Yesterday I was out for a walk when I came upon a fire truck parked by the curb. There was clearly no emergency; the truck wasn’t running and there were no flashing lights. So naturally I watched for firemen as I got closer. After all, what red-blooded woman wouldn’t take advantage of a gratuitous gawk?

Just as I came abreast of the truck, the firemen returned from a nearby shop: Four tall handsome guys in crisp navy-blue uniforms. They smiled at me. One even said hi.

My heart should have gone ‘pit-a-pat’, right?


My heart went ‘thud’, my gaze skittered guiltily to the ground, and I couldn’t even choke out a ‘hi’ in return before I rushed away, hoping my brisk stride telegraphed ‘I’m in a hurry to take care of some very important business’ and not ‘I just committed a crime and I’m fleeing the scene’.

It was the damn uniforms that got me. If they’d been in their fire-fighting gear, my biggest worry would have been hiding the drool on my chin. But I have such severe issues with uniformed authority figures that even Customs border guards and rent-a-cops give me the willies.

The mere sight of a police car makes my palms sweat and my pulse pound. Uniformed officers by the side of the road? Massive adrenaline spike. And I absolutely hate it when a police car follows me in traffic. I’m ten times more likely to commit a traffic infraction just out of sheer nervousness. I was driving home one night when I spotted two guys in reflective vests beside the road, and I nearly stroked out before I realized they were just city workers dealing with a blocked storm drain.

It’s a silly reaction, and I know better. I have friends who are police officers. They’re nice guys. They don’t loom over me waiting for me to break the law.

I have no idea why police uniforms freak me out. I’m the most law-abiding person I know. I drive as close to the speed limit as humanly possible (which, in Calgary, makes me the slowest thing on the road). If I get incorrect change or find an extra deposit in my bank account, I return the money immediately. Hell, once I found a $20 bill blowing around a mall parking lot, and I dropped it off at the Lost and Found. What a chump!

But apparently I have a massive guilt complex.

Maybe the roots lie in the sponge toffee trauma I suffered in childhood, or maybe it’s because I spend quite a bit of my time planning crimes for my novels so I have a knee-jerk ‘uh-oh’ reaction to police. Heaven help me if anybody ever develops a machine that can sense a person’s feelings of guilt. I’ll end up in jail for crimes I didn’t even know existed.

Still, I feel badly about snubbing those nice firemen. Maybe I should bake some cookies and drop them off at the local firehall to apologize.

But they might have a uniformed guy at the front desk…

Do you think they’d find it odd if I left a bag of cookies outside the door and called it in from an untraceable phone?

* * *

P.S. My best friend from university days is visiting me this week, so I’ll be slower to respond to comments than usual. Your comments mean a lot to me, though, and I’ll look forward to ‘talking’ to you as soon as I get a chance. :-)

P.P.S. Another new cover is ready! Here’s Book 7:

AK-7 cover final 2015


Filed under Humour, Life

A Blast From The Past

A few weeks ago I mentioned that I’d risked life and limb by cleaning out the fridge and reorganizing my bin of plastic containers. Well, pshaw. That was nothing.

Emboldened by my survival of Trial By Crisper Drawer, I foolishly bravely went where no man has gone before (or at least not for several years). Yes, I tackled our basement storage room.

I’m not kidding when I say no man has gone there. I swear, for the past few years Hubby never got closer than the doorway, from where he simply tossed stuff onto the heap. (I may be exaggerating. He might have waded into the shallow end and carefully balanced stuff on the heap.)

I wasn’t much better, though. I ventured slightly deeper into the morass to retrieve my canning jars and restock the shelves with this summer’s harvest, but the chaos struck such fear into my heart that I fled as soon as I could.

But no more.  It’s all tidy now.

The last time we organized that room, we unearthed gems like a box of clothes containing briefs Hubby must have worn in junior high. They were small enough to fit a Ken doll, and the elastic crumbled to powder when stretched. But this time we found nothing like that… and I had great fun reacquainting myself with some treasures from long ago.

Very long ago.

