I Stole a Bike, So the Police Called My Mom

Not my actual Mom thankfully, the police telephoned Tasia* the mother of the family I’m staying with. Had the police telephoned my real mother in Ontario, she would have told them to keep me in jail for a couple of nights then refused to pay my bail. My mother believes in natural consequences and doing hard time.

Getting back to my story, in the small Quebecois town where I’m currently living, the preferred method of transportation is biking. Thus at the beginning of the immersion program, all of the students dutifully marched to the house of a man who owns sixty some odd bicycles. Tragically he does not believe in repairing his stock, instead he gives a ten percent discount if the breaks don’t work and the advice to “be careful on hills”. The proprietor maintains that having a bicycle is the most important thing, regardless of whether it sounds like a maraca filled with screws when you peddle or if it fits.

 Proprietor “A perfect fit! It’s a good bike” (Photo Credit : circusnospin.blogspot.com)

Proprietor “A perfect fit! It’s a good bike” (Photo Credit : circusnospin.blogspot.com)


For the second time during my stay here, I had to return my bike to him to receive a new inner tube. Instead of staying while he completed the repair, I asked whether I could borrow another bicycle for the day. He said “yes”. Having seen a tall guy hunched over a bike for a ten year old, looking like the bear in the picture above minus the fur, I quickly grabbed the nearest two wheeler and stated “This one works” before the owner could choose a bike for me.


Owner “Ah yes, a good size, you are small, the bike is small. Be careful on hills” (Photo Credit : www.dropthebeatonit.com)

Owner “Ah yes, a good size, you are small, the bike is small. Be careful on hills” (Photo Credit : http://www.dropthebeatonit.com)

The bike ended up being much too large, I flew back to the house of my host family, doing an impression of a starfish the whole way with my legs fully extended to reach the pedals and my flimsy pipecleaner arms stretched as far as they could go so my fingers just grazed the handlebars. Toppling sideways off of the enormous bicycle, I walked up the stairs to the house. Tasia, the mother of my host family greeted me “The bike owner just called. He accidently lent you his son’s bicycle. You have to return it.”

I have no doubt that had the bicycle owner not reached my host, the police would have been the next call. “One of the girls staying with Tasia took my son’s bicycle. I can’t reach Tasia, go find her.” It’s a small town, there’s not a whole lot else the police force has to do.

*Names have been changed to protect the identities of people who chose not to hand me over to the fuzz.

Homeless Words

I’m not a romantic writer. Not that I haven’t written romantic words before. (Reader have I told you that your eyes are deep pools of rubies? Uhh, I mean sapphires.) More that I don’t require beautiful, extravagant locations to create my stories. Nor am I a public writer, who sits in coffee shops drinking in the energy of people around me. I am an artist of private spaces where I can listen to the quiet tinkering and occasional crescendos of my mind.

For the past three weeks. I have been living in the home of a kind Quebecois family. Although there are quiet spaces here, there is a distinct lack of comfort. Or rather there is shortage of the comfort that I seek; the familiarity of my own possessions, voices of loved ones, a desk or table in a hidden away space.

Consequently although my creative tank is often full, it’s difficult to pen words while balancing my netbook on my thighs, trying to ignore the sensation of my knees heating up while I gradually lose feeling in my bum. Thus, each evening I retire to bed, having written nary a “the” or an “at”.

National Novel Writing Month was many things; a challenge, an albatross on my neck, a reason to drink copious amounts of alcohol alone, but it taught me that writing, or the perceived inability to write is always and only in one’s head. No matter the day, eventually I came up with content.  Hence even though I fear that I will never regain sensation in my butt cheeks, I will continue to write. It shall be my “five miles uphill, both ways in the snow” story that I shall tell to fledgling writers when I am old and I can’t feel my butt at all, no matter the position I sit in.

And They’re Off!

Welcome to the world’s fastest post. I have exactly twenty minutes before I need to be somewhere thus we are free styling this evening. Both in terms of content and grammar. English literature grads beware. 

Carrie Blueberry is a blogger/artist friend of mine. Last week she painted one of her friends entirely silver and took photos. After reading this I thought to myself “Why doesn’t anyone ever ask me to strip naked and roll in paint?”

Probably because I do that by myself every weekend. Not really but I’m thinking of picking it up as a hobby after seeing the outcome. Or perhaps Carrie never asks me because she assumes I’m already in the buff based on the number of stories I’ve written about leaving the house without clothing. 

At any rate I recommend you check out her blog and the accompanying photos. They’re lovely. Much like Carrie, whom I still like, even though she has never asked me to remove all my clothes and to quote Arrested Development “blue myself”.

And to you my lovely Unwashed Public, I bid you adieu, may you spend your weekend scooping paint out of the ridges of your ears. That was my way of saying I hope everyone plans to do something fun.



Naked In Public: The French Edition

It’s been awhile since I’ve flashed anyone, so yesterday I stripped in the middle of the supermarket. I kid. For now, I don’t doubt that I will do that by accident or on purpose at some point in my life.

