Friday 31 October 2014

Morticia's Massage Parlour and Free Advice Academy

Back in the bad ole days, I had a gig writing a wacky advice column for a resto/bar trade mag.  On the urging of a few friends who have absolutely no taste, I am bringing Morticia back to life <sic> on these pages.  Reprinted with permission...

Dear Morticia:
This guy I really like has finally asked me out.  Thing is, I met him at a beach and he doesn't know I wear glasses.  Should I wear them on our first date?
Signed:  Short sighted

Dear Short:
That depends.  What does he look like?

Dear Morticia:
I've been sleeping with a piece of wedding cake under my pillow since last April and it isn't doing a thing.  What do you suggest?
Signed:  Always a Bridesmaid

Dear Always:
Personally, I've never seen the point of sharing your pillow with wedding cake.  Why don't your try a man instead?  Lots more fun and not near as messy.

Dear Morticia:
All I want is a man who doesn't play golf all weekend long.  Is that too much to ask?
Signed Weekend Widow

Dear Weak:
Really?  That's ALL you want from a man?  Must get pretty boring at night....

Dear Morticia:
I like your style.  How about a date, Sugar?
Signed: Swinger

Dear Swing:
Sure!  January 27th?  August 18th?  11/04/21?  MCXXII?

To be continued....

Sunday 26 October 2014

CHARIOTS OF THE GUYS - by Bad Girl, reprinted with permission

 Some very kind readers have asked that I dredge up some of my old comedy, back to early days.  So here we go.  I got paid to write these (and in some cases, perform them) back in the prehistoric era (note the clever connection to the final paragraph :)
One of the things I hate even more than high school reunions is buying a new car.  It’s not that I don’t like cars.  I am really quite fond of them. Especially in winter.  What I don’t like is the buying process.  There is something inherently different about men and women when they go looking at cars in a dealership.  You even have to wonder if they are members of the same species.

Husband (reverently caressing cold metal with both hands):  “Look at this beauty!  4.0 litre, five speed, Recarro seats, mag wheels, racing suspension, electric moon roof, power mulcher, moog synthesizer, ballistic missile launcher…”

Wife:  “It’s red.  I hate red.”

This basic lack of communication goes right back to the way men and women look at ‘things’.  Amazingly, they can be looking at the same thing and see something entirely different.  Men, for instance, will look at a car as if it something beyond a box with four wheels that moves forward and backward.  To them, it is not merely a car.  Nope.  It is the culmination of adolescent dreams, the elusive mistress of middle age, the Ben Hur of all chariots.  Me, I’m more concerned with whether it will get me to the shopping mall and back without falling into a million pieces.  Which is why we had this misunderstanding at the dealership last weekend:

Me:  “This car has two seats.”

He (enthusiastically checking the interior):  “Yes!  Aren’t they great?”

Me:  “I’m not denying they are very nice seats.  Beautiful, in fact.  But there are four of us.”

He (looking irritably at the kids):  “They’re young.  They’ve got legs.”

Kid One:  “But Dad…where are we all going to sit when we have to drive someplace?”

He (aghast):  Good Gad, you’re not actually expect me to drive this car on the road?  The paint might get chipped.”

Then he did what all men have been programmed to do from the beginning of time.  He kicked the tire.  I’ve often wondered about this practice.  And I expect Ben Hur’s wife pondered the very same thing two thousand year ago, when good ole Ben whacked the wheel of that Roman chariot with his leather sandal.  Exactly what purpose does this serve?

I’ll never understand it.  But as far as I can see, all of this started about forty thousand years ago when Urgh the slightly-brighter-than-normal Neanderthal invented the wheel.  Irma, his loyal wife, stood on the sidelines shaking her head, while Urgh enthusiastically painted on racing stripes.  “Argh urf org grunt bfff bfff,” she said (loosely translated to, “Oh dinosaur droppings, not another blasted toy.  When will this ever end.”)  And of course, it hasn’t yet.

Saturday 25 October 2014

Sunday! Learn all about mystery writing with Melodie Campbell

...on Gail Anderson-Dargatz's Public Online Forum!  In real time.  All welcome.

Hey writers! This coming Sunday, Melodie Campbell, award-winning mystery writer, Canada's Queen of Comedy and executive director of Crime Writers of Canada, is our guest on my public online forum "Gail's Kitchen." I've asked Melodie to talk about mystery structure, offer some writing tips and give us an insider's view of this end of the industry. Please join our audience from 9 to 11 PST (noon to 2 ET).


Friday 24 October 2014

THE GODDAUGHTER CAPER coming in 2016! Contracts signed....

