Monthly Archives: April 2005

the secret shed

“What’s in that shed?”

“Oh, an old car.”

“No, not that one. That one over there.”

“On the other side of the driveway?” I said. “I don’t know.”

“You mean you’ve never looked?”


I like to ration out my explorations in the country. No sense trying to check out everything at once. This way, you’ve got something to look forward to.

Today I’d been wandering at random through the fields. I went all the way up and around and over and back down the driveway, and I came to a stop right in front of the shed. So I thought, why not.

An old flap of rubber covered the handle. I lifted it up. An unlocked padlock hung there, rusted. Probably hadn’t been touched in years.

I pulled open the shed door. It looked to be full of old-fashioned farm tools. There were a couple of old axes there, a broken scythe, a couple of saws. Some shovels and hoes leaned up against the wall in the back corner. Some of the stuff, I didn’t even know what it was.

There was a musty smell in the shed. I picked up an old handsaw and went out on the grass. I tested the saw with my finger. Still pretty sharp. I used the saw to saw off the top of my head.

Back and forth, back and forth, only took a few strokes. I dropped the saw on the ground and carefully twisted off the top of my skull. It came off in my hand like a bottle cap.

The fresh air felt nice blowing around in the space over my head. I carried the top of my head inside to the kitchen and placed it, hair side down, on top of the refrigerator.

I pointed at it, saying to myself, don’t forget that’s there.

Then I rummaged around in a drawer until I found a clean spoon. I scooped out some of my brains and put them in a bowl.

I carried the bowl into the dining room and set it down beside the water dish on the furry little green mat. Vickers the cat was already sitting there on the mat, waiting.

Vickers was hungry and he went straight for the bowl. I returned to the kitchen where I picked up the top of my head, flipped it up and twisted it back onto my skull.

I was lying around reading in the sunporch when Vickers came jogging in. He gave a little squeak and jumped up on my lap and licked his lips.

“So,” I said over the top of my book, “wha’d you think?”

“Not as good as Special Dinner,” said Vickers. “But sometimes it’s nice to have a little change.”

race of doom 2

I was driving up the highway between Saint John and Sussex, and I was speeding; not because I was in a hurry, but because it felt right.

It was a beautiful evening in New Brunswick. It was about half-an-hour before sunset. The scenery was golden as I chased the long shadow of my car up Route One.

Rolling hills stretched away into the distance. Down in a valley I saw a little village with a church spire. The entire landscape seemed to glow in the warm light.

Switching lanes, I had a brief race of doom as I accelerated past a Tercel. My automatic transmission shifted in and out of passing gear with a pleasant whine.

I didn’t even see the deer until it was already on the highway. It came straight towards me. Instinctively I yanked the steering wheel to the right; the deer dodged back to my left. Somehow I swerved around it.

The look in its eyes did not miss me.

I was back in the right lane. My heart pounded. Quickly I checked the rear view mirror. A few seconds earlier, and there would’ve been a car beside me.

The deer galloped past the Tercel and then made a break for it. From my angle, it looked as if the car behind the Tercel was sure to collide with the animal. But the deer made it past and ran down off the side of the road.

The cars behind me seemed to slow down, as if the drivers were pausing to catch their breath. My own adrenalin rush carried me even faster up the highway. The near-miss with the beautiful young buck left me feeling strangely exhilarated.

I wonder if it would have smashed right through the windshield?

I wonder if I would have died.

race of doom

1) I publicly unveiled my new dance last Thursday in Saint John at an A/V show. It’s called the “We’re Number One” dance. You know how you do that thing where you point your index fingers in the air and shake them around when you’re chanting “We’re number one”? Well that’s pretty much the dance. Only you have to put a little bit of funk into it with your hips and make it all sassy.

“We’re number one… We’re number one.”

My favourite song to do the “We’re number one” dance to is a track by LCD Soundsystem called “Daft Punk is playing at my house.” I like it because every time he says “My house” I go, “My house” because it’s my house and I live all by myself in the country. So I put a little extra sass into it. “My house… maahhh house. Show you the ropes kid, show you thaaa ropes.”

