Tuesday, September 14, 2021

Woke Salad Annie

Ever since they stopped the 7:00 P.M. pot-banging she was in an ethical quandary. How could she show her neighbours that she too liked a side of luke-warm activism with her piney Riesling? That’s why clanging kitchen utensils worked so well: All that community schwarm and a good night’s sleep for only a two-minute effort. But then the lawn signs came. First one, then another, then a third . . . Was she diluting her support for one cause by the proliferation of others? Who cares? Hate had no place on her grass. Neither did dogs—and she had a sign for that too.
Inspired by One Copes. Photo by L. Leclair.

Monday, September 6, 2021

One Copes

When asked what he did during the French Revolution, the Abbé Sieyès replied, “I survived.” I’m grateful to say the same (so far) of the pandemic. Yes, it’s tedious. Long, properly-distanced walks in the city distracted for a while—until I’d walked everywhere. A new bike, I decided, a shiny roadster for my Tour de Here. Hahahaha. Global supply chains are locked up tighter than Gitmo. Often I met friends in the park. First we had a brisk walk then, two meters apart, a beer on a bench. Sometimes we forewent the walk. Sometimes I forewent the friend. One copes.
Links are to previous Exquisite Corpse pandemic-era posts to show how we’ve coped. 


Monday, August 30, 2021

Lockdown Games (for when you’re really bored)

I got out a glass, left the cupboard door ajar, and poured some milk. Mom jumped up, closed the cupboard and sat down. I got a plate, left the door open again, got a knife, didn't shut the door. Mom’s eyes bugged out. How long could she last? One, two, three . . . She death-gripped her coffee. My toast popped; I brought my plate to the table, leaving the bread out. Four, five . . . Mom's eyes twitched. Six, seven . . . I left crumbs in the butter. Gurgling came from her throat. Eight . . . Oops! Butter dolloped onto the table. Nine . . .

Tuesday, August 24, 2021

Who will help me.

Just before COVID, I lost my computer to causes unknown. 
     True to form, I was pretty quick buying a replacement, only to let it languish downstairs . . . then the world ended. And why bother at all when any old computer will get you doom-scrolling through Twitter all day? . . . until that one died too, in October, and I moved to my iPhone fulltime.
     Two more months of that, and the fever broke, finally. I unboxed my new-year-old iMac, and plugged it all in. It wasn’t like I’d come to my senses, I just really wanted to download the new Doctor Who special. 
With apologies to Laurie for following up on the loss of her dear Starmen with a story of my inconsequential computer problems.

Tuesday, August 17, 2021


This year we lost our wonderful friend Mike. And our talented pal Tom just two years before that. I often think about the fun times we had in grad school with the one, and in our fledgling adult lives with the other. For some reason, this cautionary tale on the precious impermanence of life and joy always leads me to David Bowie. At one particular-spectacular moment in time Mike, Tom, my parents, my first dog, Prince AND Bowie were all living their lives. A sort of Kuiack-Purvis-Laurette-Gerard-Brillo-Prince-Bowie Confluence. They were all alive. Like me. And most of them were happy.
Inspired by Dying. Photo by Mary Ellen Kelm.

Thursday, May 21, 2020

Postcards From the Pandemic

Tourism in the pandemic leaves much to be desired. Forget flights or trains. All destinations are local. There is much to witness from your window or balcony. Birdsong. The moon. A cloud. Maple blossoms (which you’ve never noticed before) are striking. Sunset is must-see.
     Venturing further afield, find somewhere you can walk without breaking the two metre protocol. Forget dining out. If there is any good in this, it’s that you can’t stage a food-porn photo of your restaurant meal. The new normal is you, all alone, sightseeing in your mask. Post that to social media and wait for Likes.

Saturday, May 2, 2020

Home Delivery in the Time of Cholera

Towards the end of my career with the Toronto Star, and with a young entrepreneur’s eye to scoring a few more tips from that year’s final collection, a fifteen-year-old me bought a bunch of Christmas stickers to stick on my copies of the Saturday paper.
     Okay, so that didn’t work.
     But I’ve learned a lot in the last four decades, and since they have yet to come up with festive pandemic stickers, I decided to create some myself for my current route, not for the money this time, just for something to let folks know I was thinking of them.

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