September 11, 2010

Toilet Humor

I am sitting on the toilet, trapped in the bathroom with my laptop as a three year old is banging on the door screaming at me to come out to play!

And this is how I got into this little predicament.

I am staying in what is quite possibly the best billet I’ve had on this entire tour so far. I mean I’ve connected with a few of my hosts more so than my current ones to be sure, but the accommodations are just unbelievable. I have my own room on the main floor that is decorated with artwork from what looks to be artifacts brought back from international vacations, (or IKEA). I have a bed, a real bed that is almost the same size as my own back home and just as comfortable. I have more space in this room than I’ve had in the last two homes I’ve stayed in combined. I find myself waking up some times and leaping out of bed, just so I can stand in the centre of the room as the daylight floods the room with its light, and I find myself twirling around in one spot, just because I have room enough to do so.

Quick note, that’s a really dumb way to let the neighbors know you are staying there. So I’ll be keeping the blinds closed for the rest of my stay now.

The folks who are staying here wasted no time in giving me the lay of the land. Bathroom, kitchen, laundry room, living room, bedrooms and children. The first one I meet is their 3 month old son. Potentially, this little guy is going to be my new alarm clock. The other child is a 3 year old little girl who is not familiar of the rule, “Don’t talk to strangers.” Because I am now her best friend in the whole world. The mornings don’t start with the usual, “Good morning mommy,” phrase anymore. It’s now, “Where’s Jason?”

Her parents quickly made the new house rule of, “If Jason’s bedroom door is closed, that means you shouldn’t disturb him.” And this little cutie is nothing if not a good little soldier when it comes to parenthood law. But her new favorite hangout is right outside my door, so as soon as she hears the door slightly creak, she’s ready to pounce!

Another great little feature that this place has is wireless internet. Sweet! No more internet cafes for me! The trick of it is to actually find where the signal is the strongest. Because at any given moment, the signal will decide that it is getting bored staying in one area of the room and will get up and move to the opposite side of the room, losing all your progress in a story you are trying to tell in an email that you stupidly did not write on Microsoft word first and then copy and paste it into a message like you normally do.

And in the few days that I’ve been here, I have actually begun to map out the “hotspots” on my bed spread. Thankfully the blanket is composed of squares so it is really easy to coordinate. Otherwise it starts to look as crazy as it sounds to the untrained eye. One day while I was home alone, I took my laptop out of the bedroom I’m in and tried to find a really huge “hotspot” in the house. Somewhere in here there has got to be a trail of bandwidth that could just throw my little PC into light-speed. It just so happens that it was located in the bathroom.

So I sit on top of the toilet seat and begin to read emails I’ve failed to respond to in a timely manner, begin to download yet another episode of “Kids in the Hall” and “Twin Peaks”, (strange combo, I know) do all the little updates on my computer that I’ve ignored for the longest time, and yes, I ran a virus scan. The really “deep” ones that could take an hour. I Figured I might be in there for a while so why not? Now as I’m sitting on the toilet, I’m not actually using the toilet. And it’s while I’m sitting there that Pavlov’s theory of classical conditioning had a real world application in my life that I can recognize. Try it sometime when you don’t have the urge to go to the washroom. Just sit on it with the lid closed for a few minutes and before you know it, BAWOOM!

Here’s where the imagery gets a little comical. As I am sitting on the toilet, I realize that my feet don’t touch the floor. I know I’m not known for my height and all but I’ve never stayed at a place where this was actually a problem for me. I felt like a child sitting there, if only because I was able to swing my legs back and forth as if I was back on the swing set in my childhood. And then something occurred to me. Even though I had the “urge to purge” sitting on the throne, I couldn’t make it, you know, come out. I pushed and heaved and rocked but it was as if I was just a little shy for some reason.

I felt my legs begin to shake a bit at which point a thought occurred to me. What if it was some sort of psychological fear? Stay with me here, this is how my mind works while I’m on the toilet. I thought, what if the reason I can’t produce is because my feet aren’t flat on the floor? Like it’s some sort of fight or flight response for not being secure on the ground? Sounds ridiculous right? But I’ll tell you this; tucked away beside the bathroom sink was a little plastic purple and yellow step for the little three year old girl to stand on so she would be able to wash her hands. Looking at it I wondered if I was to put that under my feet as I sit here on the toilet that would raise my legs up slightly enough that it will feel like I am on level ground again and maybe, just maybe, that will give me psychological and physical…release!

Well, it worked. My first ever experiment in the field of Psychology and Physiology in one go! And truth be told, with the little stool under foot, I’ve never known this kind of ease and comfort even in my own bathroom. I propped up my laptop upon my lap and began typing away this little discovery when…BANG BANG BANG!!!

“Jason, come out and play!” And you really have to imagine that being said in a high-pitched, sing-song kind of way to get the full effect. Which is borderline cute and scary as hell at the same time. As luck would have it, I was on the toilet in case it was the latter of those two options. So now I’m in a jam. I am sitting on the toilet with my pants around my ankles, I have a plastic stepping stool under foot, a laptop that is most certainly giving off a light that makes this whole scenario look all the more suspect, and the only thing that separates me from the outside world is a door, which at that very moment I discovered did not have a lock on it.

I’m now staring at the three year old standing in the open door. Apparently it’s no big thing for this little girl to barge into the bathroom when it was just her and her parents. She has a look that conveys in no small way, “Ooh…you are so my bitch now.” Because all she would have to do is call out for her mom and I either stay seated and have them discover this whole suspicious scene the way it is, or I try to get up and pull up my pants as their small child looks on in horror at the half naked bald man with a computer in tow.

In a voice that sounds too far off in the distance to be my own, I asked this little angel, very kindly, to close the door and I’d be out in a minute to play with her. She giggled manically as she slowly shut the door again; never taking her eyes off of mine the whole time it creaked to a close. Fucking. Freaky.

