Thursday, December 31, 2015

ROBBLOG #592

 
I never make resolutions. They're so 60's.
 
I do try to tweak myself a bit as I move throughout a new year but by the time a new year turns into an old year, I would hazard a guess that I am right back where I started from a year ago.
What do I hope for in the future? 
I hope for peace in this world.
Who doesn't?
 
I would hope to win a few million dollars.
Who doesn't.
 
One thing that is certain- this new year and the state of our world offers no guarantees.
Next time I am in Paris, it will be hard not to keep looking behind me and at the faces that pass by me as I walk along the Champs d' Elysee.
 
I would like to keep my health right where it is thank you very much. I would like to continue Bike Riding, Walking, Eating, and enjoying life as I do now- even though it appears I will be turning 65 this July and no, I don't know how that happened!!
One day I am 56 and wham, the next I am in my 65th year.
 
I have been technically retired for a few years and poorer for it. Thank goodness my husband is still working and brings home the doe ray mei to keep us flush with funds- for now.
 
For now?
Well, I am hoping he will retire- maybe this year. Then we can plan our futures through to our last breath on earth.
Fuck that sounds depressing but it's coming sooner rather than later. By that I mean I don't believe I'll be living for another 65 years unless scientists develop a new pill that lets us live as long as Moses and Methuselah.
 
 
Methuselah's wife's name was "Edna".
I am surprized he lived that long. He had a couple of kids and four grandchildren. Seems like he lived a regular life.
Didn't both he and Moses live to be 900, 1000 years old?
Mind you, they didn't have the annual milk calendar pinned to the office wall in their humble houses.
Maybe their years were only 2 months along. That would certainly account for their  reported longevity.
It couldn't have been their health care system. It was non-existent.
 
So here I am along for the ride just like the rest of you. I'm living through the year hoping for the best that life can bring and trying to remember that the last Thursday of the month is Senior's Day at Global Pet Foods and the week before at Rexall.
 
Some of us win at the game of LIFE.
Some of us lose.
 
We all try hard.
 

Friday, December 25, 2015

RobBlog #591

 
Twelve Holiday Wishes
 
 
 
On the first day of the Holidays my one true wish would be:
a lotto win for little old me
 
On the second day of the Holidays my another wish would be 2 million dollars-
from the lotto win for little old me.
 
On the third day of the Holidays another wish would be:
3 French Butlers,
Two Million dollars-
From the lotto wish for little old me.
 
On the fourth day of the Holidays another wish would be:
Four German Bratwurst,
3 French Butlers,
Two Million dollars-
From the lotto wish for little old me.
 
On the fifth day of the Holidays another wish would be:
Five ruby roses,
Four German Bratwurst,
3 French Butlers,
Two Million dollars-
From the lotto wish for little old me.
 
On the sixth day of the Holidays another wish would be:
6 days of sunshine,
Five ruby roses,
Four German Bratwurst,
3 French Butlers,
Two Million dollars-
From the lotto wish for little old me.
 
 
 
On the seventh say of the Holidays another wish would be:
Seven Hawaiian Vacations,
6 days of sunshine,
Five ruby roses,
Four German Bratwurst,
3 French Butlers,
Two Million dollars-
From the lotto wish for little old me.
 
On the eighth day of the Holidays another wish would be:
A homestead in the country,
Seven Hawaiian Vacations,
6 days of sunshine,
Five ruby roses,
Four German Bratwurst,
3 French Butlers,
Two Million dollars-
From the lotto wish for little old me.
 
On the ninth day of the Holidays another wish would be:
Nine Botox treatments,
Peace for every country,
Seven Hawaiian Vacations,
6 days of sunshine,
Five ruby roses,
Four German Bratwurst,
3 French Butlers,
Two Million dollars-
From the lotto wish for little old me.
 
On the tenth day of the Holidays another wish would be:
No bigots in the world,
Nine Botox treatments,
Peace for every country,
Seven Hawaiian Vacations,
6 days of sunshine,
Five ruby roses,
Four German Bratwurst,
3 French Butlers,
Two Million dollars-
From the lotto wish for little old me.
 
On the Eleventh day of the Holidays another wish would be:
Feeding all the hungry,
No bigots in the world,
Nine Botox treatments,
Peace for every country,
Seven Hawaiian Vacations,
6 days of sunshine,
Five ruby roses,
Four German Bratwurst,
3 French Butlers,
Two Million dollars-
From the lotto wish for little old me.
 
 
On the Twelfth day of the Holidays my final wish would be:
For all my wishes to come true.
 
 

Saturday, December 5, 2015

ROBBLOG #590

 
Here it is folks. A new conversation with God. I picked up the phone and called God to say hello in advance of the busy Holiday Season.
 
Me: ~ring~
 
Himself: Hello...
 
Me: Hello God. It's Rob!
 
Himself: Well, Well, Well...My stars! And they are MY stars Rob. A little Godly humour there. Good to hear from you. How are things and did you enjoy your trip across the pond to London?
 
Me: Things are great with me and how did you know I was in London?
 
Himself: Oh it's that Omnipresent thing Robbie.
 
Me: Right, you know all and see all. I keep forgetting.
 
Himself: Well it keeps me busy keeping an eye on your folks on my earth.
 
Me: I can imagine. First of all, I guess the big question on everyone's lips God- is why don't you do something about those ISIS folks. I mean they are creating havoc with their killing of innocent people. I mean they throw Gay men off buildings. Stone them to death if they survive to say nothing of the loss of life in Paris a few weeks ago...
 
Himself: Well, Rob. I get asked that a lot and there's no simple answer.
 
Me: What about 40 days ands nights of rain? That worked last time.
 
Himself: Did it? Did it really Rob? A lot of innocents lost their lives. It was a big price to pay to start over. Besides I want to come up with something original. I will say I am trying to push the powers that be in the right direction. I have to be careful though.
 
Me: Why? You're the Father Almighty?
 
Himself: Well, yes with some folks on earth and Klindon 5 but not everyone subscribes to me and my ways.
 
Me: Klindon 5?
 
Himself: Oh yes. I am very, very popular on Klindon 5. Oh for pete's sake, you're probably not familiar with that planet- are you Rob?
 
Me: No. Not at all.
 
Himself: Earth people haven't found it yet but you will. It's right under your noses.
When you do it'll give you another option for a winter getaway besides my favourite place on earth- Hawaii.
 
Me: I love Hawaii too.
 
Himself: I know you do Rob ~smile~. It's a lot like Heaven you know.
 
