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Keith Ross and Brenda by Ken David Stewart


Episode 10:

Brenda asked Keith to take  a seat at the center bar in her kitchen. It was made of marble and had a speckled design of silver and black and had the capacity to seat up to eight people.

As Keith started to lower himself into a stylish, modern chair, Brenda noticed that he was having a difficult time seating himself. She could hear him utter an audible groan.

“Keith, are you in pain?” Brenda asked, her voice registering noticeable concern.

“Yes. Unfortunately, today it is particularly bad. I have my good days and my bad days. Sometimes I have good months and bad months,” Keith answered.

“How long have you suffered like this?”

“For most of my adult life. I think it began in my mid-30s. One day I was performing a weight resistance exercise at the gym, when I felt a horrendous shot of pain in my lower back. From then on, I’ve had nothing but trouble with my lower back. Fortunately, it will sometimes go into remission for two or three months. Just to make the pot a little bit sweeter, I also developed a serious case of fibromyalgia in my forties.”

“Is fibromyalgia what they used to call the ‘yuppie flu’”?

“Actually,chronic fatigue syndrome was usually a condition that earned that unfortunate moniker, but I’m sure that fibromyalgia would also fall under the same umbrella.”

“So how do you cope with the pain?”

“By God’s grace and the compassion of my family doctor, Dr. Rickland who prescribes a daily dose of Tylenol threes and naproxen to treat my chronic pain syndrome.”

“Does it work for the pain?”

“To some extent, but not entirely. It helps to numb the pain enough so that I can continue working on a part-time basis. When my condition really gets bad, I have to take a month to six weeks off work and see my chiropractor on almost a daily basis.”

“Has chiropractic helped?”

“I believe so, but doesn’t stop the pain right away.”

“Have you ever smoked marijuana, Keith?” Brenda asked. Oh, before you answer, I’m going to make some Tim Horton’s coffee and bring out a plate of home baked oatmeal and raisin cookies.”

“Are they big?” Keith asked.

“I haven’t heard any guys complain about the size?”

Keith looked startled for a second and then burst out laughing.

“I was referring to the cookies, but I enjoy them large and firm in both contextual meanings.”

“My God, Keith. You are a funny man. I think we both needed a good laugh.”

“Now back to my original question. Have you ever smoked marijuana?

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Keith Ross Episode Nine by Ken David Stewart


Episode Nine

Keith and Brenda watched as the police car drove away with Tamara. As soon as the car turned a corner and was out of sight, Brenda sighed and looked desperately up at Keith.

“Keith, I need a hug,” Brenda said, as tears starting to run down her face. He hugged her and the two neighbors stayed in a tight embrace for over a minute.

 

When Brenda finally let go of Keith she asked, “Keith, can you come over to my house for coffee and maybe some pie or cookies?”

“I’m not working this afternoon. I’d be glad to come over. I think you need someone to talk to, my dear lady,” he answered.

“You couldn’t be more right about that,” Brenda said while letting out a huge sigh of relief.

Brenda owned a beautiful house in the Norwood Flats area of Winnipeg. She was now the sole owner of Brenda’s Cleaning Service. She had contracts with many major business offices in the city as well as having a solid base of residential clients. Brenda ran a successful janitorial service business that was known for its efficiency, reliability and charging reasonable and affordable prices for services rendered.

Before she set up her own janitorial company, Brenda had been a very successful and respected grade six teacher up until her last teaching assignment. During this time, Brenda was hit with a bombardment of both personal and professional crises. Her father had recently passed away after a long battle with prostate cancer and shortly after, the brother that Brenda felt the closest to was killed in a car accident by an impaired driver. That year the school that she worked at underwent a change of administration. Brenda now had to adjust to two administrators who had both decided that Brenda’s performance as a teacher was now below the minimum standards.

This series of crises, all coming together around the same time period, eventually pushed Brenda over the edge.

Things came to head on the day that one of Brenda’s colleagues found her in the staff shower room trying to hang yourself. A one -month compulsory hospitalization in a psychiatric ward, followed by two years of staying at home collecting long-term disability benefits effectively ended Brenda Cameo’s teaching career.047

The Crayfish Episode Nine by Ken David Stewart


Episode Nine:

Jeffrey Holmes was a voracious reader. He read books from a variety of genres and especially loved reading the old, classic science fiction stories such as The Mysterious Island of Dr. Moreau by H. G. Wells. What Holmes liked best about the book was that it was now conceivable for scientists in the twenty-first century to experiment with human and animal cloning possibly resulting in hybrid species. Jeffrey Holmes thought of H. G. Wells as a prophet of future events.

