Ross Murray's Border Report
Ross Murray
is a freelance writer living in Stanstead, Quebec. You can reach him at
Posted 09.30.11
Stanstead, Quebec


Run On

Hmmm... well, this is a self-indulgent rule-breaker -- one sentence and one paragraph, 725 words long. Sorry, readers.

"Have you lost weight?" someone asked me at the Manoir Murder Mystery in Stanstead Friday night, which isn't the type of small talk you expect in polite company, or impolite company for that matter, where the small talk tends to focus on how to use offensive hand gestures to maximum effect, but there it was, an impertinent query about my current specific gravity (which is science, and that's all I know about it) , although it must be noted that at the time I was dressed in an ill-fitting topcoat with tails (if indeed that's what it's called; could be a bottomcoat with swingies for all I know or a midcoat with a demi-tasse lapel and fob pocket dangler), and my hair was greased down with two goos discovered in the bathroom just moments before departure, neither of which was adequately tamping down my untamable hair -- one might even say "vibratious hair" if one were inclined to use such a phrase, and if so, I don't think I'd care for your company -- and my glasses were supposed to convey vintage 1920s, whereas in truth they were embarrassing 1990s, the whole of my costume producing an effect suggesting that there's a fine line between "chiseled cheekbones" and "cadaverous," likewise reminding me that as a freakishly thin man (the title of my autobiography is Hooray for Ectomorphs!, and that's more science, by the way), I should not be accentuating my lean features, just as I should not be eating a full row of Oreo cookies at 10:30 at night, which doesn't sound like the habit of someone purposely trying to lose weight or even someone who could possibly lose weight at all, given the cookies had followed ice cream with chocolate sauce, chicken fingers, onion rings and a Coke -- oh, did I mention the marshmallows? -- which is more or less my typical diet, and not really one that would normally lead to shedding on the kilogramatic scale, unless, of course, I have some kind of parasite, but no, I think not, certainly not, I'm pretty sure not, because I imagine I would know if something was living inside me, although John Hurt had no clue in the movie Alien and then -- "BLAGAHGHH!" -- a reminder to us all that we should seize the day (I think that was the moral of that movie, unless I'm thinking of Dead Poet's Society; I always get those two films confused), an adage that gets harder and harder to live by, especially when there are so many demands on life, so much running around, everyone in such a hurry, like the local couple who came screaming down Park Street in Stanstead Saturday, surprising Townshippers' Day visitors who were anticipating fun-filled friendliness, not unjustifiably angry maniacs barreling at them at high speed, honking their horn and yelling out the window (and I paraphrase, as this is a family newspaper), "Get out of the way, you fungus arsenals!" nearly hitting me and another volunteer in the process and filling me with shame, a feeling that was thankfully supplanted by the good vibe of the day itself and also by the gooey coconut/chocolate-chip morsel I purchased from the charming young bakers from Stage Road -- twice! -- which was pretty much all I ate that day, being so busy, along with the other volunteers who pitched in to make TDay something we could all be proud of, even if I did spend considerable time with my head in garbage cans separating recyclable and compostable waste from the outright trash (an activity, I discovered, that's a terrific conversation starter), just one of those things that's good for your community and good for your heart -- in a metaphorical sense, of course, because I don't think breathing in ketchup-tainted trash is good for anything, let alone my heart, which I think about from time to time, given that it's almost always pumping at quite a click, not that there's anything wrong with that (I think) because exercise gets your heart rate right up there and the more exercise the better, so the faster my heart rate, the stronger my heart (right?) and that's the reason why I've (possibly) lost weight (metabolism! science!), especially with all the recent rushing around and the old ticker a-goin' just a mile a minute, all of which leads me to one conclusion: I really need to cut back on the caffeine.

Ross Murray's collection, You're Not Going to Eat That, Are You?, is available in Quebec in area book stores and through He can be reached at