That Time I Got A Tattoo Of A Freckle

Blog, Writing

“That Time I…” posts are true stories that am I retiring from my social repertoire. To honour them, I am committing them to text for the first time. Read stories about sound torture, abortion, and the infamous Tragic Hand Button.

My friend Matt quietly sipped his coffee while I talked about my character-building adventures in Europe. I told him about walking through St. Peter’s just after the death of John Paul. I told him about the Lutheran Bible I bought in Berlin and the perpetual bookfair  that takes place on the site where Nazis burned them. I also told him about an idea I had, but didn’t follow though on, to have a freckle tattooed on my arm. His response to all of that was, “Let’s do it right now. My friend works in a tattoo parlour on Yonge Street.”

Morning Word Day 23 – WHO Health Report Toronto [Part 3]


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AUG 8: Local news reports hundreds are sick, thousands in quarantine, creatures in the subway tunnels.

AUG 9: Doug Ford holds funeral for brother and mayor Rob Ford. It is televised. During a eulogy, Doug pledges to fix the city no matter the cost.

AUG 10: The Premier closes the city of Toronto. No one is to enter or leave.

AUG 11: Doug Ford refuses to submit himself to hospital quarantine. He insists he was not at City Hall during the five days previous to the outbreak. He hosts press conferences with updates from police and fire departments from Deco Labels office.

AUG 12: From quarantine, candidates release statements that Doug Ford is not the mayor.

AUG 13: City Councillors that are confirmed healthy are released from quarantine. Emergency session held in Deco Labels office appoint Doug Ford Mayor of Toronto.

AUG 14: Doug Ford orders the closure of original outbreak building, 40 Firvally Crescent, to starve the illness. The Toronto Star publishes an attack against the decision which result in the deaths of residents whether or not they are sick. A public opinion poll shows quiet but strong support for Ford. Police seal 40 Firvally Crescent

AUG 15: Provincial and federal MPs urge leaders to open Toronto, take control. The Premier refuses to reopen the city, declares martial law for the safety of Torontonians.

AUG 16: Doug Ford and remaining councillors cancel Fall election. Ford orders closure and containment of all TCHC buildings for two weeks. No major media outlet criticizes the decision. Situation on-going. Reports as developments occur.

Morning Word Day 4 – The Invasion of Canada


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General McNeil entered the war room, a dry-aired concrete bunker under Parliament Hill. He hadn’t expected to be here today since it was Canada Day. He thought the Americans would halt their month-long attack on the border. It was only polite. But a reprieve did not occur and the General was called in to deal with a sudden situation. He was still tucking in his shirt when he walked in and said, “Status report.”

The war wasn’t going well but the energy in the room was pure panic. Lights were flashing. Alarms were ringing. People were screaming into phones, demanding more information. The room was half decorated with red and white streamers for a party that never occurred. A single square of a white slab Maple Leaf cake had been cut but not eaten.

“They just hit us,” said Lieutenant Fotopoulos.


“Everywhere, sir.”

McNeil knew this was it. This was the big push. They picked Canada Day on purpose. Through sheer grit, he had held back the Americans for four weeks but Canada could not hold against a full-on attack.

“The Americans have been bold,” continued Fotopoulos. “They’re hitting us at every major fortification. That includes Fort West Edmonton Mall, Fort CN Tower Spinning Restaurant, and Fort Anne of Green Gable’s Historical Recreation.”

“Is the actor who plays Anne still alive?”

“No. Her two years of tap and one year of sword play could only do so much.”

“So who is our best case scenario right now?”

“There are a few areas that are holding. The Vancouver Needle Exchange is doing well. Every time the Americans get close to the building we pelt them with used needles.”

“Tell them to keep it up as long as they can.”

“Luckily there were a few junkies in there when the attack began. As long as they have needles, they can keep using them.”

“Excellent. Resupply them by air if need be. What else?”

“The Toronto Zoo.”

“Didn’t we abandon it yesterday?”

“We did but the Americans keep stopping to look at the pandas. We’ve got snipers in the trees picking them off.”

“They don’t notice the huge pile of dead bodies by the panda cage?”

“They do. But those pandas…they’re so cute.”

“True. Anything else.”


“All of Winnipeg?”

“It’s our Russia. You don’t fight a land war in Winnipeg.”

“But it’s July 1st.”

“It’s still -25 in Winnipeg. If all Canada wanted to be was the city limits of Winnipeg, I think we could hold it indefinitely.”

McNeil looked at the map. He was outgunned and outnumbered. It was time to say some Hail Marys and throw a Hail Mary.

“This is our last chance. We’re going to concentrate our efforts here.”

“But Winnipeg is holding, sir. It doesn’t need our help.”

“We’re going to Winnipeg and we’re going to conscript the most aggressive fighting force this country has ever seen.”

“Sir, you don’t mean…”

“Liquored up hockey dads. And then we’re going to march west through Brandon and Moose Jaw and Lethbridge. And east through Thunder Bay and Sault Ste. Marie. We’re going to collect all the liquored up hockey dads in those towns, we’re going to give them all the liquor they can drink, and we’re going to retake this country.”

The red phone rang and the Lieutenant picked it up. He was quiet for a moment and then said to McNeil, “Sir, Tie Domi is on the phone. Remember that guy who played for the Leafs, like, ten years ago. He set a franchise record for penalty minutes and now he does for commercials for Comwave telephones. He wants to know if there is anything he can do.”

McNeil smiled. “He can lead them.”