As a precocious pre-teen and teen, I was obsessed with adulthood; I couldn’t wait for the responsibility of rent checks and retirement plans. I watched serious drama as a way to prepare myself for this adult life I so wanted, and since we didn’t have cable I spent a lot of time watching PBS to figure out exactly how adults lived. I loved Masterpiece Theater, Mystery!, and particularly Prime Suspect, the dark and emotionally complex BBC crime series starring Helen Mirren as Jane Tennyson, a lone female detective in a boys’ club of often outright hostile fellow officers. I wanted to be like Jane Tennyson when I grew up. I dreamed of living a solitary but important existence, of having a job that was so central to me that I would forget meals and drink black coffee, a job that included meetings and orders and sleepless nights in which I would struggle to find the key to understanding a fragmented picture and solving the case. Jane Tennyson’s life always had an air of romance to it despite its gritty realism.

Lately, I’ve been getting back into The X-Files. That show hit its popularity over here just as I was starting to work my first job as a paperboy, so it was a great time to be spending a lot of time riding around darkened suburbs with no one else around.

Goddammit, Chris Carter. You had to go and create Tooms and the Flukeman, didn’t you? Those were the worst two ever.


In honour of Nick’s latest piece and some work that Greg has been doing, I personally would like to tip my hat to that show. It made for great viewing, and there’s something about revisiting its early-1990s aesthetics and camera work that makes me feel very much at home.

Remember when this was a feature of every magazine everywhere?

It’s easy to forget how huge that show was. Everyone wanted to sleep with either Gillian Anderson or David Duchovny, and sometimes both. And being an FBI agent just seemed like the coolest job ever, unless that damn Cigarette Smoking Man took care of you first.

Aliens, werewolves, psychics, conspiracies… science and magic and myth, all rolled into one.

And it made for some damn fine television.

One of the great tragedies of childhood was my inability to harness the forces of witchcraft. It wasn’t for lack of trying. You have no idea how many times I stared at my homework and wiggled my nose, hoping to cause math problems to magically solve themselves, how many times I urged the kitchen dishes to become spontaneously clean with a snap of my finger. For years I was convinced the problem had to do with sound effects, or more specifically a lack of them. On “Bewitched,” whenever someone cast a spell, it was invariably accompanied by the sound of a harp or a bell or both. My spells were devastatingly silent.

Her first name was Kim.

The license plate on her car read RUSH 47.

Her last name can’t be recalled.

She listened to Rush way too much, so that part of the plate merited no query.

But the 47, that piqued my interest.