Why are you called Mounties?
On Father’s Day in 1963, Ralph Bernstein received a telephone call, the yearly trout fishing competition which he had judged for 11 years had been cancelled.
Seven years earlier, whilst working as a mechanic in a small town in mid-western United States, he’d caught the biggest fish in his career, a regional record that would last more than four decades.
The lean, hard-drinking womaniser always carried a cardboard pack of smokes in his undershirt, something that in the mid 70’s would save his life, when confronted by a wild boar in northern Vermont.
Ralph used to call me on the phone, yelling, when he needed a favour or when he needed someone to talk to about his taxidermy business. He sometimes used to ask; “Why are you called Mounties” He knew damn well, he just liked the sound of that question, and he knew I never would reply, but that it’d always make start talking about something completely different, in that long winded anecdotal way.
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