Harley Hay

Harley Hay: Happy to accept challenge from reader

So I got a note from an astute reader from the thriving town-topolist of Innisfail. “G.K.” mentioned that the last four of my columns all have what he called a “C theme: cinema, corn, crocs and cheese.” Wow, and I never read them so I certainly never noticed.

He threw out a challenge to “make it five C themes in a row, writer’s choice.” So, not one to ignore it when somebody throws down a gauntlet (whatever that is) – challenge accepted.

After lengthy deduction based on the challenge around “five Cs,” I call this one, “The Five Cs.” Heretoforthwith, in no particular order, are just five of the many Cs that dominate my days, niggle my nights, wiggle my weeks, make my months and yank my years:

1. C is for Cat. Our chubby, furry Chicklet thinks she’s a dog. We’ve always had dogs up until, one by one, sadly, they all crossed the rainbow bridge and we ended up with a F.C. (Fat Cat, although the other “F” is also appropriate) who we adopted after she was rescued as a kitten from a dumpster in, coincidentally, Innisfail. Chubblet happily spends her non-sleeping time (one to two hours per day) trying to scratch the furniture and flopping over on her back for a good belly rub. Until she tires of it (three seconds) and attacks like whirling dervish. We call it “the cat trap.”

2. C is for Car. I spent nearly 12 years trying to get a couple of old British sports cars up and running. Basically unsuccessfully, I might add. That’s how much I love cars, especially the older topless two-seater ones that speak with an Englandish accent. My first-ever car was a Mr. Bean Austin Mini, long before the awesome Mr. Bean had been invented. It was small enough that I could push it myself when it didn’t start, which was surprisingly often. A ’57 Triumph TR3 followed, which had a gas tank leak and meant I did more walking to gas stations than actual driving. Still my favourite car of all time. That’s how dumb I am.

3. C is for Camera. I got my first camera – a Kodak Hawkeye – for my 12th birthday and have had a magic picture-maker hanging around my neck ever since. And sometimes I even take photos with it. And I’ve spent many happy hours in a dark room with a red light in the house. I’ve also developed many photos in that room. “Camera” also means a passion for “movies,” as in “making them,” and I was a TV news cameraman for ten years, carrying an awkward 36 pound camera around on my shoulder which may say something about why I walk crooked these days and eat acetaminophen like candy.

4. C is for Canada. Of course it is. Everyone knows that we live in the greatest country in the world, or at least the northwestern hemisphere. And even though there are a lot of peeved Canuks around these days for many good reasons, wonderfully, we are still known worldwide as the “nicest people on earth.” So put on yer toque, grab a Timmy’s double double for a toonie, and have a g’day, eh?!

5. C is for Closure. If you have a nagging problem, an on-going dilemma, or an unsolved quandary, closure can be as satisfying as finally getting to a roadside washroom. And I’ve found that sometimes the best way for closure is called “moving on.” It’s also a good way to end a run of five weeks of Cs in a newspaper column.

Harley Hay is a Red Deer author and filmmaker. Send him a column idea at harleyhay1@hotmail.com.