Friday, February 27, 2009

Professor Darius used to sell miracle cures along Granville Street. He would gather a big crowd. He would warn people about the dangers of aspirin, and praise the value of his medication. He'd ask the crowd if they knew what happens to a chicken if it swallows an aspirin. He was pretty sure no one knew, so he felt safe in making the claim an aspirin could kill a chicken When Pat Poole and I sold hot dogs at the Victoria Exhibition, Professor Darius had a stand next to us where he would sell his stuff. When it rained, he wouldn't bother coming to the fair. He would leave a few bottles of pills with us for people who had heard his lecture the day before but didn't have the two dollars for the pills. We'd always give him any money we collected, but he would let us keep it. Two dollars was a lot of money. When Ernest Simpson kept chickens in his backyard, I was always tempted to throw a few aspirins over the fence to see what would happen to a chicken when it ate one.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

A fellow who sat behind me in grade seven would get me to position myself in a certain way so he could sleep behind me without the teacher catching him. He’d tap me on my left or right shoulder and I would move one way or the other.

I was with Coolie McDougal and his wife walking down the street in Nelson going to my father’s office, along with a friend of Coolie’s, Nevil. We ran into a man who had six children. When Coolie’s wife heard how many kids the guy had, she said he must be nuts. Coolie said he must have nuts.

A fellow that drank at the Ambassador used to open the curtain at the Orpheum Theatre. He would start work at 11 and spend his day drinking and have to leave whenever it was time to run the curtains. I'd know his name if I heard it. He was a member of the Provincial Police. He was too short to join the Vancouver force. When the Provincial Police ended, he had to work at odd jobs. The Provincial Police used to transport prisoners from Oakalla to the court house. He was the driver so he'd wait in the Ambassador until he got a call to drive the paddy wagon.