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Hanging with Terrie


There are those times when everything just aligns and you know that the universe is looking down at you with a smile. And then there are times like today when you are convinced that you had broken every mirror in your path while walking under ladders with a black cat in your way.

The day started off good enough. That is, I woke up in my own bed without a hangover. I got up and made it work with a few minutes to spare and didn't spill any coffee on myself in the process. And then my phone rang. If I hadn't picked it up I would be sipping a drink at the bar right now but no I just had to answer the damn thing.

So now I am sitting on a chair with my hands cuffed and ready to be carted off to a cell. Any chance I will wake up on a movie set with a director shouting cut? No, I didn't think so either.

My friend, and I use that term lightly, Terri Eddies, is the kind of woman that attracts trouble. And if you make the mistake of hanging out with her that means you get to have the joy of going along for the ride. It's a mistake that I have made since the first day of kindergarten when instead of laying down at nap time like good little girls we got locked in the janitor's room overnight.

How did that happen you ask? Well, sweet Terri had told me she saw a real unicorn in the hall at lunch and I said we should find it.

Give me a break, I was five and thought unicorns were the ultimate Hello Pony experience.

Anyway, we made a pact to fake sleep and then tiptoe out when the teacher wasn't looking. And it worked! So we were running down the hallways in search of Mr. Unicorn when we heard our teacher calling our names and she didn't sound happy. So like any kid about to be caught red-handed, we did the logical thing, slipped into the first door that we could and hid. We were very good at it. So good that when the principle popped his head into the room he couldn't find us. The door was locked behind him and we sat in the dark for at least an hour before finding the light switch.

Long story short the school went on lockdown and a huge search party spent the night combing the area around the school. The next morning everyone was in tears thinking about the two little lost girls.

We, however, were giggling like little clowns. During the night we had found the janitor's brownie hiding spot. It was the best brownie we had ever eaten.

The next morning when the janitor unlocked the room, he saw us sitting them with huge smiles on our faces and chocolate crumbs all around. He cleaned us up and asked us not to tell anyone about the brownie before letting everyone know we were alright.

We kept the secret, of course.

Even today when I hear someone talking about brownies, I think back to that day and laugh out loud. Terrie always claims it was me that found the brownie. It may be true, I have a nose for sweets. Like a bloodhound, I will find a lost piece of chocolate in seconds. It's a gift.

But the brownie story doesn't tell you how I came to sitting in a jail cell tonight does it?

It all started with that blasted phone call. Terrie was gushing about a new restaurant that we had to go to. For lunch. Today. Since I was at work the right answer would have been, “Sorry Girl! I am working today but let's check it out this weekend.” The thing is when Terrie gushes I lose myself. I think back to all of our adventures throughout the years and wonder what my life would have been like if I said no to anyone of them. And the answer that always comes back is boring! So, of course, I said: “Count me in!”

I swung by my boss' office on the way out for lunch and popped my head in. “Hey Dad, going out for a burger. Should be back in an hour.” He nodded and went back to perfecting his golf swing.

Terrie was waiting for me in front of TD Tower grinning like a Cheshire Cat holding onto her stylish backpack.

“Just left the bank. This burger is to die for but it costs a fortune.”

Great. It was going to be an expensive lunch. It was then I figured out that I had forgotten to grab my purse on the way out of work. I told Terrie I had to run back to the office and get it but she smiled.

“Don't worry, I have us covered,” Terrie giggled like a witch.

That should have been my first clue. She was up to something.

We went into the restaurant, one of those fancy places near Bay Street and got seated.

“I'm ordering for us, Katie,” Terrie demanded as soon as we sat down. I looked at the menu and saw the burger was over $40. Hell, a grilled cheese sandwich was over $30. Yes, there was lobster involved but what the hell!

To be honest it was the best burger I had ever had. Juicy and perfect. Ole Terrie was right, this place was amazing. It was then that she told me about her latest research. She had been looking up crazy laws that were on the books and was vowing that she was going to break every single one of them. Which is totally Terrie.

It seemed that going to the bank was part of her new break the law plan. No, she hadn't robbed the place. Just picked up four rolls of loonies. Which was now all the money she had on her.

Did you know in Canada there is a limit to how much you can pay for something with coins? Terrie knew. The limit for loonies if you were wondering is $25 bucks. And the bill for our lunch was just a whole lot over that.

Now it's not really illegal to pay with coins but a vendor doesn't have to accept coins. We were in luck though, since the server thought it was funny and accepted the money. We all laughed and everything was honky-dorey. Except that wasn't the only law Terrie was planning to break. Oh no, the girl was on a mission.

“You are so bad. I swear you would have been convicted of being a witch back in the day,” I teased her as we started walking back towards my office.

She cackled. Literally.

And then she stopped in the middle of the sidewalk and loudly cast a spell on me. Seriously. I am not joking. And then, my lunatic friend dared me to do the same. So of course, I did. And then we had a spellcasting contest. We cast spells on everything that moved. Including one very grumpy old cop. Who was not amused. Who promptly put us in handcuffs.

Because in Canada it is illegal to pretend to exercise or to use any kind of witchcraft, sorcery, enchantment, or conjuration. That's right, normal folks can't be fake witches. And since Terrie and I aren't Wicca, we were guilty as hell.

So here we sit. There is no way I am calling my father to admit to the latest adventure of the Terrie and Kate show.

And right now I wish I was a witch. Because I would be sitting next to a punching bag right now. And using it!

Read next: Ordinary People
KJ Mullins
KJ Mullins

For the past decade I have been a freelance journalist, writing thousands of articles on all subject matters. For the past five years I have focused on the city of Toronto, mental health, arts, crime and social issues.

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Hanging with Terrie
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Ordinary People