SMELLS

I Found That (Green) Golden Ring

Whilst gathering a basketful of tattered old clothes for Samhain deep-woods bonfire fuel, I happened to recover the sneak-a-toke pipe I misplaced in August. Sitting at the bottom of that basket the whole time. Behold, a photographic reenactment of that amazing discovery, taken with my new phone. Whose purchase was necessitated by Little Jeannie’s sudden retirement to the great network in the sky after four years of loyal service. The new phone is called Little Suzi.

Little Suzi’s on the up. And she’ll smile for the camera with all she’s got.

FEELS

A Pagan Ritual Your Grandma Would Like

That macabre time of year is upon us — the time when I take that pile of unwearable old clothes that’s been accumulating for the past year deep into the eerie haunted wood, where I incorporate them in a scarecrow-esque effigy for immediate sacrifice to the dying sun. Stuffed with generous handfuls of that ubiquitous dry foliage that all species deciduous have been shedding like tears…

This year’s wicker man, in the headless early stages of construction.

Part of the autumnal wicker man tradition is to attach a handwritten list somewhere on the effigy, detailing all the things one would like to lose in the coming year. Like a letter to Antisanta. For this ritual is not about gaining things one presently does not have, but about letting go of things one no longer needs. As the forest itself does in fall.  

Upon attaching the aforementioned list, it’s time to get the party started and douse the whole thing in booze. This year’s choice of rocket fuel was inspired by a certain man who currently reigns supreme as the most moronic politician in all of Canada…

The cowboy hat prevents his microscopic brain from blowing away in the chinook.

Speaking of politicians and their moronicity, we had a (highly underwhelming) federal election last month. I brought along a campaign letter I received during said election, which I never bothered to open. Mostly because I didn’t like the sanctimonious tone of the first two letters they sent me. I sensed I’d be none the wiser had I opened the third letter. But I found plenty good use for it in this haunted wood.


I always walk away from this experience feeling like my inner manitou just shed an exoskeleton. I don’t know if it’s the sacred smoke, or the way the pieces of burnt fabric flutter about like faceless dark angels in the wind high above. Or maybe it’s the spectres that always manifest themselves in the flames. Like this one, which immediately struck me as bearing an uncanny resemblance to a young Bernadette Peters…


Or this one. A phoenix rising, which for some reason looked like either a rubber chicken or one of those Instant Martians from the old Looney Tunes shorts that grew to full size when you added water.


Last but not least, there’s this image. You have to use your imagination a bit to see him, but you can vaguely make out the Cat in the Hat.