It’s Never Easy: A Poem

July 20, 2016 at 4:57 pm (Life, Personal essays, Poetry) (, , , )

It’s Never Easy: A Poem

It’s never easy leaving the place one’s called home for 4 years
It’s funny how when one leaves a certain place
It’s the good things that you liked about it that come flooding to the forefront of your mind
while the bad things go to the back
leaving one feeling sad
Unfortunately the rents here got way out of control
and misfortune seemed to reign over me when I was here
I don’t know what will unfold at my new destination
It’s a scary feeling
The unknown
I just hope God is watching over me
and it will be all right in the end.

-A poem written by Christopher
Wednesday July 20th 2016
upon leaving Vancouver, British Columbia

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The City On The Sea: Not All That It Seems To Be: A Poem

June 21, 2016 at 7:24 pm (Commentary, Culture, Life, Poetry) (, , , )

 

The City On The Sea: Not All That It Seems To Be: A Poem

To live in a tourist attraction
is to live in a fish bowl
A city full of natural beauty
Mountains, sea, trees, flowers
But the world of man intrudes
A city of mainly working poor
struggling to reach the middle class
but the dice is loaded against them
But the natural beauty
The mountains, the sea, the trees, the flowers
So many do not really want to leave
So they stay and work in their serfdom
Thinking that somehow they will eventually break through to the next ceiling and eventually reach the glass ceiling
And some will
but most won’t
It’s a city now a playground of the rich
A world-class city
And sadly that also means a city
which can only be truly enjoyed
by the world’s most elite class
And so I am trapped in this strange paradise
A city which only seems to serve the rich man Divas of that Biblical parable
And the poor man Lazarus has not even the dogs to lick his sores
Too poor to stay in this city
And paradoxically too poor to leave
I call people I once knew in my home province
asking if someone can put me up for a bit until such time as I can get back on my feet
Oh, they have plenty of advice to give
Plenty of advice
but not a helping hand
The old saying is all that glitters is not gold
And indeed it isn’t
but even the glittering gold itself isn’t worth it
As King Midas discovered when his loving flesh-and-blood daughter turned to gold at his touch
The city glitters
Sea, mountains, trees, flowers
beckons to the eye of the visitor
but on the sidewalks and in the alleys
broken people and broken dreams
but they are neither added to nor subtracted from the city’s GDP
For it is all a game of bookkeeping and accounting
and appearances
For what is of value is the gold and the assets and the profits
what is not of value is the people
Such is the city on the sea!
-A poem written by Christopher
Tuesday June 21st 2016.
Sent from my iPhone

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Haiku About Spring In Vancouver

April 8, 2016 at 8:48 pm (Life, Nature, Poetry) (, , , , )

Haiku About Spring In Vancouver

Cherry blossoms dance
in April breeze with sunbeams
scent Nature’s Perfume

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Maria Ho Quartet

January 3, 2016 at 8:51 pm (Arts, Culture, Life, Music, Personal essays) (, , , )

Maria Ho Quartet

Yesterday when I was out walking, I passed a sign in front of a Church building that said a free Jazz concert would be held at 4 PM today.

I haven’t been to a concert in the 3 years since I moved to Vancouver namely because I really couldn’t afford to go to one.

However- Free- the price was right- so I went.

There is just something about listening to live music that is so inherently wonderful.

I listen to music on the radio.

And I listen to the specialty cable channel Baroque Music on TV when I go to bed at night.

But it’s just not the same as listening to live music in person.

The Maria Ho Quartet was made up of one Jazz vocalist Maria Ho and 3 Jazz instrumentalists.

As a testimony to the power of live music when it’s well sung and well played, I’d have to say that listening to Miss Ho’s lovely singing voice and the Jazz instrumentals that accompanied it, I can say that it’s the happiest I’ve genuinely felt in 3 years of living in Vancouver.

In fact, I can say that it’s the happiest I felt in the 5 years since my dad died.

