Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Nana's got nada.

This evening I was on our front porch, smoking one of my lovely John Calich pipes, when I overheard the neighbour seeing a friend out. I wasn't prowling; it was my night off.

X- "Have a good night."
Y- "You too. . .oh! You were going to give me your record albums!"
X- "Yes. You're right. I'll get them."

X sounded like he had made some drunk-talk promise of ' You like it? It's yours.' and then thought better of it now that his buddy was nearly off his hands.
He trudged back into the house and retrieved the booty.

X- "Here you go. My record player hasn't worked in years. I suppose you'll get more use out of these than I will."

His tone confirmed my suspicion that the records had been offered in a haste now regretted.

Y- "Great! . . . Nana Mouskouri? . . .oh. . ."
X- "She's great! You'll just love her! That's nearly all of her albums from '67 until '91!"
Y- ". . .oh. . .I thought they were going to be, like, Tony Bennett or Frank Sinatra."
X- "Nana's great! You'll love her!"
Y- "Thanks."

I've tried to sell friends on shit I like before (the merits of 'Sleepaway Camp 1' is something I'm continually lobbying my friends for support on) and it never works. All that happens is people go away thinking, "Holy fuck! He likes that? I don't know if we can be friends any more! I just don't know."

After the usual good byes, Y went down the stoop and over to the trunk of his car. He tossed the prized Mouskouri vinyls into the trunk like dirty gym socks, took a glance around, then pulled a bottle of Capt. Morgan's Spiced Rum out and poured a few fingers into his steel travel mug.
I shit you not.
Screwed the bottle closed, took one last disgusted look at his new Mouskouri discography, closed the trunk and drove away.

What. A. Prick.

If one of my buddies insisted on grabbing my vinyl off me, then reacted like I had handed him a shit sandwich, I would have smacked him in the chops and returned the discs to my library. The cajones on some ungrateful turds on this ball of mud never ceases to amaze me.

That being said, the Value Villages of Toronto are full of Nana Mouskouri's albums and never once have I dropped the 25 cents required to play. Anyone who gets photographed for their album cover wearing eyewear as big as Steve Allan's and still expects to get laid deserves my befuddled respect, but not my quarter.

Friday, September 16, 2005

Someone, anyone, speak something!

Last night was date night for my little E and I.
The happiest night of the week, right?



Last night one of the activities scheduled was something I laughingly referred to as "charity work for my fiancee" to a workmate.
It was the one, the only, Les Miserables. I bought tickets to this SOLD OUT theatre EVENT months ago so that there wasn't 6 weeks of long faces moping around the house.

It started off with a hell of a bang at THE BEST FRENCH RESTAURANT IN TOWN, Le St. Tropez. Amazing! (and I hate the French!). An apropos amuse bouche for the main event: Les Miserables.

Sitting in our seats, eagerly awaiting 3 hours of full-on, laugh-riot, French Revolutionary madness, we cooed at each other and made lovey-dovey eyes. And just as the lights started to dim, and some French peasants entered marching in time with the music, a soft male voice from behind us asked, with urgency:

M- "This isn't a musical, is it?"

Too late, pal.
He didn't need the answer; his sigh had already been drown out by Jean Valjean singing about washing away his sins with sweat.

If some dude has never heard of Les Mis:The Musical--one of the longest-running Broadway musicals, which already spent innumerable curtain calls in Toronto at the Royal Alex--then he deserves his fate without pity.
No. Don't pity him. He's already dead.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Things mom never told you about anal sex.

Never short on supply of terminally crazy residents, Parkdale pleased last night during the cocktail hour I was sharing with friends on the porch.

My twin, C, and my rocker roomie D, were tippling the good stuff when an old friend strolled by sipping from a can of Guiness. He was merry enough for the four of us.

A- (calling out to any one of the three of us on the porch)"Are you man enough to take me? The man-child?"
B- "I don't reckon we are!"
A- "I don't reckon you are, either. You callin' me nigger? I'll call you. . . white nigger!"

Then he turned his smiling menace on some pretty pedestrians walking by on the other side of the street. I imagine they crossed after hearing his exchange with us, not wishing to be a party to the loud shouting of racial epithets. He was flirtatious:

A- "Hey laaaadies! Let me spend some time with you! I promise not to put it in your ass; I don't want no fart burns on my dick!"

He looked back at us as if to say, 'Fellas, you know what I'm talking about here, don't you? Those fart burns?'. We looked back as if to say, 'Damn those fart burns!'; I hope it read from twenty paces.

