Category Archive: pen drool

The infant looks at me from under her eyebrows. She must know that her older brother is ugly and has bad teeth. She will not forgive me this observation.

Jul 29

Those Damn Plebeians

Recently, someone on Google Plus posted this gem from some high-falutin’ type at CNN:

 

http://www.cnngo.com/tokyo/visit/tell-me-about-it/andre-vltchek-why-i-hate-traveling-japan-342716

 

Go read it. I’ll wait.

 

Among other things it stirred up in me that I cannot phrase politely, it put me in mind of a piece I wrote almost a dozen years ago for a short-lived comedy group I was part of.  Here it is:

 

 

steichen_morgan

AN ARGUMENT AGAINST CHILD LABOUR

by O. Oscar Oscarson, Railroad Tycoon and Oligarch

 

My shoes are falling apart. The other day, I purchased a pair of shoes. I have worn them only once, and already they are degenerating. The sole is coming away from the bottom of the shoe like the fetid lips of my dear Augustine, and all the leather is rotting away like the pelt of a dead groundhog lying bloated in the sun.

 

Now, I heard recently that this particular shoe company has been using child labour. Good for them! I know from my days running a chastity belt factory and a chain of brothels that minors, especially when they’re under 12, are especially inexpensive workers. Unfortunately, there is a reason that this child labour is so cheap—children are, by their nature, incredibly incompetent. A child constantly makes errors, thus consuming the valuable time of an adult who has to not only fix the child’s error, but also whip the insolent youngster senseless. However, I have found that in my experience, after several such beatings, the little tykes perform remarkably well, perhaps out of terror.

 

So what’s the problem, you ask? (or would ask, if I permitted you plebeians to speak to my face) After all, I did entitle this mono-speech “An Argument Against Child Labour”, and I would hardly do that unless I either meant it, or was horribly insane. BAAAHH. Well, the issue is this: the children who work in the factories these days are fat and lazy. They are accustomed to as many as three meals a week! Sometimes, when they are given less, the little ingrates will even go so far as to pass out in protest on the factory floor, or, even worse, topple into the gears of the heavy industrial machines they are using, thus clogging up the production line with flesh and bone! Surely then, these modern, spoiled, third world brats must be shown that such strong-arm labour tactics will not work to drive up the prices of shoes in North America and Western Europe. I say, send these naughty children home without dinner, and move operations to even poorer countries where adult workers will slave away making shoes for little more than chicken feed and water thrown on the factory floor every day at tea time.

 

So what will I do about my ruined shoes? Why, buy another pair, of course, for I am exceedingly wealthy!

Nov 13

The First Attempt

The Queen of the Faeries appeared before John in an explosion of butterflies and rose petals, surrounded by her honour guard of two noble Sidhe atop their Unicorns.

 

John was not impressed.

 

"Fuck you," said John, "And the unicorns you rode in on."

 

"John Walker," said the Queen’s emissary, a small Gnome who stood in front of the Queen and her retinue, almost toe-to-toe with John in the tiny apartment, "You are needed to help the Seelie court regain the–"

 

The Gnome stopped speaking, as he was flying though the air on his way to a sink full of dishes.

 

"JOHN WALKER!" shouted Titania, Queen of the Faeries, "You must—"

 

Titania, Queen of the Faeries was interrupted by the sound of her herald striking crockery.

 

Crash! Tinkletinkle.

 

KA-BONG!

 

This was going to be harder than she thought.

 

In a burst of Unicorn dander and soap bubbles, she was gone.

 

Thus ended the First Attempt.

Aug 10

Mountain Crossing Music

What I’m listening to and thoughts en route from Kamloops to Edmonton by bus (as long as my laptop battery lasts anyway):

 

Love is Like A Bottle of Gin – The Magnetic Fields

“Love is like a bottle of gin/ but a bottle of gin is not like love.” What a great sentiment

 

Walking in and Out of Your Arms – k.d. lang

What a great song to have come up while crossing into Alberta!

 

Honey Just Allow Me One More Chance – Bob Dylan

Was too busy writing the other entries to pay much attention.

 

Suil A Gra – Anita Best and someone the player won’t tell me.

Jetlag is creeping back in. I couldn’t sleep at all last night, and then slept almost all five hours between Vancouver and Kamloops, and it (the jetlag) keeps threatening to put me to sleep again. But I want to be able to sleep tonight, so I’m fighting it.

 

Come to The Bower – Shane McGowan and the Popes

We pass through a hallway of forest as Shane McGowan sings this Irish classic through his beautifully broken mouth. We’re out of the deforested hills now, and the green mountains are stunning, and incredibly not reminiscent of Japan.

 

Doctor Who Closing Theme (80s) –

We’re crawling into a city. Another stop? Since Kamloops, people get off but not on. Hopefully, that trend continues and I get to keep my double seat.