Now I have to figure out how to get out of the toilet, while trying to hide the laptop, lest the parents are now waiting outside the bathroom door, just like their young daughter in the mornings, in order to confirm that I am indeed a pervy creep who does things in the bathroom when they are not around.

You’ll know the outcome if my next little Misadventure is titled, “Funny things I learned while being arrested.”

September 05, 2010

The Reverend

I‘m not sure why I haven’t shared this little tid bit of information with all of you, because this is a pretty big piece of history that really does shed some light on the inner workings of my mind. I’m not exactly sure how it came back to me all of a sudden. All I know for sure is that somehow I got onto the subject of nicknames with someone, and after comparing some choice nicknames reviewers have given a lot of my fellow Fringe performers and I over the years, this story came screeching out of left field.

Between the first and second year of my massage career, we had our summer break. I was working as much as I could at the bars I was tending, trying to save enough to pay off my loans for second year. On my down time from working long hours into the night, I would usually unwind by watching a bit of TV before crashing for the night. As it happened, there was a rerun of the show “Friends” on when I got home one evening.

I don’t remember many of the details but the major plotline was that one of the characters was getting ordained as a minister online so he would be able to perform the service for two of the other “friends”. As soon as it left the actors lips, I had to give my head a shake. No, that can’t be. That’s not possible! To become a, (what a priest?) that took years of study and celibacy didn’t it? This had to be TV make believe. But the idea wouldn’t leave my mind. And when you are really bored and you can’t find any decent porn on the internet, you begin to investigate these little notions.

So there I was on a summer afternoon, trolling online to find out if it was indeed possible to be ordained as some sort of leader in a religious faith online. It took one search. One.

There it was: Online Ministries of the Christian Faith.

Now to be fair, I did not consciously search out one faith. I simply typed in online minister or something and this site was the first one I got. After that I was too busy pissing myself laughing over the ridiculous idea that this was in fact possible. So there very well may be online Catholic/Jewish/Buddhist/Scientology/Mormon/Mayan faiths that do this as well. But no matter what the religion it was that I was reading about, what happened next was bound to happen any which way you slice it.

I have never subscribed to any one faith. This coming from a kid who spent a number of years in a Catholic school. Mind you that was only because they had a kick ass drama program, but that’s beside the point. And because of the fact I have no definable faith, I really can’t have a beef with any one religion or another, because in my opinion, they are all kind of silly. Not the people who are of whatever faith, just the institutions themselves. Some of you who have read my previous story on the Mayan Civilization know why I have distaste for religious faiths. And with that in mind, the idea that follows was kind of hard to escape.

I thought, “So…can ANYONE do this? I mean how do they know that I am a member of their faith? Do they do background checks? I could be a total nut job who got a crazy idea after watching an episode of “Friends” and is now going to totally fuck with the institute of Christianity just for shits and giggles for all they know.”

Only one way to find out.


Question number one: Do you believe in a higher power?

Wow. That is such an open ended question. Nowhere did it say, “Do you believe in OUR higher power,” just “A” higher power. And truth be told, I do believe in a higher power. If you break it down scientifically, the one thing that defines living from dead, that one little spark that no one can identify that makes us “turn on” for the first time and then evolves into a personality until death do you part? Whatever it was that made that little spark come on for the first time, be it happy accident or evolution, THAT is my definition of a higher power. What people call the human soul, whatever created that, is the higher power. Not some imaginary God that is wrathful or loving depending on what you do or do not eat in life.

So in short…yes I do!


Next Question: If you were to be ordained as a minister, what title would you prefer?

And then they listed a whack load of titles.

- Father

- Vicar

- Minister

- Reverend

- Parson

- Pope

Holy shit! I could be called the Pope!?!?

Just kidding.

So I thought, “Reverend sounds kinda bitchin’,” so that ones the winner.


Next Question: Would you care to make a donation to the Christian Faith?


If I did make a donation, THEN I could have chose “Pope” as a title. It’s like the equivalent of upgrading to the “Pro” mode for any computer program. So after the last question I had to fill out my personal information, phone number, mailing address and such. And after I hit the “send” button, I felt certain that someone on the other end of the Christian hotline was getting this request and some red flags would be going up. So I waited for the inevitable phone call to personally tell me that my application had been rejected and that I was going to burn in a lake of fire with all the other sinners.

But no phone call came. And two weeks later, a package arrived for me at my parent’s house. I opened it up and pulled out a brown piece of parchment. In big huge script letters it said, “Jason Brasher…blah blah blah…hereby ordained as Reverend…”


Yes, that was my first decree upon being accepted into the Christian faith. After going over the documents, trying to find something that would make it clear that I had to send in some proof of person or some money that I owed one organization or another, I found nothing. There were some papers that gave me instructions on how to get started building my place of worship and how to go about gathering followers. Other than that I found one document that stated all of the powers I now possessed.

Two images hit me after reading the words “powers” and “possessed”. Like the battle between good and evil, I had powers, (not unlike Superman) and yet I was possessed, (not unlike the Exorcist). My powers were limited when compared to superheroes though. My powers included the legal right to marry, bury or baptize anyone across Canada and within 48 states in the U.S. But the hell I could raise with this knowledge would be on par with the devil!

My first thought was to pack up the car and drive down to each and every one of those states and cities that ban same sex marriage and just start lining people up for my “mobile marriage”. My God has no rules and regulations about who you can and cannot love! But something more sinister emerged after that brilliant idea.

As I said, I was bartending at the time, and I was paying my way through college. Now I am also skilled enough, (apparently) to have yet another source of income. I stood up and paced around the house for a good long while, and then it came to me. I am going to move to Las Vegas!!!

