases included oil and a filter for the truck, a new coffee maker, a tri-light for his floor lamp, some new Christmas lights for the balcony, batteries for his portable CD player, and some birdseed. All in one store – who’d thunk?

Jack, begrudgingly, had to hand it to these monstrous, foreign owned, virtually clerkless, warehouse-like little cities; they had lots of stuff – and in every department. He marveled as he stood in front of the battery display. “Marveled” was replaced by “puzzled” which, in turn, was replaced by “pissed off.” Was he seeing right? Was he really looking at two Duracell watch batteries, the kind he used in his retirement watch, the kind he had just paid $15 to have replaced (to have one replaced), two batteries for six dollars and thirty-nine cents? He was.

• • •

Everyone has shortcomings and maybe holding a grudge was one of Jack’s. The following Saturday morning at the coffee shop, a regular weekend stop for Jack and even a sometimes during the week stop, he shared the battery story with some of the gang. To his surprise, almost everyone else at the coffee bar had a similar story. Garry had brought his wife’s diamond at Sharma and Dyman’s but couldn’t get it cleaned and checked without bringing the certificate that she’d been given – and Garry was loaded and bought all kinds of stuff there. Dave had taken his watch to get fixed, been told that it was not repairable, only to take it somewhere else – and they fixed it. Don had lost the emerald from his ring, one that Diane had bought there, but they took absolutely no responsibility for a loose setting and basically told him, “Too bad, so sad.” It was scary. It seemed as if everyone had a horror story – except Sydney.

Sydney had remained quiet throughout the “My horror story is worse than your horror story” contest. When Jack looked at him, as if to say, “Okay, big boy, your turn.”, Sydney hesitated and then said, “You guys don’t know the half of it.”

The hushed and heads-bent-forward conversation that followed was mostly Sydney telling about Dougie Dymans and the truly bad dude that he was. Dougie, as they discovered, was the sole owner of Sharma and Dymans and had been since his father’s passing almost a decade earlier. The difficulties that the coffee crew had relayed earlier were small time stuff, the tip of the proverbial iceberg, and ice in this case wasn’t frozen water. Sydney’s source was his wife’s sister who had been married to Dougie’s older brother. The “been” married would become much clearer later.

Sydney highlighted some pretty bad stuff, hinted at some other things, and then seemed to realize that the tenor of the conversation was not exactly Saturday morning with the boys material so he ended with, “You wouldn’t catch me dead in that place; nuff said.”

Gradually the conversation turned to the previous night’s hockey game, the pro’s and con’s of the two-goalie system, why the “five hole” is called the “five hole,” what was wrong with the local junior team, and other similar world changing topics.

When Jack left, he knew he wanted a one-on-one chat with Sydney.


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