Saturday, May 14, 2005

(“Find the story in the clutter of Fun " is today's little foray into whimsical story-telling. The story springs from my childhood "relationship" with my bicycle. My tiny little brain, drunk and deranged on the fantasies of youth, believed that I was the living engine of my bike which was in actuality a spaceship. When I went up hills I was close to the gravitation pull of a planet and I the engine had to give more "thrust". That was the content of my daydreams as I cycled home from school.

I still ride a bicycle. The one I have now is a black cruiser that instills fear in the hearts of those in my upcoming path and respect in the loins of those in my wake. It's called the "Scurvy Bike" and no one dares touch it for fear of disease-riddled reprisals. Here a picture of the "Scurve" being ridden by my girlfriend:

the scurve
Just thinking of the bike brings a quick little story to mind. Let's call it "Thus Spoke Zarathustra the Spoke":

"Hey I'm feeling dizzy," spoke one spoke to another spoke.

"Yeah me too," spoke the other spoke.

That's when vomit spindled out from the spinning tire all over the cyclist who from that day forth swore off any further drug use. Drugs are dead, he thought to himself.

If only he had known the facts. Improbability had barfed all over his leg. The universe was stranger than anything his drug messed mind could ever conjure up.

Thus the End.

So anyway here's today's short short story...)


He got on the bike.

He rode the bike.

He imagined things which were untrue about the bike.

He got off the bike.

Friday, May 13, 2005

(“Qn’A 4 Tn’A” is a short little story that I would like to dedicate to my ancestors. They were hard working Mennonites from Russia who just believed in good old-fashioned hard work.

Just like good old Ludwig Wittgenstein, the famed 20th century philosopher, who tried again and again to get into the Soviet Union in order to do some good old-fashioned manual labor alongside the proletariat. Perhaps he was a fool in the details but I respect his dedication to the notion of finding life’s meaning through work. I’d like to dedicate this story to my ancestors and Ludwig Wittgenstein.

Oh and one more person I’d like to add to the dedication list for this story, a tale which has fewer words than this growing dedication list, is a good friend of mine who is trying to establish her own business while also working 14 hours a day in the film industry in Vancouver. She has a beautiful imagination and I hope that someday she’ll have the opportunity to express all of that uniqueness to the world.

In fact let’s add everyone working their ass off out of love or duty or necessity to the list of people this story is dedicated to.

Enjoy this dark little dose of humour...)

Qn’A 4 Tn’A

“Okay then so here’s my next question. If all of the sick, impoverished and non-SUV driving people of the world were to labour away at one of those wheels that Conan pushed around and around for most of his youth - but of course this wheel would be big enough to accommodate billions of people -, and the energy generated by that were used to inflate a blow-up doll that gave you a blow job, would you feel the slightest twinge of remorse ?” the reporter asks with a lot of nervous hand waving.

They sit across from one another in plush chairs. “Iron” Michael Stanley stares blankly at the reporter whose face sweats eagerness fueled by fear. Unbeknownst to Stanley the reporter is hoping to “pull off a Michael Moore.”

They continue to sit in tense silence.

Stanley comes out of his blank stare with a retreat to what he had just been talking about: “So maybe I’ll just recap the plans for Titty Sports Channel. We take the most famous moments from football, soccer, baseball, boxing, you name it we recreate those plays, those matches, those moments with hot young naked babes. Pretty simple really. Do you want to ask me how much this project is going to make ? That’s a question. I shouldn’t have to tell you how to do your job but that’s more of a question in keeping with the subject matter. I don’t see how Conan the Barbarian really ties into any of this. Unless you’re suggesting we recreate famous movies with nothing but naked women. Now that’s a plan.”

And so it is that another dream is born in the face of adversity.

So it is.


To us.

Thursday, May 12, 2005

(“Beaver versus Bush" is the title of today's story which sprung out of a quick skim through the first page of a Dose paper which I had picked up against my better judgement today after work. Don't get me wrong, I like the look of the paper and the ads all around town are funny enough but the content just isn't there. Case in point, today's lamebrained article on the changing nature of Canada. Sure Canada is more than maple syrup guzzling mounties on mooseback as the article points out but there was no alternative image presented. Canada has new icons, the article claims but fails to provide us with anything but boosterism about how wonderful our cities are. All this is true but where are the icons ?! Today I will take a stab at a new icon. I hope you enjoy the story. Chemo !!(Canadian expression for "hello","goodbye","enjoy", etc))


“What are you dressed up as ?” she says with contempt. His costume does not follow any guidelines of how a costume should look. If anything his choice of costume reeks of weakness. She on the other hand is dressed up like a totem pole.

“I’m the guy who’s been sleeping in bed with the elephant,” he says with a hint of clandestine wit. He knows history. His costume consists of 1) a pair of pyjamas from Army and Navy purchased for 9.99 and 2) a fake flattened left arm made out of cardboard. His good left arm hugs his mid-section which is slowing filling up with beer.