I'm very pleased to announce that THE GODDAUGHTER CAPER, book 4 in the award-winning Goddaughter mob comedy series, will be published by Orca Books in 2016.

Gina, Nico and the Last Chance Club from the Holy Cannoli Retirement Home will be back with another zany adventure.  The Last Chance Club was first introduced in this book, released last week:

Tuesday 21 October 2014

Crowdfunding nEveremore! An anthology of mystery, murder and the macabre...

We're pleased to lend this page to good friend and colleague Caro Soles for a very interesting project!  Read below.
Caro Soles, co-editor with Nancy Kilpatrick 
We have a great concept, a publisher, big names writing for us, and three spots for anyone who wants to enter a story in our Contest, run from the Indiegogo Crowdfunding site. Why do we need funding? Because this venture follows the growing trend of making small projects from non-major presses into big books that are able to pay professional rates just like the big guys. And it is working! But we are running out of time, and if we do not meet our goal by this Thursday night, we lose everything. We need your support! Now! We believe that this campaign is for anyone who values the arts, particularly publishing, and wants to support an intriguing project. If you care about the value of the arts, if you care about literature, supporting us will provide you with the wonderful feeling of aiding this art form directly, helping literature stay alive and remain healthy, and paying writers what they deserve! Art is worth something. Artists should be paid. nEvermore! is an anthology for readers who enjoy the Gothic style in both mysteries and weird, dark fiction and who want to explore a blending of these two realms in the story-style of Edgar Allan Poe. Help bring a touch of gothic into our world! Click this link and make your contribution. And choose a Poe-themed perk! Some of them are fun. Some unique. All unusual. Just our way of thanking you for being a Patron of the Arts!

Monday 20 October 2014

My Dog thinks his name is Dammit

(as seen in The Sage)

by BAD GIRL  (Melodie Campbell)

So I wanted something tall dark and handsome, and what I got was something short, blond and furry.   

Actually, I was given the choice of having another kid or getting a dog – and all parents will understand this immediately – I chose the dog.  Delivery is faster, and you don’t have to start saving for university.

Sunny is a Frankenpoodle, ergo, the sort of dog that Dr. Frankenstein might have created.  He is maybe short for a horse, but not for a dog.  We call him a “giraffe in a dog suit.”

Unfortunately, he is eighteen months old and lacks judgement.  This means he retrieves absolutely everything.  Soggy, old cigarette packages, other animal doo-doo, and his current favorite, old mouse skulls.  If I’m really lucky, he deposits them right on my lap.

The other problem with water dogs is, of course, that they love water.  Happily, this makes them easy to bathe (just run the bath, and they’ll jump in.)  Sadly, they are not too discerning about what they use as a bathtub.

Here’s what happened just the other day:

Me:  Where’s the dog?

Him:  Huh?

Me:  You know…the mutt, the mangy curr, your canine son and heir.  It’s too quiet in here.  Where is he?

Him:  I don’t know.  I just got out of the bathroom.

Me (horror-stricken):  You didn’t leave the door open?  AND THE SEAT UP?

I’ll leave the rest to your imagination.

According to the book, these dogs are quite easy to train.  This may be true compared to training iguanas or dump trucks, but I think Sunny needs a lot of work.  Witness yesterday at the park:

Me:  COME Sunny!  COME boy!  Clever boy.  Come!  COME HERE DAMMIT!  Will someone get the damned dog off that Pekinese…wait a minute.  He’s coming!  He’s actually coming!  Good Boy!   Good dog!  Where’d he go?  COME BACK, DAMMIT.

Yes, my dog thinks his name is Dammit.

Dogs also know that everything in life serves one of two purposes.  It’s either for playing with or for eating.  Sunny follows this rule to the letter, testing all new objects for ‘playability.’  Squirrels respond to being barked at and chased, by frantically running away.  This puts them in the play category.  Socks, on the other hand, don’t run away, so they’re for eating.  Sunny’s first victim was a pink nylon doll sock which disappeared one evening about suppertime, and found its way to his other end shortly after noon the next day. 

The next victim, I regret to say, is all my fault.  I don’t know how he captured my pink bikini undies, but I do know I’m not letting him out of the house until they show up again.  No way is he going to barf up my panties in front of all the neighbours.  (“Oh look, dear!  She shops at Walmart.”) 

Ever wonder how those lone abandoned socks find their way to the side of the road?  I bet you thought they blew out of car windows.

Melodie Campbell writes funny books, like The Artful Goddaughter mob caper, available at Chapters and all online retailers.