Case in point: My baby book, in which my long-suffering mother penned a few revealing statements: “Stopped screaming at 2 months…” and then, “At 8 months, Diane was a real good little girl for 4 days in succession.” Later she noted, “I got tired of scolding and spanking so we tipped the chairs on their sides to keep Diane off the table.”

My Grade One report card tactfully states: “Diane is a very good student.  She has a very independent little spirit which sometimes creates problems for her, but I have no doubt that she will work things out in her own way very well.”

Which of these siblings looks most likely to get into mischief?

Which of these siblings looks most likely to get into mischief?

More treasures included the teddy bear I got at 18 months old. (This was actually my second Teddy. Apparently I ate the first one. No wonder I had colic.)

Teddy then and now. He’s been through quite a few surgeries, but he’s still in one piece.

Teddy then and now. He’s been through quite a few surgeries, but he’s still in one piece.

Then there was my Mickey Mouse T-shirt from a family trip to Disney World when I was a young teen.  I actually considered squeezing into this just for laughs, but decided not to subject you to the retina-searing sight of me crammed into a too-small T-shirt.

Mickey Mouse T-shirt

Lucky I didn’t try to wear this. Poor Mickey would never be the same.

My memorabilia box also disgorged my UMZOO Pub T-shirt from university days, my Bob Seger concert T-shirt, a corsage from my Grade 12 grad, and medals and ribbons for everything from track meets to wins at the Carman Fair to archery competitions.

I’m still proud of these two: ParticipACTION's Award of Excellence and a silver medal from the Championships of the Americas Archery team event

I’m still proud of these two.

(The Award of Excellence came from the ParticipACTION program ‘way back in 1973, and the silver medal was from the archery team event at the Championship of the Americas in 2003. Yes, I realize 30 years is a lo-o-o-ng hiatus between awards. On the up side, it’s a manageable precedent – I don’t have to try for another one for 18 years or so.)

I also have every single letter and card anybody ever sent me. From Grade One valentines to angst-ridden teenage confessions to the latest Christmas letter, I’ve got ’em all. So if you ever wrote to me, beware. I have potential blackmail material.

Finding my school pictures was scariest, though. This, above all, convinces me my parents must truly have loved me. After all the misery I caused as a baby, I turned into this… and they still let me live:

The 1970s were not kind to me. Note the massive zit, dead-centre of my forehead.

The 1970s were not kind to me. Note the massive zit, dead-centre of my forehead.

The best thing about all this memorabilia is that it’s useless crap to everyone but me, and when I’m pushing up daisies it can go the landfill and never be missed.

But while I’m here, I like to dig it out every now and then… and it always makes me smile. :-)

What’s your most treasured keepsake?

* * *

P.S. Another book cover is finished! This is the new look for Book 6:

AK-6 cover final 2015


Filed under Humour, Life

Lest We Forget

Remembrance Day is a solemn day for me.  I have a niece and a nephew in the Canadian Armed Forces and I’m immensely proud of them, but at the same time it makes me ill to think they might be called upon to sacrifice their lives.

My respect for those who serve in our military began at a young age when I was privileged to know my great-uncle Bob.

uncle Bob montage

Robert James (Bob) Moss 1888 – 1978

Great-Uncle Bob (Robert James Moss, 1888 – 1978) was one of my favourite uncles. At the dinner table, he’d catch the gaze of one of us kids, then sneak the jelly dish over and surreptitiously eat the jelly, teasing us with mischievous glances. If he cracked a hard-boiled egg, we’d hear a sudden peeping (I’m sure his pursed lips were entirely coincidental). His eyes would widen in feigned surprise as he peeked inside the egg while we sat enthralled, half-believing there might be a chick in there.

That was the gentle, humorous, soft-spoken man I knew.

He never talked about the war, but in 1917 and 1918 he was part of the 44th Battalion Canadian Infantry.   They saw some of the heaviest fighting in World War I in the frigid mud of hellholes like Ypres and the Somme, and I use the word ‘hellhole’ in its most literal sense.

