Tuesday September 02 , 2014

Archive for April, 2012

Up the Street

We had a sandbox in our backyard that as far as I know had the same sand in it for 20 years. My brother and I used to play army in it with those little green plastic soldiers boys had in those days. But I can remember once, before I went to school, Terry and I playing together and getting in some kind of argument. Terry picked up a stick and whacked me across the face with it, causing blood to splatter everywhere. I ran into the house, my hand over my face, blood pouring through my fingers, and Terry ran home. My Gram told me it was a nosebleed and made me pinch my nose and hold my head back.

Later in the day, or maybe it was the next day, I was playing in our gravel driveway when Terry’s mom, Enid, came marching down the street. She threw a teddy bear I’d left at Terry’s place at me and told me to leave Terry alone, that I was no longer welcome at her home. I was upset, but my older sister told me not to worry about it. Every once in a while my older sister was nice to me. She said Enid was kind of crazy but she’d get over it. She was one of those mothers who got involved in kid stuff and always took Terry’s side, even though Terry was always the cause of the trouble.

Terry was the middle child in the Foster family. Eddie was the oldest and when I was young he was known as a bully. As he got older, though, and after grade eight when he went to the tech school, he was known as a good guy, a nice young man who could be trusted to do the right thing. Ellen was the youngest. Once, Terry, who was the mastermind of the three siblings, had the idea to take all the labels off Enid’s cans. Then he and Eddie put Ellen in the pantry and propped a chair under the doorknob so she couldn’t get out. The idea was that Enid would think Ellen had done it. Enid and Frank, Terry’s dad, hit the roof when they got home, but later Enid would laugh about how she never knew what she was making for supper. My mom said Terry would have been living out on the street if he’d pulled a stunt like that on Gram.

It was my job to pick up Terry on the way to school. Enid would see us off, standing at the door in her fluffy mules, mock turtle neck and shorts, even though it was Sault Ste. Marie and always winter. She had a cigarette hanging off her lip and I swear I can remember hearing tinkling ice cubes. She was always laughing about something anyway.

“Hey, Terry!” “Yeah, ma?” “Chinese, Japanese, dirty knees – look at these!” And she’d pull out her top. “Aw c’mon, ma!” “Hey, Terry – cigarette?” “No thanks, ma, I can live without it.”

It was their routine. Terry didn’t have a bedtime, either, and could stay up to watch Carol Burnett. He’d fill me in on the shows that came on after my bedtime, which was a strict 7:30, then 8:00. I was probably in grade seven or eight before I saw The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson. But I knew his monologue for years before that because Terry would replay it for me on the walk to school. It was interesting, without being funny, because I didn’t get the punchlines. American culture was limited to the Beverly Hillbillies, Lost in Space and trips over to Sault, Michigan where we were allowed to buy little things that would fit into our shoes or pockets so we wouldn’t have to pay duty at customs.

I always did well at school and attributed it to my early bedtime and healthy diet, but Terry went to bed whenever and lived on sugary cereals and tv dinners and he did almost as well. Physically, he was kind of a wreck, which may have explained Enid’s over-protectiveness. He was born with a club foot and rickets. As life went on he developed asthma, boils, ecxema and psoriasis. Still, by grade six he was too cool for me and had a girlfriend, although he complained to me on the walk to school once that when he asked her to the movies she said she had to wash her hair.

My mother couldn’t stand Terry, of course, because he was a wiseacre and troublemaker, and she didn’t have anything to do with Enid, who she thought was ridiculous and hysterical. But I loved going to play at Terry’s house because they had smelts on toast with ketchup for lunch and Terry and I could play darts. Once, we were playing darts in the backyard while Frank was barbequing smelts and Terry positioned himself beside the dartboard. I threw the dart and of course it landed in Terry’s foot right in that vein that spurts blood straight up in the air. Frank blew a gasket and I got sent home but this time it was just to get rid of me so they could deal with Terry.

That’s when I knew that I was okay with Frank and Enid.

