August Photo A Day Challenge: Tranquil

So I’m six, and my single dad loves to go running. I do not love to go running. My idea of a wonderful time involves a book and a comfortable chair, not going outside and deliberately getting out of breath while being too hot. But I’m six, so my dad can’t leave me at home while he runs in weekend races. He has to be inventive.

And it’s 1978, he is not a handyperson, he has no woodworking experience whatsoever, the internet does not exist and there are no books at the library called How To Build A Rickshaw And Bring Your Kid On The Race So No One Calls Child Protective Services. But he is extremely smart. So he sits down and designs the rickshaw himself. Two bicycle wheels, a wooden box, and a set of pipes he can hold while he runs. And then he goes to the hardware store and buys all the supplies (including a hammer) and makes the rickshaw.

Citysonnet’s photo challenge was “tranquil”, and that’s what I think of when I look at this photo. My dad is working twice as hard as everyone else in the race, he’s out of breath and sweaty, but me? I’m six years old, sitting in the back of that rickshaw like very tiny queen.

Reading a book, in a comfortable chair.

August Photo Challenge via Citysonnet.

Plundercats The Musical: True Stories Hijacked by Comedians

One of the things I love most about producing shows in Toronto is that I get to produce the shows I really really want to see. And Plundercats The Musical is DEFINITELY one of those shows.

What is Plundercats? True stories, hijacked by Toronto’s best comedians. But THIS time, the Plundercats take on Rachel Allen’s (Raw Storytelling) true story and then MAKE UP A MUSICAL ABOUT IT. And oh my god, guys, the songs these very funny people make up on the spot are tremendous. Check out this cast – featuring:

Ashley Botting
Carly Heffernan
Hayley Kellett
Rob Norman
Rob Lewin
Cameron Algie
Andrea Marston

With polymath Rory Grant on the keyboard.

Tickets: $13 ($16 at the door) – buy here

Who buys a parking garage for a kid?


My partner Todd (Serendipity Encouraged) asked his readers: “What’s the first toy you remember loving?”

And I immediately thought of the Fisher Price Parking Ramp. It was one of the most prized toys at the Montessori after school daycare I attended in 1977, trumped only by the Fisher Price Airplane With Airport. As dumb as the toy was, I remember running to it every day, spending an embarrassing amount of time zooming the Little People up and down in the elevator, gassing up their cars, and generally ruining the environment.

Can you imagine the toy pitch meeting, circa 1970?

Okay! That Airplane With Airport is selling like hotcakes. What should we follow it up with?

A firehouse. With a working fire pole that the Little People can actually slide down.

How about a Cape Canaveral rocket? With astronaut Little People!

That’s… fine, I guess. [sighs] But just not exciting enough, men.

[leans back in chair, lights a cigarette] I got it, Mr. Robarts. I know what our next top seller is.

We’re all ears. You gave us Middle Manager With Office, after all.

A Parking Ramp. A goddamn Parking Ramp.

Christ. Here we go.

Why do you hate children, Gary?

[sits up, eyes wide] Woah. WOAH! Tell me more.

So the guy parks his car. Then he gets in the – check this out – ELEVATOR, and goes to work.

We’ll sell it at Toys ‘R’ Us right next to Middle Manager With Office!

Then he’s done working and he gets back in the elevator and gets his car, and drives it down the ramp. Maybe gets some gas if he’s on low.

Gary, you’re getting a raise.


[gathers up his papers] I’m moving to a commune in Ohio. Don’t bother sending me my last check.

Thanks for the raise, Mr. Robarts. [takes a drag on his cigarette] Let me tell you about my next project, Waiting Room With Receptionist.