Tuesday, June 11, 2013


                                                                         (We are advised this is fast becoming an
                                                                           adult site:  So BE WARNED. Our Roving
                                                                           Reporter has no idea when he is being
                                                                           unimaginably tasteless. EDITOR`S NOTE) 
                                                                                                     *    *     *       *       *        *       *       *    *      *     *


          In dentistry and in hockey, good hands are essential.
Both professions involve unimaginable pain. In hockey we
like to see the pain. In dentistry... not so much.
          I went to see my dentist this morning.  Things have
gotten a lot better in the modern dentist`s office. Agony is no longer an expected event.
          Of course, agony is always better when it`s unexpected.         

          I`m lucky. My dentist has good hands. He can be agile and careful. He doesn`t tend to lurch as he`s walking across the rug... And he doesn`t lunge suddenly at you when you`re not expecting it.
            "Laughter is the best medicine." That`s the maxim. 

             It doesn`t always apply in dentistry          

             I  find 
I`m often giddy when I show up at the dentist, probably
because deep down inside my body is bracing itself
for some REAL PAIN... but Real Pain is mostly
a thing of the past.(Unless you have gout in the knee
or you are engaged in childbirth) Agony went out with those
rubber band drills or woven rope drills and pretend
freezings that didn`t work.

          Those old magnifying glasses extenders
that gave the dentist a really good view of your teeth -
and gave you  an immaculate examination
of the  nose hairs of your doctor. If he is a doctor...
          My last dentist turned out not to be a doctor
at all.... I was starting to wonder about him. I swear
I used to hear the sound of laughter over the high-
pitched  howl of his drill, or the low-pitched rumbling
 drone of his more primitive drill.
          (I later learned the low-pitched drill had been
outlawed decades before. It was illegal to use it
on humans or farm animals...  ... 
           In this respect it was similar to the elastrator...
But I digress... )
           I`d sit in his waiting room and listen carefully,
pretending to read a magazine. I`d hear the shudders
and surprised squeals of his unseen patients. And then
the low groan that sounded as if it came from a
400 pound man.
          I`m thinking,  "What`s he doing - working at
two patients at once in there? A six year old child and
a wrestler? I mean, mercy!... mercy me!"

          It got so I started taking my lunches into that waiting
room. I knew something was weird and strange. As
your Roving Reporter it is my duty to investigate such
events, such warps in the fabric of time, such weaves
in the force. To penetrate any thin membranes into the existence of  a dark and more  terrifying reality.
         I saw many mothers with small children. I saw
them have to leave in a hurry.  I`d watch with complete
absorption the poignant scenes... 
        To see a male child, more or less innocent at
the age of four... play with the bright plastic ducks
and inflated balloons in the corner of the old
doctor`s  apparently cheerful rest area... 
        To see the expression  on the 
little toddler`s face as he heard
the high pitched whine as the  modern drill
 did its work
         To see the child`s expression mature as 
the drill started to howl and scream like
some sort of  electronic whistle... and the realization
was setting in: "that was no mechanical device,
that was a human scream."
        The little fellas would start
to bawl and scamper and look around in all directions...
 and back out slowly, slowly towards the door...
       The look of recognition in the child`s face
was priceless.The kid knew  the game had changed - he was no longer in mommie and daddy`s parlour. He was in a different world where unspeakable dangers lurked... even under the plastic chairs and the bright lights. 
      Something medieval had crept into the little tot`s existence and there was no disguising the fact.  No phony
reassurances from his mama
were going to be believed.
          Soon as a new customer walked in
the little tike bolted for the door.  He had no trouble
walking on two legs now. He was running like
he was in the preschool  Olympics. The mother
had to get up quick, or she`d never catch her son.

          I could hear her running down the
carpeted hall, calling after her child, "Nemo! Nemo!"
Nemo had made his escape and turned the corner
toward the elevators.

           Imagine my surprise one lunch hour
when the police suddenly came in. Six
of them in uniforms and two guys in raincoats
 entered the waiting room.
 They didn`t wait.
          They walked down the doctor`s hall.
 Immediately one was reading the Miranda
warning in a loud voice.  Two more cops were opening
their handcuffs. And was it my imagination
or was one of them carrying a butterfly net?
           No,  I`m sure that was just in my mind.
I don``t remember that part too clearly, as
soon as the cops showed up
I didn`t stick around.

         But as I say, dentistry has changed a lot
over the decades. And certainly the office of
Dr. J is the most modern I have seen.