“What’s that got to do with Canada ?” she asks with all the confidence of an interrogator one question away from proving someone is woefully inept at the whole business of life.

“Living next to America is like sleeping with an elephant,” he says, quoting his countries most infamous prime minister.

She stares at him like he’s spouting poetry from another planet.

“Get lost you creep,” she says. She walks away to join the group of guys dressed like beavers. They are talking about an imagined wrestling match between a man called the Beaver and a man called the Bush.

They laugh the length of their entire costume adorned bodies.

He leaves the party and walks out into the night. No more parties based on Canadian icons, he tells himself. He whistles Stompin’ Tom Connors songs on the way home.

Oh Canada.

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

(“A mouthful of dentist fingers” is a piece of writing based on the gag of a talkative patient half-gagged with dental instruments and fingers.

At the dentist the other day I tried to hold back spring fever sneezes as Dr C was digging away deep inside my mouth. While it was far from easy we shouldn’t forget the plight of dangerously outgoing actors on cocaine who need to constantly make running commentaries on everything that’s going on around them. How much do they suffer from half an hour of not emoting at the dentists ?

This piece is meant to be read aloud with ten sweet grapes in your mouth. Bon appetite…)


Well the death of my parents really shook me up and the hardest thing afterwards was that I didn’t have any time to be self-absorbed, you know to figure out where I was going after that. I had to deal with the legal side of things, you know the will and whatnot and then there was a constant stream of people to deal with. Aunts and Uncles and cousins crawling out of the woodwork. I was suddenly a - pardon my French - fucking socialite. I just needed some time to myself but I was never given a moments peace.
So I enrolled in acting school. That’s how it all started. You know everyone was like oh you can’t be on your own but I just wanted them out of my hair. Ha ha ha. Get it I’m bald. I think my sense of humor is what saved me. It’s how I got along with everybody at the acting school, you know. You throw out a joke and you get back a friend.

Ouch. Oh you’re onto something there, Doc. I think you’ve found our culprit.

So I found that I was a natural on stage or in front of the camera. I could become anybody, as long as they were a handsome, popular and intelligent character. Ha ha ha. A character, that’s me 24/7. Ha ha ha. I really loved the time I could spend memorizing lines. You go for a jog and you have some time to yourself. Uncle Ferdy calls up wanting to touch base and I can legitimately say, “Sorry man but I’ve got to work on some lines. This is my job. I’m an actor.”

Ouch. Oh that little guy isn’t gonna give up without a fight. You sock it to him doc.

Yeah and there’s been no looking back. I’m one of the busiest actors in town. Last week I was in an American national. Those pay the biggest bucks. You get paid every time it’s broadcast anywhere in America. Believe you me it can really add up. Ka-tching !!

Ouch !! You want me to clam up a bit ? Sure no problemo. I can see you’re not into chatting. But sometimes it’s hard not to talk when I get started about my parents. You know.


They say the hardest part about acting is getting those tears welling up but I just did a little performance there for you completely improvised and free. That’s why I book all the parts I audition for.

I’m an actor.

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

(“Impossible moments with Murphy” is the title for today’s short-short story. I don’t know why but I like the sound of it.

Sometimes it’s good to simply let a story unfold from a title, image or murderous impulse to kill a taxi driver who’s almost run you over.

At least that’s the advice I seem to remember William Wordsworth giving to young writers in his Preludes.

Anyway I hope you enjoy today’s short-short story...)


“You only get fifteen minutes with him,” the middleman says through a mouthful of chew. His lips open to black words that dribble down to even blacker innards. “It’s fifty bucks no questions asked.”

He spits out a stream of black liquid like a polluted water-fountain.

“What if it doesn’t work ?” I whisper.

He just stares at me with his hand open. His confidence comes from success. “You’ll just have to take that chance won’t you ?”

I take the chance.

* *

I board the ferry and go to the back as instructed where I see a man with an almost impossibly friendly expression. He has grey hair.

“You’ve the look of a man bedraggled by the weariness of too many days,” he says in a Northern Irish accent. “Which is to say that anyone can see you’ve been running around like a blue-arse fly.”

I look around confused.

“There’s nobody else who’ll help you with these taxi driver difficulties. I’d laugh my leg off if there was anyone who tried,” he says in a serious tone. He knows why I’m there.

I sit next to him with a plunk as the ferry jerks into motion. Fifteen minutes.

“An American steps into a bar in Dublin and says,’I hear that you Irishmen love your Guinness. I’ll give a hundred pound to the man who can down six Guinness in a minute.”

Once again a look of confusion gets lost all over my face.

“I’m telling you a joke, have you never heard one of them before ?!”

I don’t know how to respond. He is different from my expectations of fortune-tellers, seers or witchdoctors. I don’t want jokes lifted from the internet, I want advice from the spiritual realm.

