One Fine Evening at The Western Front: An Overdetermined Narrative

An evening of performance by Emily Carr Institute of Art graduates. Hosted by Eric Metcalfe. Robert Dayton’s July Fourth Toilet is missing.

The following text is taken from Front Magazine, vol. VII, no. 5, p. 11, Summer 1996:

The Doctor watched the children’s development patiently, aloof but twitching at their ripeness. Their number was indeterminate. He watched as they grew from pitiful mewling kittens that made you want to stomp on them with their glaucomic blue eyes, into the big strong roaring tigers they are today.

The dinner party had been scheduled far in advance. All the guests are seated. A silence enters the room on cat’s feet. Extravagantly dressed straight couples are clustered around the room. As at most important events, the occasional backstab can be heard, a low thuck audible to an attentive few. A heavy odour of anticipation hangs in the air like stinky mist. A bone-white nose wrinkles, a chartreuse glove rises to shield it – but from what? A rustling is heard. Suddenly, a fun-loving, smalltown boy, wide-eyed yet somehow bitter (an acrid stench, another wince?) stumbles into the palatial grand ballroom, clutching crumpled papers. “Can I be in your performance?” he yells, braking the pretentious silence. A hush falls. “A performance?” asks a husky voice. “This is certainly not a performance.”

The band starts up, giving it their all with an unusual mix of rock, country, pop and other styles. An up-front personage ascends to the podium, face forward all the way. “Hey buddy, what’s up?” he jokes. “But seriously folks, the time has come–hey, what’s that smell?” Those assembled concur, much wrinkling of noses. One nose in particular wrinkles slightly longer than the others: neurotic, a doctor might say. Then, in extreme close-up, from behind the curtain for a split second a “Soft-as-Silk” Violet Protuberance is seen momentarily, then vanishes. “Vavoom, honey! Give me more sexiness!” rings out over the (private/public) assembly. Questions cluster on everyone’s lips, making them remember, hopefully for the last time, the phrase “Language is a virus.”

Over it all, an ice-cold dark blue sky where stars twinkle, so very far away. The Doctor watched it all, noting every detail carefully on a legal pad selected from the cluster at his feet.