Categories
Callaghan, Morley

A Wedding Dress

So sport seems to be in the air these days. There’s something going on tonight involving hundreds of pounds of helmets and costumery, complete with grandiose spectacle and and pretend warriors, and I’m told this has nothing to do with Wagner. We’ll see. And the Internet tells me the Olympics are coming up soon, though I thought we just finished with one of them? And let us not forget a tiny little event called the World Cup…

So sport seems to be in the air these days. There’s something going on tonight involving hundreds of pounds of helmets and costumery, complete with grandiose spectacle and and pretend warriors, and I’m told this has nothing to do with Wagner. We’ll see. And the Internet tells me the Olympics are coming up soon, though I thought we just finished with one of them? And let us not forget a tiny little event called the World Cup…

But all this reminded me of Morley Callghan, the Canadian spitfiring writer who regularly and famously boxed with Hemingway with Fitzgerald in the French Judge role of timekeeper. And if you don’t know about this landmark event in literary history, and you want to, you might benefit from clicking that link up there to a CBC profile, because I won’t repeat it all here.

And then that got me thinking: I’m not much for violent athletics, of course, but what if my colleagues in the land of literary podcasting got together for some friendly sporting matches? Could I beat the beloved Mister Ron in a tennis tournament? Who would win if I took to water polo with the Librivoxers? With Kaseumin, I don’t know, I envision a heated round of beach volleyball, because really: have you ever seen those women?! And eighty years from now, who knows, maybe they’d still be talking about the legacy born of the frenetic bobsledding competition between me and Scoot. That’s right, I am, as they say, ready to rumble.

Just go easy on me.

Play

By miette

Miette has been podcasting the best of world literature's short fiction since March 2005, when she was just a pup.

5 replies on “A Wedding Dress”

baseball would be the thing. callaghan was a good young pitcher, semi-pro; but one summer he got a job in a lumber yard. one of the funny things about being a good pitcher is, if you start messing with your arm muscles (say by lifting lots of timber & getting bigger & stronger) it can mess up your pitching. so his coach said, either you quit your lumber job – or you’re off the team. so he quit, and saw an ad for a job at a newspaper – toronto star i believe. they told him no. then passed one of those unlikely –probably untrue – sorts of things: young morley tells grizzly old, hard-drinkin hard-talkin editor: hire me for a week for free and if it doesn’t work out you can kick me out on my arse, and you won’t be out of pocket. grizzly editor chews cigar a moment, then throws pencil & pad at your scribe & says, get over to the court house, shouldda been there 20 minutes ago. At the star, Callaghan meets Earnest Hemingway, who wrote for them for a while, who reads a Callaghan short story, and says: you’re not bad kid, keep writing. later when Hemingway was in Paris, Callaghan visits, and Hemingway says: you know, you shouldn’t write about boxing unless you know something about it. then the rest happens.

did you watch the little movie on the CBC site? says an old grey callaghan, in perfect crochetiness: “I want to be remembered for some story I wrote, not for this piece of ridiculous nonsense…”

though i bet you he’s pretty happy to have knocked papa out!

Yes, well, here he can be remembered for both, eh? Thanks for the additional enumeration– the educational element is sometimes achingly missing from these little trinkets. Between friends, I’d take my bourbon with him over Ernest most days.

“you shouldn’t write about boxing unless you know something about it…” Well, fellas, polo and bobsled, or baseball if that’s your yen…

oh one other morley tidbit – when he was in his eighties, a burgler broke into his house. He knocked out the robber with one punch.

and yes, indeed he can be remembered for many things!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *