Ross Dumoulin, a local author, has recently published his new book, Bubblegum, Bad Food, Bad Doctors. It is a collection of 14 almost completely true short stories spanning six decades. Humour is the main ingredient, spiced up with a spirit of adventure, action and high-risk behavior often bordering on disaster. The subtitle reads in part: “from weird kid to borderline normal man.” That says it all.
First, the stories delve into Ross’s childhood experiences, firmly entrenched in 1960s mentality and culture. Later, the stories move on to family life and moments of panic, such as the day 85,000 litres of water tried to make its way into Ross’s basement. We also have a tale of his transporting a full can of paint inside his new car. What could possibly go wrong with that? As Ross slides into his 60s, he experiences a series of medical misadventures. There are little gems of highly dubious advice from his doctor, and we find out why he was labelled as “borderline normal” by a specialist. The last three stories are of the heart-warming variety, as they relate the author’s volunteer work with children and his efforts in making their lives better. The stories celebrate their joie-de-vivre and resilience. Available online. — R. Dumoulin