Day Ten

Ted's Thirty Day Awakening

Alexa had been playing CBC Radio One out of , for close to three hours this morning before Ted woke up. It seems six sleeping pills had resulted in twenty hours of uninterrupted slumber. Something he sorely needed.

The feeling of regret that typically overtakes Ted after wasting a day was nowhere to be found. In fact, he had not felt this good in months. Too bad taking pills and sleeping twenty hours a day was not a viable lifestyle choice. Ted so missed this feeling. The belief that anything was possible and that the world was not conspiring against him. Suddenly he was twenty-two, full of dreams, with an unlimited future.

The conversation on the radio interrupted Ted’s train of thought. “Gummy bears.” Did he hear that right? Were they saying that the number one edible in the US is ? Cannabis infused gummy bears? At least they were discussing how Canada needs to address these issues before they make recreational marijuana legal later this year.

As the hour, as well as the conversation on the radio, changed, Ted got up to get some breakfast. But while in that middle ground where you’re no longer sitting but are not quite erect enough to start walking, he froze. Did he hear that right? Were they going to discuss ? Ted set back down.

First gummy bears and now peacocks. This diversity of topics, having his mind pulled off on tangents—unexpectedly—this was why Ted loved radio so much. That and the ability to fill in the visuals (one of Ted’s many quirks was how he often watched TV with the screen turned off). Listening to the radio, reading books, this was Ted’s bliss, and he loved how they relied on his imagination to add in the details.

“There has been a 75% increase in support animal accompanying passengers on flights over the past few years,” one of the voices on the radio stated. “Some airlines list monkeys, miniature horses and miniature pigs as approved support animals.” As the recent attempt of a lady to bring a peacock with her onboard a plane was being discussed. With one of the voices going out of their way not to question the peacock’s ability to lend emotional support to the traveler, all Ted could think about was how loud a peacock’s call could be. He imagined how irritating a few hours trapped with a screaming peacock would be. Wondering which would win out: locking the peacock in one of the lavatories or pouring some vodka down its throat. Thoughts of what havoc a monkey or a miniature pig might cause led Ted to imagine an airline that catered to passengers with emotional support animals. “Want to fly with your snake, monkey, or goat? No problem here at ,…If you can get it through the door, we’ll get it in the air.”

“That’s it,” Ted said with the excitement of a five-year-old on Christmas morning. “That’s the magic. That’s what I have lost. That’s why I am stuck.”
Ted rushed to his office and turned on his computer (forgetting it didn’t work). In fact, it wasn’t until he started typing that Ted recalled how the computer would not even turn on yesterday. Oh well, for some reason it’s working now and now is all that matters.
A short time later, Ted’s imagination had given birth to a story in which he would never mention anyone’s name, gender, age, or race. He would leave all of that to the reader’s imagination.

While swirling, swishing, swooshing the wine in my mouth (I forgot which phrase the sommelier had used) I was wracking my brain trying to decipher its flavor.

“Try coating your mouth with a larger sip of wine followed by several smaller sips so that you can isolate and pick out flavors. Focus on one flavor at a time,” the sommelier said. “Allow your tongue to touch the wine and perceive its texture.”

Swirl, swish, touch, seemed like a lot of work. Plus, it reminded me of using mouthwash, not enjoying a beverage.

“It has the flavor of dark plum,” the judge to my right said. The previous judge had claimed it tasted like “roasted mulberry.” What does roasted mulberry even taste like? Has anyone ever eaten roasted mulberry? Have you? How did those judges come up with such bizarre flavors?

When the judge next to me added, “it’s a little zippy,” I was sure a wine flavors guide had been handed out prior to my arrival. No one would come up with such terms on their own.

“And what did you taste?” the sommelier asked, with a slight nod of the head. The nod people make when they are expecting a brilliant reply to their question.

“It reminded me of a spring morning and the light mist from an unspoiled waterfall.” The sommelier leaned in yearning for more. “With just a hint of unicorn piss.” The sommelier took a step back, while the other judges did their best to look offended, but I know I saw hints of smiles on a sizeable portion of the over-dressed, much too proper, individuals sitting at the tables in front of us.

The judges and the sommelier thought “waterfall mist” was unique and wine worthy, but the unicorn piss, that was too much. Besides, who knows what unicorn piss tastes like? (same question I had concerning roasted mulberry). Not sure how to respond, the sommelier turned to the judge on my left, and quickly asked, “And what did you taste?”

“A jammy mulberry like flavor,” the judge replied. The sommelier exhaled with relief; we were back to proper wine terms.
But, looking out at the audience, I got a sense that they were hoping for something more along the lines of unicorn piss or maybe even elephant sweat. They had had more than their fill of dark plum and roasted mulberry.

I am confident that once the judging was over the sommelier was on the phone asking the event’s backer where they had found me and why on earth had they had allowed me to be a judge at this prestigious event? To answer that question, I need to take you back ten years and explain how a private island, a billionaire, and a message in a bottle changed my life. Oh, and before I forget, someone posted a video of my “unicorn piss” comment online, and within just a few hours it had received over two million views.

If you would like to learn how I got to be a judge at this well-respected event and what the message was that was in the bottle, and be entertained by some of the other games I have had the pleasure of attending over the years, fill out and submit the form below and I will be in touch. And for the record, that wine did taste like unicorn piss!

“That should grab someone’s attention,” Ted thought, rather pleased with what he had just created. Ted quickly threw together a landing page promising himself that by Thursday he would have this introduction up and see how many people sign up to read more.

And with that Ted asked, “Alexa, please play the album ‘No Second Chance’ by Charlie” and started frying some bacon—Canadian bacon.

<== Day Nine   |   Day Eleven ==>

Ted’s Thirty Day Awakening is Serialized Storytelling with frequent updates. Each update is being written the same day it gets posted. There is no telling how the story will turn out. In fact, no one knows what Ted will be doing tomorrow, let alone thirty days from now. Clicking on any is like opening up Ted’s diary or having the ability to read his thoughts. Here you will uncover more personal notes from Ted concerning his story.

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