Wednesday, 20 September 2017

Not My Story to Tell....

Not my story to tell.....probably one of THE most profound words of wisdom I have ever received.
I will tell you right now, I first heard this from my older sister, years and years ago. 
It has become a sort of practice in my every day life this small sentence: not my story to tell.
If I hear something, I immediately ask myself, before repeating this overheard something: Does this story directly involve me? If the answer is no, then I shut the hell up. Otherwise, everything else as far as I am concerned, is hear say. It quickly becomes a one sided story I had no right in sharing in the first place.
 If someone has confided in me, with or without consent to share, as far as I am concerned, that story still belongs to them. If they want to share it again and again, so be it, it is their personal story to share.
To be clear I am not referring to gossip or hear say, I am only referring to events personally connected to that person; as in: it came directly from the horse's mouth. They were involved on a first hand basis, it did happen, or will happen to them. 
For instance, even if the next person I am talking to has no idea who or what or where a story I have personal knowledge about, I will not tell that story. It is simply not mine to share. And, it has nothing to do with fact or fiction, because another thing I know to be true when dealing with the human condition: there is no reality, only perception. 
So, maybe the story that I was told has two sides, and I am only hearing the one. To me, that story is still not mine to tell. It is that person's perception of their reality, not mine.
This is where we need to take our freedom and run, because as far as I am concerned, we are no longer weighed down with things we may or may not have privy's not ours to tell!  Therefore we can (guilt free)  run away...lighter and lesser burdened with other people's shit/crap/story, real or not.
Really, as uncaring as that sounds, it's not, because it's not your story to tell, so it's not your responsibility. Run! Free! Flap your arms if you must!
Gossip, I can only presume, is exhausting and heavy, the responsibility of all those stories that don't even belong to you? They must be like cement boots.
There are social media stories which are shared that I feel do not need shared.  Many, many stories are not ours to share, but mostly what affects me personally, are the tragic horrible accidents that people  tend to share with a 'sad face' icon. Why do people feel the need to share these?? Is that your story to tell?? 
If it is....share away my friend, share away....but this may be the first time a relative or loved one has heard of the event.
If this is how I go in this world? Please don't share it....and definitely don't tell my story unless I personally affected you. In which case, raise a fabulous glass of the most expensive rose you can get your hands on ( use my credit card, I will be dead, what do I care) and say: cheers babe! It's your story to tell!!

I want to thank my sister for sharing with me this incredibly sage piece of advice:
It's not my story to tell...
Thanks B,

Wednesday, 18 January 2017

Han Solo and The Investment...

The year was 1977, my family and I were on our way to Scotland for a few weeks in the summer to visit relatives.

I remember staying at an airport hotel in Toronto the night before our flight left. At this time there weren't a lot of hotels to choose from, this was back in the day where staying in a hotel was big time, it was special. Not everyone got to do this, and I remember having that distinct thought as we pulled up to the hotel that hot summer day.

My older cousins and sister who were apart of this trip were talking about going to see, perhaps the biggest movie for our generation to ever hit the screen. It was Star Wars....and no one had ever seen anything like it. To be honest, I don't think anyone would ever see anything like it again either. We were at a technological age in time that had stood still since the introduction of the rotary dial phone.  I am not even sure most homes had push button phones at this time to be honest. Movies depicted change, like being able to see the person you were talking to in video,  ( our modern day FaceTime, or Snapchat, and video chat ) but nothing had changed in ages! Not like today when techno advancements are made while the rest of the world sleeps and we wake up to new advancements on a weekly basis. Nothing like that.

 So, my cousins went to see this life altering movie, and I swam in the huge hotel indoor/outdoor  pool. Simply because I was a little too young to hang out with them, and because: OMG! This pool had access to the outside pool via a small tunnel  from the indoor pool. and I was a swimming freak show . the water! Always have, always will.

