I saw a commercial for Famous People Players Christmas show that got me thinking about all this:
upon a time, in a far away land otherwise known as Toronto, lived a
girl who had just moved to the City and was struggling to adjust to
life in the terrifying new world otherwise known as East York Collegiate.
Eventually, the girl fell in with a group of artsy nerds and all was
well, but long before that she was befriended by two interesting people
who we shall call Brenda and Brenda’s boyfriend, Andrew.
honestly recall how I originally came to know Brenda and Andrew,
however, my earliest recollection of them is from the summer between
grade 10 and grade 11, when I was forced to retake grade 10
mathematics. My math grade was so bad nearing the end of the school
year that I would show up to class, the teacher would mark me present
then tell me to go outside and enjoy the weather since there was no
hope in hell that I would pass. Sitting on the steps one day during
summer school, Andrew gave me a draft of a science fiction novel he had
written. You have to hand it to the guy, that’s a pretty ambitious
undertaking for a high school student. In subsequent years Andrew got
into puppetry, which I always thought must have been tough because
unless you’re Jim Henson most people seem question your sanity if
you’re into puppets.
Anyway, eventually we graduated. We
maintained a bit of a friendship for a little while until I sensed a
shifting boundary one night when Andrew said, "Come on Les, give me a
chance." Who knows what he really meant but it totally freaked me out
and that was the end of that. I’ve always had great skill in blowing
things completely out of proportion.
For a time Andrew worked at
Famous People Players developing the black light puppets and also did
some of the more complicated performance (FPP was created help change
attitudes about mentally-challenged people and most of the puppeteers
are so challenged). He invited me to come and check out their new
production. It was a Big Deal for me because I would have to sit
through the dinner on my own while he was backstage doing puppet stuff
and I was not yet the kind of girl that could do that type of thing
without breaking into a nervous sweat. I did it though and watched the
show after dinner and it was really great.
Later I was standing
around outside waiting for Andrew to come out and one of the ladies who
had also attended the show struck up a conversation with me. It turned
out she wanted to speak to some of the puppeteers. I told her I was
waiting for my friend Andrew and I was sure he would be happy to talk
to her about the show. She replied, "Oh, how delightful! You’re friends
with one of the Special People?!" I didn’t have the heart to tell her
the guy had a full set of mental faculties and when he came out the
side door I grabbed him and we got the hell out of there as fast as
possible. I didn’t want him to know that anyone thought he was
I found Andrew during a random Google Stalk and it makes me happy to know he’s still up to some fun, quirky stuff.