Wednesday, 1 January 2014

Stan & Brian:

This is going to be great. A full year reading Richard Rohmer. Canada’s Tom Clancy and Canada’s John McCain. A man whose historo-politico-techno-military thrillers ruled the best seller lists and monopolized the editorial pages of our newspapers (“What’s a newspaper grandpa?”) and the endless, countless CBC radio panel shows of our youths.

The most famous author no one has ever heard of.

30 books? Two million words? Easy.

Remember the man who ate the bulldozer? (No, not Richard Rohmer.) I must have heard about him in fourth or fifth grade at St. Josephs, and I’ll never forget it. The trick was, he had the bulldozer ground into little tiny metal filings and ate spoonful after spoonful every day for years. In fourth (or fifth) grade, the thing I dreaded most was the soul-crushing prospect of at least ten more years of school. And how impossibly awful that was going to be. But if a guy could eat a bulldozer, I could practice my cursive until someone gave me a BA.

Stan, remember when we figured out that you could drive across North America just listening to the Rolling Stones and not repeat a song? (If you drove nonstop and included live versions, of course.) That was 25 years ago. How far could you drive now, listening to all the lousy crap they’ve recorded since then?

And why would anyone want to do that?

What makes a man eat a bulldozer? What does it prove? The indomitability of the human spirit? Or too much time on our hands? You tell me.

Here’s a partial list of Richard Rohmer books I haven’t read:

The Thrillers:
Ultimatum (1974)
Exxoneration (1974)
Exodus/UK (1975)
Separation (1976)
Balls! (1980)
Periscope Red (1980)
Separation 2 (1981)
Triad (1982)
Retaliation (1982)
Starmageddon (1986)
Red Arctic (1989)
Caged Eagle (2002)
Ultimatum 2 (2007)

The non-thrillers:
Practice and Procedure Before the Ontario Highway Transport Board (1965)
The Green North: Mid-Canada (1970)
The Royal Commission on Book Publishing (1972)
The Arctic Imperative (1973)
Patton’s Gap (1981)
Massacre 747 (1984)
Rommel and Patton (1986)
Hour of the Fox (1988)
John A.'s Crusade (1995)
Death by Deficit (1996)
Raleigh on the Rocks (2002)
Generally Speaking (2004)
Building of the CN Tower (2011)
Building of the SkyDome/Rogers Centre (2012)
Sir John A's Crusade and Seward's Magnificent Folly (2013)

Let’s get started! Like it said on that pirated video hockey game in the Hall Building: “Nothing but try!”

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