Me: Really? That's good to know.
 
Himself: Oh yes. Warm and green like most of Heaven. Now listen about those ISIS folks. The time will come when they are put in their place. It won't be easy and it won't be without some of you coming up to me earlier than you should but it will come to pass.
 
Me: Well, that's good to know- I guess.
 
Himself: Trust me Rob. I do look out for you all even though sometimes it may seem I am not around or don't care. As a matter of fact I have my Son working on a couple of things now. The problem is he'd rather be at the beach playing volleyball than doing my work. Kids, eh?
 
Me: Yah. Kids. So listen are you getting excited about the Christmas Season?
 
Himself: Oh yes indeedy do. I love Chistmas! Always have...well for at least the last couple of thousand years or so. Before that December was just another month but being a bit of a Drama Queen...
 
Me: Drama Queen? I am surprized to hear you say that?
 
Himself: You shouldn't be ~laughs~. I am one of the original Queens here in heaven. I mean really Rob, I wear a shift 365 days a year and I wear it well I must say and I love Drama so when I wanted to have a kid I had to do it in a big, big way.
 
Me: Well I must tell you God that the Christmas Story with the Manger and stuff is pretty terrific.
 
Himself: Thanks!
 
Me: Can't the same for Easter though. I mean that's a barbaric story. I don't believe that was a good choice- if you don't mind me saying so.
 
Himself: No, not at all. It's not for everyone's taste. If I could, I'd redo it but too late for that now. The books out there.
 
 
 
Me: So do you decorate and shop for Christmas in Heaven?
 
Himself: Oh Jesus Rob! Yes. Jesus is still just a kid at Christmas. His Mother Mary- The Queen of Heaven and his Dad- Joseph, still make a big deal out of the Holiday Season. Oh, by the way. Speaking of Dad, I was talking to yours the other day...
 
Me: My Dad?
 
Himself: Yes. Sometimes we go fishing together on Lake Cloud. He's a great fisherman.
 
Me: Yes, he always was...
 
Himself: He sends his love by the way..Rob. Rob? Are you still there.
 
~pause~
 
Me: ~sigh~ Umm. Yes. Yes of course. I am still here...
 
Himself: Never gets easier- does it? Loss of a loved one I mean.
 
Me: No. It never does.
 
Himself: Wish I could come up with something besides death. It is on my list of things to do. Anyway, we are all ramped up for Christmas. Hey Rob, I have a solo this year at the Christmas Eve service at St. Me's Church.
 
Me: St. Me's?
 
Himself: Well it's the best I could come up with. I get to sing O Holy Night. It's a personal Favourite.
 
Me: I'll bet.
 
Himself: Well look Rob, I have to go decorate a tree over at Mary and Joseph's. It's kind of a yearly family thing. I put on the lights and Jeez adds the balls. Mary does the garland and Joseph makes the drinks. Hah Hah!
 
Me: Sounds like fun!
 
Himself: It is! Have a great Christmas Rob and we'll talk again soon. Merry Christmas.
 
Me: Same to you God. Bye for now and Happy Holidays!
 

Friday, November 20, 2015

ROBBLOG #589

 
The Holiday Season has officially started for me.
Fah Lah Lah Lah Lah
Lah Lah Lah Lah
 
Swisssh and Starlite Radio went all Christmas at noon today. I've loaded more than 100 new Christmas songs on Swisssh. Not quite as many on Starlite.
Outdoor decorations went up in the warm weather last week.
I had worked on the Christmas Swisssh Website page a few days ago and uploaded that Thursday Night in advance of November 20th. Facebook all changed to reflect the Christmas Season as well.
I threw decorations on two slim indoor trees today. Took about an hour.
Still our family room tree to be decorated. Lots of time for that. Now you're up to date with my Christmas decorating.
 
 
 
Oh, I tried to watch the movie "Elf" tonight.
What a piece of shit.
Moving on...
 
Terrible tragedy those killings in Paris last week. We are looking at going to Europe for a few days.
We were thinking of Paris and then to London on the Eurostar through the Chunnel. We did that two years back. However, with Paris climbing out of the ashes of terror, Munich and the Christmas Market could be the ticket.
 
Mainz Christmas Market
 
 
I love the German Markets. They are more "old" world Christmas than the market in London's Hyde Park which features a huge midway too.
Paris is all white and blue. Very pristine and beautiful to be sure right on the Champs Elysees at the Place de la Concorde end- but very expensive too.
I would expect the Holiday spirit feels rather "dampened" this year in Paris but on the other hand, Parisiennes are robust and love life, so they move along. They love their outdoor cafes, their café and their art and culture and nobody will take that from them.
 
I would like to go to the Toronto Christmas Market in December in the Distillery District. It is truly worth the drive especially as it grows closer to Christmas Day. Holiday things to buy from the little "huts". Lots of places to sit and eat, enjoy an adult beverage of just a coffee or hot chocolate. I bought a couple of Christmas Decorations in a quaint little shop three years ago. The façade of the shop is below. Really Christmassy inside.
 
Toronto Christmas Market in Distillery District
 
 
That's one of the greatest things about the Christmas Season. So many things to do and see and buy it's impossible to see or do everything and that is one of the charms of the hustle bustle of this Holiday Season.
 
Enjoy!
 

Sunday, November 1, 2015

ROBBLOG #588

 
Hello November.
 
How the Hell did we get here so fast? It was September just yesterday- wasn't it?
 
Now, I must say "spoiler" alert if you are Sue Dosso! During our Theatre Orillia production of Oscar Wilde's "The Importance of Being Earnest" Sue said that everything Christmas should wait until at least post Remembrance Day. You know Holiday Music, Holiday talk- etc. So Sue, I am talking below about Christmas Trees- so beware. You have been warned as well as anyone else who becomes perturbed when the word Christmas is mentioned far too early.
 
Here I am with the Hallowe'en stuff freshly stashed away, about to talk about Christmas- specifically Artificial Christmas Trees.
 
I have been routing around in the loft of our garage looking for stuff- including Christmas décor, that can be sent to Goodwill.  I already have a small pile of clothing and odds and sods packed in see- through bags and stacked in the workshop. I started to shift some Christmas boxes around just to see what else I can find.
 
Among my discoveries- A big box of gold balls. Assorted, empty Christmas Boxes. A wreath or two. Some candles and several artificial Christmas trees in boxes. I haven't used two of the trees for several years, so I hauled them down the stairs to see what condition they were in. A few years back I bought two slim line trees in place of these fuller trees. The slim line trees take up less space inside the house and when you hang ornaments on them they tend to look more full and lush.
 
