Squirrels Just Wanna Have Fun

Jacques Pilon had been a tree cutter for as long as he could remember. His job, was to cut blue, Centaurus Pine trees, and pile the lumber for pick up once a month. He was, in fact, the only tree cutter in the outpost. It was easy to lose track of time out here, so he could really only estimate just how long he had been here. Every morning he climbed to the top of Mt. Gordoz, and watched the green glow of 83jg000aCentaurus Alpha 1’s sun rise. And every night, he returned to this summit to watch the sun strip it’s green hue from his world. In this way, he calculated, that he had been here for 15,300 sun rises and sunsets, about 42 years in Earth time.
He often thought about Earth, his life there, and what became of the family he left behind; a wife, 3 children, and Marisa. Marisa. He thought of her most of all. How different his life would have been, if only he had never met her. As he climbed down from his perch atop the mountain, he thought he could hear her calling him. How he missed her sweet, melodious voice. He could hear her at the trial, informing the panel of justices of her relationship with Jacques. In detail. He could hear the observers in the Great Hall, sigh, and the gavel pounding on the table, demanding silence. He could hear the chief justice’s words ring out through the hall. “Based on the evidence presented here, we find you guilty of a most heinous crime. Guilty of sabotaging the continued existence of our way of life. As such, you are hereby sentenced to spend the rest of your natural life on an isolated outpost, keeping civilization safe from your perversion for all time”.
He had met Marisa at a bar one night, in a less than upscale part of town. He was astounded by her beauty. She was built. He told himself that he loved his wife, but this, well, this comes along once in a lifetime. He began frequenting the bar, just to see her, and on the chance she would notice him. He sat on the same bar stool every time. The one seat that would allow him to view her no matter in the bar she went. He shuddered when he saw her bend over to clean a table. When she finally struck up a conversation with him, her words were like music to his ears. And sex with her, well, he was pretty certain his brain had achieved orgasm. As time went on, she began to open up to him. She told him that she was in trouble with criminals who had wanted her to transport several pounds of oysters beyond city limits. oysters“But oysters are outlawed.”, he said. “If they catch you, its life in prison”
Oysters had been banned several years ago. It was thought that they were an aphrodisiac, being used to turn innocent girls into sex slaves, creating a climate of indiscriminate and uncontrollable sexual activity. The Grey Suits made them illegal. “I know.”, she replied. “But what choice do I have?”
In an attempt to gain regular access to all that was inside this beauty’s pants, Jacques agreed to help her transport the contraband. He was caught with 3 1/2 pounds of shucked oysters in ice filled cases, as he tried to cross the border from The Portlands to Leslieville. The trial lasted only 2 hours. He was found guilty as charged, sentenced to spend the rest of his life, without human contact, on Centaurus Alpha 1.
Every morning, after watching the sunrise over Mt. Gordoz, he headed back to the wooden dome he had made by hand, that served as his bedroom, kitchen, and bathroom. He sat on the wooden slats that he used as his bed, and looked at some of the trinkets he had brought from home; a family photo, as faded now as the memories of those in the picture; a book of sayings by an Earth writer named Hunter S. Thompson, a baseball glove and ball, a videopod containing tens of thousands of pornographic films, and a checker board.
Upon his arrival here, he scouted every square inch of this rock. There were rivers and streams everywhere, providing plenty of water. There were leafy green plants that were edible, and seemed to have a wonderfully hallucinogenic effect. He called these mindfucks. There were insects that looked like large roaches, that were surprising tasty, a sea urchin, that resembled an oyster, which he called erectoids, as he found them both delicious, and, after eating them, usually resulted in a hard on that required about 30 minutes of videopod use. There was also a population of animals that looked like squirrels, although they stood over 5 feet tall. They could be seen all across Centaurus Alpha 1, running here and there, always seeming so busy. At times Jacques envied them. He envied their drive, their sense of purpose.
Once a month, a supply ship would arrive, and jettison needed supplies such as first aid, medical needs, and food staples like flour, coffee, and sugar. He never saw or heard anyone. He just found the pod, with the month’s supplies, exactly where the stack of lumber had been: nestled in the brush about 300 metres from his dome.
It was shortly after a delivery, as he went to retrieve his supplies, that Jacques noticed a solitary squirrel, laying motionless in the brush. “Meat for a month.”, He thought to himself as he drew his home made bow and loaded an arrow. Jacques took aim, and drew back the arrow.
“What do you think you’re going to do with that?”, the squirrel asked, with a thick Spanish accent, as it rose to his feet, looking Jacques up and down. “You are very small. Who are you?”
Jacques wasn’t sure if he really head what he had heard. Perhaps it was merely the effects of his morning dose of mindfuck. The hallucinations were sometimes bizarre as hell. He sat down on the edge of a rock, and gazed at this animal, not certain of anything. “I must be so messed up.”, he thought.
“Do you speak?”, the beast asked.
“I, I, I do.”, Jacques stuttered.
“Well, that’s surprising”, the squirrel responded, “considering your inconsequential weapon.”
“You speak?”, Jacques asked, although it sounded more like a statement of fact.
“What are you?”, Jacques queried. “Where I come from, Animals don’t speak”.
“Oh I’m sure they do”., the beast replied. “Your may just not be able to understand them”.
Jacques and the animal spoke for hours. He learned that the animal was a preador. Preadors had the ability to shape shift and take on the appearance or characteristics, or both, of any other creature they had seen. Jacques learned that preadors had no names, and decide to call this particular preador Numero Uno.
From that point on, Jacques and Numero Uno would meet at the drop site and talk about all things in the Universe. Jacques regaled his friend with tales from Earth, and stories about his family. Numero Uno informed Jacques that there were over 3 million preadors, and much like humans, no 2 are alike.