 

Intentional Heartache – Dwight Yoakam

I love how the Gas and Grocery places here have Canadian flags on their signs… as if there’s any doubt as to where we are. This song is a real head-nodder. We’ve stopped and someone’s getting on. She’s cute. The Shell lady comes out and the bus driver gives her what looks like a stack of magazines or newspapers from the cargo area under the bus. I feel like we’re a stagecoach. This song has a great ending.

 

The Last Time I Saw Richard – Joni Mitchell

This song has a hell of a long intro. I’ve eaten one of the sandwiches that Mademoiselle/Madame Tardif made for me. She packed me enough for two meals, which was good. Our bus was running late, so we didn’t get our 40 minute lunch stop in Kamloops. Only enough time to pee and buy a Coke Zero from the machine. The next stop (25 minutes, I think) isn’t until 21:00 or so, so I’m surviving on her kindness.

It makes me think of those fairy stories with the young man seeking his fortune, and the lunch he carries from his mother or his fairy godmother or whatever ends up becoming important to the story. Maybe it saves him from starvation, or maybe there’s some magic inside it. I had such a great two days with her and her boyfriend Kevin that that’s how I feel about it.

 

Every Drop of Rain – Chris De Burgh

Song about the sea, while I’m far from it. Wow, I always forget how smooth and pleasant early Chris De Burgh is. This guy was really good before he started singing about ladies in red.

 

Queen of the Savages – The Magnetic Fields

Spending time with Kevin and Andree (Tardif) was almost like going home to an alternate reality. They were not only absolutely perfect hosts, but I felt like an adopted child. Maybe it’s because of all the time that Andree spends with children (she’s continued teaching grade one for 27 years since I was in her class)—I didn’t feel like a child again, but I felt like someone’s child.

 

Bad Weather Friends – Kevin Quain

Not that I don’t with my own parents, but I think it has something to do with not having seen each other in the intervening time. Our relationship is nearly founded on a small tattered book of Quebecquois folk songs and similar shared history.

 

Lazing on a Sunday Afternoon – Queen

What a great, silly song! There is no god, but if there was, he ought to bless Freddy Mercury.

 

Too Many Dicks – Flight of the Conchords

“Five to one is a rodeo.”

 

Goodbye Old Girl – Richard Adler and Jerry Ross (Damn Yankees)

A surprisingly appropriate song as we turn a mountain corner and the under-the-window based air conditioning blows on my cheek and the punk with the Mohawk in the seat behind me strums his unplugged electric guitar.

“…Our love will keep, old girl, ‘til then.”

The song climaxes as we pull through Vavenby Another pickup?

 

So Spricht Das Leiben – Mediaeval Baebes

Yep. Right in front of the vintage Pepsi Cola sign and the lottery ticket centre. I discovered yesterday that one of the Baebes’ songs was one that Andree Tardif had taught me in grade one! I’d even played it at my wedding reception! No wonder I’d liked it so much. Or maybe it was another paper dropoff, because no one got on.

 

Battle Music from Candide – Leonard Bernstein

It’s the martial music that we hear in the Overture as well. What a great musical!

Where Teardrops Fall – Bob Dylan

I’ll have to stop writing soon—this battery is pretty wimpy, and I don’t want to kill it by totally discharging it. The battery in my tablet died yesterday morning. Something tripped the protective circuit, and I had to order a new one… so instead of using the tablet and getting almost four hours of typing, I’m using the X60s, which I brought to run the projections for 39, and has never really had much juice. Still kicking myself for not bringing the smaller capacity backup battery for the tablet, though.

 

And then the power on the mini-laptop dropped below the safe area.

Sep 16

To sing to your children

There once was a little very naughty boy
Who slept one night before he cleaned up his toys
So the tooth fairy came and stuck nails in his eyes
And then Santa arrived and force-fed him some pie.

 

The pie was made of the boy’s parents and cat
But with nails in his eyes, the boy couldn’t see that
So he ate it all up: claws, earholes, and hair;
The Easter Bunny arrived, and screwed the boy to a chair.

 

The three holiday figures, thus so enraged
Taunted the lad, and then had him tazed.
For seventeen days, the boy starved and he cried:
"Kill me please!" but those bastards still kept him alive.

 

And then when he thought he couldn’t take any more
They told him exactly what they had in store
The rest of his fate is too awful to tell,
So go to sleep now, little child… and sleep well.

Jul 05

I Just Found This

I’m reorganizing my documents folder on my computer (a huge task… it hasn’t been properly sorted out since 1996), and I found a document that contains the character descriptions for the play I wrote for a fundraiser back in 2000 (‘Come Play with Yourself’).

 

The character description page makes the play sound much better than it was.  It’s written in a peculiar style, because the fundraiser consisted of people bidding on which part they would get to play.