I set up both trees on the back deck to see which one looked best, then I called Tom out to give me his "tree" opinion. Almost like choosing a tree from a tree lot.
One tree- A Victorian Pine which was pre-lit, cost us more than a hundred bucks. The other, I remember buying a few years back at the Old Wal*Mart store in Orillia before the huge Supercentre was built. It was a couple of weeks after Christmas Day. The tree was priced at ten dollars. I couldn't pass up a bargain. The more expensive Victorian Pine lasted a couple of years and then the pre-lit lights went flop bop.
 
 
 
A lesson here. Beware of pre-lit trees.
I have one in a pot that I use on the front verandah that was purchased at Costco. It stopped working after one season. Same thing happened with this tree. In both cases I ripped the lights off and threw them away. I re-strung lights on the potted tree but left the other one bare.
 
So, there I stood with Tom on the deck outside the garage, reviewing both trees and deciding which one looked best. The 10 dollar tree won! Tom suggested the 10 dollar tree had a bit more space between the branches allowing for decorations to hang unobstructed.
I agreed.
 
I think I'll use the other tree on the front verandah and cover it with blue and white LED lights. It would be a change from the white mini-lights adorning a pair of white,wire-frame reindeer that I usually place there.
 
The other tree will be used in our Keeping Room and I'll string it with LED lights in assorted colours Those lights I bought post Christmas up at Zehr's 5 or 6 years ago. I remember they were a 99 cents a box. I mean, who could pass up such a bargain? Each string has 25 coloured lights. They are still in their original boxes. Never been opened!
 
My next chore will be to hose down both trees to remove some dust that has gathered on their branches. I am hoping the forecast for sunny, mild days will hold true.
 
Now, I don't intend to decorate these trees up anytime soon- although I usually put my outdoor decorations up on a mild, mid-November afternoon. It's better than freezing fingertips off towards the end of the month.
 
So, Ladies and Gentlemen, that is how I am lighting up my life during what can be the dull, horrid, overcast month of November.

Friday, October 9, 2015

ROBBLOG #587

 
Haven't visited Bleeker Street in a while, so here we go! R*
 
On Bleeker Street
 
A Sunny afternoon now. There had been some drizzle in the morning but the skies have cleared. It's about 2:30 in the afternoon. Blanche is reading a Jacqueline Suzanne novel in the front room. Jane comes in from the kitchen.
 
 
 
Jane: Goddamn tins! Howz anyone supposed to open a goddamn tin these days?
 
Blanche: Jane! Such language Dear. One would think we lived in the slums listening to you.
 
Jane: Oh ~puff ~puff~ Just F*&^ off Jane or I'll call a taxi and dump you down in the slums  your *&^*&^ chair and you. Maybe I'd finally get some piece and quiet and men- like Mr. Sporati, would start to visit a little more often.
 
Blanche: Oh you slay me Jane!
 
Jane: Oh, if it were only legal! ~puff,puff~
 
Blanche: What's up with the tin Jane Dear. I just bought a new can opener a week ago after you complained.
 
Jane: Oh F**K. It's those little tabby things on the can of nuts. I pulled it and the F***ing thing ripped right off. I'm gonna call the G D company and complain fiercely!
 
Blanche: Now Jane Darling, one gets more flies with honey than with vinegar.
 
Jane: I'm not looking for any frigging flies. I want to eat a nut! ~puff, puff~
 
Blanche: glancing out the window Oh look Jane someone's moving into the Henderson place across the road. I wonder who?
 
Jane: I hope they're like us...~puff, drag puff~
 
Blanche: Whatever do you mean Jane Dear?
 
Jane: Like us Blanche. You know, not one of those kerchief wearing  foreigners.
 
Blanche : Now Jane, that sounds a little racist Dear. Can't people wear what they like on their heads.
What possible difference can it make to you?
 
Jane: Look Sister Dear ~puff~ if they wanna live in this country, they gotta look and act like us!
 
Blanche: Oh Heaven forbid that Jane. That sounds racist and irreligious to me. What if someone was born here and chooses to wear a headscarf for personal reasons.
 
Jane: Ya, well what if everyone plastered mentholatum all over their tits like you do every night!
 
Blanche: Apples and Oranges Jane Dear.
 
Jane: Stink and stink I call it.
 
Blanche: Oh Jane, go and make us a pot of tea.
 
Jane: Fine! I'll go wrap a tablecloth around my head too!! ~puff, puff~ But don't ask me for nuts. That store is closed!
 
Blanche: Oh Jane hah-hah

Friday, October 2, 2015

ROB BLOG #586


It's fun with Oscar Time.

For the past couple of months Oscar Wilde and I have had an intimate relationship.
No, there's nothing dirty going on since Oscar died on November 30th 1900. Theatre Orillia is presenting The Importance of Being Earnest as the final production in the 2015 season.

I first met Oscar- sort of, at Pere Lachaise Cemetery in Paris a couple of years ago.
Tom and I stood in front of his tomb emblazoned with red-lipped kisses from adoring fans. So many people leave red lip prints that the Wilde family surrounded the tomb with plexiglass. Didn't quite work though because people manage to climb over the glass and kiss the monument anyway.

Maybe Oscar spoke to me at that point when we stood before his shrine.
"My Dear Fellow Robert! What have you been up to? Perfectly marvelous you dropping by like this. Would absolutely love to offer you tea and cucumber sandwiches but, well my Dear Boy, under the circumstances... maybe we could just chat for I'd like to talk to you about you performing my absolutely perfect play Earnest"."

Whether he did or not, here I am directing and playing the part of Algernon Moncrieff in Earnest.

We have a splendid cast! Some professional- like Clair Acott, Gayle Carlyle, Sue Dosso and Jim Dwyer. Others- Val Krausse Ted Tiffany, Bev Totten and Michael Abernethy, from the community theatre circuit. It was a first time professional experience for several actors but they seemed to suck up the atmosphere and the smarts from the rest of us and got on track in just over a week.
I am sure it has been an experience they will not soon forget! They should be proud of how they brought their characters to life in the words and in the "speak" of 1895 Victorian London.

After 10 days of intense rehearsal, I can now tell you we have a splendid, contemporary version of Mr. Wilde's Earnest. There are those who said and still say one cannot perform Earnest in present times. Hogwash, poppycock, absolutely absurd rubbish!