The front was a barren wasteland of torn-up earth and barbed wire, pockmarked with shell craters that rapidly filled with icy water in the relentless rain.  Many of wounded drowned or died of hypothermia rather than of their injuries.  The trenches were just as bad, with men often standing for hours or days in frigid water up to their knees.  The mud on their boots and clothing added fifty pounds or more to the weight they already carried.  The din of shelling rarely ceased, and any foray out of the trenches was met with a hail of bullets.  They were never dry; never warm; never safe.

Uncle Bob also fought at the battle of Vimy Ridge, where in three days the Canadian Corps suffered over 10,000 casualties, but secured the ridge.   Uncle Bob was awarded the Military Medal for acts of bravery and devotion under fire.

I often think of him; not just on Remembrance Day. I think of the horrors he willingly endured for his country. For us.  And I think of all the others in our Armed Forces, past and present, whose names and stories I’ll never know.

Thank you to all our brave and dedicated troops of yesterday and today. Not just on Remembrance Day, but on every day that I live in peace and safety:

I remember.

* * *

From the YouTube page where this was posted:

On November 11, 1999 Terry Kelly was in a drug store in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia. At 10:55 AM an announcement came over the stores PA asking customers who would still be on the premises at 11:00 AM to give two minutes of silence in respect to the veterans who have sacrificed so much for us.

Terry was impressed with the stores leadership role in adopting the Legions two minutes of silence initiative. He felt that the stores contribution of educating the public to the importance of remembering was commendable.

When eleven oclock arrived on that day, an announcement was again made asking for the two minutes of silence to commence. All customers, with the exception of a man who was accompanied by his young child, showed their respect.

Terrys anger towards the father for trying to engage the stores clerk in conversation and for setting a bad example for his child was channeled into a beautiful piece of work called, A Pittance of Time. Terry later recorded A Pittance of Time and included it on his full-length music CD, The Power of the Dream.

Thank You to the Royal Canadian Legion Todmorden Branch #10 and Woodbine Height Branch #2 for their participation in the Video.

Please visit


Filed under Life

A Mix Of New Feces

When I read the headline “Liberal cabinet expected to be a mix of new feces”, it seemed like the perfect title for this post. I’ve had some oddball items burbling around in my mind for a while, so this is a perfect opportunity to mix them up and erm… eliminate them.

As you’ve undoubtedly guessed by now, I had misread another headline. The actual title was “Liberal cabinet expected to be a mix of new faces”. We just had an election here, so the article was about the shakeups in cabinet. But ‘new feces’ pretty much sums up how I feel about politicians and our party system in general. Same shit, different pile.  Or maybe it’s ‘different shit, same pile’, but you know what I mean.

However, since Miss Manners says discussions of politics and religion are to be avoided in polite company, that’s all the political crap I’ll mention here (because you know my blog is always suitable for polite company).

‘Moving’ right along…

Speaking of headlines, I saw an article a few days ago discussing the merger between Pfizer (makers of Viagra) and Allergan (makers of Botox). At first glance it seemed like a bit of a conflict, since Viagra gets things going while Botox makes them stop. But on second thought, it actually makes perfect sense: used properly, either of them will take the wrinkles out.

And speaking of the little soldier, my friend Chris sent me this link a while ago: along with the note, “Must be a blog in here somewhere”. And yes; yes there is!

I think the concept of ‘sizing by grip’ is brilliant in its simplicity, not to mention the exquisite tact of making the largest and smallest sizes the same colour so the checkout clerks might not notice at a glance if a guy’s buying the ‘teeny-weenie’ size. I hope Guan-Hao-Pan’s innovation catches on; if for no other reason than to finally put to rest the giggle-worthy discrepancies in public condom dispensers. Am I the only one who’s ever noticed that in men’s washrooms1, the condoms are all ‘Magnum’ or ‘Extra-Large’, but in women’s washrooms, they’re ‘Slim Fit’? Sorry, boys, we’re onto you. Stand closer; it’s shorter than you think.

Neatly combining the topics of unlikely mergers and amorous encounters, I recently discovered that Crimestoppers is taking advantage of the hottest literary trend by branching out into erotica. Don’t believe me? Check out the photo I snapped last week of a Crimestoppers poster in a grocery store in Portage La Prairie, Manitoba. (Note: This is pretty kinky stuff, so read with caution.)

