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Wednesday, June 26, 2013

It Never Trains But It Pours at WTF!

Hi all,
Well... there's good news and there's bad news. The good news is that our next WTF! night on June 28th will feature the delightfully charming Pixie Currie and Kate Dunlay guest hosting their chosen theme of TRAIN songs and stories. Yayayay!!!! The bad news is that this will be the last WTF! night until September.  Awwwwwww!
So... for those of you who have been so generous with your praise for my weird little stories and have been begging for more... here is another... my gift to tide you over until we meet again. Names have not been changed to protect the innocent :)
                           IT NEVER TRAINS BUT IT POORS
Kate wiped her fevered brow and breathed a sigh of relief. Classes were finally over, marks had been handed out and she was free, free, free of all that academic bullspit for the summer. "I think I'll SHUFFLE OFF TO BUFFALO or maybe THE CITY OF NEW ORLEANS. The CHATTANOOGA CHOO CHOO sounds like a plan too. I LIKE TRAINS. It really doesn't matter where I go. All I know is that I'M MOVIN' ON. CHOO CHOO CH' BOOGIE!!!"

As Kate was pondering her vacation, Pixie was reporting for work. She'd been on mandatory hiatus for a while after the WRECK OF THE OLD 97. "I don't know why I had to take the heat for that one", she grumbled. "I'VE BEEN WORKIN' ON THE RAILROAD since JOHN HENRY was a tadpole. I'd like to have seen him keep the beast on the track while tryin' to avoid BILL GROGAN'S GOAT. And I was only ONE TOKE OVER THE LINE too!!"

Kate, totally oblivious to the potential hazards of riding the rails, headed for the station. Unfortunately... in her haste to escape SMU, she forgot her purse. "Yikes! How will I get aTICKET TO RIDE now? "

So there she stood... forlornly... WAITING FOR A TRAIN as the conductor yelled GET ON BOARD, LITTLE CHILDREN. THIS TRAIN IS BOUND FOR GLORY. It's THE LAST TRAIN TO CLARKSVILLE today. Next one by will be THE MIDNIGHT SPECIAL."

Kate wasn't planning to wait around all day for the MIDNIGHT TRAIN TO GEORGIA or worse... all night for a MORNINGTOWN RIDE. Yet... without her purse, she was penniless. "Ah ha!" she exclaimed in a lightbulb moment, " I'll hop that FREIGHT TRAIN belching over there."

And so she did.
Little did she know though that the ever reliable CASEY JONES had been replaced for this run by the newly re-instated Pixie who was none too pleased with the demotion. "Geez! I know I said I would TAKE THE "A" TRAIN but I didn't mean the A-hole train! What are ME AND BOBBY MCGEE gonna do now? There's gonna be one mean MAN OF CONSTANT SORROW in PETTICOAT JUNCTION tonight."

Yes... Pixie was pissed! She'd planned to be ROLLIN' IN her SWEET BABY'S ARMS in a few hours and now it looked like it could be days. Just then she got the ALL ABOARD sign from the stationmaster. "PEOPLE GET READY!" she snarled as the train pulled out onto THE ATCHESON, TOPEKA AND THE SANTA FE line. "This ain't no PEACE TRAIN!"

Kate, blissfully unaware of the potential for impending disaster, opened up her fiddle case and smiled. "Well at least I didn't forget the most important thing. If worse comes to worst, I can always play a tune or sing for my supper. Just HEAR THAT LONESOME WHISTLE BLOW. Music to my ears. Reminds me of that melancholy set of slow airs I heard in Mabou last summer. I think I'll play them here and now to pass the time away."

And so she did.
But... the walls were thin so the fiddle sound carried and in the car ahead... Pixie was not amused. "Don't tell me we've got STRANGERS ON THE TRAIN again. Probably ONLY A HOBO but that ain't no HOBO'S LULLABYE. I'm not goin' one more mile listenin' to that infernal racket let alone 500 MILES!"

Kate was so well ensconced into her SENTIMENTAL JOURNEY that she didn't hear Pixie furiously shrieking GO TO SLEEP YOU WEARY HOBO. But she was soon roused out of her reverie by the sudden screeching of metal on metal as Pixie slammed on the brakes. In a matter of seconds, the boxcar door flew open and Pixie stormed in.

With eyes flashing and tongue lashing, Pixie, the TULSA QUEEN, exploded. "That were no ORANGE BLOSSOM SPECIAL, my dear. Where I comes from, they hang folks for less crimes than that! I haven't heard the likes since THE NIGHT THEY DROVE OLD DIXIE DOWN to the scrapyard. Even a cat being run over by a WAGON WHEEL would be more musical! And with that... Pixie tossed Kate unceremoniously off the train.

"But... but... we're in the middle of nowhere. And it's dark. You can't just leave me here."
"I can and I will," sneered Pixie. " But just so's you know... I'm not completely heartless. See them lights over  there? That there's the Big Apple. They got lots of folks like you livin' in the underground and makin' what they call (Pixie makes a most unbecoming face) music. I suggest you skeedaddle over there with your own kind."

