The Lonesomes #2 – Chimney Jim

Snapshot 8 (06-02-2012 1-53 PM)

Click pic to watch The Lonesomes #2 – 1:14

Chimney Jim

A red brick chimney fulfills a phlegmy prediction.

Reid Dickie



Old Barrelass Cruthers, you remember how he used to talk as if he was horkin’ up a lung all the time?

Anyway, he said to me when my brother Carl and I was building the house, he said, That’s one fine chimney Jim. After the boards of that old house have crashed into the ground, those red bricks’a yers’ll still be pokin’ up outta the prairie…like a hard-on. (LAUGHS AND COUGHS)

You oughta be prouda that chimney Jim. (COUGHS) You oughta be prouda that chimney Jim. (COUGHS)


Character Backstory

This is a part I wrote for myself. I do two voices: Jim, the narrator, and old Barrel Ass Cruthers, a real character, who has a distinct way of talking that requires vast amounts of phlegm and coughing to acquire speech.

Jim is late 50s, early 60s. This is a remembrance of building the house with his brother when they were young men. The house was built in 1910.

Cruthers is a busybody, obese, has a barrelass and is full of mucous from all the gluten and fat he’s eaten in his life. Nonetheless, he still gets around enough to comment on new construction in the area. You can see Jim and Carl saying, “Oh shit” when Cruthers pulls up in his sweaty horse and oversize buggy. But he is tolerated. What are you going to do?

The image of the house collapsing onto the red chimney inspired the story which Jim truly enjoys repeating because he does the full phlegm version so well. And there are fewer and fewer people who remember Cruthers.


Location Information

I found this old tumbledown house out on Highway #18 in southern Saskatchewan west of Val Marie. The two collapsing sections of the house seemed to be supported totally by the still-red and robust chimney. We brightened the red chimney a little in post production and heightened the contrast to make the scene more dream-like.

Originally I had the characteristic of speech then I just let the place create the story. Nothing complex. 

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Filed under Prairie People, The Lonesomes, video art

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