REPORT A PROBLEM
Hey, I got a story for an idea for you, listen to this, man, listen to this. I knew this guy a couple years ago, he was having something crazy happen to his dreams, see, he didn't know
in the dreams he had. Everytime I'd meet him, he'd tell me what had been happening in this other world, who was living with who, who was building a house. Then one day he just vanished. I never saw him again. No-one ever did.
He had a different name in his dreams, too, but he never told me what it was.
I got annoyed with the shower because it leaked. Well, the hose leaked, anyway. M- agreed, and so I got another one.
I had no idea they were so expensive. I bought one of the cheaper ones, of course.
So I installed it, and the flow seemed extraordinarily weak. But I figured once you're in, it'd seem fine.
Next morning I got in--seemed good enough. Not great.
M- used it--and she came out furious. "It's totally useless! Why'd you buy such a cheap one?!"
I thought we were going to get divorced over it.
I fixed it quick-quick.
REPORT ON INHABITANT
1970/11 "seems partial to eating glue"
1971/05 "good progress; paste problem"
1971/11 "vocabulary good, but chews bindings"
1972/05 "does he eat paper and such at home?"
1972/11 "math fair, language good, expressiveness good"
1973/05 "he's been biting girls"
1973/11 "malnourishment seems a red light here"
1974/05 "chews nails, has chapped lips"
1974/11 "books overdue for more than a year"
1975/05 "caught peeing on bathroom tile"
1975/11 "sullen, alone, vocabulary good"
1976/05 "dared to eat a loafer"
1976/11 "always tries doing too much"
1977/05 "filthy desk, filth underneath"
1977/11 "reading well above grade level"
1978/05 "meow meow (why?)"
A JOKE FOR ROBERT HUGHES
David Crobenberg opened the mail avidly like a young filmmaker would. There was a significant letter within. He cried, Look, Margie: they like my
-The, the Gay Fest in Seattle.
-You're not gay, really.
-They think I am, I guess. Should I call 'em?
-Call them. Face the music.
David Cronenberg calls.
-Hi. This is David Cronenberg. You like my movie
Great, but, but, you know I'm not gay, right? Not once. Oh? Okay, good.
-What'd he say?
-Said it didn't matter. Said he got the idea from Peggy Guggenheim.
-Morning. I'm looking for an exotic mental disorder.
-Well, what would you like it to do?
-I want a delusion, something
-Well, how about Alien Hand Syndrome?
-What's it do?
-You have the belief that your hand has a mind of its own.
-No, I don't think so. Any other suggestions?
-The lady knows what she wants. We have something new in. It's the belief that you are not who others think you are.
-Now that's strange!
-Yes, you think you're someone else.
-I'll take it!
-Can you wrap it? It's a gift.
David Miller to Magna Carta: fuck off
The Magna Carta called an emergency meeting with Toronto Mayor David Miller yesterday, after having heard Miller say "there are areas where the media have no business as well."
The Carta said, "Mayor Miller, I don't think you understand exactly what you have said. I have stood for eight hundred years preventing the ruling class (of which you are a member) from muzzling civil liberties of those over which you rule. Reform thyself."
To which Miller replied, "Hey, fuck you, fuck you. Go fuck yourself. Fuck off, you fucker. Just go fuck yourself."
I robbed the beer store, almost by accident. When I was in there the guy who collects the bags of money took two of 'em out to his truck, and I followed him. He drove off, and I ran behind to keep up. He was going pretty fast, too. So eventually I grabbed onto his car and turned it upside-down to shake out the bags of money. The I took the bags of money home. There was over eight hundred thousand dollars in 'em. I don't regret what I did. I spent most of the dough on beer, ironically enough.
Brian: Here we have the athletes from Bazeenia, only one this year-
Lloyd: This is their first games free of the yoke of the Malurpian Union-
Catriona: Here's the Candamenians-
Brian: Candamenia, the land of women from the future-
Lloyd: Defending horse slalom champion Turimba Keyboard carrying the flag-
Catriona: So proud-
Brian: Next up, the Martian team, ice dance pair-
Lloyd: Living in exile these nine hundred years-
Catriona: We shouldn't make political statements-
Brian: Yes, they can speak for themselves-
Lloyd: Here's the Canadians!
Cationa: Yahoo! Eight hundred thousand of them!
Brian: Every one a winner!
The road lay quiet that after midnight
Way off in the distance was a lonely streetlight
And thumbing a ride was a guy in holey clothing
I let him get in and I ask him where he's going
Take me to the end of the river, he says
Take me to where the thing ends
There's a lady waiting there so fine and so fair
Take me to where this stream wends
The land I knew not, so I asked him again
Where could I take him to, please, explain
He said, take me to the end of the river....