Plans were made for Jacques to visit his friend’s burrow, and meet the local scurry. Jacques set off, his satchel laden with erectoids and mindfuck, and his videopod, just in case the preadors were into porn. The burrows were actually massive caves, connected by an intricate array of tunnels that spread out across Centaurus Alpha 1. There were communal rooms, and individual areas. It was set up like an apartment complex, and it was all interconnected. The preadors had created and organized an entire civilization down among the caves. There were libraries, sleeping quarters, and storage areas filled with the fruit of the blue, Centaurus pine that resembled acorn nuts.
Numero Uno led him through the maze to what appeared to be an arena. At the centre of the great hall was a statue that looked exactly rockylike Rocket J. Squirrel, of cartoon fame. Numero Uno explained that long ago, there had been another human who came to Centaurus Alpha 1. When he died, the preadors found his videopod among his belongings. When they viewed it, they saw visions of a great and noble flying squirrel. They were so awe struck, that they erected a statue in his glory, and in his honor.
There were hundreds, if not thousands of preadors as far as he could see. Row upon row, they chattered, and chirped. Numero Uno raised his paw and there was silence. “This is the human I told you about.”, he prayed. “And this”, he turned to Jacques and placed a paw on his shoulder, “this is my scurry. And tonight, we celebrate”.
It had been a long time since Jacques had been to a party. Probably sometime during his college days. And then there was the rally he attended with his wife, protesting the 3rd Great Depression which, he had told his wife, was the most depressing part of the depression. He never really liked parties, or any large gathering. He disliked the inane small talk, and never really knew what to say to people he barely knew, and most often, didn’t like. In fact, he had no friends. He used to say that he liked it that way, but deep down, he was lonely.
The preadors erupted into joyous mayhem. “I brought some gifts for you and your friends.”, he said to Numero Uno. “With these, it will be a real celebration”. He reached into his bag and produced copious amounts of erectoids and mindfuck. “You eat these”, he said, as he gobbled up a handful of the hallucinagen.
Huge vats of blue Centaurus pine fruit was brought out, and the preadors came down from their places to partake in the fruit, and the gifts Jacques had brought. Before long, most of the preadors had begun to experience their effects. Jacques starred in amazement, as an orgy of epic proportions broke out. Some of the younger females, giggled like the school girls Jacques remembered being with behind the bleachers in high school, and then ran away as fast as they could. Soon the animals began humping anything and everything within reach. As the mindfuck began to take effect, they were out of control. Jacques watched in amazement, while a little fearful. “I hope they don’t come over here.”, he said to Numero Uno.
“Relax, my friend.”, he replied. “You really aren’t that attractive.”
The preadors took the party outside. Engaging in sex acts as perverse as the stuff he had kept locked up in his head for years. Males began having intercourse with knots in the Blue Centaurus pines, while the females began their ritual mating rite, which involved opening their vaginas and masturbating, in the hopes of attracting a male. It worked. The frenzy hightened, an despite the reassurance from his friend, Jacques now found himself on the receiving end of a preador’s amorous fantasies. “Do you think you could change your appearance first?”, he asked her.
“To what?”, she replied.
8c253d28015dfd81ddbb44518c160054“Human female.”, Jacques informed her. Brunette, hazel eyes, long legs. That would be perfect.” The transformation was as close to what he remembered Marissa looked like. And she was just as perfect.
Numero Uno exited the cave dressed in leathers usually reserved for mortorcycle gang members, or The Village People. He straddled a female, and grabbing her ears, attempted to ride off into the sunset. “Vrmmm. Vrrrmmmm.”, he squealed. “Faster, bitch. Faster.”
When it was over, when the erectoids and mindfuck had worn off, when the preadors returned to a state of calm, Jacques surveyed the aftermath. There were almost a hundred preadors dead, and many were missing. There were males hanging upside down , with their erections stuck in tree knots. Numero Uno himself had passed out atop his female motorcycle, with his pump still in her gas tank. The carnage was beyond description, and Jacques felt sick with guilt, humiliation and shame. He left the burrows, and returned to his dome. “What have I done?”, he asked himself.
He climbed up to the top of Mt. Gordoz. The glow of the setting Centaurus Alpha 1 sun seemed to calm him, as the sky shimmered in multiple shades of green. “Hey, human.”, he heard his friend’s voice calling out to him. “That was one hell of a celebration, no”?
“It was.”, Jacques replied. “It was”.
“Then why so down?”, Numero Uno asked.
“I feel like I’m responsible for everything that happened last night.”, Jacques stated, apologetically.
“You are.”, his friend replied.
“Well, I feel terrible about it.”, Jacques added. “I turned your celebration into an orgy of debauchery and perversion.”
“Also true.”, Numero Uno said. “And we want to thank you”.
“Thank me?”, Jacques queried. “Thank me?”
“Of course”, the giant squirrel informed him. “We haven’t had that much fun since we discovered that nuts don’t just grow on trees.” The two of them laughed. “We want to make this a regular event.”, he continued. “Once a month. At the new moons. And on special occassions”.
“I thought you guys would hate me after last night.”, Jacques stated.
“Hate you?”, Numero Uno asked. “Not likely.”
As the sun set, Jacques and Numero Uno retired to his dome, and spoke of working together. The preadors would help with the cutting and 2016preview_nutjob2stacking of lumber for the monthly visit from the supply ship, and Jacques would provide them with party supplies, once a month, and on special occasions.
On the 3rd Sunday of the following month, when the 2 moons of Centaurus Alpha 1 were full, Jacques arrived at the burrows with bags and bags filled with erectoid and mindfuck. “Ready to go wild?”, he asked Numero Uno.
“Ready and willing”, the giant squirrel replied. “And listen, if you are up to it, I can arrange for you to take the motorcycle for a ride tonight.” Jacques looked at his friend, and the two of them laughed like they had never laughed before.




