Posts Tagged trailer park boys
I can’t believe there is only one week left before I leave Japan and move back to Canada! I decided that I should probably start doing some serious packing during the day.
Fighting procrastination as hard as I could, I actually made some progress during the day. It’s important to reward yourself for hard work, so I spent my evening enjoying a Trailer Park Boys marathon with Super Dave. Before we started, we walked to the nearby Don Quixote to stock up on beer, cheese, and salty snacks. Good times!
Tonight was a guys night in with Azeroth and Super Dave. After work we stopped by Don Quijote for snacks and drinks. DonKi is just down the street from our apartment, which is convenient because it’s very easy to overshop at a store that sells everything.
Upon returning home we drank beer, ate toaster oven pizza and pepperoni / cheese wedge sandwiches while watching Trailer Park Boys. There is something really international about watching Trailer Park Boys (a low budget Canadian show) in Japan with an American and an Australian.
I’m not exactly sure the date of this story, but it happened when I was a teacher at Numazu NOVA, so May seems like as good a place as any.
Jenny was a difficult person to get along with. She was one of those people who always had a chip on her shoulder both inside and outside the office. I had very few interactions with her in person, but I had heard a lot about her from other teachers.
According to the rumour mill, Jenny had been working at Fuji NOVA and was having trouble getting along with the supervisor. Before her annual performance review, she contacted the area manager claiming that the supervisor didn’t like her because of the colour of her skin. Since intensive HR training and conflict resolution are likely not mentioned at all during NOVA’s barebones manager training, Jenny was simply transferred to a nearby branch to solve the problem.
The other thing I had heard about Jenny was from her former roommate Angie, one of my good friends and someone I trust. Angie was a lot of fun to work with, to hang out with, and everybody liked her. Well, everyone except Jenny. Apparently they had some kind of roommate disagreement which resulted in Angie’s new computer being being damaged after liquid had been poured inside. Angie had no direct proof, but with Jenny being the only person with access and motive Angie was convinced that Jenny was responsible. She went to NOVA and demanded a new apartment because she didn’t feel safe living with Jenny anymore.
I had worked with Jenny a few times, and had attended Charlie’s farewell party with her last year. I was always a bit wary of her because of Angie’s experiences, but I tried my best to be professional and play nice at the office. Sharing a cramped teacher’s room with people you don’t get along with makes for a very long day at work.
On one particular day, a branch manager from a nearby school was visiting Numazu. Jenny was at Numazu on a shift swap. The two of them were talking in the teachers room between lessons. Teacher’s room conversation is usually open to anyone in the room, so after I had gotten ready for my next lesson I joined the conversation.
“Excuse me! EXCUSE ME! This is a conversation between A and B, so you can C your way out of it” yelled Jenny with an angry look on her face.
I was shocked by her rude response; it came completely out of nowhere – I had no indication that she had any problem with me before, and even later I still can’t think of anything I had done to provoke such a strong reaction. Usually I could let something like this go, but I think Jenny had caught me on a particularly stressful day with one too many kids classes. My response was quick and probably more harsh than it needed to be; I decided to borrow the words of Ricky from Trailer Park Boys. Yes, this Ricky:
I looked directly at her and asked “Hey Jenny, do you have any offs that need fucking?”. She responded “What?”. I answered “FUCK OFF”.
This immediately had two effects: the first was that all of the other teachers in the room said “WHOA” at the same time, likely because nobody had ever heard me talk to anyone else in that way before. The second effect was that Jenny never said another word to me again. Not during the day, not on the train, not at another branch, never. Jenny’s silence did not, however, have a negative effect on the rest of my time in Japan at all.
Standing up for yourself is important, although I probably could have handled the situation better. I’m not proud of jumping directly to Ricky quotes, but looking back on the situation I also don’t have any regrets.
I am proud to say that I have hooked an Australian and an American on a Canadian TV show that we all watched while living in Japan.
Trailer Park Boys is just that funny!
(This post was an unposted blog entry from May 2005, during my second year of teaching English in Japan)
In an effort to save money, I am trying to spend some more time at the apartment hanging out with my roommates. We have a TV in the apartment, but Japanese TV is very hit and miss. There are some shows you can enjoy with limited language ability, but a lot of what’s available is not all that interesting when you can’t understand.
My roommates Azeroth, Palmer, and I took turns trying to locate some good, non Japanese shows we can all watch together while hanging out. I am proud to report that I introduced them to a fantastic Canadian show that is a great cultural ambassador for the country. A show that never fails to entertain or educate. A show that is as Canadian as hockey, maple syrup, and complaining about Celine Dion.
That show is Trailer Park Boys.
For those who have not had the pleasure of watching this show, it is a mockumentary about the residents Sunnyvale, a fictional trailer park in Nova Scotia, Canada. The main characters are serial criminals Ricky and Julian, and their best friend Bubbles. Most of the stories involve Ricky and Julian coming up with illegal schemes to make a lot of money and then retire. The end result is usually a return to jail at the end of the season after some drug and alcohol fueled mayhem.
The rest of the cast of characters is extremely colourful: Trailer Park supervisor Jim Lahey is a former cop and raging alcoholic, his assistant Randy never wears shirts, local wannabe gangster and very white rapper J-Roc asks “know what I’m sayin” about 30 times a sentence, and idiot henchmen Corey and Trevor can’t get anything right.
The show is absolutely filled with drinking, pot smoking, constant swearing, and occasional gunplay. It’s low brow, but it’s HILARIOUS. I would say it’s the funniest Canadian show not called “Kids in the Hall”.
So how are Trailer Park Boys cultural ambassadors? Despite being foul mouthed criminals, the boys care deeply about their friends and family. At one point Ricky publicly humiliates himself to ensure that his daughter gets a set of encyclopedias. In addition, the characters are all fiercely proud Canadians, and the show is ahead of it’s time with the acceptance of gay and lesbian characters; when Jim Lahey and Randy come out, nobody cares as long as they can keep playing street hockey.
Trailer Park Boys is definitely not a show for everyone, but Azeroth and Palmer absolutely love it. After a long day of teaching conversational English while wearing ties, there is nothing better than sitting back with some cold beer, unhealthy snacks, and then laughing our asses off watching Trailer Park Boys.
(2015 Update) The show is still going strong, having completed 9 seasons, 3 movies, and live tours around the world. I somehow got my wife (from Japan) hooked on the show! Check out what the boys are up to and see their new project at SwearNet.