Picture Perfect 117 

Picture Perfect 117

They drove out the museum which was opened  for general pubic except for the area roped off for the banquet for the anniversary. Dan showed his guest pass and made sure his Lifend video flow was turned on as they made their way to the Exhibits Hall. 

There were dioramas for each decade complete with posters, mannequins in circus costumes, & in some cases performers recreating the sideshow acts. Knife thrower, sword swallower; crystal ball reader. The Tut-mania was the most elaborate of the 80’s. Snakes in glass tanks graced either side of its entrance. Behind them were live belly-dancers. It was a weird mix of Aladdin and Cleopatra. There was several people inside being given tour by one of the Museum guides.

“As you can see the centre piece is an approximation of the actual tomb of Tut. All the artifacts were created for our exhibit. There’s no claim that any of them are authentic.”

“So, that’s not real gold?” Someone asked.

“No.” The guide said. “The total weight of golditems and jewelry in his tomb was about 1200 kilograms. Worth over seven million dollars. So no this isn’t real gold.”

The group laughed.

“The mummies are fantastic.” A woman said. “I’ve seen some in Cairo and these look like the real thing.”

“We were painstaking about getting things as accurate as possible. That’s why we were all so disappointed when the Tut show was a flop. It took the wind out of the owners. They didn’t even want to tour the show the next year.”

“Where were they fabricated?” Dan asked.

“Some of the work was done by our own staff.”

Mummies of various sizes were posed as if worshipping Tut. A couple were on their own marble altars.

“These small ones.” The guide explained. “Were children who were sacrificed at the same time. They were sent so Tut would have playmates in his afterlife.”

The word ‘playmates’ jolted Dan. No!

“These are the original mummies fabricated for Tut-mania?” he asked.

“Oh yes. We’ve had them in cold storage. Costumes too. The mummies didn’t all arrive at once at the time. It took a few weeks to get them all.”

“Do you have any idea of how they were made?”

“You want trade secrets?”

“Just curious.”

The guide went to one of the playmate mummies. 

“Rest assured The Happy Hippo couldn’t afford real mummies any more than they could afford real gold. These are wire under-frames wrapped in gauze.” The lifted the arm of the mummy gently. It came loose and a real bone protruded from the unravelling gauze. The gauze was a mix of real gauze & various fabrics.

“That’s Timmy’s t-shirt.” Dan said involuntarily.
“Timmy?” The guide stared at the arm.

“Don’t drop it.” Dan commanded. “Put it gently on the floor.”

“Yes.” 

While the guide was putting the arm down Dan texted Robert Warszawa a top-priority code with his location at the exhibit.

“On my way.” Warszawa replied.

“Get forensic unit.” Dan texted.

“Will do.”

“What did you think you’re doing?” Another of the guides pushed people aside. “Oh it’s you! Not getting enough publicity for your stupid show. Get out of here before I call security.”

“They’re on their way.” Dan said.

“And put that camera down.” The guide turned to Cameron & tried to push him back.

“Too late.’ Cameron said, nodding at one of the news reporters with a camera on the other side of the crowd.

Jennifer stepped into the exhibit & held her hands over the shoulders of another of the mummies. 

“Another one.” She paled with the realization.

“Get out of there!” The first guide pulled her back into the crowd.

Warszawa arrived with Sergeant Coster with him.

“We’ve found them.” Dan said.
“Which them?” Coster asked.

“The remains of some of the children.” He pointed the the display. “Mummified.”

Sergeant Coster kneeled to inspect the arm on the floor. She stood. “That is a human bone. How can you be sure it is one of the children?”

“The fabric.” He pulled up the photo of him & Timmy sitting on the steps. “The same stripes. The same colours.”

“Okay.” she sighed deeply. “We’ll have to close down the exhibit to the public.”

“You can’t …”
“We can & we will.” She said.

“This is some cheap publicity stunt. How do se know you didn’t plant this here.” The guide stared at Dan.

“Ask your security cameras.” Dan pointed to one of them. 

“Everyone please exit the exhibit hall.” Coster & two officers escorted the public from the hall. “The forensics team require all the space they can get.”

“You can’t shut me down!” Winston Chamberlain strode into the hall. “Not now. With what’s going on!”

“Mr. Chamberlain, the Tut exhibit is closed to the public. The rest of the facility will remain open.”

