Archive for the (Almost) Totally Useless How-to Guide Category

Solar Garden Light Hack — Dollar Store style!

Posted in (Almost) Totally Useless How-to Guide, My Opinion with tags , , , on July 25, 2015 by tgmreynolds

We have a simple back yard at the beginning of its evolution. We inherited a deck a rough shed, a patch of grass, and that’s about it. I am many things, but at the top of the list is ‘cheap’. I hate paying for electricity when I don’t have to. I wanted to string lights in the yard but was damned if I’d pay the bill to feed them as well as have to buy an expensive outdoor timer. Also, there was nothing in the middle of the yard to support a string. The crude solution? Use the old fence itself.

This is where the Dollarama dollar-and-more store came to the rescue. They sell a few types of solar yard lights, from $1.25 to $3.00. For this project I went with the cheapies. I started with five, to see whether the concept would work.

These little lights are simple—not much more than a tiny solar panel on top, a rechargeable battery, and an LED in a clear tube on top of a shaft and spike, to plant in the garden. My idea was to remove the spike, and attach the lamp itself to our fence.

We have harsh winds here so I decided to go with heavy-duty screws. Since I don’t believe in interfering with the neighbour’s enjoyment of their own yard, the lights had to be below the top of our 6′ fence. I needed the solar panels to be exposed to as much sunlight as possible, but I also needed the lamps to be mostly vertical so that rain and snow would pool inside and short them out.

The screw.

The screw, predrilled into the fence, below the top.

Here’s one of the screws in the fence. On about a 50-degree angle, 4″ down from the top. Being 1/4″ thick, I pre-drilled it to make sure it didn’t split the old, dry board. The cracks you see were already there.

The next step was to squirt hot glue into the base of the lamp and quickly slide it and seat it onto the screw.

Solar fence light.

Dollar Store improvised solar fence light.

Nice and simple. The black cap unscrews and there is an On-Off toggle switch inside. Remember to switch it on. I turned them all on before attaching them so that I didn’t risk breaking the glue seal. The other reason for the angle is so that snow will slide off in winter.

Here is the first row of lights… yes, the first screw isn’t on the same angle. If my limited OCD can’t handle it, I’ll fix it. In the meantime, it’s just fine.

Solar lights.

A simple, solid solution in a row.

Solar fence lights.

Solar garden lights screwed to the fence.

So, how does it all look? Well, this photo doesn’t do it justice, but now there’s a nice line of lights defining our yard. It’s just a start. The final installation is 17 lights on the fence, 53″ apart. I had to make sure that the ones near the gate were out of the gate’s reach, too.

The total cost, including a glue gun, glue sticks, screws, and sales tax, was just under $30. As soon as I put the winding pathway in, there will be five fancier lights to illuminate it, at $3 each. The total installation took less than fifteen minutes.

The best part is, there is no hit on our utility bill. Cheap can work. Once I add a pergola to the yard or deck, there will be more lights to come, but hopefully in a colourful string, to add some oomph to the space.

That’s it, that’s all.

Ciao for now.

T-Bone.

A Break in the Blog…

Posted in (Almost) Totally Useless How-to Guide, Books Books Books, Cynical Poetry, My Opinion, love it or leave it, Photography How to..., Stand-Up Comedy & Life with tags , , , , , , , , on April 9, 2010 by tgmreynolds

Hi, faithful readers.

This is just a quick note that I’m going to be taking a break from regularly posts here at The Tao of Tim. I have a couple of new Cynglish poems pre-posted for future weeks (to keep the ball rolling for the upcoming release of the book, The Cynglish Beat), but as for “How tos…” and other lengthy creations, I have to put them aside and concentrate on the writing projects I actually have deadlines for and a publisher waiting to see.

