Trailer Park Boys
Here I was, labouring under the misapprehension that Trailer Park Boys was simply pretending to be a true-to-life documentary, along the lines of The Office, Parks And Recreation, and just about every other television comedy the Anglophone world has put to air in the last decade. Imagine my surprise when I get a (reverse charge) phone call early one morning, with Sunnyvale Trailer Park’s three most infamous residents on the other end of the line, no doubt seated in conspiratorial congress. “Is this legit?” I wonder aloud.
Ricky mumbles something in the affirmative in sugary tones that suggest he’s already spent most of the Canadian afternoon punching soda-bottle bongs in Sunnyvale’s backblocks. Julian sighs to himself and takes an audible sip of a drink of what an educated guess would conclude is a plastic tumbler of rum and coke. Bubbles makes a few agitated noises, clearly exasperated after a typical day trying to discourage the other two from criminal activity. I listen in awe to the muffled sounds on the receiver and make a solemn promise to myself: never again will I treat what I see on the TV as anything other than the literal truth.
Fans of the Trailer Park Boys documentary series may recall that we last saw the trio back in prison for the ninth time in as many years after a bank job went wrong. In the meantime, drunken Sunnyvale supervisor Jim Lahey absconded to Cuba with the proceeds from the robbery. All things considered, fate has not been kind to the boys in recent years. An elaborate plan to smuggle dope across the US-Canadian border on the back of a model train – stolen from Patrick Swayze, no less – ended with another short stint behind bars. I ask if another foray on the wrong side of the law, and hopefully a big payoff, is really worth the risk of making a double digit amount of prison sentences for the trio.
“I’ve been trying to keep away from that kinda bullshit,” says Bubbles, “but every time I turn around I’ve been dealing with these two dickweeds and trying to keep ‘em outta trouble.”
“It’s Julian’s fault, I mean Julian keeps messing everything up,” Ricky protests, sourly. “If I was running the show, we’d be retired by now.”
I worry that if I point out the obvious falsehood of this statement, Ricky will find my address and give me a beatdown. Not wanting to risk it, I ask Julian whether he thinks he’s really the cause of the boys’ misfortune. “85 percent of the time on a job, we end up in jail because of Ricky. It’s not my fault. It’s his fault.”
The pair squabble about this for a while, and, before I accidentally become earwitness to a punch-on, I change the subject to the matter at hand. The boys are finally waking up to the fact that people on TV can trade on their celebrity, and soon they’ll be on their way to our town to make a bit of honest coin. Not without some reservations from Ricky, of course.
“I heard your sharks come out of the water and walk up on the beach and eat people, so I’m a little freaked out about that. I mean, I could take one [on] if I had to.”
But any panic in Ricky’s voice dissipates when he starts thinking about business opportunities and the opportunity for a good old-fashioned wipeout in an exotic locale. “I plan on getting drunk and high and passing out in the street somewhere after the show. I don’t know how decent your Australian weed is, but I can’t wait to find out, I know that. I heard there’s a lot of really good farmers down there, so we’ll bring them extra samples.”
Julian sounds a word of caution: “Every time we go away somewhere, Ricky really takes up the drink and the drugs quite a bit, and when I’m drunk and he’s drunk he’s about as easy to get on with as a horse or a cow. If we end up in jail… I mean, it might be cool to see what jail is like in Australia, but I’d rather stay out of jail and make some money and meet ladies.”
Ricky wants it known that he’s back on the prowl as well. “Lucy got caught up with someone else again,” he says. “So I just wanna say, when I come down to Australia I’m definitely gonna be single.” Prize catches coming to your town soon, ladies.
Bubbles will be making his second trip Down Under, having landed a gig opening for Guns N Roses back in 2007. “It’s a great place, I had a good time,” recalls Bubbles. “And I’ll tell you one thing: Ricky and Julian break the law a hell of a lot more than Axl Rose, so I didn’t have to worry about goddamn babysitting the whole time.”
For Bubbles, it’s a good opportunity to take a break from his usual workaholic habits, especially now that flogging shopping carts and selling them off to rival malls doesn’t bring in the money like the days of old. “Problem is everybody thinks it’s pretty cool now to haul shopping carts out of the mall these days,” Bubbles says. “So you know, it’s slim pickings at the moment down the mall, so I’ve just been doing that and running the Kitty Cat Love Centre, I have about 100 clients now so that’s where I make most of my money. You’ve been stripping, haven’t you Julian?”
“I haven’t been stripping,” Julian roars, losing his cool for the first time on the phone. “I’ve been dating a bunch of strippers, they’ve been really cool and they’re hot.” I should stress again that this does not mean that Julian’s off the market. I’d rather get through their visit to our shores without being on the receiving end of his pool cue.
BY SEAN GLEESON
The Trailer Park Boys are performing live at The Forum on Tuesday March 13 - Thursday March 15.