My Son’s Birthday, More Or Less

It’s my son’s birthday today (February 9th). His name is Daniel and I’m not sure exactly how old he is, probably about 42. After a while, you stop trying to figure that stuff out.

His kids are back in school as of yesterday and so we can’t have a birthday party for him on account of the plague. So my wife did the next best thing. She made him a birthday dinner, of Chicken Marengo, steamed rice, and a Caesar salad. She also made him a pineapple upside-down birthday cake and gave him 4 candles to light.

Earlier this week she went over to Lee Valley Tools in Niagara Falls and bought him a router attachment of some kind. My son is a baker but he is also a woodworker and he’s very good at both those things. This, of course, means we’re never really at a loss for a gift idea for him. Woodworkers always need something.

Most of the time I don’t mind being stuck in the middle of a plague lockdown. I’m still stuck in a wheelchair and I’m lucky enough to have a lot of interior space to roam around in, and a well-equipped van to haul me off to shopping and physiotherapy.

Plus, I’m a writer by profession and passion, so I always have something to do to make the time go by.

But I do feel bad for all the people who are stuck in much smaller spaces. Like apartments, or small condos. I can’t imagine the levels of claustrophobia they can experience. I don’t think about it much. I’ve got my own demons to deal with. But every once in a while I start to feel bad for the whole human race. A lot of them aren’t writers, or binge TV watchers, or live in beautiful spacious houses. And my heart goes out to them.

At some point, we will all be vaccinated, at least most of us, and life can get back to something closer to normal. But there will always be the contrarians who think that vaccinations are some deep dark plot to enslave the human race. These people get the deepest part of my sympathy. Because this way of thinking smacks of brainwashing leftover from the Trump era.

There is no shortage of brainwashed people around, in both Canada and the US. They have had these lies carefully planted in their brains by spending too much time on the wrong social media sites and listening to too many genuinely demented public figures.

Sadly, there is no magical fairy dust that you can sprinkle over these people that will heal their illusions and bring them back to reality. And even more sadly, these will be the people who will keep carrying and spreading this virus, until they are all wiped out. It’s a sad way to end your time here on earth. But at least the rest of us will be safe from them, thanks to our vaccinations, enslavement by the dark forces notwithstanding.

And I know this really has nothing to do with my son’s birthday, which I think is his 42nd.  But that’s the way it goes sometimes. You sit down to write about one thing and then suddenly it’s all about something else.

I suppose I could artfully segue into a whole new topic, but I’m trying to keep my posts short and sweet.

So that’s it. Happy Birthday my son, and hello world, things are getting better soon.


Jim Murray
Jim Murray
I have been a writer since the age of 14. I started writing short stories and poetry. From there I graduated to writing lyrics for various bands and composers and feature-length screenplays, two of which have been produced. I had a  20-year career in senior positions in Canadian and multi-national agencies and a second career, which began in 1989, (Onwords & Upwords Inc), as a strategic and creative resource. Early in 2020, I closed Onwords & Upwords and effectively retired. I am now actively engaged, through blogging and memes, in showcasing businesses that are part of the green revolution. I am also writing short stories which I will be marketing to film production companies. I live with my wife, Heather, in the beautiful Niagara Region of southern Ontario, after migrating from Toronto, where I spent most of my adult life.

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  1. Thanks very much Jeff. I will definitely check out Heather Lende, I started blogging way back in the day with a colums I called The Couch Potato Chronicles, which really was a review piece that I would send to my friends who kept calling me from the viedeo store (remember those?) asking me about this movie and that movie. So the stream of consciousness style was invvented because I was just writing quick notes. After a while, it just sorta became second nature and as I branched out into other areas, it stuck. I write the same way about business as I do about entertainment as I do about life. I’m also a big fan of a guy named Thomas Jackson, on LinkedIn. He’s a loader for like FedEx or one of those companies, but his writing style is quirky and smart. I tried to get him to join Biz Cat, but he wasn’t interested. He is a purist and writes mainly for himself. I think we all do to a great extent. But he’s religious about it. Thanks again for your comment.

  2. Jim — I loved how you started in one place and segued to another…to another…to another. Your style of writing reminds me of Heather Lende. Her writing — and yours by extension — is like sitting down at the breakfast table with an old friend and a cup of coffee, asking “Where will you take me today?”

    I found myself nodding when you talked about the contrarians and the brainwashed. The “big lie,” however it is spun, is an amazing tool. The simplest of ideas told over and over. Why, it must be true, right?

    I know what you meant by the “Trump era,” but after yesterday’s vote to acquit the man who once boasted “I could shoot someone on 5th Avenue and not lose voters,” there is no “leftover.” We’re still in it.

    I read somewhere once that from an anthropological, social, and neurological perspective, humans like to be told what to do and what to believe. Part of our brain — the part that manages fright, flight or fight responses — loves to put things in nice boxes because it makes us feel safe. It figuratively can’t spell “ambiguity.” The “big lie” whether is about unsafe vaccines or election fraud or blood-thirsty, child-eating Democrats are nice little boxes. Why, they must be true, right?

    I look forward to your next piece.