“Just because one of these … props had a bone in it? You don’t even know if it’s a human bone. Or even a real bone.”

“I know it’s a real bone.” Sergeant Coster said.  “The forensic’s team will be here shortly. If it a human isn’t then you can reopen. Is this all of the mummies?”

“No. We left three in storage. There wasn’t enough space to put up the entire array.” Winston said.

“Okay, we don’t know for a fact that these are the remains of any of those children.” Warszawa said. “Mr. James, do you have any proof other than your fuzzy photograph?” Winston made air quotes when he said fuzzy.

“I trust my gut. This is them. Maybe not all of them but some of them.”

The forensic team arrived followed by some TV crews that had been covering the gala.

As they arrived a reported stepped to the entry of the hall.

“Stacy Molefski, here. We are interrupting the broadcast of the Chamberlain Gala with breaking news. Authorities have discovered human remains in one of the museums exhibits. Remains that may be a clues in the recently re-opened cold case of the children who disappeared in the 80’s …. Mr. James. Mr. James?”

Dan reluctantly went over to her.
“What can you tell me about this unexpected discovery?”

“Stacy you know about as much as I do. I can’t comment until we get confirmation for the Forensic team that these are actually human bones.”

“And if they are what can they tell about those missing children.”

“First they’ll need dna testing to ascertain identity. That could take up to two weeks.” Dan said. “It’s not like you see in TV crime shows where they put a drop on the bone, run that result through a computer & up pops photos of the victim.”

“Dan?” Warszawa waved from him to come back to the exhibit.

“As you can see I have official business to take care of.”

“Thanks for your time Mr. James.”

Dan walked over to Warszawa.

“You were right.” Warszawa said. “These are human bones. The examiner believes the size indicates the ones here are children bones. They’ve done a cursory check of the other mummies & there are bones of some sort in all of them.”

“They’ll all be taken to the regional hospital to be X-rayed before they are unwrapped though.” Costner explained. “They want to make sure before disturbing the uh …. remains unnecessarily.”

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Well-Worn Path May 2022

There are two paths through the Ravine the most used is along the east side of the creek. It has been well looked after by the public that uses it. Over the years different lumber, sometime tinder bricks, have shown up to made the soggy area easier to hike. This walk is from the north entrance south to Gerrard E.

view from the top of the Gainsborough Rd entrance
well worn path seen from Gainsborough stairs
lumber for footing
slippery when wet
good balance practice
straight & narrow
short bridge over troubled waters
that sinking feeling
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Procol Harum

By Procol Harum I have as stand-alones their 1st 1967; Shine on Brightly 1968; as mp3: A Salty Dog 1969: Home 1970; Broken Barricades 1971; With the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra 1972; Grand Hotel 1973 (Christine Legrand). Hits compilations: Best of A&M 1972; Chrysalis Years 73-77 1989. And solo works: Robin Trower: Bridge of Sighs 1974: Gary Brooker: No More Fear of Flying 1979. I have had some of their later work but it didn’t resonate enough for me to keep it.

I remember the power of first hearing Whiter Shade of Pale. Keith Reid’s ornate lyrics (very T.S Eliot) were matched by the ornate organ work. It was, & still is, the epitome of prog-rock. I loved the Beardsley cover art which reflected perfectly the structured, decadent music within. Lush without strings, dense without feeling leadened. Classical without being apologetic. Gary Brooker sings as if he wrote these lyrics himself.

Over the albums guitar became more prominent & at times they were as riff heavy as Led Zeppelin. The organ/piano combination inspired many groups including The Band. I remained a fan & was disappointed when the group ‘retired’ after many changes in members. When they regrouped decades later I give them a listen but although the sound was still solid I found in uninspired.

Each album has tracks love. As whole I love Shines On Brightly with is mystic side 2 that takes that mysticism where even the Moody Blues never went. Simple Sister is another favourite, The Devil Came From Kansas, Michelle Legrand (of Swingle Singers) is amazing on Grand Hotel.

The engineering on the lps is amazing – so much so that the Live Edmonton recording suffers. The addition of the orchestra adds nothing to their sound & the spoken portions are nearly impossible to make out. MP3 doesn’t improve the sound quality either. My least favourite of the lps that I have. Procol was adult rock that accidentally was radio friendly.

