March 2008

Where: The Usual Spot
When: 12:00 sharp
Present: La Chaise, Shagatha, Third Elf, Fox
Semi-present: Empty Shell
Omnipresent: Autonomous Eye
Absent with a Good Excuse: Pandamonia, who is still dead
Guest: Grammar Gestapo

Round BoothRound BoothI got there first and was seated at a wooden table. Across the room I spotted the most stunning, richly-textured, round red and gold booth I’d ever seen in my life.   His lines were exquisite. I asked the waitress to introduce us and she agreed, but told me to wait until she’d had a chance to freshen him up. As I slid into his waiting arms and sunk back against him, I knew he was the one. It was like we were made for each other.  When the others arrived (Third Elf was late again, by the way) they all agreed that this Red & Gold Round Booth is fabulous and much more my type than the one on Elgin Street. It’s important that your friends like the guy you’re seeing, wouldn’t you agree?

Okay, minutes. 

Item #1: The Gift Exchange. 

Nobody brought gifts today. Everybody looked sad.

Item #2: How bad is your hangover?

We compared hangovers. Third Elf had the worst hangover. It was so bad he ordered water even though the rest of us were having New Cranberry Maple Wheat Beer. Poor Elf. He didn’t even perk up when we admired his cute little feet.

Item #3: Pandamonia’s Children’s Education Fund

After much discussion we decided screw the children, we need a new charity. Ideas were kicked around, criteria were considered and discarded. No decisions were reached. Fundraising ideas were suggested: Foxy could shave his head and Elfy could take his empties back.  We could challenge the redacted to a fundraising contest. We mused about what their favourite charity might be.

Item #4: Engagement

How can we engage the redacted to interredact with us? Elfy suggested kidnapping one of their women, but the others thought that would be crossing the line. Elfy went on record as saying if we were to kidnap one of their women, which of course we won’t, he hoped it would be Aggie and she would get Stockholm Syndrome, which of course she won’t.

Breakfast arrived. It was delicious. It was so yummy, some of us ordered seconds. Foxy didn’t eat his fruit or toast, so the rest of us divvied them up. Elfy didn’t eat his bacon; Foxy pounced on it. Great smacking noises all round. More beer was ordered, and water for Elfy who was starting to recover from the award-winning hangover but seemed a little lost in his own little fantasy world.

Item #5: Does Stephane Dion have more facebook friends than Stephen Harper?

Yes, it’s true. Stephane Dion has 10,512 friends, and Stephen Harper has 8,386 friends. Why does this matter? Because Empty Shell got a job (no, really!) in the government and at first they weren’t allowed to access facebook but now they are because the prime minister wants his employees to friend him on facebook so he can have more friends than stephane dion. We’re all happy that Empty Shell can get on Facebook during the day now, but we think it’s weird. We agreed to continue monitoring the situation, but not to friend stephen harper.

Item #6: Bras

We hate bras.

Item #7: Should the Grammar Gestapo be invited to join the BSIs on a permanent basis?

Only if he promises not to correct us, because that could get annoying.

Item #8: The Focus of the Eye

Now that we have undressed the Fourth Dwarf with our Autonomous Eye, it’s time for the Eye to focus on someone else. Turning, turning, seeking, seeking…..aha! Redacted redacted redacted, this is gonna be good, redacted. [Much gleeful rubbing together of hands and cackling laughter.]

Item #9: Wither the Blog?

(In camera session) (That’s fancy for ‘redacted’.)

Item #10: Other Business

Shaking on itLet the record show that Chaisey rifled through her cushions looking for change and came up short: she didn’t have enough money for breakfast. Round Red-and-Gold Booth invited her to rifle through his cushions, which she did, but in the end she still had to borrow $2 from Third Elf.

Shaking on itThe meeting was adjourned at 2:30.

I have to admit I was a little disappointed by the Elgin Street Irregulars’  most recent emergency meeting minutes.

 Usually if you squint real hard and read between the lines, you can find whatever you’re looking for in their minutes. But I looked high and low and I could not find any hint of a message of congratulations to us for winning the Profile Contest. Not only that, but there was nothing in the minutes that reflected any discussion of the logistics of how they intend to implement our prize.

