More stories from Syndicated columnist and award-winning author Gordon Kirkland.
WInner of the 2006 Stephen Leacock Award of Merit For Humour.
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Gordon Kirkland - WHen My Mind Wanders It Brings Back Souvenirs
Gordon Kirkland has been called one of Canada's premier humorists. His weekly syndicated humor column, Gordon Kirkland At Large, has been entertaining newspaper readers for over ten years. His first book, Justice Is Blind - And Her Dog Just Peed In My Cornflakes, won Canada's Stephen Leacock Award of Merit for Humour in 2000. He is also the author of 2004's Never Stand Behind A Loaded Horse. He is a frequent guest on radio and television programs in Canada and the United States.
He was the first Canadian writer chosen to be on the faculty of the prestigious Erma Bombeck Writer's Workshop. He dedicates a portion of each year's tour to speaking at writer's conferences and festivals as his form of 'pay it forward.' Many people helped him when he was getting started in his writing career, and his involvement in these events lets him pass the help on to others.
Gordon also speaks to a wide variety of health and medical organizations about the use of humor in dealing with chronic pain and major lifestyle changes. In 1990, he became partially paralyzed in an automobile accident. He says that his focus on the humor that surrounds us all in daily life has truly been the best medicine.
He lives in a semi-rural suburb of Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada with his wife, Diane and his assistance dog, Tara. They have two grown sons.
"Gordon Kirkland deserves a readership as large as he is! Goofy, demented, and uniquely Kirkland."
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"Gordon Kirkland's wit and insight into everyday life are fabulous! His mind may wander but yours won't as you read this book. You'll be riveted to every page."
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Erma Bombeck Writers' Workshop
Sparks Still Fly
My wife and I have been married for more than thirty years. After so many anniversaries, it's almost surprising that there are still a lot of sparks in the marriage.
Most of them involve static electricity.
Almost everyone experiences the occasional spark of static electricity, usually in dry cold weather. When we were kids it was considered great fun to slide our wool-socked feet on the carpet to build up a charge and then zap an unsuspecting sibling. In my family it may have been the major cause of my sister's incredibly straight hair.
Around here sparks of static electricity can be heard no matter what the weather. It can be hot and humid and I will still hear a crackle followed by my wife's scream. You might find it hard to believe, but I am not even involved in the shocking.
She does it all on her own.
Diane is so full of electricity that she could probably light and heat a small town. I'm thinking of suggesting that she stand in the corner of the living room with a light bulb in her hand, rather than spend the money on a new lamp. If we're ever faced with a lengthy power outage she could just hold onto the freezer's plug and save our frozen food from melting. Truth be told, she could probably jump-start a 1952 Mercury that's sat unused in a barn since 1959.
It's only been in the last year or so that she’s been exhibiting her electrical generating powers. I'd hate to think what might have happened if she was like this earlier in our marriage and she tried to change one of our sons' wet diapers. The kid could have grown up with hair like Don King.
It comforts me to know that, should the situation ever arise, she could probably restart my heart without the need of a defibrillator. Whether she would or not seems to be in question.
Obviously there are some drawbacks to being married to an electrical generator. I really don't want her refueling the car whenever I am within a hundred yards of it. On the plus side, she could probably light the gas barbecue if she wasn't terrified of the thing.
The dog no longer brings her cold wet nose anywhere near Diane.
She even seems to defy the laws of physics with her electrical outbursts. One of the most frequent recipients of her static charges is our car. The car is sitting on rubber tires and should therefore be grounded. Virtually every time she gets out of the car and grabs onto the door to close it, she yelps and there is a slight scent of ozone and burning flesh in the air. She sparks in leather-soled shoes and she zaps in rubber-soled shoes. She crackles in wool, and she pops in cotton.
I've been wondering if I rubbed the cat against her, could she - and/or it - then be stuck to the wall like a charged balloon?
Diane belongs to one of those service clubs that requires its members to shake hands with everyone else in the room before the start of the meeting. Her handshakes are often greeted with a surprised, wide-eyed look. A few of the older incontinent members are afraid to go near her these days.
Television has shown several examples of this kind of behavior, but I can't get a clear answer to what is causing it. Watching programs last week would seem to indicate that:
1) She is a witch who chases demons;
2) She is a demon who chases witches;
3) She is a mutant with yet untapped powers;
4) She was abducted by aliens; or,
5) She is an alien.
None of these options sound all that appealing, and you'd think that after thirty years of marriage I would have noticed some other behavior that could be tied to one of those possibilities. Just be on the safe side though, I've started carrying a clove of garlic in my pocket.
I suppose on the greater scheme of things it isn't a very important issue. Diane has put up with a lot of odd behavior from me over the last thirty years. I guess I shouldn't complain about the odd jolt of electricity coming from her side of the bed.
To be honest, it's kind of nice to know that, even after so many years, there's still some sizzle in her.