I also have some of their solo projects. Robin Trower’s Hendrix heavy guitar work dominates his solo albums, to good effect. I love Bridge of Sighs though it does veer into Bad Company territory.  Brooker’s Flying lp is dense, interesting enough, but I can’t name a track on it off the top of my head – something for Harum completest.

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Whispered Vespers

Whispered Vespers

every word

was a secret

no matter how attentive I was

I could not hear

<>

I saw lips move

mouth close to my ear

I feel the warm breath

the urgency

<>

something I was never to repeat

a secret I could keep

because I never heard it

it was safe with me

<>

final words

never to be repeated 

for me to hear

I had my chance

<>

I failed to understand 

but knew I had been spoken to

which was enough

to sustain me

This piece was partially prompted by those scenes in a movie where a dying character last words aren’t heard clearly – the words were to reveal something important – because dying last words always reveal something important – a clue to the killer, directions to the buried treasure. They never utter things like ‘Fuck you’ or ‘More light.’

It’s also about our inability to hear unless it’s delivered in a way we understand easily, in a way we find acceptable. I prefer subtitled movies to ones that are dubbed – I like to hear the actual tone of voice which contains as much information as the words used. I have watched Asian movies, spoke in one laughs with subtitles in another & rather enjoyed creating my own sense of story from the visuals & tone of voice.

It also has become a reflection on what we don’t understand the past, how the physical evidence refuses to be translated into something we can comprehend. I’ve seen a documentary on the Phaistos Disc (from between 1850 B.C. and 1600 B.C & one on the Voynich Manuscript (carbon dated to early 15th century) – both are clear whispers that have, so far, remained, impenetrable to our understanding of language. But, maybe, like the Aztec pictograms they can be unravelled.

These whispered last words are like illusive dream memories that can’t be pieced together. There maybe an image I can recalled but it doesn’t unlock the whole dream but at least I know I’ve been asleep & that I had a dream. 

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Picture Perfect 116 

Picture Perfect 116

Peter followed Dan into the cabin “Who was that?” He asked as Dan opened the door.

“Someone who nows knows the power of the harness. That was hilarious.” Dan flopped on the bed with his hands behind his head.

Peter found a spot on the desk for the flowers.

“For the sweetest kiss.” Peter read the note. “Kiss?”

“Yes – in the parking garage.” Dan laughed as he explained it. “A lingering one mind you but that was all. I only enjoy public sex if there’s a hidden camera somewhere. Or if it had been you, we might have buckled a car hood or two.””

“Thank you, sir.” Peter knelt and removed Dan’s shoes. He undid Dan’s pants and pulled them off. “May I, Sir?” he asked.

“Yes.”

Peter buried his face in Dan’s crotch. Pulling and biting at Dan’s underwear. “Someone didn’t have time for a shower this morning.”

“You should know.”

“Sweaty but clean.” Peter pushed the head of Dan’s cock to just above the underwear waistband and began to lick and suck it. “Mmm.”

“Fuck, that feels so good.” Dan thrust his hips so that his cock was deep in Peter’s throat. 

Peter gagged on the sudden thrust.

“Choke on it.” Dan held Peter so he couldn’t pull away. “You like to choke on me, don’t you?” He loosened his grip on Peter’s head.

“Uh huh, Sir. I was dreaming about that the whole flight.”

“That’s not a harness. It’s a dream catcher.” Dan stood and kissed Peter.

His cell buzzed. It was Jeremy.

Peter unpacked his clothes and dangled things in front of Dan.

“I’m busy at the moment.” Dan attempted to grab the jockstrap Peter held up. “Yes the flowers arrived … I haven’t been avoiding you, just your fan base. I have to go. Yes I’ll be at the the premier this afternoon. Bye.”

He ended the call.

“Mr. Moxham I presume.” Peter said.

“Who else. He has his image to think of. I get that.  Hiding isn’t my style.”

“Aren’t you hiding me from him. My house sitter. My house mate. My coffee delivery boy.”

“I’m just trying to be tactful. Do you mind?”

“It depends on what you mean by mind. No. In fact I kind of find it a bit of a turn on to be your secret mistress. Especially when you’re keeping me a secret from a dashing millionaire playboy who is in turn keeping his own secrets. It’s like being in a soap opera written Escher.”