There’s A Mouse In My House

They told me there was a mouse. They told me this was not an ordinary mouse. It was a mouse of which nightmares are made. They told me there was a mouse in my house.  And this mouse in my house held my wife and daughters hostage for the better part of a day.

slowpokeThere was panic in her voice when she called to inform me about the mouse. Apparently, she saw it, out of the corner of her eye, run across the room. It was hiding somewhere and , from her vantage point, high atop the bed, she had lost track of it. There was a free range mouse in my house. She said it was a big mouse. A big, brown mouse. “What am I supposed to do?”, she asked.

“You have to find it and catch it.”, I said.

” I don’t want to find it.”, she replied.

“Well, I’m not sure if it will come to you, but you can wait and see.”, I advise.

“You should have stayed home from work today.”

“Well, I didn’t. Go next door and ask the neighbor’s sons to come over and catch the mouse.”, I told her.

When the phone rang 30 minutes later, she was hysterical. ” The boys weren’t home, so the father came. He started banging on the furniture, and the mouse ran out from under the bookcase, and now we can’t find it. It’s in here somewhere, and we don’t know where it went.”

“Where are you now?”, I asked.

“On the bed.”

“Where are the girls?”

“On the bed.”

“And the neighbor?”

“He went home. He said he can’t catch a mouse that he can’t find.”

“Ok.”, I told her. ” I will be home as soon as I can.”

It took about 15 minutes for her to call back. She had seen a second mouse, a small, grey mouse, perched on a ledge behind the sofa. She went next door and got Mr. Tarkanian again, He found it, and he whacked it. Ding dong the mouse is dead. Which old mouse? The small, grey mouse.

“Well, that’s good.”, I said. “The problem is solved.”

“There is still the big, brown one. It’s hiding in here. It knows we are trying to find it. This is one smart mouse.”

“Have you looked for it?”