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Please Email Vancouver’s Mayor

November 17, 2015 at 8:02 pm (Arts, Culture, Life, Literature, Personal essays) (, , , , , , , )

Please Email Vancouver’s Mayor

This is a personal message to the readers of my blog.

I don’t usually like to talk about myself or engage in personal requests but as Churchill said, “Desperate times require desperate measures.”

Many of my readers have told me how much they enjoyed my writing and how my writing has impacted their lives.

If that’s true, I ask those readers to step up to the plate for me now.

The long and short of it is the past 5 years of my life have been a living Hell.

The last time I worked an actual job of any sort was 6 years ago.

I gave up work as my dad was dying of cancer.

He died of cancer 5 years ago.

I was then involved in a legal battle with my sister for a year over his Estate as his newest will wasn’t found (the gist of the battle was I wanted to continue to live in my dad’s house that I had lived in most of my life as I had looked after him since my mother died and my sister wanted the house to be sold and the proceeds from the sale split between me and her).

The end result was that an old will was found but in it he had left everything to my mother who had died 25 years ago.

So the Estate was split down the middle between his offspring- my sister and myself.

Under terms of the old will, my dad had also named my mother the Executor but of course since she was dead, the substitute Executor named in the will was brought in.

Sadly for me, the new Executor named was an incompetent and the lawyer he hired was likewise an incompetent.

It apparently took them 2 years before they had notified Revenue Canada that my father was dead and of course Revenue Canada must approve before Estate assets can be dispersed.

So these bozos had waited 2 years before telling Revenue Canada that my dad was dead.

Then Revenue Canada being the typical slowpoke bureaucrats that they are- it took them another 2 years to finally approve the dispersal of assets.

It was only in 2014 that my dad’s Estate funds were finally dispersed between my sister and me.

So in that time, my assets from past employment had been eaten away after paying for rent and food and I was struggling with both acute depression and most likely PTSD from the combination of grief over my dad’s death and then the shock of being forced to leave the only home I had ever known.

And thanks to the incompetent lawyer dragging out the matter of settling my dad’s Estate, that didn’t stop him from charging exorbitant legal fees as he did so.

So consequently the large sum of money I was expecting from the sale of my dad’s house didn’t materialize when the Estate was finally settled in 2014.

In the middle of this period of legal limbo I had moved to Vancouver in 2012 hoping to eventually take a course in Film Directing and Screenplay Writing at the Vancouver Film School which is considered one of the top film schools in North America.

But of course since the sum I received from my dad’s Estate wasn’t what I had expected, I couldn’t afford to take the course.

So in the meantime, I concentrated on my writing – my vampire novel, my poems and my short stories as I had promised my dad on his deathbed that I would not neglect my writing as he thought my writing was important to the world.

Six months ago, I realized that my dad’s funds were going to run out in six months’ time so I started diligently looking for a job sending out resumes all over the place.

I only received two inquiries back but they didn’t amount to anything.

I suppose the fact that I hadn’t worked in 6 years looked bad in the eyes of most potential employers.

They just looked at the paper in front of them.

They didn’t know the reason why I hadn’t worked in 6 years.

It wasn’t due to alcohol or drugs.

I don’t drink.

And I don’t take drugs.

I found myself in the situation I was in due to greedy siblings and incompetent Estate Executors and incompetent lawyers and the severe extreme depression that decapacitated me as a result of all this.

And now I won’t have enough money in my bank account to pay next month’s rent (I actually thought I was going to run out this month but it turns out I did have enough for this month but definitely not for next month).

So where does emailing Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson come in like I suggest in my title?

Because of Mayor Robertson’s support of the arts.

I first found out about Gregor Robertson when my dad and I visited Vancouver back in the summer of 2009 to attend an exhibit of Vermeer and The Dutch Masters at the Vancouver Art Gallery.

During that time, my dad and I took a bus tour of the city where it turned out that the tour guide was a personal friend of Mayor Robertson and had in fact urged him to run for his first term.

The guide mentioned that one of the things Mayor Robertson had done was to establish a program whereby the city paid the rent of certain artists (painters and sculptors) so they could dedicate themselves to working on their art and craft instead of worrying about picking up an odd job here and there to pay their rent.

