Harvey The Rabbit and Sears Department Store

January 7, 2018 at 9:47 pm (Personal essays) (, , , , )

Harvey The Rabbit and Sears Department Store

Tomorrow the last of Sears Canada’s 130 remaining stores will close.

Among the Sears stores closing will be the Sears at North Hill Mall in Calgary.

I have many fond memories of that particular Sears store and North Hill Mall in general.

Because as a kid, whenever my family came down from Edmonton to Calgary to visit my grandparents, that was the closest mall to where my grandparents lived.

So my sister and I would often walk there.

In those days, North Hill Mall seemed a fantastic place.

When I moved to Calgary in 2016, I did visit North Hill Mall- once.

Now it seemed to resemble a federal penitentiary more than a shopping mall and so I haven’t been back since.

My most vivid memory of the Sears store at North Hill Mall in Calgary was buying a plush animal there when I was a kid.

The plush animal that I bought there was a 3-foot tall purple bunny rabbit with big pink floppy ears and a big pink floppy tail.

I called the rabbit Harvey after the rabbit in an old 1950 comedy movie with Jimmy Stewart.

Harvey is a rabbit that is seen by a wealthy drunk named Elwood P. Dowd (Jimmy Stewart).

Most of Dowd’s relatives and friends think the 6 ft. tall giant rabbit that Dowd sees and talks to is imaginary and seek to have him committed to an insane asylum.

By the end of the movie, it becomes apparent that Harvey is real but only a few people are able to see him.

So when I bought Harvey, the store clerk at Sears did not have a big enough shopping bag to put him in.

She managed to fit most of him into the bag but as my sister remarked at the time, “His bum is sticking up in the air with his big pink fluffy tail sticking out.”

This could pose a problem.

Because to get back to my grandparents, we’d have to walk along 16th Ave N which just also happens to be the Trans-Canada Highway (Canada’s national coast to coast highway).

And the thought occurred to me that it might be somewhat embarrassing to walk along Calgary’s stretch of the Trans-Canada Highway holding a shopping bag with a purple bunny rabbit’s bum with a big pink fluffy tail sticking up in the air.

So I asked my sister if she would carry it for me.

She naturally said no.

I then said I’d give her 5 bucks if she’d do it.

She wanted to see the money first so I gave it to her.

Of course a quarter of the way home back to our grandparents with cars slowing down along the Trans-Canada so drivers and passengers could stare at a big purple bunny rabbit bum with a big pink fluffy tail sticking out of a shopping bag, my sister offered to give the 5 bucks back if I’d take the shopping bag from her.

I refused.

When we got back to our grandparents, my sister spent the entire day complaining about having to carry a shopping bag along the Trans-Canada Highway with a big purple bunny rabbit’s bum with a big pink floppy tail sticking out of it.

Who’d have thought that the closing of a big department store would have brought back such amazing memories? 😉

-A personal essay
written by Christopher
Sunday January 7th
2018.

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Jack O’ Hare At The Calgary Stampede: A Poem

July 8, 2017 at 6:30 pm (Nature, News, Poetry) (, , , , )

Jack O’ Hare At The Calgary Stampede

Jack O’ Hare decided to go to the Calgary Stampede
he brought along some carrots on which to feed
he found some real tiny boots in which to put his 4 furry feet
and put a cowboy hat on his head which was kind of neat

He watched the chuck wagon races
and bulls putting cowboys through their paces
he saw roping
and groping
he saw the famous 8 second ride
and those who early on land on their hide

He avoided going on the carnival rides
he didn’t want to upchuck his carrots from his insides

He hopped here
he hopped there
he hopped everywhere
Jack O’ Hare thought that this was indeed the place to be
as he watched fireworks atop the hat of Mayor Naheed Nenshi.

-A Jack O’ Hare poem
written by Christopher
Saturday July 8th
2017.

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Dashwood Forrest and Pan Goatee In Calgary

March 29, 2017 at 5:30 pm (Commentary, Culture, Folklore, Horror, Mythology, The Supernatural, Vampire novel) (, , , , , , , , )

“What a place totally devoid of culture,” Dashwood Forrest the Oscar Wilde of the 21st Century said to his Undead butler and valet Mulligan the Irish zombie.

“I’d have to agree,” Mulligan the Irish zombie remarked. He had only spent less than 24 hours in the city and he was already forgetting how to recite Irish ballads and poetry.

“I imagine if one were looking for culture and learning in Calgary, one would probably only find it among certain people living in homeless shelters in a city such as this,” Dashwood Forrest sipped on his chocolate milkshake.

“I’d have to agree,” Mulligan the Irish zombie nodded, “and what extremely ugly women seem to live in this city. I’ve never seen such fat ugly looking specimens.”