I believe this show works in present. Our audiences believe it too- especially both our Thursday audiences! It is amazing how well the dialogue stands up in 2015. I wonder if Oscar ever thought about his play being performed 120 years in the future?

Algy pulls out his cell phone at one point to make a note of his friend Earnest's country address.
We changed the word "dogcart" in the script to "Uber"- that gets a chuckle or to. Our Cecily is pregnant- and it shows. Oscar's words work there too. I read and re-read the script and realized how many lines of dialogue pointed to Miss Cardew's pregnancy- as is the case with real-life Cecily, actor Claire Acott. Of course, the audience has to believe and understand humour and they do. Friday night's laugh at Cecily's "bump" was a roar!
Thank you and the soon to be newborn has to take at least part of the credit.

Our set is simple with a huge, wool British Union Jack front and centre. The flag- given to me by my Dad, originally hung on the federal building in downtown Peterborough in the 1920's.We have Victorian style furniture in Algy's flat as a homage to the original production at the St. James Theatre in London. On stage right, a 1960's rotary dial telephone sits on what is part of the pulpit at St. Paul's Centre. Actually, Algy's on the phone at the top of the show while his maid- Lanee (usually played by a man as Lane) boogies to Roger Miller's hit 1960's song "England Swings".

Then, we whirl round a backdrop and voila it's a garden at a manor house in Hertfordshire! True Brit songs like "English Country Garden", Rule Britannia" and others populate our show.

The audience laughs and smiles are infectious in the hollow chamber that is St. Paul's Centre but the audience is mic'd so you'll hear every word. Being in that cavernous space continues to be one of the major obstacles to overcome both for cast and our Stage Manager Tom- to say nothing of the challenges of the dialogue- but it's working.
Friday evening some cast members had to pass through an AA meeting being held in Memorial Hall beneath the auditorium to make their way to the stage. Algy and Cecily exited through a side door, trotting along Peter Street a few hundred feet to enter through the front theatre doors to make their entrance.
Theatre huh?

We have had many delightful, positive references to our set and our reserved lighting design. My brother Scott and Husband Tom worked out the kinks with our LED lighting with me saying more red, less yellow, brighter, brighter. Our Box Office Manager- Mary Lou Kempton and Front of House Jo Anne Debreczeni keep the theatre running smoothly, welcoming audience members and selling tickets at the box office.

 The dialogue is rapid and copious but we can assure you of a fine time.

So take some time for a little bit of EARNEST My Dear Boy. It's perfectly marvelous!
We play to October 9th at St Paul's Centre.
Check out our website www.theatreorillia.ca



Wednesday, August 26, 2015

ROBBLOG #585

Below is an abridged interview written by Billy Cox from Best Buddy magazine where Billy talks to a 17 year old male. The interview appears in the September Issue.
 
Today I am in conversation with Homosexual Ontario Teen Dick Ryan. Mr. Ryan is just like any other Gay teen you might come across in a beachside change room on a hot summer afternoon or in a dark, well-treed neighbourhood park late in the evening. Dick suffers- in part, from blue balls and regularly seeks relief from other Male Gay teens just like him.
 
However, this is where Dick’s similarity and normality ends when you compare Dick to any other average 17 year old Male Homosexual. This Dick in front of me finds himself increasingly drawn to anyone from the conservative, religious, political right.
 
“I can’t explain it.”- says Dick, “Sometimes I pass by a church with a huge cross on the lawn or see a newspaper story about a local guy who’s supposed to be flaming and I just go nuts. Once there was a colour photo of this born again guy on page ten of the newspaper. The rumours said he was Gay and closeted and right-wing religious. I thought it was too good to be true all in one package but it still made me bust a nut. At times like that, I don’t feel like I can control my urges.”
 
Dick says he wants to be just like everyone else but admits he finds himself more and more drawn to any conservative church’s religious pamphlet and Gay guys who go to church and vote for the right.
 
“I have newspaper clippings of a certain right wing politician stuffed under my mattress. I know that ain’t normal but it’s just these eruptive urges I feel. Sometimes, I even draw crosses on photographs of right-wingers with a black Sharpie I’ve doused in Holy Water from St. Anne of the Apostles church. How hot is that?” –says Dick while repeatedly pulling at the crotch of his faded denims.
 
 
“It used to be I could control my urges and I’d talk about it to the guys I’d see sitting around partially naked at the change house down at the park. They’d call me fairyboy and stuff and we’d even horse around a bit but even that couldn’t take my mind off the possibility of knowing a devout, right-wing Fundamentalist.”
 
When questioned about their son’s sexual/religious leanings Mr. and Mrs. Ryan would only say they’d like to have a normal, homosexual, teenage son who does normal Gay Teen things like blowing Uncle Bo when he takes a bubble bath in the old cast iron tub up in the hot attic bathroom.
 
“We just want him to do normal Fag stuff like that! We don’t know where he got the idea of blowing his semen all over the place while thinking about the Christian Right or politicians- if that indeed is what he does. His Father and I believe that to be so.”- says Mrs. Ryan.
 
Dick says that maybe he’ll grow out of it one day and have proper wet dreams about Hugh Jackman or Stephen Harper like the other normal butt pokers he knows.
 
I wish you the best Dick!
 
 

Thursday, August 20, 2015

ROBBLOG #584


It's time folks. Time for another little chat with the "Big Guy". The most omnipresent
presence that I know of. It's another conversation with God Almighty.

Me: Hey God, thanks for once again opening yourself up to a down home chat.

God: Why hello Rob. Anytime. You know that- even though I also know you're a card-carrying Atheist.

Me: I'm that transparent am I?

God: I am God after all and I can see through people and things. No big whup. Although I must say seeing you portray that Nun- Sister Mary Margaret, this summer I marvel at how you can allow your undefined religiosity to show and yet remain so convincing.

Me: Undefined Religiosity? That's a line from my All for Nun show. How? What?? Did? But...

God: Yes, Rob. I was at the show right in row 6. Aisle Seat. remember the day all those Caribbean Folks packed the theatre?

Me: ...yes...

God: I was there. You even placed your hand on my shoulder.

Me: I can't believe it?

God: Oh, I'm one of your biggest fans- even though you don't believe in me.

Me: Well, thanks...I guess.

God: You're welcome...I guess. ~grins~

Me: Actually I'm flattered that you took the time to come all the way down...

God: Over. Not down Rob.

Me: Over?