Anyways last year before the last Vancouver municipal election, I was walking down Robson Street when I was stopped by a canvasser for Vision Vancouver (the municipal political party to which Mayor Gregor Robertson belongs).

He was asking for support so I happened to mention to him how I approved of Mayor Robertson’s idea about paying the rent for certain artists in his effort to build up the arts in Vancouver.

I asked the canvasser had Mayor Robertson ever considered establishing a program paying for the rent of writers as well.

The canvasser said that was an excellent idea and I saw him write it down on his survey sheet.

The canvasser also said he’d bring up the idea at a future Vision Vancouver meeting.

I don’t know whether he did or not.

Anyways Mayor Gregor Robertson did win re-election last year.

And six months ago when I realized I had only roughly six months until my dad’s Estate funds in my bank account started to run out and I started searching for a job, I also wrote an email to Mayor Gregor Robertson’s office mentioning my idea about the city paying the rent of certain aspiring writers in the city until such time as they landed on their feet.

A few weeks later I received an email back from them saying my proposal was under consideration and they’d get back to me.

I haven’t heard back from them since.

Anyways it’s now getting down to the crunch for me.

It appears that job prospects here in Vancouver are bleak as six months of looking for me and nary a call back.

I don’t have money to move back to the province of Alberta where I’m originally from although job prospects there probably aren’t so good now either due to the collapse of the oil industry.

So unless I land a job in the next couple of weeks or by some miracle some Hollywood producer wants to turn a written work of mine into a Hollywood blockbuster and pays me a big fee for getting the film rights to my work, I’ll probably be homeless sometime after the 1st of December after I’m evicted for failure to pay rent.

So to my loyal friends and readers who tell me how much they enjoy my writing and how it’s inspired them, I have a very simple request:

Please email Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson at his city hall email address:

gregor.robertson@vancouver.ca

If he’s bombarded with enough emails telling him to pay the rent of a promising, aspiring and talented writer, it may finally get beyond the level of low level staff and actually reach his desk.

In your email, pass on the link to my blog

https://draculvanhelsing.wordpress.com/

And tell him to read some samples of my writing.

Maybe he’ll act quickly and have the City of Vancouver pay my rent for awhile until such time as I become a successful writer who’s actually able to earn money off writing.

If I was just a second or third rate writer, I wouldn’t bother asking for this as there’s already enough bad writing in the world.

But so many people over the years have told me that I’m an excellent even a superior writer including a British literary agent by the name of Christopher Little.

Mr. Little was the only literary agent I heard back from when I submitted a private eye novel manuscript I had written a number of years ago to various literary agents in New York City and the United Kingdom.

He returned my first three chapters and my sypnosis from that novel but included a 5 page personally handwritten letter also personally signed by him.

In it, he said that he was very very very impressed with my writing.

He said that if he didn’t have so much on his plate at the moment, he would represent me in a heartbeat but he said alas! he did have too much on his plate.

He urged me to keep writing and was sure that my work would someday be published by one of the world’s big publishers.

Years later I read a newspaper article about J.K. Rowling and in the article, it quoted her literary agent.

I got the shock of my life when I read her literary agent’s name… Christopher Little.

He wasn’t kidding when he said he had too much on his plate.

I wish I had known where I kept that letter as soon as I read that article.

I wasn’t able to locate it prior to my sister’s lawyer throwing me out of my dad’s house.

So to my readers, I’d appreciate it if you’d email Mayor Gregor Robertson at gregor.robertson@vancouver.ca

and make the request about the City paying my rent until I get back on my feet.

I’d also appreciate it if some of my readers could reblog and repost this post to their own blog to let their own readers know.

Many many thanks,

Christopher

Post-Script:  I finally heard back from his office in February of this current year (2016).

Writers are included in the program but a vacancy won’t become available in it until September of 2017.

More than a year away.

So for the past few months, I’ve been using cash advances off my credit card to pay my rent.

