That sucking and swishing is Campbell River’s wine-loving logger

he stillness of the lush spring morning was obliterated by the ear-splitting sound of a sucking vortex

The stillness of the lush spring morning was obliterated by the ear-splitting sound of a sucking vortex.

The city vacuum truck was no where in sight, but the roar continued as if someone had a fired up a jet engine in downtown Campbell River.

I watched as the whirlwind pulled a baby stroller from the firm grip of a mother as it went wheeling across Spirit Square at tremendous speed with the child yelling, “Whe-e-e-e-e-e-e-e…”

From the other side of Shoppers Row, a small dog was yanked straight out of its collar. It continued yapping as it tumbled across the intersection until stopped with a thunk at the base of Big Logger Mike’s pole.

Little Fido might have been sucked straight up the spar too, but the vortex suddenly halted and was replaced by washing machine-like swishing sound.

It all came to an end with an almighty “gulp” followed by a satisfied “Ahh, ya!”

“You’re not drinking mouthwash again for that cheap buzz?” I inquired of Logger Mike.

“Hardly,” he replied with an egotistical sneer. “I was just sampling the 2011 Siegerrebe…delicately acidic, not overly fruity and with a lush complexity not typically found in relatively young Island wines…”

His voice tailed off as he scribbled some more in his book of tasting notes.

I was too surprised to even respond, but then I got thinking, “Where did you score that?”

“From the Wine Islands Vintners Association fourth annual tasting in the Crystal Ballroom at the Empress,” he responded with a sniff. “I think the wine maker at Starling Lane Winery did a remarkable job with this varietal.”

I couldn’t believe what I was hearing from our Lucky-sucking man on the pole. Then I thought back some more.

“Hey, I was at that tasting and I don’t recall seeing an eight-foot-tall, all-yellow man with an axe,” I said.

He smiled knowingly, “I’m pretty good at disguises. You probably didn’t see me at North Island College’s Third Course Wine Festival either.”

I shook my head in amazement.

“So, when did you start drinking wine?” I asked.

“When you weren’t even a glimmer in the old man’s eye,” he said with a wink.

“But I’ve only seen you drink beer,” I replied.

“Well, yes, while I do enjoy a good brewski, I prefer to support our Island wine makers. They do good,” he said, as he hoisted his glass and gave it a swirl.

He stopped, took another sip and then the sucking began again as he imbibed in the ritual of proper tasting. The dog ran, the woman and her baby fled, and I just managed to slam the truck door closed before the roof started flying off city hall.