Friday, June 13, 2008

Blowing your first seminar


Ah, the last thirty years of misplacing my car, my spouse, three houses I'd had title to, three adopted families, eight girlfriends and even the old college jockstrap.

Happily, the motel owner was a Pole, and here in Canada, uncharacteristically, Poles and my own tribe get along, for we'd all seemed to have had the same hard times.
"Yes," said my motel owner. "Doesn't take long sometimes. You can lose everything overnight." She had been letting me stay at the motel for free, as long as I laid low and didn't use the telephone. Talk about being held incognito. Sweet prison.
Always a woman. Luck is a woman.

The strangest things happen to you when you're down and out. Somebody had discovered my book, Light Over Newmaket ("Lord was there any?"I kept muttering to myself just before the TV studio called).
There I was on the motel TV, a week later, giving off the impression of class and money, successful author, though I had put the book out largely at my expense, and that was one of the reasons I was now broke.

But the gambit had worked. First the newspaper interview (Thank God one of the guests of my book-signing was a reviewer) and then a notice about me in Toronto's Globe and Mail...(being noticed by the Globe was the first sign of literary success in Canada) --and soon I became fodder for newspaper columnists, one of whom had said, "Ah, Ivan gets this call from a big California publisher, but he's holding out for a million and no less."
"Prokopchuk Protests" read the headline and "Asks what time the ocean opens in California" read the next headline.

"Ivan's got an ocean pearl!".
Hey.

Well, they could have their fun. Any publicity is good publicity.
Suddenly I had a little money, and my landlady reconnected the phone.

Jesus. A whole lot of women on Mr. Bell's invention..

Well, yes. I may have looked good on TV, but I couldn't pay my motel fare.
The landlady and I were getting chummy. More like Rasputin, I suppose, but the holy Pole may be in. your...?
There were worse ways of selling your body, bony as it was. I recall at my old Alma Mater, that a part time prof had gotten so impoverished. he took up the style of a male hooker. .
Ryerson fired him, not because of any inability, but because a teacher is supposed to be a role model and you can't really blow your first seminar. Think I'm lying? Go google "Ryerson Prof. 'I'm a hooker"

Sure made the dean choke on his breakfast kippers. And the head of the journalism department hiding behind his typewriter when all the TV stations came to call. "I'm a shy guy," my friend Don Obe had said. "I ignore the phones and the TV interviews and just send out memos and explanations. Jeesus, what a mess. I have a hard time facing the public over this guy."
And then the headline come out. "Hooker prof says it's now easier to get clients, at the age of 51."

Got that one from Gerald Hannan, the happy hooker himself. He was now doing his own publicity.

Well, Don Obe had no choice but to fire him.

Ryerson was the best technical university in Canada.

Couldn't have the hooker prof talking about erections all day.

Yet students defended the prof. "He was the best media writing teacher I'd ever had," said a co-ed.

Ah, to each his own, even if it'll get you fired.

The prof tried a redress of grievance (cross-dress of grievance?) but to no avail. A Ryerson professor had to be perfect as a role model.( Little Richard: Oh baby, gonna have me some fun tonight...And Little Richard when he got over being gay: 'God made Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve!"' Oh Baby.

"Long tall Gerry's built for speed. He's got everyting that Uncle John needs."?

I don't think I'd like to have been the prsident of Ryerson in the late eighties.

Stress and distress.

The line between political correctness and the reputation of the university.

Well, that was all in the past. Last time I came across the hooker prof, we were both at temporay office help. Lord, I was thinking of his sales presentations! No, no sales display kit. Just the blow job!

"Failed at everytying?" asks Jonathan Swift somewhere.

Hit the road. You'll meet them all, the long and the short and the tall.

And along the road, I had met Gerald Hannan.

No, I didn't have any money.

I had my Polish motel owner.

And we were Hunky-dory.

8 comments:

benjibopper said...

visions of Terry Fallis? nice to know you can self-publish and get somewhere with it. staying there is perhaps even harder.

in the words of the son of Dylan:

'as if it wasn't hard enough
you go and make it so much harder'

not quite the lyricist as his father once was, but he gets the point across.

ivan@cretivewriting.ca said...

No actual wallflower, that Jakob.

But I feel at times tht our own Sam Roberts has somehow out- Dylaned him.

the walking man said...

Though Canada has ever had as many (proportionally) scandals as anywhere else in the world...it wasn't until tabloid journalism caught up that it became too {funny} to watch.

"Mr Prime minister, I didn't consort with a gay professor hooker in Ivan's, nor even enter by the back door to said, basement, I left a security document there so I must resign. Quickly."

ivan@cretivewrting.ca said...

Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!

Monique said...

Oh Ivan, you and your past. You couldn't make it up.

Mind you it's true that you always wear a different hat at whatever you do.

Monique said...

Oops! Then I forgot to tell you that MD 15 is posted and is dedicated to Paul Hart who played the publican Alan. This was his last recording and somehow, over time, I have to kill him off, which sounds dreadful.

ivan@creativewriting.ca said...

Monique,

You are very insightful.

One of my novels has to do with people always changing hats.

Uh, self-projecion? :)

ivan@cretivewriting.ca said...

Monique,

I picked up Middle Ditch 15, but there's something wrong with my audio.
Will keep trying....Had my computer fixed and maybe my techie cannibalized something to restore my disk drive.