Wednesday, October 28, 2015

The Exchange

"Sorry I'm late. Do you have the stuff?"

"Of course I have the stuff! Who do you think you're dealing with? I am that guy! The guy who brings the stuff! If I didn't have it, then I wouldn't be that guy. I am always bringing things places. Am I making myself clear?"

"Alright. Alright. I got it. I'm just nervous, that's all and hungry and a little bit tired as I didn't sleep well last night. So....where is it? In your jacket? Stuffed up your pant leg? Hidden under that trash can over there? Where is it? I gotta have it!"

"What do you think this is, a movie? In good time, my friend. I'll produce the stuff from its secret spot when the time is right and not a second before or after. I am that precise. All the time."

"Look, I appreciate precision as much as the next guy, but it's cold out. I'm shivering. I'm freezing. It's late and it's windy and I'm tired. I also need to call Darrell or else he gets all suspicious and weird and I don't like it when he gets weird. The suspicion I can handle, but the weirdness really creeps me out. Do you think you could hurry up?"


"Please. You don't understand how badly I need what you say you have. I'll pay you double."

"Why do you want it so badly? Not that it's my business. You can go spending your money on anything you want, but why this? Why now? Why here? Why not over there a few steps? I've gotten stuff, different things, for so many guys. Guys like you and also guys quite different from you...hairier and with muscles. But never this. Look, you've never told me the reasons and you don't have to, but I'm just wondering why risk so much for something so...odd?"

"Good questions. Very good, in fact. I did make a list, but I left it at home and I don't remember half of it. Actually, I'm kidding with you about actually making a list - it was more of a mental exercise. All I can tell you is it is the final piece of the puzzle and I am not being euphemistic right now, although I may start any moment. It is going to help me and my team finish our project and move towards the next phase."

"You've lost me. I have no idea what puzzle or project or team you are working on or with, and although I love puzzles and projects and teams most of the time, it sounds like you are up to no good and I don't want any part of that."

"Ha! You? Steering clear of things that may be perceived as no good? Ha! That's right, you heard me, I actually did laugh out loud over that. What happened to you? When did you go soft?"

"Soft? Are you calling me soft? Like did I really hear sounds leave your lips after travelling up your throat that somehow formulated the word 'soft'? I think it was last month after Jane left."

"Oh yeah, I forgot about that. Man, I'm sorry. I know that must be hard for you."

"It is. I know I act all tough and cool and hard, but on the inside I have feelings, real feelings and if you dig further down, past those feelings, I am soft. So are you. We all are. And right now, I just can't stop thinking about her, especially when it rains."

"When it rains?"

"Yeah, when it rains. We met on a rainy Monday. Five years ago, although she always claimed it was 7. It was sunny the day before and the weather forecast was for cloudy skies, but it rained which bothered me, as how hard can it be to get the weather right? Really, I have no idea how hard that is.
Anyways, I was working and didn't think to bring my umbrella and then I saw her, and was initially not interested as I was solely focused on needing an umbrella. She was in the wrong place at the wrong time and stood out sort of like a sore thumb, but not really. I literally bumped into her and then she was in the right place at the right time. Funny how quickly that can change sometimes. I still remember her, with that ridiculous sweater she was wearing and that hair. Her hair was wet and hanging down on her shoulders, most likely covering them, but I couldn't be sure as all I could see was hair. And the hair was dripping all over her back and I just fell for her seeing her like that, with a wet back covered with a ridiculous sweater. And now she is gone. Poof. She actually said that when she left. Poof. Can you believe it?"

"That's rough. You know, you could always call if you needed someone to talk to or just hang out with, although that would be better in person as long periods of silence on the phone are awkward."

"Sorry, what? Just because I told you what could be misconstrued as a sob story, even though I wasn't, for the record, sobbing, don't forget who you are dealing with! I can be your worst nightmare or your best friend, or occasionally a little bit of both, just to keep you on your toes. I don't need your sympathy and I don't want your sympathy and I don't even fully understand the whole difference between sympathy and empathy and pity, but I don't have time to get into that right now with you as I am on the clock, not literally of course."

