Hello everyone, everywhere,

Okay, this past week has been full of turmoil and craziness in my personal life. I’m still riding the bus. That’s okay, they’re nice people and I’m figuring it out. My nephew finally left the roost yesterday. Gone to live with his girlfriend and start his life. Thank god for both of us. Anyways, other than that the band has been great. We’ve got some gigs coming up which I’m really looking forward to.

The weather sucks. I hate winter. I know some people love it, but when it’s hard to get around, winter’s a bitch. But anyways, I’m in my big castle all by myself now and I’m just waiting for the sign to go up outside, and we’ll get on with it. It just seems funny after all these years. There’s always been so many people there and now it’s just me. Very quiet. I like that. That’s all.

And now it’s time to close our eyes and our thoughts…and rest. That’s it until we meet again at Bob and Brenda Fergelbaums’s Archery and Child Care Emporium.



     Now our story begins in November, one month before Christmas. There was trouble on the North Pole. It seemed Santa’s reindeer Blitzen had a disagreement with Dancer and Comet. You see, Blitzen wanted to go south and hang out in the forest with his old friends, the Jinglers.
Dancer and Comet said, “You can’t leave now! We have to get ready for Christmas.” Blitzen snorted and said, “Sorry dudes, this guy has got to fly.” And off he flew, heading south to Flim Flam Forest.
Santa heard this story and he knew just what to do. He always does, doesn’t he?
So, Santa phoned his friend George Fibberknocker. George listened to Santa and said, “I’ll send my best boys. Don’t worry, we’ll find Blitzen.”
Well as it happened George forgot that all his best men went fishing at Kablabber Lake. Now George was worried. What was he going to do? He had given Santa his word. And that’s something.
George was looking out his window and pondering his problem when he noticed three kids hanging around outside: Sid Kitchen, Stanley Glister, and Chloe Whiteseal. George was thinking, Well these kids are 10 or 12…or maybe 25, I don’t know. It is sunny and I’m sure they could look for awhile, don’t you think so?
The kids waved to George. He called them over and said, “Kids, I’m in trouble. One of Santa’s main reindeer, Blitzen, is in the woods hanging out with his boys, the Jinglers. But Santa needs him back at the North Pole right away. Can you help me, kids?”
Chloe Whiteseal looked at George and said very softly, “We’ll help you Mr. Fibberknocker.” George looked at them and said, “But there are only three of you. We need four.”
Stanley said, “Who can we get on short notice?”
“I know who”, George exclaimed. “My nephew Max!”
All three of them looked at George and said, “THAT KID?”
George smiled at them and said, “He’ll be fine. You’ve got to have four people to walk in each direction.” That kid they were talking about was Max Fibberknocker, ten years old. Now Max lives with cerebral palsy. So he has a cane, (he calls it Edward), and he’s maybe a tick or two behind. He is shy like a lot of you are, but Max is full of life. He just needs a friend. He talks slower than you or me maybe, but Max thinks if someone would just stop and listen to him, if only for a moment, he might just blow their mind.
“Well,” Sid Kitchen said, “if we really need him, he can go, I guess.” Now Sid is 11. He’s got short brown hair. His front teeth are gone. He tells everyone it happened in a bear fight when he was camping, but everyone knows it really happened when he tripped on his way home from the store. Sid likes a little story to get the going good.
Then of course there was little Chloe Whiteseal. She is 11. She’s cute as a button though when people tell her that, see smiles and quietly says, “Thanks. I do my best.”
And then without further ado, let’s introduce Stanley Glister. Stanley. He’s a big guy. Pot belly, funny, always scratching his head. His favourite saying is, “I’ll get it done, even if I have to use somebody else.”
So off they went. All going in different directions.
Max liked the wind so he went north. The others went east, west, and south.
Now Max knew he talked a little different than you and me but he knew to watch for hoof prints. Stanley was yelling, “Here, reindeer! Here, reindeer!” Sid Kitchen was calling, “Turn your nose on Blitzen! Turn your nose on Blitzen!” (Sid was so smart he didn’t realize they weren’t looking for Rudolph).
Chloe Whiteseal was watching some deer and said to herself, “If I can’t find Blitzen, at least I saw some deer.” She was very proud of herself and that was just fine.
It seemed like forever for Max because walking wasn’t that easy for him.
Just when they were giving up, Max looked over to his right, and there were the Jinglers. Max went over to them and called, “Is anybody here named Blitzen?” One of them turned his head slowly and said, “I think you’re looking for me.”
Blitzen walked up to Max and said, “You look different than some others do.” Max smiled and said slowly, “I am different. Good though. Now see, I need a friend, that’s all.” Blitzen laughed and said to Max, “You had better turn around.”
And as he did, Chloe, Sid, and Stanley were smiling and yelling to Max. “Max,” they all said, “maybe you are different, but you are a good different. And you found Blitzen.” And as they took Blitzen back to George they all turned and said, “Max if you’ll have us, we want to be friends and we know: listen harder, don’t judge until you know who you are judging.” And they all laughed and watched Blitzen fly back to the North Pole.