One of the projects is the reading of the proofs of the Podthology: The Pod Complex (requiring this entire weekend) and the other is the novelization of one of my screenplays, and this really needs to get done sooner rather than later. The little projects are cool and fun, but if I let the novels — the heart of my writing — languish, then part of  my soul goes unfed. That’s the curse of writer’s A.D.H.D.

Too long I’ve put these projects aside for others. I’m hoping that what comes of this writing spurt will be as much or more entertaining than the tiny tales of my life’s misadventures.With luck, those tiny tales will themselves become a printed collection… but not yet.

The second reason for trimming my writing down to one or two major projects at a time is that my health needs improving and the little projects have been giving me umpteen reasons & excuses not to run or bike or workout or eat properly. I’m just finishing my first 50 years and really want to be in good enough shape to enjoy the next 50, or even the next 20 or 30. Even my stand-up comedy is going to be shelved for the most part. Is that a sigh of relief I hear? :p

So, I’m going to take a shot at prioritizing and self-discipline and see how long I can keep it up. Of course, if enough people leave comments here requesting more stories, I might be able to stir up one or two in a not-quite-weekly basis. How and why I got kicked out of a Nevada brothel is one of the stories which comes to mind and begs to be told, even though no one has ever believed the truth.

Anyway, even writing this post has taken me away from going over the proofs so I’ll cut it off here and get back to work.

Thanks for reading. With luck, there will be a podcast to come soon, but not until I start to make progress on the big projects.

Ciao for now.

Tim.

The Cynglish Beat: What’s in a Cover?

Posted in (Almost) Totally Useless How-to Guide, Books Books Books, Cynical Poetry, Photography How to..., Stand-Up Comedy & Life with tags , , , , , , , , , , on April 3, 2010 by tgmreynolds
The Cynglish Beat Full Cover

The Cynglish Beat Full Cover

For some strange reason I thought that there might be one or two folks out there who might want to know what goes into the designing of a book cover, at least from the point of view of a self-published author with artistic talent but no experience or training whatsoever. And since there were a couple Beta versions of the cover for my upcoming poetry book The Cynglish Beat, I thought I’d pick on that one. (Click any image to see it larger.)

I wanted to achieve a few things with this cover, besides keeping the pages together,

  1. It had to draw a viewer’s attention.
  2. It had to have some class & a professional look (too many self-published books look like amateur shit).
  3. It had to have a ‘retro’ feel, so as to harken back a few decades to the era of the real Beat Generation (Allen Ginsberg & Jack Kerouac, not Bongo Buddy & the Beatniks)
Original Cynglish Beat cover

Original Cynglish Beat cover

It took a number of elements to create the look I wanted but before I break them down for you, let’s take a quick look at the first cover I created for the book. The idea here was for a one-man version of a trio of Beatniks in the image Hollywood has popularized — black turtlenecks, bongos, beads, little round sunglasses.

I love the visual harmony of this cover, with the balance of black and the other many colours, but once I did a bit more research into the Beat Generation, I found that the Hollywood image was as wrong as it ever was. The images I found were of college students on campuses and intellectuals pondering the meaning of life.  Some day I’ll use this cover for something else, but in the mean time, I wanted the first edition of the book to be more of an homage to the Ginsberg & Kerouac, not Hollyweird. Back-burner one cover design and The Timbo Trio.

It took a number of elements to create the final cover so let’s deconstruct it one piece at a time. Because this was all created with digital images in Photoshop, peeling back the layers is actually much easier done than said.

Starting with the bottom layer: the background of red leather. The leather effect was achieved by simply photographing a large brown leather-bound photo album, then adjusting the contrast to punch up the image and then the colour, to go from muddy brown to blood-of-the-poet red. I even adjusted the scale of the leather image in order to get the grain to a size which matched the size of this book (5 1/4″ x 8 1/4″ at the time of writing).

