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.

23 thoughts on “Golf, Floor Mats, And My Very Late Apology To The Chaput Family”

  1. They probably thought you were a charming little asshole and I’m sure they loved you anyways.

    I wonder if maybe they played the little gag on you sometimes, and used some choice French words without you realizing it?

  2. Hey dennis, I’m back for the season and hopefully I’ll stick around more than the last.
    I figured this would be a good time to make my first comment of the season.
    Just to make you feel less like an asshole, yes french people understand the word fuck but a purely french person doesn’t understand the rudeness of it. I had a friend who is very french and would say the word all the time as a way of just saying something like darn or crap. He didn’t understand that it was rude until he noticed that english people didn’t use it as freely, especially around kids and at places like the dinner table. He still has trouble keeping himself from saying it.

  3. Great to hear from you, Gillis. Hope school and all that has gone well for you. Thanks for your comments about the F-bomb thing. I hope they took it as not terribly rude as it’s bothered me for years. And hopefully our Habs will stay injury-free (Markov) and we go all the way.

  4. One day I went to go see my friend and I rang the doorbell and I saw this shape coming closer. I couldn’t see through the window but I knew it was my good bud. I promptly gave him the finger (since we are both charmers) and the door opened…and it was his grandmother. Oops.

    Well, least we can look back and laugh right?

    Dennis, this story is just awesome. I love it.

  5. I’ll bet the Chaputs had a hard time keeping a straight face and tried hard to look calm on the outside but were probably laughing their asses off on the inside. It wouldn’t surprise me one bit. So I guess after all, the joke was on you.

  6. Yeah things are good. Just moved into the city to be closer to the bell centre and be a few steps away from half a dozen bars that show the games. Oh and also for school. I need to start studying more, as in study my habs because I feel like I know nothing about this team anymore and I’ve got to get back into it.

  7. Hey Dennis,Was this your first time being billeted out.My first and only time was when I stayed with Arnie and his family in Powell River in the early seventies,good experience which we spoke about last month.I spoke to you about the experiences that nite,a little different from yours though.Just asking though,doesn’t Chaputs mean Clampits in english?,wasnt sure.

  8. Derry, I don’t know if you’d call it billeted. It was a month there and then he came tp Oriilia for a month. I’m not sure what you’re asking, but I stayed at strangers’ homes in other cities before with my peewee baseball team, but was only for a night at a time. And no, Chaput doesn’t mean Clampit.

  9. Geez Gillis. You just solved two huge things. Massive things. Being near the Bell Centre, and also being near a bunch of bars. I’d say you’re a pretty lucky guy.

  10. Danno, you’ve put a new light on the story and it would be great if it was true, that they were messing with me too and I didn’t know it. Pretty funny if they were. I should phone but maybe there’s not many left, and b. the ones left wouldn’t remember me. Or maybe they’re all alive! But they don’t speak english. Maybe they still think I was an asshole at the dinner table. (I’m just kinda talking to myself here).

  11. Dennis,

    I was so concerned for your mortal soul that had a word with the Pope. I told him you’d made a full confession and were truly sorry. He said unfortunately the sin was so grave you’d have to spend a couple of thousand years in Purgatory.

    When I told him you were the Canadiens greatest fan, he said that was different and under Cannon Law he was fairly sure that they could overlook it on this occasion, although a pilgrimage to a holy place would help.

    What Lourdes or maybe Fatima?, I enquired.

    Don’t be gobshite all yer life was the curt reply (although German, being a Catholic he speaks English with an Irish accent). The Bell Centre’s the place.

    What if he’d been a Bruins fan I asked?

    Hellfire and damnation for all eternity was the reply.

  12. Danno,

    I quote verbatim from the Pontiff (well in translation obviously from the Latin, or is that Italian or German):

    “I know when Dennis owns the Habs I will have a chance to be stick boy for a night, so for him I clear the pathway to the pearly gates but this Danno…….(papal shrug)…….”

    It’s not looking good.

    btw Top drawer link. One of the great film soundtracks.

  13. Thank you, Blue Bayou. I don’t mind a couple of thousand years in purgatory. I deserve it. And anyway, I’m sure Pamela Anderson and Sophia Loren will be there to ease the pain. Hey, if some players can spend several years with the Leafs or Bruins, I can do as a measly couple of thousand in purgatory. I appreciate that you went to the Pope, though. Does he have any tattoos? Was he wearing a Def Leppard t-shirt? My all time favourite joke is about the Pope. Unfortunately, I’m having a hard time remembering most of it.

  14. Thanks, Danno. If you have to spend a couple of thousand years in purgatory like me, at least we can talk hockey and drink beer there. The Purgatory People’s Pub serves up cold DKRFSB.

  15. Blue Bayou, I’m trying to visualize the Pope behind the bench being stick boy. Will he be fast enough? Will he suggest useful tips for the coach? Does he realize that players and coaches swear a lot on the bench?

  16. If they’re serving up DKRFSB I’m going out of my way to sin a little but not too much so I can join you in purgatory Dennis.

    Could you make sure the Pope wears his pointy hat when you make him stick boy for a day?

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