Wednesday, October 20, 2004


A token male in Seneca's English department, I was eventually cashiered, stripped of epaulets, moustache and medals and sent out into the desert of Main Street like a badly behaved Legionnaire.

Ten years of teaching gives you an authoritarian complex, you've got to lecture, compare, explain.

Having no one to lecture to (my wife had had enough and had moved out) I went out to Fairy Lake there to lecture to ducks, geese and assorted racoons.

I went to Wilkinson's Studios and lectured there, and Bruce Wilkinson decided I might make a pretty good tripod for his cameras, albeit a little noisy.

What to do when you're a fallen professional?

I got into politics and they burned my house down.

Homeless, I went back to lecturing ducks. Some would shuffle notes around the grass. Others would look up with some interest, but would stop paying attention once they realized that I had eaten all the bread in my bag.

I went out to Frank Stronach's farm to lecture horses, but these were an elite breed, holding their tinted cigarettes between hooves and pasterns, adjusting their Sixties-style blinkers and commenting on my lectures with loud whinnies and horselaughs.

"Go back to ducks," seemed the message.

Unpublished horses and unskilled bongo players really piss me off.

Eventually I got a job in an auto parts department, upon which time my girlfriend at the time complained that my lovemaking had become somewhat mechanical and would I watch more Sue Johanson, that grandmother from Hell.

Was Sue getting some? Any?

I tried Sue Johanson's advice but soon found that I was using up all the batteries at Radio Shack and had to go high tech.

Yep, there's a real world out here. Mechanics know more than PhD's.

At the college, they used to call me Doctor.

At the Bonanza, when I am in my cups, they call me something out of anatomy. Rhymes with Courtney Love.

I'm afraid the good old days are only beginning.


Anonymous said...

Hi Ivan,

Got your missive. Anything that describes me as brilliant instantly sets off my bullshit meter.

Re: your ducks. I've had dumber audiences than ducks as evidenced by the letters to the editor I occasionally receive, so be grateful. Anyway, it takes a duck to know a duck. It may well be they are as smart as porpoises if they are sticking around to hear your maundering.

I've had better luck with Canada geese myself although they are monogamists and that has caused me a problem or two. As for the Bonanza, I'm glad to see you're faithful to your old hangout. I didn't go back there after being attacked by a cockroach as big as a groundhog.

Tell Jeff Mitchell hi.

His most faithful audiences were always wild turkeys. I think it's because of all those empty bottles of bourbon in his front window.

see ya

Anonymous said...


I've never been able to keep Listerine down. The one time I did ingest it in any significant amount was accidentally — multi-tasking one hung-over morning, gargling while taking a leak and — well, no call to the Poison Control Centre (as advised on the bottle) was deemed necessary.

It seemed I was dealing with a fait accompli, anyway: If the mouthwash did not kill me, the hangover certainly would. So why bother alarming the neighbours with flashing lights and screaming sirens? I've never been one for melodrama (with the exception of being married once).

Your missive arrived at an opportune time. Things have been depressing and grim as of late, with non-stop work and mucking about in the seamier side of things. Spent the weekend on jury watch at the conclusion of a murder trial and segued Monday into The Case of the Diddling Farmer, then two days at an inquest probing a spate of junkie deaths in downtown Oshawa. Feeling seriously burned out now; it's only 3 but I have already loaded the back seat of the car with beer and red wine.

I shall drink not with a vengeance — even though vengeance is all the rage these days; we fight entire wars in its name. Ach, and there we go again. I will pour red wine on the rage this goddam stupid war has ignited in me. I will stand in my yard under the stars and piss on the legacy of George W. Bush. If the neighbours object, fuck them. I pay taxes, just like everybody else.

No, there's no anger lurking at the bottom of those bottles — I've always detested mean drunks. Better to unleash some truly dreadful harmonica on the neighbourhood than violence — I just bought a microphone to plug into my guitar amp and am now capable of criminal music, especially in accompaniment of Buddy Guy. If I'm going to be written up in the police news tomorrow, it's better to be mentioned as an idiot than a murderer.



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