Cynglish Beat front step photo original

Cynglish Beat front step photo original

With the background settled, I moved on to the photo. Here’s the original photo, shot on our front door step with a self-timer and a tripod. There’s very little in the photo to date it as 21st century, except maybe the vinyl-clad screen door, which I cropped down (see below) to minimize its presence. I went with baggy slacks, a corduroy jacket and the simple button-down shirt — as close to a 1950s college intellectual look as could be found in my closet. Can you tell I used to be a school teacher AND an accountant?

The cigarette is fake and the mickey is real, containing Jack Daniels. The somewhat flat light still had enough punch to it for the shadows on the lilac bushes to give the image some natural texture.

The Cynglish Beat front step photo

The Cynglish Beat front step photo

Next, I cropped it down to roughly the dimensions of a 3 1/2″ x 5″ photo and did my Photoshop magic on it to make it a semi sepia-tinted black & white snapshot. It looked okay, but I wasn’t quite satisfied. When Sue got home I suggested a tour of Ingelwood, one of Calgary’s older neighbourhoods, in an attempt to find a building more suited. We also wanted to try the old ruins of the General Hospital in the Beltline.

The ruins were a bust, lacking completely in spontaneity simple because no one just ‘hangs out’ at ruins. All of the images looked too staged. We wandered over to Inglewood and found an old, closed garage with perfect light. Sue took up the camera and took a handful of terrific shots, one of which I eventually picked for the cover.

the Cynglish Beat Front Cover

the Cynglish Beat Front Cover

With regards to the final finish on the ‘snap shot’, although plenty of photos taken back in 1955 still retain their crispness and contrast, I decided I wanted a slightly faded, sepia tint, as though it was processed in a home or college darkroom and was exposed to the sun for a few years because it was someone’s favourite photo. Rather than going with the usual scalloped edges so prevalent at the time, I opted for a straight edge with a little bit of wear and tear. I stopped short of adding wrinkles or creases because they would be too distracting, and I did try using black photo corners to ‘attach’ the photo to the cover (see last image below), but the look was more appropriate for an interior image. The angle, shadow, and placement are all carefully calculated to create a balance between the photo of me with the blood-red leather and the softer text above and beneath the photo. The soft colours of the text of the title are meant to add to, but not detract from the red & the sepia. A closer look will also show that I’ve tried to emulate the texture of the leather within the text in order for it to look more integrated.

The Cynglish Beat Back Cover

The Cynglish Beat Back Cover

On the back cover, I wanted to convey the creative process, but rather than hand-scribbled notes, I went with the idea of recipe cards that look like they were run through an old Olivetti manual typewriter. Instead of creating them from scratch with Photoshop I simply photographed a recipe card in natural light so as to get more natural shadows and light.

I had three pieces of information to convey on the back so I went with three recipe cards scaled down. Because “Cynglish” is a word I made up and was so prominent on the front, I thought I owed a definition to anyone who picked up the book and made it as far as the back cover. That’s the first card.

Jumping down to the third recipe card, it needed to give a sample of what was in the book, because this was not “Flowers in the stream, I dream, of cream and smile” poetry. The restrictions were the obvious ones: the snippet had to be clean and it had to be universal, and so I went with the opening lines of “Me, Myself & Age”, the first poem I wrote for the collection before I even knew there was going to be a collection.

For the second card I wanted to give the idea that someone other than myself and Sue had actually read and enjoyed the poems, so a review/blurb from a well-known person was needed. For the ‘celebrity endorsement’ my first and only thought was of Mark Breslin, the CEO & Founder of Yuk Yuk’s, the largest chain of comedy clubs in North America and the man many consider to be the grandfather of Canadian comedy and mentor to such comedy legends as Howie Mandel and Jim Carrey.

Mark caught my scruffy third performance as Bongo Boy (doing a poor imitation of Beat poetry) at the Calgary Yuk Yuk’s at Elbow River Casino and he pulled me aside after the show. For half an hour he generously gave me his time to tell me how unique what I was doing was and how to raise it up off the street and into the limelight. Those kind words of encouragement got me writing like a madman, and once the idea for The Cynglish Beat took hold of my lapels, I put aside performing to concentrate on what I suspected would be the most interesting way I could come up with to raise some funds for Cancer Research.