Anyway, after a summer in Scotland I came back to Ontario with the movie 'Star Wars' even more embossed on my brain. Turns out the ENTIRE world was ready for this movie, it was so spectacular for its time. You can't even imagine how for us at that time, who were captivated by exploring and adventure, how this one single movie dominated our lives. I simply HAD to see it.

 By the time I had the opportunity to see the movie in my small town, all my friends at that time had already seen it, and could simply not afford to frequent the theatre again. Going to a moving back then required serious consideration regarding how we were going to spend our allowance, pocket money and/or part time job monies. Going to a movie was an investment. 

I remember phoning friends to see if they could go to see Star Wars with me, but everyone had seen it, and some?!? twice even!  (  Huge investment!!)  I wanted to see this movie so bad! ( I also remember being shunned by some kids because I had been away that summer..."oh, you were away when we went to see it! It was a really good movie! You missed out!" )

 I think that was what hurt me the most: "you missed out" it was my fault my parents had relatives in Scotland that we got to visit every once in a while.  Meanwhile the movie was still playing at our local cinema, I hadn't missed out on anything.

 My father, Ben, see'ing how let down I was about not being able to see Star Wars, stepped up to the plate and said he would take me. I was 13 years old at this time....entering into that dark side of the  pre-teen world: fluctuating and punishing emotions. Going to the movies with your Dad was not cool, at all. Yet, I also remember knowing this was not my dad's thing either. Not the kind of investment he wanted to make either.

So, off to the local theatre we went one Friday evening. Of course it was packed, jammed packed in fact, but we managed to get a couple of pretty good seats. We pulled the red velvet covered seats down from their hinged upright positions, the squeak of metal whining as we did so. It was loud in the theatre, kids mostly, everyone eager for the movie to start. I sat there with my small pop and Sweet Marie bar hoping beyond hope that no one would recognize me with my dad.

Theatres were small back then, well at least our small town theatre was. I stood a good chance of being prosecuted by any peers who knew that the "old" guy beside me was my dad. What did not occurr to me at that time was that my dad was probably crindging about his circumstances too, but for all together different reasons. He was probably dreading having to watch this hyped up science fiction, action adventure movie in a theatre, on a Friday night, filled with noisy kids. But watch we did.

I chomped back my chocolate bar in awe of this space tale, and all its far out space creatures, while my father sat with his arms folded with the biggest look of : " what in the name of God are we watching?!?" I was developing the biggest crush on Han Solo not even daring to look side ways at my dad should he come to realize his daughter's googley eye'd gaze at this handsome , rogue space cowboy. I kept looking straight at the screen so intently I am sure Harrison Ford himself could have been sitting on my other side, and I wouldn't have had the faintest clue.

A little more than half way into the movie I was pretty much on my own because the faint snoring noises beside me ( definitely not coming from Harrison, he probably never snored a day in his life!) alerted me to my father being fast asleep. His head was cranked back on his neck so far, his entire face was pointed straight up to the movie house ceiling. Then his head started to do the snap back and forth thing, which would cause him to wake up briefly, and in doing so snort rather loudly and pretend he wasn't asleep. One thing about adventure movies, especially the space kind, the special effect sounds are really loud, only Harrison and I could hear my dad's nasal snorts and trumpets.

When the movie finished and I let go of my googley eye'd Han Solo gaze, my father woke up, rather well rested too I remember, The lights came up, we were gathering our things, the red velvet chairs springing back to their upright position, and then I heard someone shout my name, not too loud, but loud enough to know someone there recognized me. I didn't look around to see who it was, I just knew the person who called my name did not mean well. Damn!! Now I would be teased mercilessly at school..."Sheila went to the show with her dad, Sheila went to the show with her dad.." There was nothing I could do but wait until Monday and deal with the wrath.

Monday came, I was absolutely dreading it! I stood in the hall with my other class mates waiting to go into our home room. When I heard the voice from the theatre say it: " Sheila went to the show with her dad!" For a moment there was silence, my cheeks were burning with embarrassment, all eyes were on me, and then another voice spoke out: " Star Wars? What a cool dad!" It was our home room teacher. I couldn't believe it! I was saved from adolescent prosecution...not another word was said to me about going to the movies with my dad.

