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12/01 Direct Link
-So, that's the end of the game, Toronto Maple Leafs versus flat metal representations of hockey players on pivots, controlled by a twelve year old boy. Leafs: 0. Flat metal representations of hockey players on pivots, controlled by a twelve year old boy: 2,945,465. Comments?
-It could have been worse for the Leafs. I mean, this twelve year old boy, he's been practicing.
-Unfair advantage.
-Exactly. He doesn't have all the bimbos distracting him at nightclubs and all.
-I hear you. It's a crime that people with morals sometimes win out against those who have none.
-My words exactly, Ron.

12/02 Direct Link
What's the difference between climate change science and the Manhattan Project?
-The Manhattan Project was humane.

What's the difference between climate change science and Santa Claus?
-Santa Claus exists.

What's the difference between climate change scientists and that guy on Dundas Street carrying on about hypocrisy, hypocrisy, hypocrisy?
-The guy on Dundas Street has a soul.

What's the difference between climate change and Benjy Compson of The Sound and the Fury?
-Benjy isn't stupid.

What's the difference between climate and weather?
-There an incredibly huge difference, you moron! (unless the weather can be exploited in an argument about global warming).

12/03 Direct Link
THE KID

A new kid showed up in town. A wonderful kid, an amazing kid. No-one had ever seen such a kid before. Folks would get together and talk about what a wonderful kid he was. They'd talk of nothing else. Sure, people could never explain why the kid was so amazing, or even point to a wonderful trait of the kid's--but that made him just all the more amazing. He surpassed understanding. The newspapers were full of him, simply saying over-and-over, "What a wonderful kid!"

Then a lot of bad things happened and a lot of people died.

12/04 Direct Link
WOMEN

Man, do I ever love chasin' cars! I see 'em comin' from way far off up the street, 'n' when they're closest I jus' pretend I don't see 'em--a bit scared of 'em, you see--but then when they're past, I go all fours a-barkin' an' a-runnin', all the way down or up the street, jus' as fast as fast can be! Whoo! Aroo!

Once I got into a bit o' trouble, 'cuz the car stopped, 'cuz I think it belonged to some nearby house. I stopped like mad. It was within reach! I turned, went on home.

12/05 Direct Link
Grimly funny was the fact that the zombiemasters had been weakening humanity since the 1960s.

Humanity Command Central. Maj.-Gen. Houellebecq was looking over the evidence.

"Astrology. Bob Denver. Mandalas. Kickball. Hill Street Blues. All designed to destroy individual initiative and deliver the planet to the zombies. How could we have been so blind?"

With blood running down his face Brig.-Gen. von Trier burst into the room. "Maj.-Gen. Houellebecq! New information has surfaced! The order to attack has been discovered!"

"Great Scott!"

"The zombiemasters' plans were set in motion fifteen years ago, via a direct order!" He thrust forth a paper.

12/06 Direct Link
"Zero emissions is the goal of our negotiations at this meeting. International pressures and agreements between all nations and cultures indicate a serious will to engage in a reversal of several hundred years of destruction. Signatories to this document vow to begin immediately, conscientiously, assiduously, and effectively to, without fail, reduce carbon emissions to a total gross weight of one ton per person per population. Our collective responsibility as the ancestors of future generations unborn troubles us greatly, and all the evils we have caused are to be reversed. We can make this happen both knowingly and in our lifetimes.

12/07 Direct Link
"Why, this is the final declaration from that hateful climate control plenary. What of it?"

"Read the initial letters of every fifth word."

"Z-O-M-B-I-E-S-S-T-A-R-T-T-O-A-T-T-A-C-K. Zombies, start to attack! Blast! There it was, hidden in plain sight all along!"

"Worthy of Poe, is it not?"

"Duck!"

BLAM-BLAM-BLAM!

"Quite ingenious, hiding a zombie order inside an order to zombies!"

"Maybe all is not lost after all."

"What?"

"I don't know, I've.... I've run out of things to say."

"Hmmm. It appears I have run out of things to say, too."

"But we must keep on."

"Yes, let's keep on."

"About to here."

