Monday, August 24, 2009

Making matters worse, I kept picking up the phone to see if he'd been hurt and left a message. Or something.

Bill, you naughty, insouciant boy. What a phony windbag you turned out to be – taunting us with your manly virility, then showing up midday all limp-dicked and hungover from a night of belly shots and lap dances on Martha's Vineyard.

You had the shell-shocked inhabitants of Havenot scrambling for days, stocking up on cheap rum, smokes, sour cream and onion chips, two-four's of Keith's, and countless batteries for flashlights, vibrators, and alarm clocks – the latter, despite anyone having a job worth waking up for.

After Juan – now there was a real man – town folks learned a valuable lesson. No one scoffs at the intensity of a Latino with a boner after that swarthy beast swooped down in the middle of the night in '03. Juan touched down long enough to impregnate women, uproot trees, and bend telephone poles like toothpicks – elevating the birth rate for the first time since the cod fishery went to shit. There was nothing to do but barbecue, drink, and screw for ten days, while Nova Scotia Power figured out what wire went on what pole.

Maybe it's your name: Bill. Wild Bill, sure. Bill Clinton – absolutely. But I bet very few women lie awake at night touching themselves, whispering the name Bill, unless of course it's Mrs. Gates, in which case there's so much money tucked under the mattress she's bound to fall asleep with a toothy, satisfied, philanthropic grin on her face. Here's a tip, Bill: Maybe the next time the alphabet rolls around you should change your name to Wet Willy, or Big Bill. Or, lose the false bravado once and for all and come out of the damn closet.

I, for one, hadn't stocked up on anything as of ten o'clock yesterday, having been disappointed by men like you, so many times. Eventually succumbing to intense media pressure, I figured I should at least pick up a few magazines and black licorice, and maybe some tabouleh from Tarek's Cafe – but even the Lebanese soup pusher had battened down the hatches and stayed home. There was a long line of bitchy, nervous wrecks stocking up on diapers and Diazepam and Tampax at Shopper's Drug Mart, so I took my chances and headed to the Hydrostone. If nothing else, maybe I could buy a tasteful greeting card to let someone know I was okay and had survived the big hurricane of August '09.

I should have known. The French aren't afraid of anything except for maybe Nazis and shaving under their armpits, so Julien's Bakery was wide open – windows all steamy with melted butter and anticipation – and doing a brisk business. Factoring in the good possibility of electrical failure, since history has proven Nova Scotia Power fails to function even after someone gets a blow job down on Gottingen Street, I decided to stock up on a few essentials after all.

I got one lemon tart, one lemon loaf, and one lemon square – to ward off scurvy. I chose one chocolate croissant, one cheese croissant and one ham-and-cheese croissant – for protein and dessert. I pointed at a pink, Pavlova-type meringue thing but decided it might go all weird in the humidity, so instead picked up a sandwich, a morning glory muffin, a loaf of Good Hearth bread and two dog biscuits – for the dogs – although they were fresh and might be tasty if dipped in some Cheese Whiz. Julien's sells local canned stuff like pickles and jam, so I tossed in a a few of those, just in case things got really ugly. Besides, Jack's been away, so I'd pretty much been living on microwave popcorn and boxed wine after cleaning out our larder of anything remotely edible.

I left Julien's and headed back through empty streets, settling in on the sofa to watch the Bill Show. I waited. And waited. CBC radio had even taken over studio time from that moronic weekend morning show that makes me want to pack my bags every Saturday and Sunday – giving airtime to a Hurricane Bill special just so we'd know when Bernard D'Entremont's fishing boat catches a breeze down in the wife beating er, gaulage sa femme capital of the world: Yarmouth.

But nothing.

By noon, when I faced facts and the cold reality that I'd been stood up and Bill was a big fucking no-show, lacking the courtesy to even drop by and blow up my skirt – I had eaten one lemon tart, one lemon loaf, one lemon square, one chocolate croissant, one cheese croissant and one ham-and-cheese croissant (for protein). I had dipped one dog biscuit in bread-and-butter pickles and the other in homemade raspberry jam, but tossed them to the hounds when I remembered I still had a tuna sandwich and a muffin sitting in the bag on the counter. I had so much tea and coffee to wash it all down I gave myself a urinary tract infection and ran out of toilet paper.

By two-thirty I was pacing the floor wishing I had some tree limbs to pick up, or some ready-to-roll mojitos, or, that my kid was home so I at least would have someone to play with, when I realized the women's tennis was on and I could relax and listen to the squeals from Hurricane Maria instead of the deafening silence as Bill headed up the coast to piss all over Cape Breton.

How was your weekend?

Tarek's Lebanese Café is at 3045 Robie Street (in the mini mall). Julien's is in the Hydrostone and at the Saturday Farmer's Market, the Friday VG Farmer's Market and in Chester, because the French aren't afraid of hard work either.