Which side of me will win?

Metalcamp 2011: Captain Canada

If you’ve been following this blog from the start, then you might be wondering if we ever found Nick on Monday night. Well, we did. Although it was getting light by that point, so maybe it was Tuesday morning. We were heading back to camp from the beach bar at about 4 a.m. when who should we come across walking in dazed circles near the arena entrance, but Captain Canada himself.

Nick goes by the name of Captain Canada because he wears a Canadian flag, with a cannabis leaf instead of a maple leaf, as a cape at all times when he is at a festival. He does this so as not to be mistaken for an American because someone told him that Europeans hate Americans. Sometimes he wears nothing else. I mean, really. Another of Nick’s nicknames is Naked Nick (how’s that for a tongue twister?). I’m actually told that he’s been banned from the Irish Camp already because he turned up there naked and refused to stop being there and being naked until the point Joe Damnation threatened to punch him.

I’ve not really met Joe Damnation, but I know who he is. I think of him as a sort of pirate captain figure among Metalcamp’s ‘Irish’, many of whom are Irish in only an honorary sense, I think. He’s a big fella. I wouldn’t want to be punched by him, especially not if I was naked. That’d be doubly humiliating.

This year the Irish have got in early and occupied a much sought after camping spot just off the track that leads down to the campsite beach (did I say Metalcamp has a beach? My mistake… it has two). There they have several tables and benches and lights and music and a huge pile of empty beer cans that I’m convinced must have a person buried under it. And still does, even right now as you’re reading this. They’re not dead. Just really, really tired.

Anyway, I’m not sure exactly who camps there, but it always seems busy and pretty much anyone is welcome to come and have a drink so long as they’re not naked.

When we find him, Nick has pants on, which is a relief. I try to spark a conversation with him, but neither of us is making much sense to the other and, as usual, he’s more interested in making bizarre enquiries of passers-by than in anything else. But I say hello and touch his beard. It’s much bigger than it was when I last saw him. And very sticky.

I give up on Nick and I think Ash and I end up talking to a Slovenenian girl who wanders by on her own apparently as drunk as we are, if not more so. I remember very little of our chat with her except that at some point the subject of Nick comes up and she makes a face like I just held up a leaky plastic bag full of runny poo right in front of her. She makes it clear that she has encountered him in the past, and does not wish to do so again. She can’t find the words in English to describe exactly why, but I notice she always has half an eye on him and keeps at a safe distance at all times.

I can’t find the words in English to describe Nick either sometimes, and it’s my native tongue.


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