12/08 Direct Link
DREAM LOGIC

-All sheep are white.
-What about that one?
-Which one?
-That black one.
-I see it. Nonetheless, all sheep are white.
-But, again--that one isn't white.
-I can see that. It must be that black sheep are white sheep.
-Black is white?
-As far as sheep go, yes. Because all sheep are white.
-So that black sheep is a white sheep.
-You're not listening. That is a white sheep.
-You're not being logical.
-I am always logical.
-You're not being logical about the sheep.
-I am always logical. Thus it's logical to say-
-All sheep are white.

12/09 Direct Link
MARVIN THE MARTIAN DISCUSSES ONE OF HIS PRE-MILITARY RETAIL JOBS

Oh hea-vens, the lack of re-spect I would get be-hind the coun-ter of that scale mil-i-tar-y fi-gure store! Once, a ra-ther ob-nox-i-ous man ac-com-pa-nied by a chu-cking side-kick came up to the cash re-gis-ter to pur-chase an Am-er-i-can Ci-vil War star-ter kit. He said to me, "You wan-na be in the mil-i-ta-ry?" and I said, "Yes, I do." And he said, "Well, lem-me tell you--you ain't no Na-po-le-on." His friend was lau-ghing hear-ti-ly. I had to go for a smoke. My hands were sha-king. He'd made me so an-ger-y!

12/10 Direct Link
Fifteen minutes after I heard Aun'ie Zeena'd died I was at the bus station waiting even though I knew there wouldn't be a bus to Parksville til six-fifteen. I wept all the five hours of that trip. Got to the house and there she was, laid out on a door in the parlour. We were all howling and carrying on something fierce, talking about growing up with Aun'ie Zeena to care for us. My heart was all pain.

Then I got word my brother was being fetched from the train, so I left. You see, he and me ain't speaking.

12/11 Direct Link
Bathroom. WILLOW is working the toilet with a plunger. LILAC enters.
-Hey.
-Hey.
-What's up.
-Toilet's clogged with free-range wholewheat shit.
-Oh wow.
-Can't use chemicals to unclog it.
-Gaia, no.
-What will we do?
UNSEEN AUTHORITATIVE VOICE: Lesbians! Do you need a natural product to unclog your toilet?
WILLOW AND LILAC: We sure do!
UAV.: Then say íhola! to ZipPow!
-ZipPow?
-It's the all-natural solution to clogs!
-Any harsh chemicals?
-None! It's 100% Peruvian rainwater--and it's been endorsed by leading homeopaths!
-Wow! (Poured into toilet.) Look!
-I can imagine it's working!
-ZipPow! Just $29.99 at leading organic stores!

12/12 Direct Link
-Everyone knows he's a very passionate guy.
-Oh yeah, he's so passionate.
-I never knew anyone so passionate.
-I saw once, some guy cut in line ahead of him, so he punched the guy out.
-Almost killed him.
-Very passionate.
-Remember when he burned down that bar that threw him out?
-Sure! He was very drunk.
-And very passionate.
-He put it to use, that's all I can say.
-Whatever he did, he did it passionately.
-Remember when he killed his father?
-Do I ever!
-I'd never seen a more passionate act.
-Yup, he's a very passionate guy.
-Very passionate.

12/13 Direct Link
PSYCHOMACHIA

Well,
I don't like being given ultimatums, so there's no way I'm gonna apologise;
however, maybe I did hurt them, maybe I scarred them for the rest of their lives;
however, I simply told the truth--can't I tell the truth?;
however, they were experiencing the death of another for the first time, they didn't need my assault;
however, kids are never too young to have their lives complicated by reality;
however, did I have to force their fortunate fall?;
however, I was upset myself, more upset that they were;
however, their father's just trying to protect them;
etc.

12/14 Direct Link
At about two a.m. I awoke with the sensation there was something inexplicably evil going on in my house.

I padded downstairs into the living room. The feeling was stronger there. What was it?

I stood still for fifteen minutes, waiting. I lay down on the couch, still sensing the evil.

It was coming from down below, in the cellar. It was coming up from below.

I went down into my basement of nine rooms. I walked through them all, then lay down in the centre room, and fell asleep.

