Thursday, December 28, 2006


VanDusen Gardens

It's time for me to say something because Peter wants novellas.

Apparently if you roast chestnuts over an open fire without first making a goodly sized gouge in them, they will explode. Luckily I never found this out the hard way because the beauty of language is that it allows other people to share these things with you. In this case, my friend's livingroom turned into a warzone so that mine never has to.

In spite of the song, I had never tried roasted chestnuts until last year, when suddenly we decided that we should try them, just to know what we were missing. Seems to me it was at the Stanley Park miniature train, where they decorate the forest around it with lights every year.

This is not one of those sentimental 'I went to the park with my parents and had roasted chestnuts for the first time' stories. No, it is a 'I was cracking open a nut when it exploded and a large, sharp piece of chestnut shell landed in my left eye' story.

Furthermore, it is a 'it was very dark and my mom didn't have her reading glasses on while she was trying to fish the damn thing out while we simultaneously shuffled down the line towards the train' story.

It is the sort of story where my dear mother, even though she can't see anything without her glasses holds a mini flashlight between her teeth, and gouges blindly at my eyeball with fingernails and kleenexes that may possibly have been previously used. Meanwhile, she's smacking me on the side of the head and telling me to shut up because I'm complaining that my eye hurts.

It is a story about the kindness of strangers, wonderful people who recognize the oddly comical and bizarre situation we are in and decide to lessen my misery by holding the flashlight steady enough for mom to fish the shell out. In which it takes several minutes for my vision to return to normal.

It is a story far too stupid, random and embarassing for me to even mention to you.

Tonight though, was not nearly as eventful, chestnutwise, though there were indeed chestnuts. After I finished work I met my family down at the Spaghetti Factory, from which we adventured down to the VanDusen Gardens to see the Christmas lights. Luminous.