Now I’ve maxed out my credit card and I have no money left to pay my rent or to pay for food.

I’ve set up a GoFund Me page here:

https://www.gofundme.com/2s99rkmc

I’d appreciate any money any of you could give no matter how large or small.

-Christopher

 

 

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Intersection of Hemlock and Broadway

September 24, 2014 at 6:40 pm (Commentary, Quotations and Sayings of Dracul Van Helsing) (, , , , )

I came across an interesting intersection while out walking today.

The intersection was at the corner of Hemlock Street and Broadway Avenue.

Of course as soon as I saw the name of this intersection- Hemlock and Broadway- I immediately came up with my own fictional radio news headline,

“A pedestrian Socrates Ziegfeld died at the intersection of Hemlock and Broadway today. He met his final folly and drank his last cup of life while attempting to cross the street…”

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Diablos Nocturna At The NATO Summit In Newport Wales

September 12, 2014 at 7:47 pm (Commentary, Geopolitics and International Relations, International Espionage, Vampire novel) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

Diablos Nocturna At The NATO Summit In Newport Wales

The NATO Summit in Newport Wales was winding down.

Most of the world leaders had left.

And MI-6 agent Diablos Nocturna who had overseen security operations at the summit was watching the shutting down of the summit.

He saw Monica Dhaliwal his liaison with CSIS (the Canadian Security Intelligence Service) approach looking very attractive and stylish in her white blouse, blue jacket, tight blue skirt, black silk pantyhose and striking cerulean blue spiked stiletto high- heeled shoes.

She was definitely the reason he had enjoyed working this summit so much.

She flashed a warm smile as she stood face-to-face with him.

“So,” she flicked her hair back as she spoke, “how ever did you come up with the code name Diablos Nocturna – Devil of the Night?”.

“From medieval legends of the incubus,” Diablos Nocturna replied.

“The male demon who slept with beautiful women in the night?” Monica Dhaliwal smiled again.

“The same,” Diablos Nocturna nodded.

“Say who was that woman who looked like the singer Rihanna and was dressed in a Dior red evening gown and hob nobbed with all the world leaders at all the summit dinners?” Monica Dhaliwal asked.

“That’s the Paris-based billionairess and Egyptian Vampiress Isis,” Diablos Nocturna replied.

“Vampiress?” The female CSIS agent was shocked.

“Yes her brother, brother-in-law and arch-enemy the billionaire ancient Egyptian vampire Set lives in London,” the MI-6 operative answered.

“So you mean there really are such things as vampires and vampiresses?” Monica Dhaliwal adjusted her skirt.

“There are indeed,” the MI-6 agent replied.

“In my university days,” Monica Dhaliwal began stroking her hair, “I’d heard talk of a legendary Canadian vampire hunter by the name of Dracul Van Helsing. Does he actually exist?”.

“He does,” Diablos Nocturna nodded, “I’ve heard of him.”

“This London-based billionaire ancient Egyptian vampire Set,” the CSIS operative inquired, “does he have anything to do with Set Enterprises the British research and development firm that’s said to be engaged in secret and very controversial genetics experiments?”.

“Yes, he owns it,” Diablos Nocturna took note of a news channel helicopter in the distance, “you might also have heard of his controversial corporate Chief of Security and Intelligence Gathering the notorious Renfield R. Renfield. He has quite the reputation in international espionage circles.”

“Renfield R. Renfield works for Set?” The CSIS agent had indeed heard of the ruthless and totally psychotic individual that Western intelligence agencies turned to as a last resort when it came to dealing with the vilest scum of the Earth.

There were rumours that The Blacklist TV series’ character of Raymond Red Reddington was actually modeled on Renfield R. Renfield.

“Yes he works for Set,” Diablos Nocturna answered.

The MI-6 agent invited the CSIS agent for a drink in a nearby Welsh pub.

As they approached the pub entrance from the street, Welsh werewolf (although most people didn’t know that he was a werewolf) British Labour MP Magog Rhys Petley came rushing out of the pub.