We love clotheslines too AggieWill they all get together each week at the laundromat for a BSI Laundry Party? Or will they each take a turn doing ALL our laundry? Or will they work some kind  of ‘laundry twinning’ arrangement with us? For example, The Chair could do my laundry every week, and Coyote could do Foxy’s laundry every week.

I don’t know how fair the laundry twinning idea is though, since some of us don’t have as much laundry as others. Aggie and Conchie and the Dwarf might feel put upon because they’re buried under a virtual avalanche of never-ending laundry while the others just have to do a little spot clean or a quick lick or a Visine rinse and they’re done.

On the other hand, I need fast turnaround on my laundry because I only have the one slipcover.  I’ll be standing there naked, tapping my foot impatiently while the Chair does my laundry.

At any rate, these are things they should have discussed at their meeting.  Do you think it was an oversight, or are they trying to weasle out of doing our laundry?


I hopped on a bus yesterday to take one of my kitties to the vet, and I saw this on the ground. Do you think it’s Pandamonia coming back to haunt us in print form??? It’s just like her to play word games.



I’m a little freaked out!

My memory has been stunted a bit by the drink, so I’m going to write you folks an elfy profile before it all goes black and I wake up in someone else’s alley. Heaven forbid.

As was pointed out at the meeting, I already wrote a bit of a profile in my side intro. Call me overly eager, but I just had so much to share. Still, I am a simple elf. It doesn’t take much to keep me going. A little bag of cinnamon hearts here, a nicked wallet there… These things are the spice of life!  I live in an alley, as you know. I take care of many cats (eight and counting… Punchin, Bingie Bop, Sing Sing, Frito, Disco Ball, Mop, Pooper and Harold), and they are my closest pals, other than the Irrelevants, of course. I spend my days drifting in and out of sobriety and reading romance novels.

Ah, that’s where the story gets sad. You see, I am without a lady elf. Chaisey’s got Red Booth. Shagatha’s got anyone she wants. Foxy, well, he doesn’t say much about his exploits… But I know he has ’em. They call him Foxy for a reason. Even Empty Shell has her gay distinguished boyfriend Richard to hang out with. Panda was eaten, so I guess I can’t count her. I’m not sure if Eye can do things like kissing (hey Eye, can you do things like kissing?).

Then there’s me. When I ran away from Santa’s workshop, I left all my romantic prospects behind me. There are So! Many! Lady! Elves! in the workshop. And they are all handy with a hammer, which is a tremendously useful trait to have in a mate. One lady elf that I think of day and night worked in the train repair shop. Her name was Eloise. She was a vision.


She was also an exotic elf dancer. But I know deep in my heart that she had eyes only for me.

Since settling in Ottawa, I have searched high and low for an elfy lady that could make me feel the way Eloise did (I’ve even looked in Greely, but you don’t want to know what I found there). Who knew this city has such a low elf population! Had I realized, I would have begged Eloise to come join me in my alley. It’s not much, but it’s home.

Must get back to the kitties. If you hear of a lady elf about town, you’ll let me know, won’t you?

Vee haff vays of making you speak properly! 

Or did you mean would?

  • I wood if I cood.
  • How much wood wood a woodchuck?

Maybe you meant wouldn’t?

  • I wooden give her the time of day.
  • Dont take no wooden nickels.

Or could it be would he?

  • Woody really sink this low?
  • What a gigantic woody!

It was pretty hard for me to get down to the business of note-taking mere minutes after falling in love at first sight.

I kept stealing sidelong glances at Red Booth and wondering if he was studying my proffered profile when I wasn’t looking. I wondered if he was as swept off his feet by me as I was by him, or if he had even noticed me.

Back in the day, I used to turn a few heads. Nowadays, not so much. The odd antique dealer takes a second look, but a strapping Red Booth in the prime of life? I don’t know.

Shagatha gave us all presents: very cool Edward Gorey bookmarks!