I was going to open a bar and call it, “Worst Hangover Guaranteed”. The customers would come in and sit at the bar, where I would wow them with my juggling bartender skills and my mad mixed concoctions. After a few rounds they would get a proper buzz going, where upon I suggest heading to the back of the bar where I would have a spa set up. There they would get a nice relaxing massage, which would increase the amount of endorphins in their bloodstream, (which would get them high as kites). Feeling good and relaxed, and slightly pissed, it then becomes a no-brainer that the person they met at the bar that very night is the love of their life. Well wouldn’t you know it, there is a chapel in this very locale!

The next morning they would wake up with a screaming hangover, a total stranger in their bed, a ring on their finger, but their sciatica would be gone! And I…would make a triple income!

Come September, I went back to school and met the gang from the year before. I listened to everyone tell stories about their adventures over the summer, places they went, things they saw, the tan lines and sunburns from a summer well spent. And then one of the guys turned to me and asked, “So what did you do Jay?”

“I found God and became a minister.”

Naturally, this got the attention of everyone in ear shot. And after telling them the story I’ve just told you, it goes without saying that “The Rev.” would become my nickname for the rest of the year.


September 02, 2010

Chinese Dolphins

As many of you know, I have been on tour across Canada along the Fringe festival circuit this summer doing live performances of my stories. What some of you may be unaware of is a side project I have been doing from the outset. For each city that I perform in, I get a tattoo done along my right leg to represent this time in my life. But it doesn’t stop there.

I went one step further and considered this Fringe festival business that offers all the artists and acts the freedom to do whatever say whatever and sometimes “expose” whatever. Considering that I was going to have an artist working on my tattoos, I thought it only fitting to allow them all the same kind of freedom. Now, some thoughts may arise when you read that. Like, what if they want to do an entire mural across your leg? So yes, I had some guidelines that needed to be followed, to allow for equal space, an appropriate budget, and within my scope of taste.

These were the parameters:

- The tattoo had to be no more than 2x2 inches.

- The tattoo could only be in black ink. I wanted to stay pure.

- Nothing offensive. That’s why I was blessed with a mouth and freedom of speech.

Other than that…GO NUTS!

Of course my fear took a hold of me the day before getting my first one done. I’ve been working on half naked people for a number of years now and I’ve seen some very unique tattoos. But for the most part I have seen the bottom of the barrel tattoos on more than one individual. What are some of the bad ones you ask? So glad you brought it up.

If you have a Disney cartoon character or a Looney Toons character, that is dumb.

If you have a Chinese or Japanese symbol and you believe it to be the symbol for peace/love/hope/strength/independence/honor…and are not Chinese or Japanese? Guess what? Your tattoo is the symbol for “combo number 5”. That is dumb.

If you have a dolphin…it is dumb, and so are you.

I realize this is very harsh and some of you who are reading this who have one or all of the above designs somewhere on your body are now deleting me from your favorites list and are preparing to curse me out. But for those of you who are familiar with my tales know that I usually look like the bigger dipshit by the end of my tales.

Now then, tattoo number one was a very sweet design. The image was taken from a graphic novel titled “Blankets”. A book that if you have not read, run do not walk to any book store and pay whatever the price is. Read it and then thank me later. The artist had a background in cartoon illustration and comic book art. I am a bonafide comic geek and after we sparred with what titles we enjoyed, we discovered a mutual love for this book. As it turned out, Montreal was not the kindest of cities to start my tour off with. I was a bit bummed and in need of a hug at the time, so when the piece depicted the two main characters embracing each other, it called out to me in more than one way.

So tattoo number one rocked! (And no…this does not count as a cartoon tattoo as previously mentioned. I’m getting there)

On to tattoo number two.

I walked in and the artist in Ottawa had been sketching an original design that was influenced from an artist whose work is in almost everything this artist has done since. THIS was more like it! He showed me the tattoo and I have to say, even now it’s hard to describe. It’s what looks to be the skull of some demonic bird that has a 3D eyeball looking out from between the jaws of the bird. It looks totally badass! And I’ve always wanted to feel badass in some way, (all 150 lbs. of me). The only thing bad about it…it was going to be HUGE! At least double the size of my last tattoo. But, the guy was so into the idea of a cross Canada tattoo that he reduced the price just for me. How could I refuse?

So two for two! Let’s move on to Toronto.

This is where things went slightly sour. I arrived at the shop and was greeted by the cashier, another artist working that day, and the girls who sold merch in the downstairs area. My artist for that day however…was still sleeping. Apparently he was still hung over from the night before. Oh and the tattoo, yeah, he never gave it a second thought after I booked with him. So he has nothing to offer. So on the spot, after looking through some magazines and previous work the studio did, with the help of a different artist as well, we picked out this cute little Betty Page-esque pin-up girl. By that time they kicked my artist out of bed and he stumbled into the room. He gave my leg one look to see what other artists have done before him, criticized them all for the after care they chose to offer me, then told me to wait till he was done his smoke break to begin work.

Wait…break? Dude you just woke up! You need a break!?

After a half hour of complete silence in the studio, this guy looks up at me and says, “Kay, were done.” Which sounded more like he was saying, “Kay, get the fuck out.” Half the studio came in to check out my tattoo and talk about the cross country idea. The staff was amazing! The artist I had…could not have been a bigger dink.

Ah well, tattoo number three is sweet!

Winnipeg. My home sweet home. Originally I had discovered that a childhood friend of mine had since become a tattoo artist in the city, so I thought it would be like coming full circle in a way to have her do my next tattoo. But things sometimes go awry in life and I had to reschedule with a different studio at the last minute. A very nice woman brought me in and agreed to do the tattoo my friend was supposed to do in her place. What it was supposed to be was a copy of that little logo that you would see at the end of any “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” or “Firefly” episode. The Mutant Enemy guy that goes, “Grrr…Argh”. My love for zombies and my love of Joss Whedon come together. And the artist did it in a way that it looks like the little guy is chasing after the pin-up girl. AWESOME!

