‘Nuff Said, Friday the 13th

13 May

Have you ever had one of those days when you wake up early at the ungodly hour of 9:30, stagger to the bathroom, and on looking in the mirror you can’t figure out whether you nose hairs are growing down into you moustache or your moustache hairs up into your nose,  and you you should probably go back to bed? Yes, I’m sure you all have. It’s Friday  13th. ‘Nuff said.

Friday 13th May 2016Yes, that is snow today. Temperature soared to 0°C. It’s May, Friday 13th.  ‘Nuff said.

Went shopping. On coming home the garage door opened to let the car in but then wouldn’t close all the way and decided to remain jammed halfway. Car trapped inside. Had to check the mechanism box: gear and worm screw stripped and need replacement. Oh joy! Me and electricity and mechanical repairs. Better check medical insurance. Friday 13th. ‘Nuff said.

Meanwhile discovered  a lone can of soda pop, carelessly left in the garage fridge over the -30°C winter, had decided to explode. It has hardened, solidified, something like granite. S-S hasn’t volunteered to clean it up. Friday 13th. ‘Nuff said.

Back into the bathroom after all this trauma, checked into the mirror to see how much I’ve aged over the past few hours. Horror! My eyebrows now grow up vertically! But I only just turned thirty some forty years ago. The eyebrow bush has become a tangled jungle reaching up my forehead! I’m beginning to look Like a mad scientist, or even worse, a blog writer!  Maybe I’ll get a new mirror. Happy Friday 13th. ‘Nuff said.



Me and the Mouse

8 Mar

scary mouseMany, many years ago when I was not as cool as I am now there was an epic battle between me and a rodent.

I was at work pondering things such as String Theory and its eleven dimensional universe, and how to remove the chewy caramel stuck between my teeth, when the phone rang.

She: You gotta come home now!

Me: Okaay?

She: I’m in the kitchen on the counter!

Me: Okaaay? Why are you on the counter?

She: There’s a mouse in the apartment and he’s sitting there staring at me!

Me: Oh. Okay.

By the time I got home she was still in the kitchen, on the counter.

She: It’s in the bedroom. Get it! Get it!

Noble sire that I am I armed myself with broom and bucket. It was a nasty, vicious battle, attacking and retreating many times. Finally I had the four legged devil in the bucket. Off to the building’s garbage chute. Victory as I closed the chute with a satisfying clang. I was a hero that had overcome tooth and claw. Such power!? Such bravery!

That evening there was a soft knock at the door. There stood  a teary eight year old who lived on the same floor.

He: Have you seen my gerbil? I love my gerbil. I only got him today and he escaped. I really love my gerbil!

Me: Uhm, uhm, oh.




Some People Just Can’t Seem To Take A Compliment

17 Jan


Sometimes no matter how hard I try I can’t get people to appreciate my generosity, my admiration for the results of their hard work.

Recently S-S and I with friends had the unpleasure of having to renovate a condo that tenants had basically trashed after living there for nine years. Big ugh factor. We essentially spent the entire Christmas and New Years period doing major – and I mean MAJOR – cleaning painting and flooring. Big time Ack on this stuff! Not my favourite activity! No way, especially at Christmas. ‘Holmes on Holmes’ can keep this non-delight to himself and his minions,

Anyway, S-S was doing a major cleanup of the door knobs that were covered in tape and paint and some other disgusting grey stuff that was its own ecosystem. She was using Brasso and some liquid that would remove skin, warts and nasal hairs. The results were fantastic. The door knobs glowed a soft pewter-brass, like sun through a light mist on a summer’s day. I was so impressed with the excellent result. But had breathed in too many paint fumes. I merely said,

“That’s fantastic! You’re the Queen of the Knobs!”

offwith his headThe look I got was one of “Off with his head!” or some body part lower down.

I tell ya, some people just can’t seem to take a compliment.


Happy Christmas And I Really Mean It

20 Dec

Christmas 2015The snow is here, and the cold. I want to thank my many devoted fans, lovers of the finely crafted thought piece. Thank you for hanging in there over the long drought.