         The magnifying glasses` extender seem to be
another apparatus that is a thing of the past, and
I`m not sorry to see it go.
         My dentist has a genuinely good sense of humour
and that`s always a delightful surprise. But
humour can be a dangerous thing in a dentist`s office,
especially when patients  already have a tendency towards
giddiness and panic.
        The doctor cracks a joke.  When I`m in the chair, I want to tell another. But of course I can`t speak a word
with at least two hands in my mouth. The most I can manage
is an inarticulate mumble.  I find myself shaking with laughter, though I can`t say a thing.
        I try not to make any sudden movements
when the drill is in my mouth.
           A loud noise, perhaps, or glimpsing
a motion out of the corner of my eye - anything
sudden - can revive an atavistic terror. That terror is
of course more appropriate to standing among ancient Indian
 artifacts  and totem poles in the late evening,  than it is
sitting in a modern office.
       Or standing beside one of the heads on Easter Island around midnight in the absolute darkness, when there are 
no sounds - (that`s when you remember the sacrificial
platform down below) - terror is appropriate at such times - but not in an office like Doctor J`s.
        I mean, the doctor fixed my teeth and I`m very
thankful to him and his team. Avoiding your dentist
for several decades will give you problems with
your teeth and I know it was no easy task bringing
my mouth back to health.

         But if sudden fears do arrive, that may result
in sudden movements, that`s when you appreciate
a dentist with good hands and quick reflexes. I do subtle
tests when I`m sitting in the chair, to make sure
the doctor`s reflexes are up to par for the day`s

                                             END OF PART ONE
                                             Respectfully submitted, R.R.

                  PART TWO



         Sometimes because of giddiness, I find myself
saying some stupid and quite disturbing
      I talk too much and I let slip a few comments...Like,
"I love to hear my sister vomit - it`s almost worth
the 300 mile trip for that alone."
       That`s the sort of comment that needs a little
       The remark about the play was worse: "I sent
the play to a well known director and he kept calling
and telling my novelist friend that the play was obscene;
He said `it was pornographic and had no redeeming social value whatsoever.`"
        Well that`s another off the cuff remark
that needs a little explanation.

          I`ve been through a many high tension situations -
when the minds of the participants just teeter along the
edge of what might be final madness.
          Sometimes, when we`re lucky, these highly tense
crises turn into  extended laughing
sessions,  nights when you are crying you`re 
laughing so hard... and you`re crawling
on your hands and knees... weeping... trying to get out
of whatever public place you are in...
            Oh, yes, this happens! I have seen it
occur  many times.
            It happened once to me and others 
 at a funeral, when the immediate
family was viewing the body of their mother in front of
a  private screen  The rest of us were left alone sitting in a very quiet room . Someone told a truly tasteless joke. 
            Hilarity followed. There was nothing we could do about it.
            This also happened to me  once in church.  I was best man at a wedding in a catholic church. The bride and the groom were standing all alone together in a truly awful
silence. I was standing right beside them.
          It so happens they hadn`t gone to  bible school
each week - eight weeks classes  were required. The
unfortunate couple only went to one....
         ...Maybe it was marriage class - I don`t know what the
course of study was that they were supposed to have
undertaken. But they didn`t go. And the priest wasn`t
happy about it.
           Now here we were... in a large church, no, we were
in a cathedral and we were standing all alone
at the front of an assembly of about 300 people.
           The priest didn`t show. At least, not right away.
Not for a long time. I tried to find him, but he must have seen
me coming and hid.
            In the front of the church, nobody was there.
Not even a traumatized altar boy or an old lady in
some dark corner lighting candles.
             No, not a soul. 

             Five minutes went by. Five minutes is a very long time when you`re standing there, like a fool in a school detention... standing in front of all your relatives:  mothers, fathers, cousins, brothers and  one boss. It was the groom`s boss. How lucky for the groom!
            The groom`s name was Alex.
            After one of the longest five minutes
in my life, I made a mistake.  I looked over at Alex.
            He had an expression on his face of such
dread that you`d think he knew for sure
the Grim Reaper was coming.. and he wasn`t going
to kill Alex fast... oh, no! First death was going 
to snatch his kneecaps and then it was coming back 
for his testicles.
            Then death was going to wait for a while (old skull and crossbones)... and after that wait, then  the fun 
was really going to begin. Death was going to be
coming back for  Alex`s more important ligaments
 and internal organs.  That was how Alex looked.
             He was expecting doom.The groom was
expecting doom.
             His hair was still combed neatly, but he 
looked pale. He looked sick, unwell... like he was
going to pass out.
          Dread had got him, and had diminished him further.  
All his life woul be fire and destruction.  Destruction
would be everywhere, not just in his marriage. Alex
had what Hunter Thompson refers to as, "The Fear."
          I guess that priest got his pound
of flesh, his revenge. You weren`t going to get off
easily if you offended this churchman`s delicate
sense of self.
          They (we) had to stand there in the semi-dark
cathedral - like they were being whipped by
angels... for their grievous sin... of offending
someone more important then they were.
            Hell, it was only their marriage. That`s
a good time to hit the disobedient fools.  Hit em
when they`re weak.  It`s only their marriage.
Such things aren`t important.  What`s important
is that these underlings learn their lesson!