My world quickly went back to normal after that, what a relief. Many years later I remember talking to my dad about going to see Star Wars with me, and I thanked him, because I knew it wasn't his kind of movie. He told me he couldn't remember a thing about that movie, other than is was so damn loud, but that he was glad he went too, because it obviously made me happy. I am thankful we both invested, because now I know, snoring and all, I had a really cool Dad.

Monday, 2 January 2017

We'll No Speak of This Again....

I credit my sense of humour to my Dad, Ben. He taught me everything I know about laughter, punch lines, dry humour and sarcasm. I think really good humour often comes from a quiet place of observing the mundane,  or the bizarre, and then pointing it out to people with added twists. The Scottish comedian Billy Connolly is a pro at this technique, and I think the American comedian Jerry Seinfeld is too. Both of these comedians could leave you breathless just talking about socks, or poo, or being a kid in school.

So was my Dad. Ben could take a regular every day story and turn it on its head (heed),  quicker than you could spit the tea out your mouth laughing. 

My brother was in his teens when he drove my father's car to pick up a rather drunken friend that needed to get home safely. Unfortunately, my brother's friend was sick in my father's car, and I guess they tried to clean it up, but of course Dad knew about it. I will never forget my father see'ing my bother's friend for the first time after the sick incident.

" Here, Tom* ( real name withheld) see yooo! Did yoo drive tae ma hoose today?"
" Yes Mr.Seath I did...why?"
" And Tom, that wiz yoo who were sick all over my nice car?""Yes, but I am so sorry about that.."
" Well Tom, gee us your keys son..."
"Why Mr.Seath?"
"So's I can go take a big shite in your car and wheel call it even!" 
Prime example of a Ben story right there. 

Part of growing up in my family was teasing one another, I am pretty sure any family psychologist today would confirm our teasing ways on the emotionally abusive end of the scale. However, all 3 kids turned out just fine...or as normal as you can anyway.

Upon meeting some old cronies of his at the mall, my mother would walk out of a store and ask my father who he was speaking to.
"Those were my friends Jean, yee can git yar ain...." 
  • This will seem really cruel to note, but my Dad's occasional pet name for my mother was" Big bitch"...he would always laugh after he said it too. "Ach, Jeanie ya big bitch..." Or if Mom was having a particularly bad day it was: " Jeanie ya crabby bitch.." I know a lot of people would consider two grown people, parents no less, speaking like this to one another incredibly disrespectful. I remember when my husband first met my family...he could not believe some of the things we said to one another. Keep in mind tho, this was all talk within the family, we did not say these types of things to one another in public. Behind every unusual family nick name or comment was a true devotion to making that person smile or laugh. 
Another great Ben story was when I was a teenager in the 80's. Growing up in a small town was a constant challenge to entertain ourselves. Being the creative kids we were we decided one night that taking people's ceramic lawn ornaments was a fantastic idea! We didn't want to keep these things, we just thought it would be really funny to take them from one lawn and put them back on another neighbour's lawn. Why we nearly pee'd our pants in laughter doing this I will never know. But we did, we absolutely did. We would sneak right under unsuspecting people's windows while they quietly watched tv....creeping along, trying hard to hold back our laughter. We would whisper things to one another about being in the black op's, or quote Bill Murray's character from "Caddy Shack". 
"License to kill gophers by the government of the United Nations..." 
" Oh Mrs.Cane you're a little monkey woman..." 
" It's in the hole!".... All the while snickering and snorting, trying to make one another lose it and start laughing, ready to rush out of the bushes at any moment should we be discovered. 