My wife woke me at nine-thirty. I was late! Evil!

12/15 Direct Link
She carelessly steps off the streetcar and gets run over by a Chrysler and dies.

A messenger appears. He wants to know how she justifies her life.

She tells him about all the charity work she's done over the years, and how she'd planned to do more.

The messenger pulls out the neighbourhood's account book. It's spiral-bound. He flips through the pages. He's looking at it, then looking at her, as if it's a likeness.

He says he's in no position to judge. "A difficult case."

"Please, show me mercy."

He smiles. It was the good response.

Together they depart.

12/16 Direct Link
The guy who feeds me and loves me has been lying on the kitchen floor for three days without moving. I'm getting hungry. There's nothing in the bowl!

Meow! Meow! Meow!

Nothing.

He's starting to smell funny; different, anyway.

I'm so hungry!

Dark now outside. No sun to lie in to get warm. That happens during the day. There's no sun at night.

Meow! Meow!

Smelling his face. There's spots softer than others. Like his eyes.

You know, if I was a moral creature I might be in something of a dilemma right now. But I'm too hungry!

Lick!

Nom-nom-nom-nom-nom-nom-nom.


12/17 Direct Link
I had no money for lunch.

Keneally came into the shop.

"John," she said. "My office."

I followed her. "I've been reading some of your work."

(I waited to be fired.)

"It's pretty good."

She answered the phone (which was ringing). She spoke clippishly, then hung up.

"Bad news," she said. "Jillbert's still in hospital. They suspect poison."

The previous day Phipps thought it would be funny to distract old man Jillbert and pump some fire extinguisher gas into his soup when he wasn't looking.

Keneally said, "What could have caused this?"

What could I do?

I told the truth.

12/18 Direct Link
I met June for lunch even though I still had no money for lunch.

I told her about ratting out Phipps.

"What could I have done?"

June said, "You did the right thing."

"O.K."

I continued, "I'm broke. Can you lend me some money?"

"Sure. I keep emergency money under my wig."

June pulled it off. June had trichotillomania, and she'd yanked out most of her hair. Her scalp was bloody and torn. She'd been scratching, I saw. People were looking aghast.

"Do I look horrible?"

What could I do?

I told the truth.

"I think you're beautiful," I said.

12/19 Direct Link
Words of Wisdom Here be given unto You, post This the End of the ninth Year of the present Decade

I said, I have a cat, kid. If I play with her too rough she goes savage- I have to back away and pretend not to be concerned. Know why? It's because the cat's returned to its wild nature. Now, what's your wild nature? What's any person's wild nature? It has to exist, and yet no-one has ever seen it. A newborn baby? I suppose that's true. But we can't perform such an experiment.
I said, That would be inhumane.

12/20 Direct Link
She said, For Christmas dinner we were at my aunt's place. I was nine. At my turn to open I chose to open the gift from my grandparents- it was two wrapped things. I opened the smaller one first. Batteries. I looked around as I tried to figure things out. "That means the other's electric!" I ripped it open. An electric Lego train. (I was big on Lego please understand.)
She said, Why's this stuck in my head? It's because I saw myself trying to understand things. Only you and I know about this. Don't mention it to my biographer.

12/21 Direct Link
He said, Yesterday I was walking down the sidewalk- Tell the audience your age. I'm nine. So anyway, I was walking on the sidewalk of Adelaide Street and some bike came up behind with his bell a-ring-ring-a-ringing-, so I jumped over and the maniac passed me. Then he hit a little swerve, and a pack of cigarettes fell out of his pocket. I thought: cool! There were ten cigs in the pack. I smoked 'em all- and I got so sick! I couldn't eat dinner, I puked for an hour!
He said, One day, I'm going to be a smoker.

12/22 Direct Link
He said, I was in California, visiting, when I was twelve. I was so sophisticated I felt repulsed by their welcome gift- a Wild Bill Hickok mug. I didn't say (as I would later likewise not opinionate in years to come), "He was an Indian murderer." That afternoon, I went to a playground with my grandmother's sister's grandson. There was a whirligig, and I stood upon the centre and said, "On Display," like a Negro up for sale- then I fell- got a good goose-egg- when I hit a metal handrail-
He said, California was never part of the Confederacy.