“At least I won’t panic with you beside me in a harness as my date. I can’t show up anywhere beside Jeremy as his date. Now where we?” Dan pulled Peter to him.

“About to hit the showers after my long exhausting cross country travels.” Peter said. “I can wash your back.”

“I hope they have enough hot water.” Dan dropped his shirt on the bed.

“I hope they have enough towels.” Peter followed Dan into the bathroom.

“If not I can use your jock straps to dry off with.”

<>

Quintex’s special showing of the 100 Years of Chamberlain was at the Cineplex on Trinity Drive. Invitation only. 

When Dan & Peter arrived the lobby was crowded with QTel executives. Baxter introduced him to the crew from the 100 Years. They were given bags of pop corn.

Jeremy as the executive producer of 100 Years said a few words about the production, about how much everyone enjoyed working on it, and how delighted he was to learn something new about the history of Canada. There was applause at the right moments.

He introduced John Kilpatrick who said pretty much the same things about how working with QTel was a great cognation of his history hosting Cold Canada. Then Winston Chamberlain said how was thrilled he was to share the magic the Chamberlains had created for the public over the last one hundred years.

The lights dimmed and the program started. After first few minutes Dan tuned out what he was seeing. If the calliope soundtrack volume was a little lower he might have fallen asleep. He sorted through his memories of the interviews, the pictures he had seen, the reports about death that summer, transient populations that summer, his family’s moves that summer. There had to be some connection he was missing. That everyone were missing. Or was there yet another piece to this puzzle.

His attention was pulled back to the show as the narrator said, “It was during the 80’s that the Carnival went though difficult times.”

He recognized the voice as Winston Chamberlain.

“Thanks to the popularity of video games, video movies, even video arcades – yes one could say Video tried to kill the carnival – attendance dropped off. We tried different themes each year. Some worked, some were unsuccessful but all were creatively satisfying.

‘In the summer of 1984 we toured the Tut-Mania side show.”

As Winston spoke there were home movie images of belly dancers, snakes, and the fake Tut exhibits. A sarcophagus with several mummies arranged around it, artifacts. “We dressed our tour guides as Cleopatra’s handmaidens.”

“That’s her!” Dan exclaimed aloud, then covered his mouth. It was the woman wielding the whip in his Dad’s photos. She was on screen for less than thirty seconds and never appeared again. 

The documentary came an end. It was more or less an advertisement for the Museum. The closing credits were so fast and cluttered he couldn’t see who at Quintex was the main researcher. He’d have to ask Stephanie is she knew.

“What did you think?” Cameron asked him as they left the theatre.

“Archival footage is always fascinating.” Dan said. “I always want more of that.”

“Makes them sound like one big happy family of saints determined to bring entertainment to the deprived people of the Maritimes.” Cameron said.

“What did you expect?” Stephanie asked. “It’s not an expose. We don’t do that sort of thing, anyway.”

“Unless there are children involved.” Dan said.

“Cold Canada is a different thing.” she said. “It digs for facts not conclusions.”

“Then the editors shape the facts to suggest conclusions.” Peter said. 

“At least they like to spread the blame around.” Stephanie said. “Legal won’t let us point directly at one person anyway.”

“Or Winston Chamberlain probably wouldn’t have been so eager to have this profile of the 100 years.” Dan said. “There was no mention of the hand-job maidens.”

“Was it you who said ‘that’s her?’.” Cameron asked. “Sounded like you.”

“Yes. I’m not sure but one of the pictures looks like a woman in one of the family photos I examined for the show. I can’t say for sure it was only on for a few seconds.”

“She’s significant in some why?” Stephanie asked.

“Perhaps.” Dan said. He hadn’t told anyone connected with the show about his Dad’s racy pictures.

“Our research department will have the original footage, so you can check with them for a better and perhaps more extensive look. The shows only use about twenty percent of the materials collected.”

“I’ll do that when we get back to Toronto. Let’s check out the exhibits at the museum.”

“We can check out the hand-job maidens.” Cameron said. 

