Clint is the unannointed, unappointed oddball of the group, which is saying quite something, given the widely variegated nature of The Club. Like a serial killer, his bland, innocent mug gives no indication as to the weirdo lurking within. Of indeterminate age, uncertain education and illusory profession (which is to say, I don’t know how old he is, what he trained as, or where he works, or at what – and I don’t want to), Clint confounds expectations by staying Sphinx-silent more than most, before making a comment or interjecting an analysis that is both surprising and trenchant. He, Curt and Pat all have their houses cheek by jowl in South Calgary (not too far from where Scott and I have our own squatters’ rights), and this may account for his obscure predilection for not bothering to say anything: Pat and Curt usually have said it first anyway, though not necessarily better.
One could be forgiven for thinking Clint is a few sips short of a dram, from the utter lack of interest he has in promoting himself or his views (aside from the odd and incisive commentary that keeps flabbergasting the lesser-bred such as I), either verbally or in print. I mean, it has taken three+ months of cajoling, begging, cussing, attempts at embarassment and even threatening anonymous emails (which promised graphic evisceration and dismemberment) before, like war refugees raped too many times, our hopes lay down by the side of the road and died. In short, I despaired and decided to give it a go myself.
The impression we have, from those books he has picked, is that he means to drag us through the modern classical canon. From a guy who says so little and writes almost nothing, to get “Blood Meridian” and “Catcher in the Rye” is nothing short of amazing, since we were so expecting Beatrix Potter, Tolkien or See Spot Run. Clint’s a man who appreciates his fantasy novels and is the oddest mix of engineering analysis and artistic wit we’ve ever met. He likes his peats and is getting knowledgeable about whiskies in general, but occasionally has the good sense to diverge to the dark side and has a go at the rums.
The thing is, in a the year and a bit we have all been together, Clint’s characteristics have blended well into the oddball mix we have created for ourselves. There’s Curt’s volubility (and his toys like the tasting glass he pilfered from his daughter’s Barbie collection), Pat’s commentary and photographic excursions, Scott’s casual “yup” attitude, Bob’s rather taciturn “A is A” philosophy, Bauer’s irreverence (and dorky new hat, couldn’t leave that out) and my own love of language and speeches. And let’s never forget his forays into bacon wrapped bacon (you almost have to see this to understand), his dinners at the acreage and his famous encounter with the screen door.
In short, to pilfer Curt’s memorable phrase, Clint is a quirky little bugger in a gathering of quirky big buggers. And if this irreverent bio doesn’t get him to get up and write something of his own, well, I guess here it will stay, to inform the rest of the world about his eclectic personality, and the friends he has who wrote it.