All this time Eddie was in the background, first as a scary kid to avoid, but then as a fail safe against whatever trouble Terry got us into. He wasn’t smart like Terry but he was good. The kind of kid who wants to fix car engines for people who don’t understand cars. He was streamed into the tech school and it was like he’d finally found his people. I remember him getting so frustrated hanging out with my brother, who he was older than. Once we were trying to teach him how to play “Careers” and he finally just grabbed the board and threw it.

My mother couldn’t remember Enid ever intervening with Eddie, though, just Terry.

Before she had Ellen, my older sister said Enid used to make all the neighbourhood girls beautiful clothes for their Barbies. She was famous for it, lace wedding gowns, fitted bathing suits, midi coats. Once I was over at her house, Terry was out fishing with Frank, and she showed me how to crochet. Then she said out of the blue, “I want you to know that your father was a lovely man, but he couldn’t hammer a nail into a board.” Then she hugged me. I think I remember her crying, but I might be imagining it.

There were lots of social divisions in the area between home and school, but there were social divisions even on our street. My father had been a lawyer and after he died my mother went back to being a teacher. Frank worked at a pulp and paper mill, I think, not as a labourer, but he didn’t make much money. Enid was at home. And although I was allowed to play with Terry and spend time at his house, I was never allowed to camping or fishing with him and Frank. I don’t know why that was, maybe my mother just didn’t want the aggravation she figured would go along with it.

Before the end of elementary school, the whole family packed up and moved down the line to run a fishing resort. Then one day the whole street was still with the news that Eddie had been killed on Highway 17. He’d been called out of bed in the middle of the night to help a friend stranded on the highway with a dead battery. While he was walking from his car to his friend’s car he was struck by a drunk driver and knocked several meters into the bush.

I remember my mother and I running into Enid and Ellen at the mall a couple of years later. I was home from university for Christmas. It was like someone had taken a pin and let all the fun out of her, but she was okay. She was talking about what a good kid Eddie was and how proud she was of him, that it made sense that he died helping out a friend. I was traumatized by it and in the car I said to my mother that I didn’t know how Enid could go on, that her kids were everything to her.

My mother, looking into the rear view mirror as she pulled out of the Sears parking lot just said, “Life is for the living.”

 

She Traveled Light

When I was four, maybe five, Gram came to live with us. I was down in the playroom, which would that day become my brother’s bedroom, and when I came upstairs, there she was, sitting on the edge of the couch, still wearing her hat and coat. I was introduced to her then and as she tells it, I immediately asked her if she could buy me a gun. (The gun I coveted was in the window of the pharmacy up the street where my mother’s friend, Edith, worked. One day, I would just take the gun, shouting back to Edith as I ran out of the store that she could put it on my mother’s tab. The gun was returned in short order and the concept of stealing versus running a tab explained to me very sternly by Mr. Grant, the pharmacist.) When Gram said that she didn’t have any money and couldn’t buy me anything, I told her it was okay, “I’ll just use my finger.”

She loved telling that story.

Meeting her in her hat and coat left me with the lifelong impression that she didn’t really want to be with us, but that she had nowhere else to be. And it was true, really, because my father had died, which meant that my mother was a widow with four young children (my younger sister was still in a crib), and Gram had just divorced my grandfather, who had run off with a younger woman. He would go on to have eight more children and live well into his eighties on social assistance of one kind or another. I didn’t meet him, or even know he existed, until a cousin got married and he came to the wedding. He’d lost his dashing good looks by then, but I was still flattered when he called me a “cute little trick”.

In fact, I never forgot it and took to coasting on my “cute little trick” looks, ever so discreetly enabled by my mother, who was much better looking but knew I needed to take advantage where I could.

My mother, who normally looked down on sexually improper behaviour, had a lot of respect nevertheless for her father, who had counseled both her and my aunt Marie, her older sister, to get their teaching certificates, so that they could be financially independent of men. My aunt, who lived in Saskatchewan along the transCanada highway, would lose her husband, a vet, within six months or so of my mother losing hers, a lawyer. I don’t know why we got my Gram, although in the coming years she would visit my aunt for months at a time, as she also visited a set of cousins whose parents were alcoholics who would often leave them to go off in search of grand money-making schemes, subsidized by my mother and my aunt Marie.

