The Canadian Writers' Collective

Writing, and writerly tangents

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Bruised Lips and Pinched Bums- the Canadian Literati celebrates the CWC!

By Andrew Tibbetts

The recent Canadian government directive to writers’ collectives insisting that uniforms be made from eco-friendly materials has put the CWC in a tizzy. Under normal circumstances, our patron, Alice Munro, would have gotten her maid to sew us new ones, but Barbara’s been at her husband’s trial in Chicago, so we’ve been on our own.

This past Saturday, Alice called us up to big house- as you know she’s donated her garden shed for our quarters. Ostensibly, she wanted to have a good old-fashioned ‘stitch-n-bitch’. Or so we thought! It turns out the whole thing was an excuse to throw us a surprise party for our one-year anniversary. That’s our Alice! As generous to her patrons as is she is with information about bystanders in her ‘short’ stories (I love that one where she gives you the financial history of everyone in the doctor’s waiting room, even though the main character doesn’t actually go in for their appointment that day!)

The party was such a roaring success. In the west corner of Alice’s banquet hall, Margaret Atwood was manning a kind of crepe station and pouring buckets of fancy liqueurs over her homemade gelato. Halfway through the party she set her hair on fire from the hotplate. It took half an hour for anyone to notice (Anne Michaels’ flaming do didn’t get spotted for a full hour and a half.) In the south corner, Leonard Cohen was leading a little meditation circle and sharing this special zen practice of challenging the meditaters to keep going despite distraction as he pinched people’s bottoms. I pointed mine in his general direction but he kept bypassing it for Melissa Bell’s. She must be like a red-bottomed baboon by now.

Russell Smith did people’s colours for them in the east corner. Sheila Heti’s a winter. Duh. Who couldn’t have guessed that? But Austin Clarke an autumn? I was stunned. Russell gave him a quick makeover and sure enough he looked days younger.

In the South corner Alice had set up a dunk tank. Was it just me or did she rush over to dunk Miriam Toews with just a little bit too much eagerness? Why didn’t anyone want to dunk Jane Urquhart? That was awkward. Luckily she was so drunk she dunked herself. The line-up to dunk Eleanor Wachtel went twice around the house. And it’s a big house.

The CWC, of course, were the men and women of the hour. Alice put us all in kissing booths. Two days later and I still look like Angelina Jolie- sore! Who knew Hal Niedzviecki was so passionate? And don’t think I didn’t notice you, David Bezmosgis, in everybody else’s line but mine! That was funny when Christopher Dewdney punched Antonio out because it looked like Barbara Gowdy was ‘enjoying herself.’ Duh? It’s kissing.

I know the party went on until the wee hours but I got between Michele Landsberg and a buffet and got barrelled over and knocked out.

Thanks everyone (especially the people who kept Yann Martel busy at customs!) Swell time! We’ll do it all again next year.

Oh- yeah. The new uniforms? Apparently Alice sent them with Barbara anyway, who couldn’t afford to take an unpaid leave, what with her future so undecided. She’s doing them by hand during jury selection. Apparently they hope it’ll give ‘the common touch’ to their whole side. So, as soon as she’s back- we’ll be all spiffed up and in compliance with Bill 97-01-B. Stay tuned for photos of us in our spiffy eco-uniforms! (Plus I might slip in a few from the party: was that Andrew Pyper making out with Margaret Cannon? Philip Marchand throwing up in the rose bushes? Wayston Choy, Michel Tremblay and Shyam Selvadurai fighting over who would give me CPR?)

Welcome to April!


Blogger Tricia Dower said...

Oy, such a headache I have! But wasn't it a party? That Leonard Cohen is everybody's man.

Sun Apr 01, 07:04:00 pm GMT-4  
Blogger Andrew Tibbetts said...

Tricia, you obviously got a good pinching!

Mon Apr 02, 09:29:00 am GMT-4  
Blogger tamara said...

I heard Shelagh Rogers got it all on tape.

Mon Apr 02, 11:18:00 am GMT-4  
Blogger Andrew Tibbetts said...

Then you should be worried, Tamara, because that wasn't me with David Gilmour in the Gazebo!

Mon Apr 02, 11:54:00 am GMT-4  
Blogger MelBell said...

Oh why couldn't it be me with David Gilmour in the gazebo? He's my CanLit crush!

Mon Apr 02, 02:08:00 pm GMT-4  
Blogger tamara said...

did you ever see him on that book show of mary walsh's? all biggreyhaired and amusingly snide... i can't remember which book it was, but it was one that everyone was 'supposed' to like, but no one did. mary, as always, was hilarious.

Mon Apr 02, 02:46:00 pm GMT-4  
Blogger Andrew Tibbetts said...

I love Mary Walsh! Next one of these she's in there making out with me!

Mon Apr 02, 05:03:00 pm GMT-4  

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