September 6th, 2007

The truth is, we each of us have an inborn conviction that the whole world, with everybody and everything in it, was created as a sort of necessary appendage to ourselves.
                                    - Jerome K. Jerome

PERSIFLAGE is updated Thursdays.


For sale: one metal serving tray. Actually might be the lid off something. Some sticky corners. $3 OBO. Box 11.
Now available: video recordings of me, doing a variety of household chores dressed as a gladiator (or at least my interpretation of a gladiator's costume. $6 each. Box 79.
For sale: university textbooks. Harcourt's Illustrated History of Phrenological Sciences, Bundlebee's Guide to the Practical Physick and Shapwarne and Hood's Lives of the Tobacco Barons. Box 229.

Tips for Late Summer Living:

Tip #12:  Any day after the first of September, if the temperature is above 30 degrees Celsius and it is sunny outside there is an automatic day off from work or school.

Newly Updated Archives Section


You've probably been holding yourself back from showering us with praise and, frankly, we admire your restraint but could you ever forgive yourself if you never let us know just how much in awe of us you really are? Let's face it, you could get hit by a car tomorrow and we would never know how much we meant to you. Wouldn't that be sad? Drop us a line.

Guess That Sound Contest Continues

PERSIFLAGE presented, in this space on August 23rd of this year, an audio file of a mysterious sound. Readers were asked if they recognised it to send an email with "I know what that is" in the subject line.
They were then told that the names of submitters of correct answers would be placed in a drum which would then be used in a play exploring the life of the Little Drummer Boy after he played for Jesus.
They were further informed that we might also give out some sort of prize if anybody had anything suitable in their desk.
Now farbeit (is that one word?) for us to criticise our readers but COME ON PEOPLE! So far JF has come the closest to guessing and quite frankly her guess wasn't even in the same area code. You people have been pretty disappointing in your responses to these little quizzes and whatnot and we're all beginning to wonder if you're worth the trouble.
This website doesn't make itself you know. Some of us have taken to rolling out of bed as early as 10 am (that's in the morning!) to scribble things onto a napkin for this e-zine (as the kids call it). The least you can do is guess what the damn sound is! C'MON!

Show + tell

Notions of Home and Place by UofW Alumni

A new show opens next week at Gallery 1C03 at the Unversity of Winnipeg. Featuring twelve talented artists who are also Alumni it's sure to be interesting. Unfortunately it also features a lecture by noted local blowhard, Glen Johnson, September 13th at 5pm in 3C01 (not a typo). That might be a good time to catch up on your vacuuming.

Forty-Three Pumpkins are Too Many

43 pumpkins are too many. No matter how you look at it 43 pumpkins are too many. Even if you love jack o' lanaterns and have stored up in your little mind an infinite variety of faces and not just scary ones but pensive ones, haltingly familiar ones, mildly attractive ones, startled ones and even open and friendly ones, 43 pumpkins would still be too many. And even if you absolutely adore roasted pumpkin seeds, 43 pumpkins are too many.

In fact, 42 pumpkins are too many. 41 pumpkins are too many. 40 pumpkins are too many. Even if you only had 31 pumpkins that would still be too many.

I myself had 28 pumpkins once and some of those were quite small, one, in fact, was barely larger than a macintosh apple and yet that was too many.

24 pumpkins is two dozen pumpkins and two dozen pumpkins is a lot. How would you carry that many pumpkins? They don't come in those little styrofoam holders like eggs do and even if they did the styrofoam cases would be too heavy to carry around. So 24 pumpkins are definitely too many.

20 pumpkins would not fit easily in the back of my car and anything that doesn't fit in the back of my car easily is too much. So 20 pumpkins are too many.

16 pumpkins seems like a reasonable number of pumpkins but it really isn't. 16 pumpkins are too many.

15 is not a good number to have of anything, never mind pumpkins, so 15 is too many pumpkins.

14 pumpkins are too many.

Having 13 pumpkins is just unlucky.

