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Norm Hacking's Prose
Race Track Hack:
"Kim and Ben"



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Taxi News, August 2006, Vol 22 No 8 p.19
© Norm Hacking 2006

It was some party. (Sorry you couldn't make it.)

July 22, 2006.

They both looked like a million bucks. Make that a billion.

And, after all, it was their night.

It wasn’t so long ago I knew them as son Ben and Kim Proctor.

Then, I blinked, and they’d become Mr. and Mrs. Ben Hacking.

Go figure.

It was just last week I was changing diapers. Wasn’t it?

And wasn’t I just sitting out on a grassy hillside, on a hot summer evening, watching a young man play little league ball?

I’m sure it couldn’t be more than a couple of days ago I was apologizing to young Ben Hacking for not being much help with, “The new math.”

Wasn’t it?

If I close my eyes, a collage of backyard clubhouses, and hockey nets, and cats, and Nintendo games, and teachers, and friends, and fevers, and report cards vividly appear before me...

The “clubhouse” has become a condo, where Mr. and Mrs. Benjamin Hacking have taken up residence as man and wife.

The marriage took place in Las Vegas. What began as a post Christmas getaway, turned into a good old fashioned elopement!

My first question when they arrived back home in Toronto was, “Did Elvis do the ceremony?”

Apparently, the thought had briefly crossed their minds, but when they got there, they found out that Elvis was a lot like Santa Claus.

There’s a whole bunch of Elvises running around doing his good deeds. The real true Elvis works out of a donut shop at the North Pole. If you listen hard you can hear that great voice: “You ain’t nothin’ but a reindeer / Flyin’ all the time.”

After the elopement, the plan was to have a “friends and family” belated dinner reception.

Bluffer’s Park Restaurant was perfect. Sparkly lights, great food, and it’s right on the water. The tobacco dinosaurs (of which I am one) were able to indulge out on a deck, surrounded by cabin cruisers and sailing ships. It was beautiful, and, to the best of my knowledge, there were no fist fights.

That being, at least in part, because Rodney L.T. Coombs’ and Irish Irving’s invitations were lost somewhere in the mails.

As the father of the groom, I delighted in the opportunity to get up and toast the beautiful couple.

Thinking I could deliver my speech without a cheat sheet meant that I ended up leaving out a few pearls of wisdom, but here’s the speech I gave, with a lot of paraphrasing and a few additions.

(Stage directions: Aging father slowly walks to the podium. Glowing couple to his immediate left.)

“Anyone who’s had kids knows that you can say to them ‘white is white’. This is the cue for the child to roll his or her eyes, and mutter under their breaths.

“But, if a strange axe murderer comes to the door, and tells your kid ‘black is white,” they will look at you and smirk, and say, ‘See, Dad!’

“So, I thought if someone else delivered my fatherly advice, it might have more credibility. So...”

(Stage directions: Aging father dons a pair of Groucho glasses: fake plastic nose, glasses, eyebrows and mustache.)


“Norm asked me if I would say a few words for him. Now, let me see, what were they? Oh yeah, I think that's it:

If you find something beautiful
Like a butterfly
Let it fly out the back door
Into the wide blue sky
If it doesn’t come back
It was never yours
If it does come back
You can put it in a jar of formaldehyde, jam a pin through it, and stick it in your collection.”

“I think that’s what he wanted to say?”

(Stage directions: Mr. and Mrs. Hacking are urged to open aging Father’s gift.)

It is two more pair of Groucho glasses, and two cans of spray whipped cream, accompanied by the following suggestion: “Next time you have a fight, (and you will,) I want you to go to your respective corners, don the glasses, and come out spraying!

“If you’re not laughing uncontrollably in 30 seconds, it must be a really serious fight. (Just remember, it’s way more fun making up after a fight, when both parties are covered in whipped cream!)”

(Stage Directions: Aging Father removes Groucho glasses for final words.)

“Kim, in some ways I feel I should apologize to you. In many ways, Ben and I grew up together. We seemed to arrive at the same conclusion: that money doesn’t make you rich...

“Love makes you rich.”

“So take your love and save it, invest it, grow it. Never forget, no amount of money can buy what you have.

“I’m so very proud of who you both are. Manage your fortune wisely.

“Ladies and gentlemen, please raise your glasses in honor of Mr. and Mrs. Benjamin Edward Chase Hacking, two of Canada’s newest billionaires!”

The only magic missing from a magic evening was the amazing Kathy O., plagued by ill health, could not attend. Ben’s grandmother Kathy O. may be the main reason we’re both here today.

Feel better, Grandma. And, while we’re on the subject of this grandparent thing, I will be sending Kim and Ben my rate card for baby sitting.

And believe me, diaper changes are gonna cost you.

P.S. Happy Birthday Kimberly S., H.V., my adopted son Johnny, and all the other slightly eccentric Leos that make life interesting.

Webmaster's Notes:

See the list of Norm's on-line lyrics, poetry and prose, including other "Race Track Hack" columns for Taxi News. Norm has been writing his monthly column since February 1992.

Taxi News website is with Norm's current monthly column at and usually a few archived issues in .pdf format at (check the last few pages of each issue). Taxi News is a monthly publication with news and commentary on Toronto's taxi industry and is available by subscription or free at distribution points.


Added to Norm's website October 6, 2006