 We ordered beers and breakfast, as was our want to do, and toasted the successful culmination of months of planning that had led us to this most unusual spot.

“But let’s not get too smug,” said Shagatha, “the journey does not end here.”

We all stared at her blankly.

“We have much work to do,” she said pointedly, “and some of you haven’t been pulling your weight lately.”

We all looked around the table at each other, wondering who she was talking about.

“She must be talking about Panda,” Foxy whispered to me.

“I don’t think we have to worry about that anymore,” said Foxy grandly.

Empty Shell’s lower lip started to quiver, so I changed the subject.

“Elfy,” I said, “How’s your profile coming along?”

“What profile?” asked Elfy.

We explained again about the ESIs profile challenge. Elfy had completely forgotten, and our explanation didn’t seem to ring a bell. And then he tried to cover for his absent-mindedness by saying he’d already written and posted his profile and the ESIs had conceded defeat and this trip to Elgin Street was our prize and the ESIs had prepaid our breakfast bill. We felt bad for him so we admired his curly feet.

 Then we changed the subject by asking Foxy if he was still writing poetry.

“Poetry?” asked Foxy blankly.

Beers arrived and we took a short break from the agenda to sit around the table like a murder of fucking crows, as is our want to do, and talk about people behind their backs.

readacted redacted redacted Q-Tip redacted redacted redacted anatomically male redacted redacted redacted redacted stockpot redacted redacted redacted redacted lick bum redacted redacted.

Breakfast arrived. We asked for salt and pepper to season our omelets. We received pepper and pepper but we didn’t notice until after we’d peppered and peppered our omelets. 

After we’d eaten we got down to the brass tacks of who are we and what is our purpose and how are we evolving and should we just shut the whole thing down or are we prepared to make a serious commitment. We went round and round the mulberry bush on that one.

Shagatha noticed my mind wasn’t on the task at hand, and swatted me – I was embarrassed to see a cloud of dust spring from my cushions, and hoped Red Booth hadn’t noticed.

We then turned our attention to the matter of the ESI’s recent metablogging efforts, which we agreed was both interesting and effective.

“They should do more of that,” Foxy moved.  There was a murmur of agreement, followed by a vote. The motion carried unanimously.

Empty Shell still looked like she was going to burst into tears. I leaned over and asked her if she was okay.

“I keep hoping that Foxy eating Pandamonia was just a fig newton of my imagination,” she whispered,  “but I think he defiantly devoured her, don’t you?”

“No,” I assured her, “It was just a fig newton.”

With all topics covered, we moved to Action Items:

Foxy stated the next meeting should involve discussion on how to make BSI the most popular blog ever, so we can make money and retire. Shagatha reminded us that none of us have jobs to retire from. Foxy suggested that we get jobs so we can discuss how to make BSI the most popular blog ever so we can make money and retire.

Resolved: That at some point in the future we will discuss creating the Bank Street Bank as another moneymaker.

Autonomous Eye interrupts: “Let the minutes reveal that Shagatha is blackberrying”

“Bad form!” we all said, and then we all agreed with each other.  Eventually Shagatha finished her call and put her blackberry away and we felt triumphant for this debatable victory.

A patron at the next table leaned over.

“Say,” he said, “I didn’t mean to eavesdrop, but are you guys the Bank Street Irrelevants?”

Third Elf narrowed his eyes suspiciously at the man.

“And who might YOU be?” he asked icily.

“A,” said the young man.

“Oh?” said Elfy.

“Aye,” said the young man.

Elfy looked at the girl.

“You?” he demanded.

“J,” she said.

“Oh?” asked Elfy.


“Gee,” said Elfy “OK, never mind.”

“We were wondering if we could borrow your pepper?” asked A, “because we got salt and salt.”

We gave them the pepper and I secretly thought it was surprisingly clever of them to find a solution to their salt and salt problem.

By this time it was 2:00 and so we adjourned. On the way out I slipped Red Booth my phone number.

P.S. I’m sorry if the minutes aren’t up to my usual standards. I just can’t seem to focus lately. If I left anything out, let me know.