“They don’t have any buttermilk in this pub,” Magog Rhys Petley gasped, “in fact, they don’t seem to have buttermilk anywhere in town.”

He went running down the street shouting, “Buttermilk. I need buttermilk.”

“Quite the eccentric character,” Monica Dhaliwal looked down the street after him.

“That was Magog Rhys Petley a Welsh Member of Parliament at Westminster,” Diablos Nocturna stated, “Obviously a man who enjoys his buttermilk.”

They entered the pub.

. . .

“So what was this Vampiress Isis doing talking to all those world leaders?” Monica Dhaliwal asked Diablos Nocturna after they sat down.

“She’s hoping to use NATO to destroy Vladimir Putin’s Russia,” Diablos Nocturna replied.

“I see,” Monica Dhaliwal looked puzzled, “and why does she want to do that?”.

“Because it was a Russian nuclear submarine that used a laser death ray to disintegrate the spaceship that was returning her brother, husband and lover Osiris to Earth from the star system of Sirius back on December 21st 2012 and she’s vowed vengeance ever since,” the MI-6 operative replied.

“I see,” the CSIS operative felt she was in a dream.

“All part of a long-standing family feud that originated in Egypt millenia ago,” Diablos Nocturna explained, “when their brother Set cut up Osiris into 14 pieces and scattered the body parts throughout Egypt. Isis who was married to Osiris managed to find all the parts save one and put them back together again and using Egyptian magic managed to resurrect Osiris. But then Set managed to cast a Black Magic spell on Osiris transporting him and exiling him to a planet in the star system of Sirius. So Horus the son of Isis and Osiris who was also Set’s nephew buried Set alive in a tomb. Set’s tomb was then discovered and opened on November 11th 1918 at ironically enough exactly 1100 hours Greenwich time when the Armistice ending the First World War came into effect. Set fled the tomb after his sarcophagus lid was taken off and he’s been wreaking his havoc on the world ever since.”

“I see,” Monica Dhaliwal sipped her Chai tea (which she was surprised to see offered in a Welsh pub), “and how was it that Osiris returned to Earth on December 21st 2012?”.

“It was because of the Black Magic spell that Set cast on Osiris,” Diablos Nocturna explained, “for ancient Egyptian witchcraft Black Magic spells like most modern food and dairy products had an expiration date on it. And the expiration date for the spell exiling Osiris to the star system of Sirius ended December 21st 2012 on our calendar. It was an expiration date of which the Mayans, the Aztecs and the Hopi Indians were aware. Their prophecies about this event gave the History Channel a lot to talk about on its programs throughout most of the first 12 years of the 21st Century. For all intensive public purposes since nothing appeared to happen on December 21st 2012, they’ve scrambled to try to find a replacement and think that endless reruns of American Pickers will somehow capture the imagination of the television viewing public. If, like Isis, subscribers to the History Channel knew what really happened on December 21st 2012, they too would be calling for Vladimir Putin’s head on a silver platter.”

“So for Isis, all hopes of Osiris’ return have vanished into thin air like disintegrated particles from the after effects of a laser death ray?” Monica Dhaliwal asked.

“Yes, having one’s anatomical body parts reduced to the sub-atomic level is certainly more of a challenge to put back together again than just being cut up into 14 pieces,” Diablos Nocturna admitted, “but it so happened that leading Swiss scientist Dr. Fahrenheit Celsius happened to be in the area of Vancouver’s English Bay at the time and happened to use a mirror and the sounds of the sea from a large sea shell he was holding to collect the disintegrated particles from the laser death ray explosion and put them into a working model of the CERN Large Hadron Collider he had in his rowboat with him at the time.”

“So the particles of Osiris’ sub-atomic structure were gathered into Dr. Fahrenheit Celsius’ working model of the CERN Large Hadron Collider?” Monica Dhaliwal asked.