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Buds of Early May 2022

A look at some of the Spring buds springing up – some were featured last month in Best Buds

https://topoet.ca/2022/04/08/best-buds/

hostas in the front box
dame’s rockets – both pink & white when it blooms
a tulip hidden in the forsythia bush – squirrels planted it
tiger lilies
bleeding heart growing in the composter
rhubarb
poppies
peony – will it bloom this year?
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Viva Vivaldi

Did Vivaldi (1678 – 1741) compose anything other thank the Four Seasons? On my shelf I have a 40 cd boxset that isn’t 40 versions of the Four Seasons. In fact this boxset doesn’t contain his complete works either. He composed at a time when folks played music in their homes or heard it in churches. It was music for the masses & Masses, not for elitist concert halls & massive orchestras.

I do have multiple version of The Four Seasons though. As stand alone I have it by il Giordino Armonico which I heard on CBC. The sound quality amazed me – it is as if you are standing in the middle of the small chamber orchestra. I have Nigel Kennedy’s energetic romp through it. Also some fun jazz takes – Moe Kaufmann’s is  delightful & worth tracking down. Wendy Carlos’ Sonic Seasonings stretches it into the stratosphere. The Koto Ensemble version is also a delight.

The box set reveals the full extent of Vivaldi’s versatility as a composure with delightful sonatas for flute, recorder, violin, mandolin & more. All with complex continuo support, at times by organ, harpsichord or viola. There are some of his masses, motets, cantatas, concertos & songs. Even his transcription/adaptations of Bach. 

As I worked though the box set his influence on later romantic composers becomes clear. The final cd is La Senna Festeggiante which is one of his serenatas that is almost an opera. Like when listening to Mozart, you wonder

when did this man sleep. 



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The Silent Treatment

The Silent Treatment

no I have nothing to add

others have said enough

their need to be heard

is much more urgent to them

for them to hear anything

out of me or anyone else

<>

there’s no need for me to 

express myself

I’m quite content to listen 

to sort though the layers 

of this conversation

people talking over each other 

the louder the voice

the more important the message

<>

I have nothing to say

so let me remain silent

I’m not one to contradict

even when I don’t agree

nothing will be gained

by outshouting anyone

to share my truth

<>

it is clear the loudest voice

also conveys the most valid opinion

one that will echo forever

so don’t ask me to say anything 

don’t push the microphone at me

at least

not until

everyone else

shuts the fuck up

Recently I had a friend ‘B’ ask me for some advice about a situation & I said that had none. They asked why & I replied because they don’t listen. B was a little taken aback & as I explained B kept interrupting & I stopped & asked B why they don’t listen & B said because they were a rebel. Doing what people tell you makes you sheep. I said – then why ask me anything?

Don’t get me wrong it’s not as if I am free this behaviour but I have learned not to blame the rain for being wet. So I don’t complain that most people are not listeners. The American political scene is built on denying what others hear – the facts have become irrelevant. Shouting that that someone else is wrong has taken the place of being responsible for one’s own actions. Not taking responsibility is called being a rebel.

There’s a saying ‘would you rather be right or happy.’ Not that one can’t be both but often the energy of proving you are right isn’t worth the aggravation. Some time ago, thanks to those recovery defect steps, I realized that I was more interested in clever, cynical remarks than I was in having actual thought out opinions. As I curbed the need to be clever I actually began to hear people rather than listen till I had the right response.

One of best features of most 12 step recovery discussion groups it that we are encouraged to listen, commenting directly on what another member says is discouraged. members get to share without interruptions. On line once can go a step further by minimizing to audio only – you don’t even have to see who is sharing – all visual clues are removed & letting tone of voice resonate.


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Picture Perfect 115 

Picture Perfect 115

Where is my memory? I’m not that old or am I? No matter how many times I look at those children’s faces I can’t remember them all. The ones I know, it could have been a week since I saw them last. How eager there were to follow me. I knew by their eagerness they had something to escape. I was the one who could lead them back to safety. Back to purity.

Now these men. Men, it’s always the men, who want to find these children. Men who I saved them from. Men who think they are smart enough to follow tracks, to follow traces that don’t exist. Looking for clues in photographs. Ha. 

I had to laugh when I saw him looking at those pictures that showed him nothing. He didn’t know I was watching. They probably thought I was dead too, that I was too old to have read the newspapers, to see them on television. To see them walking down the street. 