“Are you kidding?”, She shreiked, “I’m not getting off this bed until it’s out of here.”

“You know, it’s more afraid of you, than you are of it.”, I said.

“I doubt it.”, she stated.

When I got home, my daughters had gone out, and one of them was not sure she was ever coming back. “Well, that was easy.”, I told my wife. “We should have got a mouse in here a long time ago.”

“She’s been traumatised”, I was informed. “Mr. Tarkanian caught the little one, and beat it’s head in with a metal rod. There was blood all over the floor. Right in front of her!”

“Ya, if only it was possible to capture and rehabilitate them.  Any idea where this mouse could be? Where did you last see it?”

I followed her lead, and wandered around poking at things, looking under beds, furniture, and behind appliances. We checked closets, and the laundry hampers. No mouse. “It’s in here.”, my wife explained. ‘Its in here, hiding, watching us, just waiting for me to get up and start movingimages-3 around, just so it can freak me out again.”

“Uh huh.”, I said, trying  hard not to sound sarcastic. ” That’s one mighty mouse. Maybe he’s just here to save the day.”

“You’re an asshole”, she said. Clearly my attempts at not being sarcastic had failed.

“Well”, I advised, “we can either call an exterminator, or go the hardware store and take care of this ourselves.”

“I want it gone now.”, she replied.

So, off we went to the local Hardware Store. Apparently there is no humane way to get rid of mice. You have sticky traps,clap traps, and mousetrapgame2poison. I had asked my wife about her possibly doing to the mouse what she had done to the Beta fish. “Can’t you just beat the thing to death?” She declined.

We purchased the poison, and following the clerk’s instructions, strategically placed cubes of poison all around the house. It seems, the rodent(s) will eat it, and within hours, they will die. The downside is, we are likely to find dead mice around the place, which have to be picked up, and disposed of.

“I’m not doing that!”, my wife asserted.

I never thought, not even for a moment that she would. It will be my job to locate and dispose of any and all mice we find. I have undertaker_1476945become the rodent search and recovery professional.

In the meantime, my wife remains frantic. Only a corpse will relieve her anguish. She says there is still a mouse. She has never seen it leave. She says this is not an ordinary mouse. It is a mouse that lies in wait, stalking, waiting and then frightening her. She says there is still a mouse in my house. And I now search the closets, the furniture, and  behind the appliances, looking for the dead mouse that is terrorizing my family.




The Disappearance of Lily Belle


“She’s gone, daddy! She’s gone!”, My daughter shouted hysterically, as she ran into the backyard.

“Who’s gone?, I asked, taking her by the hand.

“Lily Belle, daddy!. Lily Belle is gone”.

dollMy heart sank. My wife turned ghostly white, her eyes filled with despair. “Find her daddy. Find her.” And so began one of the most trying events my family has had to endure.

We searched everywhere. Under beds, and in closets. In laundry hampers, and trash cans. We checked the garage, and the basement. Lily Belle was indeed gone. “Maybe you should go look outside.”, my wife said. “Check the neighbors. And the park.”

“Really?”, I asked.

“We have to find her.”

I walked from house to house, checking front and back yards. I walked to the park, and she was not searchthere either. “I couldn’t find her.”, I told my wife.

“We have to do something.”, she said.

She was right. We had to do something. “Like what?”, I asked.

“I don’t know.”, was the response. “But I can’t go through this again.”  Lily Belle had gone missing before. Her disappearance then had created a night of hysterical screaming from my daughter. Lily Belle was part of the family.  When my eldest daughter was in a children’s hospital, she found her in a bin, and kept her  during her long hospital stay. When she was finally discharged, she took her home. When my youngest daughter was born, Lily Belle was passed on to her, and now, they had become inseparable. So here we were, in the midst of a search and rescue mission for a torn and tattered, wadding stuffed, pile of cotton.

“I think we just put an end to it tonight.”, I suggested. That seemed to be the most logical thing to do. If the disappearance was permanent, this would never happen again. “I say Lily Belle never comes back.”

My wife looked terrified, as she held my daughter, covering her ears, as if to shield her from the terrifyingly evil plot my mind was hatching. Truth be told, I had hatched no plot. As I explained to kidnapmy wife, we had 3 choices. “First, Lily Belle ran away, never to be heard from again. This would be devastating to my little girl, as she would inevitably blame herself, and feel that Lily Belle never loved her. Second, Lily Belle was kidnapped. Heartbreaking, but a ransom note could be found that discloses just how much Lily Belle loved and missed my daughter. Most kidnap victims never return. Even if the ransom is paid”.