When I approached Mark with my finished project and asked if he’d consider doing the cover blurb he loved the idea and what he sent back was this: “Kudos to Tim Reynolds for channeling Fifties Beatnik culture in his new volume, ‘The Cynglish Beat’. If you like your poetry hip and bop and full of barbed wire, Reynolds is your man.” Wow. He nailed what I had been trying to achieve and hadn’t even articulated to myself. “Full of barbed wire”. Yup, that’s exactly what it is, and I am honoured to have Mark’s words on the back cover, to draw readers in.

Other stuff on the back cover needed to be the Cometcatcher Press logo (‘self-published’ doesn’t have to mean ‘unprofessional’ — create an imprint for your works!) and the two websites, one for the book and one for Cometcatcher Press. I have half-a-dozen others, including one for all of my writing, but the two URLs I included have links to all of the others.

The Cynglish Beat Black Cover

The Cynglish Beat Black Cover

With all that decided, designed and created do you think I was able to just sit back and let it be, ready for the printer? Oh no, not me. I came across another notebook amongst the detritus of my office and got another brainstorm. I then spent far too much time creating this cover, just so I would have a third option. Sue loves the red cover, as do I, but there’s something raw and spontaneous about this black one. Maybe it’ll be used for a special edition with hand-written interior font, or maybe for a sequel, should it be warranted.

If you have an opinion about which of the three you prefer, leave a comment below and I’ll take it into consideration.

Thanks for listening. I hope this answers questions you didn’t even have.

Ciao for now,

Tim.

How to Freak Out a Street-Corner Crack Dealer in Toronto

Posted in (Almost) Totally Useless How-to Guide with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 14, 2010 by tgmreynolds

CAUTION: CONTAINS EXTREMELY FOUL LANGUAGE. DO NOT READ ON IF THE WORST OF THE WORST OFFENDS YOU.

Sometimes a day doesn’t go as planned and sometimes it goes 98% down the path you’d charted but then veers a little at the end. It was on one of those days that I discovered something unexpected about crack dealers.

First off, let’s start out with my equipment list:

  1. jeans
  2. dark hooded sweatshirt
  3. hiking boots or runners
  4. well-loved baseball cap (no dumb-ass, rapper-dork stupid metallic stickers or tags!)
  5. McDonald’s drink, with straw. Coke is best. You’ll need the caffeine shortly.
  6. a vocabulary of really good curse words (George’s Carlin’s 7 will do just fine)
  7. a slightly worn book bag/back pack hiding your valuables, including expensive camera and tripod and wallet

I was back home in Toronto (from Lake Louise in the Rockies) visiting family and decided that I needed to get and do some touristy things I hadn’t done in a decade or two and now had to do because I had my camera and wanted to snap the requisite pics. Days like this are always best shared so I called up Diane, a friend from Lake Louise who now happened to work in Toronto the Royal York Hotel.

We headed off on our mostly-on-foot adventure, starting from downtown and working our way to the CN Tower for starters. Up the tower, walk around, down the tower and off to the foot of Yonge Street to catch the ferry over to Centre Island.

We wandered the island, catching a walking tour of the residents of the artistic community which remains as hold-outs on the island in Toronto’s harbour in Lake Ontario. A very cool place a hop-skip-ferry-ride from Canada’s largest city.

On Toronto's Centre Isand with Wijfam Diane Wong

On Toronto's Centre Island with Wijfam Diane Wong

It was a very cool day. We covered lots of territory, saw the usual and the unusual and by the time our day was done we had wandered unmeasured miles and ended up at McDonald’s just before midnight near what was then Ryerson Polytechnic Institute, but is now Ryerson University. Diane lived a few blocks east of the school in a not-so-nice neighbourhood. When I offered to walk her home before hopping on the subway and heading back north to Mom’s place where I was staying, Diane jumped at the chance.

