Sunday, November 24, 2013


As we approach the holidays it’s time to take a little look back at old Ebenezer.
For being such a nasty sort of fellow, the story of Scrooge along with the Ghosts who visited his humble domicile, has certainly played a prominent part in our Holiday Celebrations. Scrooge has been reincarnated many times over the years by a variety of actors.
Stalwart actor types such as George C. Scott, Michael Caine, Alastair Sim and even Scrooge McDuck have all played the part of the Festive Grouch who gets turned into “a better man than any old man in any old town or city anywhere!”
While watching one of the many Holiday Versions of A Christmas Carol, I got to thinking about people that continue to stir the pot of gruel when there should be joy and peace. Sometimes, it is unavoidable. As Bob Cratchit once remarked to Mrs. Cratchit over a flaming Christmas pudding -“My Dear, have some Charity!”
It may be someone in line behind you at Canadian Tire. Someone who steals your parking spot Downtown or those among us who need to spread benevolence instead of ill-will. It's not easy getting through the Christmas Season without a few blips on the Holiday Grid. There can be friction in relationships- conjured up years ago, that still rots away at our hearts a bit more every Christmas.
There are friends who continue to think the worst of you and seem to forget the best of you and a lifetime enjoyed while being your friend. I- of all people, understand that it's not easy to forgive- even at this most forgiving time of year. I read a quote once from an unknown author and I scribbled it down on a pad next to my computer. It says:
“People come into your life randomly and they leave randomly.”
I thought it was simple- but well said. It can be difficult to lose those who pass on to the next level of enlightenment and leave us behind. Life sucks but it keeps moving forward. Death happens to us all sooner or later. Saying goodbye to friends- human, canine or feline, who have been spirited away to another dimension is just a part of life. It’s something we can't control.
Disagreements and misunderstandings happen to everyone. However if there is one time in the year where Goodwill prevails, it is the Christmas Season- upon the cusp of where we now stand. If Ebenezer Scrooge can see the light, then there's hope for us all. Love breeds hope but putting things right is a difficult “Holiday Path” to tread.
If you do decide to mend a fence or two, what's the very least than could happen? A brick or two might crumble in the wall that lies between you and someone else. “Passing on” is the final brick in the wall. There's no making amends when that final brick is mortared into place. So be aware.
You do have to be prepared to let things go however.
Many of us cope with that and there’s nothing wrong with moving on. If you do attempt to make things right, sometimes no matter how sincere an orchestrated, heartfelt apology is offered, some situations cannot be reversed and shouldn’t be. At this point refer back to “people leaving randomly”. You still have memories of the good times and like the song says- “they can't take that away from me.”
As for Scrooge, at least he eventually saw the light and from that we all can take heart and let Christmas Joy prevail.
Bless us, Every One- in a non-religious, Humanist loving way of course.

Monday, November 18, 2013


Where is the humanity?
Has Toronto City Hall gone to hell in a cocaine basket?
Perhaps, although I am not sure one keeps one’s cocaine in a basket.
This whole Rob Ford story.
Plain and simple- he should just be done- like dinner and a busted crack-pipe.
Now, as I write this, the Ford Tag Team is spewing venom at the City Hall Gallery and the Gallery is lobbing venom right back.
What a Circus sideshow!
Wanna know what I think is going to happen- eventually?
I believe Toronto Police will step in and charge and cuff him.
Ford at least deserves that and that’s all he deserves.
I believe Chief Bair is sitting on top of a crack-load of stuff and he is hoping the Mayor will step down before he has to use it.
He has had ample opportunity.
Will he do it?
Nope. He will not and why you ask?
I think we all know why…he’s a big…well you fill in the blank.
This whole carnival act has to hit a brick wall sooner or later.
The snake is going to bite the “charmer” right in the buttocks and that will be it.
A municipal election will be called and soon Toronto will return to normal.
Nice Normal.
I saw Ford and brother up close at this year’s CNE.
Tom turned to me at one point and said- “Look who’s standing behind you!”
I thought it might have been Jesus but as I turned I could plainly see it was the Mayor of Toronto and his brother Doug.
It was surreal for a moment.
Folks throwing their arms around this sweaty behemoth, smirking and laughing and asking friends to snap a few pics.
Tom asked me if I wanted a photo.
“What? No way!”
It was quite the show I must say.
It was hot and Mr. Ford- the Mayor, was perspiring like a…like a…overweight Mayor might perspire in a very hot summer day.
I looked at him.
Really looked at him.
Right in the eyes.
I thought- “Yes, he’s a crazy one. Crazy to the core of his crackpipe.”
For all the funny business that had been going on in Toronto at City Hall, you have to decide for yourself if you agree or disagree. Try to leave your political leanings out of it and just look at the man and what he has done- not accomplished- done.
I heard that Santa, while making his annual pilgrimage to the Toronto Santa Claus Parade last Sunday- that’s the same parade Santa asked Robbie not to attend, was heard to say to one of his Elves:
“Ho Ho Ho. That boy is certainly naughty. There’s no question about it. Make a note, coal for sure in little Robbie’s sock and to be clear Elf, I said “coal” not “coke”. Oh, Ho Ho Ho!”
That Santa Claus.
Ya got love him.