Dear Crimestoppers: Please proofread your posters more carefully.

There’s a whole new career awaiting the person who penned that little gem. Literally, a whole new career. Because after a few more slip-ups like that, their current career will be down the toilet.

And that’s all the poop for this week.

* * *

1Yes, I’ve spent quite a bit of time in men’s washrooms, but it’s not what you think. Explanation here.

P.S. Another cover update finished! Here’s the new look for Book 5: How Spy I Am:

AK-5 cover final 2015


Filed under Humour, Life

Fear Factor: Freaky Edition

Halloween is only a few days away, so it’s time for the final edition of Fear Factor. Today’s post is about two events that gave me the shivers even though I found reasonable explanations for them… kinda… sorta.

I’m not ‘freakable’ by nature, but these occurrences were freaky.

Here goes:

Flashback to the 1970s. I haven’t picked up a Reader’s Digest in years, but back then their format included jokes, informative articles, one lurid description of some horrific event, and a health column that explained the basics of anatomy and diseases.

A brief digression: Anybody remember ‘I am Joe’s (fill in body part here)’? And I vividly recall an article about a woman who got hit by a car and had her leg ripped off – I can still see the little bird’s-eye-view sketch of cars all bunched up on the street, the woman’s body, and her leg lying in the road a couple of yards away – brrrr! I was pretty young at the time so it made a big impression.

Anyway, on to the spooky stuff. When I was around twelve or thirteen I was reading about cancer in the Reader’s Digest. I’d never heard of such a thing and as I read the article, absolute cold terror overtook me along with the certainty that something bad was going to happen. I had read lots of scary things before but this was a new level of fear, and I felt impelled to go and find my mother. I didn’t tell her what the problem was; just stuck close for a while. But the fearful feeling never really went away.

My mom died of cancer when I was nineteen.

I know the laws of probability can explain that.  Cancer is pretty common, and there’s certainly nothing unusual about a child being frightened by learning about a scary disease like that. So I filed the whole thing away as a creepy but explainable coincidence.

Until a few years later.

My then-husband and I were living in Halifax, and his brother was attending Dalhousie University. My brother-in-law’s term had ended and he was soon to return home to Calgary so we took one last drive together, puttering around down by the shore and having a pleasant day. As we were driving back, I glanced over at my brother-in-law in the driver’s seat and a thought blazed into my mind, sudden and forceful: “I’ll never see him again.”

A month later he was killed in a climbing accident in the Rocky Mountains. When I saw him again, he was dead in his coffin.

That really creeped me out.

But again, I’ve explained it to myself. People have lots of weird random thoughts in a day. Make predictions often enough and sooner or later you’re bound to hit on something that actually happens. If they don’t come true, you never think of them again, but if you actually get one right you think, “OMG, I predicted that!”

I’m sure that’s all it was.

Well, mostly sure.

But still…


* * *

P.S. I’m on the road again, so I’ll reply to comments later today or tomorrow.  ‘Talk’ to you then!

May your Halloween be just scary enough to be fun!


Filed under Life

Fear Factor: Adrenaline Edition

If I stick to the classic ‘Fear Factor’ format, this post should be about fear-defying stunts. I generally try to avoid doing those, but into every life a little adrenaline must drip (or, in my case, surge like a tidal bore). So I asked myself, “What are the scariest things I’ve ever experienced?”

After ruling out politicians and 1980s boy bands I was left with a ragtag collection of memories, but I never remember being abjectly terrified. That’s probably because I’ve lived a charmed life and all the potentially dangerous situations turned out to be lucky near-misses. Still, they were seriously butt-puckering at the time.

The earliest scary situation I remember was when I was a young teenager on the farm. We were always wary of skunks, not only because of their fearsome stink but also because they often carried rabies. When they rambled through minding their own business we gave them a wide berth, but if one seemed unusually aggressive, Dad would shoot it just to be on the safe side.