“Along with the sub-atomic particles of the Aztec feathered serpent god Quetzalcoatl who was arriving in a space ship from Saturn’s moon Titan in the same vicinity at the same time and was likewise disintegrated from the laser death ray fired by the Russian nuclear submarine that was illegally trespassing in Canadian coastal waters at the time,” Diablos Nocturna answered.

“Wow, I never heard about that in my History of War and Conflict Class at UBC,” said Monica Dhaliwal who was a recent graduate of the University of British Columbia prior to her recruitment by CSIS.

“Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper covered up the whole incident to prevent a possible war with Russia,” Diablos Nocturna explained, “and Harper’s NATO ally U.S. President Barack Obama is still working on a strategy to respond to the whole incident. He may come up with such a working strategy at the same time he finally comes up with a strategy against ISIS- that is the Islamist terrorist caliphate not the Paris-based billionairess Egyptian Vampiress.”

“So whatever became of the particles that were placed inside Dr. Fahrenheit Celsius’ model of the CERN Large Hadron Collider?” the CSIS agent asked.

“They’re now in the Vampiress Isis’ secret subterranean laboratory below Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris,” Diablos Nocturna replied, “although it’s not as secret as she thinks it is since MI-6 knows all about it. There Dr. Fahrenheit Celsius and a number of other of the world’s leading scientists are working to put the particles of Osiris back together again.”

“Why is the Vampiress Isis’ laboratory located beneath Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris?” Monica Dhaliwal inquired.

“It’s my understanding that Isis is a big fan of the late great British actor Charles Laughton,” the MI-6 agent answered, “and particularly enjoyed his 1939 film The Hunchback of Notre Dame.”

“So are they having any success putting the particles of Osiris back together again?” The CSIS agent looked at the pattern in her cup of chai tea.

“Well according to a theoretical research paper written by a professor of particle physics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology,” Diablos Nocturna put a little pepper on his dish of Welsh rarebit, “an ET gray’s laser death ray gun fired in reverse into the surrounding atmosphere might be able to put the particles back together again.”

“So all Isis has to do then is to get her hands on an ET gray’s laser death ray gun,” Monica Dhaliwal picked up her fork to sample her own dish of Welsh rarebit.

“That’s right,” Diablos Nocturna nodded, “and there may be a bit of a problem getting that.”

On the radio in the Welsh pub was playing the latest release from the American music group Nero Wilson and The Cleveland Cleavers with their lead vocalist Sekhmet singing the lyrics that were also the title of the song, “Mr. ET Gray, I’m So Sorry I Lost Your Laser Death Ray Gun.”

In the distance outside the pub could be heard the melancholy haunting sound of what sounded like a werewolf howling.

-A vampire novel chapter
written by Christopher
Saturday September 6th
2014

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Flashback To The End of The World- Dec. 21st 2012

September 9, 2014 at 4:04 pm (Commentary, Geopolitics and International Relations, Humour, News, The Supernatural, Vampire novel) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

Flashback To The End of The World- Dec. 21st 2012

The vampire novel chapter I wrote back on December 21st 2012 when something of cosmic significance was supposed to happen on Earth on that date according to Mayan, Aztec and Hopi Indian prophecies.

http://thevampiresamurai.blogspot.ca/2012/12/dec-21st-2012-tempest-or-much-ado-about.html?m=1

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In The Heat of The Night: A Poem

July 15, 2014 at 7:28 pm (Detective story, Poetry) (, , , , , , , , , , , , )

