by Simon Leigh
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Last night was Charlotte’s turn to host
the annual general meeting of our little
arts group. We looked forward to seeing
inside her beautiful Rosedale home, for
they had done well. We briefly admired
her furnishings, then settled round the
mahogany table to get started. I was
halfway through reading the minutes
when a stuffed penguin landed on my

“Oh!” said Charlotte, turning. ”Darling!
We’re having a meeting. This is Dickie,
everyone.” We all said “Hello Dickie” and
he left us—but then he was back with a
truck that tipped itself up, and we had
to watch politely as he showed it around
the table. Then an airplane, at which we
nodded, and, after that, a collection of
stuffed toys, mostly bears. I kept losing
the thread of my presentation, and one
or two members exchanged glances,
struggling to concentrate.

At a crucial part of the meeting, just
coming up to a vote, Dickie reappeared,
this time with a tray of little clay models
he’d made, which he passed around like
hors d’oeuvres. We never really got the
meeting going after that. Charlotte kept
apologizing and asking Dickie, “Do
please let us get on with our meeting,
darling,” but he obviously needed our
full attention, so we adjourned.

We left, saying goodbye to Charlotte in
the doorway, with her husband Dickie
behind her, sadly waving.
A former professional
race car driver,
university professor and
ditch digger,
is the author of
the novel, "Wild Women:
A Memoir With Six Lies"
(UKA Press, 2007). His
play, "Stalker," is
currently in production.
He has penned three
poetry books, including
"The Bleeding Clock." His
poems and stories have
appeared in such
journals as the
Antigonish Review and
the Fiddlehead, as well
as four anthologies.
Originally from
Melbourne, Australia, he
now writes full time in