Mr. Holmes thoroughly enjoyed having Caleb Jacobson as his science lab clean up helper. Not only was Caleb polite and charming, he was also very intellectual for a boy of thirteen. Caleb already possessed the academic interests of a highly educated adult. The young student spent hours at a time doing research on the desktop computer in his room. When Caleb was not educating himself on his PC, he occupied his free time by reading e-books and listening to audiobooks. The young lad shared the same fascination for the old science fiction classics that his grade seven science teacher had.2017-06-19 09.04.03

The Crayfish Episode 8 by Ken David Stewart


Episode Eight Mr. Holmes:

Caleb Jacobson adored his grade seven science teacher, Mr. Holmes. Caleb liked Jeffrey Holmes so much that he volunteered to help his teacher clean up and organize the science lab after school three times per week. Mr. Holmes was old, very old to a thirteen year- old boy. The junior high science teacher was a thin built widower who had suffered from almost unbearable pain from his arthritis and comorbid fibromyalgia for over ten years now. The only thing that made his life bearable now was medical marijuana.

Jeffery Holmes stumbled upon the efficacy of marijuana for pain management by way of his neighbour’s son Jordan, or Jordy as his friends referred to him. Jeff was just returning from a boy’s night out at The St. Vital Hotel. While enjoying shooting the breeze with his friends Jeffrey managed to put away a few brews. Feeling a little happy, Jeff heard a loud party going on in Jordy’s back yard and leaned over the fence to investigate what all the excitement was about. He noticed a young teenage girl wearing only her skimpy, red underwear bouncing on a trampoline. Although she was likely quite impaired she still got to demonstrate her athleticism. The young beauty was somehow able to smoke a cigarette and drink a can of Budweiser while simultaneously bouncing on the trampoline.

Jordy took his eyes off the girl just long enough to see Mr. Holmes appearing to be mesmerized by what he was witnessing.

“She sure is a looker. Now ain’t she Mr. Holmes?”

A somewhat startled Jeffrey Holmes responded by saying, “Now that’s not fair Jordy to ask an old man that. Now, if I was about forty years younger I’d feel more qualified to render my opinion. She sure has great balance. I can say that much. Is that a joint that you have in your hand Jordy?”

“Sure is. You want a hit?”

“I haven’t smoked pot since I was your age. Oh. what the hell. Give the old man a couple of tokes.”

“Way to go Mr. Holmes. Why don’t you take the rest of the joint? Feel free to join the party. My folks won’t be back from their trip until tomorrow evening,” Jordy said.

“Ill tell you what. I’ll gratefully accept your offer of the remainder of the joint, but I’ll have to pass on joining your party. I’m very tired and my fibro and arthritis are killing me. I think I’ll just finish the joint and head to bed.”

“I’ll bet you’ll get a great night’s sleep and will wake up with less pain in the morning. See you tomorrow Mr. Holmes.”

Jeffrey Holmes thanked Jordy and sat down on his back door steps to smoke his joint. He inhaled deeply with each hit off the joint. He remembered the proper technique for getting the maximum results from smoking weed from his youth.

When Mr. Holmes awoke he glanced at his alarm clock and saw that the clock read 11:12 AM. Thank God it was Saturday and he wouldn’t have to go to work. Jeffrey had slept for almost twelve hours! He usually only got four to five hours of unrefreshing sleep because of being woken up several times a night from the pain., Mr. Holmes got out of his bed slowly and carefully but did not experience the jolt of pain that he was used to. He walked towards the bathroom with relative ease. “I don’t believe it. Could this be the result of smoking marijuana before I went to bed?”

Being the scientist that he was, Jeffrey asked Jordy if he could procure some more grass for him. The grade seven science teacher had to find out whether he would get similar results if he were to try the cannabis again. Jordy laughed and said, “I thought you’d like it. Yeah, I can get you some more weed today.”

Mr. Holmes gratefully thanked Jordy and assured his young friend that he would pay him generously for his product and services.weed 1

Episode Eight of The Crayfish by Ken David Stewart


Episode Eight Mr. Holmes:

Caleb Jacobson adored his grade seven science teacher, Mr. Holmes. Caleb liked Jeffrey Holmes so much that he volunteered to help his teacher clean up and organize the science lab after school three times per week. Mr. Holmes was old, very old to a thirteen year- old boy. The junior high science teacher was a thin built widower who had suffered from almost unbearable pain from his arthritis and comorbid fibromyalgia for over ten years now. The only thing that made his life bearable now was medical marijuana.

Jeffery Holmes stumbled upon the efficacy of marijuana for pain management by way of his neighbour’s son Jordan, or Jordy as his friends referred to him. Jeff was just returning from a boy’s night out at The St. Vital Hotel. While enjoying shooting the breeze with his friends Jeffrey managed to put away a few brews. Feeling a little happy, Jeff heard a loud party going on in Jordy’s back yard and leaned over the fence to investigate what all the excitement was about. He noticed a young teenage girl wearing only her skimpy, red underwear bouncing on a trampoline. Although she was likely quite impaired she still got to demonstrate her athleticism. The young beauty was somehow able to smoke a cigarette and drink a can of Budweiser while simultaneously bouncing on the trampoline.

