In December 2002, Colin N. Doyle of Osaka, Japan (via Enfield, Nova Scotia) had the temerity to jetset through Toronto for a mere day and a half. We can provide photographic evidence.

Joe ’n’ Colin do Ho Su Bistro.    Not shown: Luke, cowering before Korean food. (Marge: “It certainly is exotic.”) Naturally, we sat at the counter, the most revered place in any Japanese restaurant, a fact that consternates uptight Canadians; they equate sitting at the bar with greasy spoons and being forced to wait for tables at heterosexualist pickup joints. The disadvantage of sitting at the counter? It’s drafty, it’s bustling, and throngs of self-impressed Queen West Beautiful People mill around aimlessly at the front awaiting their take-out (“take-away”) orders. Conversation becomes a practice of hollering “Whaaat?” at your interlocutor. Fortunately for the three of us, I sat between my two esteemed colleagues and acted as cultural interpreter, as God intended.
Joe ’n’ Colin Do Ho Su
Pretense and redeye.    Now, what was the real star of our luncheon, Colin or Luke’s Sony DCS-U20 supermini digicamlet? It was a fully Aughties luncheon, what with the balancing of J-K food enjoyment, cultural interpretation (hollering of “Whaaat?”), and toying with the many capabilities of this tiny spy camera. Here, I try autophotography and end up looking pretentious, Hindu (that’s an angioma on my forehead, and no, it’s never going away), and redeyed. The orange/blue combo is, however, bitchin’.
Pretentious redeye Joe
Is it all about me?    Why must it always be about me? (Because it’s my site and I’m finally getting photographed for pretty much the first time in my life. But you take my point.) Here Luke’s laughter fills the room as he expounds on the menu settings on the camera, and the importance of keeping it out of the shoyu. (It happens to be almost exactly nigiri-sized. If one were furnished with chopsticks with suckers or rasped tips, one could manipulate the camera that way.) The Korean staff – remember, we’re at a Japanese restaurant made from a kit, and they’re all Chinese- or Korean-run – were thrilled when Colin regurgitated Korean vowels like so much kimchi, asking for more water and thanking the oppressed sushi chefs.
Luke, and his mock turtle, at Ho Su (not dining on turtle)
HOLDING WHOSE BAG?    We enjoyed a quintessentially gay interlude at Lush, where a girl (inevitably) pressed a sample of shaving cream onto my person – which I hope Colin is enjoying, because we left it in his purse – and Luke did Xmas shopping for the girls back at the office. (Note well: Pert Plus still beats the shite out of any $15-a-litre designer shampoo. Even the active ingredients are the same.) This explanation is provided to assure readers that no, Luke is not holding Colin’s shopping bag for him. Nor are the two of them going steady, evidence of their lesberrific matching bomber jackets to the contrary. Chez Lush, I kept looking at the translucent limpid slabs of designer soap as some kind of jelly dessert, and Colin started sneezing. Typical, really.
Luke Lush sashay
A Cindy Sherman moment.    We successfully navigate rue de la Reine despite the malingering clouds that make life seem not entirely worth living. Here, Colin embodies a Cindy Sherman–style movie still and ponders what secrets the mind of his impassive friend might really hold. Meanwhile, Luke focuses only on the cord of the shopping-bag handle presently cutting into his ungloved fingers.
Colin looks askance
Graffiti in Latin script.    Colin ponders the novelty of (a) graffiti and (b) graffiti written in his own language. His body language and expression recall the annual viewing of the cherry blossoms.
Colin ponders graffiti
Committing indignities to the memory of Che Guevara.    Moments later, Colin points to (and out) the wanton defacement of this loving likeness of guerrilla leader Che Guevara perpetrated through the simple addition of a HI MY NAME IS decal. The West’s moral decadence asserted yet again. Good thing he lives in Japan.
Colin points to defacement of Che Guevara
The long day wanes.    After strenuous enjoyment of tea and lemon curd at Vienna Home Bakery, Colin gamely combed through Rotate This for me to find the top three heavy-metal albums of the year. (Isis and Dillinger Escape Plan, yes; Mastodon, no.) Since the store owner was the one at the cash, we failed to be sneered at, condescended to, or reminded just how shockingly uncool we actually are. The chinchindensha was then boarded for a lengthy straight-line voyage back home, whereupon the esteemed houseguest decided he was sick. He was despatched to the Loblaws for some Neo-Citran, returned with the legalized smack and six full boxes of Kleenex (we got a pumper!), and took a nap. Roused from slumber (what is this, a vacation?), Colin was dragged out to Udupi Palace for Indian food and forced to watch Metrosexualismo. Hat and gloves in the photo above are not the responsibility of the houseguest.
Colin does the chinchindensha
Flight suit.    The next day, after furious draining of AAA batteries in Luke’s digicam, Colin prepares for a superexecutive limousine ride to the airport. Only a man of such élan could carry off the fashion one-two punch of gingham-checked shirt and woollen scarf, which combine to make the apartment dominated by Sony Wega television set seem all the more sparse. It’s times like these that one realizes how important tapestries on the walls really are.
Colin scarf | 2002.12.22