Walking into a kitchen in the morning with the smell of bacon in the air will automatically cleanse your soul, wake you up and bring you back to those days of your youth when your mother made the type of feel good breakfast that stuck to your ribs until noon. The dentist’s wife set a steaming cup of coffee in front of me and said, “Mama has just what you need to start the day off right.” I saw that there was an elaborate art deco decanter of amber maple syrup in front of my plate which told me that pancakes and bacon would be just around the corner. I mentioned that I was really hungry and all I heard was, “Quit your squeaking, you’ll be eaten in a second!” A moment later a two foot high stack of golden pancakes surrounded by strips of bacon appeared on my plate.
Although Canadian Maple syrup is very sweet, I know that it contains manganese and is a good source of zinc so instead of being shy, because I know real maple syrup CAN be expensive, I poured almost 3 cups of the miraculous reduced tree sap on my stack of pancakes. With all of the healthy qualities the syrup contains, I felt no guilt about stuffing 4 slices of fatty bacon into my mouth and swallowed them in one gulp. The smoky flavor of the bacon had an almost hypnotic effect on me so I snatched 4 more slices off my plate and gulped them back. For some unknown reason I knew I needed to be alone in the room so got up out of my chair, walked to the front closet and picked out a pretty blue umbrella, brought it back into the kitchen and opened it up at the table over my head…. No one could see me now… I was safe and alone..
Just as I was going to start the demolition of the enormous pancake tower, little rivers of syrup formed along the tower walls and flowed down, causing quite a moat around the edge of the plate. A swelling formed inside the top pancake, growing bigger and more bulbous which forced a crack, big enough for a small head with an immaculate hairstyle to push through revealing that I now was in the presence of a very tiny David Bowie dressed in a gopher suit pulling himself up and standing on this mountain of fried dough. I was Goliath and he was David, the future king of Israel and I knew that unless I did something fast, history would repeat itself and I’d be just another smoted chump from the Old Testament. I thought of maybe stabbing him in the forehead with my fork when he reached into one of his gopher pockets and revealed that he was in possession of a miniature golden, scale model of the Cuban mansion, El Laguito, the birthplace and factory of Cohiba cigars. He held it with both hands in display over his head to give it some fresh air which gave me the moment I needed to go for the fork. As I made the attempt to seize my stainless steel trident, he slipped the miniature golden architectural marvel into a small leather sling, swung it three times in a circular motion and let it fly in a bright golden beam towards my temple. My torso fell forward and the last thing I remembered was that my lungs were filling up with maple syrup.
Too much Scotch and two hours of cigar smoke just before hitting the sack will do it every time. I turned on the lamp beside the bed and looked at my watch which told me that it was only 5:30 AM….. The fact that I was in a cold sweat and felt my heart pounding told me that I wasn’t about to get back to sleep any time soon, so maybe if I looked around in the bedroom for something to read I’d settle down enough to get a few more hours of shuteye before breakfast. Well…..Maybe I’d just have coffee and skip breakfast. I got up and saw a few Cosmo magazines in a pile but…. well….. you know…… I opened up the closet and saw a small set of shelves which held a stack of National Geographic magazines so I reached for the one that promised to reveal the secrets of the Pyramids. After getting back into bed and propping up a few pillows, I opened the magazine and a small manilla envelope dropped out and landed on my chest.
People use envelopes all the time for bookmarks so nothing seemed out of the ordinary and I flipped through the magazine until I located the egyptian special. I’ve always been interested in the different theories relating to the building of the pyramids. Talk about the unbelievable determination required to complete a task of that magnitude with the simple tools they had at their disposal. I read a few more paragraphs and then skimmed over a few pages with amazing photographs of the interior of King Tut’s burial chamber filled with so many priceless artifacts that have since gone missing. I think I was ready to go back to sleep when I saw a section at the back of the magazine with a special on prairie dogs…. That was all I needed.. I set the magazine down and decided to take a peek inside the envelope.
I instantly knew I was in over my head when I saw that these were photographs of my dentist friend’s wife and what appeared to be a happy family on vacation in Disney World.. This was not just a bunch of strangers’ faces posing with Mickey and Minnie Mouse in front of the castle. There was Mickey, there was the dentist’s wife, there was Minnie, there was a happy little girl eating ice cream, there was a crying young boy and holding his hand was the Giant Gopher cult leader. All desire to sleep was now gone and I felt my heart race again as I leafed through the rest of the photos in the envelope and started to notice a real resemblance between the children in the pictures and the woman that was sleeping upstairs with my friend, the dentist. The young girl in the Disney World pics was a miniature version of the woman holding her hand as they are buying balloons, as they are posing in wild west costumes and as they are standing in line for ice cream. These were the same children I saw being dragged through the shopping Mall a few days ago in Calgary.
The last picture I looked at before stuffing them back into the envelope, back into the National Geographic and back into the closet told me that it was time to pack my bags and leave Regina before the sun came up. Leave Regina before my host and hostess noticed I was gone. The last picture was taken in front of the Universal Studios sign in Orlando. Standing in the picture was my friend’s wife, a young girl who I was now convinced was her daughter, a serious faced young boy, the Giant Gopher Head cult leader and.. My friend the Dentist !!!
The roads were clear of all traffic as I made my way out of Regina at that time of morning.. My cel phone was turned off, the car windows were half open and the only sound I wanted to hear was the rushing fresh prairie morning air to clear my head of all memories of my road trip…… Well, maybe not the Cohiba Double Corona EL 2003… I would do my very best to hold on to that flavorful experience…….