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 wasnt so long ago I knew them as son Ben and Kim Proctor.
Then, I blinked, and theyd become Mr. and Mrs. Ben Hacking.
It was just last week I was changing diapers. Wasnt it?
And wasnt I just sitting out on a grassy hillside, on a hot summer
evening, watching a young man play little league ball?
Im sure it couldnt be more than a couple of days ago I was
apologizing to young Ben Hacking for not being much help with, The
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.
Theres 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 aint nothin
but a reindeer / Flyin all the time.
After the elopement, the plan was to have a friends and family
belated dinner reception.
Bluffers Park Restaurant was perfect. Sparkly lights, great food,
and its 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
Irvings 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 heres 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 whos 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,
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 doesnt 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 thats what he wanted to say?
(Stage directions: Mr. and Mrs. Hacking are urged to open aging Fathers
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 youre not laughing uncontrollably in 30 seconds, it must
be a really serious fight. (Just remember, its 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 doesnt 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.
Im so very proud of who you both are. Manage your fortune
Ladies and gentlemen, please raise your glasses in honor of Mr.
and Mrs. Benjamin Edward Chase Hacking, two of Canadas newest billionaires!
The only magic missing from a magic evening was the amazing Kathy O.,
plagued by ill health, could not attend. Bens grandmother Kathy
O. may be the main reason were both here today.
Feel better, Grandma. And, while were 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.
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
Taxi News website is www.taxinews.com
with Norm's current monthly column at www.taxinews.com/racetrackhack.html
and usually a few archived issues in .pdf format at www.taxinews.com/archives.html
(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,