Sunday, March 18, 2007

Victor, You Are So Immature!

Talent hides in the strangest Places, and when I went to work for the Oakville Beaver, I knew my situation would turn really bizarre, right from the word Oakville Beaver.

We suddenly had an assembly of six gifted people, one Larry Milson, and extremely able comic strip artist and the five of us aspirants who were doing puff jobs on the rich and famous and making a good living of it. Paparazzi, sort of.

The sports writer, one Neil Campbell, was about to be promoted to food editor and he would require a logo and a cartoon.

The title of Neil's new column would be "Eating Out With Neil Campbell".

Well. You can imagine what a bunch of us perverts and young fools would do with something like that.

Perched atop a computer terminal, a lady had been fetchingly drawn, with Neil, able trencherman, wearing a bib and tucker.

The cartoon was, of course rejected by the publisher, but we immature sots somehow couldn't stop giggling.

The trouble with being given more or less a free hand by the publisher was that our copy began to reach washroom standards, with such gems as "What are you doing looking down here for? Your a**hole's in Ottawa!"

And drawing on washroom stall by budding scientists. E=MC2---and all the math, all of it, spilling down onto the washroom floor M/V ~^---all that.

The lament on the washroom floor: MY MOTHER MADE ME A HOMOSEXUAL. And the rejoiner: IF I GET HER THE WOOL, WILL SHE MAKE ME ONE TOO?

For this we got $50,OOO (present dollars) a year?

As punishment, I suppose, I was sent to Copenhagen to cover a NATO exercise and while on free time, observed lovely elderly ladies selling the most outrageous porn--and it was all legal. What in Canada might have been smut and filth was taken as high art in Copenhagen, and it was freely available to young and old.
But still, the place was spanking clean (no pun intended) and incidences of sex crime went way down.

I chanced upon uber-intellectual Susan Sonntag, who after sharing a beer with me assured me that I too was
an a**hole and should get the hell back to Ottawa. Ouch. It was only years later that I learned the very accomplished Mr. Sonntag hated men...But in fact, I probably had too much to say. And Danish beer is three times as strong as Canadian. Makes your garrulous.

I came back a little more mature (I think), yet puzzled by a country so socially advanced yet at the same time so smut- ridden. And I think Ms. Sonntag had cured my immaturity.

Coming back to Canada, I sent my novel to a Montreal publisher who immediately rejected it on grounds that the "hero" lacked maturity.

How did one go about becoming mature?

I went on to join the Toronto Telegram and was fired there for my immaturity.

No sooner do I get fired than my wife comes into a pile of money, that protracting my immaturity for at leas five years. Doesn't everybody?

My wife was pregnant, I went to a doctor who sneered at my immaturity--then saw the new Cadillac outside
and practically went down on his hands and knees, thus adding to my immaturity.

I was immature, but somehow lucky as hell.

Eventually, I got my book published, this again adding to my immaturity. I was the local god. "I am an artist, Martha!" This again added to my immaturity.

At the age of 36, I joined a rock and roll band, and this further contributed to my immaturity.

At the age of forty, my wife finally gave up. I was suddenly forced into maturity.

Now I eke out a living editing and stealing.

This is maturity?

Bring back that stupid kid!


Sienna said...

Great post!
Certainly hits home here (feeling of immaturity at times=a lot, being told/asked, when are you going to grow up?)

Sounds like it was a fun place to work Ivan.

Maturity? I don't know, I just don't know.


islandgrovepress said...

Hi Pam.

Ah, those were the days. Luck was so high you could publish a football schedule and call it a story.
Are you familiar with the Bassetts of Toronto. John Bassett had a very promising tennis player at the time, his young daugther, Carling. I think she may have played in Australia, but it was so long ago. Anyway, Mr. Bassett owned a whole bunch of newspapers and each writer was allowed to do his/her own thing.
Those days are somewhat back at the Toronto Star, but though you may use the four-letter word in quotes, you still have to be fashionably left.
The good old days, however seem to be coming back.
Maturity is probably like dignity.
Great for the old.


leslie said...

Lucky you, being able to protract your immaturity until recent times. ;D Having been forced to grow up quickly at a young age, I continue to feel the pangs of a lost childhood. Might be the reason I periodically slip off that path and have my children telling me to act my age. HAH!

islandgrovpress said...




doubting thomas said...

Always thought naming you kid "Carling" was like naming a kid "Molson" or "Budweiser." Maybe it is just me. I do not want to get on the merry-go-round. (Why does not your blog let me use an apostrophe?) Your blog is usually so punctual!

islandgrovepress said...

Yes, The old E.P Taylor syndrome.

He could have named his daugher Red Cap...But then she would have been Little Red Riding Hood.

Ye blog. Ever since I went on beta
the comment area has been kind of tricky.

Donnetta Lee said...

Well, Peter Pan, you'll never grow up, never grow up, never grow up! Never become Victor Mature. Myself, I was a grown up as a child. Now as a grown up I can become a child. Oh, happy day. I am Wendy: in and out of childhood. Maybe the lucky days are gone.Hope not. Hope they are yet to come. Enjoyed the post. Donnetta

islandgrovepress said...


Peter Pan had Wendy,but he couldn't stay away from Tinkerbelle.

Maybe I should get a cape.


Donnetta Lee said...

How about a little magic dust? Donnetta

islandgrovepress said...

Heh heh.
It's those shapely little legs. The pirouette.


Josie said...

Ivan, maturity is highly over-rated. I dread the day when the Munchkins become teenagers, and I will have to act like an adult. Tonight after dinner I put on Bill Doggett's Honkey Tonk, Part II, and was teaching them to do the Spanish Castle (remember that?). My son-in-law joined in, my daughter just rolled her eyes and sighed.

As you say, too soon old, too late smart. No one has ever accused me of being mature, thank goodness.


islandgrovepress said...

Rocks have no choice but to be honest. Seems we are not rocks. We are alive.


Josie said...

I'm a rock?

I am a rock, I am an island...

It's raining again today, sigh.


islandgrovepress said...

Ah, good old Simon and Garfunkel.

Saw some retre-retro-retro of them the last time they sang together on vintage SNL. Still a thrill. Partial soundrack of our lives.

It is friggin' horrible outside.
When I was in the RCAF, the symbbol for blowing snow was BS.
BS all right.

But tomorros is spring. Hah.


Josie said...

It is?

islandgrovepress said...

Wednesday, March 21, actually.

We used to joke about the Vernal Equinox at the old Toronto Telegram. "Is that something you might get in Tijuana?"


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