It's our names, Cedric. They're too much alike. Cedric, Cecily, Cecily, Cedric. I can't stand it anymore.
I know, I know, but what can be done?
What if you call me Violet?
Violet! That's brilliant! You're such a clever girl. I quite like the sound of that.
There's one more thing, Cedric.
Yes, my Violet?
My mother was killed by a washerwoman named Frida. Don't ever slip up and call me Frida. That would drive me mad.
Of course not. But let me get this straight. First, you were my lovely Cecily, then you became my darling Violet, and now I'm to never call you Frida.
I told you never to call me that!
But I was just recounting- Violet, what are you doing with that fire place poker? Violet? Cecily? Cecily, put down that poker! I...I don't know who you are anymore!
The name's Frida.
Look here, I want Violet and/or Cecily back.
Well, too bad, bub. Ya got a washerwoman who kills.
Frida? I'm sorry, Frida is gone just now. What is this? A fire place poker? Jesus, Frida. Hello, I'm Amelia.
My, you're a handsome one.
You, you think so?
Um, I do. Listen, we should whisper so the others don't hear.
The others? There's more?
Oh let's not talk about them. It's you and me. Amelia and Cedric.
I like the sound of that.
Yes, we thought you would.
September 3, 2018
This woman finishes her diatribe with, Do you think I'm insane? She has just described a rather ordinary affair that neither implied insanity nor the need to question it. I told her as much. She screwed up her nose. She pouted. She wants to be dramatic. I'm ruining it for her. I'm no fun.
September 4, 2018
I got invited to speak to an assemblage of wanna be creative writers. I declined. When pressed as to why, I said I had nothing to add other than to just do it. The words don't get onto the page any other way. Two weeks later, they sent me the brochure for the conference. On the cover was my quote: Keith Ryan says, "Just do it." That was followed by a quote from a Nike spokesperson: "He said, Just Do It? Our slogan?! He used OUR slogan?!" Tee hee. Two days later I received an actual cease and desist letter from Nike. Aw, could it get any cuter?
September 5, 2018
I saw this program about a Chinese city where it said the population was 34 million. 34 million! 34 million PEOPLE! I live in a town of 18,000. Can you see why I was so excited?
September 6, 2018
Look at you! All cells and atoms and elements all bunched up into a cohesive, conscious, thought provoking you, walking, talking, waving your arms, tilting your head, expressing yourself, while inside all these wonderful building blocks mash up into organs and breathing apparatuses and every other necessary thing you need to be a fully functioning human being on the planet Earth in this space and time. Look at you!
September 7, 2018
You're in a mood, a tizzy even. You can't seem to relax enough to concentrate. You're moving a hundred miles an hour and getting nothing done. Everything is jumbled together, clear as mud, if only you could slow down.
If I may?
Look at the following. That's you at the end of the dock.
The debate about which is better, cold pizza or hot pizza, is spurious. ALL pizza is good, regardless of temperature. Don't be bullied! If they try and convince you hot or cold, they are pretentious partisan pizza people and should be avoided at all costs.
It doesn't matter if you garnish your pizza with pineapple, Milk Bones, banana or chocolate. It doesn't matter! That's the beauty of pizza.
If there is only one slice left, go for it. This is the only time it is acceptable for Canadians to lunge for something to the exclusion of others without betraying our national identity of niceness and politeness. Everyone up here understands that the last piece is a free for all.
Can you leave your pizza out overnight after you drank too much and passed out and the next morning wondered if it's any good to eat having been, you know, unrefrigerated and exposed? Of course you can! Screw Salmonella. Be brave.
There are no quality standards in pizza on purpose. That's because pizza is for everybody. And some people have no taste.
Ok, there are more rules, but I'm getting hungry. So, to be continued or not.
September 10, 2018
Being married to an artist sounds so romantic, but is it really? Hooking up with a serious artist means that one has committed to coming in second to their art, putting up with a moody often substance abusing loner who spends way more time by themselves creating art than they do in the relationship with their spouse, to whom is often left all the real world issues the artist is unconcerned about (money, food, transportation, chores, errands, children, pets, the vicissitudes of everyday life). And if the spouse is also their muse, then they must do double duty and sit for hours as a model as well as doing all the rest. Romantic? Beans.
September 13, 2018
Overheard two older ladies at the train station.
-- How come you're travelling by yourself?
-- Well, I'm here alone because my Ronny refuses to ride on trains. He is always saying that the tracks are too narrow for his taste, He says they go too fast. That the people driving them are morons and will kill everybody on board if given half a chance.
-- Oh, for Pete's sake.
-- He also hates the clickity clack and the other passengers.
-- Your Ronny sounds like a real piece of work. So how is he getting there?
-- He's talking the Greyhound. I'll be there in 11 hours. It will take him two days on the bus. He says when given a choice between a Victorian era deathtrap and a bus, there is no choice.
