23 July 2012 – 9:30 PM – Mont Tremblant
My mother [shouting to me and Rhiannon from the balcony of our chalet]: Get out here you two! You’re missing a storm that is positively Blakeian!!!
Me [grabbing Rhiannon by the hand and leading her on to the balcony]: Ooooo! A summer storm! I thought all that thunder was just post-supper Nana!
Rhiannon: Me too!!!
Rhiannon [to me on the balcony after a long, rolling thunder clap has shaken the windows of the chalet]: Wow, THAT really was like one of Nana’s!
Me: I know! The only difference is that if it was one of Nana’s the paint would be peeling off the walls and dead fish would be floating on the surface of the lake.
My mother: How uncouth!
Rhiannon: Also, Nana’s usually come in short but deadly bursts.
Me: Not necessarily. Nana is versatile and can deliver hers like intermittent machine gun fire or opt for the sustained ‘boom boom’ of artillery. This storm seems to be aping both of her skill sets.
My mother: Hey!!!
Rhiannon: Except that there’s no lightning before Nana’s…
Me: Well, it’s invisible lightning, Rhiannon – as you well know, our nostrils are super conductors before the release.
My mother: This is just unacceptable!!!
Me [to Rhiannon, silhouetted in lighting flashes and yelling over the thunder]: You’ve heard about all the tsunami problems off the shorelines in the Far East haven’t you?
Rhiannon [yelling back and holding her hands to her ears]: Yeah!
Me: Word has it they were caused by Nana going pearl diving in the region shortly after supper!
Me: Oh, yes! And there’s more! Now that NASA has been reduced to relying upon the Russians for getting their astronauts to the International Space Station, they have recruited Nana to test the propulsion systems on their next-generation rockets!
My mother [hollering over the din]: Get off this balcony!!! I can’t stand the sight of either of you!!!
Rhiannon: Okay. Daddy, would you be so kind as to read me some William Blake before bed?
Me: Of course, my dear. That would be perfectly sublime.
My mother: Arrrggghhhhhhh!!!
25 July 2012 – 11:15 AM – Mont Tremblant
Me [reviewing my bank accounts online]: Yay! I got paid today! Now I don’t have to take out a second mortgage on the house to pay for your cupcakes!
Rhiannon [derisively]: Very funny. What exactly do you do for a living anyways?
Me: I don’t have the foggiest idea.
Me: Well, I work for the UN’s Convention on Biological Diversity. After that, it gets a little bit murky.
Rhiannon: Biological diversity?
Me: Yes. We’re allegedly in the business of preserving life on the planet (even John Fry) while maintaining its “sustainable use” (i.e. drawing pints of Guinness from John Fry’s body without killing him) and “equitable sharing” (i.e. not keeping all of the Guinness to ourselves).
Rhiannon: That makes no sense!
Me: Welcome to my world. If it were up to me, I’d just kill him and go to the pub.
Rhiannon [blinking dumbfounded]: But what exactly is it that you do?
Me: Oh, I spend my days drinking coffee with interns and plotting IPCs.
Rhiannon: What’s IPC?
Me: I don’t have the foggiest idea – I get too drunk to remember.
Rhiannon: You suck.
Me: Yeah well, when you’re stuck in an organization that is so rigidly hierarchical it predates the Middle Ages, you’ll be making a living drinking coffee with interns and organizing IPCs too! You get what you pay for!
Rhiannon [self-righteously]: I’m going to be a doctor and actually help people.
Me [bitterly]: You suck.
To readers of this blog, if any, Rhiannon has had to prematurely return back to Hamilton due to health reasons (nothing serious). As upsetting as this is for me, it also means the Rhiannon Chronicles will be suspended until I see her again in Toronto on Labor Day Weekend.