May 29, 2012


Yesterday, our government announced that they're going to force striking CP Rail workers back to work. I agree! How else will Kamloops receive their summer shipment of molasses and twine? A prairie gelding can't cover that many furlongs in time for harvest. We should definitely support this back to work legislation. Famous Captain "Blackjack" MacDonald of the Canadian Air Brigade should fire up his biplane and litter the soil with informative leaflets and maybe a coupon or two for a nickel off grist.

Okay, so maybe trains aren't as relevant today as they were when it wasn't unreasonable to fear a bear could kidnap your wife, but us Canadians still have fond memories of the rails that built this country. I have particularly fond memories of a one-way to Shawinigan during that hot summer of 2014.

I was in the dining car enjoying a glass of iced soup and a lettuce salad sandwich, when a young escape artist set up a short demo right there in the middle of the center aisle to make a few extra Blue Noses. He said he needed the dimes to take back to his pregnant wife and their young hamster in Halifax as he had recently lost all his money in a toilet fire. After setting up, he asked the busy car for a volunteer. Having declined the opportunity to participate in a public spectacle (nude checkers) back in Kingston and instantly regretting it, I rose quickly from my seat and and dragged a comb through his hair, hobo code for "I'll do it".

The young man began to address the eager crowd and jokingly introduced me as his new assistant, a dullard named "Ribert". I spat on his shoe and we continued. He had me choose from an array of handcuffs, straightjackets, chains, scrunchies and the like, and I immediately gravitated toward a roll of duct tape, mostly because its silver hue reminded me of Aluminum, my favourite Barenaked Ladies song off 2003's "Everything to Everyone".

He rolled me up tight, like a mummy in a pneumatic tube, sat me down beside and older dame and began setting up his easel, canvas and paints. He then gave me the signal to start escaping while he started painting with style, flourishing each stroke while chatting with passengers and also eating a ham sub.

It took my about 3 hours to eat my way out of the tape, at which point the artist was finished. He turned the canvas around and I beheld:

That was the my first and only encounter with an escape artist. I heard that he later went on to sculpt a diorama of Luke Skywalker, Han Solo, Princess Leia, Chewbacca, Lando, R2-D2 and C-3PO escaping from Jabba's sail barge, a gift for George Lucas celebrating the opening of his Star Wars-themed basketball experience. 

For Art Beat, I'm Gorgeous Glenn.

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