Soon the climate and locale will encourage more posts. Meanwhile, do you have people who really tick you off? Two of mine are the following:

  1. People Who do not honour their commitments or promises, who let you down or don’t perform or show up as expected;
  2. People who don’t recognize a gratuitous offer of help and then expect you to follow through, to commit, to show up or perform.

Gad such people are irritating!

Now some of you might find the above confusing, even contradictory. But let me remind you that I am talking about OTHER people. Since this is my blog it makes perfect sense. Think of it as  Christmas Zen koan, something like “what is the sound of one hand clapping?”Just something to keep your mind active as you open all those presents and eat all that turkey.

But people I do like are those who know how to celebrate Christmas as a time of joy that is different from other times of the year. No mean feat in this day and age.

Celebrate like there’s no tomorrow. Happy Christmas (English version) or Merry Christmas (North American version) to all.


Not Quite Ready For 747 International Flights

26 Aug
The Gimli Airport Terminal

The Gimli Airport Terminal

I was busy today getting the boat ready for winter storage. On my way to check out the mast I came across the Gimli Airport Terminal. Yes, you read right, airport terminal!

Sometimes somethings tell you that the size of your community needs a reality check. Gimli airport, home of the Gimli Glider, is a real airport. With a terminal. Beat that Heathrow, Pearson or LAX!

It has an accessibility ramp, so modern; one whole, single white plastic deck chair in the outdoor executive lounge; and lottsa grass; but no parking lot. It must be the ultimate in a nightime arrival in January. I think I’ll pass on that one.

I wonder what the security screening  features are like?

Ya Gotta Luv Country Living

26 Jun
I have a sign. I am all powerful. Obey my commands! Gad, I hate my job!

I have a sign. I am all powerful. Obey my commands! Gad, I hate my job!

S-S had to drive into Gimli the other day. She came to the inevitable road construction going on on highway 9 through town. The sign holders, who seem to sprout like dandelions in warm weather, blocked what was now a single lane. However, they didn’t seem to have read their job description.

There was the usual Gimli rush hour traffic jam of two cars or so. As S-S pulled up to the sign holder the sign suddenly turned to STOP.

“Well hi,” says sign lady, and continues,  “I’m hot and the bugs are something fierce. I’ve tried every bug spray there is.” She then proceeds to haul out of her orange-lime-lemon yellow vest every can, tube and bottle of Deet ever made, and to explain the pros and cons of each.

“Uh, Huh,“ says S-S in that way that can range from “Oh, how interesting!”, or “Gimme a break, lady!” (polite version.)

Meanwhile the traffic jam increased to three cars.

Sign lady finally finishes displaying her entire Deet stock and motions to S-S to drive on, at exactly the same time the other sign lady finished talking to her car at her end. Both signs now reading SLOW.

So now we have two cars squished into one lane heading towards each other with no place to turn off. What would you do? All I know is that S-S somehow made it through without a dent or scratch on the car. Coyly she will not explain the magic of how she did it.

The sign holders are still there, randomly turning their signs, spritzing themselves with bug spray, creating those horrendous Gimli traffic jams, and sending drivers into a single lane demolition derby.

Country life. Nothing like it!

Birds in Trees and Watch the Hallelujahs

19 Jun

Many, many, many years ago I was teaching an evening art history course at Sheridan College in , Oakville, ON.
It was early April and stinking hot. The school had stuck us in  a portable, no air conditioning. Everybody had just bought brand new $80 (expensive in those days) text books: big, fat, and heavy, with lottsa pretty pictures. A student suggested we have the class outside, plein air, under the shade of a big oak tree.  Birds were singing in the tree, evening song; hundreds of them.

A slight cooling breeze came up. “Hallelujah”, I shouted in the cooling zephyr.

They're smarter then we think!

They’re smarter then we think!

“Screech, squawk, croak,” went 500+ birds taking flight.