A- (to D, who was puffing on a Belmont Mild)"Hey buddy! You got a smoke? No? Probably your last one, eh? Well. . . I'll share something with you. A fart. But it's not just for you; all must share it!" (and again, louder) "ALL MUST SHARE IT!"

Immediately, the mantra from my youth spent in Beavers sprang to mind: sharing sharing sharing. I even did the Beaver Tail slap in my mind. Wooooop--SMACK!
While I was daydreaming, A flitted out of sight; but he left us with his infectious energy, his love of life, and, of course, his fart. The evening, we all knew, was looking up.

Like The Littlest Hobo, he just keeps movin' on.

Maybe tomorrow. . .

Sunday, September 11, 2005

Have Gun, Will Travel. . . to Parkdale.

My former-roomie/current rockstar D has been crashing with my beloved E and I in Parkdale.
Following the good form we pioneered during our childhood together, and perfected in school, we've been eating only things cooked over a fire (my Fiesta Barbeque) and drinking only things that come from a Roundhouse, or Scotland. As a tribute to our mothers back home, we always always always invite a vegetable to dinner.

And we watch movies, and documentaries, and smoke pipes, and laugh at our own jokes.

Two nights ago we were walking home from Cockbuster with three selections for the evening--Sin City; Suspect One; and Unforgivable Blackness: The Rise and Fall of Jack Johnson--although, we were disgusted with the complete absence of any 'classic' films available to rent. We had been there in search of 'The Battle of Britain'. We had been relaxing on the porch for about 5 minutes, when we heard "POP! POP POP POP! POP POP!"; then the squeal of tires; then silence.

D looked at me.
I looked at him.

D- "Did that sound like I think it sounded like?"
B- "I think so."

We were, of course, referring to the familiar song of the Parkdale Lead Lark.
No experts on the sound of handguns discharging (we grew up in the sticks were everyone had piddling little .22s) our suspicions were confirmed by the sound of sirens approaching from the distance.
A party on a front lawn a few doors down, even closer to the corner where we heard shots fired, raged on uninterrupted (or unimpressed).
When the police arrived, a few of the nere-do-wells from the halfway house at the corner were babbling away to the police officer like little kids trying to please their father:

X- "I heard a 'POP! POP! POP!"
Y- "I saw the car speed away, but I didn't really get a good look at it!"
Z- "Why don't you just let them all kill each other?"

There were no casualties.
The sobering sight of the night, was seeing officers looking for bullet casings on the sidewalk we had just come down 5 minutes earlier.
I would later refer to the evening as being filled with "just some random gunfire"--perhaps a touch cavalier on my part. I mean, in Toronto, you really need TWO bodies to raise the pulse of the citizens nowadays, don't you?
If you want it to make the news, at least one of them should be white.
Now, I'm not trying to tell shootists how to do their job--heavens no--I'm just saying.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Look who's pimpin'!

Our neighbourhood crazy--the 'born again' white man (a black man who put a white pillow case with eyeholes over his head and claimed "Now, I'm the white man!")--hit the streets again the other morning dressed in full pimpin' regalia. All I saw was billowing purple-ness. Then leopard print. Then an ostrich feather. Then--HOLY SHIT--I almost hit him with my SmartCar Dilton!

My mother always told me to wear clean underwear in case I died, unexpectedly, away from home (presumably she would change my underwear before medics arrived in the eventuality that I died at home); I hope that this gentleman wears clean platforms, a clean purple wide-brimmed fedora (with leopard trimmings), a clean purple satin robe, and a clean, brown, three piece suit when he strikes out for his early morning pimp, because if his jaywalking is habit, he'll be dead before the month is out.

Swerving and slowing to miss Mr. Bojangles, my window down, I received a bit of advice. Not the usual, "What the fuck!? Learn to fuckin' drive, Douchebag!!" advice; financial advice that went a little like this:

Mr. B- "Hey brotha! I could pimp your car to a Suburban for a dollah!"

My SmartCar. To a Suburban. That's pretty funny!

As I drove away, he yelled after me:

Mr. B- "What do you say, MoFo? Allllll-right!"

And he just kept on a'groovin' and a movin' down the lane.

God I love this neighbourhood!

And hey, if you're looking to make a little somethin' somethin' on the side with your gas guzzler to help fiance rising fuel costs--call me. Dilton's birthday is coming up, and I want to surprise him.