And with that... Pixie stomped off, mounted the engine and in a belching cloud of soot chugged away laughing uproariously while singing TOOT TOOT TOOTSIE GOO' BYE in (almost) perfect time to the horn blasts. "DON'T SLEEP IN THE SUBWAY darlin'. You never know what might come a-creepycrawlin' late at night." Pixie's mood had brightened considerably.

The last thing Kate heard as the old train thundered into the distance was Pixie in full throttle... belting out KING OF THE ROAD at the top of her lungs. Kate, in a moment of absolutely unbiased academic reflection declared "Sheesh! And she said my music was nasty :)"
                                                 THE END
                                 (in more ways than one I fear :)
Happy summer guys & dolls and remember... if you choose to stay away from trains you'll never get the BOXCAR BLUES. Too late for Pixie and Kate I'm afraid. By now ... they're likely wishing they'd chosen a theme with a little less... ammunition :)
Xo Margo


WTF! is an artistic outreach program of the Helen Creighton Folklore Society. We meet every second and fourth Friday of the month at CHEBUCTO COFFEE, 6430 Chebucto Road, corner of Chebucto & Kline in Halifax where Mike's extraordinary culinary fare is approaching legendary status. Come early for a bite and stay for the entertainment
which starts around 6:30 and goes until 9:00ish. As always... admission is by free-will donation towards the Society's work.
Usual (or unusual ) WTF Hosts: Cindy Campbell Stone and Margo Carruthers

Oh The People You Meet!

Who:  Halifax Storytellers Circle
What:  July Gathering - Theme "Oh the people you meet!"
When:  Thursday July  11, 2013   Stories  start @ 7:00 pm 
Where:    Chebucto Coffee    6340 Chebucto Road  at Kline
              Come early for soup and sandwiches!   Stay for Stories!

Remember the old Reader’s Digest Feature, “My Most Unforgettable Character”?  Latin historian Suetonius dished the dirt on the Twelve Cesaers, Greek-Armenian mystic G. I. Gurdjieff wrote  of his “Meetings with Remarkable Men.  ” But you don’t have to be Latin or mystical to  have a story about someone unforgettable or remarkable.  We all have ‘em.  Fictional or real, come share your tale, but ....
 Be nice to people on your way up because you meet them on your way down.
                                                                    Jimmy Durante

More info : Elinor Benjamin

Cellphone:  902-471-8213 (I'll be out of town until Jul 9)

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

WTF: It's War!

The War of 1812 was a difficult test for the United States, still wobbly on the world stage nearly two decades after formal independence. That Americans received a passing grade was due in no small part to the exceptional performance of the U.S. Navy which humiliated the legendary British Navy time and time again.
That is... until June 1813, off Cape Ann, north of Massachusetts Bay, when a brief but bloody encounter occured between His Britannic Majesty's frigate SHANNON, commanded by Captain Philip Broke, the best captain in the British North American Squadron, and handsome Captain James Lawrence in command of the United States frigate CHESAPEAKE.
2012 marked the 200th anniversary of the War of 1812 yet the war's legacy for Nova Scotia began in 1813 with the capture of the USS Chesapeake by the HMS Shannon and culminating in the jaw dropping triumphant arrival of the Shannon in Halifax Harbour with the prized Chesapeake in tow.
Next Friday, June 14th... throughout the evening... guest hosts Jon Stone and Jay Perry will share stories and songs, both poignant and humourous, from their research into this pivitol event.
The overall theme for the evening will be WAR so bring your own relevant songs and stories to share. I have it on good authority that the Americans within our midst... GASP!... yes... some indeed have managed to evade the clutches of the Canada Border Services Agency... your tax dollars not at work yet again... and they plan to remount the War of 1812 next Friday and rewrite history with their own versions of the  the battle between the Shannon and the Chesapeake. We'll see about that! Yankee Doodle Dandy indeed :)

WTF! is an artistic outreach program of the Helen Creighton Folklore Society. We meet every second and fourth Friday of the month at CHEBUCTO COFFEE, 6430 Chebucto Road, corner of Chebucto & Kline in Halifax where Mike's extraordinary culinary fare is approaching legendary status. Come early for a bite and stay for the entertainment which starts around 6:30 and goes until 9:00ish. As always... admission is by free-will donation towards the Society's work.
 WTF usual or unusual hosts: Cindy Campbell Stone and Margo Carruthers.

Oh The Places You'll Go! - Storytellers

Storytellers Circle of Halifax June Gathering - Thursday June 13, 2013

Dr. Seuss says  "Oh, the Places You'll Go!"
Maybe you'll get there.  Maybe you won't.
Maybe you'll end up “Somewhere Else”
Either way, there are bound to be stories - 
followed by an Open Mic
Thursday June 13,   2013
Stories  start @ 7:00 pm 

Come early for soup!   
Stay for Stories in a relaxed setting
6340 Chebucto Road , Corner Chebucto and Kline

More info : Elinor Benjamin 469-8572