In The Heat of The Night: A Poem

Memories of Raymond Chandler’s Philip Marlowe stories come flooding through my mind
as floods of perspiration fall from my forehead
As a kid I was enthralled reading of Marlowe’s exploits on those hot humid Los Angeles nights
when the City came to a halt in the all encompassing heat
and the only thing that moved were criminals up to no good
and Marlowe who set out to stop them.
The alluring femme fatale standing in the doorway of Marlowe’s office
as the fan worked overtime to keep Marlowe cool
from the heat being generated from the humidity outside
and the heat being generated from the woman in the doorway.
A sip of bourbon
the cool taste of a menthol cigarette brushing the lips
such handy implements meant to lower the temperature.
Such were the stories I read of Marlowe in the Los Angeles of the 1930s and ’40s.
The California West Coast sweltering in unbearable heat.
As the British Columbia West Coast swelters in unbearable heat
and Vancouver cooks like a hot pot unattended on the stove
I perspire and seek the coolness of a lounge with first-rate air conditioning
and think of that metropolis far to the south
where Marlowe once walked the streets.
And then I think “but Marlowe wasn’t a real person”.
It says a lot about Chandler, his words and his writing
that his creation casts a long shadow
and seems to take the form of a real ghost
on those hot summer nights when the mercury soars upward like a rocket
and the perspiration falls like a waterfall
when the fan on the ceiling becomes a knight in shining armour
and damsels in distress flock to the office
where the bottle of bourbon is on the desk
and the cigarette smoke rises
to catch the reflection of the shining neon light outside.

-A poem written
by Christopher
Tuesday July 15th
2014.

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Sidney Seagull Private Eye

January 4, 2014 at 4:50 pm (Entertainment, Humour, Movies, Satire, Short Story) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

Sidney Seagull Private Eye

British Columbia’s most famous seagull Sidney had opened up a private eye’s office on the beach at Vancouver’s English Bay.

He sat around drinking a bottle of bourbon and smoking a cigar while he waited for his first client to show up.

He got a lot of peculiar looks from human passers-by as he did so.

His friend Red Herring Gull flew in to see what he was doing.

“Hi Sid,” Red greeted him, “what’s up?”.

“I’ve decided to go into the private eye business, sweetheart,” Sidney answered in a Humphrey Bogart sounding voice.

“And are you coming out of the closet in the process as well?” Red asked, “You just called me sweetheart.”

“Of course not, you moron,” Sidney choked on his bourbon and cigar, “that’s just the way private eyes talk.”

“Sidney,” a female seagull who sounded a lot like Ingrid Bergman flew into his office.

“Why of all the private eye offices on all the beaches in all the world did she have to fly into this one?” Sidney buried his head in his fedora hat.

“Oh Sidney,” the seagull whose name was Ilsa sighed, “we’ll always have Paris.”

“Funny you should mention Paris,” Sidney belched bourbon, “Miss Hilton was quite pissed off when I crapped all over her dress.”

“I’m talking about Paris France, silly,” Ilsa batted her false eyelashes at him.

“I got the point right on the top of the Eiffel Tower,” Sidney recalled, “most painful enema I’ve ever had in my life.”

“Oh Sidney,” Ilsa started to cry and her mascara flowed like rain along the beach, “why are you so angry?”.

“Gees, I don’t know,” Sidney’s seagull lips dripped with sarcasm, “maybe it was because I was sitting alone in the rain looking stupid on a statue of Charles de Gaulle holding a note that said ‘Dear Rick, I find I have to suddenly leave Paris without you. Love, Ilsa’. That note pissed me off for two reasons. Reason #1: You had forgotten my name because you called me Rick and not Sidney. Reason # 2: You suddenly had to leave Paris without me.”

“Oh, Sidney, you’ve changed,” Ilsa sobbed.

“Of course I’ve changed,” Sidney replied, ” you think I’d wear the same suit that I wore in Paris? With all those coffee stains on it as a result of all those clumsy French waiters?”.

“You don’t understand, Rick,” Ilsa had forgotten Sidney’s name again, “that day when we were supposed to leave Paris together… the day when they started selling German sausages at stands along the Champs-Élysées… I received word that my husband did not die in a hockey training camp after all. He was alive and well and living in Paris. I had to leave Paris with him.”

“What? You couldn’t have dumped your husband and eloped with a bum like me?” Sidney swallowed his cigar, “what’s good enough for the Kardashians isn’t good enough for you?”.

“You don’t understand, Sidney,” Ilsa was crying as much now as a guest would on one of those sisterly blubberfests on the old Oprah Winfrey Show, “my husband is a leader in the Czech resistance movement and he’d fail without my love and support.”

