Best Laid Plans

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While God may or may not laugh when men make plans, Covid-19 certainly does.

You don’t hear the expression much anymore, but some of my older relatives when asked if they would attend a family birthday party or wedding would reply, “God willing.”

More than two years into the pandemic, with flights, travel plans, concerts, theatre performances, and family gatherings being cancelled daily, perhaps we should all be saying, “Covid willing.”

This weekend as we celebrate Ramadan, Easter, and Passover

or the warmer days of Spring,

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

I’m reminded of a traditional Irish blessing…

May the road rise up to meet you.
May the wind be always at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face;
the rains fall soft upon your fields and until we meet again,
May God hold you in the palm of His hand.

Covid Willing!

Aimer at Amazon

The Appointment

Gary glanced at the digital clock on the dashboard. He was going to be late. Maybe, the universe was telling him to turn around and go home. Right, the same universe that told him to make the damn appointment in the first place.

Gary had been perfectly happy to leave suspected pockets of his psyche unexplored. Okay, not perfectly happy, but certainly, perfectly accustomed. He wasn’t one to knock the tried and true. It was comfortable, predictable, safe.

Boring.

Not boring, precisely, but lately—lately, since his forty-fifth birthday three months ago—Gary had been feeling…unsettled, restless, like he was running out of time.

Classic mid-life crisis, yeah, Gary got that. Didn’t make him feel any better, though, and the classic pop-culture coping mechanisms weren’t his style.

Gary had no desire to blow a fortune on a luxury sports car, no intention of starting an affair with the new intern in the office, and there was no way he’d be sporting a ponytail anytime soon.

No, Gary’s solution to this mid-life malaise was to make a fool of himself. In an attempt to answer a question he should have asked twenty-five years ago, Gary had made this appointment. The appointment he was going to be late for because that’s just what he needed, as if the nerves chewing on his stomach lining weren’t enough.

Gary presented his credit card at the registration desk, receiving a key card and instructions for the hotel’s Wi-Fi. He took the elevator to his room, and worrying that eight minutes late was too late, he texted his room number to a man he didn’t know.

Gary had checked the guy out, of course. He was new at this, but he wasn’t an idiot. He’d spoken to people who’d worked with guy. He’d been careful, the way he’d always been careful, which was why he was in this mess in the first place.

God, he was too freaking old for this.

A rap on the door and Gary shook hands with a man about his height, but at least, ten years younger. Brown eyes, a friendly smile, and a confident set to his shoulders. But then, this man would be confident, wouldn’t he?

“Gary, we’re just experimenting here, finding out what works for you and what doesn’t. Take a breath, relax. We’ll start with something simple, okay?”

“Kneel.”

Flatulence Fascination

There are words I prefer not to say, vagaries of the body I see no need to mention.

Apparently, I am alone in this regard because they are mentioned—frequently.

As any five-year-old can attest, there is one noxious noise in particular that is greeted with glee, and awarded with laughter.

Kate Beaton, a Cape Breton cartoonist, has worked this fascination with flatulence into her children’s book, The Princess and the Pony, giving her warrior princess a steed with intestinal issues.

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Based on Kate’s book, AppleTV+ is releasing a new animated series, Pinecone and Pony.

Let the laughter begin.

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Aimer at Amazon

Phantom of the Opera

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The first time I saw Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Phantom, I wasn’t impressed. I didn’t see what all the fuss was about. Of course, I didn’t see much. From my seat buried in the back section of the orchestra, the falling chandelier was barely visible.

The Phantom music was everywhere in 1989, or it certainly seemed that way. Despite any real effort on my part, I became familiar with the songs and contrary to the old adage, familiarity did not breed contempt.

The next time I saw the Phantom—and every time since—I was entranced.

How do you improve on a classic?

What if the Phantom doesn’t end with Erik fleeing through underground tunnels? What if Christine were Christian?

Questions Joel Abernathy asks and answers with his book, “Masquerade: An MM Phantom of the Opera retelling.

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I’m not usually a fan of ‘retelling’ versions of beloved stories, but Joel handles the transition well, keeping the original flavour while adding a touch of spice. His Christian, while as young and sheltered as Andrew’s Christine, is more than a myopic, sentimental wuss.

With his sequel to the Phantom, “Love Never Dies,”

Andrew wrote Erik a happy ending of sorts, giving him a son, but having Christine die in his arms. Joel skips the heart-wrenching and goes straight to the happy ending which is fine with me.

Now, when I hear Andrew’s “Think of me

I think of Joel’s “Masquerade.”

Aimer at Amazon