Mulligan the Undead promptly died again as he looked out the window and saw the walking specimens of ghastly horror.

Mulligan’s last words before dying a second time were, “Genesis 6 would have never happened had the angels landed in Calgary instead of the Middle East. There would have been no rise of the Nephilim because the sons of God would not have found the daughters of men attractive.”

“Truer last words were never spoken, Mulligan,” Forrest acknowledged, “with the possible exception of Oscar Wilde’s last words spoken in his room, “Either that wallpaper goes or I do.” It’s amazing how unattractive interior decorating can lead to deaths of great geniuses. To say nothing of how unattractive exterior decorating can lead to the death of one’s valet.”

Dashwood Forrest thought of calling South African witch doctor Sterling Makabo on his mobile phone and get him to chant a spell to bring Mulligan back from the dead.

He thought he’d wait a while however until they had left Calgary.

Forrest was in a quandary however. Even though he was gay, the site of such repulsive ugly looking members of the opposite sex waddling around and fender bumping their broomsticks in public was enough to kill one’s libido faster than taking a cold shower in a U.S. Army barracks.

Forrest removed a classical ancient Greek olive oil lamp from his jacket pocket.

The lamp had been a gift from his good friend Ivanka Trump for favours rendered.

If he remembered his Arabian Nights folklore correctly, Aladdin used a magic lamp to summon a genie.

Maybe he could rub this lamp and summon a genie to bump off all these ugly women.

Dashwood Forrest rubbed the lamp.

Pan Goatee appeared.

“How the Hell did I get from an Orson Welles repertory film festival in Washington D.C. (where strangely enough I was the only one in the theatre) to a milk shake bar in what looks to be the city of Calgary- the city of gay cowboys- not surprising given the overall unattractiveness of the women here,” the genetically created satyr serial killer scratched his head.

“I do most humbly apologize, my good man,” Dashwood Forrest bowed, “or rather my good satyr, I was hoping to summon a genie but you’ll do. I was wondering if you could slay these ugly women for me.”

“Happy to oblige,” Pan Goatee took out his astrally projected laser machete and walked out the door where he proceeded to behead ugly women left, right and center.

Pan Goatee’s aesthetically oriented mercy killing actions led to Mulligan the Irish Zombie coming back from the dead.

“Why did we come to Calgary anyways?” Mulligan asked Dashwood Forrest.

“To see Lake Louise in the Blue Canadian Rockies to celebrate Dame Vera Lynn’s 100th Birthday earlier this month,” Dashwood Forrest explained.

“Then let’s go see Lake Louise and go,” Mulligan pleaded.

“An excellent idea,” Forrest said, “go outside and hail a taxi for us, will you?”.

As the Michael Jackson song Thriller played in the background on the old milkshake bar diner’s jukebox, Mulligan the Irish zombie ran outside and did just that.

-A vampire novel chapter
written by Christopher
Wednesday March 29th
2017.

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Seeing An Old Friend Jack O’ Hare: A Poem

November 29, 2016 at 5:05 pm (Life, Literature, Nature, Poetry) (, , , , )

Seeing An Old Friend Jack O’ Hare:
A Poem

When my dad was still alive and I lived in his house,
there was a wild hare jack rabbit that lived in our back yard
that we called Jack O’ Hare.

He used to observe me when I worked on my computer downstairs
and my dad would occasionally look through the kitchen window watching Jack
as Jack watched me.

I was always fascinated how Jack’s fur changed colour throughout the seasons
In summer, he was gray
In winter, he was white, pure white in colour.

There was a neighbourhood pub I’d sometimes go to at night
And Jack would follow me there and then follow me home
I discovered this in the winter time when Jack’s footprints showed up in the snow
His footprints would lead up to the pub
and then lead back to my house

On one occasion in the winter when walking home,
I decided to turn around and look,
Sure enough there was Jack who quickly skirted behind a tree
when he noticed me turn around

My dad’s explanation for Jack following me
was that Jack was probably worried I’d end up drinking too much
and wouldn’t be able to find my way back home
so he was there as my guardian angel.

When my dad died and his most recent will and testament wasn’t found
and the house was sold by orders of my dad’s Estate
and I was forced to move,
I always wondered what became of Jack.

When I moved to Vancouver, in my writer’s imagination, I imagined Jack crossing the Rockies and coming to the West Coast to look for me
I imagined him living in Vancouver’s Stanley Park
waiting for me to show up
But we never connected.

This past July, I was evicted out of my Vancouver apartment when the rents got sky high
as Mayor Gregor Robertson slept while navel gazing in a yoga lotus position.