Monday, November 11, 2013


Did you hear about the guy in Russia who nailed his “nuts” to the cobble stones of Red Square?
This same “performance artist” sewed his mouth shut a couple of years ago. Now how can we use this important information to the betterment of mankind?
Rob Ford comes to mind- although I am sure he hasn’t seen his “nuts” in decades. Well, how could he? It’s like walking in a graveyard. You are aware the ghosts are there but you just can’t see them. Now, on the other hand, fusing his lips together might just be the ticket. It would accomplish two things. He’d shut up and he’d lose weight.
That Quebec Queen- Pauline Marois could be another candidate.
The Quebec charter business.
I do tend to agree with the “dress code”. I dunno why…
It’s the conservative in me, I suppose. It’s the thought that you are welcome to come to my country but leave your troubles and religious junk at the door.
Then, there’s a local selection.
Ms. Whats-her-Name who doesn’t have “balls” to begin with- literally I mean, could tone down the rhetoric some.
No, better still. Just sew it up.
Then, I’ve been told of a recent comment made by someone regarding theatre companies. Apparently- according to his vast knowledge, any performance outside of  certain local space would tend to be “rinky-dink”. This come from someone who has never attended a show of mine- even with the offer of comp tickets.
Sew it up.
He’ll get nailed next time when the peeps decide. That will take care of that.
Nailing Balls takes "balls". Where's the hammer?
Three more candidates could be Pamela Wallin, Mike Duffy and that Patrick fella- who lost a boxing match with Justin. Having been removed- at least temporarily from the Senate, they’ve already been nailed. Of the three perhaps only Patrick had balls to pick that fight with Justin who apparently had much bigger balls or at the very least biceps- because he won.
Now, I am not sure as an artist or simply as a man, I would ever consider nailing my balls to a rock- although I feel like I’ve had that done to me by someone else several times in my life. To be truthful, I wouldn’t even know how to go about it. I mean, fondling one’s balls is one thing. Sliding off a bicycle seat is another and being kicked in the “boys” is quite another but to actually decide to nail ‘em down…well…would I use-
A pneumatic hammer or a manual hammer.
Would I ask someone to help me or do it myself.
Would I numb them with ice first?
So may questions and only a couple of balls. 

Sunday, November 3, 2013


Have you noticed the side effects of “older age” slowly creeping in?
I have. If you are an early 1950’s baby- like me, you have probably noticed a few changes in how you feel these days. It seemed to begin at age 60 and is becoming more noticeable now.
How many times do you boldly walk upstairs arriving on the landing, having no idea why you’re standing there or what your motive for climbing the stairs was in the first place.
Happens to me all the time.
There are times I fling open the back door, walk across the deck, open the garage door and walk inside- only to wonder what in hell I walked in for in the first place.
We all do this. We take them off. Place them down somewhere and then spend five minutes re-tracing our steps until we find them again. What a waste of time!
Once in the summer as we were leaving the house, I said to Tom-
“Oh gee, I forgot my sunglasses.”
He looks at me and says-
“They’re on your face!”
Oops. The jokes on me and so are my sunglasses!
How’s that for feeling old?
Young folk in stores call me “sir” and “Mister Reid”- when they know my name- all the time.
It is a form of respect I know, but really?
A Sir?
Inside I feel like I am 40. I think like 40.
Okay, a mature 40.
I do things 40ish, yet I look in the mirror when brushing my teeth and wonder who the old fellah is with all the age spots on his face and grey in his hair.
It can’t be me- can it?
I need two pairs of glasses. One for reading. One for distance.
My left foot- the heel actually, is so sore some days, it’s difficult to walk with a smile.
I am hoping acupuncture will fix it.
I have a patch of skin on my cheek which the Doctor says is not skin cancer but it won’t go away even with a prescription cream.
I rake leaves and my back aches.
I get burning indigestion from certain foods and to top it all off I have recently been saddled with a brand new medical condition that resulted from lifting an object that was dangerously heavy. That is being looked after too by my chiropractor.
I am hoping for the best.
Last week I was out in the yard raking more freeking leaves when former neighbours walked by with their 26 year old son. He was only 12- or younger, when he lived next door. How did he get to be 26? Here I am having an adult conversation with a kid who used to ride his bicycle up and down the sidewalk in front of my house and build forts in his backyard. How can this be happening?
It has to be a horror story. There’s no other logical explanation.
I’ll soon wake up.
Many evenings I settle down with a hot cup of tea to watch a movie. The plot is set. The story continues. An hour later I see the closing credits rolling across my television screen.
I slept through a two hour movie saga?
As fast as a snap of a finger, I had fallen asleep only to wake up an hour later.
I had to roll the movie back to watch it from the last scene I could remember watching.
Here’s a favourite one.
I go into a store with a mission.
Let’s say I need a litre of homo milk. Well, what other kind of milk would you expect me to use?
I have a list but milk is not on it.
I’ll remember to get it.
It’s milk after all.
I use it every morning in my coffee.
A half hour later I come out with list completed and more.
I drive home- yes, I remember the way, satisfied with a job well done.
Once home, I’m in the kitchen putting groceries away, when all of a sudden like a flash of summer lightning I remember- I had forgot to get the milk.
Sad, isn’t it?
I understand this is only the beginning.
I can hardly wait.