I was home alone one day when a skunk marched up bold as brass. I’ll never forget staring at that skunk over the trembling gunsights, holding off until the last second to pull the trigger… and then I didn’t have to. The skunk turned and wandered away, leaving me shaking like a leaf.

As a young adult I narrowly avoided a couple of fights when I got cornered in remote places by guys much larger than me. Nothing pumps up the old adrenal glands like facing a fight you know you can’t win. Fortunately they were cowards, and when they realized I was going to fight them anyway they backed off. Whew.

Anybody who’s ever ridden a motorcycle knows there’s nothing quite like the horrifying weightlessness when gravity turns against you in a high-side. Aydan’s wild ride in Book 2 is based on the time I almost high-sided on a street bike, complete with the dragging footpeg throwing up sparks. But my guardian angel was working overtime that day (and every day, I suspect) so I pulled out of the turn unscathed and went home to change my underwear.

Then there was the time I was riding a dirt bike up a steep trail of loose shale with a cliff on one side and a hillside on the other. Getting up was a challenge, but coming down was truly scary. Especially when my brakes failed. Fortunately I was near the bottom and I hadn’t been going very fast, so I turned into the side of the hill and jolted anticlimactically to a stop.

Experiences like accidentally skiing onto a double-black-diamond downhill run or watching a tornado bear down on me were good for a few extra heartbeats, but either I’m not wired for panic or else I’m too stupid to react with appropriate fear. I got down the mountain, the tornado skipped harmlessly overhead, my guardian angel developed a drinking problem, and I puttered off happily to my next adventure.

But everything except the skiing and the tornado happened when I was young and foolish. These days I get all the adrenaline I need from crawling out the window onto our second-floor roof to wash the third-floor windows. (Okay, so now I’m old and foolish. Never mind.)

But that’s about all the fear factor I want!

* * *

P.S. I’m on the road today, so I’ll reply to comments tomorrow – ‘talk’ to you then!


Filed under Life

Fear Factor: Creepy-Crawly Edition

Warning: There’s a snake photo at the bottom of this post!  (Just thought I’d mention that for those who hate/fear snakes.)

No Fear Factor would be complete without a few creepy-crawlies, so here we go:

Even though I’ve had quite a few close encounters with things that crawl and slither, most of them don’t really creep me out.

(See what I did there? ‘Creep’ me out…?)

*ahem*  Sorry.

Anyway, I’ll start with spiders (and I don’t mean the lovable Spider Webb from my books).

I guess after you’ve had a large spider walking around in your mouth it’s hard to get too wound up about bugs of any sort. Mind you, I didn’t tongue the spider intentionally. I just didn’t realize the potential consequences of drinking from a hose without letting it run for a few seconds first. That poor spider probably achieved low-earth orbit when I spat him out. (The world’s first spidernaut: One small step for man; eight giant steps for arachnids…)

Over the years I’ve lifted spiders off my eyebrows, shaken them out of my hair, and, if statistics are to be believed, probably eaten close to a dozen in my sleep by now. Spiders don’t bother me.

But wood ticks?

Bleah!!! I hate wood ticks! They’re bad enough when they’re crawling around all flat and icky but once they latch on and get engorged to the size of revolting dead-white grapes… *shudders*

Before the advent of flea-and-tick collars, picking engorged ticks off the cats and dogs on the farm was a disgusting but necessary chore. It was too bad they didn’t make flea-and-tick collars for humans, too, because after being outdoors in Manitoba we almost always had to evict a couple from our clothes or bodies.

Moving on to the crawlies: I’m not crazy about centipedes, mainly because I’ve heard they bite. But wooly-bear caterpillars are cute. As kids we loved to pick them up and watch them curl into a furry ball. Then after a few seconds they’d relax and crawl around our palms while we giggled at the tickly sensation.

Cold-blooded crawlies don’t bother me, either. My fifth-grade teacher confided to my mother with some dismay, “All the other children bring me flowers. Diane brings me salamanders!”

I didn’t mean to upset her. It was just that the other kids were tormenting the poor salamanders, so I rescued them and carried them home to release by our pond after school. I kept hoping they’d stay and have families, but I never saw them again. (Maybe I should have tried bringing two salamanders home. Clearly I didn’t think that part through.)

