Golf, Floor Mats, And My Very Late Apology To The Chaput Family
Rookies are flying around, the big club has been golfing, Andre Markov has had a setback, and we can almost reach out and touch preseason tilts. But I think it’s also important to note that a guy I know called me over to his car the other day and showed me his brand new Habs car floor mats.
I’m of two minds about the floor mats. It definitely makes his wheels classier, but every day his dirty boots get all over them. So I don’t know what to think.
And with the gang out on the links for their annual get-together, I was wondering who the best golfer on the team is. Is it Hal Gill or Carey Price or even Jacques Martin? I don’t know the answer. But I might know who the best Habs golfer of all time might be – Bobby Rousseau.
Rousseau was a golf pro in Ste. Hyacinthe during his playing days, at a time when many were driving trucks and throwing cases of beer around in the off-season. So being a golf pro must have been a real nice and cushy summer job.
Ste. Hyacinthe, a city about an hour east of Montreal, holds a place in my heart but also makes me cringe somewhat at something I did there, which I’ll get to in a second.
I lived there for a month when I was 14 on an English-French student exchange, with a warm and friendly French-Canadian family, the Chaputs. Then the kid in the family, Normand, came to Orillia for the following month.
It was a fine experience. They had a river running behind their backyard so we did lots of good shit there. Mr. Chaput took us to his textile plant where he worked, and Normand and I hitchhiked up to Quebec City and slept in our sleeping bags on the Plains of Abraham.
We did the same sort of thing in Ontario too, and were even involved in a fairly serious accident when a car we were in smashed into a stopped car on the 401 and both got schmucked pretty bad. We simply got out of the back seat, said thanks for the ride, and continued on our way to Niagara Falls.
A few years later an Orillia buddy and I hitchhiked to Expo 67 in Montreal, stayed about five minutes because we didn’t have any money, and decided to continue on to Ste. Hyacinthe to visit Normand and his family once again.
It’s at this time now that I would like to formally apologize to all of the Chaputs because, although it seemed funny at the time, I realize just how much of an asshole I could be back then.
The family spoke minimal english, almost none, and so I thought I’d get a big laugh from my friend by asking at their dinner table if they would pass the fucking potatoes. That’s what I said – “fucking potatoes” because they wouldn’t understand anyway and I got a fine-yet-stifled laugh from my surprised friend. You know the kind where you hold back and almost blow snot out?
I may have even repeated this incredible immaturity a few more times at the table. That’s how it is when you get that first big laugh. You go for more.
Sadly, I realize now, after being around many French-Canadians in my life, that they all know the word “fuck” and to this day I feel shame and embarrassment. The Chaput family must have thought I was such an asshole, and they were absolutely right.