Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Write Anything!

Someone once told me the best way to be a writer is to sit down and write. While I don't aspire to be a WRITER, I like being a writer here when the mood is right. Problem is, the mood hasn't be very right the last few months, so sitting down to write isn't working very well. While I try to avoid the "here's what I did today" style of blogging (my life is not very exciting) that's what you're going to get today because, hey, a guy needs to write, sometimes. Right? Or is that write?

So it was a long, strange trip of a weekend - much of it was spent in the local beach community of Grand Bend. Billing itself as "Ontario's West Coast", it's a place to be when you're young, uninhibited, and don't mind sand getting into awkward places. Obviously, I don't fit the demographic even if I'm somewhat tolerant of sand in my Speedo.

It's a subversive tradition in my town for high-school seniors to celebrate their prom by taking over Grand Bend for a weekend. Like lemmings to the sea, these under-agers make their way towards Lake Huron in the wee hours of the morning after tuxes and gowns are traded for beachwear. While parents mostly indulge this tradition, even renting cottages and bus transportation, the local constabulary is kept on their toes as these Citizens of Tomorrow learn that blackouts and sleeping on the beach are not as fun as the Hangover-American Pie-Superbad movies seem to hint.

So there I was, with three other middle-aged friends, trying my damnedest not to look creepy amongst the 17 and 18 year olds who had overrun the town for a weekend of post-prom celebrations. I was only there to help kill time. Two of my friends had kids spending the weekend attempting (and failing at) debauchery, so their excuse was some light chaperoning. Somehow this translated into my own presence and a weekend spent drinking and golfing in this resort town (neither being something at which I particularly excel). Outside of my alcohol bloat and wandering through the woods looking for golf balls, my only actual chaperone duties involved driving a few sleepy teens back into town when Sunday decided that a good thunderstorm was the best solution to scrape the town clean of vomit-scented promiscuity.

So you would think the highlight of my weekend was the chance to take a little holiday and do all the unhealthy things I never get to do. You might believe that the chance to actually touch local celebrity, Princess Coco, would be a most memorable moment. You might even wonder whether spending two nights at a cheap motor inn with other other middle-aged guys might produce some stories worthy of re-telling.

But I'm going to be honest: the highlight of the weekend was none of those things. The highlight would wait for the comfort of my family room on Sunday night - beginning with a phone call for help and ending in the darkness of a farmer's woodlot. But I think that's some writing that will wait until another day...

Wednesday, May 02, 2012

Still Quite The Idiot

About a year ago I took a business-related train ride during which I spent my time abusing the free wi-fi to annoy my kids. I recently found myself repeating that train journey - with instructions from my kids to annoy them some more. While I obliged them, I will admit that my latest efforts were not up-to-scratch. Nevertheless, I need content - any content - to fill this space, so here is the latest series of emails intended to annoy my long-suffering offspring as I travelled to Toronto and back on good ol' Via1.

Email #1 - Going to Toronto
They just gave me a washcloth. On the train! It's really hot, too. They think we're all dirty passengers, I guess. The Via people are starting off on the wrong foot here!

Email #2 - Going to Toronto
 Ho ho! Via is being nicer now that we are clean! Here's my apetizer: smoked meat, cheese, and little tomatos! Soon they will bring me sourdough rolls and wine. Yay Via! Yay being a clean passenger!

Email #3 - Going to Toronto
Oh noes! There's the Royal York! It looks pretty spooky. I wonder if it's haunted. What do you think? Should I go inside? If there are ghosts in there I won't be happy. I'll say to them "Hey ghosts! I didn't want to come in here but those kids of mine said I should. You just better talk to THEM!".

So if you see a ghost later, you'll know why!

Email #4 - In Toronto
Well there's the fancy lobby of the Royal York. Just like I thought - it's pretty full of ghosts! Do you see them in the lobby down there? They look like people, but they're ghosts I tell you!  I better get back on the train. I hope they don't follow me home!!!!

Email #5 - On the way home
This is the train station in Toronto. It's pretty spooky, too! What is this town - Spookyville?

Email #6 - On the way home
Hold on a minute! Those via guys are up to no good! My Via dinner is the exact same as my Via lunch!! Oh those tricksters!

Wait! It's not the Via guys. It's those ghosts from Toronto. They're on the train and making trouble for us passengers! Arghh!!

So the narrative here is not very cohesive. I get that. Blame the very generous Via1 bar cart and my lack of self-control.