The incident with the ham…

27 May


I listen to CBC all day at work and although sometimes I wonder what the hell I am listening to, I generally feel more educated come the end of my workday.  Stuart McLean is a favorite of mine as I love his story telling abilities, although sometimes I need to leave before one of his tales has ended.  I have found myself saying “come on, get to the point, get to the end…”  I saw him at the Rebecca Cohn a few months back where he read one of his listener stories. After attending the show I thought I must send him a story.  The website claims that every submission is read.  I typed up my story, hit send and got a reply which said “thank you for your submission, we’ve received 1000’s of stories from listeners and as promised we will read all of them.  So, in the meantime don’t call us, we’ll call you if your story is selected”.  I thought it was a lost cause at that point.  Well 3 weeks later I got a response.  They loved my story and want to read it on air.  In the case that you don’t listen to Stuart here is what I sent him.

Growing up my very best friend was (and still is) my 1st cousin once removed (a term my grand aunt Rita confirmed is a genealogy truth), Sarah.  Our mothers are first cousins. Although we grew up with common genes and community our lives were very different and this is mainly due to the contrast between our mothers. You could describe Sarah’s mother Aileen as unique, random, rare and certainly unpredictable. Aileen provided me with story material, laughter and many unique experiences. I have so many stories about this woman; a memory that sticks out occurred one afternoon when Aileen picked us up from my part-time job at the mall. Prior to picking us up that day Aileen hit Sobey’s for groceries and so there were bags all over the car. On this particular day we hopped in amongst the groceries and made our way out of the parking lot. The first part of Church Street was an upwards climb followed by a peak and then the downhill part.  At the bottom of the hill there was a 3 way stop. We were clipping along when Aileen put her foot on the brake in order to stop at the intersection.  Suddenly Aileen exclaimed “the car doesn’t seem to be stopping.  My God the brakes aren’t working!” Normally this intersection is quite busy but for some unknown reason the coast was clear that day and so we pulled a Fred Flintstone (Aileen turned the car to make a left without slowing down and I believe we went up on two wheels).  Few have ever seen a Cutlass Sierra being driven by a middle aged woman ever make such moves!  We were now on St. Ninian’s Street which was long and flat, however, it ended at a busy intersection which required us to stop.  We continued burning along past the cathedral where Aileen, a devote Catholic, blessed herself and said a Hail Mary.  It was apparent that the car was not going to stop so we blew right through the stop sign causing cars coming from opposite directions to slam on their brakes.  At this time Sarah said “Mom, Mom, put the car in park”!  “Aileen followed the advice and slammed the gear shift into park.  The car made sounds similar to that of a cow dying before coming to an abrupt stop. Aileen got out of the drivers seat and took a look at the pedals of the car. To our complete and utter disbelief wedged under the brake pedal was a boiled ham. Upon making this discovery Aileen exclaimed “My god, can you believe that we nearly died at the hands of a ham?”  It seems that the ham rolled out of a grocery bag under the drivers
seat and wedged itself under the brake pedal.  Can you imagine all the pieces that had to fall together to get that ham under the pedal?  Every time I eat ham it reminds me of that day and how my life nearly ended “at the hands” of one.


6 Responses to “The incident with the ham…”

  1. Brenda May 27, 2013 at 6:18 pm #

    Sadie and I near died laughing. Thanks for that

  2. Denise Chisholm May 27, 2013 at 10:03 pm #

    Hello Emilie! How could they not accept this story! When you tell the story it’s priceless because you can imitate her perfectly. You should keep submitting all your stories, you could have a new career! Love ya Denise

  3. Sarah Whiting May 28, 2013 at 2:48 am #

    I am glad the story has a possibility of going viral. Just another day in the life of the “Great One:) Maybe Stuart will start a series….the tales of Rocking Aileen!

    • emiliechiasson4563 May 28, 2013 at 11:46 am #

      I did in fact tell him that I can easily provide him with enough material to make it a series. Aileen tales will be his new Dave and Morley…

  4. Patricia Nutini May 28, 2013 at 4:11 am #

    I do listen to Stuart and can’t wait to hear all about Aileen and the ham!

    • Lynn Connolly May 30, 2013 at 5:59 pm #

      That was so hilarious…I laughed and laughed. Certainly knowing the character made it so real for me.

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