I wanted to stop them that day. Tell them they were wrong, but let them be wrong. My memory isn’t that bad. I saw children’s faces that I didn’t recall. I looked. I stopped the flow of pictures with the pause button but the image was blurred. Maybe that was why I couldn’t remember. If I pause my memory those faces blur.

What good would it do to tell them they are wrong. I don’t want to distract them from the wrong or they might get it right. No, they will never find me. They don’t know where to look because there is no where to look. Even when they were looking right it all those years ago no one saw what was there. Stupid men who only saw what they wanted to not what I had hidden.

All this fuss about the damn carnival has pushed that past out of sight for now. Happy Hippo! What a cesspool of abuse it was but now it’s some sort of temple for happy childhood memories. Children lured in to take their money, to strip them of their purity. No one will dare reveal it was mire of depravity that preyed on the innocence of children. That’s not entertainment.

As Dan found a spot to stand with his sign that said “Limo for Mr. Peter Eastgate” he thought it would a fun way to welcome Peter & perhaps get his picture taken by the press in the airport lobby taking shots of the famous arrivals. There was a mini-red carpet set up with a special backdrop for celebrities still arriving for the event.

From out of the crowd Robert Warszawa came over to him. 

“Robert, what are you doing here?”

“Extra security. You know the Prime Minster is arriving this morning. He worked at the Hippo one summer.”

“Oh! That never came up in our research.”

“So you’re covering the pre-circus circus.” Robert asked.

“I’m meeting Peter.” Dan said. “I happy just to observe.”

“Security’ll cost the tax-payers more than they will raise with their gala.”

“Mr. Eastgate! Over here Mr. Eastgate.” Dan shouted when he saw Peter come through the arrivals gate. 

Peter’s puzzled face lit up when he saw that it was Dan calling to him.

Peter was made to stop for pictures that were taken before anyone asked who he was. 

“Wow!” Peter came over to them. “That was something.”

“Peter, you’ve met Robert Warszawa. My Forces boss.”

Robert reached out & shook Peter’s hand. “I don’t think we’ve properly introduced. You were able to get out of the Carafe?”

“Uh, yes?” Peter said looking to Dan.

“We’ve been keeping an eye on Mr. Daniels since the bomb attack.”

“You mean I’ve been under surveillance?”

“Think of it as protection. Speaking of which the Prime Minster is debarking.”

Robert stepped away and blended back into the crowd.

“Surveillance?” Peter asked. “You don’t tell me you were also a secret agent man.”

“Let’s just say parts of my work life are classified confidential. You car is this way.”

The lot at the Waterside already full. Dan drove around twice looking for a spot.

“Porsche. Porsche. Lexus. Lexus LX.” Peter practically shouted that last one. “My fuck! You sure you’re allowed to even be here? Is that a Silver Cloud? Am I going to need a tux for this event? All I brought was a change of clothes and that black harness you like.” He pulled up his tee shirt to show Dan that he was wearing it. “Set off the alarm at Pearson. Told them I was performing at the gala. The black jeans?”

A flower delivery van pulled out and Dan took the spot.

“We will be skipping the formal dinner.” Dan quickly told Peter about the most recent run in with John Kilpatrick. “I decided it would best if I wasn’t there. If he spilled a glass of water he would probably accused me of somehow doing.”

“Then jeans will be formal enough.”

“I have check for messages.” He handed Peter the card for the cabin. “I’ll be right back.”

George was dealing with an irate, well-dressed man, in his mid-50’s. Thanks to Jeremy, Dan knew the difference between off the rack; between custom made in New York, Paris, Hong Kong or Milan. This man was wearing condo’s worth of clothing. Maybe more when he caught a glimpse of the man’s watch and cufflinks as he slammed his open palm on the front desk.

“We’ve been to every hotel, piss-stained motel and flea-bag b’n’b within a hundred mile radius. You must have something. You fucking jack-off’s hiking prices on top of everything else.”

“Ah, Mr. James.” Clerk said over the man’s shoulder. “There are two messages for you. Plus these flowers, that just arrived.” He put a large floral display in a heavy crystal vase on the counter. “I didn’t have time to get it inot your cabin.”

The man turned and gave Dan a once-over and was clearly about to dismiss him when his eyes stopped at the Lifend camera. He looked at Dan face.

“Can I help you?” Dan asked the man as he read the card. They were from Jeremy.