But for us it was part of our lives to have Gram at home, cooking, cleaning, while my mother worked her way up the teaching ladder to get out of the classroom and into the high school library. And when Gram wasn’t looking after cousins in other parts of the country, she was in our house, her only outing to get her hair done or go to lodge – both at the insistence of my mother. It was hard to say if she was agoraphobic or just saw no reason to go anywhere. One set of cousins, who lived in a town near us while my uncle ran the local grocery store, thought maybe she just didn’t like northern Ontario, but years later when she lived with a younger aunt in Peterborough, she didn’t go outside at all. My aunt’s husband at the time could convince her to get in the truck and go up with them to the lake where they had a trailer, but that was the extent of her forays out into the wider world.

One summer, my brother, who Gram referred to as “the boy”, would leave a baseball on the shelf going down to the basement. It rolled off the shelf and onto the stairs and Gram, who was carrying a watermelon down to the basement slipped on it and broke her leg but saved the watermelon. As punishment, my mother got her a little bell while she lay up in her room, in traction, all summer long, and we were responsible for tending to her. My mother, who would lash out at any inconvenience, was surprisingly low key about the accident, even though Gram had lain on the basement floor for three hours before my older sister got home from school to find her there. She would joke to me in later years that Gram was famous for her passive aggression, but my mother was also famous for being partial to my brother.

Every once in a blue moon my mother would insist that Gram go to Mrs. Scot’s to get her hair done. Mrs. Scot lived one street over and my older sister took me to her after school one day when I wanted to get my pigtails cut off. I had long hair, which had something to do with my father, but I don’t know what. I was a tomboy and hated my pigtails and for some reason it was sacrilege to cut them off. My mother was upset, but the next day at school my grade two teacher, Miss Russell, took me from class to class showing off my pixie cut. Gram was in trouble, though, because she’d failed to prevent it.

This was a recurring theme, Gram would be in trouble with my mother for failing to prevent all kinds of indiscretions, including a time when I ran off to Toronto over the Christmas holidays. I took the bus to meet up with my older sister who was flying back to Toronto later in the evening, but, of course, we failed to connect. A man who was accompanying a hockey team finally got me to the Windsor Arms where my mother was staying (in separate rooms) with my bachelor uncle, my father’s youngest brother.

Maybe because we were all in trouble with my mother for not living up to expectations Gram just felt like one of the crowd. Or maybe she got even in her passive aggressive way by coming home from Mrs. Scot’s her hair freshly permed, to brush it out with such violence that she looked no different than before she’d gone, wiry grey hair standing out from her head like a collection of used brillo pads.

For years, too, Gram would wear either her brown paisley house dress or her blue paisley house dress. Eventually, my mom was able to get her into a pair of pants, and she took to them, although she always wore her apron over top. She was a large woman, totally unlike my mother in every way, severe looking and unemotional, a simple person who, if you came upon her sitting in the kitchen and asked her what she was thinking would respond, “Nothing. I wasn’t thinking about anything at all.” Occasionally she’d make fun of herself for a dream the night before, “I dreamed about people who’ve been dead for years.” I constantly badgered her about death, wasn’t she afraid of dying? “Not a bit, I’ve had a good life and one day I’ll be dead.”

At the same time, she would admonish me for wanting to be older and not living in Sault Ste. Marie. “Stop wishing your life away, you’ll be dead soon enough.”

I don’t know much about her background except that she was a good twenty years younger than any of her siblings who were all dead by the time she came to live with us. It’s hard for me to believe she’s my mother’s mother. Not only did she not have any financial independence, but she never owned anything. She came to us with a trunk, which, when she stayed too long at my aunt’s one visit, my mother phoned me up at university to ask if I thought she should just send it to her. I said, no, but that Gram wouldn’t be coming back because we were all gone and she had no reason to anymore. My mother laughed at that and said she’d send the trunk anyway, that winter was coming and she might want her coat. But she never did and Gram never asked for it.