“And third?”, my wife asked.

“Third”, I continued, “aliens.”

“What?”, my wife asked in that tone I have heard so many, many other times.

alien“Aliens.”, I repeated. “She came from another planet to help sick children feel better. And now she had to go back and take care of a very sick alien child. We could write a goodbye letter.”

“That’s all you have?”, my wife asked.

“That, and the truth.”, I said. “We lost the friggin’ doll.”

“Let’s just keep looking, and hope she turns up.”, my wife said.

Over the next 2 days, we continued our search, and came up with nothing, although I was almost certain that I had seen 3 toed footprints in the backyard. We emptied drawers and suitcases. We climbed trees and went up on the roof to look. At the end of the second day, I issued an executive order to call off the search.

“It’s enough.”, I told my wife. “Lily Belle is gone. And she wont be coming back. I will talk to Step tomorrow when I get home.”

“What are you going to tell her?”, my wife asked.

“I have no idea. Although I am quite excited about the alien story.”, I said.

On the drive home the next day, I kept trying to rehearse what I would indeed tell my daughter. Nothing seemed to come out right. I didn’t want to hurt her, but I couldn’t seem to find any words that would not create pain or anguish in her.

When I got home, I called her outside. We sat on the top of the picnic table. “I want to talk to you about Lily Belle.”, I told her.

“Its okay, daddy.”, she said, “Mommy told me what happened, and I know you didn’t mean to do it.” She turned and gave me a hug.

accident“Well, I’m glad you understand that, Steph.”

“Mommy says that you don’t drive real good anymore, because your eyes are bad, and you wont go and get glasses. I know you didn’t mean to run Lily Belle over.”

“No, I didn’t”.

“But daddy”, she said, with her mother’s tone of disapproval. “You really need to get glasses so you can see what you’re doing.”

“Ok, Steph. And thank you for understanding.”
















Pucked Again….


My wife enjoys playing video slot machines. She loves to gamble. She says it is in her Spanish Moroccan blood, coursing through her veins, much like her temperament. It makes her happy, so she says, so we go. She is a VIP, at our local casino. In effect, she has spent more money, win or lose, than the average non Spanish Moroccan , and so is entitled to certain perks and privileges slot1reserved for the most exclusive of guests. She has become a member. She gets a black card now, only for VIP club members, and she carries it proudly among the white card carrying general public. This black card, is the pathway to the perks.

She collects points for every dollar wagered, and these points can, in turn, be converted into meals, event tickets, and VIP members only galas. We have been to no gala, and while we have dined at the facility’s restaurant, the food is far from appealing. “It’s free.”, she says, justifying the garbage we are about to consume.

“Really?”, I ask. “You understand that you are about to eat an overcooked, over seasoned $500 steak, right?”

Interesting that this doesn’t concern my minimalist, frugal wife.

I do not play the slot machines. Often times she will give me $100 or so, and ask me if I want to play. “Of course.”, I tell her, and take the money. I put it in my pocket. Why not? She has questioned me several times about whether I really played or not. “What difference does it make if I put the money in the machine and lose it, or just put it in my pocket? It doesn’t cost you any more.”

slots2So there we were, at the local slot emporium, ready to roll, when I noticed a sign at the VIP room entrance offering a VIP Toronto Maple Leafs event. It seemed that for a significant amount of points, we could get 2 tickets which would gain us access to an executive suite at the Air Canada Centre for an upcoming hockey game. Free food. Free beer. Free Hockey. “We should grab a couple of tickets.”, I told her.

“I don’t know if I have enough points.”, she replied. She checked, and yes she did. More than enough. In fact there were enough points for the tickets, and another culinary adventure in the hall of disappointing dinners. We scooped the tickets. “Happy are you?”, she asked.

“You have no idea.”, I replied.

As she entered the very special room in which you can lose very special money, I wandered off to hockey1watch others enjoy the art of casino gaming, with $100 in my pocket.

On the way home, she suggested that we give the hockey tickets to one of my daughters and her boyfriend. “Are you kidding?”, I asked her.

“No. They never go anywhere. They have no money. It would be nice for them to go somewhere nice.” I thought about this for almost no time at all.

“How about we send them to the movies.”, I suggested.

“I think we should give them the tickets.”, she repeated. “Neither one of us can sit there that long. We can’t eat most of the food, and how much beer can you really drink?”

“But its an executive suite.”, I reminded her.

Practical and logical as ever my wife added that there would be no smoking, and I would not be permitted to cuss or curse.

