A few months ago I decided to collaborate with my good friend (and crazy good artist) John Little on a graphic novel. He had already attempted to write the thing himself, but it didn’t turn out the way he wanted, so he offered me a chance to rewrite it. The book was The Salesman, and we used it as a base to create something totally new.
There’s this joke around my household that will apparently never get old. It goes something like this: “Hey, let’s order $150 of McDonald’s at 4 a.m. and eat all of it in one go.” The joke has many variations, such as, “Hey, let’s order literally all of the sausages in stock at Mars Food,” or, “Hey, let’s make seven boxes of Kraft dinner for two people, and let’s use all of Jon’s delicious cultured butter to make it.” What the punch line is, I’m not sure yet.
The story you are about to read is true. It occurred sometime in the early ‘90s in Sarnia, Ontario. It is based on an eyewitness account, namely my own. The facts have been casually corroborated where possible. Do not try this at home.
“Life is pain, highness. Anyone who says differently is selling something.”
– Man in Black, The Princess Bride
It was morning, and I should have been getting ready for class. I was a grade five-ish student at Cathcart Boulevard Public School, home of the Cougars, and it was a weekday, early, and I was in my bedroom and I should have been preparing to learn. Instead, I was thinking about pain.
There are a few plants scattered about my house. These include but are not limited to a ficus elastica; a Guiana chestnut; a seven-year-old peyote cactus that will one day take me on an intergalactic journey; and a hoya. This month the hoya became my favourite.
I have a new roommate named Ryan. Before he was my roommate, he was in New York City attending drama school at The Actors Studio. He lasted one semester before spending all of his money. I’ve known Ryan for a long time, so when I found out he was coming back to Toronto, and that he was likely destitute, I offered him a buddy rate for the spare room at my apartment.
Earlier this month Toronto Life asked me to look into what is happening with the upcoming restaurant at 785 Queen West. It seemed like an easy enough assignment, since that is what I do with a lot of my time — I find out about upcoming restaurants. This one was weird, though. Over the past few months, the restaurant has changed concepts a bunch of times. The website is impossible to take seriously. It is clearly a joke or a bizarre marketing ploy.
The moral of this story is that Coca-Cola makes a great marinade for kalbi (Korean short ribs). I am revealing this right off the bat because, well, I’m a nice guy. But I have other stuff to say, too. I prefer to use Coca-Cola made with real cane sugar, which isn’t so easy to find in Canada. Most of the cola here is made with glucose-fructose, also known as high fructose corn syrup. I hear that corn syrup isn’t as good as real sugar.
The first time I went to Hapa Izakaya, I hated it. It was a while ago, so I don’t remember too much about the whole experience, but I do recall fried rice filled with what was supposed to be chicken, but was actually just chicken gristle. When the meal was over, I swore I’d never go back, even though the restaurant is right across the street from me.