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Pete’s Blog & Grille: It’s Good Turn Week.

Here are 7 Things I Learned during my wretched career as a boy scout:

  1. I can’t build squat. I remember sitting in a boy scout meeting trying to make an Indian village out of used popsicle sticks. The resultant structure looked like a bunch of used popsicle sticks.
  2. Filter-tip cigarettes are easier to smoke than plain-ends. Credit my fellow scout Terry for this one. The only filter-tipped smoker in my life up to that point had been my wonderful Aunt Kaye MacDonald who once won $10,000 in a Peter Jackson smoking prize. The men in my house smoked plain end Exports.  Which were very hard on our 12-year-old larynxes.  
  3. Having no story is way worse than being poked in the eye with a rusty fishing hook. Our troop went on a day-long fishing trip to Windy Lake. No fish were harmed but at one point another kid I think it was Martin Veerdonk tried to cast and hooked me right under the right eyebrow. To this day, no matter how badly things go, say I lose an arm in a threshing accident or lose my family fortune at a craps table—some wise person will offer: “At least you’re going to get a story out of it.”
  4. The good old days were in some ways quite bad. Our troop met in the basement of St. Clement’s Church, and the leader was Mr. Curran. I remember being shocked that a Protestant like him was even allowed to enter the basement of our Catholic church. Who knew? Were Protestants people too?
  5. Scouts was invented to get boy kids out of their parents’ faces. We never did much at the meetings except fart around and bug Mr. Curran. But my folks neither knew nor cared.
  6. The human brain is an unbelievable repository of information all of which  will someday come in handy but you never know when. To whit:  I just remembered how much cooler I thought it was to secure your neckerchief with a real beef bone instead of a cheap plastic clip and I’m amazed that I remembered the word neckerchief. I haven’t used it since I was a boy scout.
  7. Good deeds are better than you think. Here’s proof: If I’m feeling crappy, I know if I pull into a drive-thru and pay for the person behind me, my mood will be elevated, like magic. The person behind me thinks I’m a nice guy, but fact is, I do it to make myself feel better.

Case in point, last August I had reason to be driving up the 400 steaming mad. I did not want to be making the trip, police were going to be talked to at the other end, and I was peeved. I neared the Timmie’s just north of Wonderland and decided, “If I pull through the drive-thru and pay for the car behind me, I will calm down and feel better.”

I pulled in, ordered a black coffee, gave the clerk a $20 and said, “I’ll get the people behind me, too.  She asked, “Are you sure? They’re having more than coffee,” and I nodded, impatient and still mad.

The thing is, if you’d asked me before that day, I’d have said  there was no way two people could spent $17 at a Tim Horton’s but I would have been wrong.  I drove away changeless. Happier mind you, but changeless.

So why am I telling you all this?

Because yesterday, I learned that the Boy Scouts of Canada have deemed next week--April 26th to May 4th—Good Turn Week.

What a great idea with a no-nonsense title and no further splainin’ required.

I think truckers and truck drivers should own Good Turn Week.  There’s already tons of good deed doers among my magazine’s readers; and goodness knows you make a lot of turns—right ones, left ones, tight ones, U-ones.

I say we all feel better by making our turns next week extra good.  I promise if I see you at Timmie’s I’m going to make myself feel great by ponying up for your double double. Scouts’ Honour.

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