Friday, April 22, 2005

For the past few days I have been in our quarterly sales meetings downtown, after having been confined to Yaletown for months. This gave me the chance to go to Caffe Artigiano on my way to the conference from the bus stop. Their coffee is better than any caffe brew I have tasted. And when I forgot my sunglasses there after having a coffee this afternnon, they actually had them set aside and were waiting for me to call when I didl.

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

The death of Pope John Paul II caused millions of Catholics (and some non-Catholics) to examine the role of faith in their lives. Of these millions, many are like myself, those who describe themselves as "raised Catholic", who are now pondering the effects of years of Catholic school and weekly indoctrination to the faith.

While in high school, I was exposed to massive amounts of propaganda concerning euthanasia, contraception and abortion. Most of this came in grade 10 at the hands of a man named Father Brennan.

Father Rob, as he liked to be called, took itupon himself to show our class a video-taped abortion procedure, and graphic photos of fetus-filled garbage cans. The video was below B-movie horror quality and the photos were laughably phony. As if hospitals have garbage cans filled with fetuses that look just like babies.

We called him 1-800-Brennan, because every week he had some story about a girl who was killed in a motorcycle wreck, or some abused girl who slashed her wrists; whatever the situation, Father Rob was always the first call the grief-stricken parents made, sometimes even before calling for the ambulance.

His best story ever was about his time in the Philippines. He was living in some tiny village, and his church was in another village about 15 minutes away by foot. One morning, Brennan found that the usual route between the two villages had been overrun with poison-spitting frogs, forcing 1-800-Brennan to take a lengthy detour and causing him to be late for saying Mass. Good thing too, because when he got to the church, he had just missed Marcos' death squads, which had slaughtered his parishioners.

Telling us this story was his way of saying don't fuck with me.