"Okay, okay, okay. Don't shoot me for trying to help and while you are at, please don't shoot me for any reason at all. Just give me my stuff I came for and I'll be on my way,"

"Sorry. I'm just a bit touchy and can't get caught out here with you. I appreciate your kind words and don't mind the other words as well. My ears need the work. Here, let me get your stuff. It is cold and late and I should get home, as should you, just to your home, in case that was unclear. We don't live in the same home. Sorry if I talked your ear off, it's just that I really miss Jane on rainy Mondays, as well as the other days regardless of the weather which makes the rainy Monday aspect a little unnecessary to mention, but it helps me remember the good times."

"It's all good. Thanks for this. I can't believe you procured this so quickly and so easily and without arousing suspicion. This is exactly what I wanted and the guys will be so excited. Here is the cash. I also threw in something extra to sweeten the deal. You like nougat, I hope. Don't worry - your identity is safe with me. I'll never tell anyone. Take care. I'll be in touch if I need anything else and I meant what I said - call me."

"Thanks. I won't. I hope you understand. It is best that we keep things like this. You call when you need stuff. I get the stuff. We meet and exchange said stuff for money. I occasionally tell a vaguely personal story. You try to offer your support. I refuse and summarize the evening as I am right now and then we leave. Good night."

"Good night."

Monday, October 26, 2015

Here's Tommy!

One day a young boy was born.

And then a number of days passed. 

Now that boy, who became a man along the way, writes. 

Some refer to him as Tommy Paley, while many others whisper strange and mostly true rumours about him behind his back, mostly because he is sleeping at the time and because his back seems to always be facing them sort of like how the moon rotates around the Earth.

Tommy types words that he finds in dictionaries and encyclopedias and on sides of 2 litre milk cartons after his daily 2 litre milk shower. Yes, he takes those words and magically spins them together, as well as spinning himself around on a computer chair just to see how the words feel. The stories that pop out are practically begging to be read. How do these stories beg? We aren't sure, but, we have to admit, it is a really good trick.

Tommy comes from a long line of averagely-sized people who wish they were just a little bit taller without giving up any of their "small person charm". There have been actors and artists and fashion designers that have come before him, and he always just wants to fit in and not be embarrassed at family gatherings at holiday times when everyone else comes across as "worldly" and "creative" and "huggable". 

So one day it hit him - with "it" being his own hand - that he should put his thoughts on paper or on a screen and that, if he did finally select paper, for the paper to come from one of those value packs found at the dollar store as the incredible cost per sheet just can't be beat! One fateful day, he rose, ate breakfast, went for a walk and then finished a number of other chores or things on his To-Do list and then he sat and started to type. This story would have been a great idea for a movie, if it wasn't so incredibly boring.

At first the ideas spilled out of his brain and someone had to constantly be on mop duty. Those early ideas were quite rudimentary, even by Tommy's standards, and were mostly comprised of solely conjunctions and punctuation. He was nervous. Tommy often is at first. But then, as he gained confidence, and the gears were properly greased - Tommy naively thought he could use cod liver oil which both didn't work and made the place smell like a cannery - and it was only then, on his hands and knees at midnight trying to desperately sop up the oil with a day-old baguette, that he released that it was merely an expression. 

Angrily and more full of passion then ever before, except the infamous "Minestrone Soup" ordeal, he attacked his writing and started to include adverbs and their born-out-of-wedlock-something-always-seems-a-bit-off-about-them-cousins, the adjectives. His writing almost (but not quite) came alive and he treated himself to a shave as the sorry excuse for a beard that he was absent-mindedly growing was pleading to be released.

When you read Tommy's writing, you are really reading him as if he was a screen with words on it that you could scroll through quickly and claim that you "loved" as it is just too hard to give honest feedback to someone who seems so desperate of praise. When you read his writing you are seeing what makes him "tick" and occasionally "tock", although the new meds are supposed to help with that. His brain and heart and the blood currently coursing through his veins and possibly his arteries are on display for the world to see and judge and analyze and embrace if you happen to be wearing a hazmat suit.

Finally, Tommy is attempting for his writing to be "approachable" and "biodegradable" and the kind of writing you could cuddle with on a chair by the fire on a cold, winter's night. He is aiming for his work to be all things to all people or at least some things to some people, with the hope that those people appreciate his writing the same way he appreciates a plate of cooked salmon, which is a lot.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

The 100 Words I Would Say After Winning the Lottery


Thursday, October 15, 2015

Guess Who's Coming to Dinner?

So you have been invited over for dinner? While some would be celebrating or excited, you seem to be mostly stunned. A little nervous, are we? Well, you are not alone - we are all nervous. Being a guest for dinner is so challenging especially when the hosts are your in-laws, your boss or even the rare times when your boss' in-laws call you up.

