Sunday, June 28, 2020

Spectacles on the porch

Around 1:30 p.m., yesterday.
SURVIVAL OF THE KLUTZIEST: My cool daughter with her dusty old man

Our front porch.

I was sitting cross-legged (my left knee over my right) in a wooden Muskoka chair that my son Michel built in high-school shop class. I was wearing jeans, sandals and my second favourite hoodie; it says NEVADA across the front.

I like when people ask me why I have NEVADA on my shirt because I can casually tell them that I picked it up in 2016 in the Reno airport. My daughter Ria and I had spent the week at that bacchanalian arts festival in the Black Rock Desert called Burning Man and the clothes I had afterwards were too dusty to wear on board a plane. So I bought the cool blue Nevada hoodie. (My very favourite hoodie says McLuhan.)

But back to my porch.

REMEMBER THIS? My sister Charlene and
my brother Alex both of whom I think
love me, call me Captain Klutz
The same Acer laptop that I’m using now was balanced on top of my left thigh. On the six-inch-wide armrest of the chair sat an opaque blue dinner plate holding a hockey-puck-size piece of steak, and a mashed-up baked potato covered in sour cream. We’d had a barbeque the night before and I’d actually gone to bed looking forward to this great lunch of leftovers.

The sun was shining, I was checking Facebook and I decided I needed a glass of home-made ice tea. There was some in the fridge.

I started uncrossing my legs. What I didn’t realize, until it was far too late, was that somehow, en route from the hole in the side of my computer to the wall plug, my laptop power cord had somehow found its way under the strap of my left Birkenstock.

So an almost imperceptibly tiny shift of my left foot was enough to send the Acer flying. Worse, I instinctively tried to ameliorate the situation and my right elbow went down on to the edge of the blue dinner plate, catapulting the meat, potatoes, sour cream and fork up into the air like the French guys’ cows in Monty Python’s In Search of The Holy Grail

Of course this happened in less than a second.

Things got worse.

For whatever reason, I still tried to stand but tripped because the computer cord remained stuck in my shoe so I fell to the right, landing first on that little ridge in the door frame and then completely on to my side and for at least a quarter of a second my right baby finger took the full load of 180-pound me.

Pretty sure I said a swear.

Oh yeah. Almost forgot. My glasses.
IS THERE A KLUTZ GENE?  I can't remember the why of this weird episode;
 but I sure remember the who

At some point, as one’s eyeglasses always do, mine flew off of my face and slid — lenses up —clear across the porch, underscoring the entire klutzy spectacle.

“You,” they seemed to be saying, “don’t look so cool right now.”

Here’s something eerie: That very same day my super sophisticated Burning-Man-going daughter Ria got laser-eye surgery. It cost a few thousand bucks. I later told her it’s worth every penny if it means that never again would she — clearly an inheritor of the Carter klutz gene —suffer that dehumanizing soul-destroying cool-killing and humiliating sensation that you only ever experience when your glasses fly off because you did something klutzy. Yup. Every last penny. But I digress.

The porch action came to a stop. 

First thing I did? I glanced around, hoping nobody saw me.

The blue plate was upside down but intact, the steak but not the potatoes was salvageable, many objects including the door and my cool Nevada hoodie were splattered with sour cream but  — and I couldn’t be telling you this story if the outcome were otherwise — the Acer computer’s fine.  

My right baby finger still hurts though, especially when I type question marks, “P,” quotation marks and apostrophes so I’ll stop now.

Sunday, June 7, 2020

A Public Service Message. From a Cat.

Yesterday, one of my sisters called wondering about the well-being of our cat Iris. She was worried because she hadn't seen any Iris in the window messages recently.
TINY TALON TIME: Most of the summer;
Iris is the missing lynx.

I happily told her Iris is indeed healthy but there's been precious little Iris-sign action because for some reason, Iris takes the summers off. 

Same thing happened in 2018 and 2019 and I can hardly believe what I just wrote because it means I've been playing handservant rather pawservant to a cat for going on two and a half years. But never mind that. 

Others have enquired about Iris's health, too.

So this very morning, I decided to write a quick blog about Iris taking her summer holiday.

I started writing at 7:30 a.m. It is now just past 10:00. (Now you're like--this takes him how long????) 

Here's the thing. And also, here's what my life has come down to: I finished the blog, re-read it, was satisfied and was just about to hit "Publish" and what does the friggin' cat do? 

She climbs up behind the sign. For the first time in almost a month! That sign was created and stuck in place on May 21 and left unphotographed because Iris hadn't gone near it. But the moment I want to explain to the world why she's MIA, up she goes. As if she knew.

So I had to stop typing, find my phone, get my sandals on, quietly open the front door to go outside hoping my movements didn't disturb her, sneak up to the front window, get a picture without too much glare and then come back in and make a liar out of myself by posting a new Iris picture.

Still. I'm not about to waste those two and a half  hours. (Some would say:"too late!")

But if Iris the cat did not just moments ago play an award-winning practical joke on yours truly,  this is the blog you would have read.

Pete's Blog&Grille: Summer's Like Giving A Cat A Tonic.

Today is Word Day here at Pete's Blog&Grille and today's word is "Amanuensis." According to Wikipedia  an amanuensis is "a person employed to write or type what another dictates."

Used in a sentence? "Way too many people think Peter is Iris the Cat's amanuensis." Like I take dictation. 

From a cat.
SIGN OF SUMMER: Come the warm
weather, Iris has better things to do

My neighbour Steve's one of those people. I've known and liked Steve for years, but here's him, while walking his dog past my house yesterday:  "Hey Peter. So what's Iris's message for today?"

Iris's message. 

Do people go up to Jeff Dunham, the ventriloquist whose main character is Achmed the Dead Terrorist and say things like, "Oh that Achmed. He has such great timing."  Come to think of it, they probably do.

My sister Charlene once called Iris "wise." She's never called me that.

But she did call the other day to ask about Iris's well-being. Evidently Charlene and my sister Mary had noticed there'd been no new signs recently and were worried about Iris's health. 

So no. Iris, like Paul, is not dead. 

But just like she did over the summers of  2018 and 2019, Iris The Cat seems to be taking a little time off.. During the hot weather, she prefers greeting and getting petted by kids who stop at the little library out in front of the house. But sitting in the window behind the sign she's not.

Plus can you believe that this ridiculous Iris sign in the window thing is going into its third year. This is scary. 

I need a project.

If I don't get cracking at a real contribution; say, helping the poor or, like, desalinating the ocean so everybody can have fresh water, my entire obit, when the time comes, is going to be all about a cat.