“I’m not happy about this.”, I told her.

“I know.”, she said. “I know.”

On the day of the game, my daughter and her boyfriend arrived at the house to pick up my tickets. “Are you sure?”, the boyfriend asked, alternately looking at me and the tickets.

hockey2“Not at all.”, I told him, “But you go and have a good time.” The little guy couldn’t thank me enough. I still don’t think he did. After they left, I retired to the bedroom, feeling somewhat dejected. No, pissed off. I was feeling pissed off. I put on my Detroit Red Wings Jersey, and sat on the bed waiting for the game to begin. My wife entered the room. “Here.”, she said. “Help me with this.” I looked up, and she was carrying a 6 pack of beer, an order of wings, and a small, thin crust veggie pizza, with extra olives.

“Much better than the executive box.”, she said as I helped her with the delivery. She got up on the bed, and sat beside me.

“Much better.”, I said.

“Who’s playing?”, she asked.

“It really doesn’t matter, anymore.”, I said.




Double Double. Quick, Quick


I admit it. I am not ashamed. I am addicted to Tim Horton’s coffee. In any form, really. In the summer, I feed my addiction with wonderfully delicious Iced Caps, or perhaps a somewhat over th1sweetened Iced Coffee. In colder months, I delve into a Latte. In every season though, I regularly enjoy a large, double double.

It has become somewhat of an obsession, has been for years, trying to get the next fix, while my wife tries to stop me from delving deeper into the abyss. ” You know we have coffee here.” She reminds me.

“It’s not the same.”, I tell her. And off I go to my local Time Horton’s.

“Do you have any idea how much money we would save if you made coffee here?”, she asks.

I do. Lots of it. I have tried all of the solutions I could think of. I purchased a Tim Horton’s Coffee ninja-coffee-bar-1Maker and Tim Horton’s coffee, but it just wasn’t the same. I purchased one of those coffee bars that make every coffee drink known to man, and still there was no satisfaction. The cravings continued and escalated to the point where I now have my GPS  programmed to locate every Tim Horton’s in whatever part of any city I happen to be in.

I am particularly drawn to their drive thrus. Not much could be better than driving up, and driving drive-thruaway with a cup of brewed magic. It’s like a drive thru drug deal.

My wife has tried to help by using deception. She has been known to save one of my Tim Horton’s cups, and fill it with coffee she has made at home. She says it is to show me that there really is no difference. Boy, is she wrong. “That’s $2 we could put towards savings.”, She tells me.

“What are we saving for?”, I ask.

“The future.”, she advises.

“Will I be able to get Tim Horton’s coffee in the future?”

“I don’t know.”, she says, quite frustrated.

“Well”, I tell her, “I’d rather just have the coffee now.”

What occurs next s a lesson in basic arithmetic. “Do you know how much money we could save in a year if you just put the $2 in a jar everyday?”, she asks.

I look at her in disbelief. “I do.”, I respond, but I know she is going to tell me anyway.

“Well, factoring in all of the lattes, and Iced Caps, it comes to $830.”,  she shouts. “830 fucking dollars. Is there anything that you want to say about that?”

I try so very hard not to say anything that will make her more angry than she already is. But, I just can’t seem to help it. I open my mouth, and well, it just sort of happens. “I love it when you talk dirty to me”, comes out. She just groans.

My addiction intensifies during ‘Roll Up The Rim’, the annual celebration of rolling up the rim of your coffee cup, with the chance of winning free stuff. It should be a National Holiday! There are  prizes, big screen TV’s, cash, gift cards, food, a car, and  free coffee. I roll up my rim so slowly, so purposefully, hoping to see the words, ‘free coffee’. When I win, I save those rims, apparently for the future, when I may or may not be able to afford a Tim Horton’s coffee.

“Do you want to stop by Tim Horton’s?”, I ask her on our way out to watch the horse races.

cms671“I have coupons for free McDonald’s coffees.”, she advises. “Why don’t we go there?”

“Because the coffee is awful.”

“But it’s free.”, she reminds me. “You know, if you buy 7 coffees at McDonald’s, and put the stickers on the card”, she demonstrates, showing me the stickers and the card, “you get a coffee for free.”

“Why wouldn’t I just buy 7 Tim Horton’s, I mean, I would enjoy drinking them. You really think I would drink that crap to get a free cup of more crap?”

She is fuming now, seemingly ready to explode. But instead, she does what she does best, and just stops talking. About anything. The silence is deafening. But I will not give in. I will not surrender. This time, I will make a stand.

