About 20 years ago now, give or take, I was working as a cook in a so-so Italian restaurant in the Byward Market. One evening after work, a bunch of us cooks and servers alike, headed out for a few drinks at the grand old music venue Zaphod’s. We were having a few drinks, having a good time, when I spied one of the ladies I worked with and made a Terrible (capitol T) decision.
I decided, in my lackwit brain, that it would be a pretty ‘cool’ thing if I just hauled off and slapped her on the behind. I’d seen guys do that in movies, and they were usually the ‘cool’ guys, right? So I did it. I slapped her behind. She glared at me, but idiot me still did not get the message. I drank a bit more, a few minutes passed…and I DID IT AGAIN!!! Same hand (mine), same behind (hers), same utter lack of thought process worth a damn. I was being the ‘bad boy’, I thought, just ‘one of the guys’, like us men are supposed to be. I had, it can be told, learned some stupid, stupid lessons in my life up to that point.
Also at this point, the lady in question, who had now been assaulted twice by self-appointed ‘good guy’ me, turned to me and (oh thank christ she was a smart, and strong and fierce individual) looked me right in my beady eyes and said, plain and unmistakeable, ‘Kevin, you know that’s not okay’.
I apologized. I felt like shit. I realized I had done very, very wrong and, to this day, I still feel like garbage any time I think of this memory. I learned a much wiser lesson that day, and I hope I’ve lived by it ever since. I apologize again to the lady in question, who should never have had to be my teacher that night. And yes, I mentioned I had been drinking, but just for scene-setting purposes. Being drunk ain’t an excuse for anything but a hangover, and anyone who tells you otherwise is trying to get away with something. I was a piece of crap that night, no excuses or caveats. I hope to heck I’ve been a much better person since, and have tried to be.
Why this sudden urge to vent my sins on this practically defunct chunk of blog? Because it is horrifyingly apparent, day in and day out in this world, that SO many of my fellow ‘men’ have similar if not worse mistakes in their past, but chose not to learn the obvious lesson that presented itself. The incredibly simple lesson is ‘don’t sexually assault women (or anyone)’ and yeah, the assaulter on my wee mind today is Albert Schultz of Toronto’s Pepper Theatre (formerly Soulpepper…they get the ‘Soul’ back when this creep is excommunicated forever and ever).
The creep in question, who I’m sure would be considered a very fine individual by Donald Trump, has been publically accused by multiple women of being a serial sexual assaulter. He has vowed to fight the allegations vehemently, and just FUCK OFF already. I don’t know his excuses or caveats and no one should care. Scumbags like him make my beloved and joyous Theatre a scary place, a dangerous place for so many of its practitioners, a place they don’t feel welcome instead of the wonderful thing it should be…a goddamn STAGE. Open to all, creative and inviting. I hate that these thugs are everywhere, infesting every cranny of this entity Theatre that has meant to much to my life, sickening it from within. I’m an admittedly small potato in the Canadian Theatrical stew, scarcely a homefry, so maybe there ain’t a heullva lot I can do to help. All I can do, at the moment, is continue to abide by the terrible lesson I learned long ago, and start calling out the others, when I can, however I can, maybe just like this, who I see ignoring those same lessons.
And Patricia, Kristin, Diana, Hannah…I don’t know any of you either, and you don’t know me, but of COURSE I believe you. Anyone who doesn’t is the enemy. Anyone who doesn’t still hasn’t learned their lesson. Maybe they don’t want to, I can’t say. I can only add mine to the chorus of voices shouting for Pepper Theatre (no kidding, you don’t get it back yet) to do the glaringly obviously right thing and use this terrible moment to learn a lesson yourselves, and make a change for the better. Make your Theatre a Theatre again. A stage, not a trap.
And just once again, for the record..FUCK Albert Schultz. Fuck that guy hard.
Peace, love and soul,
So this is how this blog makes a comeback, huh? Sheesh. Dramatic much. Next time, comic book movie talk!