God: Yes I wasn't up here in Heaven, I was over at the summer place on my private planet. So it's more over than up.

Me: Cripes. I forget that you have that little vacation planet all to yourself.

God: Not quite to myself. I have a couple of dozen Angels with me to keep the place tidy and to look after me. I'm no spring chicken these days Rob.

Me: No, I guess not. Would I be too bold to ask how many years "young" you are?

God: I'm not sure. We didn't keep great records way back then at the dawn of creation and such. My Mother...

Me: Your Mother? Not the Holy Mother Mary?

God: Oh Gawd no! I mean Gertrude Ruth Natasha- my birth Mother.

Me: Gee, I had no idea. Gertrude? Really? Was she from down here?

God: No. Down there didn't exist. No big bang before I came into the world. I was the BIG BANG.

~he laughs~

Me: Gee, I never thought about your birth being the "big bang".

God: Well, to be truthful- and I am God and truth is important to me, it wasn't just my birth alone that created the "big bag". There was a whole bunch of crazy stuff going on back then- long before Stephen Harper was a glint in his mother's eye.

Me: Or Patrick Brown...

God: Oh for St. Paul's Sake! Don't get me started on that queer fellah.

Me: Queer?

God: NO! I don't mean "queer" as in Gay, I mean "queer" as in "strange". Jesus, Mary and Joe, I keep forgetting you folks have progressed so far. Still he does show signs...

Me: Signs of what?

God: No, I better not say.

Me: Is he going to win his seat?

God: Now Rob, I can't go foretelling the future like that. Goodness knows what might happen. The planets might start to leave their orbit or some people might stop being such big assholes.

Me: Wow God- Your Extremeness! You said "assholes"!!

God: Yes. That's not a swearword here. At least to me it isn't. I just call someone what they really are and if they are one- an asshole I mean, they deserve to be called one.

Me: God, why can't you just make some people not be such assholes.

God: Well Rob, the earth would be a dull place without them. Same with the Green Party. It takes all kinds as you know. Say...how are the ticket sales going for "Earnest".

Me: You know about Earnest?

God: Yes, I picked up a brochure in the OCC lobby as I was leaving your All for Nun show. Boy, the air conditioning really keeps things cool out there- doesn't it?

Me: Yes. ~pause~ OH!. I see. Yes. Yes. It does. ~chuckle~ Tickets are going slow but we have some time.

God: Well I applaud you for soldiering on. Hey Rob, I was thinking..

Me: Yes,

God: Now an Angel- Angel David,o brought this to my attention, He suggested I encourage you to write a show using me as a character.

Me: You? Geez I dunno...

God: Hey they did it on Broadway this summer and it was a hit. I think you could write a real funny play. You'd have my blessing, Rob, to do it

Me: Really?

God: Of course.

Me: Now that gives me something to think about over the winter.

God: Oh yes Rob, about your winter this year...if you thought the last two years were bad, well...

Me: No! I don't want to know.

God: Not even a hint?

Me: Nope! Look God, I gotta be running along.

God: Yes you do. You have Earnest dialogue to learn.

Me: How did you...know?

God: I'm omnipresent. I know all and see all. Oh by the way, that package of bologna in your meat bin in the fridge?

Me: Yes?

God: Toss it. It's gone off!

Me: I will and thanks God. This was terrific!

God: Same back at you. See you next time Rob. All the best.






Saturday, August 1, 2015

ROBBLOG #583


Hello Again,

I say that because it's been a couple of weeks since I blogged. However, now that our show All for Nun- A Stage Xtravaganza has closed, I will have some more time at least till mid-September.

All for Nun is the Theatre Orillia Show I wrote that ran for 3 successful weeks. We successfully paid cast and crew and our venue.
We did so putting mostly out-of-town bums in our seats!

This 2015 Summer Theatre Season would not have lasted a week is it weren't for the bus tours and the out-of-town folks on Sunshine Getaway tours. Now, to be fair we do pick up some locals on Thursday Matinees and Thursday nights but that is mainly due to the fact that it's 2 for 1 pricing. Friday nights at full, regular prices are a bust.
You can't give a ticket away some Fridays. Our Theatre Orillia shows are populated with professional, paid actors. They are a cut above and yet we struggle.

The middle Friday in our run was cancelled because of only 2 seats sold, whereas the day before- a Thursday, we were almost a full house for two shows. Same thing for our final Thursday. Full houses and yet Friday- our closing night, only had 7 seats sold until two days before when we gave away seats to make sure the cast had an audience.
You know how people say things happen for a reason?
That Friday night we cancelled?
Turned out it was a good decision because I lost my voice. My vocal chords started to go caput on Thursday, so Friday I had not voice. I spoke in a whisper. 5 shows a week and two shows on Thursdays can wreak havoc on one's un-mic'd voice.

On the subject of comps. They're not a bad idea but they don't pay the bills.
Yet, on a final night, what do we have to lose?
Word of mouth does nothing- since it's the last show anyway.
I will say Sister Mary Margaret took up a "free will offering" at the top of the second act and we managed to recoup some expenses.
Good on her!

Theatre Orillia/Double R Productions  have brought in close to 20 busloads of theatre guests who shop locally, dine locally, take boat cruises and see summer theatre. Our Getaway Guests stay overnight and do even more. One Matinee bus came all the way from Barry's Bay just to see our show and have lunch! Another afternoon two buses filled with members of the Caribbean Community of Toronto came to dine at the Golden Wok Buffet on Front Street, South and see our show.
They were a terrific audience to be sure.

We're not even sure many downtown merchants are aware that we bring in these people.
We are grateful for the advertising support of small businesses we receive, as well as the cash flow from our Season and Show sponsors. We couldn't do it without them.

If you missed The Affections of May and All for Nun- A Stage Xtravaganza, you still have time to see The Importance of Being Earnest the St Paul's Centre beginning September 29th. The St Paul Gals will be cooking a turkey dinner Thursday and Friday Nights so you can sup well and see our show. The Box Office is 705.242.8011.

We really need a ton of support for this autumn show and I sincerely hope we can count on you.

