Wednesday, February 11, 2004

One night recently I was unhappy. I read The Book of Bunny Suicides. And I lived to tell the tale.

My humour is rather nasty. I also really like Callahan. And I liked all the mean Far Side strips, the ones with babies about to suffer some calamity. I also subscribe to the Morbid Read du Jour.

How did I become this morbid? I can't pinpoint the exact moment, except that I have an aversion to the overly popular. Babies are very popular. Children are very popular. Life, as opposed to suicide, is very popular. So I built a natural defense against these things.

The New Kids on the Block were also once very popular. My friend Eve loved them. Every girl in junior high school loved them. Except me. For some reason - and this might be the precise moment in my lifespan to which my anti-popularity affliction dates - I did not find any of the New Kids attractive.

Eve loved Joey (I think). At one point she switched allegiances to Jonathan Knight.*

Eve asked me which of the New Kids I liked. I was too shy to say none of them. If I admitted the truth, the girls would ostracize me. I had to make up something.

Joey, Jordan and Jonathan were too stereotypically pretty for my tastes.

No one liked poor Danny. Including me. I called him Horse Face. Admittedly, it was not nice of me. Danny, if you are reading this, please don't go through life worried how you look. You know you can't please everyone; beauty is in the eye of the beholder; and I'm pretty ugly myself if that makes you feel better.

So I picked Donnie. The rebel.

Once I had a New Kids on the Block crush, I thought I was safe from prying questions. It was cool to be blase about your crush in high school. So everyone thought I was being low-key about loving Donnie: actually I liked the guy in Krull.** It was like Romeo and Juliet. I loved the forbidden outsider.

Two years passed with no one uncovering my ruse.

Then the New Kids announced that their world tour would land in Vancouver. Eve, of course, wanted to go. As her best friend and an alleged New Kids on the Block fan, my obligation was to join her. Tickets cost $60.

Did I maintain my double life - outwardly crushing over Donnie, yet secretly attracted to pucker-faced monsters in B movies? Did I beg my parents for that $60 - the equivalent of ten Depeche Mode tapes?

I suppose in retrospect I am glad that my first concert was not New Kids on the Block. Eve was disappointed that I was not the big fan I pretended to be. She went with three other girls from our school. Older teenage boys drove around the Colosseum making fun of the girls.

Despite everything the conclusion is still, unfortunately, to err on the popular side. Eve went on to get her Master's Degree in Economics, a great job in Texas and an EU passport, I mean a French husband. Me, on the other hand, I just got an assignment to write reviews of bellydancing instructional videos. I can't help thinking that some great cosmic turtle is merely handing me table scraps.

*Sorry. Photos of the New Kids are hard to procure. Their obscurity might be an invitation for me to like them.

**I even had the Krull boardgame. I think I still have the video.

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