The one thing that stood out about this one was the studio I had to be in. I’m used to the studios where they have the dental chair you sit in, while images of all these badass, full color body tattoos hang on display. Pictures of biker boys showing off their latest works, “Black Label Society” logos on the shelves, maybe trinkets from old school horror movies, and always…death metal playing on the radio.

This time however, I am brought to the back room and told to take a seat in the dentist chair. The bright pink. I take a look at my surroundings and notice that the walls are decorated with giant flower stickers, posters of Disney Princesses, fun little bobble heads, and rainbows for the boarder around the walls. This was where Strawberry Shortcake gets her tats done. The artist told me that they used this room to pierce all the little kids. This way they feel a little less intimidated. But for me, I was feeling a little emasculated.

Why can’t I go in the big boy room? So now my “Buffy” tattoo is becoming less cool and more girly by the minute.

But when all was said and done, it is a wicked addition. Tattoo number four, DONE!

Tattoo five. Edmonton. The crown jewel of the Fringe festival. I arrived at the studio and met my artist for the day, an older artist who has been on the scene for decades. At first he wasn’t sure what he wanted to do for me. Looking at his arms, which had so much art along them you were hard pressed to find a sliver of untouched flesh, I noticed a lot of the work was of classic movie monsters like Frankenstein, Dracula, and Wolfman. So I offered the idea of doing a horror monster with his own kind of flair. He drew up a sketch within ten minutes and away we went.

Now to be honest, I wasn’t sold on the style at first. It looked like something along the line of graffiti art, or something that a kid would have on the back of his skateboard. Neither of these ideas appealed to me. But when all was said and done, it is one of the better looking tattoos I have so far.

Tattoo number five is wicked cool! Onto Victoria!

And here…is where things go awry. I walked in to the little studio and was greeted by the artist I was to work with. Now one thing I should mention is that getting my show into Victoria was a last minute deal, and booking this appointment was another last minute deal. This guy was the only one out of all of Victoria that had time to fit me in. This could be looked at as good fortune or a great, big warning sign.

He is very excitable and really eager to show me the idea he came up with after I contacted him. This wiry little hippy went bouncing back to the studio and came back out with his rough sketch. I was so pumped that this guy was into the idea, and just vibrating with anticipation for what he was going to offer. And then he showed it to me.

“Is…is that a dolphin?”

“No man, no. It’s a whale!”

He said whale. I know he said whale. But all I could see was a very large dolphin. I looked up at him completely horrified and saw that he was grinning from ear to ear. Now it’s at this point I became torn in two. I was at the crossroads so to speak. I am trying to decide if I am the guy who sticks to his principals and keeps his word by allowing creative freedom to be expressed by each of these individuals. Or am I the guy who really doesn’t want a dolphin tattoo?

I should mention that even though I criticized people who have Asian symbols on their person, I do in fact have a tattoo written in Thai down my leg. Which I got in Thailand, and I know for a fact that it is the name of a small village and it’s adjacent waterfall where I spent one of the most awe inspiring afternoons while down there. So how much pride would I lose by adding a freaking dolph…WHALE! It’s a friggin’ whale!

A took a deep breath, tried to focus on the death metal in the background and said, “Alright…let’s do this.” And I went sobbing into the dentist chair.

When I got back to the billets place that I’m at in Victoria, I spent the rest of the afternoon moping around and drinking a ridiculous amount of Pepsi. It wasn’t until one of the residents of the place, Caitlin, came home that my spirits picked up. She immediately asked about the tattoo, which I started off by explaining to her my dislike of certain tattoos in the Asian/Fish genre, and the whole ordeal of the artist’s revelation of the dolphin/whale leading into my personal dilemma of sticking to my guns.

And then I pouted and took a swig of Pepsi.

But, Caitlin then told me that in myths or legends held by many native or aboriginal cultures, they deemed that the whales are the keepers of stories over the years. Whales hold onto the history of the world and the tales that people weave.

My eyes lit up slightly, “Yeah, and this does look a bit tribal doesn’t it?”

“It sure does, big guy.”

Caitlin to the rescue! Of course I may have forgot to tell her about the part where the guy admitted to me that this whale is also on the label of his favorite beer. But hey…keepers of the stories!

And in two weeks, I’ll have the seventh and final tattoo. Which I have personally picked out to round out the whole set.

For those of you familiar with the film “The Seven Samurai”, the flag they bare to represent the group of masterless warriors, is six circles and one triangle done with a Japanese calligraphy brush. Seven symbols to represent the seven individuals.

And seven symbols to represent the seven destinations for this lone warrior.

August 20, 2010

What the Hell was I Thinking?


Home of the ever popular mall. Love it or hate it, it’s here to stay. And on my first day off from the Fringe Festival I had the opportunity to see it for the first time as an adult. An experience I was going to share with my sister, brother in law and nephew no less. Before meeting up with them I decided to get there early just so I could take it in on my own.

I have never seen consumerism in action like this mall displayed. To give a few of my local friends and family a familiar layout, the thing is like our Polo Park mall, but multiplied by 4. The mall is laid out like a great big “X” and at the end of each “X” there is another mall that goes all the way right to left. And believe me, it ranges from upper crust Like Polo to Kildonan Place mall. Yup, there is a ghetto within this mall!

And to be honest, I think they cheated with the whole claim to being the largest mall in the world. I don’t know any malls back home that have a freaking water park, an amusement park, two mini golf courses, a freaking Pirate ship, an aquarium, hotel and casino in it. These do not fall into a mall must have category, k? But still, if you strip those away from the rest of the mall, it still is impressive.