“I have a coupon for free coffee.”, I find myself saying to the machine sitting at the entry to the McDonald’s drive thru. I turn to my wife, and as she hands me the 2 coupons, she grins. “You’re fucking learning.”, she tells me.

“Man, I love it when you talk dirty.”, I tell her.

“I know.”, she says. “Why do you think I do it?”

Of Mice And Menopause


One of my daughters who still lives at home, has decided that she NEEDS a pet to make her life complete. She cites loneliness, and heartbreak, following the demise of her Beta Fish, as the driving force. She has asked to many pets over the years. She has requested a hedgehog, an armadillo, and a pig. She got none of them. She has tried to get me to say yes to a donkey,a tortoise, and a goat.

She gets this from her mother. Many years ago, my wife called me and asked if I thought we should get a dog. I have always ones dogs, and I knew that I, not my wife or kids, would be doing all of the work. I’m told hermit didn’t think it was a good idea. She begged and pleaded. I dug in, and told her I didn’t think so. She cried. I said nothing. Her crying turned into hysterical sobbing. I said yes. And, as I told her that fateful day on the phone, I had to train the dogdog, walk the dog, feed the dog, and take the dog to the vet. She told me she was sorry, and blamed menopause for her crying.

A few years later, she told me that the dog seemed lonely, and she thought we should get another dog for him to play with. “Perhaps the dog wouldn’t be so lonely if the kids spent time walking him.”, I suggested. She started crying again, explaining that she really wanted a puppy. It occurred to me that the reason we had so many kids, was simply that she liked babies. Once they great up a bit, she wanted another one. And now, she was after another dog. I knew it really didn’t matter what I thought, said or wanted. She brought the new puppy home 2 days later, and again I was the walker, feeder, and trainer.

She has not supported my decision to get ban pets. She keeps watching animal videos on the internet. She regularly oohs and ahs over videos of puppies, pandas, and most recently an owl. She animalsinsists that I watch the video clips and asks “Isn’t he cute?”. I don’t respond. “Well”, she says, “Isn’t he?”.

“No pets.”, I tell her. “No animals.”

“I just think it would make her happy, if we got her a small pet”, she says.

“How small?”, I ask.

” I don’t know”, she answers, ” something like a guinea pig. They’re small”.

” It’s not happening.”, I say quite sternly, ” I am no going to clean that damn rodent’s cage.”

evil-mouse” I’ll clean the cage.”, She replies. We both laugh. We both know she will never, ever clean the cage.

“Perhaps we should just get her a field mouse. A free range field mouse. It will live outside, and much like her, will come around whenever he feels like it. If we leave food all over the place, it may come more regularly. Maybe bring a friend or 2.” My oratory complete, I sat there like a peacock. If only I owlhad a sceptre. My wife agreed. No pets. No animals.

“You have to watch this”, she told me, “they’re adorable. Look how cute they are when they’re paying. Ahhh. Ooohh”

“Ah, hell”, I thought. “We’re getting an owl!”.

Si, Senior

1298114-mexican001c111306So, my bank has decided that I now qualify for the senior’s discount on account service fees. It sounds like a good deal, but I am not certain that I am ready to be considered a ‘senior’. I have been telling my kids that it is merely the Spanish term for mister, but they don’t seem to want to believe me. Considering that I receive the  senior discount from the Wyndham Hotel chain, and qualify for the discount days at several retail outlets, it is hard to convince them.

My wife is thrilled about this, and I assume it is the savings she can obtain, and not the insurance money that appears to be creeping closer. In either case, she has decided that we will be going shopping. And maybe out for dinner, as I also received a letter from a local entertainment facility that I am eligible for their discounted early bird senior’s dinner. Sounds like a deal, but I have no desire to eat dinner at 4pm. Everywhere we go, my wife is asking for the discount. She lets them know that I am a senior,and asks if there is a senior discount. Lo and behold, there is, and she can save anywhere from 10%-20% off the total purchase. My job on these outings, as she explains it, is to just stand there and look old.

images-2I am not opposed to saving money, but I resent the fact that I have never been asked for proof of my seniority! I don’t feel like a senior, well most of the time. There are days when my body is, indeed worn out. My mind however, continues to behave like a 19 year old. This does create a significant conflict. “Let’s go out.”, I say to my wife.

“Where do you want to go?”, she asks.

“Why don’t we go to The Horseshoe,  have a beer, and watch a few bands.”, I suggest.