“Screech, squawk, croak, Aaagh Eeuw!” went 30 students as 500 fleeing birds crapped all over their brand new $80 text books, and their hair, and their faces, and their  clothes.
Me, I wasn’t under the tree. A fact soon noticed by what was becoming an avian-poop-encased mob.
“Oh”, I quietly whispered, “Shall we call it a night?”
Silence. No birds. No students. It happened so quickly.

Of String Bikinis and Christmases Past

13 Apr

Have you ever had one of those moments when what you thought would happen, wished would happen, didn’t? Like that time at Christmas long ago when you so wanted a new bike or that record player. Instead all you got was a box of crayons, or even worse, clothes!


String Bikini Fantasy

String Bikini Fantasy

My most recent moment was a few days ago. S-S and a friend I’ll call Super-D were shopping in a local market. They stopped and started handling string bikinis. Little itsy bitsy teenie weenie string bikinis. Heaven on earth.

My heart started pounding harder, and faster, and faster. Drool and sweat started to flow. I was starting to dehydrate.

Then with that sense that only wives have S-S, without even turning around, said,

“Cool it. We’re just admiring the hangers.”

Hangers??? Hangers!!! It was like that Christmas all those years ago. So high, then so low. Oh the humanity!

French Canadian Virgins and Sahara Mouth

6 Apr

Have you ever had a moment when you can’t believe what has just come out of your mouth? I’ve been known to do that occasionally. Here’s one.

Quebec Virgin and Child

Quebec Virgin and Child

I was teaching an evening class on Canadian art. That night was on Quebec religious sculpture. There was a good attendance, about 200 students. I mean if you are going to screw up make sure it’s in front of the biggest audience, right? I was waxing profoundly on those marvelous Quebec Virgin Mary and Christ Child statues seen in every Quebec church. At the height of my expert stylistic analysis out came the words,

“You can always tell a French Canadian Virgin by the sway of her hips.”

Now I said big “V” Virgin. Two hundred people heard small “v”.

As the giggles began to roll around the theatre, first like a ripple, then a tsunami, my brain finally caught up with my mouth.

“Humma, humma, humma”,

Attempting a recovery I commanded,

“Next slide please. This is an example of a typical Quebec church window called ‘oeil de boeuf’ which translates as bulls–t.”

There it was, a twofer for the night. Two neurons must have been firing overtime. The class was mostly teachers. What a pack of animals! Cackling like hyenas. One laughed so hard she wet her pants.

Fortunately, or not,  I developed Sahara mouth, both my mouth and throat dried and seized up. From “Humma humma” to “Ack, Ack” all in 30 seconds.

Class ended early that night. Always have an audience, always! The bigger the better!
P.S. Oeil de boef means bull’s eye

It’s Green and Pulsing. Where are my Glasses?

30 Mar

Glasses are meant to be worn. Sometimes people forget that. I won’t mention any names but S-S wasn’t wearing hers.

I was afternoon-meditating on the couch in the den. I was in deep meditation, very deep. Dreams of S-S whispering sweet nothings to me kept me in sweet enlightenment. But soon her sweet tones changed to something a bit more – how shall we say – shrill, strident. The tone something like,

“Barry, get your ass out here!”

Meditation over I put on my glasses.

Mr Frog

Mr Frog

It seems S-S was stuck out in the garage, without her glasses, after taking out some garbage. I saw her rooted, frantically pointing to something on the step leading back into the house, near my feet.

“What is it, what is it? It’s moving! It must be a snake! Get it! Get it!”

Ultimate cool person that I am I saw it was a mere frog, a big eyed pulsating amphibian. The poor thing was lost.

“It might be a snake. It’ll bite me. Kill it! Kill it!”

Non-nimble, humane hero that I am, I proceeded to stumble on the step, scare the bejaysus out of Mr Frog and land flat on my face at S-S’s feet. Mr Frog, happy to escape, hopped away. Any expectations of profound thanks for saving S-S were immediately dashed.

“What took you so long, I’ve been yelling for over half an hour? And where are my glasses?”

I felt a deep kinship with the frog. I tell ya It’s hard being a hero with glasses.

Hero with glasses

Hero with glasses