Friday, December 17, 2010


It must be the Holiday Season.

The Reindeer “poop” is being flung and it has a nasty smell! The Festive Feces is flying on two fronts. One concerns family.
The other concerns the bloggers who populate the Orillia Packet Online.

Where to go first?
Let’s do the family thing shall we?

My family has a hard time dealing with Tom-my husband, and I. It’s been difficult for over 25 years! It’s not an easy life having a Gay man in the family- let alone a Gay man who is totally out there, in your face and married to boot. My Brother never came to the wedding five years ago and we have yet to talk about it. My Mother showed up as if she was an audience member at one of my shows/plays. She didn’t even come to the house the day before or the day of- the wedding.
There was no “family” joy in that day.
I think we were like a freak show to them.
My Mother asked- Why do you have to make such a big deal of it with everybody?
For three months I never spoke to her before my wedding day. She only relented and came in the week prior.

Nobody threw a party for us.
Thanks goodness for good friends- like Jeannie and my brother-in-law Ted, who stood up for us and all the others who came and celebrated. Ted travelled all the way form Edmonton. Even Tom’s sister- who lives in Toronto, nor his Father from Don Mills, showed up.
You see it’s not all my side of the family.
I barely talk to Tom’s Dad to this day.
No, not because of his no-show at our Wedding- oh no! I kicked him out of our home a few Thanksgivings ago when he ignored the fact that I was there. In my own house.
After what? 20 years? When was he going to get it through his head that we were and are- a couple? 26 years later come April 2011!

Don’t you just love Families?

I can be a snob. I know I can. I have high ideals and expectations. My family can’t quite grasp that.
Tom and I have a nice home. Nice things.
I don’t like sitting around a dinner table, place-set with paper plates and all manner of cutlery and glassware.
I don’t like buns being tossed in the air from one end of the table to the other- or watching my sister make mashed potato sandwiches- her childhood favourite.
Years ago, that didn’t bother me. It was just the Christmas Holidays as I knew them. It was fun. Memories are warm. I still miss my Dad’s laughter at Christmas and his joy seeing me open a special gift he had bought for me- all on his own. It was my family and that was what I was used to seeing.

However, over the past three decades, my tastes have changed.
I have evolved.
That’s my impression.

I have travelled and seen other countries and peoples. I like things to be nice. Working for the airlines taught me that. It’s just a natural offshoot of being an airline employee and being with and talking to people from around the world.
I suppose I have left my family in the “fairy” dust.
We did move back to Orillia 18 years ago. I often wonder what it would have been like if we had stayed in Mississauga or moved out west to British Columbia. We do have some really wonderful friends here and I believe, I would not have returned to my broadcasting career nor become involved in theatre, if we hadn’t called Orillia home these past years. Still, Tom and I are just too much for my family- some of his too.

Case in point is my show “A Chatty HANKmuss”. I worked for 5 months on that show. Had some wonderful guest stars like Sherry Lawson and Mayor Orsi- and yet none of my family came. Not even a phone call to say “Break a Leg”. That’s all I really wanted. Just a call to say hope it goes well. I would have given them all “freebie” tickets- if they just had of asked.

My Mum tells me she wasn’t sure when the show was- we talked about getting tickets last Wednesday- three days before the show.
Then, she says she didn’t know where to get tickets.
Ummm. Call me and ask?

It goes on. I just get so stressed about it- and emotional. I just want to scream and move so far away they never will find me.
Happy Holidays, eh?

Then, upon reading the Packet Online, some Orillians- hiding behind nom-de-plumes, have criticized both my person as well as my “character” Hank. This has happened because I had Mayor Orsi on the show Sunday afternoon- long before he was a guest at the City’s Christmas Party. If you live in Orillia and area you will know that Mayor Orsi was a little unhappy with some of the content in the skits performed at the City Party. That has ballooned into a huge fight between…well, I am not sure who.
Some City staff.
Local citizens?
It’s all confusing.

Now these citizens have taken to saying Hank is making fun of people with “lisps” and speech imperfections.
I have done Hank for five years now.
Nobody has complained before.
Besides, Hank does not “lisp”. He has a distinctive speech pattern that results from wearing braces in his youth. His vocal ability was absolutely “normal”- whatever that may be, before the “braces of his youth” were removed.

Hank is more than a voice. He’s a pair of glasses and a distinctive bit of body language.
He’s a happy soul.
He’s a fishing hat or a Santa toque- with distinctive eyebrows.
He’s the teller of long, involved stories with simple punch lines.
He’s developed a following of sorts.
He’d do anything for anybody- and does.
Last week he performed with friends for the Orillia Business Women’ Christmas Dinner.
Then of course, “A Chatty HANKmuss” with some proceeds to Couchiching Jubilee House. So, to have him ripped apart by several bloggers who have never even seen him perform “live” and in person is disheartening and very sad especially at Holiday Time.

I have been told to let it go but when you see your name in the Online paper- and Hank’s too, it hurts.
There is no malice involved in what Hank says or does. Nor is there malice or ill intent in any of the other characters I have developed and written for my shows such as:
Mrs. Sophie Steeper,
Aunti Doris,
Mrs. Whitchurch or even Hank’s Mother.

These same dissenters probably laugh at-
Gay jokes,
Racial jokes,
Jim Foster,
Rick Mercer,
22 Minutes,
Miss Enid,
The Royal Canadian Air Farce,
Charlie Farquarson
Mrs. Valerie Rosedale and a bevy of others.

Reindeer Poop indeed!

I am watching where I step, for I am certain- being the season of Mr. Clause, the Christ Child and all, there is much to be flung!
I'll be damned if it spoils my Christmas. My spirit will still be flying high- trust me.
I love Xmiss!

Merry Christmas, eh?