Impressive how one single mall can still fit two of the same store within it. Starbucks? Two. Second Cup? Two. Boston Pizza? Two. EB Games? Two. La Senza? Two. Shoppers Drug Mart? Okay one, but I can’t remember all the other doubles, there were just way too many. Plus I was distracted by the Pirate ship and the arena sized ice rink. But my biggest surprise was that they had constructed not only a water park and carnival rides, but they offered indoor bungee jumping. Something my brother in law discovered.

Many of you don’t know that I am deathly afraid of heights. In Toronto I could barely contain my bowels as I stood over top of the glass floor at the CN tower. And in planes, I am white knuckled during each and every take off. So naturally when my brother in law suggested we do the bungee jump, my reply was obviously, “FUCK YEAH!”

Wait, WHAT?!?!

Tell me I did not just agree to this. Two weeks after the agreement, here I am in the West Edmonton mall, meeting up with the family and seeing my brother in laws face light up with excitement over this experience. Little did he know, I was secretly hoping he had forgotten or they had looked over their finances and decided against the idea. Nope, he’s all in.

Before I knew it, I was standing in front of a couple of 20-nothing surfer wannabes as they lazily explained what we were going to be going through. I’m sorry but watching these guys roll their eyes as they go through the procedure of explaining how not to die is the last thing I wanted to see. Now all I can think of is the scenario where I jump and one says to the other, “Wait, did you tie the other end to the cable, dude?”

Now, we were being led up this catwalk which has little grates so you can see just how high up you’re going. This is so the instructor boys can occasionally look back and laugh at the expression on your face. Cause it’s usually one of, “Fuck I’m gonna die, fuck I’m gonna die, fuck I’m gonna die, fuck I’m gonna die.”

Before you know it, you are in a small caged area high above the massive wave pool below, and you can see just how dirty the ceilings really are. Chris was the first one of the group to take the plunge. I would describe his experience and what it looked like to see him there one moment and then jumping to his death the next, but as I found out afterwards, our experiences were almost identical. So here’s the way it went for me.

They opened this creaky little gate and allowed me to say a prayer before I stepped forward to certain death. They took hold of the harness I am wearing, which is the most unflattering garment I have ever seen. Essentially it is a bunch of vinyl straps that only serve to cut off circulation to your feet so you feel paralyzed on the spot, but more so, to strap your crotch into a position where nothing is left to the public’s imagination. To add injury to insult there is a foot long cable that hangs down in front of your public display, as if mocking you because you are not as big as IT is. This is what the boys in charge grab onto to lead you onto the platform.

Yeah close your eyes and picture that for a moment. I am a humble man now.

So then they attach what looks like Snuffleupagus’ nose to my crotch and throw it off the edge. Chris told me later that this was the moment that freaked him out the most. (He thought the Snuffy nose was going to yank him off the plateau before he was ready). They then lead me to the edge of the platform and told me to bring my toes to the edge.

I inched my way forward, and I got to the point where I felt I went a little too far. What I mean is I went as far to the edge as I felt comfortable with but my big toe went out just a little farther. Just far enough to go right over the edge. It went from solid ground to open air. That was it. That was the moment I started my mantra of, “Fuckmefuckmefuckmefuckme!”

Then these two yahoos who were basically comatose while explaining how to survive this experience came to life. They started to yell and whistle and scream for the people below to egg me on and jump to my death. “You people are sick!” Is what I should have said, but that would have taken me away from my mantra, and that was the only thing keeping me from pissing myself.

Now, before you do something as retarded as bungee jumping, you picture yourself as this hero who conquered gravity. The guy who laughed in the face of physics and said, “Boing!” And you imagine that when it came time to jump off, you would do this brave Jesus Christ Pose, Superman jump and swan dive to the bottom. But what happens, is you lean forward, see the pool below and tuck into a kind of fetal position as you fall off the edge and scream like a motherfucker all the way down.

And I have to tell you all, my first thought as I felt the wind rushing past my face and I went soaring back to earth was, “Jesus…I need to go on a diet!” I’m not even kidding. Like that’s my biggest concern now? Finally the rope tightens and I do the sling shot back up. That was the best and worst feeling ever. The best because once I got back up to the top again, I really did feel like Superman. And I beat my chest and howled like Tarzan. And yet it was also the worst, because I had to fall back down again, just like before, shitting myself the entire time.

And as a bonus, as soon as the rope tightened on the second time down, I realized all the blood in my entire body shot right into my head. After it was all said and done, sure enough, a blood vessel exploded in my right eye. That’s gonna be oh so sexy when I’m on stage. But truth be told, it was one of the best experiences I’ve had since this trip began. And it was something that me and my bro-in-tow will remember till the day we’re both stricken with Alzheimer’s, and we find ourselves doing it all over again.

August 12, 2010

My Mayan Education

So for the first day off after arriving here in Edmonton, I decided to indulge in a little trip to the local science museum here. I attended the one in Ottawa and experienced my first earthquake, so I was anxious to see what Edmonton had to offer me.

I did the rounds of learning a thing or two about the human body, little science displays that would let you create lightning and tornados, buttons that you’d push to blow a puff of some foul smell you’d have to identify, and interactive visual tricks that make you dizzy or see colors that aren’t really there. But the added bonus here was a chance to sit in on a planetarium-like display documenting the mythology of the ancient Mayan civilization. I thought, “Cool! I never got around to watching that shit ass movie ‘2012’ about their idea of the end of the world synching with the end of the Mayan calendar…now I won’t have to. I’ll get the facts!’

Oh good God people. We have nothing to worry about come 2012.

First of all, has anyone stopped to consider that a lot of people are freaking out over the fact that the Mayan calendar comes to an end in 2012, (Oh God, it’s the end of the World!), but never stop to think that maybe the reason it stopped was due to, oh I don’t know, their civilization being wiped out? If the Mayans could predict the end of existence, could they not find the foresight to predict their own fate?

Just sayin’.