You are probably overwhelmed thinking about what to say, which fork to use for what and how off-colour your jokes should be. And it is just so hard to concentrate on eating without making a mess with all of these other thoughts swarming around in your head as well as staying attentive enough so as not to miss the off-chance that you are actually called upon for your opinion.

Well, worry no longer! We are here to help you not only relax and enjoy yourself, but also to be considered an amazing guest and a cinch to be one of the first included the next time a dinner party is held. Here are some helpful hints on how to be an amazingly awesome guest for dinner.

1) When greeted at the door, immediately comment on how beautiful and handsome your hosts are as well as saying that whatever they paid their plastic surgeon it was 100% worth it despite what their neighbours say.

2) The house will be stunning and immaculate, which means that your dust and dust mite inspection should be brief.

3) Before being seated, you insist on playing musical chairs and will not take "no" or "we're grownups" or "have you taken your meds?" for an answer.

4) If the meal starts with a breadbasket, you are initially only interested in artisanal baked goods although you quickly modify that by demanding baked goods that are very high in fiber and then insisting that only flour from ancient grains be used, before finally settling on gluten free. Once the bread arrives, decide to save your appetite for the main course.

5) Insist on everything being free-range, even those things that cannot be, like carrots and wine.

6) You only eat salads comprised of micro-greens, yet, the greens the salad is comprised of can never be micro enough.

7) Propose a long, rambling, mostly unintelligible toast to your gracious hosts before dissolving into loud, sobbing tears.

8) Yes, you would love some champagne, but not the kind that is fizzy as that makes you burp. When served some flat champagne make "she's crazy" faces and hand movements when your host has looked away.

9) Food must be seasoned well and for you Pink Himalayan Rock Salt is required on your meal. You won't be fooled by labels or common hoaxes like receipts from health food stores. No, you need to see actual, physical proof that your hosts mined the salt themselves in the Himalayas within the past 3 months.

10) Your intolerances include, but are not limited to, dairy, nuts, wheat and investment bankers.

11) If one of your fellow dining companions choses to tell a story that doesn't feature you as the protagonist or hero, mock snore like a cartoon baboon until the story either includes you or comes to an end.

12) You only eat salmon that is wild, organic and caught by actual grizzly bears.

13) To aid with digestion, you prefer sipping unbottled water served directly out of local glaciers regardless of how close your host's house is to the nearest glacier.

14) If food is served featuring thinly sliced foods cut on a mandoline, you would also like a quartet of  musicians playing Spanish ballads on mandolins at the same time. Just seems appropriate.

15) When nibbling on some cured meats before dinner, you insist on knowing exactly what they were cured of.

16) For your eating pleasure you would benefit from having a table setting with no fewer than 5 forks, which you would not actually eat with seeing as you always bring your own.

17) If a roast has been prepared, you will be carving it after a confusing prayer that involves a high-risk sword demonstration. End of conversation.

18) If conversation slows down or becomes awkward, which it will, break out an obscenity-laden gangsta rap using a chicken drumstick as a mic.

19) You insist that everything connected in any way to the dessert be flaming - like literally on fire.

20) The evening is over and it is time to go home, which is your cue to launch into a biting critique of the evening expressed in third person that will later on end up on your blog.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Large Scale Fraud

