Swimming Lessons

Ava, I hope you will appreciate this when you are older.

I’m sitting in a wading pool, holding you up as you splash and kick around. Next to me is a woman, bent over and picking at her big toe.

You might not think this is a big deal. Who cares?

Please allow me to put this into context for you. To say I don’t like crowded public places is an understatement. Don’t get me wrong, I believe that public services like pools are vitally important to the survival of any community. In fact, in a VERY abstract way, I am happy that this woman can do whatever she is doing to her big toe (not going to look) on this fine Saturday afternoon. However, is it rude of me to say that just don’t want to be here when she – and everyone else in the pool for that matter – is?

From my curmudgeony perspective, the problem with public transit is the public.

Seriously, who wants to sit on s streetcar and listen to someone going off on their cell about what they plan to do to their boyfriend now that he’s been caught cheating? That really happened. Am I being a little selfish? Antisocial?

Fine. But my point is, Ava, that I’m sitting in this crowded wading pool, in my bathing suit (actually I’m not sure it would qualify as a bathing suit. Does a freshly-washed running shorts/white briefs combo pass as a bathing suit?) and I actually WANT to be here, in all my white, pasty, antisocial glory, because it all makes you giggle like that.

March’s Top Five Vids

We have another eclectic mix of videos this month, from middle-aged men prancing in their underwear to Betrand Russell’s advice to the graduating class of the year 3000. Enjoy!

Also, atheists, you do not exist!

5. I get a sense, from this video, that there are people who actually wear pants in their own homes. Is this really true? Can anyone confirm this?


4. Watching this video has been scientifically proven to make you feel awesome for 24 hours.*


3. This one goes out to my atheist friends. Consider this a public service announcement that people like Ministry Man do, in fact, exist. Not only that, they also have a large following. Forgive me; while watching this video, there will be much face-palming.


2. No doubt you may need a shower after the previous video. I can provide you with the next best thing, an excerpt from a interview with Bertrand Russell, and his answer to the question of what advice he would give to the generation of people a thousand years into the future.


1. Love him or hate him as a poet, one cannot deny that Irving Layton was one hell of a charismatic speaker. Here he discusses why he moved to Toronto to further his career. The rest of Canada, cover your ears.


*Unfortunately, there have been reports, from some viewers, that immediately twenty-four hours after watching the video, they began to hear the song “Can’t Get You Outta My Head” over and over in their minds, and were unable to remove it for days.

Other People’s Poetry


by David Day


Before Raven there was nothing much
It was quite dark

There was no mountain. There was no earth.
There was no sun or fish. There was
no dog or rainbow. There was no
noisy bird or tree. There
was no wind, stone or
Rain. There was no
people or

It was pretty damn quiet
I’m telling you
I was bored


Then I did something – which
I’m not going to tell

Anyway, after that
Then there are things

Like the ocean, for instance
Like the earth – etcetera, for instance

And still later, there was
You – that is, humans, for instance

I make lots of other mistakes too
But at least I was not bored anymore

Which is better than nothing
As they say
And I think I know nothing
well enough to say
it also



As appeared in David Day’s collection, The Animals Within (Penumbra Press). For more information about the author, please click here.