LIBRA HOROSCOPE (from astrology.com): Get as much done as you possibly can this morning — your energy may start to wane this afternoon. At that point, progress should be difficult at best, so make the most of what you’ve got.
The meeting with Mrs. Langden-Ogden and Alastair was awesome. Okay, not so much for them, I’m sure, but most entertaining. Funeral preparations shouldn’t be a spectacle, but Whitman Gallagher Langden-Ogden seemed to have lived his life building up to this moment. Thirty-seven years with Mrs. Langden-Ogden (whose first name is DeeDee, but something about her icy glare tells me no one, not even her mother, would speak it), twenty-four with Alastair. Many explosive exchanges over the years, but now a head-on collision.
Alastair arrived early with his attorney and asking me to make copies of the funeral service program as allegedly set forth in Whitman’s will. Mrs. L-O arrived fashionably late, attorney in tow as well. I pulled in extra chairs and we sat around Theodore’s desk. Per Alastair’s request, I passed out copies of the service. Mrs. L-O glanced at her paper for all of 1.5 seconds before ripping it in pieces and tossing it like confetti in Alastair’s face.
Her attorney—young and clearly lacking confidence in a suit three sizes too big—was shushed when he began to speak and Mrs. L-O proceeded to unfold a paper she’d pulled from her sparkly silver purse which clashed with her orange and purple party dress (but then, what wouldn’t?).
Rufus, Whitman’s beloved beagle, would perform a song before the eulogy, howling away as a beat box blasted Minnie Riperton’s “Lovin’ You”.
“Absolutely not!” Alastair interrupted. “No dogs at the service.”
“So am I to presume that your sister can’t make it?”
“And this is precisely why Whitty strayed. You’re insufferable!”
The shenanigans continued for more than two hours. Fascinating tidbits about Whitman Gallagher Langden-Ogden emerged in rapid succession, too many jaw dropping revelations for me to recall. Whitman had amassed his (now dwindling) fortune operating a string of porn shops throughout Western Canada and, just as one might imagine, became acquainted with many colorful characters who clashed with the Shaughnessy set with whom the Langden-Ogdens socialized.
A proud bisexual, Whitman chose not to choose and lived in two Shaughnessy mansions only two blocks apart, one cohabited by Mrs. L-O, the other by Alastair.
At one point Mrs. L-O hired one of Whitman’s porn biz colleagues to kill Alastair, but the colleague revealed the plan to Whitman after Mrs. L-O balked at the would-be assassin’s demand for a significantly larger fee. That escapade, occurring two decades ago, almost landed Mrs. L-O in jail but the business associate died in a skydiving mishap before giving an official statement and Whitman refused to cooperate with authorities. (“Oh, I paid for that in more ways than you’ll ever know!” Mrs. L-O seethed as she lunged toward Alastair. “You’re still here, aren’t you? Clearly, I lost.”)
There were no filters as Theodore and I—and even the attorneys—could do nothing but sit back in shock and awe, watching the two adversaries Ping-Pong insults and scandalous incidents at one another with one session of vitriol going forty-five minutes without a moment’s pause. Somehow Theodore managed to sense when the combatants needed a break and he managed to refocus matters on Monday’s ceremony. Mrs. L-O remained insistent on Rufus’ “Idol” moment and, before any logic could be expressed to shoot down the idea, upped the ante by announcing she’d hired some performers from a current tour of “The Sound of Music” to bring marionettes and a small set to perform Whitman’s favorite, “The Lonely Goatherd”.
Alastair, aghast, sarcastically responded, “No, why not round up some lovely children at the mall and have them sing ‘So Long, Farewell’?”
Not missing a beat, Mrs. L-O smiled and said, “Well, that could be the final number as Whitman is escorted out.” (While I’m still not certain, I believe she was kidding.)
In the end, Theodore more than earned his fee. The balloons would be for the cemetery, released as Whitman is interred. All “Sound of Music” references would be scrapped…although Mrs. L-O promised the musical would have a prominent presence at her reception. (To no one’s surprise (by the time it was announced, at least), Alastair was having his own reception, running concurrently.) Rufus would indeed sing along to “Lovin’ You” right before the eulogies which, in one of the few aspects in keeping with Whitman’s wishes, would be given by one designate of Mrs. L-O and one selected by Alastair. They flipped a coin for whose eulogist would speak first.
By the time everyone had left, my head was buzzing. Both Theodore and I dug into the Tylenol bottle in his desk. “Have you ever seen anything like that?” I asked him.
“Sadly, yes. Even worse.”
Thankfully, Theodore let me close up at 2:30, giving me a head start on the weekend. I wasn’t getting rich from temping, but I decided to dash over to Kerrisdale to pick out a new outfit which Gabriel could disrobe for our evening rendezvous.
Worked better than I’d planned. He was clearly smitten as we dined at Refuel and skillfully used his right foot for some intense foreplay under the table. Back at my place, we went a couple rounds before calling it a night at 4:15 a.m., only to have him aroused again for another go shortly after 8. With more messing around in the shower, I was relieved to see him leave shortly before noon. Time for a loooooong nap.
KEN’S JOURNAL (via BlackBerry):
GOT UP & HAD A DECENT JOG B/F 7. DETERMINED TO HAVE A BETTER SHOWING W/THE FORERUNNERS GROUP NEXT WED. NEW GOAL IS TO KEEP UP W/SOMEONE UNDER 60. THINK I OVERDID IT AS I HAD TO LIMP/JOG THE LAST 2 KMS HOME. DECIDED I’D EARNED A SOLLY’S CINNAMON BUN TO GO W/A VENTI CAPPUCCINO.
SPENT THE REST OF THE A.M. FRANTICALLY CLEANING THE CONDO FOR THE OPEN HOUSE, SCHEDULED FROM 2-4. WHY DO I NEVER REALIZE HOW FILTHY THINGS HAVE GOTTEN? I’VE NEVER SCRUBBED SO HARD, SO FRANTICALLY. FEEL LIKE I SHOULD BE ON A PALMOLIVE COMMERCIAL NOW, SHOWING OFF MY SCRATCHED UP, DRY HANDS. C’MON, MADGE. WHERE’S THAT FRICKIN’ BOWL I NEED TO BE SOAKING MY HANDS IN?
I’M NOW HANGING OUT @ URBAN FARE, NERVOUSLY SIPPING ANOTHER COFFEE WHILE THUMBING THRU DWELL MAGAZINE. SO TEMPTING TO RING MARTY TO FIND OUT HOW THE OPEN’S GOING. I’M SO NERVOUS, I CALLED MADDIE & POSTPONED THE VANCOUVER ART GALLERY DATE UNTIL NEXT WEEK. SHE SOUNDED DISAPPOINTED. IS SHE REALLY THAT KEEN TO SEE AN ANATOMICAL DRAWING EXHIBIT OR IS SHE SORTA INTO ME? ODDS ARE W/THE DRAWINGS.