Why do authors, actors and even employee performances get reviewed, often by gormless people who can’t cogitate, write or smell themselves, while abominations like this thing titled “February” are simply endured?
Yes, Ms. Editor, I would indeed like to review the month of February, preferably from the glorious reaches of March (and it isn’t often you hear March described that way), but we aren’t there yet, so leave it to me.
If anything ever deserved an assessment — blood is dripping from the tips of my teeth in anticipation — it’s this foul month.
May is a dancing daffs of a wee month, nimble June is Two Thumbs Up!! (As Ebert says. Does he mean your nose? And is that good? Just asking.) July drips sweat in your coffee while November is all gams and cheekbones and unclean needles. December has its moments and when it doesn’t, people are always forcing drinks on you even if you feel that mixing alcohol and eggs and calling it nog is, well, a crime really. January is horrid and played onstage by a hammy Grim Reaper, but at least you’re busy. You have that tree to dismantle, and the stores are empty and full of cheap things overlooked by the December people who were having little breakdowns in the change rooms.
But what does February offer? Sponsored by Stephen Harper’s Hair of Tussaud and an expectorant cough syrup sold in better drugstores, Canadians usually fly south in the middle of it, and it is allegedly short.
By two days. That’s like saying that being 5 feet 10 inches is short, just because 6 feet is taller. Those two inches are irrelevant if you’re a jerk like February. Two days does not a month redeem.
I look at my calendar, splayed on my desk like a patient etherized upon a table. This year, I use the prison inmate’s trick of crossing off each day as it ends, sometimes even as it begins, if the sky is looking particularly grey like congealed fat in a frying pan. No, it’s not grey, it’s more a midwinter bauge or flant, as writer Ed Broth would put it.
How February-like was this February. Sparkle was there none. The month opened with plumbers and ended with plumbers after a glamorous mid-month visit to Rona, where an assistant director, toilets, told me about a revolutionary expanded horizontal 6L flow plus a rebate from the city.
My featured artist of the month was New York’s Emily Katrencik, who is slowly eating the drywall of the gallery where she is displayed. “It tastes chalky,” she reports.
My own month was dotted with unnecessary medical visits, giving me a welcome chance to meet my neighbours in waiting rooms. “It’s my neck”/ “I’m all lumps and bumps”/ “I’ve had this cold for six years”/ “Buttered my burn. Bad idea.”
Bacilli made the news again on the 18th, although I fail to see how bird flu can kill me. They don’t bite, and when did a bird last breathe on you? Although they have excreted on my head. I suppose if you broke your skull on an ice wall left by the garbage truck, that would be a February way of meeting your maker. (Ah, transmission is bird-to-you-to-me. I see.)
Mid-month came the dramatic climax, a call to my city councillor, about a new game played by my garbage men called Bowling for Green Bins. She’s a remarkable woman. She hates me. Her office hates me. Yet we’ve never met. I love her for her unjustified hate. She’s very Soviet, like an Intourist guide I met once, and I respect that. Two years ago, I got a whole column out of her voice-mail message.
This time, I talk to an assistant. His voice drips with the ennui of an actor trapped in a two-day Pinter pause, and the venom of a public employee who loathes the public. I love my councillor for hiring the dentist in Marathon Man, but then my sense of humour is as black as a scab. I do like the splattered abuse of a kitchen sink play. It’s so this season.
On the 1st, 15th and 22nd, I consumed 100 oysters total, which according to my medical guide for anxious types means I’m low on zinc, potassium, copper, iron and everything else that makes me two railings short of a bandstand. An excess of February perhaps. The last one was a bacchanalia to honour Hunter S. Thompson, this month’s suicide.
My husband woke me on the 21st to announce that HST had blown his head off. Was this revenge for my waking him at 2 a.m. in August, 1997, and announcing Diana’s death, to which he grunted and rolled over, a reaction that I have mentioned warmly and often over the past seven years? Yes. Alas, I will not mourn HST. He chose death, whom he had cheated many times, and he taught me about drugs and alcohol and wild freedom. Yes, it was an American freedom. Now, those two words don’t even fit together.
February’s DVD had only one hit show, this critic says. My dear friend Liz Clarkson in Australia (a shrink who went into filmmaking) sent me the great Aussie sitcom Kath & Kim that is taking the world by storm. It’s about two women in suburban Melbourne who irritate and amaze while scything the English language. Funniest thing since Python. I mainlined Australian “ewe-mah” while gobbling oysters. Readers, call the CBC now and tell them to buy it. Then you can laugh through the election.
Ah February, East German in your gaiety, you were a bust. Only two Aussie women with fried hair, “connubial sausages” and “muffin tops” (bellies) in their pants saved me.
Close the February show now. March, you’re up next.
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