“And as leader of the Czech resistance movement,” Sidney reached for another bottle of bourbon, “just what is it that he’s supposed to be resisting?”.

“Well,” Ilsa replied, “as leader of the Czech resistance movement, he always resisted losing at Chess.”

Just then a blackbird landed on the beach.

The blackbird had a harmonica in his mouth.

“Sam,” Ilsa greeted him, “play it Sam.”

The blackbird looked at Sidney, “That all right with you, boss?”.

Sidney winced as he said, “Play it Sam.”

And so Sam the Blackbird played Here We Go Round The Mulberry Bush on his harmonica.

At that moment Jonathan Livingstone Seagull flew overhead.

He had spent New Year’s Day down in the state of Colorado where they had just legalized the sale of cannabis.

While Jonathan was busy singing that old John Denver song The Colorado Rocky Mountain High, he failed to notice the giant redwood tree in Stanley Park directly in front of him and flew into it- knocking himself out in the process.

At that moment, a falcon flew into Sidney’s office.

The falcon spoke in an unknown language.

“What the Hell are you saying?” Sidney spit out his bourbon.

“I think it’s Maltese,” Red said, “I watched a documentary on Malta on The History Channel last night.”

“You mean they occasionally show other programs on The History Channel besides that stupid American Pickers?” Sidney spit out his bourbon again.

“Sorry,” the Maltese falcon spoke, “I forgot you speak English here.”

At that moment a dog whose name was Sam walked by crying, “I’ve just been spayed. I’ve just been spayed.”

“We’ll be seeing you later, Sam spayed,” Sidney spoke in his Bogart voice as he had been speaking all afternoon.

The Maltese falcon spoke to Ilsa, “I’ve been sent here by your husband to put you directly on a flight to Sochi, Russia. Your husband has been named Captain of the Czech National Hockey Team- the first seagull in history to receive this honour and he’ll be playing in the 2014 Winter Olympics.”

“But why does she need to fly to Sochi now?” Sidney asked between shots of bourbon, “The Winter Olympics are still another month away.”

“Yes but the line-ups for the best borscht soup and beef stroganoff in town have already started,” the Maltese falcon answered, “and your husband wants to be the first in line.”

A sea plane landed on the water by the beach at English Bay.

An old-time train conductor (still waiting for his ship to come in) opened the door of the sea plane and shouted, “Next flight to Sochi, Russia. All aboard.”

“Oh Rick,” Ilsa sobbed on Sidney’s shoulder, “I don’t want to get on that plane. Tell me what I should do and I’ll do it.”

“The name’s Sidney and it looks like I’ll have to do the thinking for both of us. And in the alcoholic haze I’m in, that’s going to take a great deal of talent on my part,” Sidney answered, “Look I may not be the most noble guy in the world… in fact I haven’t been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize even once. But I do know this. The problems of two seagulls don’t amount to a a hill of beans in this world. They amount to a hill of something else. But if you don’t get on that plane, you’ll regret it. Maybe not today. Maybe not tomorrow. But someday and soon.”

“Good-bye Rick,” Ilsa kissed him and boarded the plane.

“The name’s Sidney,” Sidney remarked as the plane flew off into the sunset.

“You know, Sidney,” Red broke the silence, “you know how you said you thought you looked stupid sitting alone on a statue of Charles de Gaulle in the rain?”.

“Yeah,” Sidney nodded sadly.

“Well personally I think anyone would look stupid sitting on a statue of Charles de Gaulle whatever the weather,” Red stated.

“You know, Louis,” Sidney grinned at him, “I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship.”

“The name’s Red,” Red answered, “and if you want me, whistle.”

They walked into the water together as Sam the blackbird played on his harmonica the song whose lyrics went, “Does your memory stray to a bright summer day when I laughed and called you sweetheart…”

The unconscious body of Jonathan Livingstone Seagull floated by.

Sidney took off his fedora in a sign of respect and said, “Here’s looking at you, kid.”

-A Sidney Seagull short story
written by Christopher
Friday January 3rd
2014.

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