“Not much anyone can do Mr. James.” George said. “Everything has been booked solid weeks. Good thing QTel had that reservation for the four cabins. I could have let them twice for twice as much, too.”

“What’s taking you so long, sir.” Peter came into the lobby with his tee-shirt off. He sat in one of the lobby arm chairs.

“Here, Peter.” He nodded to the flowers. “Compliments of the Jeremy Moxham.”

Peter picked the vase up carefully. “He must have had this Baccarat flown in for you. I can’t see any local florist carrying them.”

Dan couldn’t stop laughing.

The rich man was confused for a moment. He sat in the other lobby chair and began to text.

“George how many of the cabins is QTel using this weekend.” Dan asked quietly.

George checked. He leaned forward. “Only three. You have one, Baxter has one, Cameron and Stephanie are in the other.”

“Then let the gentleman have that one. It is the one with the crappy a/c,shitty TV reception.”

“If you mean 11b then you’re right.”

“Also the one closest to the highway.” Dan said. He turned to rich guy. “Mr. ?”

“Clarkson.” The man said.

“As it turns out I won’t be using all the cabins I’ve booked. I’ve cancelled my reservation for one of them for the next three nights.”

“That’s most … How can I thank you?”

“Don’t throw the TV in the pool for one thing. Tip clerk well too.”

“Sure.”

“Peter.” Dan commanded.

“Yes, sir.” Peter stood at attention. 

“Flowers to the cabin.”

“Thank you, sir.” Peter picked dup the vase and followed Dan out.

As he left Dan heard Clarkson ask. “Who was that?”

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Recap April 2022

The TOpoet.ca following blog grew with over 600 people get notification whenever I post a new blog! The WP map does show my hits have come from  countries around the world. The USA tops the world list is interest but that Mauritius (Bonjour abonnés mauriciens) & Ghana are in the top 10 is a surprise. As you can see by the top 10 posts That’s Not Funny (https://topoet.ca/2022/04/26/thats-not-funny/) tops the list. F**k Cancer is a post from 10 years that made a trip to the top 10! 

Picture Perfect: 114 sections, about 162,000 words posted so far with about 25,000 words left to be edited then posted. I also cut some 2000 words out this past week & figure there’ll be another 2000 to get chopped soon. So I could be done by the end of the summer.

Synchronicity often puts books together for me. Last month I finished Stephen Leacock’s London Travels eBook & next on that eBooks shelf was Sunlight & Shadow (1880) by John Bartholomew Gough (died 1886). He was a temperance orator! The book is his reflection on life in London as he brings his message & it is fascinating – & also a little sad as attitudes towards alcohol & poverty haven’t changed much since then. What is amazing is that his comments on being misrepresented by the press are still relevant, plus his ‘tips’ on speaking in public hold true for today as well.

Read ‘Johnny Would You Love Me If My Dick Were Bigger’ by Brontez Purnell – this is hilarious & highly recommended. Unfiltered Sedaris-like essays on the vagaries & vulgarities of gay male life. I laughed out loud often. Be prepared for explicit sex & language.

Enjoying Servant of the People – the eerily prophetic Volodymyr Zelensky series. The writing is fearless in its political attack, the performances are spot on, though as it turns out Zelensky wasn’t acting, merely rehearsing for the role of a lifetime. Here in Canada Vision has been showing it with English subtitles which I presume aren’t censored or mistranslating what is being said. 

I have been getting to one in-person recovery meeting a week. The return to meetings in Toronto has been slow even though the only requirement by meeting spaces is that we stayed masked. Like many I’m not comfortable with more than ten people in a large room, even when all are masked. A couple of the zoom meetings closed for their in person meeting but returned to zoom to run both. I think zoom recovery is here to stay.

Two visits to my dentist this month, so I’m not sure what my summer plans are after having that $$ turned into fillings. The other drain on my summer plans was a new TV, as the ‘old’ one was losing its plasma picture – it was like watching though a thin layer of smoke that was getting smokier by the week. We found it was impossible to find one without internet in its system 😦 Getting it set up was a maze of menus but once again we can enjoy full screen & amazing colour. 

After the winter of our discontent, coming up in May, a day trip to Stratford  to see Richard III. We will be driving regardless of this entreaty “A horse! a horse! my kingdom for a horse!”

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