Excerpt from Driving to Tatamagouche


(surveying table of cooking items in a make-shift kitchen)
Now you're probably wondering just what in the world can she be doing with all that crap up there.

Well, this is my alternative make-up table for those really big jobs.

(holds up a small trowel)
Just kidding. I'm making a little something to take to the wedding.

(preparing batter in a very large bowl)
So I believe we were talking about Tatamagouche. It isn't such a bad place to grow up. It's easier if you don't wear your sisters' dresses.

But I did. Even way back in grade one my sister June and I used to trade. We didn't just trade clothes, though. We traded personas. Sometimes at bedtime she'd wear my pyjamas and I'd wear her nightie, and then we'd switch bedrooms. Until one day my Dad caught us at it and that was the end of that.

(looking down at his dress with a smirk)
Or so he thought. Dad took me down to the root cellar and told me all about the birds and the bees and how little girls were just like little boys ...except they had their cocks cut off. Ouch! I didn't want to be my sister again for a long time after that.

(carefully cracks several eggs into bowl, discarding shells, but it's clearly an arduous task and he becomes impatient with it)
Oh, what the hell!

(throws in a whole egg and smiles at his ingenuity)
Much better.

Mom was a bit more sympathetic to the cause, of course. She used to take pictures of me wearing my sister's nightie and playing with her lipstick. I loved the attention and getting to dress up just like mommy. She'd show me off to the neighbours and say, `Oh, look -- isn't he cute?' Dad would just scowl and kick one of my four dogs. Yes, Mom was much fonder of my dress-up games than Dad. I identified with her right from the first. I thought she was far more glamorous, so I wanted to be just like her -- even at the risk of having my you-know-what cut off. Many years later I learned to tuck it under and now who can tell the difference?

(pause, holds up an egg and looks at it as Hamlet might his skull)
Isn't it funny how gay men identify with their mothers? Do you think it's a role reversal problem we have, like those baby ducks that identify with whatever they first see when they crack out of their shells? You know -- if a duckling sees a racoon instead of its mother when it hatches, it wanders around for the rest of its life trying to find a racoon that thinks it's a duck to mate with. Talk about fucked up! I may want to be my mother but I definitely do not want to mate with her! Even where I come from that's very icky-poo!

(bangs a pot with a wooden spoon for punctuation)
They do it in Sackville, though. Ever been to Sackville? 'Bagtown', we calls it. They do all kinds of scary things there, my dear! You might remember, a couple of years ago there was that big scandle about some backwoods family who had all those cross-eyed kids. Social worker went to investigate because she thought there might be something wrong with the water ... until she discovered they were all in-bred.

(looking aghast)
Quel surprise!

So the parents were taken to court on incest charges and the judge asks these hillbillies, `So why'd you do it?' And they just replied,

(hillbilly accent)
`Heck! We didn't know it was against the law. We was just funnin.'

Jeffrey Round 1992


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