Picture Perfect 111 

Picture Perfect 111

Over the following week Dan split his time between the QTel studio recording connecting material between the sections. Some was direct comment on the interview, some was analysis of the evidence in conversations with Jennifer & some with Robert Warszawa about the task-force’s progress. did some of the connecting material.

They also shot segments in Dan’s ‘lab’ at the Depot where he explained the various pieces of equipment or software he used to examine photos. More technical details would be available through the QTel website back slash East Cold Canada. He quickly became known as one take Dan by the director for these portions of the show. 

He visited Dr. Grey & the nerve damage was still present but thanks to his wet cloth routine it hadn’t gotten worse. The legal separation of The Depot from the Jamison’s Photography in FairVista was confusing, to say the least, to him. He had relied on Linda to deal with that end of the corporation but after the Cuppa manipulation he didn’t trust her. He signed nothing without having the lawyer double check them. The only person he hadn’t heard from was Sanjay’s lawyer. 

By the end of the week he felt at home in his house even though Peter had been busy preparing it for his move by purging what he found of the previous ‘consort.’

Dan’s was preparing for the weed-end’s ‘Boss’s Back’  sale when a courier delivered a shiny bright red envelope with yellow scalloped trim. 

Dan unsealed it. “The seal is an actual seal. As in baby seal.”

Inside was a parchment paper invitation.

“Mr. Daniel James is it our great pleasure to insure you and a guest to join us under the Big Top Sunday October 15 from twelve noon to 1 a.m. to celebrate the centenary of Chamberlain Happy Hippo Carnival Tours.” He read. He went through the list of the day’s events, musical guests. “Ah ha. I knew there was a catch. Gala dinner tickets are available for … get this …. $1500.00 each – funds are to support the expansion of the museum.”

“Sunday!” Sandy said. “That’s like next weekend.”

“Are you going boss?” Usiha asked. “We were just getting used to having you back.”

“I wish I could but …”

“Maybe certain millionaire playboy might offered to pay for the dinner?” Sandy suggest.

“Oh,” Dan feigned innocence. “I hadn’t thought of that.”

He shook another envelope out of the big one. He opened. In it were two dinner tickets & hotel reservations. He quickly read the note with them. “QTel has proved that for me. John Kilpatrick has produced a documentary for them about the history of the Carnival. It’ll be debuted at the anniversary.”

“How could you not know about that?” Sandy asked.

“We had enough to deal with without Cold Canada. For all I know we were told at some point. Or the memo got buried under the insurance papers for the car accident, for the fire, for the — well you get the picture.”

“You bragging or complaining.” Ushio said. “Sounds like you enjoyed all that a lot.”

“Guys, I’m enjoying my quiet life a lot more. I never through I’d say that but give me routine. I never want to go through another summer like this one. Never.”

“Who are you taking to ball?” Sandy asked.

“Cameron.” Dan said. “Baxter insisted as QTel only had so many tickets.”

Peter tapped at front door with his foot. He was balancing the coffees and muffins.

“Now that you are no longer understaffed I need two hands.” He said as he put the tray on the counter. “Oh wow!” He picked dup the invitation and read it. 

“Arcade Fire! Boards of Canada. What a line up!”

“I suppose, if you like that sort of thing.” Dan kidded him.

“I’m sure you and … Cameron! Will have a great time.” Peter said.

“I was joking. Of course I’ll take you.” Dan said.

“What! Me leave the Carafe on a weekend. Do you think? It’s next Sunday, right. We’d never get a place. All the hotels will be booked solid by now. You prick! You knew I couldn’t accept this, didn’t you? Why didn’t you say something before now?”

“It just arrived this morning. Hotel reservation included.” Dan held up his hand to silence Peter. “I’ll talk with Jill.”

“Thanks.” Peter left.

“Let’s get back to work. At least I didn’t plan another flash sale that weekend so you can relax without me here.”

“We appreciate that. Really we do. Now I have work to do.” Ushio went back to his work room.

“I’ll be in my office should you need me Sandy.”

“Business as usual.”

Dan stopped into Carafe for a sandwich before he went back to the QTel studios.

“Peter said you wanted to talk me.” Jill said as she made his sandwich.

“Yeah, I told him easy on the sprouts.”

“And …?” She took removed some of the sprouts.

“I have a spare invite to the Chamberlain extravaganza. I was hoping to take Peter, if you can spare him next weekend.”

“Let me check staffing for the next couple of weeks.” She went to the register computer. “Close to Halloween … Just as I thought … we have the Scary Monsters on the Friday. They wanted that date for their Bowie tribute.”

“Date?” Dan asked.

“Friday 13th.There’s a book launch the next night too.”

“How much will it cost to hire an extra hand or two?”

“You offering to pay? Quintex paying you that well?”

“No comment but …”

“You that serious about Peter?” She asked. “Men aren’t really adults till their 40’s.”

“Thanks Mom. Now that you ask, yeah, I think …”

Peter came out from the kitchen in back with a tray. “Croissants ready for the lunch crowd.”


“That’s a wrap for this portion of the shoot.”  Stephanie said.

“I can get out of Toronto for good.” Jennifer said. “Not that I don’t like it here but miss my own space.”

“This portion?” Dan asked. “I thought this was the last of it.”

“No.” Stephanie said. “We’ll be back where we started in Moncton. Baxter thinks it would be good to end with the Happy Hippo Centennial.”

“Really?” Dan said. “Winston is open to this?”

“Most of it is a public event. They’ve recreated some of the classic side shows from over the decades as well. Magicians, jugglers, Tut-mania and even the Egyptian dancers.”

“Hand-job maidens?” Dan joked.

“Probably note.” Jennifer laughed. “But least one of the crystal ball readers. My mother can’t wait to get back into her Madam Z costume. I couldn’t believe she still had it.”

“Tut-mania.” Dan said. “Live snakes?”

“I don’t think they’ll go that far. I don’t Cleo & Tut were ever seen together. But they still had the sarcophagus and some of the attendant mummies.”

“I don’t think they mummified the attendants they were usually buried alive with them. The cats they preserved though.” Dan said.

“In the circus anything is possible.” Jennifer said.

“I hope they warned John Kilpatrick. I don’t want him to think I’m trying to outdo him.”

“He’ll have his hands full hosting the banquet with Winston.” Stephanie said. “You’ve all received your invitations? I’ve made sure our tables are out of camera range so unless John points us out we’ll be okay.”

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