And then there are the ‘slitheries’.  I class leeches under ‘slitheries’, and they revolt me; but then again I figure it’s probably healthy to harbour an aversion to critters that want to suck my blood.  (No vampires for me, either, thank you very much.)

Snakes, on the other hand…

Years ago, friends had a six-foot long boa constrictor who loved to cuddle up and tuck his nose under my hair where it was nice and warm.

Years ago, friends had a six-foot long boa constrictor who loved to cuddle up and tuck his nose under my hair where it was nice and warm.

Snakes are okay, but I do prefer a little advance warning. Sudden snakes are rarely a good thing, particularly if you’re poking around one of our desert micro-climates where the rattlesnakes hang out.

Snakes in quantity are another thing entirely. The garter snake pits at Narcisse, Manitoba are amazing (click on the videos at the bottom of their page if you dare). I don’t know how they all manage to untangle themselves. Apparently the accepted collective nouns for snakes are ‘bed’, ‘pit’, ‘den’, ‘knot’, and ‘nest’, but I think a ‘macramé of snakes’ would be appropriate.

Which creepy-crawly do you loathe the most?

P.S.  You may have noticed that my site was down for the better part of a day last week.  My domain host crapped out completely (yes, I’m switching to a new one now) and all my emails vanished into cyberspace.  If you emailed me any time within the past couple of weeks but didn’t get a reply, please resend your message.  I promise I’m not ignoring you!


Filed under Life

Bouchercon Special: Free E-books

I’m honoured to have been one of the mystery/crime/thriller authors selected to promote Smashwords at Bouchercon 2015, the world mystery convention being held this weekend in Raleigh, NC.

Never Say Spy (Book 1) and The Spy Is Cast (Book 2) were included on the Smashwords USB drive given to all Bouchercon attendees.

North Carolina is a helluva long trip for most people, though, so I’m making both e-books free to everyone this weekend.  (Never Say Spy is free through all retailers, but The Spy Is Cast freebie is only available through Smashwords.)

Get the freebies from Smashwords here:

Never Say Spy (Book 1):

The Spy Is Cast (Book 2): (Enter coupon code NH25H and click the ‘Apply Coupon’ button when you check out.  The price will reset to $0.00.)

Note:  This series contains coarse language and adult content.

This deal ends tomorrow (Sunday, October 11, 2015) so please spread the word.  Thanks!



Filed under Writing

Fear Factor: Kitchen Edition

Since October is Halloween month, I’m doing a series of Fear Factor posts.  Here’s Number 1:

* * *

This week I embarked on a perilous mission. One that forced me to confront the darkest places in my soul. An epic crusade requiring nerves and stomach of steel.

Yes, I cleaned out the vegetable drawer in the fridge.


I don’t know why I have such a mental block against vegetables. I eat a healthy diet most of the time. Fruit never goes bad in my house. But veggies? Um… yeah. If it’s not irresistibly delicious like fresh peas and beans or durable like carrots and beets and cabbage, it’s bad news.

I lifted out a bag of lettuce that had turned into soup without ever nearing a stockpot. Half a cucumber squished softly inside its plastic wrapper, its skin dotted with fuzzy black and white spots. A green pepper had only a small ring of black around the stem but when I cut it open it leaked foul-smelling liquid, like a giant green pustule.

Who knew that neglected green peppers turn into witch zits? Dang, if I’d only known, I could’ve kept it until Halloween and used it for decoration.

And speaking of the scariest night of the year, I could’ve offered a pretty good fear factor if I hadn’t cleaned out my bin of plastic storage containers. Seriously, that thing would scare anybody. Any time I need a container, it’s a quest worthy of Indiana Jones.

When I realize I need something from The Bin Of Doom, my heart sinks and a sense of impending disaster washes over me. I don’t even want to open the cupboard door because I know that therein lurks mortal peril. One time I opened it without sufficient preparation, and I spent the next week with a bruise on the bridge of my nose because one of the larger containers hurled itself at my face in a fit of unprovoked aggression. Plastic containers may look benign, but never trust those suckers.