Currently I’m in Quebec on a six week long immersion program to learn French. The phrase “Comment dit-on?” (How do you say?) is being passed around quite a bit.Especially the other day when I went on a seventeen kilometer long hike up into the mountains. Nothing like an excessive amount of exercise to make you forget your name let alone words in another language. 

Anyway, so there I am slowly descending down a cliff, hopping from giant boulder to giant boulder, the sun blazing overhead and I’m me, which means that I am completely coated in sweat. If someone had laid down some vinyl, I would have turned it into my personal slip and slide. 

Afterwards the group I was with was given the opportunity to change but not shower. Being the resourceful and shameless person I am, I decided to take an airplane shower. In the middle of the crowded park bathroom. To give the other women a heads up I shouted “Comment dit-on it’s about to get gross?” and started to take off all of my clothes while splashing myself so vigorously with water that my pants were soaked after. 

Huzzah, I’m back.

The Search Continues

The Great Unwashed disappeared early last week. Recent sightings have placed her in Toronto and there is some discussion of the Antarctic although most of that is believed to be heresy. The reporters encountered a tall woman with a large dog when a further trip to The Great Unwashed’s residence was made. The woman in question gave the following statement;

“Is there a reason you’re reporting on the whereabouts of a little known, humour blogger? Kim Kardashian must have done something interesting this week, shouldn’t there be an article about that? I mean, I like The Great Unwashed and all and certainly my giant Doberman likes her but we probably wouldn’t go looking for her if she randomly disappeared.”

The reporters were then handed three pies and a carton of madeleines. 

Once again The Great Unwashed’s cousin Candy, of the stripper nom de plume, offered a statement “You really need to stop looking for her, After a couple of days away from home she bites. At the very least wear a wrist guard.”

The Great Unwashed’s best friend could not be reached, or rather the call offered little information. The following is a transcript of the call made to the satellite phone where Lisa of Northofthegrid.com can be reached.

The Press trying to shout over the static- “Do you have any information about the Great Unwashed?”

Lisa from Northofthegrid.com– “No I don’t like Chris Bosch. Hold on, I’m going to have to shoot a polar bear that’s entered our camp.” (Sounds of a scuffle and an explosion. The call is cut off.)

Further attempts to contact Lisa were unsuccessful. Although The Great Unwashed’s whereabouts is unimportant to the general public and every visit to her house has turned up nothing, it’s likely the reporters will return to report on the location of this random, obscure writer. The madeleines were light and sumptuous.

Breaking News: The Great Unwashed Spotted In A Metropolis

The Great Unwashed disappeared late last week. Family and friends first noticed her absence when the The Great Unwashed blog had not been updated. A visit to the author’s house confirmed suspicions. Based on the items missing from The Great Unwashed’s home the Antarctic, Tahiti and Quebec were thought to be possible destinations for this unclean writer. Further investigation into her medicine cabinet turned up multiple tubes of sunscreen, consequently Tahiti was ruled out.

Neighbours could not comment as they were elbow deep in a set of barbequed spare ribs. But when reached via phone, her cousin Candy, of the stripper nom de plume, stated “Unwashed hates travelling, you should really stop looking for her. Seriously, she might bite you out of spite and jet lag.”

Yesterday The Great Unwashed was reportedly spotted exiting a car in Toronto while lugging two large bags. At first this sighting was falsely dismissed as this often disheveled blogger loathes large cities, cars and lifting anything heavier than a box of Q-tips. However the Unwashed sighting was confirmed when later a separate passerby overheard the following comment being made to a train station employee. “Sir, your promise that my luggage will meet me at the end of the trip had better be a good one because there is exactly one pair of underwear in my carry on and they’re not even clean.” This type of extensive, off colour overshare could only be made by one woman.

Further news of The Great Unwashed’s whereabouts is welcome, sightings can be reported using the hotline 1 888 NO BATHS. Bystanders are advised to use caution when approaching as The Great Unwashed is carrying hardcover books that she may brain people with, depending on her mood, which is assumed to be poor given that she hasn’t slept in her own bed for days.

The Whereabouts of The Great Unwashed

The Great Unwashed went missing last week. Recent reports have placed her in Tahiti, Quebec and the Antarctic. These suspected locations were based on the articles of clothing missing from her wardrobe.  Neighbours would be worried but cook out season has begun so their thoughts have been taken up by the art of perfectly grilling a steak. Friends close to the Great Unwashed gave the following statement “She’s gone? Thank heavens that woman was as curmudgeonly and disagreeable as they come.Also have you tasted this T-bone? Divine.”

It is suspected that The Great Unwashed is travelling, currently her location is unknown, When the press spoke with family members, relief was the only emotion expressed. Diana,who purportedly claims to be The Great Unwashed’s sibling despite a complete lack of resemblance told the press that “The Great Unwashed is a nightmare to travel with, I’m glad I’m not with her.”


The reasons surrounding her departure are shady, it is thought that the impending barbeque season forced Unwashed to colder climates where outdoor grilling is not an expectation. Another camp hypothesized that drugs, specifically Gravol may be involved. Murmurs of foul play with dodge balls and a rogue acrobat group also abounded. This was all the information available at the time of printing.