The Beasts of the Nature


Nature doesn’t like me. I don’t know why. It just doesn’t.

I try to be respectful. I not only recycle, but I also reduce…or, at least, I’ve never thrown food away.

I barely leave my apartment, so my literal footprint is pretty small—9-1/2 wide, for those of you keeping track. And other than my laptop and coffee maker, I barely use any electricity. Nor do I use the heat, so if you come over for a visit, bring a sweater.

And I believe that all life is sacred…which is why my apartment is filled with four types of spiders, two varieties of sow bugs, and one rather large species of house centipede. As an aside, if any of you ladies are entomologists or just like to get your arachnid freak on, call me.

Hard to tell how the spider is fairing in this fight, but I'm not holding out hope

Hard to tell how the spider is fairing in this fight, but I’m not holding out hope

Hell, I barely wear any clothes at home, preferring to wander au naturel…again, call first before visiting.

And yet, for all this benign behaviour, Nature wants me dead.

Every Spring, 10,000 species of plants gather around my apartment in a massive botanic circle jerk, spraying me and my immune system with a dazzling array of ejaculates green, gold and white. And they do this knowing full well that in another life, my white cells worked for Al Qaeda. For me, the months immediately following March are Anaphylaxis and Can’t.


You know when you make pancakes and first pour the batter into the scorching pan? Within moments, the batter bubbles up and bursts? That was me as a kid on a cloudy day. On a sunny day, I could watch Enola Gay footage and jealously think, “At least they had a breeze.”

And the water’s no better. Pond, stream, lake, ocean, they all think of me as chum, and not in the friendly sense. I’ve yet to find a boat I cannot fall out of. A canoe? An outdoor bathtub. A kayak? A restraining device designed to pin me underwater. A rowboat? Topless submersible.

2 upsidedown

Currents. Waves. Tides. All mechanisms to keep me from remembering where I left the air. I once went body surfing in Oahu and got so disoriented by the swirling currents that I flew home from San Francisco. You worry about an undertow? I’ve never experienced anything smaller than an underfoot.

And regardless of my home BioDome project, all of that goodwill is forgotten the moment I emerge from my apartment and become a blood bank for what must otherwise be the most anemic bugs on the planet. Even the vegan insects view my flesh as hyper-ripe banana paste.

And despite the most astringent soap and strongest deodorant, I apparently offer flies the personal banquet of a 6-week-old corpse vacationing in the Louisiana Bayou. I am the no-pest strip of the bed bug world.

Red-winged black birds strafe me. Squirrels can’t tell walnut meat from finger meat. And wasps see themselves as my personal EpiPen.

I tell you all this because I am travelling to Los Angeles in a couple of weeks, and so I would like to pre-emptively apologize for the events that will finally bring beachfront charm to the Vegas strip.



NOTE: This piece is written as my contribution to a wonderful creative assembly called “Tell Me A Story” organized by my friend Will Ennis, a lovely actor in the city of Toronto. You can see his acting reel below.

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