Well, one Friday night we couldn't play mix and match with our ceramic hoard, a neighbour had come out to walk their dog, so we had to quickly get away, in my father's 1978 Impala (the front end held together with silver gaffer's tape no less!) a boat of a car, it could sleep 8 quite comfortably. So we road around with our newly 'found' skunks, birds, garden gnomes and lantern keepers for the rest of the night tucked neatly in the trunk. I forgot all about them....until the Sunday. 

I woke promptly at noon like any good teenager would do....walked to the kitchen to eat the breakfast my Dad had made 3 hours ago. He was still in the kitchen as I sat down at the kitchen table to eat. 

" Shellah, how wiz yer weekend lass. Canny say we've seen much of you through oot tit, mind you..." I answered with your typical teenage grunting..
" Huh? Oh it was ok...didn't do much...the car needs gas.."
" Yee mean tae say you dinny hae $10 dollars between the lot o you tae pit some bloody gas in my car?...well new...if yer no dea'ing much, then how is the gas getting used up?" 
The two of us went on talking back and forth for the duration of my breakfast about what doing nothing was all about from my perspective and his. Finally, he says that I should do the dishes...
" Right hen, when yer done, get yer arse up to the sink and git the dishy's done fer your mom.." 
He leaves to go have a soft seat as he would call it, in the living room. I drag my arse up to the sink, still a bit blurry eye'd from my past hibernation...gather the dirty dishes, fill the sink and as I am adding the dish detergent I glance outside to our backyard. There at my father's bird feeder is a ceramic lantern holder now holding a gas tank from the garage...a wee ceramic skunk at his feet, the gnome has a rake propped up beside him, and a red ceramic cardinal is in the bird feeder. I froze! I didn't know whether to laugh or cry. I was totally busted! My father with his ever impeccable comedic timing shouts to me from behind his newspaper in the living room: 
" Ok lass, ye've had yer fun. They will all go back, you put gas in ma car and rake the lawn. We'll no speak of this again, wull we..." 

I suppose my Dad was just grateful his daughter wasn't out there on the weekends getting drunk or doing drugs...taking those ceramic garden decor items was about as 'bad' as my friends and I ever got. It was a briefly lived life of crime, but my Dad was right...we never did speak of it again, we didn't have to. 


Tuesday, 6 December 2016

Scottish Parents and Woolen Swim Trunks....

There is a black and white photo of my parent's taken on a warm summer day, on a white sandy beach somewhere here in Southern Ontario. I believe it may be the Sandbanks beach area....but it really doesn't matter that much where it was taken,  because it's what my father is wearing in the picture that really matters.

I absolutely cherish this photo.

My parents arrived in Canada sometime in the 1950's via a big 
boat. I can not imagine what that would have been like, I can't imagine being given all that sailing time to ponder: " what have we done? What will happen to us?" Any time I have made a life changing decision like that, the plane has  already landed and debarked before I can even comprehend what I've done.

However, I believe that no matter how you come to the decision to 
relocate, once you get to the destination, you just make it work. 

My father told my sister and I that for the first few years of " making it work in Ontario" he had a bag packed, ready to go back to Scotland. It took my father years to come to love Ontario as his new home.
** on a side note my father had two choices for relocation dictated by employment. This always struck me as completely fascinating, but his other choice was:  São Paulo Brazil! What a toss up! I mean how do you choose? Small town Ontario or São Paulo Brazil?? 

Some how I bet the boat trip to Canada w my mother vs. the boat trip to Brazil won out. Still, this didn't stop my sister and I fantasizing about being raised by nannies, speaking Portuguese and going to private schools...all in jest mind you. 

**Scottish parents in the 1970's and 80's meant for a myriad of slight linguistic misunderstandings, mostly by my young friends:  " what did your dad just say Sheila? It sounded like he was talking about wearing a bra and eating Cheerios!??"

That would be my father commenting on what a a beautiful day it was out, and that he was away to enjoy it. " Ach wee Pat, come in, Sheelah's jis aboot ready. It's a braw dee oot, isnny a cloud in the sky. I am awaw doon the toon, cherio the new." I mean, what's to not understand?  