When I was living in Toronto my mother would make the odd trek to Peterborough to visit Gram where she was living with my aunt Sandra. My ex and I would go and I had lots of fun with my Uncle Mac who would also come down from Kingston. He’d tell my Gram that he needed money to get pizza and chicken for the crowd (no booze because my aunt and another uncle were in AA). Gram, who was collecting old age security and who loved this uncle best (everybody did because he was a great guy, fun, generous, handsome) would ask him how much he needed. He’d quote her an outrageous sum and wink at me. Then we’d go get the haul and he’d pocket the change to go to the race track with my other uncle, the one who was in AA. He thought it a great joke, but Gram knew the ruse, she never minded being the butt of a joke. Years later, after she died, my mom discovered her urn rolling around on the floor of our farm, which was really just an old homestead in northern Ontario from the other side of the family where Gram took to spending the summer when we were kids. My uncle had been in charge of it. My mother and I laughed – as in life…

It’s hard for someone like me to know what it must have been like to own nothing, to have no financial independence, to be dependent on your children for a place to live. When she was 95, she had lost her oldest, my Aunt Marie, and her son-in-law, Fred, my aunt Sandra’s partner. (He was Catholic and I don’t think they were married, although they might have been.) My younger sister made regular visits to her in hospital, while my uncle in AA tried to get her to sign off on some papers so she could live in a nursing home. But she didn’t want to live in a nursing home and so she died instead, leaving nothing of herself behind, not even her baking recipes, which were all in her head. Over the years, we’ve all tried to replicate her pastry, which I seem to recall involved a big tin of Crisco, but, of course, it never turns out the way it did when she made it.

 

Starting Out

I went to kindergarten in the afternoon, which meant an early morning of Captain Kangaroo, followed by Mr. Dressup, Friendly Giant, and Chez Helene (which should have come before Mr. Dressup, not after him, CBC, so kids would have something to look forward to after Friendly Giant).

If I recall correctly, that brought the morning up to 10:00 a.m. at which point there would be three hours of dread before I made the half hour trek to school.

Mr. Mikkelson must not have been driving about in the afternoon because it wasn’t until grade one that he would slow down his car and offer me a ride. I think he may even have offered candy along with the favour. He also had his zipper undone and his penis hanging out of his pants, not that I would have taken the ride anyway, as it had been hammered into my head to never take a ride from a stranger.

I remember my mother’s exact words when I told her about Mr. Mikkelson: “Well, for Christ’s sake, don’t get in the car – what the hell is wrong with you? I told you – don’t take rides from strangers.”

She was a teacher.

Every morning I’d try to convince my grandmother, who came to live with us in the Sault after my father died, and she had divorced my fornicating grandfather (who had eight more kids with another woman after the six he’d had with my grandmother – and who knows how many more with the remaining women of Peterborough), that I was sick and shouldn’t have to go to school. I think the fact that I graduated kindergarten with perfect attendance may have determined the course of my future work life, good and bad, for what either is worth.

I was a daydreamer, though, and took my time on the walk to school. This meant that I always arrived just in time to join the end of the line, which was outside the school, just as it was disappearing into the kindergarten classroom.

One afternoon, I arrived to school and there was no line yet. I was elated because that meant I must be early. I can’t remember what the reward was for being first in line, but there was a reward of some kind. Maybe it was being allowed to play the triangle instead of the sticks in daily band practice. And so I waited at the front of the line, excited, for a while, then a while longer, then a while longer still, my excitement evolving into anxiety. It was winter and I was in my snowsuit (adding an extra half hour at least to the half hour walk to school) which wasn’t so much warm as it was cumbersome and heavy, when I suddenly sensed movement behind the frosted glass windows of the kindergarten classroom.

Instead of being early, I was so late that everyone had long since gone inside. I forget what the punishment was for that, maybe there wasn’t one because I remember when my boots were pulled off I couldn’t feel my feet and fell over, hitting my temple on the corner of a chair, resulting in a gush of blood all over the floor. Somebody started crying and threw up after that and Mr. Rathbone came up from his little room in the basement to throw sawdust on it and sweep it up.

I was vomit-phobic so it was a real trial to have to sit on the floor for sing song knowing there had been vomit there just minutes ago.

Another kindergarten transgression didn’t find me so lucky. One afternoon, at leaving time, we were lined up and another little girl and I were holding hands for some reason, still in single file, but holding hands nevertheless. The teacher, who was pretty and young, Miss Ansley, slapped our hands with a ruler. It was very traumatic for me because I thought of myself as a good girl and now I had a blot on my permanent record (I’d been warned many times by my older brother and sister about protecting my permanent record). But it also tweaked my sense of righteous indignation at the arbitrariness of authority and I didn’t cry until I blurted out the incident to my mother at dinner.

