So it’s a Sunday night and I’m driving into Hamilton to do my radio show. Along the route I had this nagging feeling that I forgot something. I pulled into the station parking lot and naturally I remembered at that very moment. I had forgotten to bring my reading glasses.

I wasn’t about to drive back to Stoney Creek so I went to a nearby strip mall. Strike up the Oom-Pah Band because this is when my evening turned into a circus.

I went into a popular coffee shop and stood in line. I had a weird feeling and when I turned around I noticed all eyes were upon me. Was my hair messed up? Was my zipper down? Did I forget to wear pants too? As quickly as the `Children of the Corn’ had focused upon me they returned to their silent worlds. No pun intended but they all had that glazed do­nut look in their eyes. I felt like a stranger who just walked into town in an old black and white western movie. Even the staff seemed like zombies as they poured my small java and presented me with a stale apple fritter. Perhaps their lives were so tedious that anyone striding in with a pur­pose must be an alien.

I hastened outside still trying to shake off the willies when I was approached by a man who must have had fond memories of owning natural teeth. He half-smiled, coughed and raised an eyebrow with his hand out. “Got fifty bucks?” he asked. My own eyebrows nearly popped off my skull. “Fifty bucks?” I replied incredulously, “No! Get the hell away from me!” and marched towards my car. The greedy panhandler glared after me like I was cheap. Even the customers in the coffee shop gave me a disapproving glance. What the hell is wrong with these people?

It gets weirder yet. I scarfed back my hockey puck fritter and coffee and then strolled into the pharmacy. I was the only person in the store. I walked the aisles trying to locate the reading glasses but couldn’t find them. I went to the apoth­ecary and asked him where the reading glasses were located. He frowned and said something in a language I was not familiar with. Like a moron I used pantomime to explain what I needed. It worked because he retorted that he didn’t have any reading glasses. “Really?” I asked in disbelief. He confidently shook his head and said phar­macies don’t carry reading glasses. I knew this was erroneous but for all I knew this guy was the leader of the strip mall corn people and quietly exited.

No word of a lie when I walked outside a small man stood there peering at me with his hands on his hips. He looked like he fell off a charm bracelet. I smiled politely and started for my car. Hearing footsteps, I pivoted to discover the man following me. I stopped and barked, “I haven’t got fifty bucks! What’s your problem?” The man remained stone-faced and waited. I may be wrong but this mutant might have used mental telepathy because when I looked past his shoulder I saw a grocery store. I bet they have reading glasses in there I ruminated.

I strolled into the vittles outlet and the man followed me but didn’t go in. I could see him outside gaping at me. I ignored him and suddenly lo and behold there was a plethora of reading glasses. I mused whether or not the pharmacist knew why his store was empty but more importantly, based upon the strip mall clientele, who would need reading glasses? I chose a cool pair, tried them on and decided to make the purchase.

I waited in line at the `eight items or less’ lane along with ten other corn people before me. As mutant man gawked at me from outside I finally made it to the cash­ier. The young lad grinned, grunted and merely pointed at my head. Good Lord! Am I that grotesque to these banjo pickers? I promptly realized what the Neanderthal teen was talking about. The protective plastic sleeves for the glasses were stuck behind each of my ears. Feeling flushed, I quickly removed the tubular coverings as the other corn customers simply goggled with the identical faraway eyes of the cof­fee shop corn people.

Apace, I exited where mutant man fol­lowed me to my car. I climbed in, turned over the engine and drove off watching the rear-view mirror as the reticent rube rubbernecked after me.

Returning to the radio station it oc­curred to me that there are some parts of `The Hammer’ that are better left un­touched. Sleep tight.

Ben Guyatt is a stand-up comedian and a published author- visit He also hosts The Ben Guyatt Show every Sunday at 9 pm on AM 900 CHML.

Providing a Fresh Perspective for Burlington and Hamilton.

One Comment to: A scene from Village of the Damned

  1. Norm

    May 4th, 2014

    Well hand it to a suedo celeb to go for the cheap joke and bite the hand that feeds him. But he is no stranger to that. Mr Guyatt couldn’t have written that story to show him a humble man of the people. I guess a life of heckles really sours your disposition. Instead Mr.Guyatt goes for the low blow on a city that often is the butt of the joke. I was expecting toomuch from the host of comedy 54.


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