So, onto the movie. First of all, our planetarium in Winnipeg is balls compared to this one in Edmonton. I’ll tell you, James Cameron can stroke everyone off with his new 3D hype, but THIS is the way movies should be made in the future. I have never felt so immersed and enveloped in a film like I was watching this documentary. It was crazy cool. Until I started listening to what was being said.

So to start off my little lesson in the ancient Mayans, it stated that this was all based on what is the ancient myth of the Mayans. “Myth”… meaning, “Not real”. So this is all about as real as “Lord of the Rings” or “Harry Potter”. It starts off by saying that the earth was one great big ball of water and that it wasn’t until a giant turtle rose up out of the deep with what is now the earth we walk upon resting on its giant back. Oh yeah, and during this little time in history, the sun and moon don’t exist yet. I’ll come back to that but for now, let’s move on.

So yeah, giant turtle…didn’t see that coming did ya!? Now the Mayans were not born out of clay, wood, ribs or whatever is the traditional bible idea these days, but in fact were created out of corn. Mmm Hmm…corn. The cob variety I believe. Now there were two boys, (whose names escape me) that lived upon this new found earth on the back of a mother-fuckin’ turtle that were a couple of rascally little buggers. They would play a game of soccer in the corn fields at all hours of the night. Course that could read, “All day” too, but again, there is no sun or moon yet. I’m getting there.

One day, the lords of the underworld, (i.e. Hell) looked upon these two boys enjoying themselves playing soccer in the friggin’ dark, and grew jealous of their fun. So they challenged them to a ball game in hell. If you ain’t shaking your head yet, you will be soon.

Now then, the first World Cup goes down in hell! And due to the two boys cheating, (they pride themselves on cheating!) they not only beat the devil, but they also recover their dead fathers head, not his body, just his head, plant it in the ground, which of course turns into a big ol’ stock of corn, which grants them immortality by transforming them into the sun and moon respectively.

I wonder if the origin of pot was based in Mayan, “reality?”

It was on the very first day that the sun rose up in the sky that they began what is known as the “Mayan calendar”. So to clarify here, before anybody checked out to see what the entire world looked like in the light, before seeing what each other looked like in the harsh light of day, or what the land they lived on looked like, they came up with a very complex system of measuring the rise and fall of this new, scary-as-fuck, ball of fire in the sky to make a measurement of time?

I call bullshit! Well, I called bullshit when they said the turtle bit, but I’ll call double bullshit now!

Now I’m a man of facts when it comes to our history. I’m on the side of evolution if only because it’s been proven as hard cold fact. Call me crazy! So I have to wonder how far back in time the Mayans are figuring this all officially began. Because I’m fairly certain that the dinosaurs were here a hell of a long time before we ever started looking humanoid. And they sure as fuck weren’t stumbling around in the dark.

So ladies and gentlemen, those of you who are still fretting over some little superstition about the world coming to an end in 2012, think about it. This is a religion that even Scientologists are looking at and thinking, “Well that’s just fucking stupid!”

Make plans for 2013 and beyond people, we’ll be here for quite some time!

July 01, 2010

Chicken Little

When I was 5 years old, I was living in Montreal with my family and attending kindergarten. Around the time of Thanksgiving, the school decided to put on a play for the holiday. The play was based on the story of "Chicken Little". That's the one where, "The sky is falling!! The sky is falling!!" I was Chicken Little. This was where it all started. This moment, right here, was to be the first step in the long road to doing my own material for the Fringe Festival.

Backstage, I'm a three foot nothing kid with freckles and a Beatles-style haircut getting fitted with a cardboard bandana with multicoloured cardboard feathers for a head piece. They placed my skinny little arms in skinny little cardboard tubes which had the same cardboard plumage as the headband hanging off each one to act as chicken wings. They strapped on a beak of some sort on my face which would always move around anytime I moved my head and poke me in the eye. This meant I had to move my whole body if I wanted to look at someone. The teacher dressed me up, stood back and gasped, "You look fantastic!" I felt like a huge dork.

So the name of the game was this. As soon as the lights came up on the stage, I was to walk out to the center, look out at the crowd and wait for an apple to come flying out over the backdrop directly behind me. As soon as I hear the 'thump' of it on stage, I am to deliver the key line of dialogue, "The sky is falling!!" Then the show would start. We had gone over it a number of times over the course of a month so that there would be no way that my daydreaming, five-year-old mentality could forget what to do. Wait for the apple, say the line, get on with the show.

As I stood there in the mockery of a bird costume under very hot lights, I looked out to the crowd and saw a sea of parent-like faces looking back at me. As I patiently waited to hear the sounds of an apple close by, I did what every performer tries to do...find mom and dad. Before I could spot them though, out of the corner of my eye, in what little peripheral vision I had left between the head-dress and the beak, I saw a red blur whiz by my head. The apple has arrived! But it bounced on the stage, bounced off the stage, and kept rolling on right into the front row. The apple has left the building.

In a flash my brain assessed the situation. I cannot go on without the apple on stage, it would destroy the illusion of realism we've got going for us right now. I can't go out into the audience and pick the apple up, I would be interfering with the forces of nature and instead become a false prophet for my apocalyptic prophecy and do away with the idea that I am but a dim-witted jester in the grand scheme of fate. Deep thoughts for a 5 year old. I'm cool like that.

But as fate would have it, the apple rolled right in front of a familiar face in the crowd. My big sister. A glimmer of hope flashed in my eyes, 'She can save me! Tara can save me!' These were innocent times. A time when a young brother doesn't fully realize the unadulterated hate and disgust an older sibling has for the younger model. And as my eyes widened and pleaded for her help, my arms firmly attached to either side of my body, my right hand flicking spastically trying to signify to my sister, "Throw the apple up HERE", a smile crafted by the devil himself grew across my sisters face. She tossed the apple up and down in her hand a few times and mouthed the words, "Oh! You want...this apple?"