Finally, if you did see All for Nun, you should know that now you can follow Sister Mary Margaret
at her twitter account:
https://twitter.com/SisterMMargaret





Friday, July 17, 2015

ROBBOG #582

Note: I haven't written a Blog in a month! I have an excuse.
I just finished performing in a Theatre Orillia show- The Affections of May, two weeks ago.
Since then, I have spent 9 days in rehearsal for another show and now less than two weeks later the new show All for Nun- A Stage Xtravaganza, which I wrote, is up and running at the OCC in Orillia.
Today, I write a Message from the Artistic Director- which I am. I've had almost 800 reads on Facebook and now I present it in its entirety to you.
                                                                                  -Rob*


A Message from the Artistic Director of Theatre Orillia/Double R Productions 

I am Rob Reid Artistic Director for Theatre Orillia/Double R Productions. That sounds like an important title doesn’t it? It isn’t really. It just looks good on a business card. Besides the card, I wear many hats as Artistic Director- Actor and Playwright among them. I spent several months and countless hours writing the script for the current Theatre Orillia Production- All for Nun- A Stage Xtravaganza.

We have just started our second Summer Production of our inaugural three show season at the OCC- former Cinema 4, on Colborne Street, in Downtown Orillia. Our final show will be in September/October at the newly named St. Paul’s Centre at Coldwater Street and Peter Street North.

To date- with Norm Foster’s The Affections of May and the current on stage production- All For Nun- and up to and including our fall production of Oscar Wilde’s “The Importance of Being Earnest” we have tried our best to be “a Part of our Community”- as our tag line says. 

We have or will be bringing up to 20 buses, countless groups and dozens of Sunshine Getaway Tours’ guests to The City or Orillia and to our Downtown, Waterfront and Restaurants. 

That’s a lot of people who will shop in Orillia’s stores, dine in our restaurants or see the sites. Being a not-for-profit theatre company we run on a bare minimum budget. We started out with zero dollars. To help us pay for our season we have received one $500 grant from the City of Orillia, money from our Season and Show Sponsors, Kickstarter supporters and advertisers but it doesn’t pay all our expenses. 

We pay our cast and crew weekly as well as our venue- the OCC. That’s a very large outlay of cash. The four of us who started this company have so far not received one cent of pay. We funnel all our funds towards paying for the shows, the OCC, costumes, rights, props and Cast & Crew.
It is a large undertaking. 

Looking at the audience numbers we bring to the OCC, I should mention that the majority of the audience members are from out-of-town. Local and area support is meagre at best. Oh, there are the hard core theatre goers who support us time and time again and we thank them every time they show up. This year Lake Country is supporting us. The Island Princess too. Our charities that we promote at each show- Green Haven, Dress for Success, Big Brothers/Big Sisters and the Sharing Place Food Bank all try their best to bring patrons to our shows. 

There are times we offer comp tickets to fill seats. Many theatres do. However, giving out “free” tickets does not pay our bills. We offer comps in the hope that those people seeing our show(s) will spread the word. 

Some Media types are a great help to us. The Packet and Times have been more than generous with advertising. John Swartz of the Packet is always a stalwart supporter of our company, as is Frank Matys and Orillia Today. Ross McIntyre has written terrific articles as well. UPS Orillia has been very generous as has Swisssh Radio- an Online station. We get snippets from other groups but Radio and Television media- not so much. They are tough nuts to crack. True, we don’t have hundreds or thousands to spend but what if we are successful and return for a second season and we have extra dollars for advertising? Will we hot-foot it to the media that offers no help when we need it most- during this inaugural season? 

Then, there’s our Cultural Department at City Hall. We haven’t seen nor heard from anyone there nor has a representative- to my knowledge attended our show(s). We have given some comps to those folks who work at the Orillia Opera House as the Sunshine Getaway Package includes Theatre Orillia as well as The Opera House, The Island Princess, OMAH and The Mariposa Inn.

We have seen our Mayor Steve Clarke and a couple of Councillors in our theatre. We have even invited Mayors and Councillors from Severn and Ramara. 

I can hear you saying- so what do you want?
Simple.
Support.
Local support from citizens and businesses.
Attend one of our shows.
Give us a leg up. Hang up a poster.
Recognize we are a viable theatre company and pass on the word to others.  

Imagine, our small city of 30,000+ people has two summer Theatre Companies and has had for two years! We are a Part of Our Community.

We bring tourists to Orillia including folks from Toronto, London, Cambridge, Hamilton, Huntsville, Haliburton, Burlington and more. They leave our Theatre Orillia at the OCC beaming. They love the shows, our actors, our sets, our comfortable, air-conditioned, easily accessible venue. 

Theatre Orillia has a good thing going here. Why there are those who ignore that fact is a mystery to us. Yes, we can give out comps to fill our theatre but we really need the cash. We have brought in the various charities to show you that we want to be here. We want to help other organizations as well as ourselves. 

Our Actors in our shows come from not only Orillia but further afield from the North, East and South. Everyone has an equal opportunity to audition for us. Our Actors and Crew are hard-working, professionals and give you a big, big bang for your buck.  

We do too.

Thursday’s are Two for One. Buy one adult ticket at $30, Senior $25 or Student $15 and receive the second free! There are special rates for groups of 30 or more. Details are on our website www.theatreorillia.ca or call our Box Office at 705.242.8011. Our Box Office is open at the OCC Monday thru Saturday from 11 until 2PM. 

This past Tuesday we had four, local "theatre virgins" in the audience. They had never seen a "live" stage show before.  A Sister Mary Margaret would say- "Isn't that grand?" 

If you’re Media, we’d be happy to help you by displaying logos and ensuring your “brand” is displayed before and during the show. Call us and we’ll see what we can do. 

We don’t want to flounder wondering how we can get local bums in our Theatre Orillia seats. If we do, we won’t be able to afford to do this for another year. 

Thanks and see you at the theatre!
Theatre Orillia that is… 

Best Regards,

Rob Reid
Artistic Director Theatre Orillia/ Double R Productions

 



Tuesday, June 16, 2015

ROBBLOG #581

Halfway through June.

Where did May go? June's on the downswing now. I saw a poster in a shop window the other day advertising Canada Day in Orillia.
Geesh. Time flies when you're busy....and I am busy.
The first show in our Theatre Orillia/Double R Productions 2015 Season is hitting the boards.
The Affections of May runs through July 3.

A professional show that went from read-thru to dress rehearsal in 11 days! Actors, Stage Crew and Director have to be on their toes. There's no time for slouching or falling behind. Sets are built. Lights are hung. Dialogue is memorized and costumes are fitted all in less than two weeks.
Yikes!!

We have a spectacular Norm Foster product- The Affections of May. Funny, heart-warming and just plain Norm Foster silliness. It's the perfect show for a summer afternoon- especially if it's raining, or a summer evening out. We suggest dinner first- then the show.