12 pumpkins would be a dozen and a dozen pumpkins are too many.

11 pumpkins... 11. 11. Why that's exactly the right number of pumpkins!

I Was Cindy Crawford's Mole

A reprint from earlier days.

I hate to write one of those confessional type stories where the author either owns up to some bad behaviour in his or her past or tells of some dubious connection with some famous person and reveals their strange and disturbing peccadillos and quirks but, in fact, this little treatise is kind of both of those things. You see not only was I, for many years, Cindy Crawford's mole but I wasn't a particularly well-behaved one. The eighties were a period of rather horrifying excess for me. There was a lot of late night tunnelling and it wasn't all in Cindy's yard if you know what I mean.

My name is Avogadro and I am originally from the Eastern seabord region of the United States of America. I don't want to get anymore specific than that because I still have family living in my hometown and they wouldn't appreciate this little tale of woe coming back on them. Avogadro being a fairly common name amongst moles (for obvious reasons) I'm not too worried as long as I leave out details like my age and place of birth. I don't see how those details would add to this story anyhow.

I met Cindy before she was on MTV, before Richard Gere (who has never liked me I think because in those days I was more of a Mahayana buddhist but I'm not sure) and before Fair Game and all that nonsense. She was just a plain old supermodel when we started hanging out. We used to spend hours in the Russian Tea Room just chatting in the beginning and it was in that very spot that she suggested I move in.

Now, I want to make this very clear right from the beginning there was never anything sexual or romantic about our relationship. We were friends. I have, when it comes to dating, a strict no models (super or ordinary) policy. I have nothing against them personally, some of them are great people, and I count many amongst my closest friends (Heidi Klum and I still get together occasionally for a spirited game of tag) but they make lousy girlfriends. Anyway, one afternoon we were sitting in the RTR and Cindy suggested I move in. I had just been forced to give up a nice little series of tunnels near the river when the star-nosed mole I'd been subletting them from came back from Europe. It was a hell of a nice offer and just goes to show what I've been saying, and always have said, that she is a very nice and generous person who it is good to know.

Moving in was a mistake for me though. Even though Cindy herself was great living with a supermodel exposed me to a whole bunch of folks it would have been better if I hadn't ever known. I spent a lot of time partying. See, a lot of that hipster eighties NYC crowd didn't have a lot of experience with moles and they were pretty interested. I was sort of a notch on the belt for a lot of them. Things turned into a bit of a freak show and I was so out of it at the time that I went along with a lot of stuff I wouldn't now. I took a lot of people tunnelling. A lot. I was really into speed tunnelling then. You know, just moving the dirt. Volume. Speed. Not the way I tunnel now. My emphasis now is so much more on quality. I like to make nice tunnels. Then it was all about speed. It was purely physical I was totally neglecting the mental aspects.

I can't count the number of times when I, totally loaded, stand up in the middle of a party, tear off my shirt (I can't imagine doing that now I've put on so much weight!) and screaming out "Who wants to get dirty?" I would lead these wild tunnelling excursions with a crowd of coked up third string celebrities on my heels all under Manhattan at night. Somebody would have the stopwatch on me and somebody else (often Greg Evigan) would be following behind weighing the displaced dirt. I was always trying to beat my record (I don't even remember what it was now. But it was pretty damn good.)In the morning I'd wake up in some strange apartment with a mouthful of dirt.

It was Cindy who finally talked to me about it. I guess she got sick of the dirt trails through the apartment. The filthy pseudo-celebs crashed on the couch. And well, I think she was honestly concerned for my well-being. At any rate I moved out. I kept up the party-tunnelling for a while but once I was no longer around Cindy my celeb friends drifted away. There were other better-connected moles to tunnel with (Rob Lowe palled around with an Eastern Mole called Melvin) and I was no longer part of the In-crowd. I ended up alone in a tiny apartment in Williamsburg (Colonial that is) and was more or less forced to get my act together.

So that's it. That's my rags to riches to rags story. I hope the kids learn something from it.