She understood that some things weren't funny until they hit you, but personally, somewhere around the 5th hit, and even the most hilarious became significantly less funny.
He felt like the walls were closing in on him and that they had ears. A suggestion made to him at multiple times by multiple people in the past all of a sudden became crystal clear: cut back on walls, as you only really need four per room.
She didn't want to just act rationally, she also wanted to be the human embodiment of rationality thus justifying the new hat she wanted to buy.
He drew series upon series of really dark sketches that were starting to pile up in his basement until he ran out of black coloured pencils and it was then that he entered his blue phase.
She thought seriously for days and days about ending it all, but thankfully found the courage to go on and she emphatically placed yet another comma, her 10th, in the sentence and kept on writing.
He bobbed for apples with the best of them, but was never quite good enough to feel like their equal regardless of how much he needed to floss afterwards.
She raced down the ocean highway with nothing but sweet nothings in her ear and an empty honey jar on the seat beside her, or as she fondly referred to the experience, Wednesday afternoons.
He so badly wanted to avoid the stigma and the harmful stereotyping, but he just couldn't resist the hot, buttered aroma of the freshly popped popcorn at such reasonable prices.
She knew herself so well and whenever she was so sad, and yet so happy at the same time, the only cure was a nice massage followed by large scale fraud.
He watched the raindrops streaming effortlessly down his window and he imagined that instead it was he himself who was streaming down the window and the drops were inside watching him and then planning to go finish all of his ice cream. He needed to get out more.
She often glamorized a life in the jungle mostly because her parents spent a lot of time and money ensuring their children would have not only a deep respect for lives and jungles in general, but also specifically a life spent in the jungle.
He had the force and conviction of a younger man who was burning the candle at both ends which he was not only working his way up to, but also planning to surpass with his patent application for a three-ended candle.
She wished for many things: to be serenaded, but only after having recently showered; to have a clean home, but not at the expense of having to expend any time or money; and to have the choir in her dreams either sing on key or take up macrame.
He entered the classroom and greeted his math teacher who started barking at him like a dog, which should have been more out of place, but wasn't as he had made the conscious decision last month to drop everything and go live among the dogs.
She had an overwhelming desire to train rabbits or to link the rabbits one-by-one thus making a rabbit train for purposes she was yet unaware of.
He was always quiet impatient until he got his balm as balms always soothed him until he grew impatient of being soothed and then he danced the tango.
She locked the door to her room and walked towards her bed and then looked around and noticed that she was actually in the backyard, and it was then that she realized she should have hired someone who actually knew how to build roofs.
He wanted to count sheep to help himself fall asleep but the fox he had seen frequently in his dreams ever since he was a child kept scaring the sheep away, and he would have been angry if that fox hadn't been such a father figure to him which went a long way towards explaining his decision to move permanently to the woods.
She sat against the big oak tree feeling slightly guilty as even though that tree was always supporting, she was secretly planning on chopping it down to teach herself a lesson about valuing those that support us, even trees.
He just didn't know how to feel anymore. A little help please!

Sunday, October 4, 2015

What Not to Say when out with the guys

1) Let's all grow matching moustaches!

2) I had a dream last night that we were all cute little bunny rabbits.

3) Sometimes when I'm by myself I pretend that I'm a sexy robot. Makes cleaning the toilet infinitely more enjoyable.

4) Have you ever gone out and bought a big barrel of apples and then returned home and just sat there peeling apple after apple after apple and occasionally cutting yourself but not caring as you just feel so alive?

5) Whose got da funk? No really, who has it? Was it my turn?

6) Do you ever stop to wonder where bark comes from?

7) Is it just me or does anyone else want to literally cover themselves with melted cheese right now?

8) My blender hates, and I repeat, hates my microwave.

9) Have you ever wished you could instantly gain 100 lbs all in your right leg?

10) On Thursday evenings I take out all of my shirts, lay them on my bed, stuff them with socks and assign them names and act out scenes from popular movies.

11) I like to run in the woods imagining that I am being chased by wolves only to slowly realize that I am also a wolf. Then I realize we are all just wearing realistic wolf outfits and they just want to sell me insurance.

12) Oh my god, the napkins here are crazy soft against my cheeks! I could just rub them against my face forever! 

13) Don't take this the wrong way, because I really value our friendship, but if you mess with me, I will be forced to eat tray after tray of brownies and then not only write down my feelings about you and how you've hurt me in my diary but also to go through hours of therapy trying to sort through my issues of trust and betrayal and I can only hope to get to the point where I can value a friendship again. Nachos anyone?

14) I love sitting by the fire with a good book and losing myself in the story. Literally. For days. 

15) Rain makes me wet. The wind playfully blows my hair. The sun warms me. Snow covers the world with a white blanket. And all the while I just stand there singing show tunes in my head off-key.

16) Yesterday I got my pay cheque and I ran to the bank to get money and then, as quick as I could, I raced to the store and finally bought myself a yellow shirt! Yes!

17) The more I think about it, the more I wish I was all thumbs, or at least more thumbs.

18) I made each of you a friendship bracelet out of dandelions.

19) You guys remember our grade 7 teacher Ms. Harvey? Man, did I have a crush on her! Easily the hottest 65-going-on-90 female teacher in the school. Damn!

20) The one thing I would never do is sell government secrets to the enemies unless the enemies ask really nicely and have worded their request well. What can I say? I'm nothing if not a sucker for good manners and proper grammar.