I was busy making something lovely and useful. I was making a mitten. I was making a landscape. I was making a statement. I was making a meal for eight. I was making something up. I was making a new batch. I was making time with a girl. I was making a poem. I was making bacon. I was making a movie, I was movie-making. I was making up with you. I was making a snowman. I was making ashes in a can. I was making a ceramic dish. I was making a funny face, I was making a fence.
Eyes closed and orange of sol burning through and burning into your cheekbones, your heels circling firepits in the sand a torso away. A bird, a young laugh, a sand mite trying to climb the shell of your right thumb nail. Behind silently runs the salt water rolling in, and you cup clean sand in your leftern hand. A shadow passes through the orange--but you don't care. The blanket beneath seems of sand. There's a world somewhere beyond the water, you know. Out there somewhere there's work-life, city-life, money-life; out there there's a place you care not.
You know this guy you've admired your entire life. You've made him the centre of your psychic existence. Some nights you can't sleep because he's on your mind. Everything you've ever done is actually for him, or even about him. Yes: you've been writing stories, and they're all about him and they're all for him. You've come up with theory after theory about this connection. Maybe you're related in some odd way, maybe you're twins. You worry about him at nights, and you know that. Once in a while he calls to tell you to leave him the fuck alone.
Nobody expect'd it to live, and not just because there was no-one around to notice its germination: rather, Science said so--and Science is capitaliz'd for a reason.
Yet it liv'd and it grew to a commanding height; and it look'd west to the ocean, and east to the desert, and north to Oregon and south to San Francisco--and it was admir'd in its dotage.
Then a lightning bolt clipp'd it through the base, and a tear ripp'd around its waist too high to be notic'd; and one night it toppl'd to earth--and then it was nevermore, forever.
He came to us and said, "I'm going away."
We said, "Where are you going?"
He said, "Just ... away. From everything. From everyone."
And he went away. He was finally as far away from everyone as he could be.
We told others, and it became a fad. People started moving apart, like negative poles balanced between many positive ones.
Cities, towns and villages dissolved. The entire population spread evenly over the landscape. It was like we could tell when someone was getting closer.
People died, and they weren't replaced. All because of a fad! All because of our son!
Hi, mom, how's everything going?
That's went okay? That's good.
Oh, this 'n' that, you know, work, going out some.
No, haven't seen him in a while. But,
I went out with someone new last week.
Oh, dinner, a movie. That's mostly all.
He's a banker downtown.
I don't know.
Well, you see, he's got two mistresses.
Yeah, that's it, total, only two.
I was suspicious too.
I couldn't see anything wrong with him.
He "Didn't want to talk about it."
Don't worry, I'm a cautious girl.
Maybe he's not sick, mom.
I take my cellphone everywhere.
Y: He let me order first.
N: Means you'll probably have to pay for it.
M: Give it time....
Y: He wouldn't even let me leave the tip.
N: Awful bossy there!
M: Give it time....
Y: We're seeing a chick flick.
N: He made sexist assumptions.
M: Give it time....
Y: He's telling me about his background.
N: He's telling you about his
M: Give it time....
Y: He's walking me home.
N: He's walking too slowly, or too quickly.
M: Give it time....
Y: He's pulling me into the bushes.
N: Here's my gun....
M: Time's up.
There's this guy at work, Jim, who works in another department and so I really only seeing him once a week or so.
But we're friendly, and so whenever we pass in some hall or another we greet one another.
But he always calls me Bob.
And we pass so quickly I can't correct him and besides correcting him about it would be awkward.
(Er, I'm John....)
But I feel so disrespected. How can someone not know
name? Maybe it's something hubristic, something nemesistical, some way of deflating my pretensions....
I've figured it out.
His name isn't Jim.
John is in his kitchen, sitting in a chair at a table.
He stands and fills a kettle with water. He puts it on the hob and flames it up.
He opens the refrigerator. He pulls from it a canister of ground coffee.
He takes it to the counter.
He pours into a bodem five spoonfuls of ground coffee.
The water boils so John turns off the heat and pours hot water into the bodem and sets the plunger.
He sits and waits.
He plunges the plunger.
He pours out a cup.
He drinks a cup of coffee.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
I: the magna carta objects to David Miller
II: I robbed a beer store of eight hundred thousand dollars
III: olympic geopolitics
IV: take me to the end of the river
V: I was making something lovely and useful
VI: a winter reverie about Port Hood, Nova Scotia
VII: beliefs about imaginary people
VIII: when I was five I went to Sequoia National Park
XI: math theories speak when u got nothing 2 say
X: girls talk on their phones to their mothers
XI: a date
XII: this one's based in fact
XIII: man makes coffee
Sometimes, things don't turn out the way one intends them to.