Perhaps most importantly however, the 70's and 80's meant that my mother decided that knitting, and by knitting I mean she could have put Far East sweat shops to shame, was her job. My mother knit everything! I am surprised the 3 of us kids weren't cocooned and birthed by Phentex yarn itself.  
If you had a birthday party to go to, " here, you'll tak this lovely han knit soffee arm rest, I am sure wee Nancy will love it  Shelah!" If you needed a present for the teacher, " Shelah, dinny gee me tha face, I know Miss. Davies wheel jis luv this han made breed baskit"
I was quickly becoming known as the kid who gave the absolutely weirdest hand spun brick a brack for gifts, and!! always in the wildest colours that only Phentex could deploy. Bright orange hues, speckled with lavish dark green threads, artfully plucked atop putrid beige and washed out ham pink. (for those of you who aren't familiar with the "yarn" Phentex; imagine anything next to your skin knit with those metal SOS pot scrubbing pads. Think prickly, fully flammable, hideous colours! and lasted for years) All I ever wanted from my mother from her incredible knitting accomplishments was a black sweater. 

In the 80's I was all consumed by the punk rock and new music uprising. To be honest, it wasn't so much the music, although, do not get me wrong, I still adore most of my 80's faves...I was more consumed by the flamboyant fashion, and "no rules " of that one-of fashion period. It wasn't like today, you couldn't just go out and buy what you wanted. That kind of fashion style was never available in stores ( in fact today, when I am somewhere and hear a song I had to beg to get played on a dance floor or radio in the early 80's , and here I am in the grocery store, or mall in the year 2016 and it's just being played as back ground " musac"!?! I always reflect on my generation's pioneering for change.) 

It was quite sometime before a corporate store began reflecting what a kid into that scene wanted to wear. And, by the time they did, we had all grown out of it anyway....Le Chateau anyone?... An oversized, strategically ripped black sweater was an essential wardrobe piece to any new music/punk rocker worth their salt back in the early 80's. Much like now how a Chanel, Prada or Louboutin piece has taken over, but we just didn't have a brand name to slap on the coveted sweater. 

I hunted high and low for that perfect sweater, every second hand store I could think of was rummaged through. Then one day, much like little Ralphie in the now classic Christmas movie; 'A Christmas Story", I had a brain storm idea! Just like Ralphie concluded he would ask Santa for his much dreamed of toy, I decided this: " I know! I will ask my mom if she can knit me a black sweater!" I was over joyed with my new most excellent idea! So I approached my mom. " Mom, for Christmas I was wondering if you could knit me a black sweater? But make it like dad size, and use acrylic instead of Phentex.!? What? You can? Really? Wow...thanks mom!" 

For the next 2 months all I could think of was that new black sweater....loosely knit, oversized to my knees, I could even put a few well placed holes in it to make it extra cool! And hey, for a kid who took a pair of solid white Ked sneakers and stayed up till 4am one night going through at least 3 black markers to create a much coveted checkered pattern on them, all to emulate the Ska fashion trend at the moment; surely to gawd cutting some well placed "worn" looking holes in the sweater would be a breeze! 

Christmas Day finally arrived, and once I made it past my dad's blinding 8mm camera lights (the 80's version of a tanning bed) I made a bee line for the box I knew that sweater was in! I ripped it open, peeled back the carefully placed tissue and pulled out the black sweater of total coolness. Cept this sweater wasn't my version of cool. I looked over the heaping Princess Diana shoulder puff sleeves at my mother's beaming face, my mouth was hanging open. What was this Teeny, fitted girly black sweater from Vogue-does-ugly?!? Where was my oversized, loose knit cool factor outer wear? 