Of course, her immediate response was annoyance, “For Christ’s sake, what the hell are you crying about now?” But because I was hers there was also sudden shift from indifference to Miss Ansley to recognition of her as a bitch.

I knew, though, that the other little girl didn’t have that back-up at home, or I thought I knew that, and it stayed with me, too, the injustice of parentage.

 

Twitter Madness

I dreamed last night that you were all missing my tweets. Feel free to lift any, National Post. They’re mostly political tweets because I’m trying to get the politics out of my system on Twitter instead of my blog but I can’t stand leaving my dear reader(s) out of my loop of brilliance, either.

Although, I must say, it is a bit of a letdown to realize that I could have been saying in 140 characters what it used to take me a 1000 word blog entry to say.

Please stop rationalizing before the concert hologram of the dead singer morphs into a reality show starring Richard Nixon and Abe Lincoln?

Relax Carney, debt loads, spending & unemployment CAN be high – because – the private sector will save us. Stephen Harper promised.

So.. either Stephen Harper’s Conservative Party of Canada cheated to win, or more than a few Canadians have seriously bad judgment.

C’mon Alberta! Bring on the crazy! You know you want to! Wildrose! Bring it on! Let the fight for Canada begin! … er… Continue!

Any “we accept” back yet from Afghanistan for the apology by Leon… something… about the American army murdering and mocking dead people.

Uh oh, if Mike Harris is the badboy lunkhead jock of politics, then Stephen Harper is the brooding creepy churchy who likes.. guns?

CBC just reported the economy is looking up, then interviewed citizens who look like they just popped out of the 1930s Depression.

Hah, the CPC paid our co-citizens $$$s to (unwittingly) lie to us, meanwhile a Nigerian bank official would do it just for a reply!

“Whatta Rack” nine dude should be demanding an apology from the CPC for ruining his… wait a minute… WHAT REPUTATION?!

Albertans should sue the Wildrose Party for perpetuating eastern Canadian stereotypes of Albertans as sexist racist bible-thumpers.

Wait a sec, Stephen Harper celebrates our colonial rule, disses our Charter of Rights and Freedoms, but WE’RE traitors to Canada?!

The Wildrose Party: Stephen Harper’s Conservative Party of Canada – unplugged.

If you ask me, CPC, CIMS data gaps related to the May 2nd 2011 election equals destruction of evidence which equals proof of guilt..

Haha – remembering being an office temp transferring data in a trust company/bank merger in the 80s and how “haphazard” it all was.

Didn’t Stephen Harper revoke clemency for Canadians on death row in foreign lands in 2007 – speaking of not recognizing Canada?

Give me a fucking break about that asshole not taking Pat Martin’s craven apology. Jesus R Christ, asshole much, asshole?

CBC casting: If hosts obviously show on air that they think they’re too good for the show they host? They may be journalists, not actors.

Oprah: “I was raped at 13, I’m a woman. I’m black. I’m fat. I’m single. I elected the first black President of the United States. WATCH ME!”

Uh, CBC Connect? Maybe don’t mock Oprah for having fans who will put their money where their mouths are by lining up to see her…

Dare to Stephen Harper: Show up on the Hill for the 4/20 rally to legalize marijuana. Maybe even spot an aide or ten in the crowd.

Memo to PMSH: Ditch the Challenger jets and travel Air Canada, Porter, West Jet – like the rest of us. Tighten that belt, dammit!

Wait a litigious minute, why isn’t Racknine demanding an apology from the Conservative Party of Canada for ruining its reputation?

All points bulletin to parents – I implore you to bring this headline to the attention of your children this evening: http://www.cbc.ca/news/technology/story/2012/04/16/science-uranus-auroras.html

Hey Albertans – why would you still have to pay taxes under a Wildrose government? I know, I know – shit disturb from Ontario much?

Q. Why is disco not cool even though it’s just sex, drugs, and rock & roll – except with gay, cocaine & dancing on top? A. MacArthur Park

Anybody thought to ask Danielle Smith if she plans to raise her own army once she’s CEO of Alberta?

