Canada: a screw in a foot, an election and a man who will set himself on fire

The latest dispatch from this blog’s occasional Canadian correspondent Anna Smith has arrived.

Her early-morning report from Vancouver goes like this…


Don Bradman holds a cricket bat

Australian Don Bradman holds a cricket bat

I am not usually up at this hour without having attempted to go to sleep. But I was on the phone for almost three hours with a lady named Cricket. I have known her off and on since I was eleven. She has always been a fantastic story teller and my life seems watery and pale by comparison. She lived in Willesden Green in London as a child, with her grandmother who was a lesbian nun from Slave Lake.

It has been a very long and confusing day. I thought the Koreans in the coffee shop were asking me to dress up a dolphin and punish them.

Sorry, that should read  “dress up as A dolphin”. I hope that clears things up.

Coffee is a dangerous drug when combined with a sleeping disorder. The building manager is in the hallway now. He is from Heathrow in West London, but he doles out dire Cockney-toned nuggets to the neighbours like: “WELL, THEY BETTER GET USED TO IT!”

Anna retouched her nose in this 30-year-old picture

Anna Smith retouched her nose

I attach a thirty-year-old photo of myself taken during my black bottom serving maiden era, when I was trying to be a serious actress.

I retouched myself.

That is just correction fluid on my nose to conceal a brown stain on the photocopy; nothing to do with the police, drugs or the French… The original is long lost like my original aorta. I am pleased to report that my fake aorta is made of Dacron. When the surgeon told me he was going to put in a Dacron hose I was elated. The only thing I knew about Dacron was that they make sails out of it, so I knew it was strong and could prove to be invaluable in case of a marine emergency.

None of me is insured for anything, not even the  stainless steel screws (with washers) which I have in my arm. I want everyone to know that in case I am dead. They are in my right humerus. They could save your life.

One time, I was carrying something heavy and I stepped on a large screw. It screwed my cheap basketball shoe on to my heel bone. When I got to emergency at St.Paul’s Hospital in Vancouver again – where I have been revived countless times – the nurses joked: “Now you really ARE wearing spiked heels”.

A rather fuzzy photo of Anna’s foot

Out-of-focus photo of Anna’s feet: she is not sure which was screwed

When the doctor saw my foot, he was not sure what to do. He had not dealt with this exact problem before. So he sent me to X-ray.  They had to call the maintenance department, who sent up a man with a screwdriver. The doctor grimaced a bit but managed to unscrew me. I do not remember which foot that was.

I went to vote in the municipal election yesterday. There was a plethora of trans gender women to choose from on the ballot paper, but I only chose two – one for mayor and one for the Parks Board.

Elections can be interesting.

Just north of Vancouver on the Sea-to-Sky Highway is the district municipality of Squamish. Stunt man Peter Kent lives there. He has vowed to set himself on fire if the voter turnout is higher in this election than it was in the last. He says that Squamish has been good to him and he wants to give back to the city and encourage young people to vote.  He won a seat on the council yesterday, but the turnout has not yet been totaled so the CBC has not yet decided whether to send a camera crew to film him.

He said that setting himself on fire is no big deal as he does it all the time.

Socially responsible citizens line up in a Vancouver gym to vote in yesterday’s election. Anna says: "I was told by a polite, pregnant officer that I was not allowed to take this photo."

Socially responsible citizens line up in a Vancouver gym to vote in yesterday’s election. Anna says: “I was told by a polite, pregnant officer that I was not allowed to take this photo.”

Once I spent a long time on Vancouver Island.

When I returned to the mainland there was a civic election and I did not have a clue who to vote for.

So I asked my neighbour Tom, a retired librarian draft dodger anarchist hippie from Detroit, who HE was going to vote for. Tom reads a lot and is really politically informed. I agree with him on most  issues.

He said he was voting for one guy because he wanted to put in more bicycle paths. He named another man he was voting for because the guy would ban genetically modified seeds from local farms. Then he named a woman. He said she was the first woman to fuck him when he had arrived in Canada during the Vietnam War. So he was voting for her.

I did not – still don’t – know what the lady looks like. But Tom looks fine. He dresses a bit strangely – black leggings, a pink toque – but he has agile movement, sharp eyes and lives on a sailboat in the shipyard.

I thought to myself: Anyone who fucked Tom definitely deserves my vote.

So I voted as Tom recommended.

It seemed the right thing to do.

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Filed under Canada, Eccentrics, Humor, Humour, Surreal

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