Now I am sure that on any other day my hideous, teenage hormone induced naughty self would have said something not very nice about my mother's creation. Today was Christmas though, and I could see she was so proud of herself. "Are yee happy wee it Shelah? Isn't it jis lovely?! I used acrylic wool, jis like yee wanted." Then and there I thought I could make that sweater cool, I'd come up with something. " yeah! Thanks mom, it's great!" **I did try to make that sweater cool to me, and well, unfortunately the arms fell off of it. As I was in the hall at high school, talking to a boy I really liked...that was after it almost strangled me at a Flock of Seagulls concert...this teenage bitch was getting Vogue pattern served** 

At about this time my father was opening his gift from mom, in the box he was given he pulled out a steaming huge pair of knit swimming trunks! His face was still as he pondered for a moment what it was that he actually received, the more he unraveled them, the bigger they got. Then he looked at my mother, " fer Cris sake, wit the hell are these?!" My mother was all too happy to tell him: "Woolen swim trunks yee eejit, they'll keep yee warm when yee swim!" To which my father replied: "swim? Bloody sure they'll no! Droon is mare like it!" This is where our family excelled, humour and sarcasism. Our biggest sign of love for one another was if you could make each laugh with a tinge of unintended cruelty, served straight up on the rocks of truth. 

Which brings me back to the picture of my more youthful parents which I cherish... on the mom with the skinny cigarette in one hand, pointed bikini top on, toes meshed in the sand, her one arm around my father as he stood boyish and goofy in his woolen swim trunks...the both of them beaming happy together in the hot sun, each content in their new found country.

Monday, 28 November 2016

The Perfect Shit Storm....

Apart from choosing poorly in the Internet dating world for far too long, ( it got better, I ended up meeting my now husband),  it would seem I have also chosen to work at some slightly crazy making jobs.

 I should clarify: I chose jobs I clearly had no business doing. No, I didn't pretend I was a doctor or mechanic, and I made sure for the safety of everyone involved, to keep away from jobs which required advanced  mathematical skills. I especially never mixed chemicals, not even when I worked for a large DIY box store. However, I did try my hand at serving tables while I was in art college, but that is another story. Let's just say the bald spot at the back of my head healed rather nicely...

 The type of employment I am referring to is: Customer Service. More specifically: Retail Customer Service.

I have often said throughout my lacklustre career of serving the public, that it is the person behind the counter, or on the sales floor or at the other end of the telephone that should be the one receiving an Oscar. We are unscripted, mostly undirected, sometimes uninformed, even if we are in wardrobe complete with all our corporate flare. Mostly though, we are vulnerable. Hiding behind shelves hoping and praying certain well known crusty customers can be avoided at all costs.

 Once while hiding behind a shelf pretending to be very busy and very important indeed I was privy to a rather stunning conversation.
A young woman with Albinism who was clearly pregnant  walked passed me, she also passed two
local young men,  and one of them said this: " hey, who fucked the albino?" I lost my breath for a  
second, I froze , thank gawd she didn't hear them. But here is another reaction I had, I also
snorted....yes!! Yes! Yes, I did....think of me what you will folks, but in a very inappropriate way, it struck me as a bit funny.
You need to get a glass of wine now, right??!.... get one, I will wait....

 In the DIY big box store I worked in, customers would often think they were alone in the aisles....that's when they would drop them. Big, loud smelly farts.....real rippers even! Some would also laugh when they did it, amusing themselves with their pung ...then they would see me, as I stepped aside from my serious shelf business meeting...looking at them with resting bitch face.....very casually they would saunter away, cheeks on fire...face cheeks I mean.

I learned from the best of them in my retail years. One particular boss would see a customer they didn't like pulling up to the store and he would yell: " she's here! Run to the back of store! Last one there has to serve her!"

It was always a panicked frenzy of stopping whatever you were doing, staring down your nearest co-worker, ready to topel them if need be, every sales associate for themselves. All is suddenly fair in this survivor game. Like the Hunger Games if they wore aprons with name tags, and sat in the employee lunch room for 8 minutes longer than they should have..... I am sure you can sense the panic in each of our hearts as we sized up our competitors .