I hadn’t lived in Toronto since 1979 and had in fact been living in towns of less than 5,000  for a dozen years when I did this gentlemanly thing of walking Diane home. We got about two blocks before the streets got a bit darker, being away from the brightly lit strip of Yonge Street (the longest street in the world!). Another couple blocks later and we reached Diane’s rooming house where no guests were allowed after ten and there was security at the door behind what looked like bulletproof glass. Niiiiice place.

The denizens of the street had been watching us as we strolled there, some of them on our side of the street but the scariest owning corners on the other side. I may not have lived in the urban sprawl for years, but I grew up in The Big Smoke and knew when it was time for the wolves to feed on the skinny white kid who’d wandered off the beaten path. It was now that time. While I was with Diane they just watched, some openly and some surreptitiously, not wanting to give away their interest in the prey as it wandered through the killing fields of the Gerard-Parliament area.

My hackles were up, my need to flee was strong strong strong. Diane left me in the vestibule of her building with a hug and thank you for a fun day and she retired to the safety of the secure building. Me, I turned to face the denizen’s of the night, but not before morphing into a creature of the night.

The baseball hat went on a skewed angle, the hoodie came up and over the top. The glasses went into my hoody pouch and the McDonald’s drink went into the garbage. The straw, I kept. You’ll see why in a moment.

The person who entered the building was a dorky, nervous-walking accountant-looking white guy with a pretty Asian girl beside him. The freak who left the building a couple minutes later was hunched over, clutching a bag of some sort, with hat pulled down and to the side, hood pulled up over, and squinting angrily at the world (because he’d taken off his glasses!). I also suddenly developed a mean limp and a full-body twitch. Dr. Jeckyl had become Mr. Hyde.

As I walked down the sidewalk I stumbled (intentionally) every few yards and moved in short angry steps, while chewing frantically (nervously!) on the straw and cursing and barking up a blue streak. Yes, I said barking. And instead of cowering from the predators, I challenged them, staring back hard and sharp while muttering to myself: “Fucking guy! Fucking assholes! Bark bark bark! They’re all fucking assholes. C*nts! Bastards. Fuckers! Fucking kill her! Fucking kill them all! Cocksuckers! Bark bark! C*nts! Fuckers! Fuck! Fuck! Fuckers! Shit Fuck Bastards!”

Yes, I developed a sudden case of Tourette Syndrome, and I kept it up for the whole way back to Yonge Street — a five minute gauntlet of fear, trying not to piss myself (though that would have helped the fear factor I was emanating.

So what happened? Well, the dealers and the whores and the other predators MOVED BACK and looked away. They kept watch of me out of the corner of their eye, but not because they were wondering when they could take me down, but rather now because they were wondering when I was going to snap and come after them. You see, the one thing crack dealers are afraid of is people high on their own product. They know damned well a crack addict is unpredicatable and armed and without fear.

In order to get out of there alive, I didn’t become the toughest guy on the street, I became the scariest little motherfucker they’d seen all night. I was an unknown elemental stalking their streets. A high, crazed, schizophrenic psycho who had nothing they needed and who might just leave them alone if they stay the fuck out of his way.

I don’t recommend testing this technique out. It only works if you’re a solo act, and some crack dealers I’ve seen would just as soon shoot the psycho down and strip him of his shoes rather than be terrified. And if there had been more than a low-level dealer, a whore and an underling on any of the three corners of concern that night, they might very well have puffed out their chests and tried to earn street cred by calling my bluff. It’s a good thing I can run faster scared than they can mad, but it’s a better thing that I didn’t have to try.

And, so, that’s How to Freak Out a Street-Corner Crack Dealer on the Mean Streets of Toronto.

That’s it, that’s all. Play safe, avoid bad neighbourhoods, and don’t be afraid to use George Carlin’s Seven Words You Can’t Say On Network Television if it means the difference between life and death.

