I was on my way to work the other day, a seven minute drive from my rural, brick bungalow, thinking about my good friend Jann. When the school bus ahead of me came to an abrupt stop, I slammed on the brakes and pulled my face out of my bag-of-marshmallow breakfast. And there she was!
“Jann, what the hell are you doing?” I shouted. She was standing in a crowd of elementary school children and it looked as if she might get on the bus.
“I’m writing autographs!” she said. “These kids can’t get enough of me!”
“Get in the car!” I shouted. “You’re going to get arrested!”
She got in the car.
“Do you want to hear a song I’m writing?” I ask, to which Jann grimaces and says, “I thought you wrote novels.”
“Right. I forgot,” I say. “Where are you going anyway?” I ask. “This isn’t bring-your-Jann-Arden-to-work-day. That was last Monday. Remember?”
“Look, I can’t sneak you up to my office, so how about I drop you off at the police station?”
“Again?” she cries. “I haven’t committed a crime!”
I smile knowingly and give her a pat on the knee. “Here’s a toonie, there’s a vending machine inside.”
She wraps her fingers around the coin and asks if I promise.
“I promise,” I tell her, and then I add for good measure, “Maybe Rick Mercer will pick you up.”
Reluctantly, she climbs out of the car. “But I didn’t do anything wrong!” Of course, I smile and tell her everything will be fine. I’m almost late for work, so I ask her to step away from the car. For good measure (and to assuage my guilt), I toss the bag of marshmallows out the window as I peel off.
“She’ll be fine,” I tell myself. “There’s always a nice family looking for a good Jann Arden.”