Mr. Rice Gets New Guts

I sewed Rice myself for home economics class in grade seven. He was so named because, well, he was filled with rice. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Mr. RIce


After *cough* years, Rice started to smell. It was that stale stank of old rice that has lived in one too many basements. Rice was so worried and self-conscious. Did the other Friends hate him now? Was he trash? What would happen to him? What would he be without his guts? A sad sack, that’s what. A very sad sack indeed.

(Not to be confused with Guts the Shark Friend.)



Rice sat and worried and worried about his problem, when Prince came up to him.

“Ahhhh Mr. Rice. You are worried about your putrid smell, yes?”

“Prince, please,” Rice responded wearily. “Not now.”

“Ahhhh, but Prince can solve your problem,” the toad coooed. “You need new guts, Mr. Rice. Only a total gut replacement will do.”

“Gut replacement,” the homemade frog replied. “But without my guts, I won’t be me.”

“Oh, no. No no no no no non,” Prince admonished. “You are not your guts. Your guts stink, Mr. Rice. They really, really stink. They need to go. You know, really Mr. Rice. You will feel better and very much yourself.”

Rice brightened.

“Oh yes, you will feel better than you have in years, Mr. Rice. Just think of your spiffy new polyester gutsssssss.”

“Polyester?!?! But then I won’t be me!”

“Oh Mr. Rice, you will be sooooo much better,” Prince said in his exagerated French accent. “And you will never smell as absolutely terrible as you do right now. Most of the other Friends are polyester, Mr. Rice. Not everyone can be premium beanie baby like Prince.”

“I know, but I’m Rice,” Rice lamented. “I don’t want to change my name to Polyester.”

“Oh hahahaha! Oh Mr. Rice, you do not have to change your name,” the occasionally wise, always arrogant toad laughed heartily. “Mr. Rice, Mr. Rice, Mr. Rice, you are very funny for a frog. Oh ho ho ho ho ho oh!”

Rice did not look amused.

“No, you are very much Mr. Rice, Mr. Rice,” the toad got serious. “You know, Prince calls you Mr. Rice as a sign of respect. Perhaps your new name shall be Mr. Rice.”

“Mr. Rice,” the frog said hesitantly.

“Say it louder, Mr. Rice!”

“Mr. Rice! Mr. Rice! Mr Riiiiiiiiicccccccceeeeee!!!!!!!”

“You kno-ow, Prince is looking for a best friend,” Prince said, wiggling his eyebrows if he had any. “Mr. Rice, if you would do me the honour of best friending. Perhaps weeeeeeeee could have many adventure together.”

So Mr. Rice was blessed with a new name and new polyester guts by Dr. Troy and he and Prince are still best friends and have many wacky hijinks together, some of which will appear in this very blog.

Mr. Rice learned that it’s what’s on the outside that counts when you’re a stuffy Friend (and especially when friends with Prince).



Living with ghosts

I’ve come to both love and loathe the quiet moments. I love the sleep. I loathe the dreams.

Hey now, this post is not all doom and gloom, though there will be a fair bit of that going on. Look beneath, though, and you’ll see the shine. It’s always there under the shit.

I live with ghosts. Not the boo woo kind. Kind of the boo hoo kind. Ghosts of touch. Ghosts of laughter. Ghosts of loss and love. Ghosts of those gone away and those gone forever.

I sit with ghosts. They surround me. Sometimes I feel them drown me. But I sit with them. Stoic. Trying to make peace.

I love the ghosts. I cling to them like they give me life. I cling to them like I cling to my memory boxes, terrified of forgetting, itching to move on.

I never want to forget, so I live with ghosts and they change me. I talk to potatoes and I feel less alone.

I live with ghosts, but they don’t haunt me.

I live with ghosts, so I don’t live alone.


Buddy and The Potato: a tale of two tubers and the couch they call home

The Potatoes

Buddy (right) and The Potato (left) discuss important couch matters

Way back in that whimsical and Aqua Net-drunk year of 1987, a young Kaarina was given a most huggable friend. Yes, before there were flowers in sunglasses, elves on shelves, or any toy ever dancing the Macarena, for a glorious period shorter than Rico Suave’s blip in pop culture history, Coleco brought us Couch Potatoes.

Young Kaarina named her new friend Bud the Spud, after a Stompin’ Tom song, but he prefers Buddy for short. He’s an easy breezy potato, having grown up with plenty of hugs in small town Northern Ontario. But, alas, all things must grow and Kaarina was no exception. Just ten years later, she moved away and Buddy was packed in a box.

Ten years after saying goodbye to Buddy, Kaarina found herself browsing the aisles at her favourite thrift store in Toronto. What’s this?, she thought as she caught sight of familiar green armchair packaging. Yes, it was a Couch Potato, mint, for $3.97. Oh happy day!

So, The Potato came home. He was guarded at first. He hadn’t grown up with the hugs and support that Buddy did. He didn’t yet understand about the power of love and friendship. But he would. He had a breakthrough when he realized that Kaarina could have sold him on eBay, but she never would because he’s her potato and she’s his person. In this disposable day and age, that really means something, dammit! And so The Potato opened his heart, even to Prince, and everyone was richer for it.

The Potato didn’t really come into his own, though, until he perched himself on his couch for the first time. All those years in the thrift system, The Potato had dreamt of having his very own couch. Oh, he’d seen couches come and go. Floral sofas, elegant chaise longues, stained couches, torn couches, cushionless frames. Yeah, he’d seen a lot of shit in the system. But he whiled away the days dreaming of better times, of couches as bright as the sun, where potatoes’ wishes always came true and no one would dare donate a bag of t-shirts soaked in fresh urine ever again!

And so Kaarina declared the Couch to be a Nation within the Nation of the Apartment. The Potato has full political power on the couch and he is kind enough to open his borders to Kaarina and guests, just as he had opened his heart.

One jolly Christmas, Kaarina went to visit her parents and found a bevy of boxes to sort through. And in one of those boxes, she found her Buddy. Yes, Kaarina was blessed with two potatoes.

There is a clear hierarchy on the Couch. The Potato is the Supreme Potato, but Buddy would step in should The Potato be unable, for whatever reason, to perform his coucherly duties. Buddy’s easy going attitude helps to keep The Potato in check, as he tends to get a little neurotic. They make a great tandem tuber team and the Couch is run smoothly and efficiently, making it a most pleasant place to curl up for a nap.