Ross Murray's Border Report
Ross Murray
is a freelance writer living in Stanstead, Quebec. You can reach him at
Posted 09.28.16
Stanstead, Quebec


My nude calendar

Earlier this year I ran a successful Kickstarter campaign to help cover the cost of printing the debut novel that I will stop shamelessly referencing sometime in the middle-distant future. The campaign was a success, and the book is now for sale at better tanning salons near you.

In fact, it was so successful that it has inspired me to come up with other innovative fundraising ventures. What am I fundraising for? I'm retelling Eugene O'Neill's Long Day's Journey Into Night using characters from "Happy Days." It's called Misery Loves Chachi.

But I don't have any innovative fundraising ventures, so I've stolen one. Namely, I have decided to emulate the firefighters and the athletes and the writers and the senior citizens and the United Turnip Workers Ch. 64 by producing a tastefully nude calendar.

The hook here is that all the months will feature me –- me like you've never seen me before. Well, most of you. (And, once again, Doris Paxton of Abercorn, I apologize for jumping out of the bushes like that; I thought you were the mailman.)

The calendar will be a celebration of the demise of body shaming in our society. When I was in the dépanneur the other day, the shirtless young man who walked in to buy ham slices, mustard, and two large loaves of bread, certainly he wasn't ashamed of his body. Or carbs.

I too am not ashamed of this collection of angles and lumps that my organs call home. In fact, that's what I'm calling the calendar: Angles and Lumps 2017.

The calendar is still in its planning stages –- mainly crude, stick-figure sketches that nonetheless bear a striking resemblance –- but I can at very least describe to you the various poses.

(Please note that for the sake of propriety and for educational purposes, references to my discreet body parts will be replaced by names of former Canadian prime ministers.)


The Chinese New Year begins January 28, 2017. It's the Year of the Rooster. In other words, the calendar opens up with a fairly obvious visual gag.


I am depicted wrestling the heating oil man as he attempts to deliver to my house. Unpaid Christmas bills scatter onto the snow. Why I am nude in this scenario is not quite clear, but fortunately the positioning of the oil man's hose blocks my Charles Tupper.


Since firefighters pose with their fire gear and rowing teams hold their buoys, I should include some of the tools of the writer's trade. Therefore, March sees me posing provocatively with potato chips.

April To mark National Pet Month, I stretch out on the sofa and place the family dog and all the cats between me and the camera. In the end, there's no nudity to be seen at all. A lint brush will feature prominently.

May Standing at a clothesline with a basket of clothes strategically blocking my Louis St-Laurent, I incredulously hold up one of my daughters' thongs that looks like it could be speedily dried in a salad spinner. I title it "Hung Laundry." Think of a Norman Rockwell painting but with man nipples.


Get your pencils out. It's the Bonus Fun Page! Connect the moles to discover a drawing of a concerned dermatologist!

Two words: Diefenbaker; bacon.


In the tradition of my ham-and-bread-buying friend, August sees me nonchalantly naked at the local dépanneur, holding up other customers as I blithely count out the last Canadian pennies in circulation. I am purchasing, coincidentally, a copy of A Hole in the Ground, my delightful and hilarious debut novel, available wherever people wear clothes. A display of candy bars perfectly blocks my Lester B. Pearson. The brand of candy bar is, of course, Mr. Big.


I'm in the audience of "Ellen" surrounded by women, and they're screaming, screaming, screaming. I'm sitting there with my legs crossed, rolling my eyes, because, seriously, women, you have to quit with the screaming. You're not helping yourself. Would Hillary scream and jump up and down over a L'Oréal Mochaccino Mud Mask? No, she wouldn't. That's what I'm thinking as I'm sitting there nude, because, honestly, ladies, you don't want to look ridiculous.


October is American Cheese Month. I see myself with several semi-soft varieties. I'm also holding a sign that reads, "I once promised to eat a pound of cheese; it was a binding agreement."


It's too complicated to explain here, but does anyone know where I can rent a wolverine?


December is as yet undecided, but I can assure you I will cover John Turner with tinsel.