“Alright well I can see you’re as lost as a nun at a Viagra convention. Here’s how we work things. You’ve given my man the money which entitles you to a piece of my skills which is communicating with wicked spirits and whatnot. What happens is I go about telling a joke but at some point one of the characters in said joke will take on a life of his own and advise you as to the proper course of your own sweet revenge. That’s the deal I’ve struck with the spirits, you see.”

Before I have any time to debate the wisdom of channeling characters through jokes, he proceeds.

“So one man named Murphy stands up and leaves the bar. The bartender in turn says..”

At this point he freezes and transforms into something else right in front of me.

* *

So on the advice of the some joke-loving evil spirit from the beyond, I ram seaweed and dried eels in a tin flute and drop it where the taxi driver drove over my girlfriend. This will create a spell that will unleash untold legions of demons on the taxi driver, I’m told.

Personally I don’t believe in any of it but she was a very superstitious woman who would have wanted it this way.

Monday, May 09, 2005

(The first thing to go through your mind when you look down and see that you’ve got a wide-open, gaping fly is a quick rewind of all the people you’ve encountered up until that moment.

At the corner of Cordova and Abbot at approximately 4:30 this afternoon it happened to me.

And I thought about the very talented and cute Vancouver painter who had just cycled past me, the down-n’-outers smoking weed in the back alley that I had short-cutted my way through (there was a sign on the door behind them that read “Canadian Perspectives”) and finally the hippie clerk who asked if I wouldn’t mind adding up my own bill for items I was getting at his curiosities shop. (the cash register had apparently turned on, tuned in and dropped out)

On reflection I realized there was an unknown element in their smiles. If I’d squinted a careful glimpse of their teeth, I might have seen a reflection of my ginch peaking out of my pants.

The first thing to go through my mind after I zipped up my folly was an image of a giant zipper unzipping to allow a musician to run on stage and rock out. A perfect image for today’s story…)


Sam slept on his front and on his arms like a newborn baby. The sun sliced in through the curtains and onto his stubbly face. Dust motes danced in the morning light while Sam continued to dream.

In his dream he is waiting to go on stage, psyching himself up by wind-milling his Fender Stratocaster. “This is the show that’ll make you or break you,” comes a voice out of nowhere. The blackness in front of him slices open and he runs in the direction of thousands of screaming fans. He is on stage but when he turns to plug himself into his amp he sees that he has just run through a giant zipper. Laughter from thousands of mouths crashes into his back. He turns around to see thousands of people laughing at him behind their black sunglasses. Thousands of times over he sees his reflection wearing a giant penis atop a helmet that has suddenly appeared on his head.

He woke up with a start in the limelight of the morning.

He slowly rubbed the palms of his hands into his eyes as he stretched himself up to a sitting position.

Another crazy dream, he thought to himself, as a viscous liquid oozed out of the flesh of his back and turned into solid paper form. “Kick me,” it read.

As he got out of bed and put on a shirt the paper evaporated through the cotton and found it’s way onto the outside of the No-Fear t-shirt.

Some unknown force had bullied him his entire life.

At the age of 92 he’d discover who.

Sunday, May 08, 2005

Extremes are extremely funny.

Inflating any belief with lungfulls of hot air, elevating any action into the upper stratosphere of respect or cherishing any moment so tightly to your chest that it turns blue in the face are all simply just another way of screaming out, "Mock me !!"

So Happy Mother's Day and without further ado here's today's belated story about an extremely political mother.


"Have you been smoking ?" she quiries with eyes narrowing to suspicious slits. "I smell smoke off of you."

"No mom, I haven't been smoking. I stopped a year ago," he laughs uncomfortably. His brother and sister also join him in shaky laughter. They stand around their mother on the edge of her vegetable garden.

"Second hand smoke my dear Derrick. Second hand smoke !! You are exhaling your mother's very own personal extinction. That's what you want me to take to the grave. My son killed me with the very lips that fed off my dugs." She drops back down to her newly planted garden and kneads the brown soil like dough.

"Mom we brought you a little something for today." Mary, the youngest of the three, steps forward in a bid to turn their mother's mood around. Mary holds a thick envelope behind her back.

"Mother's Day !?! Commercialism for gullible children who think they can buy their mother's affection day, you mean."

"We got you something special this year," Sammy chimes in. He smiles a professional actor's smile.

"Ta da !!" Mary shouts as she reveals the envelope (made out of hemp.)

Dorothy continues to knead the soil: "No subscription to Utne reader on behalf of me sent to our local politicians or donation on behalf of me to Thai children with aids is going change my stance on Mother's Day. You should be doing these things everyday of the year." Her fists crush the brown soil.

Her children stand above her with faltering smiles.

"There is only one mother and that is Mother Earth, Gaea. You devote your life to her everyday of the year and that will save this planet."

The three children stand over their mother.

It starts to rain.

The brown soil soaks up the rain.