I’d sing to you about my missing colon, but I only know the chorus.

February 3, 2010

It will be September before I return to the True North Strong and Free but I’m already excited about seeing my family again. Having lived overseas for years, I’ve noticed long absences not only make my heart grow fonder, they also tend to sharpen my powers of observation.

For instance, the last time I was home it suddenly dawned on me that I’ve turned into my parents. Both of them. At the same time.

And by that I mean I finally took a good, hard look at Mom and Dad and realized how many of their funny little quirks and traits I inherited.

For instance: Father likes to mix two different brands of cereal in his breakfast bowl, and then top it off with fruit. I’ve been known to mix three different cereals and two varieties of fruit. And then bring the shovel in from the garage so I can lift the concoction to my mouth.

Mom enjoys reading the paper over breakfast. And by read, I mean read out loud to her tablemates, no matter how little they care about which fashion crime Lady Ga-Gag is committing today. I also like to read while I’m hoisting my cereal, except I’m perusing the Internet. And there’s usually talking involved as well. Something along the lines of this:

Viking Woman: Turn off that frickin’ computer, put the rest of your breakfast in a burlap sack and let’s go. We’re running late for work.

Me: But I only have 30 more NHL game summaries to read.

Viking Woman: How would you like to read divorce papers?

Me: Oh, look, I’m already halfway to the car. Love you!

I inherited my love of books from my mother. She’ll read absolutely anything, just as long as Danielle Steele wrote it. Which might explain why she’s yet to pick up my novel, even though it’s been in the house for five years. Although that could be because one of my sisters warned her that there were a few, um, naughty words in there and by not reading them, she is still able to praise me as The Bestest Son in the Whole Wide World.

Which is true, of course. The naughty words, not the bestest part.

The love of hockey that flows in my Dad’s veins also flows in mine. It was the flowing of blood, in fact — from a nasty skate cut to the forehead — that ended his stay at an NHL tryout camp, thus robbing him of a professional career. Any chance we had of growing up rich and famous was reduced to a frozen, crimson stain on the ice, waiting for the Zamboni’s dispassionate blades to sweep it all away.

Like my mother, I’ve been known to burst into song without any apparent provocation. Or logic. Something will trigger a memory and suddenly I’m summoning decades-old snippets — two lines here, a chorus there — the bellowing of which tends to send the cat scurrying out of the room and leaves Viking Woman shaking her  head. Again.

I know for a fact my siblings can also make a direct connection between their idiosyncracies and our parents. One common trait we all share is the lack of a digestive system. While most normal people have about a mile of colon coiled like sausage links tucked in their guts, my family is equipped with a water slide that starts at the back of our mouths and ends, well, you know.

I can practically hear the food going “Wheee!” as it makes its way from entrance to exit in the time it takes to swallow.

I saw a news report on a scientific expedition in Antarctica where they posted what they called a “danger flag” outside the latrine temt whenever it was occupied. My first thought: “That’s brilliant!” My second thought: “Where can I get one of those?”

So what did I pass on to my children?

They both like to read and write. They both love movies. For proof, see http://www.missteenussr.com and http://www.afilmaday.com. They both have a sense of humour. I know, because, apparently, there’s nothing funnier than seeing me fall down.

I have no idea about the condition of their bowels. But if they inherited the Water Slide, I hope they let me know. I might be able to get a bulk deal on those flags.

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One Response to “I’d sing to you about my missing colon, but I only know the chorus.”

  1. Sorry, I have so many things to say about this blog – I could write my own whole blog on it.
    1. Mixing cereals? I cannot imagine that would work. Which ones? I guess Special K is rice and wheat flakes, so Rice Krispies and Branflakes might work? Still can’t see it.
    2. I love your renditions of your conversations with Viking Woman. I’d like to hear her side of them.
    3. Does your love of novels include Danielle Steel? Somehow you don’t strike me as a Danielle Steel kind of guy, but part of me wishes you had have said that you are too.
    4. Having read your novel, I’m glad your mother hasn’t. If I’d written it I wouldn’t let my mum within 50 yards of it (which is good going as I have no idea how far a yard is, let alone 50!).

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