Friday, January 23, 2015

Duck!

This whole mating-for-life thing is for the birds—literally.
     Oh, don’t get me wrong, I’m pretty happy with the actual mating part, it’s those long months in between when I’m still all lovey-dovey, and the missus keeps putting me off.
     Not tonight, dear. I’m brooding.
So, one more season I’ve resigned myself to stick around through all that nesting, migrating, and moulting. But here’s the thing that really puts a crimp in my cloaca: If us mallards are forced to be just as monogamous as anyone else, why is it the so-called Love Birds get all the adulation?
     Lucky ducks.
Photo by mikeyskatie on Flickr.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Love birds no more

We met during the great snowy owl eruption of ’08. It was the length of his spotting scope that first attracted me. He said I had a great pair of binoculars. Heart aflutter, I blushed like a roseate spoonbill. His sexy loon call, soft pishing and ability to tell a pewee from a flycatcher drove me wild. I dreamed he asked me to merge our life lists. He drove me to the dump to count the vultures. I leaned forward expectantly. Our Tilley hats touched. Then that yellow-bellied sapsucker said: “It’s been fun, Chickadee, but I fly south tomorrow.”

Monday, January 19, 2015

A Christmas Eve Tragedy

The grey-blue smoke rose in twin channels from her nostrils, like that of a dragon. True Love? Je ne crois pas pour un instant! Marion sniffed and butted out her Chesterfield into one of the square glass ashtrays. Really, dating a 24-year old boy when she was…what was she? Forty-two! Sallup! And waltzing in on his willowy arm at a Knights of Columbus Christmas party of all places. Oh, mais elle manges la bravo, this divorcée, drinking her highball and leaving her hat on during dinner. This May-September circus act would not end well, and she would see to that.
Image from the G. F. Leclair Estate.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Two Days, One Night, No Kidding

For the 95 minutes of Two Days, One Night, it’s impossible to believe that Marion Cotillard is a member of the struggling Belgian precariat. Not with that opening shot of her slumped despondent on a outsized cushion whose hue so consumately matches her eyeshadow, and whose nubbly weave goes with a 100+ Euro price tag. There’s no need for her to go around begging her coworkers to give up their bonuses so that she can keep her solar panel factory job instead of falling through the cracks in the social contract. The solution is plain. Sell off the cushions, Marion.

Image: Marion-Cotillard.Org

Two Boys Missing

Artie told me he’d never even heard of the ghosts at the bottom of Grenadier Pond. You know, all those soldiers who went marching through Howard’s Park on their way to fight the Americans, and they broke through the ice, and they drowned? He said it was bunk, that the battle was in April and the ice today would be a foot thick if it was an inch, and that he didn’t care anyway, because he and Roy Edwards were skipping the rest of the day to go skating, and that I couldn’t come.
     That’s all I know, sir.
     Honest.
Based on this front page story from the late edition of The Toronto Daily Star. January 9, 1908. Image based on this by Prawny Vintage.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Saturday morning news

I saw them leave my sister’s party: two lean and graceful boys spinning out the back door. I tried to disappear, but they caught me with a snowball. Without a thought or a helmet, they jumped on the Skidoo and into the blizzard. Saturday morning the phone rings. My sister is pulled from sleep. I could picture it: darkness; snow in eddies and swirls; the mass of the Skidoo and occupants plus speed plus trajectory; the larger mass of the snow-hidden parked car; the boys, momentarily gravity free, shooting through cold space, pulled back down. She dropped the phone.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

The Pike Creek Trumpet

Dean Bergeron had a newsy nose and a knack for being in the right place at the right time. He and his Sears Solid State tape recorder were always first on the scene when the newsworthy struck Webbwood Estates. His range surpassed that of any other twelve-year old muckraker. One day he’d pen a frothy piece on Susie Campeau’s birthday soiree, or tug at heartstrings with a cautionary tale involving a dare, a pussy willow and Jimmy Blais’ ear canal. But when his instamatic captured Mrs. Gouin leaving the Knights of Columbus with Mr. Jobin, things got a little hard-boiled.

Image from the cover of Encyclopedia Brown and the Disgusting Sneakers.

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Poor Nam

In Grade 11, The Poor Nam’s Almanac managed to publish three whole issues before the authorities started clamping down. The teacher behind our school’s official newspaper didn’t think we should be using school resources to mock the Red Knight Rider, and the vice-principal, Mr. Putnam, probably didn’t appreciate our homage to him in the masthead. And yet, to our credit, we simply rebranded issue four as the no-nam generic newsletter. 
     We were ever so cheeky back then: making fun of computer geeks, making fun of the stage crew. We even made fun of the swim team.
     But football? No way.

H-two-Osium Subtractum (left)
by Roy Schulze. April, 1978.

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