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LuckyGirl victorious following bitter 4-hour smackdown at Toronto’s AGO Member Room

LuckyGirl, seeking productive workspace for next month’s NaMoWriMo, arrived at Toronto’s AGO at exactly 11:00 this morning.  Having made her way thru the subway and streetcar system, she approached her destination with what can only be described as grit and determination.  There was writing to be done this day and, dammit, she was going to do that writing at the AGO.

Hold on, hold on there, Jim.  Let’s take just a minute and give some quick back-story for those who’ve just tuned in, just joined us.

LuckyGirl bought an AGO membership about a month ago, is that right?

That’s right, Jim.  She overcame a life-long dislike of memberships just 6 weeks ago.  She surprised a lot of us that day, maybe surprised herself!, and walked right into the AGO, to the membership desk really, where she produced a blue credit card and bought that membership outright.

A blue credit card, Bill?  Was that a MasterCard?  A Visa?

Jim, there’s been a lot of speculation about the exact type of credit card she used.  Entertainment Tonight did a 4-part investigative report on that very issue.

And what did they find, Bill?  Was it Visa?

Jim, it was MasterCard.  MasterCard with one of those identity chips in it.

Really!  I’ve got to say, Bill, that I’m surprised to hear it.  In the lead-up to that day’s buy, my  sources were sure it was going to be American Express.

(Laughter)

Well, Jim, at the end of the day we do know that it was MasterCard and we know the full amount of that membership was indeed charged to LuckyGirl’s personal account.

Her personal account, Bill?  How much was it?

Entertainment Tonight said this kind of membership can run as high as $100.

That’s not chump-change, Bill.  She must have been serious about this, am I right?

Right as rain, Jim, right as rain.  She showed a real commitment that day.  Lots of skin in the game, you might say.

$100 worth of skin!

And that’s a lotta skin!

Especially when you think that she’s already visited a lot of museums, Bill.

Some of the greatest in the world.

So why would she join a Canadian museum, Bill?  And, even if she’s got no choice other than Canadian museums, why the AGO?  It’s got a lot of people mystified right now, doesn’t it?

It sure does.  But LuckyGirl, as we all know by now, is one very unpredictable contender.  Remember when she bought that gym membership in Morristown, New Jersey?

(Laughter)

Bet she’d like to forget that one!

(Laughter)

But she’s really perservered here, JIm.  We’re seeing a real resurgence of that LuckyGirl fighting spirit in Toronto.

I’ve got to agree with you there, Bill.  Not many people would have the tenacity — i’ve got to call it tenacity, Bill — to stick out this whole Canada thing.

We’re getting a real look at LuckyGirl’s heart, Jim.  She’s shown us an awful lot of heart.

Very very true.

And she’s really really trying to enjoy the AGO, isn’t she, Jim?

Bill, she’s trying like hell.

Tell us about today’s visit to the AGO.

Well, we think someone must have mentioned to her that there is a Member’s Lounge at the AGO.  Probably someone she encountered during that painting class she’s got on Monday mornings.  Chagall, is it?  I’m not too sure what that’s all about.

None of us is sure about that one, Jim.

(Laughter)

It’s that fighting spirit, Bill.  She gets knocked down, sure, but she is never ever out!

Got that right, Jim.  A real fighter.  Tenacious.

Tenacious?

Tenacious.

I’m hearing tenacious.

(Laughter)

Back to the AGO, Bill.  You think there was a definite plan of attack today?  A strategy.

Absolutely, Jim.  We saw it the minute she stepped out of the apartment.

Yeah?

Yeah.  She was wearing all black.  Black hat, gloves, stockings and black suede shoes with some kind of fierce tooth-like tread on them.

Really.

Yeah.  And she’d done the eyebrows very dark and angular.  A red mouth, too.

Sounds very Betty Paige, Jim.

Very Bettie Paige indeed!  Very Bettie Paige — a good catch, Bill.

Well, we know she likes the style, Jim.  After all, she did buy that lithograph.  The one with the titties ….

Yeah.  I know the one you’re talking about.  Caused a lot of controvery back in the day.  It was in the 1990s, wasn’t it Bill?

It sure was, Jim.  Rochester, New York.

Boy, that was a tough one in Rochester, wasn’t it BIll?

Words can’t describe it, Jim.  She took that really hard.

But she had one hell of a comeback, didn’t she?

Sure did!  Wow, that was a great one.  Fought her way out of that and climbed right back on top.

She’s one tough fighter.

One tough fighter.

(Long pause)

Back to the AGO, Bill.  Tell us about the AGO and what went down in the Members’ Lounge.

Well, we were saying, JIm, she came out of nowhere today.

In that leopard-patterned raincoat, too.

That’s right.  We talked about all the black she was wearing but we didn’t mention the most important part of that — her leopard-patterned trenchcoat!

It’s a winner, Bill.

It’s a winner and, Jim, she was rocking that winner when she pushed through those revolving doors and into the AGO this morning.

Did she go directly to the Members’ Lounge?

That was clearly her intention.  Her first stop was at the Information Desk where she asked for directions to the Membership Lounge.

Interesting.

Very.  And she walked straight back to the place.  Straight back.  Almost got side-tracked by those modernist Propaganda Posters from the USSR, of course.

Well, we know about her deep interest in that stuff, Jim.

We do, Bill.  We sure do.

But she went to the Lounge, you’re saying?

Straight to the Lounge.  They got WiFi there, Bill.  So she can do the writing and do the upload to the website.  It’s a win-win for her.

She’s gotta like that, Jim.

