Thursday, October 29, 2015

Porta-Potty Peril

"It must be tough to be a highway construction worker," says Rissa.

"Hmmmm?" I respond.  I glance towards the central median of the 401, taking in the construction zone.  "Yeah, especially when you're working there."

"I mean, when do you pooh?"


"They've got Porta-Potties, but really, who could ever be comfortable enough to actually have a pooh, when there are cars whizzing by you at 100kms an hour?"

"I guess you get used to it."

"HOW?!?  How would that be possible?  Most people aren't comfortable poohing in a public washroom..."

She's right.  I myself, couldn't poop with anyone nearby until well into my 20s - until I'd developed a spastic colon because of my unwillingness to acknowledge that a #2 was a part of life and sometimes when one did it there was noise.

"I'd be there all day.  I couldn't do it.  I would have to wait until 3:00 a.m. and then do my business."

"Let's light a candle for them when we get home, to give them strength."

"Oh God, they're mostly dudes.  Mostly dudes nervously using a Porta-Potty on the 401.  They can't light a candle in there.   How can we send bulk Poo-Pourrie to road workers??"

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Chasing Cyd Charisse

In the mid-80s the bus dropped me off on Ness Avenue and I walked two major blocks south to get to high school.  I walked down the alley behind Ainsley Street -  this was Winnipeg - we had alleys everywhere.  I had two goals every morning: get to school early and walk faster than Francine Bishop.

I would see Francine walking ahead of me down that alley and it became my obsession to overtake her.  It was an impossible task.  Francine was at least six inches taller than me, with Cyd Charisse legs that bent the laws of physics and physicality.  Her legs appeared at least 10 inches longer than mine.  Maybe I had a long torso and she had a short torso, but I swear those legs went all the way up to her fucking arm pits.  I looked up to her, figuratively and literally.  She was a year ahead of me, took drama was super smart.  I have no idea why the need to walk faster than her kicked in.  Maybe my inner Neanderthal took control and needed to be the lead hunter/gatherer.

"Gronk need be first!"  Chest thump.  "Gronk fast!"

It was ridiculous.  I'd have to practically run to even get close. I'd be pumping my arms, speed walking - then, if I managed to get within striking distance, I'd have to act all nonchalant as if I was not attempting to break the land speed record to catch up to her and her unbelievable legs. 

I did it once.  I passed her, offered a cheerful "Good morning!" and then kept powering through, the lactic acid burning in my legs, the muscles in my ass twitching by the time I made it to the school.  I could barely manage the stairs before collapsing beside my locker.  But as I lay there, gasping for breath, I imagined the head of the Olympic Committee presenting me with a gold medal.  In a near-coma I saw the Canadian flag being raised as I mumble-sang Oh Canada to the crowd.  It never happened again.  I think maybe the day I passed her she was sick, or tired... or humouring me.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Is that a dirty book?

... asks Rissa as I pop open my e-reader.  "I'm asking, 'cause you mostly have dirty books on there, right?"

"Yes, there are mostly dirty books on this e-reader.  But this one hasn't gotten dirty yet."  I'm not a fan of Dickens when I'm winding down with a book.  Some good character development, some sex, some puns and I'm good.

"What's this one called?" she asks.

" Beautiful... something..."

"It's called Beautiful SOMETHING? That's a terrible title."  She leans back on the pillow and puts a lavender cat mask over her eyes to block out the reading light.

I explain. "No, it's just that on an e-reader - or at least my e-reader - they don't have the book title on the top of each page and you can't just turn the book over to confirm the title or even the author.  The book is one in a series and they all start with 'Beautiful.'  Beautiful Bastard, Beautiful Stranger.. HAH!  This one must then be Beautiful PLAYER."

"So basically you could just have some random title and it wouldn't even have to be sexy?"


Rissa lets out a snort of laughter, the lavender cat becoming displaced momentarily.


"I'm thinking of titles now.  Twenty questions with Irving."

"You're such a goof."

"The Lampshade of Destiny."


"Indigo the Bullfighter Meets the Marsupials."  She is vibrating now with laughter.

"You are so weird."

"Elbows and the Renaissance!!!  Or, or... if you have sentences within the dirty book they could be even weirder, 'She was fine until Marcel and his marionettes came to town'. "

She is silent for a moment and then starts convulsing with laughter.


"I have to  ̶  " she stops.  "I have  to be able to do this without  ̶ "  She blows out calming air, but then loses it again and pitches into a fit of giggles.


" 'Linda never though that the limbo could be fun until she met Jean-Paul and his dog' !!!!!  BWA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HAAAAAAA!!!!"

I am snorting now too.  "How do you come up with this stuff?"

She cackles again.  "I have my thinking 'cat' on.  Get it?  I'm wearing the cat mask?  BWA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HAAAAAAA!!!!"

This is one of the many reasons why I love my child.