Wednesday August 13th, 2014

The exercise:

Write about: the robin.

Hold on a second, I need to read my own blog for a minute here. I can't remember what I have and haven't mentioned recently.

Okay. So Carolyn will only be with us until Saturday morning, at which point she'll be catching a bus to go home to Quebec. And the helper who contacted us about possibly joining us last Monday ended up deciding to go elsewhere.

Which leaves us without any helpers staying with us, officially, after this weekend.

I say officially because Kat's brother has volunteered to come with me to the market Saturday morning. And, at some point, I'm expecting my parents to arrive as they stop in on their way back home from their east coast trip and they'll be able to hang out with Max while Kat works.

I haven't heard from them since last Saturday though, so I have no idea where they currently are. Close by now, hopefully.


I suppose by now everybody has heard of the passing of Robin Williams. It's pretty much all been said at this point, but I just wanted to share a little story of my own.

When I was in high school a good friend of mine introduced me to Robin's stand-up routine. I think he loaned me a tape (as in cassette tape - yes, I'm old) of his Live at the Met show, then eventually made a copy for me to keep because I loved it so much.

I listened to that thing over and over and over again. And I laughed. Every single time. Night after night. If I needed cheering up, distraction, or just a good laugh, that's what I turned to. I remember listening to it as I fell asleep on more than one occasion.

There were some jokes that took me a long time to get. On maybe the fourth or fifth or tenth or twentieth listen I'd finally get something for the first time and howl with laughter. I'm pretty sure that by the end there were still some that I didn't understand, probably because it was just audio and Robin was such a physical comedian. Didn't matter. That tape was still the greatest thing ever.

Robin Williams was a huge influence on my sense of humour. He made me want to make other people laugh the way they laughed for him. He opened up a whole new world of comedy for me. I will miss him.

Though I never knew him, I will miss him.


Greg said...

That's a shame about the helpers, but I guess there's a natural ebb and flow there because of the nature of the work. Maybe you could try making it sound like an office job (with spreadsheets!) and see if that yields some enthusiastic nine-to-fivers? At least you have your brother-in-law and your parents on the way though :)
Ah, that's a nice little eulogy for Robin Williams; it does seem to have a rather tragic end. And it's odd, in a way, how many comedians seem to end up with tragic deaths. Still, what you've written is clearly heartfelt, and quite beautiful, so thank-you for sharing that with us.

The robin
Sixticton's Main Street was quiet at two in the afternoon, not least because the intensity of the sunshine was enough to drive everyone indoors. There was a young woman standing listlessly in the shade of an awning smoking a cigarette before she went back into her job in the tanning salon (in this weather they just put customers on the roof for ten minutes and then hosed them down with moisturiser), and an elderly couple staring in the estate agent's window and wondering if they'd prefer a holiday cottage to putting their granddaughter through college.
A car appeared at the end of the street and started down it, its engine purring as softly as a well-loved kitten, when a skinny, short thug dressed in hand-me-down clothes lurched out into the middle of the street. His trousers were belted around his knees, which was unfortunate as his much-washed white pants had some strategically-unfortunate holes in them. His t-shirt hung like a sail on his skinny frame, and there was a stuffed parrot balanced on one coat-hanger-like shoulder. The car stopped, and the driver poked his head out of the window.
"This is a robbin'!" said the thug, proudly. His pigeon chest inflated with importance, almost pulling him off the ground.
"It's a parrot," said the driver.
"It's a parrot. On your shoulder. Not a robin."
The driver sighed, pulled his head back into the car, and pressed down on the accelerator. The car bumped into the little thug, making him stagger backwards.
"You can't run me over!" he yelled, scrambling for the side of the road. His parrot fell to the tarmac. "I'll sue!"
The driver stuck his head out of the window again. "I'm the Chief of Police," he said. "As you really have recognised by now. Want to be arrested?"
"Nuh-uh," said the thug, deflated.

morganna said...

Sweet in suit of brown and red
Robin Redbird hops the grass
With a beady eye
He tilts his head, eyes the ground,
Aims and strikes!
Arising with a worm.

Marc said...

Greg - yeah, it seems like so many comedians have a darkness of some sort lurking beneath the surface. Sad and fascinating.

Love your description of the robber, and how you seem to really enjoy bringing Sixticton to life with those wonderful details of yours.

Morganna - beautifully descriptive little poem. Very nicely done, as usual :)