This show is at the OCC- formerly Cinema 4 in downtown Orillia, as is the next show All for Nun.


Come join us for a laugh and support our theatre company's inaugural season.
Besides Affections and All for Nun, we offer Oscar Wilde's classic 1895 comedy- The Importance of Being Earnest! That show goes up at St. Paul's Centre in September and October.

Check out our website www.theatreorillia.ca and order your tickets online. You can also call our Box Office at 705.242.8011. Our Box office at the OCC is open 11 to 2PM daily and up to including show times on show days Tuesday through Friday.

C'mon and have a laugh at the OCC with Theatre Orillia.

You'll be glad you did and we'll be glad you did because if enough of you come- we'll be able to pay our bills!!
That will make up very, very happy!






Wednesday, June 3, 2015

ROBBLOG #580


Cripes!

I can't believe it's been a few weeks since I blogged. I'll bet a lot of you have given up on me.
It's just that my mind has been elsewhere these past weeks and I really need to slap a post-it note on my forehead and start blogging on a more regular basis.

So, this is BLOG #580. Maybe I'll stop at #600. Of course I said that about #500 and here I am- most of the time. Usually, when I sit down here at the keyboard something comes from this brain of mine. I usually find writing a little story the easiest. I type a line and I just build the story from there- never knowing where it will take me. I should look back and see how many little tales I have written. Maybe they would fill a book.

I had full intentions a couple of years ago to self-publish a book and call it Banana Oil- something my Dad always said when he found something silly or unbelievable. I still think it's a good idea, it's just getting around to it.

That's not happening over the next two months. My company Double R Productions- in association with Theatre Orillia, is presenting a season of three "live" theatrical shows at the OCC- formerly Orillia Cinema 4. By the time you read this, rehearsals will be underway for the first show- Norm Foster's The Affections of May.

The second show opening in July, is one I wrote called- "All for Nun- A Stage Xtravaganza. Just read the previous Blog to find out more about the show and the "Diva-like" Star I wrote it for. That one will be tons of fun and is certainly beating Affections and The Importance of Being Earnest- our Fall show, at the box office. More than a dozen bus tours have booked in for that show alone. Sister Mary Margaret- the star, will be pleased.

I am pleased too. I do worry though.
You see, selling tickets is one thing, now I have to make sure the show is really, really good or it will all come back to haunt me.

I believe it is a funny, funny show and with the actors we've hired I can guarantee it!
Get your tickets soon. One show is already sold out- more pressure!
Box Office is 705.242.8011.

So, that my readers will take up a great deal of my time throughout June and July. Then, a small break before rehearsals start mid-September for Oscar Wilde's The Importance of Being Earnest. I stood next to Mr. Wilde once.
"You don't say!"- I hear you mutter surprisingly.
Yes, it's true however, Mr. Wilde may not have noticed me, since he was lying dead inside his tomb at Pere Lachaise Cemetery in Paris at the time. Sounds good though doesn't it?

Oscar Wilde "At Rest" in Pere Lachaise Cemetery in Paris

If you live in the Orillia/Central Ontario area, come and support Theatre Orillia and our actors and crew. They've been working hard so far and I have no reason to doubt the quality of all three shows will be extremely high- and professional.

That's the name of the game in summer theatre. The show rehearses for 10 days or so, then it gets up and runs for three week. Towards the end of the first show's run- Affections of May, we start to rehearse the second show All for Nun. Some actors are in both shows, so it's a credit to their work ethic to pull off rehearsals and a running show at the same time.

Go to our website www.theatreorillia.ca to find out more.

See you at the Theatre!


Wednesday, May 13, 2015

ROBBLOG #579


Today an interview that was very difficult to get. Herself doesn't give many.
Herself? Why Sister Mary Margaret of the Church of Little Hope.

Me: Welcome Sister Mary Margaret and Thank You for agreeing to this interview.

Sister Mary Margaret: Well, it doesn't appear you're a George Strombolopolous or anything.

Me: Not quite.

SMM: But I'll give you a go. You've got a nice smile unless you just let a phart.

Me: Thank You and No, I didn't. That accent of yours. What am I hearing?

SMM: An accent as you said. It's a wee bit Irish and a wee bit Newfie and a bunch of whatever is floating around in my mind at the time. It's always in a state of flux- which is not too far from Ottawa to be sure.

Me: How long have you been a Nun if you don't mind me asking?

SMM: Not t'all. 44 years. Isn't that a hoot? It's a fecken long time 44 years. Countries and politicians have risen and fell in far less time. Look at Mike Duffy and believe me, there's a lot to look at- if you dare.

Me: Yes...well. 44 years is indeed a long time. Now this stage thing is relatively new for you, isn't it?

SMM: Jesus Mary and Josephine it is! One day you're a plain, simple Nun and the next you have the public clamouring for you. It's very strange. A lot like the Mormons!

Me: How did it happen?



SMM: I was helping a friend at a wee show a summer ago. I met the audience and chatted to them. Told them where they could go pee and such and they fell in love with me on the spot. Before I knew it, I had some lovely people who run bus tours and the like, ask me to do a one-Nun show. I deflected- probably should have genuflected at the time, saying no, I could never do that. Then a nice youngish-looking man- could be the fellah sitting right there across from me here, wrote a wonderful, funny show just for me- and here I am...and by the way, thank you again. You're just a lovely, lovely person.

Me: I'm blushing.

SMM: Well you should be. It's a funny script and I can hardly wait to perform it for the folks.

Me: Now you have some special friends helping you along in this show- called All for Nun.

SMM: Isn't that a lovely, lovely title. All fer Nun. It kinda has a double meaning there. At least it's not called All fer Naught. ~laughs~ Anyway, I do have some help on stage. My Sisters are going to be there with me.

Me: You mean Sisters in the Church.

SMM: Yes! Sister Murray Anne, Sister Neutrogena and Sister Benny Francis. A very talented trio. ~pause~ Oh...then there's that Father O'Mally. I can't figure out why anyone would want him in a show.

Me: No? Why not?

SMM: Well for one ting he can't sing. For two tings- he can't dance and for three tings he's not even good at confession let alone singing and dancing.

Me: Sister Mary Margaret, I should think all Priests are good at confession.

SMM: Christmas Crackers! Not Father O'Mally. He can't keep a secret which is what the whole bloody confession thing is about in the first place. He does have one redeeming quality however.

Me: What's that?

SMM: He makes a decent cup 'o tea!

