Saturday, November 13, 2010

Screech?

48 hours from now, I will have already been in Newfoundland for about three hours. I will have settled into my hotel room, and I will have already had dinner.

And I will have been "Screeched In".

Yes, 'tis true. I will be a Newfoundlander. It's a long story to get into, so I'll try to hit the highlights.

There's a rum in Newfoundland known as "Screech". It's something which isn't widely available, and something which plays a vital roll in the "Screeching in" ceremony. It's a ceremony which is held for (willing) first time visitors to Newfoundland. One must don a "Sou'wester" (which, if you don't know what that is, is the hat worn by the Gorton's fisherman guy), drink a shot of Screech, kiss a cod on the lips and then, when asked "Are ye an honorary Newfoundlander?" must respond "Aye, and may your big jib hang long". There's also another version in which the reply is "Indeed I is me ol' cock, and long may your big jib draw".

At that point, I suppose, much frivolity ensues and, really, why wouldn't it?

There are two pubs in St. John's which are well known for their ceremonies: Christian's Pub and Trapper Johns. My friend Ed Robertson, of the band Barenaked Ladies, recommended we go to Christian's, as that's where he and the rest of the band were "Screeched in". Well, Hell, that's good enough for me. I called the bar yesterday to make sure I had the correct address, and was informed that the ceremonies aren't held on Sunday and Monday nights.

Denied.

Or so I thought.

Since we're coming in from San Diego, and two of our trio will only be there overnight, they said they'll make an exception for us. We shall, indeed, be "Screeched".

If things go as planned, there could even be pictures...

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