How was your day? Mine? Well it was a Wednesday and…

Our latest column from William Thomas

I’m rushing to an early morning appointment with a St. Catharines dermatologist because apparently I have actinic keratosis which sounds like acne with a side of halitosis but no–it’s like rosacea only worse.

I’m sitting in the waiting room and there’s two older people across from me with almost identical black gashes on their foreheads. It’s like the worst skin disorder I’ve ever seen plus it must be contagious. I’m thinking to myself–well, at least I don’t have that!

Face to face with the doctor and after a few questions he pulls out what looks to be one of those huge foghorns wrestling fans use on each other and bam! He hits me in the face with a powerful blast of liquid nitrogen. It’s loud, stings like hell and I’m thinking: those two in the lobby have no idea what they’re in for. With their affliction, they’ll likely get the ‘fire hose of sulfuric acid’ treatment.

I’m outta there but not before buying a 2-ounce tube of exfoliant cream for…$109.61!!! At $54.80 an ounce this stuff should also make me look like Ryan Reynolds and glow like the Virgin Mary.

Then it’s a quick stop at Chapters where the manager is upset and somewhat rude that a theatre director has left copies of my latest script at the store to be picked up by me because I regularly drive all the way from Wainfleet to buy a lot of books. I did not mention that Chapters has made a substantial amount of money by selling books I’ve written. They make 50% on the sticker price while I, the author is lucky to earn 10%. Without people like me, Chapters would be in the business of selling really thick and expensive socks.

So I pick up my buddy Dave Hurst at The Community of Lookout Ridge in Fonthill and take him to lunch at a lovely country pub called “The Broken Gavel” in Fenwick. The place is busy, the food is great and the menu severely mocks lawyers. One special is headed “Please Bargain.” After the meal, I asked our waitress if she’d take ten bucks for all we had and she laughed us out of the joint.

And every time I stop the car I continue my three-day ongoing fight with Bell Telephone. You never get the same person, they never call you back, you can’t leave a message-everything the telephone is designed to do, Bell contradicts. Plus there is a lawyer trying to reach me about a real estate closing and I’m about to lose my deposit because Bell is draining my cell phone battery. It’s all very depressing and stressful.

I’m now late for a meeting with my lawyer and I’m driving too fast over an overpass in Welland when…a wonderful thing happened. A woman in a sporty car blew by me on the right side. I decided to speed along behind her and now we’re both flying down the southside of the viaduct when she spots the cop first. She hits her brakes so hard I have to swerve into the left lane to avoid rear-ending her. I see the cruiser with the lights flashing on my tail so I slow down and move into the right lane. As the female police officer draws even with my car, she motions me over. Naturally, I shrug, point at myself and mouth: “What, me?” She motions me over again

and I pull over to the shoulder. She parks her cruiser between me and “Indy Cindy” as I pull my insurance and ownership out of the glove compartment. I’m sitting there for like ten minutes when she returns to her cruiser with the other speeders documentation in her hand and she gives me basically the same shrug I gave her.

She comes to the car, I roll down the window and she says: “Oh no, sir. You’re good to go. I just needed you to give me enough room to safely pull over.” I look around. No hidden camera. No punk or practical joke. Schadenfreude-taking pleasure in another person’s misfortune. Okay, so I do have that!

Before I take off, it’s another round of Bell, low battery, annoyed lawyer!

I finally get home, settling in with a drink and CNN to see what arm of American democracy the president has amputated today and…there’s a commentator with that same skin scourge as those two scarred patients in the dermatologist’s office. His black star is not as deep or as black. As I look a little closer I realize that it’s actually a cross. He’s also talking about Catholicism. Only then does it occur to me that these three people are celebrating a special day known as Ash Wednesday. And I think to myself, as a longtime atheist not afraid to burn in hell, at least I don’t have that!

So yeah, Wednesday February 26, 2020–how was your day?

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