Me: So in this show All Fer Nun...I mean All for Nun, there's singing and dancing?

SMM: Yes, all of what you just said and joke tellin' and silly stuff too. There's even a lovely, lovely quiz show that the audience can take part in and win some lovely, lovely prizes.

Me: That sounds like fun!

SMM: It will be. There may be some surprizes too. Look, ever since I said yes to this show, Thelma Kravitz- she's the Office manager slash Receptionist at our Church of Little Hope, Thelma wants to sing a song.

Me: Really, that sounds okay to me.

SMM: It sounds like sheit, that's what it sounds like. She can't sing a note. She sounds like steel wheels on a railway track. Shreiking and catawallerin'. It's embarrassing.

Me: What do you plan to do?

SMM: We're going to ask her to clean the confessionals to keep her out of the way while the show is going on.

Me: Now the show.

SMM: Yes, it all takes place in the supposed basement of our Church of Little Hope. It's a reasonable facsimile of course. It's really on stage at the OCC. That's what theatre is- all make believe. Kind of like Scientology- but you didn't hear that from me now.

Me: I must say it all sounds like a super fun time. It should be a great, successful show.

SMM: If it bombs we have one solace.

Me: What's that?

SMM: It'll all be your fault!

Me: Yes, well...~ahem~ thanks for this Sister Mary Margaret and we'll see you on the stage.

SMM: That you will. There's one leaving in 15 minutes! ~laugh~. I've always wanted to say that!

All for Nun- A Stage Xtravaganza runs at the OCC in Orillia, Ontario July 14-31, 2015
Tickets through the ONLINE Box Office www.theatreorillia.ca 
or 705.242.8011

Monday, May 4, 2015

ROBBLOG #578


Holy Smokes! Almost a month since I have sent a blog your way.

I have an excuse.
I've been busy.

Yard work.
More yard work.
Re-writing my All for Nun script before rehearsals start in a month or two.
Dealing with Artistic Director duties for Theatre Orillia- of which I am a part.
Plus, I have had days when I have been feeling a little "off".
Dizzy, actually.

I've had the Epley Maneuver- twice.
Active release treatment on my neck- twice .
At this point I am not sure what's next. I hope these brief seconds- 5 or 10, of being dizzy will just go away.
I have had this twice before and they did just that.
They vanished one morning, however, I'd still like to know from whence they came.

During my lapse in blogging, one of the best things my husband Tom and I did was go to the theatre in Toronto. We saw Robin Hood- a really terrific musical, headed for Broadway. Great for all members of the family.



Then, on her final tour- Dame Edna Everage. The Dame (Barry Humphries) played Toronto for 10 days in April. The show was terribly funny. She never stopped. Joke after joke. Whimsy after whimsy. Sitting there watching her exhibit perfect timing. My, how she held the audience in the palm of her hand. It was a learning experience.
Both Barry and the Dame love Toronto and Toronto audiences loved her.
She'll be missed when "their" retirement in Australia sets in fully.

Meanwhile, another "Dame" of sorts- Sister Mary Margaret, has been keeping me busy at the keyboard. I used to think Hank was a workaholic but Sister Mary Margaret is turned on at least 18 hours a day. She's constantly in my head with new situations and jokes and one-liners. Then she wants it put all together in a semblance of  a stage show entitled "All for Nun- A Stage Xtravaganza". Sister MM has a few other characters with her for her first time on the OCC stage- including, Father O'Mally, Sister Murray Anne and Sister Neutrogena. It's sure to be a fabulous three weeks come July at the OCC on Colborne Street, East.

Now I've got to sun. I know, it's a short blog but I will return sooner- unless Sister Mary Margaret comes calling- which undoubtedly...she will.






Friday, April 17, 2015

ROBBLOG #577


Dearest Reader,
          Today I offer you a short story for your amusement and entertainment.

Calvin loved spring.

He loved the warmth of the sun after a very cold winter. He liked to listen to the birds sing. He enjoyed seeing the squirrels scamper around searching for their food.

On one an average Wednesday afternoon around 2 o'clock, Calvin decided to take a stroll through the park. He dressed in a light, green, polyester sweater over a white tee shirt and slipped into a pair of comfortable blue jeans. He laced up his best white running shoes, grabbed his Ray Ban sunglasses from the hall table and hurried out the door.

Calvin loved to walk in the park. He liked to throw coins in the fountain next to the Arbour Restaurant. He liked to see the tulip gardens in full bloom in every colour of the rainbow. Calvin especially liked to sit on his favourite park bench and watch people stroll past.

Not everyone strolled however.
Some jogged past.
Others ran quickly by.
Some were on bicycles, while others whizzed past on roller blades.

Calvin especially loved to see the handsome athletic men saunter by his bench.
Some in shorts.
Some in latex jogging pants
The men Calvin like best were those who passed by his bench wearing only jogging shorts and shoes- no tee shirts. Calvin had a strange fascination for shirtless men. He daydreamed that one would stop by his bench, sit down next to him and make small talk.

On this particular Wednesday afternoon at around 215 a man with solid biceps and sturdy calf muscles did just that.
He sat down next to Calvin wearing only black shorts and white flip flops.
His athletic chest was covered with a healthy patch of dark chest hair.



Calvin's heart skipped a beat. He began to wonder what it would be like taking this handsome, shirtless stranger home with him that afternoon.
His daydream began...

He imagined asking the stranger sitting next to him to accompany him to his home. When there, he'd encourage the athletic man to strip out of his shorts and flip flops. Calvin would then blindfold his visitor and direct him down the basement steps. Once there, he'd tie him up- gently, using belts and various sections of rope. He would delight in watching the man's biceps twist and groan while he tried to set himself free. He'd run his hands all over the stranger's chest and biceps, savouring every moment and muscle he felt.

As his daydream continued- suddenly and without warning, Jesus appeared out of the blue and chastised Calvin for his dirty daydreams. The Lord God then caused a huge maple tree- just to the left of the bench, to snap off at its base and crash to the ground, barely missing Calvin and his handsome bench mate. The bare chested stranger sitting next to him jumped clear of the falling tree and ran away as fast as his muscular legs would take him.

Jesus called the young man back but to no avail. Soon, the well-built stranger was only a dot on the blue horizon. Jesus looked back at Calvin, telling him in no uncertain terms that he would burn in the fires of Hell if he had daydreams about night things again- especially in a public place.

It would be a few months before Calvin would have the nerve to walk to the park again and sit on that bench while having one of his dirty little daydreams.