Overheard chez moi earlier: “I think I’ll have a glass of wine with my meal.” “Isn’t this breakfast?” “You’re right, make that a beer.”

Confession: Stayed too long at the pub once (total lie about the once), didn’t vote, and Larry O’Brien was elected mayor of Ottawa.

Nevermind drug testing, I want a law that requires governing politicians to undergo daily lie detector tests!

Anybody else get the impression that the Constitution’s 30th anniversary is just delaying Stephen Harper’s plans to de-patriate it?

Urgent message to Team Mulcair re television ad campaign: Abort! Abort!

Is it quaint or insane how we still check back to see what different thing Stephen Harper said back in the day as opposed to now?

Something “Harold and Maude” about John Baird and Hillary Clinton standing there flashing their hockey team jerseys on tv.

Of course there are a few more, but you get the idea. Anyway, my next blog entry is going to be an anecdote from the life of moi – if I can stay off Twitter long enough to write it. My gawd this social media stuff is not getting me anywhere fast or slow.

 

Keepin’ It Real ‘Til Death Do Us Part

Yesterday, while my beau was playing Dungeons & Dragons with his friends (yes, he has obtained the legal age of consent, Vic Toews!) I was at a cocktail party with some strangers from the internet.

Listen up, all you kids out there, strangers from the internet are not created equal. Always meet future cocktail party companions at a pub first, preferably one with a back exit near the washrooms well out of the line of sight of patrons.

And no, it was not a cyber cocktail party, Sooey Says hater(s), it was a real life cocktail party. Although the cocktails were actually strong beers complemented with pates and mousses (mices?) and cheeses from the Charlevoix Region. I almost never eat such decadent fare because I’m really quite disgusted by decadence (scottish presbyterian) and yet I found myself wanting to slap the hands of the other guests every time they reached for a pate knife so there’d be more for me.  And the beers were to die for. Seriously. I brought one home for my beau and I have every reason to believe that he will love it so much he will want to marry it.

Although he’ll have to wait until Prime Minister Thomas Mulcair legalizes man/beer marriage. (And yes, social conservatives, a New Democrat government will legalize man/beer marriage. If you don’t believe me, just check the policy book. It’s right there in red beside NATIONALIZE EVERYTHING!!)

Anyway, we talked about various and sundry and, of course, politics and how much we all despise the current federal government which is not really a government so much as a oil and gas industry coup as you know, dear Sooey Says reader(s) hater(s). And I talked about a recent town hall I attended starring a couple of zero merit political hacks addressing a room full of knowledge workers they’d just fired and how it reminded me of something one might have encountered back in the day (or now, I guess) on the battlefield, British officers who’d only just left off being buggered at expensive boarding schools explaining warfare to the Canadian soldiers who actually went out and killed other human beings to save us all from Hitler.

Speaking of which, as soon as the Wildrose Party of Alberta (i.e. the Conservative Party of Canada) wins and Danielle Smith is CEO/Premier, she and Stephen Harper, CEO/Prime Minister, will work together to transfer the Alberta government’s regulatory power (i.e. what makes government government) to a third party (i.e. the oil and gas industry). So head’s up, you heard it here first on Sooey Says, fellow democrats new and old. Oh, and Liberals, you good for nothing spoiler third wheel pimplewarts.

Oh, and could somebody please get Danielle Smith on record (not that it will make any difference in a few months when she does whatever anyway, but still, the Constitution demands, I’m sure) as not planning to raise her own Royal Armed Forces when she’s Premier of Alberta? Thanks.

It was super fantabulous and I re-iterated my pledge to not blog about politics anymore because everybody’s doing it and also it’s more fun (hard, too, just like math) to distill a political blog entry down to 140 characters and tweet it. (I know, I know, Neil McDonald and Charlie Angus do not agree. But where are they now, I ask you, now that they’re aren’t on Twitter? Nowhere on Twitter, that’s where. Losers.)

