Tuesday, March 06, 2007

The Ballad of Phombus Pucker

Two weeks late on E.A. Monroe's request to have one's high school senior picture put up, just so we could compare high school pictures on our webs, I have finally dug one up, but it's my graduation picture from Ryerson University--which people called "Rye High" anyway because that excellent school took forever to get proper university accreditation. Once Ryerson became "legit", switcing from a school of technology to a full blown university, I had to take four courses at the University of Toronto to finally get my sheepskin. I was a bit older than the regular students. But Johhnny-come lately was so glad to finally make Varsity anyway. I immediately undertook to work on my Master's degree, as I had somehow stumbled on an untenured professorship at Seneca College. Seneca saw my name chuck-chuck-chucking in print so much that they figured I could teach creative writing, PhD or no.

Odd things happen when you get your degree. One became a bit pompous. When we'd have oysters for dinner, I became professorial, waxed copiously on the fact that oysters have eyes, a complete digestive system and a foot. It would drive my poor wife crazy, but the children would look up with some interest, here and there.

I was probably aping my father-in-law, a very successful businessman and published book writer.
I didn't go as far as to insist my plates were heated for my meals (the old Scots way)--but I was given to lecturing the family at mealtime. Just like old Stewart.

"You've become a pompous f**cker," my wife would keen.

So eventually she went out and got a degree of her own, and good on her.

And the competitive instinct takes many forms.

I had completed a novel, parts of which were a bit graphic, and my daughter caught old ma writing a book, parts of which were pornographic. "Mother!" my daugher gasped.

Ah, two "PhDs" in the same family.

I think my old mentor, E.S. had a breakdown over it. "You'll probably end up divorced," he told me across the squash court. "Set yourself up so you can write."

Oh how many times I have had to set myself up so I could write!

Eight permanent relationships---Psych prof friend said 'you're right off the norm'--and I am no closer to piety nor enlightenment...Of all the great gay ancient Greeks, I only trust Aristotle, since he was married twice!

I came across a ninth girlfriend, an English lady.
I made the standard mistake of telling about past relationships.

"Have you tried darts?" The strawberry blonde with the glowing complexion had quipped.

Reson for my entering university rather late was a five-year stretich in the Air Force.

They used to have a song in basic training:

"They're not making the girls the same this year (think I'll turn queer).

Ah, perhaps small farm animals.



Josie said...

What gorgeous pictures. Liz is beautiful and you're very handsome. You look a bit like Robson Green, the British actor. Go to Yahoo Images and type in Robson Green, and you will see.

"The Ballad of Phombus Pucker"? Say that ten times fast.


Donnetta Lee said...

What beautiful pictures these are! Who could they possibly be? Well, it's been an interesting trek, nicht wahr? Donnetta

islandgrovepress said...

Well thank you, Josie.

Feeling lately like "the Wounded Surgeon", I needed that.

Isn't E.A. a doll?

We get too soon old and too late schmart, though I swear I knew more at eighteen than I do now!

I feel like a mainland Italian:
No future, but what a past!


Phombus Pucker, Phombus Pucker, Phombus Pucker Pompous F...


islandgrovpress said...

Hi Donnetta,

Hey, Beautiful Liz said she wanted to see your picture too...You probably ended up scouring your attic for those old school pictures,like I did, finally finding one or two.

As for the jouney, I feel a bit like poor old Siddhartha, though I am far from a Buddhist monk.
There is a point in Herman Hesse where the successful mayor offers poor struggling Siddhartha some money.
I would have taken it! You can't eat ethics. Ha.

There is the teeniest outside chance that I might still have a future!
Thanks for the note.


EA Monroe said...

Ivan! How much ransom are you holding my "antique" senior photo for?? Aren't you worried it might break your computer?! Hah!

Thanks for posting your graduation photo. No wonder you had all those ladies chasing you!

Donnetta's next. That reminds me. I need to send her the photo of herself! I've got one!

EA Monroe said...

PS -- but I am cropping "me" out!! I look like an Amazon wearing black glasses standing next to petite Donnetta!

Donnetta Lee said...

Ah. The ethics eater. Sounds like an archetype to me! You just keep getting Junger and Junger. Donnetta

islandgrovepress said...

Hi Liz,

Thought I'd get a peep out of you. Heh.
I was going to post my senior picture, but then I came across your loveliness in my images file, so I posted my own graduation picture and your senior picture instead. Sure graced my website.
Better for certain that two pics of Ivan.
I can just hear Doubting Thomsas admonishing, "Unhand the lady's photo, cad!"
Ah well, I'm posting almost every day now and process will take its course.


islandgrovepress said...


You immersed in Jung too?

Quite a cookie monster, that local "White Christ".

My former wife, who had a great sense of humour, used to say, "You have problems with anima?
"I'll take you over to the hospiteal. They'll give you an anima!"
Ah, we are forever Jung.


Donnetta Lee said...

Oh, I've dabbled a bit. It takes Jung to know Jung. Donnetta

islandgrovepress said...

Jung was reported to say, "But don't listen to me. I'm not a Jungian."

Still a fascinating man. Always under the shadow of Freud, but working all the same.

Scott's Zelda underwent Jungian analysis...Not sure how that worked out.

doubting thomas said...

No fool like a Jung fool!

islandgrovepress said...


Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!

Josie said...

Ivan, you look sort of stern in that picture. As if you don't put up with any nonsense.


EA Monroe said...

Ivan, that gal at the top scares the bejeezus out of me every time I come to visit!!

islandgrovepress said...


Ah, those were the days, my friend.
We thought they'd neve end.

I was freshly published, and an editor of The Ryersonian. Power by the hour.

And then the kids and the mortgage.


islandgrovpress said...


You can see why men sometimes launched a thousand ships.

Myself, if I knew you then, I would probably march across a thousand broken beerbottles.

Elvis Presley:

"I been travellin' over mountains."

What a heartbreaker.

islandgrovepress said...


I got a kick out of Sela Carsen's blog today.

She says the theme of my blog is
"What comes up, must come down."

Coyote: Eternus famishus-famishus.

Roadrunner: Avis Supersonicus.

(I will never again buy gadgets from a company called Acme).

You end up at the bottom of the canyon with just this little puff.
(And then the big truck runs over you).


Josie said...

Am I still allowed to come over to visit, even though I don't smoke?

Banned from the blogs, a smoking only zone...

islandgrovepress said...


Josie, who would ban you?

You can visit us tobacco-fuming vagabonds any time at all.


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