2) The local bakery or wherever it is that the Chipman grocery store gets their bagels. Those bakers have something to answer for with the way their automatic slicer machine mutilates these bagels. They think they’re doing you some big fancy service by slicing these bagels for you, well what kind of a service is it if I end up with one thin little useless slice of bagel and one great big fat hunk of bagel that won’t fit into any toaster anywhere in this toasty village?

You gotta calibrate that shit people. Sometimes I get ornery and try to toast the bagel anyway, the skinny part slides ride in but the fat part won’t cram into the toaster slot no matter what, so finally I stuff it in there and then there’s no way it’s coming out and the toaster catches on fire and the house burns down and I have to move into the shed and that’s why I’m typing this on my laptop while sitting on a ride-on lawnmower.

Don’t you understand my need for symmetry? I’m pleading with you. This absurd little slice of bagel, this… this bagel hat, I’m going to wear the skinny part of the bagel on my head and mount the fat part of the bagel on my ’88 Corolla instead of a tire, and I’m going to drive down to the bakery and burst through the doors of the bakery with my bagel hat on yelling “You will pay for what you did” because nobody fucks with me and especially, nobody fucks with my lunch.

3) In the summer of 2000 when I was jamming with Selwyn on the band that would eventually become A/V, we briefly considered calling ourselves “Race Of Doom.” I think there might be a couple of old synthesizer jam tapes floating around with “Race Of Doom” written on them.

“Race Of Doom” is a song by Devo off the New Traditionalists album. It’s one of my favourite Devo songs.

I’ll tell you what the Race Of Doom is. It’s when you’re driving up the highway at a pretty good clip, at least 120km/h, and then another car starts to pass you, or you start to pass someone else.

At some point the two cars will be side-by-side. Even though both vehicles are travelling at high velocity, there’s that moment when you feel like you are sitting still relative to the car beside you. You can look over and make out all sorts of details about the other car and its occupants, despite the fact that the landscape is a blur as it whips by you. At such speed, maneuvers have to be carried out with utmost precision. The slightest miscalculation could result in catastrophe.

Gradually, one car will start to inch past the other.

This is the point where you look out your window at the other car and yell “Raaaace… of… DOOOOOOOOOM!”

4) I eat spinach salads now. How punk rock is that? Fuck you.

“It was a salad disaster. We ran out of cron-tons.”

in the parlour

I went all around the house and counted every single chair and every seating space on every couch and every love seat. Forty-one people could come to visit me, and you’d all have a place to sit.

I don’t have a living room. I have a parlour. In the parlour alone there was seating for eight. When am I ever going to have seven people at once visiting me in Gaspereau Forks, New Brunswick? Not any time soon. I moved most of that shit out of there. Now I have a comfy chair for reading and a couch for sprawling out on.

In the evenings I wrap a large comforter around my shoulders and shuffle around the house like an old person.

There is a chandelier that hangs from the ceiling in the parlour. Whenever I get up from the couch, I pick up the comforter and fling it around my shoulders. The flying blanket has a tendency to dislodge any number of tinkling crystal teardrops from the chandelier.

The glassy decorations fall to the floor at my feet. The thing is: when I try to put them back, I can never find any space for them on the chandelier. I have concluded that this chandelier regenerates itself.

This chandelier came from the bottom of the ocean.

Earlier today I knocked off another one of the glass teardrops. This one fell to the carpet and broke open in a cloud of electrons. The electrons flew up to buzz around and around my head like a swarm of angry bees.

I could feel myself becoming polarized. I panicked and ran out onto the sun porch. Still in my sock feet, I opened the front door and ran across the snow-covered lawn. When I reached the driveway I collapsed in the snow.

After a while the sun came out. One by one the electrons began drifting away from my prone body.

Now I know what eternity feels like.