I’m a restaurant owner’s dream. I arrive promptly for my reservation, eat my meal, and leave. Immediately. No sitting around after dinner, casually sipping my green tea, making idle chitchat while the famished looks of the looming diners-in-waiting go unheeded. I can usually be counted upon to be in and out within an hour and a half; two hours tops. I’m not a lingerer. In fact, next to kiwis, the Home Depot, and people who use the word “addicting”, there’s nothing I quite hate more than sitting at a table after a meal, killing time until an opportunity presents itself for a segued out (“And speaking of greenhouse gas emissions and the fact that time is running out on the environment – I think my parking meter is about to expire…”). Of course, it’s easy enough when you’re out at a restaurant; much harder to do when you’re attending a dinner party. Which is why, when it comes time for the customary post-dinner chat wind-down with no prospect of an early exit, I try to make the best of potentially dull situation by broaching bizarre, occasionally offensive, subject matter. At a recent dinner party, my topic of choice was: gruesome injuries.
I was genuinely surprised by the number of anecdotes my fellow diners offered up: “Hockey Leg Injury”, “Garage Door Crunch”, “Rug Hook in the Eye”. Some of the stories were more amusing than grisly – like the woman who’d gone sledding with her kids and ended up taking a hair-raising, out-of-control ride down an icy section of slope. Fearful of upending herself or sliding into the thicket of brush at the foot of the hill, she did a quick, anxious scan of her surroundings and spotted a salvatory hay bale. Relieved, she angled her sled directly into the bale which abruptly broke her speedy descent – and her back. As it turns out, hay bales freeze mighty solid in Winter.
My contribution was the trampoline mishap in my fourth grade gym class that resulted a broken arm. No, I wasn’t on the trampoline showing off. I was actually helping to set it up when a section sprang back onto my arm, snapping the bone in two places so that the palm of my hand was literally touching my forearm. After a seven hour wait in emergency (There’s never a good anesthesiologist around when you need one), my arm was finally re-set. Sort of. Two months later, x-rays revealed it had been “set wrong” so the arm had to be re-broken and re-set. The “re-breaking” process was a disquietingly brief and uncomplicated procedure that involved some hulking Neanderthal taking my wrist in his oversized mitts and squeezing until the bone fractured. In hindsight, a sedative would have been nice. Finally, after months of sporting an arm cast that necessitated my using a wire coat hanger to scratch my elbow, the doctor informed me that my wrist had finally healed and it was time to remove the cast. This, I was informed, would achieved with the help of what was effectively an automated pizza slicer. Perhaps sensing my leeriness, the doctor assured me that the slicer’s whirring blade only cut plaster, not skin, and proceeded to demonstrate by bringing the rotating edge close – but not quite touching – his skin. Weeks later, I was taking physical therapy for my recuperating wrist when I glanced over at a fellow patient and asked him about the stitches running up the side of his arm. “This?”he asked. “Oh, this happened while they were removing my cast.”
Bloodletting and compound fractures aside, Fondy and I enjoyed a terrific meal at one of Vancouver’s casual, cash-only Vietnamese eateries. Thai Son Restaurant, located on Main Street, is a great, inexpensive alternative to dress-up dine-outs. Fondy had her usual grilled beef ribs with the house special steamed vermicelli. I had the tasty grilled chicken and pork combo with shredded pork and egg on broken rice. I also ordered a side of something called “meat egg-pie” (or it may have been “egg meat-pie”) that was also equally great. Needless to say, we didn’t linger.
Windshieldbug writes: “Doc Doom! Good one! Favorite here was always (Hank McCoy) Beast from X-Men.”
Answer: Funny you should mention Hank McCoy. Back when he was with The Avengers, he was my fave. Of course, that was back when he was his bouncing, bombastic self, prior to his more somber turn with the later X-Men.
Anonymous writes: “Joe, what does your magic 8-ball say about Chris Judge’s chances of guest starring on Atlantis in season four?”
Magic 8 Ball says: Outlook good.
Suz writes: “So if no-one ever dies in Sci Fi, what are the chances of us seeing Carson Beckett in s4, cos I’m really gonna miss him and it’s been said that there may be a way to bring him back!”
Magic 8 Ball says: “Reply hazy, try again. With a yes/no question”.
Marla writes: “Speaking of things that get cut out of episodes, imagine my disappointment upon finding out that the scene in Line In The Sand that I saw being filmed was not aired in the episode…”
Answer: Funny you should mention this as we were just discussing the deleted scenes today. I’m not sure which scene you’re referring to, but one of the scenes lost was right off the top, a walk and talk in which a worried Vala discusses Daniel’s absence and the effort to find him. Yep, sorry to say it was cut for time. Grouse away.
Anonymous #2 writes: “Oh wise and magic eight ball, oracle of things to come, will the Asgaard be seen in Atlantis’ season four?”
Answer: They will be making an appearance in the SG-1 season 10 finale, Unending.
Anonymous #3 writes: “ When does the weather gets better in Vancouver, so that you can feel like writing about ice cream again?”
Answer: Once June rolls around, I’ll be getting back to my ice-cream making after taking last Summer off.
Marla also writes: “Will our SG:A heroes still get to utilize the sets of SG-1 thanks to the Midway Station? Will we still get to see old friends like Dr. Lee, Siler, and Walter from time to time?”
Answer: The SG-1 sets will be available to us for a while. Whether we’ll be using them or not remains to be seen. As for the trio you mentioned, at least one of them will be putting in an appearance.
Melantha writes: “So I was watching that Stargate Saved My Life thing again (paying a bit more attention this time) and laughed when during your bit it displayed your name on screen as Jo Mazzolli. Good to see they did their research thoroughly.”
Answer: No mistake. That WAS Jo Mazzolli, the same guy who got infuriated all those cranky fans. People get us confused all the time.
Elodie writes: “Why there is no loveship between sam and rodney in SGA season 4? After all, they are like Daniel and Vala, I mean the “I love you, I love you not” thing. Will we see a more intimate relationship between Cam and Sam (…) for the tv movies or in the future? Will Daniel finally admit that he has feelings for Vala?
Answer: The “I love you, I love you not” thing you referred to has been decidedly one-sided. Regarding Cam and Sam – you’ll have to ask Rob and Brad who are writing the movies. And as for Daniel and Vala – time WILL tell.
Anonymous #3 writes: “What do you make of the whole ‘shrill and uninformed lemmings’ fan group that seems to have developed out of your comment?”
Answer: It makes me all misty knowing I’ve touched some many people and inspired them to be creative. And don’t forget the script elves.
Miss H writes: “By the way, the two parts of the negative in French surround the tensed verb. It’s “ce n’est pas” not “c’est ne pas”. In colloquial French, you can get away with “C’est pas”.”
Answer: My bad and thanks for the French lesson. Des fois, je suis tellement etourdi.