Monthly Archives: November 2014

Dear Stuart Mclean

Life is made up of goodbyes. The only thing that doesn’t change is change itself. Yadda, yadda, yadda. That we know it doesn’t make it any easier or less shocking.

Like most fans of CBC radio, I was enamored with Jian Gomeshi, the cultured, soft spoken host of Q. I admired his courtesy. The thoughtfulness he showed his guests and listening audience. Famous people like Barbra Streisand were drawn by the considerate, almost tender way he conducted his interviews. I loved his voice, his smartness. The way he flipped between languages, speaking Farsi, French and English, while discussing books, music and movies with enviable ease. He seemed suave yet sincere. 

Bill Cosby reminded me of my dad. Of everyone’s dad, really, but a much cooler version than the ones I knew. Someone who was never lost for the perfect answer. No one was funnier, especially when he talked about Noah. The Cosby show was a role model for the ideal family. Perfectly funny. But Pandora’s box has been opened and the truth is out. Goodbye, Jian. So long, Bill. Get down from your pedestals and out of our sight. The nations need time to grieve.

Dear Stuart Mclean, my hope rests with you. With your wacky Dave and Morley stories, your quirky and talented musical guests and even the letters you share, sent by regular people like me. Everything about your show is Perfectly Canadian. Please, Stuart. Don’t let me down. You alone are holding up the CBC broadcasting company. I have selected you as my new comfort blanket. Bill and Jian were frauds, and I have never cared for the Kardashians, the Brangelina’s or any Hollywood celebrity, really.(Bill Cosby wasn’t a celebrity, in my mind. He was a kindly relative that I happened to visit with whenever he was on TV.)

I’m not expecting you to be perfect. Just don’t molest anybody. Be the nice guy you seem to be and keep making me laugh. Keep that kindly, Canadian persona going that every listeners identifies with, even if they are American. So, do we have a deal? I’m going to assume we do. Good luck with this Sunday’s show. I’ll be listening, as usual. Your faithful and devoted fan, Judy

Ninja Sex

When Mari was three years old, she slept in the bedroom across the hall. We had an open door policy, which meant if any of our kids got sick, had a bad dream, or needed a cuddle, they could crawl in with mom and dad.  Our bed was king sized, and we kept our bedroom door open. Theirs were kept closed at night for reasons of fire safety and  parental privacy. We should have kept ours closed too, but for some reason, I felt the need to hear EVERYTHING that went on in the house. Was somebody walking through our yard at night? I would know. Could the hamster escape from her cage? Yes. In fact, she ran under the dishwasher with two weeks worth of stolen dog food. It was the chewing that woke me up. My point is that I was tuned in to every creak, every cough, every single thing happening inside and outside our house. I was always on the job.

Except for one night. With the desperation of parents with three children and a busy life, we happened to wake at the same time, with the same idea. Let’s fool around. Happily preoccupied, we didn’t hear the door across the hall opening, or the small sound of a person breathing nearby.

We kept our bedroom dark. You could barely see a hand in front of your face, never mind a small child standing beside the bed, her head resting on her mother’s pillow. It was only when she started to play with my hair that I screamed in fright. Quickly snapping on the light, I don’t know who was more horrified; Mari, Clarence, or me. It was probably a tie.

The difficult conversation came next. “Did mommy and daddy scare you?” She nodded, climbing up on the bed and tucking herself between us. “Did you wonder what we were doing?” She nodded again, looking forlorn rather than traumatized. Clarence and I could barely make eye contact, both experiencing the shame of first world parents. Most of earth’s human population is crammed into one or two room dwellings, and often one bed. They tend to be prosaic about these things. Nevertheless, I quickly conjured up an alibi.

“We were wrestling,” I said, inspired by an idea that would perfectly fit the situation. “Practicing our ninja moves.” I did some ludicrous arm chopping and nunchuck wielding imitations, just to hammer home the point. She seemed to buy it, but I apologized anyway. “Mommy and daddy are sorry for scaring you.” This was true of mommy. Daddy had already gone back to sleep.

The lesson was learned. Since I wasn’t comfortable tying a bell around Mari’s leg every night, I figured it was better to close, and even lock, our bedroom door. Not always. Just when we felt like being Ninjas. As parents with three kids and a busy life style, we didn’t get as much practice as we wanted. But over time, we definitely earned our black belts.