I Was A Normal Kid And Other Tall Tales

A Geezer’s Notebook, By Jim Foster

As you may have noticed reading last week’s column I seem to be lost in the past these days. I wonder if I may be drifting into my third childhood. My first and second were no hell as I recall.

I got dumped about three times a week and that wasn’t good for the ego of an up and coming public school stud. Either that, or my mind is going which is probably more like it. But I realize if I am to survive I must soldier on. I likely don’t have more than 30 or 40 years left before I become senile like most of my friends who for some reason no longer want to talk to me. Perhaps I shouldn’t have mentioned it in the e-mails to their families.

This morning as I thought about the vagaries of life and wondering what vagaries meant, I sat watching a gentle snowfall as it quietly transformed our lawn into a winter wonderland. I thought someone should write a song about walking in such a beautiful place, but of course no one ever will. The world seemed so peaceful out there at that moment and my heart was suddenly filled with the joy of just being alive.

I rejoiced in the fact the tire tracks in my driveway were no longer the unsightly mess of slush and sand as they were yesterday but were now being covered in a blanket of white. As the morning wore on, it appeared as if the blanket was becoming a bit more than just a cover, but was rapidly becoming more like a comforter of white – and that comforter soon included the mattress, pillows and a flipping bedspread.

Still the damned snow kept falling, flake by flake, inch by inch, foot by bloody foot, until I could no longer see across the road and I realized I hadn’t seen a car go by for over an hour and the snowplow had been by four times. That seemed like a hell of a lot of snow out there and it doesn’t seem to be letting up. I started to wonder if Hewitt’s tractors were on their way and if not were Mary and I were in danger of being marooned for four years like Tom Hanks, but without the palm trees.

I thought of calling 911 but they are already mad at me. (Apparently the LCBO being closed is not considered an emergency – well maybe not for them)

Now fearing my imminent demise, I poured a small dram of Glenfiddick and drifted into my usual day-dream. As I sat there, my life passed before my eyes and I thought about my life in Toronto as a small but astonishingly good-looking lad if I do say so myself. It was in one of those quiet moments I remembered the glorious evening I kissed Carol Cross. (If this is getting too sexually explicit for you, skip this part and come back in a few weeks when I will tell you about wetting my pants after a Boy Scout parade – or maybe not.) 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 50s 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 of one winter. Unfortunately winter in Toronto only lasts a week and a half so our ardour 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 re-constructive 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 slacks, not a chance.

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