Even though my last visit to the Richmond Night Market was underwhelming to say the least, I found my way back there because my in-laws were visiting and my sister-in-law was in a bargain-hunting mood. As we made our way from the parking lot to the market proper, little seven year old Eric was negotiating the parking buttresses when he lost his footing and hit the ground like – as Carl is fond of saying – a sack of potatoes. Everyone else ran to him as if he’d been tagged by some unseen sniper, while my initial reaction was to turn on my heels and loudly announce: “Geez, I think he’s been drinking again!” It wasn’t much of a spill and he’d hardly suffered more than a scuffed a knee, but the congregation of panicked adults was enough to convince him it was, perhaps, a bigger deal than he’d initially assumed so, of course, he started crying – which, naturally, only fueled their anxiety which, in turn, fueled his anxiety…
While the other adults fed his delusional injury – poking prodding, bending his knees – I wandered over to a little shop selling an impressive assortment of swords and daggers. When ninjas vacation in Vancouver, I suspect this is where they shop. I was looking over the steel dragon-topped walking sticks (After all, what self-respecting villain would be caught dead without one?) when an enthusiastic seller approached and pulled one of the walking sticks off the rack. “Say you’re walking down the street and somebody tries to mug you.” He twisted the handle and tugged, drawing the long blade concealed within – “You just pull this out, right?”
“And then what?”I couldn’t resist asking.
“And then they run away,”he replied without missing a beat.
“What if they don’t run away?”
“Trust me. When they see this, they’ll run.”
With all due respect to the kind sir at Blades R Us, I was not in a particularly trusting mood, especially when the worst case scenario would result in either: a) my beheading an erstwhile criminal and no doubt having to deal with the messy ramifications or b) my losing the weapon to the mugger and thereby being out a wallet, my pride, AND fifty dollars worth of hidden sword. I decided to pass and make my way to the food stalls.
A much better selection this time around. Terrific skewers, sticky rice, and tasty beef tendon. Even though the takoyaki stalls always seem to do brisk business, I’ve yet to figure out the draw of these octopus meat-studded semi-cooked batter balls. I much prefer the okinomiyaki (Japanese pizza) which is, thankfully, cooked through and chock ful o’ bacon, green onions, and soba noodles. As usual, I passed on the aptly-named “stinky tofu”, but did try my luck with the curried periwinkles (Snake eyes, you lose!).
Once I’d finished eating more than humanly possible (not once, but twice), I had no choice but to tag along for the shopping portion of the evening. Fortunately, I was prepared. In the time it took Fondy and her family to cover the market, I not only finished Frederik Pohl’s Gateway, but made some major headway on Terry Pratchett’s Equal Rites. Should be done today after which I’ll finally start on Scott Lynch’s latest – Red Seas Under Red Skies, the follow-up to the fantastic Lies of Locke Lamorra.
A quick Q&A –
Yasmin writes: “Thanks for the Lulu pictures. Are all the children playing nicely still?”
Answer: Up until Lulu tried to claim one of Jelly’s treats at which point all hell broke loose and the new puppy learned a very valuable lesson.
Ghost writes: “Ever read Night Watch by Sergei Lukyanenko?”
Answer: I picked up the DVD and watched it with David and Jane. We all loved it. I have yet to pick up the books – Day Watch and Night Watch. How’s the translation?
Teyla’s Angel writes: “Hi Joe, since you have all but confirmed that John’s doppelganger will be the father of Teyla’s baby, can you assure us that their relationship will become canon in season 4?”
Answer: I did what?
SueS writes: “Since Harmony is the final ep, is it being written as if there will be a season 5 – i.e. with a cliffhanger ending or will all the loose ends be tied up?”
Answer: Harmony is not the season finale. The season finale has yet to be broken. Also, the production order of the episodes does not reflect their air order.
PG15 writes: “Lord Joe of Mallozzi-on-Chocolate-Fountain…”
Answer: I warned you about eating that flocking!
Anonymous #1 writes: “My friend and I own a small candy business — primarily truffles. I just wanted to let you know that the current flavor in the test kitchen is a dark chocolate advocaat center with a marzipan coating. If it works, we’ll name it after you and I’ll send you a box!”
Answer: Dark chocolate, marzipan, and advokaat = my 3 favorite ingredients! No kidding. I look forward to hearing how the testing goes.
My Name Is Scott writes: “If you were to magically turn into a woman, what name would you choose for yourself?”
Answer: Probably Scott.