12/23 Direct Link
She said, Between first and second year of university I worked for a- nothing to call him but a slumlord. I was his maintenance woman and rent collector. One place, a rooming house mostly of students, I could never collect from. So my boss took me over to the place and read them the riot act- then he told them to get out in three days. And they did. And in one of my classes next semester one of the evictees was too. We fell in love.

She said, I never figured out how to make any sense of it.
12/24 Direct Link
He said, I remember when I lived in a shared house I fell totally in love with one of my co-tenants. She was so beautiful I could barely talk to her- and I hid behind the idea you shouldn't upset the tolerable dynamics of a shared house by getting involved with a co-tenant. Fifteen years later I ran into her. We talked about old times and got sentimental. "I was totally in love with you," I said. She said, "I was totally in love with you, too."
He said, What can I say? Don't obey faddish concepts from the '70s!

12/25 Direct Link
She said, I won't go into it but I was the sole dispatcher on duty my first Christmas Eve. I hardly knew how to work the switchboard- but there I was. So a call came in from the outskirts of town from a guy who was distraught- though he wouldn't tell me why. He had no money, but he had to get to Toronto General. I ignored everything I was trained to do and radio'd a cab, said there was no fare, but I'd make it up.
She said, I was sure I'd get fired, but there weren't any repercussions.

12/26 Direct Link
He said, When I started eliminating my enemies using fiendish variations of Seinfeld episodes, little did I know that some day I would have to pay: I was caught in the middle of my seventh murder, you know- when I plotted a hairdryer's fall into the tub. In the slammer I met a man, who was wise, who said, "We all have enemies. Why are yours so special?" I pondered this for a long time. (It's still so hard to admit.)
He said, I thought my life made sense- and then I knew I was all wrong! God bless you.

12/27 Direct Link
She said, She was going away on a steamship to South America, probably for good, and someone wanted to throw her a little party. I didn't know if I could bear such a thing- but I went anyway, hoping for as little heartache as possible. I was waaay down at the other end of the table from her. I was suffering. The party got up to relocate to another tavern, and I said, "I have to go." She said, "We haven't talked in months!"
She said, Losing someone forever you can never get used to because each case is unique.

12/28 Direct Link
He said, I'm eighty now. I remember something- When I was thirty-four I saw, for the first time in twenty-eight years, the film Mary Poppins. And I was shocked by my reaction: I was head over heels madly in love with Mary Poppins- and I'd always been in love with Mary Poppins. When I was six my lovemap was imprinted and I came to love women who reminded me of Mary Poppins.
He said, Funny thing is, I found a solution to a problem I didn't know I had. You can't ever really understand how you behave how you do.

12/29 Direct Link
She said, "Not that he's smart enough to notice," I said low, almost to myself- but I said it nonetheless. It was only much later, years later, that I knew it had started there, my alienation from him started there, right there. No longer would I feel 'as one' with him, no, when I said what I said, that meant it was over. So, last year, the papers arrived- and I signed them. "No contest."
She said, How privileged we all are! This little melodrama I'm telling you about: How many people does it really affect? A dozen or two?

12/30 Direct Link
He said, Happened this summer. Rode bikes to Bala fighting all the while. The night was worse. Seven a.m. came and we rode out- to put a premature end to our 'holiday.' But somehow we went north instead of south and fell in a ditch. Back to the motel we went. Then alone I set out, and got all the way to Torrance before I noticed I'd left my bike behind. I walked back to her, back to Bala.
He said, I wanted obviously to go back because there was some unfinished business there. You'll find you'll go by fate.

12/31 Direct Link
She said, It was a mighty argument- I was screaming as only an old woman can about being ignored, an' abused; that, if my husband was still alive, etc., and my daughter was seething without even a glance. "I'm your old mother, and you treat me like shit, like fucking shit!" She swung her arm fast, and struck me strong in the face. At that moment I had what the Greeks called an orgasm. It was the first I'd had in six years.
She said, You never know what you'll experience in life. Death, I guess, is the final surprise.