Struggling down the aisle toward my seat I found myself squeezed in between three impressively large Hells Angels, 1000 pounds of manhood helpfully identified as such by friendly words and images tattooed over much of their exposed bodies and heads.
How’s it going?
[Menacing glare, dangerous silence, me quickly finding something else to do for a while]
Noticing that, on the back of one skull, “Hells Angels” had no apostrophe, I seized the moment to put my new travelling companion at ease, my luxuriant flowing hair no doubt intimidating him a little:
Ah, you know, that’s funny.
[Puzzled look directed deep into my soul]
I always wondered why there is no apostrophe in “Hells Angels”. Hmm?
Whadthafuc? [Menacing squint] Whadyusay?
Oh, nothing really. But I was just noticing that you have “Hells Angels” tattooed on the back of your head. And I was just wondering aloud–really to myself, but my mouth seems to be making noises–why there is no apostrophe–you know, one of those comma-thingies–in the name Hells Angels. Seems kinda funny, don’t ya think?
[No laughter. Glance across the aisle to “Vern”. Another dangerous silence]
No ideas, I guess?
Vern [leaning across me], is this guy for real? Whadthafuc’s he on about?
He’s sweet on you, that’s all. Hahaha! [I guess I picked the wrong day to wear purple]. Hahaha!
Anyway, to cut to the chase. After 4-5 beers (each of us, me quietening up … a lot), and some sustained snoring from my immediate neighbour (with the neat head tattoo) and cross-the-aisle Vern, I corrected the grammatical mistake left on his skull with a fine-tipped, black marker. Outdoing the Quebec Language Police, and making yet another friend for life, no doubt.