“Can you stay up that late?”, she responds. The truth is, probably not. So instead, we agree to spend a weekend in Niagara Falls, where I get the customary 20% senior’s discount, eat dinner at 4pm, and retire for the night by 10. And all of this with significant savings.




Pot, Poetry, Philosophy, and Nipples….

Theredownload are many, many stories that came out of a camp in Northern Ontario, nestled on the shores of Skeleton Lake. There were tales of pregnancy, missing campers, a camp director who bordered on sociopathology, and his wife, whose fear of onions was legendary within the Ontario camp circuit. No story however, evoked as much interest as the tale of the kitchen boy and the young camper.

It was 1973, or possibly 1974, and while the events have been bastardized, altered by time and fading memories, I will do my best to reveal the events of that fateful summer as best as I can remember it.

Thedownload-1 kitchen boys, often thought of as the lowest  form of camp staff, lived in a staff only dorm on the main road of the camp. Surrounded by all of the camp’s amenities, it became a hub of fun and games. Music was always playing, usually Yes, or Pink Floyd, or the Beatles. Drugs were rampant, and the aroma of marijuana permeated the surrounding area regularly. One day, a camper, a young female camper, arrived at the cabin window. Now, to be fair, fraternization between campers and staff was strictly forbidden, but neither the young camper, nor the head kitchen boy cared. They began talking, and over time, would sneak off and walk through the fish hatchery that bordered the camp grounds. There they discussed Gibrhan and Kerouac, Satre and Camus, and Ginsberg and Dylan. They spent hour after hour talking about life. When the kitchen boy looked at her, he was amazed at her beauty. She was a free spirit, a rebel, with a zest for learning.  She walked barefoot, wore cutoff shorts, and a halter top that fit like a second skin, without a bra. She was rather well endowed, with breasts that gently bounced and floated as she moved, and had nipples the kitchen boy could not look away from. On one occasion, when they were down at the waterfront, she went into the water, and coming out, her pale white t shirt, was completely see through. And while it seemed that she never noticed the effect this was having on the poor kitchen boy, the sexual tension between them was evident to both of them, and everyone else who saw them together.

All5c8a21d67f505f6ecf6ba842428a0128 summer, they were inseparable. They seemed to enjoy each other’s company more than the camp experience itself. Often times, it appeared as though they were the only 2 people there. The camp officials were convinced that the kitchen boy was engaging in sexual activities with this young camper. He was questioned, or rather interrogated on several occasions, with bright lights shone in his eyes, deprived of food and water for hours at a time, and many threats and ultimatums were given.  Kitchen boy vehemently denied any wrong doing, and with his new found spiritual freedom, told them all to fuck off. Unrelenting, the young camper and the kitchen boy continued their relationship amid the turbulence and fear it was causing the camp administraton. On any given day, they could be found sitting under a tree, discussing poetry, or the rise of neosocialism. But never was a word spoken about her amazing tits and nipples. He wanted her, and he hoped she wanted him, but it had transcended the physical plain, or so they convinced themselves. Everytime he beautiful_girl_in_spa_892115looked at her, he envisioned her naked. Others who were there that summer, had said that kitchen boy informed them that every conversation they had, she was completely undressed. In his mind. But the meeting of mind and spirit, the melding of souls had become more than enough for them.

At the end of the summer, the young camper returned to her home somewhere in Michigan, and the kitchen boy was informed by the camp director that he would never be allowed to return to the camp again, in any capacity.

Time passed, and there were a few reunions; a trip down to Michigan to visit her at College, a family trip with her family that allowed them to meet in Toronto,  and a final visit to Toronto many years later. And every time they met, it was as if time had stood still. Each encounter, no matter how brief, felt like that wonderful summer. The sense of oneness, the meeting of spirits and souls, had not waned. It was just another day at camp in 1973, or ’74.

images-1There are reminders of that summer, of that dalliance between 2 souls still left up there. Their names carved into a wall, initials carved into a tree, and the story of the relationship between the young camper and the kitchen boy is still being told, although most of the facts have been mutated over time. Some of us had wondered what became of these 2. Did they ever engage in sex? We decided it was best not to know. The depth of their friendship could only be compromised by a physical aspect. The sanctity of their relationship was best remembered as it was. I can only suspect that after all of these years, they have somehow stayed connected, still bonded by their spirits and their souls, and should they meet again, still sitting somewhere quiet, discussing poetry, and philosophy, amid an abundance of sexual tension, as the kitchen boy, listning intently, has his eyes fixed on the young camper’s nipples. Or maybe that’s just the  hopeless romantic in me.