Tuesday, 10 July 2018

Bled Zeppelin

            I was riding a southbound streetcar and looking out and up to see a gigantic zeppelin in the sky. Suddenly we realized though that it was falling and not flying. We saw it crashing into the Skydome we both heard and felt the subsequent explosion. The streetcar continued south and I was thinking that when we got closer to the disaster area we would be delayed or detoured. I know that I had a dream directly after this one that related to the theme of the zeppelin and involved a relationship between a woman and me but I totally forget what happened before I woke up from my siesta.
            I worked a lot of Sunday on writing about Saturday’s food bank adventure.
            In the late afternoon I took my bike ride. Except for on the downtown area of Bloor Street there weren’t very many other cyclists. There were a lot of red lights though. At one of them a guy riding on the passenger side of an SUV said, “Nice day for a bike ride! That’s why I’m out driving in my car” and then he pretended he was turning an invisible steering wheel. The real driver turned and looked at him with a slight smile. At Pharmacy it occurred to me that I’ve never seen a drug store anywhere I've ridden on it. 
            I rode up to Nancy Ave, turned right and took that to Presley, went north to Vernadale Crescent and followed that up to St Clair. I rode back along St Clair to Pharmacy and then walked to the northeast corner where a couple were there with their toy poodle. The dog suddenly went nuts growling, barking, snarling at me and choking itself on its leash trying to get at me. The two women couldn’t figure out what was wrong. It certainly doesn’t mean anything about me. It wasn’t “picking up” on any “vibes”. The most logical explanation is that it was scared of my bicycle.
            When I stopped in front of Starbucks on Danforth and slipped off my backpack get the chain out to lock my bike, the shoulderstrap rubbed roughly against the scab on my elbow. In the washroom I saw in the mirror that the black scab had been ripped off. My elbow felt a little bit worse as a result.
            That night I steamed the frozen honey sesame chicken with water chestnuts, carrots, noodles and sauce that I'd gotten from the food bank. It wasn't bad but I still felt hungry so I finished my beer with some crackers and cheese while watching two episodes of Dobie Gillis.
            Both stories featured Professor Burkhart, as played by Jean Byron, but they seem to have decided to make her less attractive for some reason. She’s wearing glasses now though in the first story her hair is still blonde and has more volume. Maynard has been told that if he writes an article that is published in the school paper he will pass his journalism course. Dobie is the editor of the school paper and is too busy chasing a girl to help him. He is told to write something about the anthropology department and to seek examples from real newspapers for inspiration. Professor Burkhart gives him a scrapbook containing pictures of archaeological digs she’s taken the students on but Maynard finds inside a picture of Burkhart in a bikini. Distracted Dobie approves his article without reading it and so the cover of the paper looks like something one might read on the cover of the London Sun, with Burkhart in a bikini and the headline: “Wild, Madcap, Unpredictable Classroom! Tantalizing, Alluring, Luscious Dr. Burkhart!” The parents are outraged because they read about an upcoming demonstration in costume of a primitive fertility dance that she will be leading. Dobie’s father imagines what the dance will look like and we see his vision of Dr Burkhart with several young women shaking their hips and dancing frantically and seductively in revealing costumes. Burkhart decides to quit but then everyone realizes that it was a mistake when they see the actual costumes they will be wearing which are shapeless muumuus. The “real” dance is horribly boring and probably nothing like a fertility dance in any culture on the planet would be.
In the second story Dr Burkhart’s hair is darker, more straight and close to her head, making her look school marmish. She also speaks in a much more academic manner than she has in her previous appearances. She tells Dobie and Maynard that unless they help her with the underprivileged children at the settlement house they will flunk Sociology. The kids are all punks of about ten years of age. Burkhart lures them to the settlement house with ice cream and tries to get them to express their feelings with psycho drama, but she uses so many big words that the kids can’t relate to her. Maynard tells her that she has the wrong approach and she kicks him out. He goes to hang out on the street with the kids. Dobie finds him and convinces him that the way he eats the poor neighbourhood wouldn’t be able to afford to feed him and so he goes back to Burkhart, who reveals that the settlement will lose its funding within hours if the kids don’t come back. Maynard goes to get them and they follow him. Burkhart tries the psychodrama technique again in ordinary language and the kids love it.

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