The Truth Is

A Geezer’s Notebook, By Jim Foster

We all have so many memories of days long ago, if only we had been bright enough to write them down. Sometimes for no reason at all one or two just pop up, like this one. In 1949, I kissed Carol Cross. Carol and I skated hand in hand in Dieppe Park.

If you are a physicist, or a professional Zamboni driver, you may find this interesting. When we were kids, if someone poured water on the ground in the wintertime, it would freeze and hockey cushions would grow up around it. Apparently the laws of physics were repealed in the late 50’s and now ice will only form in heated arenas.

All passionate love affairs in 1949 started while ice skating. I have no idea why this was so, unless it had something to do with frozen feet and runny noses. Our torrid romance burned passionately all one winter. Unfortunately winter in Toronto back then only lasted a week and a half, so our ardor never really developed to the point where I asked her to move in with me.

Come to think of it my sister and I shared a room back then, which would very likely have put a damper on our love.

But I kissed her. It was wonderful – well, except for the nose part. We were relatively inexperienced lovers. Not knowing enough to allow for nasal protuberances, we slammed them together. I went to East General Hospital. I believe Carol was taken to Sick Kids for reconstructive nose surgery.

I never saw Carol again, unless I did and didn’t recognize her. Oh, I’m sure if I met her today and she was wearing a snowsuit, a fur hat and had a big scarf wrapped around her face, of course I’d recognize her, but in a dress or a pair of yoga pants (whatever they are) not a chance.

Except for a few lively games of truth or dare, that pretty well sums up my romantic life in Toronto. I was never able to get a good game of truth or dare started in Orillia. The finer points of the game were never understood up here in the wilderness. You can’t take a sophisticated game like truth or dare and teach it in a backward society like Orillia. The game is far too complicated for teenagers in a small town. It’s much like teaching long division to an American. They simply don’t have the grey matter to handle it. (Oh, oh, are there any of them reading this? It could happen).

You won’t believe this but one night at the Leacock home I asked, “What’s the difference between a werewolf and a girl from Arkansas? A werewolf is only covered in hair once a month.” I’ll be damned if there wasn’t one in the audience.  No not a werewolf, a girl from Arkansas.

I don’t know if you’ve played truth or dare, or if the game is still around. It may be like the old English game of rounders that got lost in the shuffle and eventually disappeared along with dinosaurs and kids with good manners.  

The rules were simple enough. We gathered three or four girls and boys together and started to play. I think in the professional leagues they had domed stadiums with play by play colour commentators and marching bands, but for amateurs the best place to play was behind a fence or in a fort. Forts were good because they added a certain amount of privacy if the dares got going pretty good.

A player had to choose truth or dare, but only a coward would pick truth. When someone asked, “Do you love Jane?” it was required by the code to tell the truth.

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