Ciao for now.

Tim.

NEXT WEEK: I have no idea. I’ll have to consult the survey to see which story was voted up next. Maybe How not to drown while impressing girls with an underwater locked chains escape at a school pool party. Best attempted by non-swimmers, just for the added risk factor.

How to Use Your Prostate as a Teaching Tool

Posted in (Almost) Totally Useless How-to Guide with tags , , , , , , , , , , on January 31, 2010 by tgmreynolds

Normally I try to put in a photo or two related to the blog topic, to add some colour. Not this time. Be thankful. Be very thankful.

I recently had to undergo a series of x-rays after a slip-and-fall on black ice at work. The x-ray tech was a nice, professional lady about my age, but that day she was only the teacher, the mentor.  Assisting her and doing her practicum was a SAIT (Southern Alberta Institute of Technology) Radiology Technician student who barely came up to the shoulder she was x-raying. She was cute as a button and very professional, and since I still had all my clothes on, I was perfectly at ease.

Such was not the case the first time one of my body parts was knowingly used as a teaching tool.

Since I turned 42 I’ve been having the annual, er anal, no, annual, exam to ensure my prostate is healthy. It was during my last exam that my doctor put forth the idea that the Nurse Practitioner student who was shadowing him for the week observe the procedure. I don’t think he liked her.

For those of you unfamiliar with a prostate exam, let me give you the gist of it:

  1. Strip to your underwear.
  2. Climb onto the paper-covered examining table without tearing the paper or slipping off onto your head.
  3. Pull your underwear down to your knees, thankful that you planned for this event and wore ones without too many holes.
  4. Face the wall. Never face a window. Then again, never face away from a window, either.
  5. Pull your knees up to your chest.
  6. Expose to harsh fluorescent lighting the one single part of you that should never even see sunshine.
  7. Close your eyes and try not to flinch at the sound of the snapping latex glove as the doctor ‘suits up’.
  8. Ignore the glooping sound as the kind-hearted doctor dips his arm up to the elbow in the industrial-sized tub of room-temperature-only hypoallergenic jelly.
  9. Try not to flinch at the cold touch of two gloved-and-lubed fingers of a nearly seventy-year-old doctor as he ‘goes for the gold’.

Having had this life-affirming exam before, I was mentally if not emotionally prepared for the necessary violation of my nether region. What I was not and could not be prepared for was a 5’8″ blonde, 25-year-old cheerleader-hot Nurse Practitioner student seeing my Worst Side Story.

To give my doctor credit, he did ask for my permission before inviting her into the examining room. At that point my head was bombarded with questions from the inside.

  • How do I say ‘yes’ to my prostate teaching a hottie a lesson?
  • How do I say ‘no’?
  • How do I face the student after it’s all done?
  • How do I tell my doctor that I  now want a female doctor because I just wasn’t comfortable with a man finding the spot that makes me say “Gee, that’s an interesting sensation; how about we try it again, say after cocktails and sushi?”

So, did I say ‘yes’ to becoming an educational instrument…

  1. because I wasn’t embarrassed at all?
  2. because it was no big deal?
  3. or because I didn’t want the cute blonde to think I wasn’t “man” enough? (is that a stoopid reason, or what?!)

To be honest, I have no effing idea why I said ‘yes’, other than the fact that I didn’t want to piss off the man who was about to stick his lubed and gloved digits in my bum and make me his finger puppet of the day. Achmed the Dead Terrorist had it easier! (See YouTube if you have no idea what I’m talking about!)

When I have my underwear down to my knees and I’m curled up in a ball facing the wall, I’m pretty much defenceless. Keep the man happy and live to see another day, I say.

I would love to see the student’s summary of her week with Doc Oc. Or maybe I wouldn’t.

Next week, something less invasive, I promise.

Ciao for now,

Tim.

