International Festival of Arthurs

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It’s that time again! Since its inception in A.D. 537, the mission of IFOA is to promote interest and enthusiasm in Arthurs on both a local and international level; to showcase the excellence and variety of Arthurian literature; to introduce young readers to the wonders, pleasures and possibilities of an Arthur; to provide Canadian and international Arthurs with an opportunity to meet and to exchange ideas; and to offer programs and events for a wide range of communities and age groups that increase the awareness of all forms of Arthurship.
More details here. Not to be confused with this unfortunate folderol, which despite its name has been proven to be consistently lacking in Arthurs.
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Could you dispel my theological doubts?

Blue-Balling
A round of the “blueballing” game by JA, L, PP; the game is played going around in a circle. One artist begins drawing, the next waits until it appears they are about to finish a crucial detail. Instructing them to stop, they resume the unfinished drawing by developing or completing whatever the last artist started according to an entirely different vision of what it could have been. The game proceeds from artist to artist according to such interruptions until they consider it complete.

Secret Neighbourhoods

Fable St

It’s a well known but little understood phenomenon: the necrotopophilia of neighbourhoods. It’s no surprise that the dynamics of capital must necessarily make for a merry-go-round of median incomes, suburban havens, shopping areas, gated communities, student ghettos, real ghettos, and run-down poor or ex-fashionable districts. But this still does not account for the contingencies and weird overlaps between these different functions. On top of the well known places, how do we account for the disorientated conglomerations of the self-guided stranger? The passional accumulation of a few street names and discarded objects? And what will account for the fourth dimension of urbanism, where zones form in poetic or highly subjective instances, temporarily, and with no purpose?

There are some neighbourhoods in Ottawa that nobody has heard about…

Secret Hoods
Carbunkle Alley

Where is it located?  

Located contiguous to Merivale and Herongate, somehow, with an enclave in 19th Century Budapest.

Who lives there? 

Locals are sometimes referred to as “the high-rise rednecks” due to the concentration of displaced rural peoples. Other prominent groups include muslim grannies, black kids who speak only French, and millennial roommates who settled for less.

What is it known for?

The area is notable for several grotesque buildings in a corperate-brutalist style decried by locals as “Minecraft spaghetti.” Also, fancy neon trash can art installations implemented ten years ago in a failed anti-litter campaign. There is also one tree.

The Gnarls

Where is it located?

A bush along the eastern edge of King Edward and Murray

Who lives there?

Ants, a bandaid colony, an occasional passed out teenager’s left foot, a self-motive skateboard.

What is it known for?

A perfect mix of culture and night life, The Gnarls boasts seven museums, fourteen pubs and three music venues within one square meter. The vast majority of these institutions are made out of recycled or thrown-out materials. In fact, this is why The Gnarls is often mistaken for a pile of garbage in a bramble. Among these sights are the famous Wet Biscuit art installation (a literal wet cookie) as well as an old Halloween mask that has a mushroom growing out of its eye. Looking for a place to relax after a long day? Then try the puddle with three grey stones in it.

Amuse Pews

Where is it located? 

Tucked away in an otherwise gloomy, nasty, grey, unscrupulous Thatcherite Britain.¹

Who lives there? 

Spirits, souls and friendly “strangers,” some of whom wear their top hats.

What is it known for?

The spirit of humour, entertainment and goodwill that animates those who live there and pass through it. In an austere and cold Britain, the Pews are filled with resistance and solidarity built through laughter and play. The Pews are a sanctuary for the soul.

(Played by JA, L, DA)

¹ We are suggesting as a sort of conduit to this area, otherwise displaced in space and time, Thatcher Street off of Meadowlands in Nepean – a cramped little corridor of suburban dreariness.

Addendum: 5 days after this was first posted, and unaware of it, AC coincidentally reports a lucid dream in which she is taking an Uber home through a totally unknown and very different part of Ottawa. It is filled with strange neon signs and ethnic restaurants. She frantically takes pictures of them.

Recent Patents

Our research  and development team has recently been taking out patents on some intellectual property. However, due to an unfortunate personal enmity the team members refused to speak to each other during the design and marketing processes. While one designed an object, cursing under their breath, the other worked independently on the concept, title and marketing at the other end of the room…

The Epigenetic Horseshoe (sold in BULK as GeneClaws™)

 

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The Surgical-Ironing Simple-Scope (miniature edition for her)

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Dr. Zhen’s Remedial Sculpture and Included Housefly-Warding Shock Wand

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The Ecstatic Introversion Eroder for Undulating Introverted Eels

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The Assault Frame Anterior Penile Plethysmographer with Built-In Castration Whisks

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The Bold Oyster Game

“He was a bold man that first ate an oyster.”

Jonathan Swift

Discussion ranged around oysters and their favourable, chimerical qualities, not the least of which was their reproductive lifecycle, in which “an oyster is either male or female; but in some cases, both male and female sex organs are present. Interestingly, they can change sex during their lifetime from one to the other and possibly back again.” At some point in the discussion L threw out Jonathan Swift’s very admirable aphorism, as quoted above. The formulation seemed expandable. We thought we could pay homage to all the bold and anonymous gourmands in history who experimented with similar acts of unforeseen courage. The following game was devised, in which the nouns and action verb in Swift’s saying were individually replaced, one player at a time, with the substitutions hidden until the very end. The results, we think, enumerate the unsung heroes of the world, inordinately superior to the list of careerists commonly rolled out for Nobel prizes and the like.

He was a bold curriculumist / who first loved / a German dictionary.

She was a bold trapeze artist / who first shot blanks at / a fire-hydrant.

She was a bold ladyboy / who first blew / a beetle.

Hearsay / was a bold turkey / who first repaired / a bee’s nest.

They were a bold bunch of socks / that first knitted / a gramophone recording of Wagner.

They the ones with no motive were bold cacti / who first punched / a Cold-War era steamship.

She was a bold spinster / who first cooked up / an alien collective of squirrels.

It was a bold book / that first quilted / a Platypus.

They were bold cobblers / that first sent into the Sun / a caterpillar.

Bold Man - Copy

(Played by L, JA, PP on July 18th 2017. Drawing by L.)