            Twenty minutes standing  alone in the
silence and the obscurity. It`s just as well
I don`t have a memory for such things.  That
priest deserved a size twelve boot up his the
ass, and if  I`d caught him, I would
have gotten him.  He knew that and
that`s the reason he did hide so well.
           He showed up ten minutes later.
But I couldn`t really slap the old fruit
around when they were saying their vows.

Poor Alex!    He was standing in the Valley of Death
and he`d forgotten all his prayers. Maybe 
he should have gone to those religious classes
after all.  Anything would be better than this.
That disobedient couple who had skipped
their catholic conditioning for marriage - O what
a punishment they received!
            I didn`t like it, and usually I enjoy
watching punishment.
            Now when I see a look of abject horror
on someone`s face... for no particular reason
at all, no practical reason. When a person
has the deep dread and the Fear, and they`re
not in dire danger, I can`t help myself.  I start
to laugh - just as I have to laugh at my sister`s
howls and horrible moans  when she`s shouting out
the remaining alcoholized juices in her stomach

             But this was far worse. Alex
felt that his life was over. He was mortified.
             I checked my watch. Four more minutes
had passed by.   And the crowd was getting
restless.  North American crowds aren`t known
for their patience.
            The large crowd had started to
give out the occasional cough... and you 
could just hear that people were starting to
            I had the ring.  That much I knew.

            I lean over to Alex and ask, "Where`s the priest?"
but I see the expression on his face once more -
this time I couldn`t help it,  I started to laugh out
            I looked over and gave a nod and a wave
to the bride.  She wasn`t looking so hot either.
            "I`m going to find the little prick!" I say
heading towards the richest part of the
church - where they keep the best  chairs, the best
robes... and the good wine, not that shit they hand
out for communion!

                  I was beginning to lose my temper.  I`m a polite,
shy sort of a fellow -  kind of a wallflower and unassuming.
But when I fall into a rage, I tend to wreak a lot of havoc.
         ( I can hear a woman I know shout,  "Bullshit!")
         I got caught by the police once throwing a bunch of teenagers out the back window of a triplex I had purchased.
I had this eighten year old young man by the throat
up against the wall.  When the police were arriving, I got
distracted... and I forgot I had him still dangling up there...
The teenager was fine, but my wallet suffered and
I spent a little holiday at the expense of the state. 

                      PART 3                        (parts 2 and 3
                                                            not edited)

         The Play -  "ELEPHANT BOY"

                 So anyway I say to my dentist -the modern guy,
not the mad sadist from years long past... I remember
looking into his eyes and saying in a very earnest
voice: " I have had a deep involvement with the theatre"
         What exactly has my "deep involvement" been?

(1)  I used to sleep in the light room of the Global Village
theatre on Yonge Street, Toronto, when I was
homeless briefly...
       The rats convinced me to leave.  Where I slept
was right next to a wire garbage pail... and when I
woke in the  middle of the night.. I could see them
climbing in and out of the garbage pail -  about a foot
from my head.  And that didn`t bother me
       The fact that the rats didn`t  bother me made me
leave all of a sudden and pretty quick. 
        "What`s wrong with you?" I was talking to myself.
The rats should bother you. Are you getting sick?  Are
you going insane?"

(2)         I then slept in the offices of a women`s
group who made films -  OK, it was called, "Women
in Film".  I promised to keep it quiet, but  it`s been 
fifteen years so who cares?

(3) I had a very tender involvement with a young
woman who made and repaired costumes for
theatrical productions.

(4) I played a madman on the heath in the middle
of tornado and a lighting storm  in a play - rather
like Lear, only my lines weren`t so plentiful or so good.
The play was about some sort of power struggle in a kingdom.
     You know - wild hair with twigs in it --- mad eyes--
impoverished clothes, and yes,  Grunge! 7 years
before Grunge I was living large the life of the future
           I didn`t even have to change to play the part.