Present: Autonomous Eye, Shagatha, La Chaise, Third Elf, Fox, Empty Shell. Plus guests Tainted Dick and Mad Tam.

Absent with a Really Good Excuse: Pandamonia

Where: Elgin Street

The first thing we did was congratulate ourselves heartily for surviving our trip to Elgin Street.

The journey was every bit as arduous and treacherous as we feared it would be, and some of our members were wishing they’d participated in Sherpa Joe’s boot camp because it’s not much fun finding out you’re undertrained and unprepared when you’re  clinging to the sidewalk with your fingernails and the wind is whipping the breath right out of your lungs and the snow is swirling all around you as you pray desperately to a god you don’t even believe in to please please please send the sidewalk plow.

At one point we were so hungry and exhausted that we feared for our very lives. The relentless snow had covered the street signs, but we thought we were on the north face of Metcalfe Street. We were disoriented, not even sure any longer if we were still on course.

“I’m so hungry,” wailed Empty Shell, “I haven’t had anything to eat since midmorning tea!”

We were all getting a little rumbly in the tumbly.

Pandamonia kept shrieking “Oh my god, we’re all going to die!” and it was getting on everybody’s nerves.

She was going on and on about her children and who would take care of them and help them with their homework and clean out their puke buckets and pick the nits out of their hair, and finally Foxy couldn’t take it anymore. He leapt upon her and killed her.

Everybody gasped and stared at him.

Foxy looked a little sheepish, but the best defence is a good offence so he said “Look. We’re starving out here. Someone had to make the supreme sacrifice so the rest of us could survive. Panda was the weakest link.”

Then he tore her into relatively equal sized pieces and gave everybody their share.

“That’s ok,” said Empty Shell, “I’m on a diet.”

“You can have my piece Foxy,” I said, “I’m not that hungry.”

“I never eat before my first beer,” said Elfy.

“Eyes don’t actually eat,” said the Eye, “we just feast ourselves on visual delights.”

“I’m a vegetarian,” said Shagatha, and you could tell from her tone that she had a newfound respect for Foxy.

So Foxy devoured Pandamonia, and we all enjoyed the peace and quiet for a bit.

And then our prayers were answered, as we heard the distant rumble of the sidewalk plow. We collapsed into one another’s arms, sobbing with joy. “Over here!” we screamed weakly, our voices snatched away by the wind, “Over here!” We waved our scarves at the approaching plow.

After the plow had passed, the passage to Elgin Street opened up and we were there in no time. We went up and down the street looking for the Tally-Ho Tavern but we couldn’t find it. Shelly kept saying Elgin Street didn’t look the same as she remembered.

 After everything we’d been through, we felt pretty demoralized that we couldn’t find the Tally-Ho Tavern.

We finally gave up on the Tally-Ho and decided to try somewhere else instead. Nobody knew which place to try, and there were a LOT of places. We felt like we’d just fallen off the Turnip Truck. While we were standing around weighing our options, the Autonomous Eye accidentally rolled down a flight of stairs. He was mildly embarrassed and looked around to see if anybody had noticed. He peered in the window of the door beside him, and said “This looks like a most unusual spot.”

The others went down the stairs and peered in and announced that it appeared to have food and beer! It met all our criteria! So we decided to go inside.

I was worried. I watched the others go in, and I just stood there shuffling from one foot to another, looking at the little staircase and the door. It was also so narrow and twisty. I didn’t think I could squeeze in there – not without help, anyway.

But then I guess the others noticed I hadn’t gone in with them, and they came out and got me. They turned me on my end and said things like “Lift your end a little higher and turn her clockwise a bit,” and the next thing you know, my friends had manouevered me through the little doorway. I was so happy.

We stood in the little bar and waited for our eyes to acclimatize. Truth be told, we were suffering from a touch of snow-blindness. But then as my eyes adjusted to the dim lighting, I could scarcely believe what I was seeing! Oh my God! It was love at first sight!

I fell head over heels in love with a red booth!

Isn’t he the most gorgeous creature you’ve ever seen?  

Red Booth

To be continued…..