I moved back to Alberta
this time to Calgary
where I had to live 3 months in a homeless shelter

Eventually I did get into a place of my own this past autumn
Way on the northern outskirts of Calgary
Almost in the country and farmland areas

And today when I left my place to walk to the bus
There in an area of parkland I suddenly noticed a huge snow white coloured jack rabbit
about the same size that Jack O’ Hare was

We seemed shocked to see one another
I stood there staring at him
And he stood there staring at me with his ears perked up
After a few minutes of staring at one another
we went our respective ways
I- my bus to catch
And Jack O’ Hare- carrots to eat and female bunny rabbits to woo.

Of course in reality I know it’s not the same wild hare jack rabbit
Not the same Jack O’ Hare who used to live in my back yard and who used to follow me to the neighbourhood pub and back home again

But in my writer’s imagination, I’d like to think so
That it is the same Jack O’ Hare
a Jack O’ Hare who followed me across the Rockies to Vancouver
And then followed me back across the Rockies to Calgary
and at last, we’ve found one another again.

And who knows?
A very wise man once wrote these words,
“There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy.”
Perhaps Jack O’ Hare and I have found one another again. 🙂

-A Jack O’ Hare poem
written by Christopher
Sunday November 27th
2016

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Enduroman: A Poem

September 6, 2016 at 4:05 pm (books, Comic Books, Culture, Humour, Poetry, Science-Fiction) (, , , , , , )

Enduroman: A Poem

(written for my friend Stephen R. creator of the great comic book hero Enduroman)

Spider-Man and Superman all come to a crawl
and feel like they’ve hit the proverbial brick wall
when they come against the mighty Enduroman
who’s sometimes shirtless to pick up a cosmic tan

His real name is Matt Larson
he’s no axe-wielding Johnny Carson
his feats of strength and endurance will leave you amazed
but you’ll live unlike a Swiss villa at the End of Days

In C.I.O. * Headquarters beneath the Calgary Tower
he was zapped with Neuma Energy’s power
He was a shirtless early riser to the task
he was zapped while the Prof enjoyed a flask
and while Turnbull enjoyed his whisky and gin
Matt’s DNA was altered beyond that of the Man of Sin.

To Prof Turnbull’s surprise
emerged from the chamber before his very eyes
and while Mustard Seed clients ended up a fried flash in the pan
Matt Larson survived to become Enduroman.

And when the UFO Alien Hordes attacked the Earth
while Amelia Edwards pondered the circumstances that led to birth
the alien hordes destroyed everything in Earth’s Midnight Hour
The only thing that survived was the Calgary Tower.

Enduroman endured, Matt Larson survived
minus Dale Carnegie’s chapter on honey from the bee hive
But since the Public Library was now gone
his fine would not amount to an arm and a song

Enduroman was as mad as Hell
and while looking for a new planet to dwell
he encountered an archon from the Council of Nine
The Supreme Council of the Universe- so puffed up and fine
and what was the name of this pompous seemingly friendly archon?
Tremble ye mortals and shake at the name- for it is Zargon.

Zargon sent Enduroman off to complete many a task
and then teleported elsewhere to sit on his ass
he sent the Enduroman to search for the Five Pieces of the Pyramid of Power
although Matt occasionally took a coffee break in the Calgary Tower.

Supremacy, Dagon, Vulcanus and Gorkon the Enduroman fought
while Zargon sat and smoked the best of cosmic pot.

The Five Pieces of the Pyramid of Power were then gathered
and the prism that was Prison Planet for earthlings was eventually scattered
Amelia Edwards did survive
like honey from cosmic bee hive
Matt Larson took a lick and much more
he got to the bottom of this Eve’s apple core.

Amelia Edwards had been waiting for a millennium to up and come
and Matt was more than happy to beat the drum
He relubricated her plumbing inside and out
and being Enduroman he did not succumb to gout.

But word reached Zargon of Matt’s great new piece of tail
and the old archon felt like a tired beached whale
He’d send Matt to avenge the alien hordes’ destruction of the Blue Planet Earth
and give Amelia his own lessons in what sets in motion the circumstances of birth

Now Hogarthe was the mastermind behind the alien horde
Destroying planets was what he did when he got bored
Hogarthe- yes that’s Hogarth with an “e”
No cartoonist comic strip artist was he
rather an Apollyon Abaddon style destroyer he wanted to be

So Hogarthe went in search of Unix
Formula
while Matt served as Amelia’s horned cornucopia
how does this tale end you may well ask
as Matt and Amelia enjoy their great piece of ass
well write Marvel or DC to publish Stephen R.’s great comic book
and these questions that plague you will be let off the hook.

–A poem written by Christopher
Saturday September 3rd 2016
inspired by Stephen R.’s
great but unpublished
comic book
Enduroman.

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