(5)      I took twelve times the normal dose of a
hallucinogen and spent three days and three nights
 reading Shakespeare in a country  house. The "great
room"  had a thirty foot high stone fireplace. It was
a big fireplace - you could roast a pig in that fireplace.
But I didn`t. And it was just as well I didn`t try, because
I was having trouble with normal ambulation.
         I placed my hand against the castle-like stone 
wall, to hold myself steady and to feel the memory
of the stone. In my hand I had the works of Shakespeare
opened at  Hamlet, and I started reading the play and I
got deeply into it, as if I was meeting the characters
for the first time.
         When I was listening to Polonius, I was very high. For a moment I felt the roof beams opening to the galactic reality
above the house... the sky was swirling with a tornado which was sweeping up  into an interstellar storm.
        It was then I had an Eureka moment, and
if you don`t take this breakthrough 
seriously, I do understand.  Shakespeare`s
characters were not pure invention, his characters
were based on people he actually knew,
in his own life.
        Now this realization was not a stroke
of genius, but it made a big difference to me.

(6) After I had that insight (months later) I wrote
some plays, three of them - all one act plays.
        I gave one of the plays to a well known
Canadian author who was a friend of mine - and
he got the play to a well known director.
        The director called David up, "There`s something
about this play.. it can`t just be a work of unmitigated
pornography, can it?  I`m not sure."
        David hadn`t read the play.  He said, "O.K., no
problem, just send it back."  But the director didn`t send
the play back. Instead he kept telephoning my pal every couple  of weeks to talk about the play, but he would not give it back.
        Gilmour called me up and said: " Look, I can`t get
the play back from the guy. He keeps telling me
what an abomination it is - how pornographic it is."
         On the telephone we both laughed.
         He said: "I don`t think I`m going to get it back
from him.  He`s obsessed.  I think he`s masterbating
to it."

         The name of the play is,  "Elephant Boy".  And it`s called Elephant Boy after the protagonist of the play
who has an exceptionally large appendage. 
          Harry, the husband in the play is not so lucky.
He doesn`t have a large appendage and he usually
arrives home late from work.
          I won`t describe the set, because 
the idea is too good. And it`s so simple that 
it`s almost perfect.
          The wife,  Carla leans out the 2nd floor
window and speaks impassioned sentences into the night.
She has bountiful breasts which the audience
can see clearly because she`s leaning forward in a
low-cut blowse and and she`s moving gently, forward
and back....Nick is moving rhythmically
behind her... the audience can just see his white
suit, but he`s right behind Carla and he`s playing
the trombone.
          The slide of the trombone goes out and in,
in and out again.
           Harry arrives home from the office
and he stares up at his wife who doesn`t
notice him.
         As Nick plays his trombone behind her
Carla goes into a long monologue - I`m not going
to say it`s the equal of Molly Bloom`s bedroom speech.
 But it`s not bad, poetic and passionate, a speech given
into the night air, under the open sky. The monologue
 contains a trainload of Freudian images and symbols,
and as she speaks to the rhythm of the orchestral baton
of Nick`s slide keeping time, as her husband, Harry,
grovels in rhythm with them on the sidewalk below... ... watching intently all the while
      Harry says a few dandy things himself.

           It`s certainly erotic, and there is humour to it
as well.
           I`ve never seen it performed on stage
with the trombone music wailing in the background and the
three actors speaking off and on at the same time.
          One thing I do know is it`ll be a theatrical event
no one will forget.  Some will be offended. Some will
laugh and clap and be entertained.  And some
will clutch their partner`s hand and drive out of the
parking lot fast and hurry straight to bed,
immediately after the performance . I hope to be
in the third group.

         Is  the play pornographic?  Maybe a little...
but in my view this is not usually a bad thing.
          In the dreamy monologue which Carla speaks
while receiving the attentions of Nick - in this
monologue the play rises or falls.
         The love/sex triangle,  the psychological
tension between the three actors - that`s
a zinger, also.  (I mean, it`s dramatically compelling).

        I gave the play to Bobby Gimby to read. He`s
the guy who wrote the "Canada" song... "one little, two
little, three little indians"... He lived with my mother
for  years and he was  fun, always an upper never
a downer. He told some dreadful jokes.
        He pretended to be more inarticulate than he was.
        He came running back in an hour, waving 
the play in the air.
        "Congratulations!" he said, " Terrific! There won`t
be a dry seat in the house!"

                                                                                              Respectfully submitted  R.R.
                                          Discard nothing; everything may
                                          serve. Carpe Diem.