-- But he's letting you ride the train.
-- So basically he's saying it's all right if you die.
-- Yeah...I guess.
-- So what's ol' Ronny going to do when Greyhound stops running?
-- Don't be silly. The busses always run in Canada.
-- You haven't heard?
-- Greyhound is shutting down all its western routes.
-- What! When?
-- On October 31st Greyhound Canada will cease operation in British Columbia, Alberta, Manitoba and Saskatchewan.
-- It's true.
-- Oh my god, poor Ronny!
-- Yeah, poor Ronny.
September 14, 2018
We have a casino in town. A friend who works there says everyone walks in all excited and giddy over the prospect of winning money, only later to leave depressed and dejected because they didn't. Looking at their faces coming and going, he wondered, does the excitement of potentially winning money make the experience of losing it all worth doing?
September 17, 2018
Overheard two young men at a cafe.
-- My mother has become middle age hardcore.
-- What do you mean?
-- Ever since the divorce, she drinks tequila straight, orders the spiciest food at Subway and has unprotected sex - her words not mine. She said she's looking for thrills that have been denied her in 20 years of marriage to my dad.
-- Sounds like my kind of gal.
-- Funny you should say that. You are probably the most stable person I know, at least in terms of having a job and not being a blackout drunk.
-- Low bar, amigo.
-- What if you went out with her and tried to get her to, you know, straighten up a bit?
-- You want me to date your mom?
-- I don't know.
-- You want me to have unprotected sex with your mother?
-- No, that's not what I want at all.
-- Well, what do you want?
-- I want my old mother back. The normal, sane woman I've known all my life, not the new hardcore version that's ruining what's left of our family.
September 18, 2018
8 minutes later, in walks Mom.
-- Mom! What are you doing here?
-- Hi Eric. I'm meeting Julie for a coffee. What are you two no-goodniks up to?
-- Is that true, Jason? You and my son were just talking about nothing?
-- It's Eileen, isn't it? Eileen, what say, you and me. A date. Friday night. 7 o'clock?
All three of them looked back and forth at one another.
In walked Julie.
September 20, 2018
You know why old people don't act their age? It's because they don't believe they're old. If asked, they'll say they're the same person they were 10 years ago, 25 years ago, 40 years ago. And perhaps that's true - on the inside. But the outside has gotten wrinkled and gray, stooped and sloped, which is why the public is so often shocked when they see old people not acting their age. Anyway, when you see a senior living it up, that's why.
September 22, 2018
In about 3 weeks, pot will be legal Canada-wide. I asked a friend who said he had never smoked if he was going to try it once it was legal. He said he wasn't sure. He said he was afraid of becoming addicted and moving on to harder drugs. I laughed at the pot-is-a-gateway-drug trope. I told him that's the last thing he needs to worry about. Did he believe me or the fantasy bullshit concocted by politicians on the take for the alcohol and tobacco industries?
September 24, 2018
The front door was open.
Hello? Anybody home?
You look in and see fresh blood on the carpet.
A lamp smashed on the floor.
A table turned over.
A single shoe in the middle of the room.
Hello? Anybody here?
Do you investigate?
After watching countless NCIS's, do you think, Now is my chance!
Do you walk around the house looking for clues or a body?
Do you contaminate a potential crime scene with your curiosity?
Do you not touch a thing, back out of the house and call the police?
September 26, 2018
Trump = whiny baby with a full nappy.
Trump = stupid ideas stupidly put from a stupid man.
Trump = a serial liar and ignorant bully who talks like someone failing the fifth grade.
Trump = unimpeded narcissism built on fiction.
Trump = head of a family resembling the worst of humanity.
Trump = the worst of humanity.
Trump = that raging asshole your aunt dated and everyone hated until she threw him out for being such a whiny little dick and ruining everyone's lives.
Turns out, I Dream Of Jeannie was based on the very real yet highly delusional Silvia Jean Kramholtz of Bergen, New Jersey, who pretended she lived in a bottle, would only dress in the finest genie clothing and called her husband Lou, a 47 year old city worker, Master (all of which made it a no brainer for Lou to embrace and enable Silvia's genie fantasy). When the TV series was created, they initially called it I Dream Of Silvia, but the Kramholtz's sued, got hosed by Hollywood lawyers, never made a dime off the TV series, and with Silvia's genie costumes costing a fortune, inevitably Lou and Silvia had a giant row about money. From that point on, Lou refused to let her out of the bottle.
September 30, 2018
Two decrepit guys were 'jogging' up the road. They had to be at least 85 years old apiece. Their 'jogging' pace was so slow that a bird walked alongside them for a bit. How did they even have knees left with which to pound the pavement? Whatever possible health benefits they might be acquiring had to be offset by the damage it was doing to their bodies. They were wheezing and stressing, looking much the worse for wear, begging observers such as myself to wonder why in the hell these two old geezers were 'jogging' in the first place?