Jordy took his eyes off the girl just long enough to see Mr. Holmes appearing to be mesmerized by what he was witnessing.

“She sure is a looker. Now ain’t she Mr. Holmes?”

A somewhat startled Jeffrey Holmes responded by saying, “Now that’s not fair Jordy to ask an old man that. Now, if I was about forty years younger I’d feel more qualified to render my opinion. She sure has great balance. I can say that much.”

 

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Episode Eight Mr. Holmes:

Caleb Jacobson adored his grade seven science teacher, Mr. Holmes. Caleb liked Jeffrey Holmes so much that he volunteered to help his teacher clean up and organize the science lab after school three times per week. Mr. Holmes was old, very old to a thirteen year- old boy. The junior high science teacher was a thin built widower who had suffered from almost unbearable pain from his arthritis and comorbid fibromyalgia for over ten years now. The only thing that made his life bearable now was medical marijuana.

Jeffery Holmes stumbled upon the efficacy of marijuana for pain management by way of his neighbour’s son Jordan, or Jordy as his friends referred to him. Jeff was just returning from a boy’s night out at The St. Vital Hotel. While enjoying shooting the breeze with his friends Jeffrey managed to put away a few brews. Feeling a little happy, Jeff heard a loud party going on in Jordy’s back yard and leaned over the fence to investigate what all the excitement was about. He noticed a young teenage girl wearing only her skimpy, red underwear bouncing on a trampoline. Although she was likely quite impaired she still got to demonstrate her athleticism. The young beauty was somehow able to smoke a cigarette and drink a can of Budweiser while simultaneously bouncing on the trampoline.

Jordy took his eyes off the girl just long enough to see Mr. Holmes appearing to be mesmerized by what he was witnessing.

“She sure is a looker. Now ain’t she Mr. Holmes?”

A somewhat startled Jeffrey Holmes responded by saying, “Now that’s not fair Jordy to ask an old man that. Now, if I was about forty years younger I’d feel more qualified to render my opinion. She sure has great balance. I can say that much.”

 

 

Episode 7 of Crayfish a Novel by Ken David Stewart


Episode Seven:

Isiah Jacobson had a famous relative known to the world by the moniker of ‘Dr. Feelgood’, a name that the media people of his era had stuck him with. Dr. Feelgood, whose real name was Dr. Max Jacobson, was the great grandfather of Isiah Jacobson. Isiah’s family rarely talked about their famous or infamous relative, contingent upon one’s approval or disdain for the deceased doctor’s controversial medical treatment protocol. Dr. Max soon became known as the ‘doctor of the celebrities’. Following his death it became public knowledge that Max treated an array of famous people including baseball star Mickey Mantle, actress Marilyn Monroe, and President John F. Kennedy.

Dr. Max Jacobson was known for administering to his patients ‘miracle tissue regenerator shots’ that consisted of painkillers, animal hormones, steroids, enzymes, bone marrow, human placenta, and methamphetamine. He refused to reveal the exact details of his medicinal cocktail to anyone. The physician’s ‘miracle tissue regenerator shots’ proved to be extremely addictive and most, if not all, of Dr. Max’s patients became very dependent on their injections and consequently, the doctor himself. This was due to the injection’s exclusivity. The fact was that Dr. Jacobson was the ‘only game in town’ when a patient was seeking his controversial, unorthodox treatment protocol.

The physician of the celebrities was about to suffer a devastating blow to his professional career. The Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs seized Jacobson’s massive supply of amphetamines. Consequently, ‘Dr. Feelgood’s  medical license was revoked on April 25, 1975 by The New York State Board of Regents.

 

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Eulogy for a Dearly Loved Brother by Ken David Stewart


Eulogy for a Dearly Loved Brother (Part Two)

My brother, Allan Duncan Stewart was a very special person. He made giving generously to charity a priority in both his life and his death. Allan is probably the most courageous man I have ever known.

He struggled with a chronic progressive disease known as myotonic dystrophy. Allan also had to live most of his life with a severe visual impairment. He had been declared  legally blind.

Although Allan was by nature a quiet reserved man, he was very appreciative of the visitors he received while residing in St. Boniface Hospital, Concordia Hospital and Deer Lodge Centre.

My brother Neil, my wife Martha, Allan’s wife Cora and my goddaughter Shandy all visited Allan at these medical facilities.

Up until his last week on earth Allan’s oral communication was very good. Allan enjoyed a lively conversation and especially liked to talk about sports. He was an ardent fan of both the Winnipeg Jets and the Winnipeg Blue Bombers. While he was at Deer Lodge Centre Allan liked to watch all the games on television.wd-23