 The year was 2002 I think? The setting? A retail chain of stores, this particular one I was in charge of even, manager even. Manager because I was the oldest one there and had finished some schooling, and could lock the doors at 9pm on school nights.
At any rate this particular day was a busy Saturday in December, the store was filled with holiday shoppers and errand running families. We had a policy that the washroom was not for customer use, it was located down a long set of stairs that lead to the basement. The actual washroom was in the far back corner of the basement, we also kept over stock items down there too.
 An older woman with a 3 pronged walking device, wearing a trench coat, along with a middle aged man approached me  and asked if there was a washroom she could use. I was very polite in telling them that our washroom could not be offered to customers due to its unsafe location. I then directed them to the restaurant at the end of our shopping plaza.
 Time went on as usual, I helped people and stayed away from the safety of the shelving units, and as I stood there talking to a co-worker I noticed the woman with the walker and her man friend up at the cash register. The man had the woman's trench coat hanging over his arms, they were taking their time making their purchases. I noticed a very odd look on the cashiers face, in fact I will never forget that look.
He turned to me and made what I only assumed was a fake gagging expression...I thought, " no need to be rude there cashier kid.." And then I noticed it: inside the trench coat that was flung ever so casually over this gentleman's arm, was a whole lotta shit. Like a trench coat liner made of poo, like a
smeared gigantic barnyard mess of poo.
  They left, my cashier almost passed out, I ran to the front of the store where I saw outside in the parking lot the man gingerly laying the soiled trench coat in the trunk of his car!
The smell of shit still heavy in the air.
The cashier then told me, " jeese, they were the stinkiest people! I mean I said they could use the washroom!" Me, in sheer panic, "you what?! You mean they went downstairs?!"
If this moment in time was in a movie, my reaction to hearing that this couple had gotten downstairs would be the special effects one where they use super slow motion, the character's voices are really low and slow, and usually their eyes are half shut:...." Nooooooooooooooooooooo....."

As I staggered to the back of store, avoiding the small yet noticeable 3 pronged walker shit stain marks on the floor, I marvelled at how these stains made it all the way up those long stairs. I stood at the top of the stairs, my eye's stinging in the mix of pung and pungent foul orders, fear was setting in.. choking back my urge to run for the safety of the shelves, there on every step was a shit stain, and as I followed the nasty trail down, it became fresher and more obvious. I stood at the bottom of the stairs, I looked to the back of the basement my eyes following the now familiar trail of poop, prong and feet. Poop, prong, feet, poop, prong, feet and so on and so on. I could barely see in the dimly lit washroom, yet some how I knew, I just knew that a kind of shit hell had been unleashed in there more destructive than a Jack Russel terrier high on meth locked in the pillow section of an expensive boutique.

   It was, quite literally the Perfect Shit Storm folks. I don't know how these people did it, I don't know why, I don't even want to know why! but there was poop every where....floors, walls and speckles on the ceiling that made up tiny poop constellations for future staff to ponder over every time they sat down.

  " And the Oscar goes to?!? Ms. Klein, for her incredibly masterful portrayal of an employee in a hazmat suit..."I will stop the story there, even I want to gag all these years later. The thing that I will never get over is the fact that even after they left their punishing poop, they still stopped to make their purchases!! And they kept the jacket....

 Later that night, I phoned my parents to tell them how my day went..." Hi dad? Yeah doing fine, you? Good to hear, how's mom? Oh nice! She knit some more swimming trunks, awesome....what's that? How did my day go? Well Dad, let me tell you about the Perfect Shit Storm..."

Friday, 25 November 2016

A Wee Welcome...

I am pretty sure I have been telling stories for my entire life. Perhaps it's my Scottish heritage that has allowed me my "great big geb" ( in English: my big mouth), this is not to say I can't keep a secret , or go yapping to everyone, well, not always .

