Saturday, October 23, 2021

Hamlet Hamlet do be a Lamblet

I sunk my tetracycline-stained teeth into Shakespeare by watching the Hamlet episode of Gilligan’s Island. Along with a fleeting interest in The Bard, that show sparked an obsession with tropical islands, a gateway eccentricity to my pirate phase. Although the Drouillard Road locals could’ve rocked a parrot or a wooden leg, Windsor in 1967 was no ocean paradise. So imagine the five-year-old serendipity when I spotted a cookie bag emblazoned with palm trees and clipper ships. Those coconut cremes were in my mom’s shopping cart before she knew what hit her. Desert Isle-Dessert Aisle? It could work: It had to.
[Photo credit: Wikipedia] Inspred by To Be all and End all

Saturday, October 16, 2021

The Be All to End All

To be, or not to be, a drabbler, that is the question. Whither the point to suffer the mind, spill ink upon blank page, then feel the slings and arrows of outrageous critics? (Or worse, feel none, and be unheard, unread, which marks perchance calamity for so brief a composition.)
     Devoutly to be wish’d: To be a drabbler no more, and by our silence bid an end to the heart-ache of a hundred measly words, the contrivances of plot and rickety premise, the sly shuffle with hyphens and compound-words.
     To drabble, or not to drabble: ay, there be the rub.

Notes: (1) So far this month we have been on a bee/b/be of sorts. Check the archive here. (2) A “drabble,” by the way, is (according to Wikipedia) “a short work of fiction of precisely one hundred words in length”—witness the confections served on this blogsite. “The purpose of a drabble is brevity, testing the author’s ability to express interesting and meaningful ideas in a confined space.” We make no claims regarding interesting or meaningful and vouch only for the hundred words (though sometimes we cheat with sneaky hyphens or made-up compound words, these end notes being a case-in-point).

Image: Sarah Bernhardt as Hamlet, 1899. Shakespeare Centre Library, Stratford-upon-Avon

Tuesday, October 12, 2021

More Bs

Beginning with a barrage of brags and boos, and a bonk on the bum when Brenda bumped into Betty, the brawl burst out of Bob’s Bowling Bar, with a blur of broken beer bottles and bashed bodies.
     Brandishing a baseball bat, brought forth from her Buick, Betty bawled: “You bitch!”
   “Bite me!” blasted back Brenda.
     Betty began bashing. Brenda bobbed. Brian the Bouncer bellowed: “Break it up! Break it up you blonde bimbos!”

“Blonde bimbos?” the two beauties bellowed back, and began beating Brian, who, banged up and bloodied, booming and battling, bagged the bat and banished the bickering broads.

Inspired by Buzzman’s Honeymoon.

Friday, October 8, 2021

Buzzman’s Honeymoon

Julie and Phillip keep bees. “You kept them watered all summer!” Julie explained, handing me a jar. Watered? Then I remembered how these guys loved our deck fountain. We’d sometimes get a dozen or more, lined up in a polite row, like British Holiday makers. Some would swoop in for a dip, others were content to relax on the stone and warm their little legs, all chubby-dusty with pollen. We even saved a few sun-drunk ones from drowning. They repaid us tenfold with each spoonful of this lovely, caramel-coloured elixir, reserving a place next year at our Bee & Bee.
Inspired by Democracy’s Unsung Worker-Bees. Photo by Laurie Leclair.

Sunday, October 3, 2021

Democracy’s Unsung Worker-Bees

Spare a thought for those who sweated the election. Not the politicians, but the poll workers who made it happen. In a few short weeks 200,000+ Canadians volunteered and trained to administer the vote. On Election Day they deployed to hundreds of voting places where, masked and using analog technology, they set up and staffed the polls to which their fellow citizens, sometimes cranky, thronged. They processed and registered voters, sought solutions on the fly. At closing they counted—by hand—every ballot cast, recorded the results then tore their workplace down, leaving no vestige of their role or presence.  

Photo by the author at a real live polling station.

Tuesday, September 28, 2021


The year Trudeau Junior won his majority, I needed a new fridge, so I worked the advance polls. Four days of squinting at IDs, repetitive strain from crossing names off lists, with no time to eat or pee, blur in my memory. Except for one young man, who, having waited forty minutes and showed me his ID, was given a ballot to make his mark. He announced: “I'm refusing to vote.” His protest—against the futility of elections? The corruption of politicians? Democracy?—witnessed only by me and three other tired election workers, living on chocolate, gummy bears and caffeine.
Graphic from the Elections Canada home page.

Tuesday, September 21, 2021

Sign Wars!

The NDP here are a tight little group. No matter the campaign—federal, provincial, or municipal—you see the same faces, year after year. And so, we’ve all gotten pretty good at campaigning; and we sure had a pretty good run there for awhile—until the damned Liberals beat Toronto’s best MP . . . really.
     Thing is, I’m a sign guy, and so that’s how I’ll judge you. Our signs are straight; their signs are crooked. Our signs stay up; their signs fall down.
     By sheer numbers alone, we won the last three sign wars. Next time, hopefully, we win back the seat.
Inspired by Woke Salad Annie. Photo from the author’s extensive collection of Liberal Sign Fails.

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