My eyes began to twitch and burn with the words, "YES!"

It's at that point that my sister, who in her entire life has never had any interest or aptitude for sports, rounded her arm behind her head, and fast-balled the apple towards center stage. At Mach-5, this red round missile hit me right between the eyes. Now if you take a moment to recall the sound that echoes in your jaw when you take that first bite out of an apple, and the sound of a wooden baseball bat hitting a big fat softball right out of the park, and mix those two together, you get a pretty gruesome sound. And the audience knew it too, because they all said as one, "Ooooh!"

I'm five years old. I just got blasted in the face by my big sister in front of a room full of adults and all the cool kids in Grades 1 through 8. All my friends were waiting in the wings. And I couldn't see my Mom or Dad anywhere. I wanted to cry. My eyes were way ahead of me, holding back the tears on the lower edge of my eyelids for the very moment that my lip started to quiver. It felt like my face was on fire, (and I was most definitely cross-eyed) but I stood there for what seemed an eternity and came to a realization that has served me well ever since. The show must go on.

So I stiffened up, looked out to the crowd and said in a very weak, heartbreaking voice, "Oh! The s-s-sky is f-f-falling!!" and marched over to stage right to find my good friend Henny Penny. I looked up at the Hen and thought, 'Man, your costume sucks!' without realizing she was a mirror image to my own costume. The girl just stared at me in awe of my sheer courage for going on with the show. Either that or she was shit scared that apples were actually being thrown from the audience if you gave a sucky performance. She looked at me almost horrified and said, "Are you okay? I saw the apple." I tried to brush it off and quickly said, "Yes, I'm fine! Come on, the show must go on!"

Off to the other side of the stage we went to find our other friend, Goosey Loosey. Same thing as before, I get there and my friend is peering out at the attacking audience in fear for her life. She took one look at me and tried to say, "Are you okay?" but I just stammered and flicked my pathetic cardboard wing towards the stage saying, "I'm fine! C'mon!" It went back and forth like this until we had a mass of frightened, cardboard-clothed children on stage. The story finishes off by having the whole flock of bird characters die by being eaten alive by a Fox, all but one very lucky Chicken that is, who then gets to tell the King about the oncoming apocalypse and that his entire posse, (or "Fellowship of the Apple") have been consumed by a fox. For his reward, the King sick's his dogs on the Fox and restores life to the Chicken Little gang, (how he does that exactly, I have no idea).

The only question I have in regards to the whole story is this: What the hell did any of that have to do with Thanksgiving? I'm pretty sure the teachers just saw Thanksgiving = Turkey. Turkey = Chicken. Chicken = Little. But what is the message? Is it that we must be thankful for all that we have and that it might all be gone one day so abuse it all while you can?


Is the message a warning not to be like the little Chicken who jumps to a conclusion and whips the populace into mass hysteria, where upon the unscrupulous Fox would no doubt use the lies to manipulate the rest of the world for his own benefit?

The answer...

Who gives a shit? I'm five years old, I got smashed in the face with an apple, and I'm about to get an ice cream cone for a job well done. The sky be damned!

June 26, 2010

If Mr. Ford can do it, so can I!

I have a confession to make before we get into this story. I, Jason Brasher, shave my chest. I know what you’re all thinking, the only people who do that are self-absorbed douche bags. Well, you’re right. But the main reason I do the smooth, is because when I have the fur going on, it itches like crazy. But when I shave it, I have like two weeks of itch-free Pecs. Then it begins to grow back and for two weeks it itches again. Then it’s a happy medium again, till it gets too long and itches all over again.

Inflammation is not a good color on me.

Now knowing that I am going to be on the road for a good long while and staying at a bunch of stranger’s houses in all the different cities, the scenario I would like to avoid is the inevitable one when the home owners come home earlier than expected and catch me in the process of shaving my chest. That’s the real world version of “The Crying Game” in my head.

So to avoid this, I thought “Hey, why don’t I just get body sugaring done? It’ll last longer!”

In the past, I have tried self-waxing strips. It was not the smartest of ideas I’ve ever had. Somewhere between getting the wax stuck on my chest, hands, legs, face and the walls...I vowed that this was going to be the last attempt at waxing. But folks have told me that sugaring is not as painful, but that I should still get a professional to do it.

So off of a friends recommendation, I booked an appointment at a day spa for the following Saturday. I arrived at the spa for my appointment and was immediately led down a bunch of hallways that twisted and turned, snaking all the way to the back of the building. Funny, it didn’t look like it could house the entirety of Middle-Earth from the outside?

As I sat in an over-stuffed chair, feeling like a man-child in a room that was far too sophisticated, I wondered how the hell I was going to find my way out again. Before I knew it, a small woman entered the waiting area and introduced herself as my “Body Scrubber”.

“I’m afraid you got the wrong guy. I’m here for, um...a uh, *cough* chest...sugar...thing.” Said I in the manliest voice I could muster.

“Oh no! First you have to exfoliate all the dead skin off so as not to cause infection!” I was leery, but she had that kind of matter of fact approach about her that I did not want to question. So I kinda shrugged and got up to follow her.

“Oh but first, we have to get you changed out of your clothes and into the bathrobes. You’ll find one in the change room here.” Ah, right, this is a spa. I forgot about the protocol. Already, I was dreading this experience.

So out I come from the change room, trying to maintain somewhat of a cool-guy-stride as this massive bathrobe consumes my tiny stick figure body. I’m led into this room where everything is covered in tiles. In the middle of the room is a hydraulic bed. Above it is about 5 shower heads. I know what this is. This is the wet room. Am I getting a body treatment? I didn’t want one?!

“So I’ll get you on the table face down first and underneath the towel. You can take everything off, don’t worry I’ve seen it all before,”

Whoah, whoah, whoah! Like, NAKED-naked? Even I’m not ballsy enough to say “I’ve seen it all,” to clients.

