Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Well, Paul Quarrington's Dead

Paul Quarrington died last week. I'll tell a short story, and then you can surf to Amazon or Chapters and decide if you want to buy a Quarrington novel. Better yet, why not go to the library and steal one.

I met Quarrington at Harvey's--the burger joint. If I buy a hamburger, it's usually at People's Foods on Dupont. Otherwise I buy ground beef, add some basil, pepper, and garlic salt and fry up four 1/4 pounders. But every few years I hear someone say something about Harvey's, or use the word "charbroiled," and I have to go back to remind myself that Ray Kroc was an evil man.

I'd seen Quarrington's picture in a dozen places, and I'd actually watched him on TV during his King Leary escapades, so I knew that it was Paul. He was arguing with the counter help over onion rings. Apparently he'd bought a medium serving of onion rings (who the hell knows why he didn't go for the large), and he was complaining about the thickness of the onions. The counter help explained that the onion rings were shipped frozen; Paul didn't care. He wanted new thinner onions, or he wanted his money back.

Then he started eating the onion rings. After every ring, he'd say, "Too thick." Eventually he finished the cup. He said, "You made me eat every one. They were all too thick."

The manager said, "I'm sorry, sir."

Quarrington said, "Well, what are you going to do about it?"

And he got his money back. The only thing that he said to me was, "They're good with salt."

So, no, I didn't know Quarrington, but, living in the city, you were bound to see him. From what I've heard he was a decent enough guy, and a good friend of Paul Gross. I don't know if David Marciano liked him.

Another Canadian author goes the way of Hugh Hood. The real question is, Who's next? Considering that Atwood and Munro--like fine plastic--can never die, it's gotta be between Alistair MacLeod and Wayson Choy. I'll give the edge to Wayson.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

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All Posts On This Site Are Intended As Juvenalian Satire. If They Veer Into Horatian Satire, That's OK Too. Just, Please, Don't Take Them Too Seriously. PhD Students Can't Afford Libel Suits. CUPE Doesn't Cover Court Costs.
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