Can You Feel Me Now?

Can You Feel Me Now?

Okay, one photo. Thank God it’s only symbolic.

Stepping in Poop, All Day Long.

Posted in (Almost) Totally Useless How-to Guide, My Opinion, love it or leave it, Stand-Up Comedy & Life with tags , , , , , , on January 20, 2010 by tgmreynolds

I just want to thank everyone for their well wishes with regards to the competition tonight. Here’s the kind of day NOT to have before you’re expected to be funny:

  1. Get 2 hours sleep due to snoring Yorkshire Terrier.
  2. 6:30am, hit a pothole and blow out the glass in the sign above the windshield on your work vehicle.
  3. Noon: don’t get as long a nap as you need between your split shift.
  4. 5:45PM get a text message that your honey bunny has been taken to the hospital by her daughter to deal with the pain from the last few days.
  5. Cellphone dies. Rush home to get charger.
  6. Get locked out of front door by broken lock. Hike over crusty snow to back door to get in.
  7. Call said girlfriend, have her tell you to go compete, she’ll be fine, just remember to hit ‘record’ on video camera.
  8. 6:20PM Rushing to get to the comedy club, stop at a red light, then turn right (legal here) just after invisible pedestrian steps onto crosswalk three lanes to the left.
  9. Get seen by cop.
  10. Get $575/4-demerit-point ticket.
  11. 7:55PM Getting prepared to go up second in the line-up, try not to show surprise when manager tells you first comic cancelled so you’re now number one. You’re now on in about 10 minutes.
  12. 8:10pm. Hit ‘Record’ on video camera, do weak-ass, distracted set in front of a great crowd. Go home and eat pizza after confirming honey bunny on way home from hospital.
  13. Get some fucking sleep.

How to Know When It’s Okay to Kiss a Corpse

Posted in (Almost) Totally Useless How-to Guide with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 9, 2010 by tgmreynolds

Is it okay to plant one on a passed-away one, to smoochie the bouchie of a corpus not-so-delicti, to do it to a deady, to have at ‘er with a cadaver, to kiss a corpse?

If it is okay, under certain circumstances, what circumstances would permit such a thing? And how far should the kiss go? Where’s the line between a tender ‘good-bye’ and an unrequited, passionate ‘hello there’? At what point do you go from ‘survived by…’ to ‘Hello Dolly! Fancy a cold, stiff one?!’ ?

I’m not going to tell you what my idea of  ‘too far’ is for a corpse kissing any more than I would tell you to back it off a bit if you kissed a breather (unless the breather is me) but I would guess that if you keep it brief and tongue-free, you should be pretty safe in most situations.

Neither my culture (UK-Canadian beige) nor my religion (Anglican/Catholic Lite) forbid me from kissing the cheek of a departed loved one, so at least my places in society and Heaven won’t suffer because of it — at least until I do something stupid and get on one or the other’s shit list.

Dad in Banff in 1980

Dad in Banff in 1980

So, based on my personal experience, it’s okay to kiss a corpse when it’s your father and you’re saying good-bye for the last time. I gave Dad that last kiss on the cheek twenty-six years ago this week. I would have done the same for anyone I cared so deeply for that the ache of their absence can still periodically flood back after more than a quarter century later.

TO SUMMARIZE: It’s okay to kiss a corpse:

  1. When you love them.
  2. When it doesn’t violate any of your (or the corpse’s!) cultural or religious mores.
  3. After the body is prepped for viewing OR on the battlefield after the deceased gave their life to save yours.
  4. When you’ve stopped crying, so your tears don’t mess up the corpse’s make-up.

And that’s all for this week’s morbid “How To”.  Aren’t you glad you asked? *L*

Ciao for now.

Tim.

P.S. Miss you, Dad.

(Next Week: How to Catch a Rabid Squirrel (and why!)

www.tgmreynolds.com

Words & Images Copyright Timothy G.M. Reynolds