So I cautiously open the cupboard door, muttering arcane incantations to protect myself: “Stay put, you bastards. I’m just going to eeeease out this one little tiny container- Aagh! Ow! Shit!

That’s another thing about plastic containers: They ferociously protect their young.

Anyway, I finally faced the inevitable. Donned my body armour and face shield and hauled the whole bin out. The plastics mounted a daunting counterattack, but I escaped with only a few dents in my skull and equanimity. Then I sorted and reorganized the whole thing and put it back in the cupboard with my sense of accomplishment tempered by fatalism.

For now, it’s safe to open that door. But I know my enemy all too well (and the enemy is me). After a few iterations of “Oh, I don’t feel like dragging the whole bin out just to replace this one thing; I’ll just balance it on top”, I know the situation will recur. If it happens in time for Halloween, I’ll invite the little ghosties and ghoulies in and scare the crap out of them.

Or I could introduce them to the Tower of Terror: the precarious heap of bottles and cans that threatens to inundate anyone foolish enough to reach into the corner of the pantry. That’d do the trick.

What’s the scariest place in your house?


Filed under Humour, Life

The Terrifying ‘Bearrot’

My mind goes strange places when I’m half-awake (or half-asleep, depending on whether you’re a glass-half-full or glass-half-empty type of person). So it didn’t really surprise me when halfway through my shower, my brain announced, “Parrots! We should write a post about parrots!”

Me (grumbling into my washcloth): “What’s this ‘we’ shit? I don’t know anything about parrots. Where the hell did that random thought come from?”

Brain: “Come on, it’ll be fun! You could write about the World Parrot Refuge on Vancouver Island.”

Me (still cranky): “There was nothing funny about the refuge. It’s a cool place and it’s great that they take in unwanted parrots, but I spent the whole visit wishing I’d brought an umbrella to fend off the birdshit, and that creepy little bald cockatiel kept landing on my shoulder and cuddling up like I was his long-lost Mommy. Besides, I don’t trust any bird that’s capable of biting my finger off.”

Brain: “Oh, get over it. Parrots are amazing! They come in spectacular colours, they’re smart, they can live as long as humans, they can talk-”

Me: “Yeah, great. So now we’ve got a crafty old bird that lures you over with a display of pretty feathers and a cutesy ‘Polly want a cracker’, and then it bites your finger off!

Brain: “Aw, come on. You can find something funny about parrots. How about Monty Python’s ‘Dead Parrot’ sketch?”

Me: “Well, there’s that…”

Me (returning to the debate): “But that’s the only funny thing about parrots. Forget parrots. Maybe I could blog about my bear belt; make a few jokes about how dorky I look striding around the garden with that strapped to me.”

The bear belt: Everything I need to frighten a bear through sheer dorkage.

The bear belt: Everything I need to frighten a bear through sheer dorkage.

Brain: *martyred sigh* You’ve written about bears. Over and over. Everybody’s tired of bears. And they already know you look like a dork on a regular basis. Parrots, I tell you. You need to write about parrots!”

Me: “Piss off. Parrots are scary. Those blank soulless eyes…”

Brain: “Huh. Like bears aren’t scary? But you still manage to joke about them.”

Me (weakening): “Well, yeah, but…”

Brain (sensing imminent triumph): “Bears are terrifying! Parrots are much funnier.”

Me: “True, bears are terrifying…” *tries diversionary tactic* “Hey, you know what’s the only thing that could possibly make bears scarier?”

Brain (distracted): “Huh? Bullshit. Nothing could make bears scarier.”

Me: “Oh, hellz yeah! What if…” *pauses dramatically* “…you crossed a bear with a parrot?”

Brain: *stunned silence*

Me: “Imagine it! A bear that can not only chase you and eat you on the ground; it can also fly. Swooping down on silent wings with claws and teeth bared…”

Brain: “A bearrot. The most terrifying animal to stalk the earth…”

Me: *snickering* “…and you’d really want an umbrella…”

This is what happens when I blog while not completely awake.

This is what happens when I blog while not completely awake.


Filed under Cartoons, Humour, Life