Jane Austen’s “Hobo with a Shotgun”

Greetings Y’all,

So OK, let me tell you a little story. I realize this may well affect the way you perceive not only me, but my children as well. For those of you living in the Lower Mainland or I suppose even those of you fortunate enough to have visited our little slice of heaven, chances are you either heard or seen first hand the Downtown Eastside. It’s a pretty depressing place – equal parts repulsive and yet, oddly – fascinating to the point of mesmerizing. For people who enjoy watching other people, really, this is the motherload. People so wacked out on drugs or alcohol, and god knows what else you are absolutely guaranteed to see something memorable…. good or bad, no telling for sure – but definitely memorable.

Chris what in hellfire and damnation are you on about?… Why, I’m not sure I like where this is going….. it’s fine, calm down – I tell you that to tell you this. Where we live, the fastest way for us to get to Stanley Park, where we occasionally recreate – is along Hastings street, which just happens to run smack dab through the middle of the aforementioned downtown east-side. So when we would head down there with the girls they would be treated to more life lessons and education in 5 minutes then three months at school…. and the questions, lordy, try explaining some of the things you see happening right out in the open to a couple of pre-teens…. imagine if you were able to get in your car and drive through the very worst most explicit parts of HBO shows…. yea, awkward.

BUT, being the little deviants they are – they freakin loved it.

So when we were in the car driving around with no particular place to go, eventually the chants would begin, soft at first then, slowly, more insistent… daddy, drive through hobo-ville… my attempt to put a little romantic spin on what was really happening down there, you couldn’t really call it hooker, heroin junkie, stabbing victim, public drunkenness boulevard, which is closer to reality. Hobo has a certain romanticism about it… hardy men and women of honor riding the rails to and fro, with their little handkerchief tied over a stick, slung jauntily over their shoulder… stubble and a half smoked cigar hanging from their lips, stained with a discoloration particular to men who have spent many an hour blowing out lazy meandering tunes on a harmonica to the clickety -clack of the boxcar they call home…

So Hobo-ville it became, and occasionally we’d mix it up by calling it bum-town. It’s really quite incredible, imagine if you would, a particularly shady circus-sideshow exploded and all the freaks and geeks were blown clean apart and then a mad scientist started grabbing random parts all willy-nilly like and started sewing them together, now imagine these creatures being force-fed a steady diet of crack, shame and cooking sherry, with the monotony being broken up intermittently with a good solid bash to the head. Those are just the parts that most resemble “It’s a Small World” at Disneyland – after that it gets positively ugly….

And your point is? Well I told you that, to tell you this (incidentally – I’m trying this out as my new catchphrase) I told you that, to tell you this… I like it… anyways like I was saying I told you that, to tell you this – advertising 101, repeat the phrase you want your target audience to both remember and adopt as many times as possible…. like I was saying, I told you that, to tell you this, catchy huh!  Obviously we have an affinity for Hobos and so you can imagine just how excited we were to see a movie opening at our local cinema which just happens to go by the name “Hobo with a Shotgun” – I know, dream come true right?

It’s pretty much exactly what you’d expect, you see, there’s this Hobo and, well…. he gets himself a shotgun and then, he… he starts using it. Further solidifying the Hobo’s good-natured societal standing, he is the protagonist – against an inner city gang whose favourite type of punishment is to encase the victim in some type of manhole cover where his head sticks out while his body dangles down below into the sewer, they then wrap a chain around his head and hook the chain up to two motorcycles, who take off at top speed, thusly doth the head come off with a not entirely gently snap…. Well as you can imagine this doesn’t sit too darned well with our hero hobo….

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It’s a nod to exploitation flicks from the 70’s and it’s all done tongue in cheek, big budget, big sets, all made to professionally look very low-tech – bad acting, bad dialogue, but like, so bad it’s good. I’ve always been a sucker for a good vigilante justice/revenge film. It’s a rip-roaring time and a nice alternative to the latest Jane Austen film……

So that’s what I did this weekend…. Jealous?

Have a Great Day

PS – I think for a while I might only post every second day, I’m not 100% sure yet we’ll see how I feel tomorrow. I do still have the restorative power of the Hobo flowing through me….

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