November 17th 2020
Today started with a wander around the woods of Maidstone with Arthur, a crossbreed dog one of which is a Jack Russell the other escapes me.
The rest of the day was spent reading, I have just started the latest, for me at least, caper from Lawrence Block, yet another author I’d have never heard of were it not for my Dad. Anyone who knows me realises I need only the smallest of reasons to chat about my Dad. And seeing as I had a question about the California Sandwich mentioned in the clip the other day I figured what better than to kill two birds with one stone.
In 2004 I went over to Toronto to be a part of the Hogtown Comedy Festival run brilliantly by comedy obsessive David Rueben. Dad and David had been emailing after a friendship started after Dad had found www.thecomedygreenroom.com website set up by David. It wasn’t much long after that when I showed up in Toronto and performed maybe a half dozen shows, spent a week there, and pretty much fell in love with Toronto. Naturally I moved there the following year and Toronto was my home for the best part of two years. I still did the ships but my return flight was always to YYZ, Torontos’ International Airport.
The morning after a typical Adams farewell party mum and I flew to YYZ and the search began for a place to live, it took a couple of days and we looked at all sorts of accommodations, one was so small I could cook on the stove and hand you a meal you could enjoy on the sofa in the lounge and neither one of us would have had to move. On the way to a high rise on Spadina we were going to say yes to I spotted a small residential road that would take us there a way we’d yet to explore. Large house on this tree-lined street looked way out of my price range but as we passed one property a guy was putting up a for rent sign. We stopped, looked at a freshly renovated basement apartment and the deal was done. I happily agreed to the monthly fee and the upfront costs and my Greek landlord was won over by me because ‘Only a good man would come looking for a new place to live with his mum!’ Sold. Well, rented.
Over the next two days mum and I furnished it and a home was created, mum was happy her boy was going to be living in ‘such a safe and friendly city’.
I dropped mum at the airport and a few hours later Dad showed up. We went straight to Sam the Record Man in the city, excited after I told him all about this record shop, we stopped at my place to just drop his luggage off and immediately wandered east along Bloor then south on Yonge to the ‘greatest record shop’. It was shut. And cornered off. A fatal shooting.
Dad looked at me and said ‘Do not mention this to your mum.’ and off we went in search of books shops.
The picture you see of Dad and I was taken in 1978, maybe 1979, for sure on holiday in the South Of France. As usual I spent my holiday money in the first shop I found and purchased a brand new penknife. Opening it I sliced my thumb open. As any good father would my Dad educate me on ‘the right and proper way to open a penknife’. This picture tells you the whole story.
Montreal Comedy Festival was on that summer and I managed to get two tickets for a seminar with the writers and producers of the hit TV show Everybody Loves Raymond. Dad and I were big fans of the show and especially in the way the writing team would come up with each episode. Phil Rosenthals’ book, You’re Lucky You’re Funny is a masterpiece. If you’re thinking about writing a comedy show grab yourself a copy of this first, please. Impatiently I called Dad and told him about the two tickets and that ‘it’s my treat.’ My Greek landlord was right, I am quite the chap.
All Dad had to pay out for was a flight from the UK, airport parking, a hotel and car hire. Before you judge me on the way to my place from the airport I took both of us for a California Sandwich. Come on, he was the best Dad, he deserved the best sandwich.
Shots of Coffee: 6
Reading: The Burglar Who Studied Spinoza and You’re Lucky You’re Funny
Listened to: Radio X, Springsteen on shuffle
YouTube Tip: David Lettermans’ Last Top Ten List
Word Count: 787