I'd rather be burlesquing.

Friday, November 11, 2005

Lest We Forget

My Great Uncle was a WW2 veteran.

He flew with the RCAF, and acted as one of the Gunners of a Lancaster Bomber.

He was a gruff man, with a booming voice and watery blue eyes. He liked his scotch.

One of my earliest memories of him took place when my brother and I were very young, playing in my Grandmother’s backyard. It was summer, and we were running around and playing with water pistols.

My brother had innocently stood in front of my Great Uncle, pointed the pistol in his face, and said


As children of about 5 and 7, we could not have understood his reaction. We lived and played in a world where the thought of someone actually getting hurt by a gun was impossible. When he reacted instantly; when he took the gun from my brother and yelled at him; when he told him to ‘never point a gun in someone’s face’, we just didn’t understand.

That summer day has never left my mind.

It wasn’t until many years later that my Uncle started to tell stories about his time in the War.

Stories of a final shot of whiskey before being sent on a mission.
Stories of lying for hours on his stomach in a cold steel plane.
Stories about dropping bombs.
Stories about knowing that you might not make it back.

My second-cousins joined the Cadets when they were young, and my Great Uncle was extremely proud. This is a contradiction that I have never fully understood.

If my Uncle had experienced things that were so horrible, and so unthinkable, why would he want to subject anyone – let alone his own family – to the same nightmares? The same silence that haunted him well into his old age?

My Uncle was extremely proud of his service in WW2. What he did was extremely honourable, extremely brave and unimaginable. I will never fully comprehend this part of his life.

My Uncle passed away two years ago, and I was unable to attend the funeral.

Today, above all else, is for him.

My Great Uncle, John Dougall.

Thursday, November 03, 2005


I went to check out Sufjan Stevens at King's College on Tuesday night.

I'm not going to say anything about Mr. Stevens, however. We all know that he is a god. The only thing that I will mention is that I'm 99% sure that he was in fact making sultry eye contact with me the entire night.

Yes, Sufjan, I will marry you.

Signed, the girl in the black glasses who was standing above the stairwell.