By jamesghutcheson


Hello everyone, everywhere,
Well there’s no doubt about it, winter’s here. I’m still trying to watch football and they’re playing hockey.

Now I guess everyone’s looking forward to the holidays. I’m thinking about some of the people I know who are alone, and at this time of year I focus on those people. They’re easy to spot. They’re the ones with deadpan eyes and the ‘I’ll catch up to you later in life’ kind of smile. Sometimes when you’ve been alone for so long you forget how to talk to people, so when you do, you don’t come off exactly as you planned. All I’m saying is, if you see someone who is lonely or you know someone who is lonely, try not to leave them alone. That’s all.

And now it’s time to close our eyes and out thoughts and…rest. Until we meet again at Spanky Joe Turnball’s Fine Dining and Pool Hall Emporium on the corner of Fleck Street and Going Down Avenue.


Old Lady

Tuesday night finds Myrtle West sitting in her cozy little house.

Now Myrtle is excited. For today Myrtle is expecting a package from her sister Monica who lives across the country from her.

You can feel the season of joy and holidays. Myrtle turns to the mirror on the wall, and as she catches her reflection, (I’m not sure if it was the ambers from the fireplace, or the candles), if only for a moment, she was young and beautiful.

Since she lost her husband Mervin (that’s Merv!), the days and nights sometimes just all seem to…what..run together? Comfort? Not sure any more. Fifty nine years is a long time to love. Though love they did.

Anyway, every Christmas Myrtle and her sister Monica send each other a gift. The gift is never revealed.

A knock at the door. Oh, my special gift is here, Myrtle thinks to herself. As she opens the door, Myrtle almost faints. There stands her sister Monica and Monica’s husband Dick.

Myrtle grabs her sister and they laugh and weep.

Myrtle says to Monica, “My dear dear sister. How? Why? You know, you’re here! I was expecting a package like we have done for so long.”

Monica, with tears coming down, looks at Myrtle and says, “This year I am the package. No one should be alone. So smile, Myrtle West. Your gift is here.”


By jamesghutcheson


Hello everyone, everywhere,
This week has been rather uncommon for me. Right now I’m riding the bus because of car troubles. He’s sick. But, on the other hand, the bus drivers are very nice, and it’s funny, after awhile you start to sit there and close your eyes and you almost get to your stop without falling asleep.

The band is  playing; we have a live show downtown on Thursday and we’re all looking forward to that. And we have some very interesting projects coming up this winter so we’re quite excited. I’ll fill you in as I find out more.

Now that the air is still, it’s time for all of us to think of our veterans. The men and women we’ve lost. The men and women who have lost themselves. And the terrible tragedies that we send these people to face every day. We’re very polite people, Canadians. But we are proud. And I guess if we were all in New York in millions we’d look pretty good. But we’re a big country and we’re scattered around. Believe me, from one corner of this country to the very peak at the top, we remember. And we thank you. That’s all.

And now it’s time to close our eyes and our thoughts, if only for a moment, and rest. Until we meet again at Sam and Barbara Spangles Child Portraits and Explosives Emporium on the corner of Flatcher Street and Youbetcha Avenue, right by Max’s house. Yeah, the blue one.


60's flares

Dean is on tour, so to speak. He’s looking good:  long hair, body bronzed from playing with the sun. (When I say playing, I think I move more towards talking. Just saying, okay?)

Dean closes his eyes and feels the women swooning around. And who wouldn’t? I mean, he is wearing his favourite jeans.

There is a party going on down the street. Girls, a couple of beers, share some laughs with a good bunch of people. Dean is ready to go. He’s got his groove on. Oh wait, his checklist:  1) Look in mirror. Check. (Or the best you’re getting). 2) Remember all girls’ names (Not like everyone else!)

Dean knows how this works. You guys know what I mean. “Hi Barbie…I meant Nancy. Brenda! Your boobs look great. Oh yes, I see, your name is…what? Oh, Michelle. Oh, I see.” So then you make your last big move. Now remember, you have to wink and smile. (Practise–not too much). Dean’s rule is “Never Lose Your Coooool”.

All right, you are now ready for the move that says it all. “Hey Chrissie, you sure got a nice ass.” Now I’m not saying it is  always going to work. And for Dean that day it didn’t pan out at all. “My name is Jill, and it’s not a nice ass, it’s a great ass. Jerk!”

Dean is now in a slow ponder. Who the hell said this is Dean’s day? A neighbour? Dean’s mom? Anyway it doesn’t matter, Dean thinks to himself. I’ll just tell everyone I got screwed.


By jamesghutcheson