Humm Column: Postcards from Perth

Love and a Tiara (and a Cookie)

By John Pigeau, Columnist, theHumm

January 2014

I just read something cute that made me smile. It was this: “All you need is love… and a tiara. And maybe a cookie.” That’s keepin’ it pretty simple, huh? It’s nice to keep things simple these days, I think. And it’s also good to smile, that’s for sure. So in the spirit of that sort of thinking, and with the New Year now upon us, I’d like to share with you a few things I would like to do in 2014 — you know, to make it a good one. Nay, a great one!

theHumm's John Pigeau

Eat more cookies. I know I’m going against the grain here, but cookies are delicious! And yet, strangely, I never buy them anymore when I grocery shop. That seems sad. And no one wants sad. So I’ll remedy that. Next time you pass a nice little coffee shop or a bakery, look for me: I’ll be sitting near the window, reading a dog-eared paperback and enjoying a cookie… a still-warm, melt-in-your-mouth chocolate chip cookie the size of my head.

Speaking of things the size of my head, I would like to go bowling this year. Often. Heck, maybe I’ll even start a team and join a league. Not five-pin, though. Ten-pin is where the fun is at. Is there anything more pleasing than hearing that delicious pop-and-crunch of those old wooden pins when you bowl a strike? Perhaps the joyful yip that almost unintentionally escapes your lips after doing so. Regardless, my friends, there are fewer pleasures in life, I can assure you, than bowling a strike in borrowed shoes.

And speaking of shoes, I would like a new pair. Nothing so fancy I’d need to procure a bank loan to buy them. Nah. Just something comfortable and cool, or what I used to refer to as “rock star shoes.” Shoes that make me feel good. That put an extra bounce in my step. In fact, I’m thinking red sneakers. First, because is there a more marvelous word than sneakers? Very few, I think. I’m already imagining someone saying to me, “Wow, you know, those are really, really nice sneakers.” That alone would be great. Also, sneakers are comfortable. Let’s face it: sneakers are the librarian’s cardigan of footwear. Why red? Red often evokes erotic feelings. It’s also the color most often associated with strength, passion, and love. And red’s a bit different, and I’ve always fashioned myself as a little bit different, in a good way.

You know, I doubt they sell cookies at bowling alleys (you’re more likely to find a toddler-sized jug of pickled eggs than a jar of yummy cookies), but I bet they sell red bowling shoes. Just a thought.

Speaking of thoughts, here’s one — when’s the last time you threw a party for no reason whatsoever except to have fun? Back in November, I hosted a small Christmas party at my apartment and it turned into a full-fledged hootenanny. We laughed and talked, drank beer and wine, ate oysters, laughed some more, and then cracked out the instruments and had a big ole sing-along and jam session. It was the most fun I’d had in ages! One of my guests and friends, I’m happy and grateful to say, is a beloved, best-selling Canadian author too, and I can’t tell you how much astonishment and joy the rest of us felt when he plucked out his guitar and started playing and singing like a well-travelled troubadour, like a seasoned pro, like Springsteen! “Way too much talent!” we all thought, but it was great fun nonetheless, and we all joined in, singing and playing various instruments. Suffice it to say, I will certainly be hosting more modest-sized parties this year, and for no particular occasion. Celebrating Monday for being the most scorned day of the week seems as good a reason as any, to me.

Like Friday doesn’t get enough glory as it is. “Thank God it’s Friday,” people are always saying. I mean, someone actually named a chain of restaurants TGIF, they were so fond of this day and, I assume, the end of the workweek. Something about that rubs me wrong. I think it’s the notion that if you don’t do something exciting on a Friday night, then you’re made to feel like a boring, friendless, Macon Leary-like orphan. If you’ve ever seen those commercials for The Keg featuring actors playing the unequivocally happiest people on the planet, then you know precisely what I’m talking about. Seriously, these people look impossibly happy, like they’ve just had the best sex of their lives, while riding a rollercoaster, on a rocket ship, in heaven.

Well, poppycock, I say. Hooey! Utter hogwash!

With that in mind, in 2014, I’d like to just chill on Friday nights. Turn off my cell phone, shut down my laptop, and kick off my new erotic red sneakers. Maybe I’ll steal joy from a great book. Or meditate. Or read the personals and the obits, like many writers do for fun and research. Or write a letter, longhand, to a friend or my favorite aunt. Or I’ll flake out in my blue-striped Batman boxer shorts and, notebook at the ready, think interesting thoughts, like: What would happen if a mule got into some medical marijuana? This, by the way, I’m absolutely sure, is how some of the very best ideas for novels are conceived. Therefore, it would be time well spent and perhaps even a tax write-off. Win-win.

Perhaps I should have mentioned earlier that these aren’t resolutions. Resolutions are cliché, and I dislike cliché. Also, does anyone ever follow through on resolutions? Okay, maybe a few people do but I’ve never been counted among them, so aiming for things I would like to do seems less daunting, more attainable… and I much prefer that.

Oh, I almost forgot. I would also like to move to Loblaws. Yes, to live. And when they say, “Can I help you, sir?”— which they will inevitably ask — I will say, “No, I live here. Can I help you?” And then I will go to the fresh fish department and eat some shrimp.