Well, BIll, you gotta remember that free WiFi is still a big deal up in Canada.  It’s not like the States.  Up in Canada, in Toronto at least, most of the population has to rely on Starbucks and Macdonalds for their free WiFi.

Unbelievable, Jim.  Unbelievable.  Does that mean they have to buy the god-awful coffee that Starbucks serves?

It does, Bill.  But, without that free WiFi, someone like LuckyGirl is looking at huge cellphone charges.  A simple upload of blog text can cost a fortune.  You want to upload some photos to accompany that text and you’re talking big, big money.

That’s what I’ve heard, Jim.

Now, she did get into the Members’ Lounge, Bill.  The place was empty so she was able to get one of the leather chairs near a window.  No adjacent electricity for the MacBook Air, of course, but you can’t have everything.

Not in Canada, Jim.

(Laughter)

And it was going great for about 20 minutes.  She was all set-up and writing like crazy for a good 20 minutes.

But something happened?  What happened, Jim?

Lunch happened, Bill.  It was the lunch.

Really.

Turns out they’ve got some kind of cafe in that Members Lounge, Bill.  Asian salad.  Stuff like that.

Really.  Did LuckyGirl know about this?

I’m not sure, Bill.  But even if she did know about it in advance, chances are she’d have gone into the Lounge anyway.  She doesn’t mind working in a cafe, you know.  She does that all the time.  She even seems to like it, to tell you the truth.

But this was different?  You’re saying that today in the Members’ Lounge was different?

Very different, Bill.  A whole world of difference.

Tell us about it.

Well, the AGO promotes itself has a hipster kind of place ….

A Canadian hipster kind of place?

(Laughter)

It’s a museum of modern art, Bill.  Modern art.  That’s what they’ve got in there.  It’s modern art and modern art is even part of the museum’s name.

It is?  I thought it was the AGO.  That’s just Art Gallery of Ontario, isn’t it?  Hell, that could mean just about anything.

Well, you’ve got a point there.  But the locals, Bill, the locals are very committed to that museum.  Provocative architecture and all that, you know.  They got Frank Gehry to design that building.

Of course they did.

Did you know he was Canadian?

Didn’t know that one.

Well, he’s Canadian.  When you’re up here, you find out that all kinds of important people are actually Canadian.  People you’d never dream are Canadian.

I hear Mary Pickford was Canadian.

That’s what they tell me.

(Laughter)

So it’s lunchtime at the AGO.  LuckyGirl’s working, really getting into a groove and then what happens?j

Well, turns out the AGO lunch crowd has a median age of about 80.

Okay, 80.  What’s the big deal about that?

Well, keep in mind this is Canada, Bill.  That means LuckyGirl is pushed right up against a whole roomful of Eva Gabor Frosted Beauty Wigs.

But she’s a big fan of that goofy stuff, Jim.  She loves it.

Well, she doesn’t love the smell of it, Bill, I can tell you that.

The smell?  Those Eva Gabor wigs have an aroma?  What is it?  A scratch-and-sniff sort of thing?

Turns out it’s not the actual wigs themselves, Bill.  At least we don’t think it’s the wigs.

Then what is it?  What is the smell?

It’s a perfume, Bill.  It’s Old Lady Perfume.  Lots of it.  More than you can possibly imagine.

And this is bad?

It is god-awful, Bill.  Like nothing you’ve ever experienced in your entire life.

No kidding.

Those poor bastards who got gassed in the trenches during WW1?  This is the kind of stuff the Germans were throwing at them.

Rough stuff, Jim.

Rougher than rough, Bill.  We’re talking tears running down your face, Bill.  Lungs were collapsing.  It’s the kind of stuff the British threw onto the Germans.  Hitler caught a lungful of it during the war and it turned him into a Nazi.

And we all know where that ended up.

We sure do.  We had to fight an entire war to get that thing set straight.  An entire war, Bill.  That’s World War Two I’m talking about.

All because one guy gets some bad air.

It’s not bad air, Bill!  You’ve got to understand, it’s not air at all.  This Old Lady Perfume is a completely different animal!  It’s viscious!  It’ll rip you to pieces!

Did it rip LuckyGirl to pieces?

It did its best to do exactly that.   And I gotta say, LuckyGirl was at a disadvantage.  Had her back to the door of the Lounge so she didn’t see them all coming in.  One minute she’s alone and the next minute she’s completely surrounded by Old Ladies.   The perfume was so thick we actually lost sight of her for a couple minutes until the boys in the Control Room remembered we had that heat-sensitive camera left over from the war in Iraq.

But what about LuckyGirl, Jim?

Bill, she was incredible.  Stuck it out and kept right on writing.

No kidding.

There was no stopping her, Bill.  She coughing like mad, I’ve never seen anything like it.  At one point we thought she’d coughed up part of a lung!  But she would not turn away from the keybooard!  She said she’d hit 2,000 words today and, dammit, she would not be stopped!

Unbelievable, Jim.

None of us could believe it, Bill.  We’ll probably never see another performance like LuckyGirl’s.

Not in our lifetimes, Jim.

Not in anyone’s lifetime, Bill.  LuckyGirl managed to reach deep, deep down inside herself and find the kind of strength we all hope we have, the stuff that built this nation, for crying out loud!!  And she used that strength to claw her way through that Old Lady Perfume.  When the fog, the miasma!, finally lifted after 4 hours, I couldn’t beleive it!  She was still there!  And working!

Remarkable, Jim.  A real inspiration.

Proof of what the human spirit can endure, Bill.  It’s a beacon of light for us all.

It is indeed.  Thanks, Bill.  And we’ll be back in just a minute with a some insights on the whole situation from Charles Krauthammer…..

2,065 words ftw!!

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