Also, I’ve taken to compiling my tweets and posting them on my blog for my fan(s) who aren’t on Twitter. But, of course, I don’t need to tell you that do I, Sooey Says reader(s). And thank Carp for you dear people(person) who don’t tweet. Twitter is lousy with egomaniacs (minus Neil McDonald and Charlie Angus). Follow my counsel and stay away from Twitter and I’ll make sure you can read all my tweets right here on Sooey Says.

But that’s not what this blog entry is about because I’m not blogging about politics anymore. After I left the cocktail party, I headed over to Rideau (the party was at a downtown Ottawa locale) to catch the bus. Now, I don’t have a car, but I am over 50 and although I soon will be unemployed, I’m currently working and making decent money and have been known to take a taxi home after an evening event. But that’s almost always when my beau is with me, too, because he doesn’t have a bus pass and I figure the convenience ties in a little closer to the economics and we opt for a taxi. Also, when you don’t have a car you really do need to treat yourself to the odd taxi ride or you start to feel hard done by and I already feel hard done by because I have to work for a living.

Aside: Once I’m unemployed, I will be much less likely to take a taxi. I’ll also be cancelling basic cable (suck it, Rogers) and telling those scumbag bottomfeeder Harrisites (wow – rhymes with parasites), Direct Energy, to pick up their rusty old water heater that they’re attempting to negative option on renters, for no reason other than, “Screw you, private sector!”

Because I’m tired of the private sector. The private sector in Canada sucks and blows. And corporate practices in this country are corrupt. The two companies I’ve mentioned in the preceding paragraph are no different than aggressive and litigious pick pockets. Also, I’m so tired of Kevin O’Leary barking and whining on CBC about being an investor, without any apparent awareness that we’re ALL investors – we just don’t ALL have a gig on a public-funded network to talk up our hedge funds or whatever the hell he’s doing night after night at my expense – that I’m starting a boycott of the corporate private sector.

That’s right, get ready Ottawa, because Sooey is getting a lock for her purse. I have never budgeted in my life before and I’m about to start, just to spite you, corporate private sector. Sure, I’ll still go out for dinner and drinks (no chains, local only), travel a bit, and take in the cultural scene, but I’m watching where my money goes now, boyo, you’d better believe it.

Corporate boycott – here I come.

(By the way, since Kevin O’Leary loves China so much, I suggest we ALL pitch in and buy him a one way ticket. He likes Air Canada. Meanwhile, since I need cable to watch CBC Newsworld – sayonara suckers.)

Oops, I wasn’t going to blog about politics, was I. Anyway, the bus. Well, if you’re ever feeling like you’re too good for this world (and I’m almost never not these days) take a Friday or Saturday night ride home from downtown on the bus. Seriously, it will not only confirm you in that belief, but it will explain why we have the government we do in Ottawa, with or without the electoral fraud.

On the other hand, it also keeps you real. There’s no hiding from humanity on the bus. Especially when you engage with your fellow riders. (I engage taxi drivers, too, because you never know which one will end up getting his Canadian medical license and saving your life in a hospital emergency room.) Last night was no exception as I counseled some young people on the perils of mixed drinks on an empty stomach (been there – last week, too) and the upcoming assembly of the nation’s pot smokers on Parliament Hill on April 20th.

“What? You can smoke pot on Parliament Hill?”

“Well yes. But only on April 20th.”

“You smoke pot?”

“Of course. All parents smoke pot.”

“You’re a parent?”

“Hey, don’t get smart with me. All parents smoke pot, they just lie about it. Go home and check under the sink. I guarantee you will find a coffee container full of pot there.”

Just kidding. I told them to check everywhere in the house because, as my kids told me recently, that’s the first place teenagers look. And the thing is, unlike in my day when we’d water down the liquor ({{shudder}}) – practically sending my poor mother into delerium tremors at happy hour because she wasn’t getting her fair share – today’s teenagers are savvy enough to just take that little bit that the old lady or old man (their dad keeps his in the rafters down the basement if you’re wondering) won’t miss.

That’s because most pot smokers are just like most happy hour imbibers. And pot smokers who aren’t moderate in their usage, well, you know what? Smoke a little, smoke a lot, as every pot smoker knows, the worst that can happen is you smoke too much and get too sleepy to tweet.

See y’all on Parliament Hill 4/20. Sorry for narking everybody out, eh.