 My idea to start this blog has been rolling around my noodle for sometime. Years ago, after I had graduated art school in Vancouver, I used to type up a monthly letter which was really just about my day to day ramblings ( on an electric type writer no less. The whirling ball of flying letters and numbers!) photo copy it, and then mail it out to my friends.  It was my way of connecting with  my people that I used to see every day while hermetically sealed together in our college atmosphere, but couldn't  always see out in the real world.  Obviously, there was no at home internet at the time...or personal cell phones...or vegans for that matter. Wait, it was Vancouver in the early 90's of course there were vegans.

Guess in a weird way, I was blogging before there was actual blogs. I realize now too ( many years of therapy) I was also forcing my love on my unknowing friends. Just love me! I've always been a little bit like Peppy La Pue, oblivious to who didn't love me, just content to adhere myself to them anyway.

 I like the idea of Coffee stories, and Wine stories...hence the  illustrated couch supporting the two beverages on my  home page. Not exactly sure how I will be catagorizing my future stories under these beverages, however I have a feeling wine stories will contain words like: shit and fuck, whereas coffee stories will not, they will contain profanity's distant and cheeky cousin : near swears. Such as "damn' dang, crap" etc..

 I' ve so far lived a great big life, which would include, but not be exclusive to: 10 years of on again off again internet dating, which includes my story about the guy who threw me a  surprise BBQ w all his friends and family in my honor for our FIRST date....oh yes, that really happened. Then there was the Irish man who came to visit me from Ireland, who failed to mention over the internet that he had tourettes. Not the verbal outburst kind, but the energetic body jerks and quirks kind. Had he previously informed me that he had a compulsive need to stab his arm up and down above his head like he was batting away bugs, I never would have felt like I had to keep ducking and swerving like they were coming for me next. I was exhausted after that dinner date.
 He also liked to rub his man breasts  in a circular motion when he got excited about certain topics of conversation ( mostly politics and kitchen gadgets) which, much to the shock and aw of my friends, did not go over so well...

I' ve lived in small towns , large cities and have been lucky enough to travel a fair bit. Once while in Ireland ( not for Stabby Irish Man ) my girlfriend whom I was travelling with were on a VW bus crammed in with eight other site  see'ers. We were treating ourselves to a "Taste of Ireland Tour". Where upon we were taken to ancient moors of old Pagan Kings, ( our guide had to get the key for the locked midden from Mrs. Tinnery who also ran the local post office. That was after we heard him say " fer feck sake!" ( good example of Wine story here) under his breath as he yanked on the locked iron gate) Next stop folks?! An ancient battle ground set between two now crumbled castles ....our guide stopping our  jittery VW  diesel stead on the side of the road, only to whip out an imaginary tin flute on which he pretended to play a tune,  making the  trilling sounds with his nose and voice
combined, complete with battle sounds made with his stomping feet. At a time like this, one can not make eye contact with one's friend, you must do everything possible to hold back your must, even if it means near asphyxiation

I spent many of my childhood summers in Scotland running around the foothills with sheep and my cousins.  Sometimes just the sheep as my cousins ditched me in giant groves of thigh high heather, filled with wee stinging midgies. Scotland's teeny tiny fang filled, blood thirsty equivalent to the North American mosquito. Mid afternoon would find us back down from the hills, running and slavering to the site and sounds of the daily ice cream van. Like wee Pavlov dogs we started drooling whenever we heard that tinkling wonky music. My fave ices were Count purple ice filled with  smooth vanilla ice cream and a  tart jammy centre ....jam blood! Or a flaky chocolate bar stuffed down a vanilla ice cream cone, what did we call it again? A pokey cone? Nah, it has another will come to me.

These are just some samples of my stories, I welcome you all to stop in and have a read, maybe a laugh, maybe not ! whenever you can! I think I am really going to enjoy the hell out of this! ( Coffee story example, hell doesn't make it on my profanity list)
I would like to thank a very talented friend of mine: Diana Cohen, for setting this blog post up for me. If it were not for employing her highly skilled computer savvy, well I'd be fecked. ( almost a Wine story...feck isn't too naughty a word...)
Welcome folks!