 

For your perusal:

 

The Sacrifice Of Rachel Burnings

SYNOPSIS:

Rachel Burnings has just leapt to her death from the 23rd floor of a high rise apartment, apparently because Rick is much more preoccupied with his manifesto than he is with her. All Rick is trying to do is ignore all distractions (including Rachel’s death and the intrusions of Lee, the building security guard) and finish his precious manifesto. Meanwhile, Toby attempts to grow a spine.

There is also a reference to Schrödinger’s Cat.

 

CHARACTER DESCRIPTIONS:

 

RICK BURNING: A big part, in lines and girth. Rick, a 350-pound intellectual holds the play together with his flamboyant, loud, obnoxious behaviour. A lot of fun.

Instruct him to remove himself and his delusions from my apartment before I am forced to attack him with this plastic fork…!”

TOBY SMALL: Rick’s roommate. Mostly under Rick’s thumb, he occasionally shows signs of a backbone. He is the most down-to-earth character in the play.

“Schrodinger’s cat? Are you talking about the old guy who lives down the hall from us who smells like—“

LEE INSANE: Another tenant in the building who is under the delusion that he is a security guard for the apartment building. He always hears really loud imaginary music in his head.

“You can’t treat an officer of the law that way!”

LEE’S MOTHER (MRS. INSANE): An overprotective mother who will do anything to protect her son.

“Son, I do believe I’ve killed him.”

RACHEL BURNING: The driving force behind the play, she is Rick’s wife. She believes that she is a sexual messiah.

“After five years, it’s time to consummate our marriage.”

Jul 05

HOW BABIES ARE MADE

Do I really need to explain this to you? Sigh…

 

When a Mommy and a Daddy love each other very much, they hug each other really tightly and then write a letter to Santa Claus, who forwards it to the West Pole, where lives the Giant Stork, who takes a baby from his magical cabbage patch (grown from teeth collected by the Tooth Fairy), and after wrapping it up in an enormous cloth, takes off (note: the baby is so heavy that to get airborne, the Giant Stork needs to be towed down the runway by five Easter Bunnies), and flies to the Mommy and Daddy’s house and drops it in the Mommy’s arms. Sometimes the Mommy is so scared that she needs to go to the hospital and have a Doctor yell at her to breathe. Then the doctor spanks the baby for scaring Mommy, and tells Mommy to lose all that weight she gained being lazy and waiting for the Giant Stork to bring the baby.

 

Sometimes, if Mommy smokes crack, the Giant Stork saves everybody time and just takes the baby straight to the dumpster.

Jul 02

Bombs Away – A Scene in 8 Lines and 2 Stage Directions

He emerges from the bathroom.

 

SHE:   How hard would it be for you to act your age?

 

HE:     What?

 

SHE:   How old are you?

 

HE:     Thirty-four.  You forgot?

 

SHE:   I just wonder sometimes.

 

HE:     What are you talking about?

 

SHE:   Just wondering if it’s strictly necessary for a thirty-four year-old man to shout “Bombs Away!” every time he takes a shit.

 

HE:     What should I shout, then?

 

She throws a lamp at him.

Jun 12

Eating for Two – Playing with two characters

SHE: Could I get another egg?

HE: Another egg?

SHE: Another helping of egg, yes. And I wouldn’t say no to some more bacon.

HE: That will be your third.

SHE: Are you counting?

HE: I’m just saying.

PAUSE

HE: What?

SHE: You know I’m pregnant.

HE: Yeah, so?

SHE: So. I’m eating for two.

HE: You’re like eight weeks pregnant.

SHE: Yeah. So–

HE: And you’re eating for two.

SHE: Right. So–

HE: You know that number two is like, what, four centimeters and weighs like 20 grams?

PAUSE

HE: More egg?

SHE: Uh…

HE: That’s what I thought. Christ. Eating for two.

May 22

Juys – a play in 11 lines

Greg: Let’s not be guys with a capital ‘G’!

Gary: Good idea!

Garlin: Hear hear!

Greg: Let us be newer, gentler guys, with a capital ‘J’– Juys!

Garlin: Juys?

Gary: Hmm, Juys.

Garlin: Juys. I like that.

Greg: Juys. Like gentler.

Garlin: Yeah.

Gary: But gentler is spelt with a ‘G’.

Greg: Shut up, Jary.

May 16

Smithereens

I‘m not sure who’s writing this: me or the long-dead Other

 

      Officer Pilgrim, why are you wearing that chateau?  Are you afraid of nails?

 

My toenails will continue to grow before my death

 

The black cat returns for the last time

 

        Goodbye.

Mar 03

a play in 10 lines and a stage direction

Jun: That woman last night was very rude.

Rion: I think my apartment has indigestion.

Jun: She made me trace out a map to the pirate’s gold.

Rion: I’m not trying to get your attention at all.

Jun: Her glasses were perched at the end of her beak while she breathed corrosive vapours all over me.

Rion: Is that why you have no face?

Jun: You see?

Rion: I can put my hand right through it.

Jun: You are always very honest.

Rion: That’s because I loved you.

[They float away]