Rhapsody no. 4, for full orchestra, is one of those things.
Maybe it was a bit too premeditated to be other than dull.
I thought it was a clever idea, really! Maybe it went too far.
Maybe it turned out too melancholy. Maybe it was lost at
What kind of a name is Prestov???
Well, I guess it's good to fail every once in a while.
Maybe there are things just too impossible to achieve.
In any case, my failures are still better than anyone else's successes.
A family of big trucks moved in next door and they're driving us crazy. It's fine during the day when they're out hauling stuff from one place to another (the parents) or at driving school (the children), but in the evening the walls shake when they roll up or down the stairs. And it's especially unnerving when they collide with one another, pictures fall off the walls. Then in the middle of the night--one of them snores through his or her airhorn. Has anyone else every been through this? We may have to move. They're driving us all crazy!
Daph was staggering. Daph was staggering away from the motel. The art project had taken a very bad turn, and now she had to find another place to be. The advertisement--the advertisement that started the whole ball rolling--was explicit, but how were they to know it would attract such a person? Now Chuck was gone and he wasn't ever coming back.
She seemed like a pleasant enough woman over the phone.
The knives hadn't even been especially sharp! Now Daph had to find a secluded place to get the blood out of her white blouse and tartan skirt.
THE MOST ALARMING CONVERSATION I EVER OVERHEAD
-Hi, how are you?
-How are you?
-Ha-ha, I asked you first!
-Ha-ha, yes, but really, how are you?
-No, please, let's stop. How's it going?
-You tell me!
-It's not that difficult.
-Telling me how you are. It's pretty simple.
-So then answer!
-I'm not going to answer til you do!
-Why are you being such an ass?
-Why are you being such a bitch?
-I know how you are now.
-You're a cunt.
-You're the cunt.
-Oh, fuck off.
-You fuck off.
SHIP SUPERSONIC ATOMIC ROCKET
TAKE A FAST RIDE ON ME BABE
I'M A SHIP SUPERSONIC ATOMIC ROCKET
I'LL TAKE YOU THROUGH THE STARS
MIGHT NEVER GET BACK HOME
YOU DON'T NEED NO PASSPORT
FOR A SHIP SUPERSONIC ATOMIC ROCKET
HAIR BLOWING IN THE COSMIC DUST
TEN TIMES PAST THE SPEED OF SOUND
SCIENCE IS LIKE DRUGS
YOU TAKE WHAT YOU CAN GET
STRAP YOURSELF ONTO MY BROAD STEEL BACK
MY SHIP SUPERSONIC ATOMIC ROCKET
YOU WON'T EVER WANNA COME BACK
YOU WON'T EVER WANT TO BE COMING BACK
Ha! You and your silly metal robots. You think those lumbering buckets and bolts are sophisticated? that they're clever? that
are clever making them?
Well, you should see
robots! They're far beyond yours!
Muscular action is, as you know, electrical. So I figured why not tap the brain?
So I take fresh corpses and wire them up! Straight into the brain! Then the whole corpse becomes a robot, legs, arms, eveything, robots made of dead flesh!
They can talk, too! Independently of my controls! Mostly they just say, "Who am I? What am I?" They're really so humanesque!
The last two days were tough yet "Hilarious ... Uplifting" (ET). My wacky mother played by a once-famous movie star and Oscar (tm) nominee came to visit unexpectedly (even though she'd been heavily promoted in our promos) and her back-story as a fabulously rich widow was tersely outlined in the forty seconds it took for her to get from our buzzer to our door. Her dilemma (motivation: lonely) spiced the morning banter and I laughed my trademark laugh to the pause-necessitating laugh-track. She is so different from me! Then, in a matter of 00:00:30, Michael left for work!
Michael at his office worked some banter with the beautiful cynical receptionist and then a telegram arrived for the convenience of the writers and the telegram said his uncle was arriving and Michael slapped his forehead, because, as the script hinted, said uncle was a gold-digger! (Imagine the odds!) Said uncle arrived broadly at the office, and through some banter, he found out about mother! So Michael talked into a fake telephone while I, in half the world while he occupied t'other, talked into
fake telephone, and we came with a plan just in time for the mid-point commercials.
So during the commercials the whole afternoon passed and when Michael and his uncle came into our apartment on the stage I was acting like my mother the formerly famous actress had acted, except in an exaggerated way, and even though it would never happen in a billion years it worked because of suspension of disbelief. (Yours, diary, not ours.) Then my actress came in and Michael pretended she was his wife. Soon everything got confused then everything was resolved. I laughed my trademark laugh. Uncle and mother weren't like we thought they were. We froze in tableau, and MUSIC.
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