“Um...I think I’ll keep my underwear on if that’s cool.” I know...such a prude.

“Okay, well anything you don’t want to get wet, just place it in the pockets of your bathrobe.” Fuck. How dumb will I look if I walk out with sopping wet underwear showing through my jeans? Thankfully, she gave me a second option, because she obviously saw the wheels turning this idea over in my head.

“You can use a pair of our disposable undies if you like, over on the table there.” Yes, yes I will.

So she leaves the room and I hang up my robe on the back of the door. Quickly, I take off my underwear and tuck them into the pocket. I pick up the baggie that has a navy blue piece of material in it and rip it open. I grab hold of two pieces of string and look at this object for the first time. I’m confused. It looks like an eye patch. A slight tug shows that in fact, there is a space for my legs to fit through. So as I place my legs in the proper holes, I hike it up...and realized, I have it on backwards, cause this ain’t covering jack! So quickly now, I switch it around...and it’s still not covering up much. That is until I gave it a little tug with the strings, and fwoomp! Like one of those little umbrellas you get in Pina Coladas, it spread across my junk. Then I gave the same kinda tug to the back part.

There was no fwoomp.

At the very moment that it hit me that I was a grown man, standing in the middle of a room, with nothing on but a thong...the door opens. “Is everything alright in here?”

Before I knew it I was in the fetal position, eyes bulging out of my skull and shrieking at the top of my lungs, “I’M NOT DECENT!!!”

The door quickly closed again and I dived under the towel. Even as I yelled out, “Okay I’m ready now,” I was still fidgeting with the placement of the dental floss up my arse. “How is everything so far?” the girl kindly asked. “Well, I never thought wearing a thong was going to be part of my day today.”

And then...she giggled. On e of those mischievous giggles that tells you that she knew all too well what was going to happen when I opted for the disposable undies. You. Bitch.

She then proceeded to rub my entire backside with sand. Yeah she can tell me its chocolate mixed with Jojoba and the honey from bees that migrated from the Spanish coast all she wants, it still felt like plain old sand that was tearing my skin off. “Doesn’t that feel amaaaaaaaaazing?”

And when I say ‘my entire backside’, I mean she scrubbed places only I am allowed access to. I felt violated. Once the scrubbing was done, she turned on the water works. 5 shower heads turned up to the max and hotter than all hell blasted what little skin remained into a heap of boiling flesh. “How’s that feel? Pretty awesome right?”


“Okay, time to flip over.” Really? We’re not done yet?

The front side was a little less painful now that I knew what to expect. But have you ever tried taking a shower while you lie on your back? Of course not, because you’d drown.


After I’ve towelled off and removed the underwear of shame, I leave the room and am handed off to the body sugaring lady. She is 3 inches taller than me, jet black hair that is parted to the right and lacquered down for eternity, tattooed eyebrows, black lipstick and a lip-piercing that I mistook for a birthmark at first. Her arms were crossed in front of her as she peered down her nose at me.

“Hello. I am your ‘vaxer’. You vill come ziss vay.” Big, scary, German accent. Wait...did she say, “Vaxer?” As in...”Waxer?”

“Umm, sorry but I think I signed on for body sugaring?”


So there I am on a freaking dentists chair without my shirt on, starring at this Goth, neo-Nazi who is mixing a bowl of hot wax as she stares at me with no expression on her face. My instincts are telling me to get the fuck out of dodge, but my 1% of manly pride is kicking me in the cranium saying, “Don’t be a pussy!” I’m getting a chest waxing, I think we’ve established what kind of man I...oh, too late, she smeared me with wax.

Then she placed a small strip of cloth across the wax. And at that point I felt soothed. I felt that she was trying to lull me to sleep, like my mom used to do when she tucked me in at night. Gently rubbing my back over top of the blankets till my eyes started to glaze over.

And then this chick ripped my fucking nipple off. As some of you might remember, this is not the first time my nipples have come under attack. But I saw clearly the strip of cloth forcibly removed from my body, and my nipple refusing to let go of the cloth, so that it looked like a piece of chewing gum was being pulled off of the street on a hot summer’s day. Only to finally release at the very last moment and sling back to my body, where it immediately swelled up and began to have a pulse of its own. The rest of my chest was about what I’ve come to expect, I mean if I can suffer through tattoo’s what’s a little wax right?

Then she slathered on a layer across the side of my abs. “Oh no wait! I don’t usually do that part,” I tried to say. But she just looked at me, (while she applied the wax) and just kinda hypnotically nodded as I spoke. As if she was saying, “Oh I totally understand your peals for mercy...but we have ways of making you talk!”

A thunderclap filled the small room. I gripped the sides of the chair and puckered my mouth up involuntarily. I did not know that the hair on my abdomen was attached to my spinal column. And that was just one of 6 strips she did across the area.

When it came time for me to get off the table and pay for this torture, a steady stream of sweat ran down my body from the collected pool that was resting in the nook of my armpits, and the paper sheet that she laid out across the table stuck to my body. I’m not known to sweat very much, so when I pulled off the sheet to reveal a Jesus Christ like sweat print outlined on the paper, I had to laugh out loud. “Look at that! I am such a pussy!” I exclaimed.

“Indeed,” was the last thing Nazi-waxer said to me.

Here’s the real kicker. This whole thing cost me $120.

“What the what!?!”

“Your treatments come to $120.”

“For that?!?”

“Well the scrub was $40. The use of our decadent Jojoba/Chocolate/Bee honey from butt-fuck anywhere cost an additional $15. The use of the locker rooms was another $10. And then the chest waxing was $55.”

I got jacked.

Actually, come to think of it, this was a mugging! They beat the crap out of me, they emasculated me, and ran off with my money while I wreathed in pain. I should report this.