Wednesday, 6 August 2008

"How to not get cancer"

Move away from the city.

Avoid resting laptops on your genitals.

Don't sleep in Park and Rides or bus terminals.

Beware of bluetooth devices attached to your skull.

Most importantly, avoid all physical contact with cancer patients because they're contagious.

Tuesday, 5 August 2008

Beheadings prove potent rib-ticklers

Talk of beheadings have been non-stop around dinner (or bar) tables for the past week. Do you know why? Because a man was beheaded senselessly on the lonesome roads of Isolation, Canada on a Greyhound bus by an (alleged) wack job psychotic.


And journalists have been analyzing what the public's relentless fascination of the story means for humanity -- i.e., that we love the gory details (in case you weren't aware); that we still do have the ability to be shocked (in case you weren't aware); and that we (according to Globe and Mail journalist Judith Timson) crave for more information, all the while feeling shameful about "our prurience." Humans love sex and violence. In case you weren't aware..

What's most fascinating to me is all the sick laughter flying around these dinner tables about the atrocity. Every single one of my conversations invariably resorts to some shameful (yet hilarious!) quip on the matter. I won't reiterate any of these for the (very few) people who actually read this blog because I can't remember a single one.

But what it says about the human condition is that we (e.g., myself, my associates and therefore every single individual, including the newborn, on the planet, ) don't have the capacity to deal with horrific situations by being deadpan. There's some deep-rooted urge in humanity to turn darkness to light and this is no different. It seems like we need to laugh so we can make sense of a world that consistently rears it's disfigured underbelly. Laughter is how I and the people around me deal with anything bad that rests on a massive scale: alcoholism, Republicans, ugly babies and now random beheadings.

This doesn't mean we're being insensitive. Or maybe it does, I don't know. But I think it's important for all of us to deal with this kind of news the only way they know how. For many of us, that's to laugh. Ugliness is easier to accept that way. It's similar to seat-belt resistance in a car accident. It cushions the blow.

That's why AIDs is funny.

Because George Bernard Shaw once wrote: , "Life does not cease to be funny when someone dies, as it does not cease to be serious when people laugh." This quote is now bordering on cliche, but it's apt and I'm lazy.

I'm not actually lazy.

And I've just been informed that AIDs isn't funny. Neither are ugly babies.

Say, did you hear that one about the guy on the Greyhound?

Friday, 1 August 2008

Wedding Gift, pt.1

"Where's the wedding?"

"West 39th. Or something."

"Go get the invitation. Let me see it."

I shake my head, plopped myself between my folks on the couch.

"Come on! Do it, do it, do it!" pleaded my mother.

"Naw, I don't want to."

"You're boring."

"I'm too concerned that I have to get them a present. I have to give them like, what? $100?"

"No way! Bullshit. Give them, like, $25!" said my father.

Mother: "Nuh huh. One hundred. At least."

I sat there, staring at the tube, my folks bickering. I figured I'd ask my friends what they were going to give. It wouldn't matter anyway: I don't have $100. I'm broke right now -- so broke I shouldn't be hitting the bar this evening. 'Shouldn't' being the key word here...

Besides, it's not even like either the groom or the bride are good friends of mine. I mean, the groom's a s a buddy, I suppose. I've known him since high school...but it's not like we've had extensive heart to hearts late at night, revealing deep truths about ourselves over a six-pack and a late night Paul Newman flick. The price of a gift should be determined by how much time the two parties have spent together in the past year. Mack and I have spent, roughly, two hours together, and that's been in very large social settings.

Alas, this is not the way it is, and I refuse to get tangled in a Larry David moment.

Can you imagine? I buy a fancy card for $5.99 from Hallmark. Mack, the groom, opens it up and sees two crisp bills: one fiver and a twenty. He holds them between his thumb and middle finger, rubs them together and looks up at me with a cock eye. He holds them up for all in the wedding party to see and says: "Is this it?"

"Uh, uh, uh...."

And all my friends, acquaintances and potential lovers look at me in disgust for being such a poor sport and cheap bastard.

"It's his WEDDING day, you fuck head!" says the gorgeous 20-year-old I had been chatting up all night. She empties the triple gin and tonic, the one I had purchased for her only moments before, all over my chest --outlining my rippling pectorals.

"But, but, but --- I'm POOR! I've been TRAVELING for 7 months! I have no JOB!"

And they all proceed to BOOOOOOOOOOO me out of the reception hall.

Yes, I can see it now.

It looks as though I'm sending myself to the poorhouse over a wedding gift.

(to be continued...)

A conversation with rationality.

So many beautiful ladies. Too many. In every store, walking up every block I drag myself along. And driving in my truck, axel squeaking, I try to make eyes but they are focused, up ahead, at something or the other. Or she might look my way but that fucking axel is squealing like a baby choking on a chicken bone so she quickly averts her eyes.

“You blame your squeaking axel for women not noticing you?”


“Did you ever consider they just didn’t notice you? Or, perhaps, there’s something else going on inside their head that they didn’t notice another face in a vast parade of faces in fast moving motor vehicles?”

You’re not helping.


Look at this face! How can anyone miss this?

“I see.”


“Look, the women in this city are notoriously callous.”

Callous? I’d say snobby.

“Well, yeah, that too. They don’t seem to notice anybody. My girlfriend rarely looks me in the eye. I think it’s the nature of all people in Vancouver. Don’t take it personally. The people here are a bit more….secluded than the average Joe.”

Average Joe…

“I didn’t mean it like that, Joe….”

What kind of therapist are you, anyway?

“I’m not your therapist. I’m your friend.”

But you are a therapist. Do you talk to them like this?

“You pansy. I’m talking to you like this because you’re my friend. And I’m not depending on your money.”

That’s disgusting.

“It’s a joke. Look, I’ve known you for – what – 24 years? 24 years. Shit…but yeah. 24 years, Joe. We know each other pretty well and I can tell when you need a good kick in the ass. Now, you need a good kick in the ass. You’re just sitting down on it, getting nowhere and bent out of shape because you’re not doing anything. And you’re thinking about how you’re not getting anywhere instead of thinking about how to get somewhere. I can’t tell you what to do, only you can.”


“And you better fucking get on it because you’re depressing the rest of us.”