Lesson #58 : Meanderings

Meanderings …

Justin Trudeau’s reach extends well beyond his intellectual grasp. The fucking guy is nowhere, man, absolutely nowhere. He makes the NDP and Thomas Mulcair the only reasonable alternative to the Harper team in the next election. Trudeau is all style and no substance, unlike his dad who had both – in spades. Remember his pirouettes? Trudeau the Elder was more than style, though, a lot more. The more I read and see about Trudeau the Younger, the more certain I am that he is out of his depth.

Take the Trudeau unplugged evening where people, mostly women, paid $250 apiece to spend a couple of hours getting to know the “essential Justin”. Leaving aside commentary on the idea underlying so lame a plan in the first place, let’s look at one thing that Justin said. In response to a question asking which country on the entire globe he most admired. His answer: China. Why? … Well because the Chinese totalitarian regime is able to get the whole country to line up behind the goals of a government over which its people have no control. Mussolini made the trains run on time for fuck sakes. Surely Trudeau could have come up with a more reasoned response. But he didn’t and as time goes on we Canadians are bound to realize the inherent lack of quality which would accompany the election of the Trudeau Liberals, the next time around, at least.

Don’t get me wrong. I can identify with Justin more than I can with others leaders in the House of Commons and I wouldn’t mind inviting him over to our place for a puff and some conversation but that’s about it. If he can be Prime Minister so can I and you and you and you … He is an opportunist trading on his father’s name, pure and simple, ask yourself where he would be today if he wasn’t his father’s son. He would probably be teaching school somewhere but he certainly would not be the leader of a political party with a chance of forming our next government.

There has been a recall issued for Schwartz’s packaged smoked meat – the grocery item, not the meat sold in the restaurants. The best before date is around December 16th. This particular batch of meat may be contaminated by the Listeria bacteria. Although there have been no reports of people becoming ill from consuming this possibly contaminated product, watch out! Listeria can kill you. Presumably you can get a refund if you return the smoked meat to the point of purchase. According to Wikipedia, listeria can cause serious infections in humans who consume food which has been contaminated by this very dangerous bacteria. The mortality rate is approximately 20% and people most likely to be felled by listeria are the elderly, pregnant women, infants and people whose immune systems have been compromised.
So check it and chuck it.

While I was a counsellor at camp, I had two girlfriends, Kate and Edith. I wrote to each of these lovely girls, neither of whom knew about the other and, unfortunately, put the wrong letter in the wrong envelope. Kate got Edith’s letter and Kate got Edith’s. As a result they both ended up dumping me. The moral of the story…you’re gonna have to wait for it.

While I was in India, every day was an adventure. To wit: the Sikh city of Amritsar. An amazing place. Free room, free board, just leave what you can. I left 100 rupees, about ten bucks at that time (1971) and my Indian hosts seemed happy to get it.


The Golden Temple is the centre of Amritsar. (see photo above) I remember walking on the black and white marble pathway (pictured below)surrounding the waters near the temple with a fellow traveller.


We both had long hair which was blowing in the wind as we were walking rather quickly, being followed by at least twenty young kids. Wherever we went in the east from Turkey through Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan and India, we were always followed by kids and others asking questions: “Where are you coming from, Mister?” “Change money mister?” “Do you have a cigarette Mister?” “Any matches, Mister?” “Paise (change), Mister.” “You want to meet my sister, Mister?” Never-ending and after a while, a bit disconcerting and somewhat annoying. Anyway we’re strolling around being followed by the chattering “masses”, and I ask my friend what he felt like. “Like Jesus”, he said, without thinking.

This is a picture of a Sadhu, an Indian holy man. The EYES have it.


I freaked out in India and as a result got into some difficult predicaments including lying down between two train tracks, with a train heading right for me. I still remember the sound of the train as it rolled right over me, catching a belt loop on the pants I was wearing and ripping it and also still recall the exact words I hollered as the train passed over my body. “I meant no harm,” I screamed. “I meant no harm.” Fucking right.

The next thing I know, the train is gone and some soldiers who had seen what happened came to where I was laying, still between the train tracks, helped me up, and tossed me in the clink where I was kept over night and then let go. Every so often, some people would appear at my cell door, point at little old still-breathing me, chatter a few words in Hindi, and then disappear.

I always said that it was all gravy after that because by all rights and purposes I should have been killed, by that freaking choo-choo all those years ago. “To live outside the law you must be honest.” — B. Dylan

The moral of the story is, of course, “you can’t have your Kate and Edith too.” Ha. Ha. HA!!

One more true druggie story, as my old Port-Cartier friend and fellow teacher Robert (Bob) Rennie used to say, and then I’ve got to go.

Let me think. After having given everything I had away except the clothes on my back – money, travelers cheques, everything – I wandered around for about a month, begging for food. I was losing it…and then who do I see in the middle of the teaming masses in Delhi, but my cute little mother, just standing there, with two Cherry Blossoms which I still enjoy to this day. My fucking father wasn’t there, had decided not to make the trip, to let me stew in my own juices, as it were. She saves my life, that beautiful woman and worst of all I don’t remember ever saying thanks. Too bad. So sad. Can’t do it now in person, at least, because she passed away in 2009. How she managed to find me remains a big mystery. Instinctively telling everyone my name and my county may have helped as the Canadian Embassy had been in on the hunt.

Congratulations to Pat Lafontaine, the new President of hockey operations for the Buffalo Sabres and ex-Islanders’ star, and to Ted Nolan who has returned to Buffalo as an interim coach. Nolan was blackballed by the League and could not get a job sharpening skates since losing his job as the Sabres’ coach years ago. It’s hard to find a reason for this kind of treatment. Did the fact that Nolan is a native Canadian have anything to do with his having been ostracized for so long. Of course not because as we all know there’s no racism in hockey, or in any pro sports for that matter.

Nolan and Lafontaine have a lot of work to do, no question about that. The Sabres are last in the NHL with a measly nine points, and are twenty-ninth in the thirty team league in both goals for and goals against. Lots of work to do is an understatement. Indeed.

Peace out.


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