Friday 27 January 2012

No Forwarding Address... (reprinted with permission)

The best advice I can give about moving is: DON’T.  Barring that…there is no good advice about moving.

Unfortunately, moving house is like going to the dentist.  Not only is the ordeal painful, but you get to spend huge amounts of money for the privilege.

If it turns out you absolutely positively have to move, the best thing to do is pile all of your stuff on the front lawn, and set fire to it.  Because even if you spend gargantuan amounts of money on Professional Movers, and enormous amounts of time packing everything neatly into clearly marked boxes, when you finally do get to your new location, you won’t be able to find ANYTHING.

I know all about this.  I’m still looking for a pair of matching antique mirrors that were lost on a move from Vancouver to Toronto in ’78.

Mysterious things seem to happen to household effects in transit.  They transmogrify.  Little pixies remove labels and affix new ones.

Another thing: no matter how carefully you looked over the house you’re about to move into, it won’t be the same house you bought.  The address may be the same, but between the time you signed the deal and the time you took possession, all sorts of changes will have taken place.

For instance, the dishwasher won’t work.  Nor will the stove.  There’s an unwritten rule that every household appliance you’ve shrewdly bargained into the offer of purchase will automatically self-destruct the moment you sign the offer.

Ditto the washer, dryer, and the toilets.  It’s some sort of symbolic goodbye ritual to the last owners.  Your only consolation will be that simultaneously, waaaaay back in your old neighbourhood, the people who bought your house will be discovering similar kamikaze activity among your old appliances.

On a final note, you can try to move kids, but it’s not recommended.  Chances are they’re quite attached to the old neighbourhood and won’t be happy anywhere else.  Best to leave them with a kind neighbour until the move is over.  With any luck, they won’t be able to locate you after.

Thursday 19 January 2012

WANTED: One Fairy Godmother (reprinted with permission)

One thing the Catholic Church really has going for it is a vast army of Guardian Angels.  These are wonderful beings whose sole purpose is to guide you through life, and prevent you from making really embarrassing mistakes…those everyday kind of mistakes such as hopping a last minute flight to Argentina with Raoul instead of baking more cookies for the school fundraiser, like you promised.

But for those of us who weren’t born Catholic, what we need is a Fairy Godmother.  Not the old fashioned kind who dresses in 1950s prom dresses and goes around changing vegetables into vehicles.  Nope – I want someone on my side: a modern, down-to-earth Fairy Godmother, who will answer all those pesky questions that everyone else always sidelines.

In fact, I can visualize my personal Fairy Godmother.  She would be about 65 years old (but would only admit to 49) with a petrified blond hairdo and a Brooklyn accent.  Her orange lipstick would be a little too thick, and she’d carry one of those bombproof organizer handbags.  Of course, she’d be full of wonderfully useful advice, like exactly how far up are you supposed to shave your legs?

“The problem with you girls today is you don’t wear proper foundation garments.  Go without a bra?  You’re going to be KICKING them in a few years…”

Instead of going for tea at the Arcadian Room, she’d drag me off for salad and Singapore Slings at the Four Season’s.

“Nothing wrong with a little nip now and then, dearie.  Puts colour in your cheeks.  Don’t you read Cosmo?”  And while we’re munching and slurping (“Drinking girl’s diet – gotta watch those hips”) she’d give me nonstop advice about how to get along in life.

“Forget Good Housekeeping – the way to a man’s heart is not tuna casseroles.  But here’s how to make a really good martini...”

“Face it, dearie.  After the age of 40, what every girl really needs is a good esthetician…”

“You’ve never been to Paris?  That’s it – we’re going in March.  I know this little place on the Rue la Fontaine that serves the best coquille…”

So I’d like to be here writing my column next month, but chances are I’ll be in Paris with my Fairy Godmother.

Of course, I recognize a Fairy Godmother isn’t for everyone.  Perhaps the guys would prefer to have a Fairy Godfather…or then again, perhaps they wouldn’t…

Sunday 15 January 2012

Imajin Books Anniversary Sale Jan 15-18!

"Rowena Through the Wall" is 99 cents, for four days only! 
Amazon and Smashwords

Click on this link for AMAZON

Imagine Books is having an anniversary sale, and all ebooks are on for 99 cents!

Wednesday 11 January 2012

Let's Play Doctor! (reprinted with permission)

When I was a young kid, I had vague dreams of becoming a doctor.  This is because I considered myself an expert in the field, having watched every Marcus Welby MD episode ever televised and also having read numerous “Cherry Ames – Nurse” romance novels.

Of course, I didn’t become a doctor – I became a humour writer, which is close to the same thing, except the pay is worse.  However, I do consider myself quite knowledgeable about the medical profession, because I spend a great deal of time in doctors’ offices these days.  This comes from having two germ-prone kids with an aversion to attending school between the months of September and June.

Anyway, because I am somewhat of an expert in this field, I thought I’d give readers the benefit of my medical insight.  (If you are a doctor or nurse, stop reading NOW.)

What to do if you’re sick:

  1. If you are quite sick, take two aspirins, plenty of fluids (some say water, but Glenlivet works better) and sleep it off.

  1. If you are really REALLY sick, i.e. as in high fever, convulsing, hallucinating, vomiting sick, drive yourself to the nearest doctor’s office in heavy traffic, and sit in the waiting room for two hours.  Your body might not feel better, but there is a certain satisfaction in throwing up on the doctor’s carpet as he tip-toes past you with his golf clubs.

If in fact you do get to see the doctor, be forewarned.  Doctors speak a special language.  Here’s a primer:

If the doctor says: “hmmm,” it means he’s not really interested in your pathetic little problem, as his investment dealer just phoned with news that the stock market is falling. 

If your doctor mutters” “ehhhh,” it means “go home.”  But it’s tricky.  It could mean “go home” as in “go home and stop bothering me.”  Or it could mean “get outta here before you infect everyone else with this highly contagious disease!” So as I said, it’s tricky.

If he exclaims “Ah ha!” it means “we discussed this particularly disgusting ailment in medical school, but I never in my whole life expected to see it in real practice!”

If he yells: “Hey Ralph! Call Linda and Maria – get a load of this-“ it’s time to get out of there real fast and see about using the medical strategy noted above, namely Glenlivet in copious quantities.  You may still feel sick after this, but at least you’ll know why.