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Charley had a big week. Image: Samantha Kempe/Fulcrum
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“Blizzards do be addictive.” – Charley Dutil

Hi, it’s Charley. Not Anchal, but it’s ok, I got her blessing to revive and take over this column.

By all accounts (really just my own, but probably yours too after you read this), my week has been horrible. It started on Sunday, Sept. 5. That day, I woke up around eight, and, as is tradition, grabbed some fresh Kettlemans bagels before watching the weekend’s Grand Prix. As I was munching on my bagels and listening to the sweet voice of David Croft, I started producing that week’s edition of your beloved student publication. (Sunday is called production day at the Fulcrum — it’s when we publish the majority of our articles. It’s when my managing editor Aly is sleepily editing this very piece you’re reading now.) 

Due to an event happening the next day (which we’ll get into in a minute), I set myself a hard deadline of 6 p.m. to publish all of the week’s articles. However, as is often the case on Sundays, I ended up blowing through that deadline and finishing around 8 p.m. In spite of the extra two hours I still couldn’t publish all of our 17 masthead’s articles. But eh! That’s life—sorry Bridget. 

Anyways, I hopped into my automobile, and headed to the Loblaws on Rideau, where I spent over $175 of the Fulcrum’s money on ground beef and buns — if only I had known of the new points program. So, as one does, as I was throwing  the twelve or so bags of stuff I had into my car, I started thinking of all the aluminum-type things I had forgotten to buy — paper  plates, aluminum foil — you get the picture. But not to worry, earlier in the day I had made an inquiry with our marketing committee, because I had realized that in order to keep the meat fresh the next day I would need coolers — duh. This being the Fulcrum, and it being run by a bunch of broke students, no one had a cooler except our new Executive Director Ludvica, who had invited me to Orleans to go get it  later that night. With that in mind, I told myself I’d go to Walmart and get the aluminum essentials after dropping the meat off and picking up the cooler. 

And so I did. 

Once back from Orleans, it was nearly 11 p.m., and I was tired, but little did I know that my roommate Natasha, as well as two newbies, had moved into my house that day. This meant I was greeted with salutations and conversations from their parents, which made it midnight by the time I put the rubber gloves on and rolled my first patty — oh yeah. I don’t buy frozen burgers, and wouldn’t serve them to my worst enemy. I made them myself.

By that time, the new roommates’  parents had left, and Natasha’s were helping her unpack in her room. The only disturbances were drunk froshers — not once, not twice, but three times — mistaking our house for the frat house they were looking for down the street — Natasha made sure to tell them that we don’t have parties at our place. So I got rolling, and I was doing fine by the time the clock struck one., 

But then all hell broke loose. 

See, Natasha’s father had bought a whole load of beer from ‘la Belle Province’ for his buds back home. When he went to check on his truck, the bed was open and the beer was gone.

Natasha’s father’s first reflex was to go check the frat house, where, of course, he found one of his four thirty-packs. But that would be all his luck, as he would not recover  any more of his beer, despite me attempting to lend a hand with my elite inspector skills. Natasha’s parents eventually left and headed back home with their single case of beer. As for me, I washed my hands and got back to rolling patties until  3 a.m., at which point I took a shower and went to bed. 

On Monday morning, I woke up to birds chirping and my ever-annoying iPhone alarm at 9 a.m. My first mission was to grab the Fulcrum’s chief of staff, Kate, as well as ice near Bank Street, which I accomplished. I then got to the office around 11 a.m. and started—with the help of my masthead—transporting things to the UCU Terrace for our noon barbecue. 

Up until now, everything was fine. 

Things would not stay that way.

As menacing grey clouds and students started to mass over the UCU terrace, I got a call from Tim Gulliver, president of UOSU, around 11:55 a.m.

“Charley, we’re struggling to find the BBQ.”

Well, that’s not good, but I knew it existed. The University of Ottawa Students’ Union (UOSU) had offered to provide us with a barbecue  for the event. I had seen this barbecue in pictures thanks to Ashley Wunsch in a Facebook Messenger exchange a week earlier. 

So I knew it existed. 

12:05 p.m.

Messenger call rings. It’s Tim, 

“Hey, so we found the barbecue, but there’s no propane tank. Don’t worry, we’ll send someone, it’lltake 20-30 minutes.”

Ok, so this is a minor inconvenience, but no worries. We tell students the BBQ is delayed, and they all get it. 

12:15 p.m. 

Ring, ring. 

It’s Tim.  

“Hey, so no one here has a car, can you guys go buy a propane tank? I called Canadian Tire, they’re  open.”  (Keep in mind this was Labour Day.)

I tell him, yeah I do, and so, kinda mad, I head back to the Fulcrum office and hop in my Kia. On my walk, I make a pleasant phone call to Aly, the Fulcrum’s managing editor and my de facto therapist, and vent (Fulcrum managing editors are used to this sort of call, and the venting goes both ways. Also hi, Emily, I know you’re reading this (and that you can spot where Aly added extra commas)). Anyhow, I head onto the highway, get to Canadian Tire, and wouldn’t you have it, it’s closed. I call Tim and tell him I’m postponing the BBQ. I call my social media manager and tell her to let our readers know. 

Anyways, I head home and I take the wrong exit, ending up heading east instead of west. It  starts torrentially downpouring. 

I enter the highway.

My car spins into the wall.

Ouch. 

The good news is: my trunk was the point of impact with the wall. I’m ok, just a little bit shaken — had it been the front of my car, this piece would probably be an obituary. 

So I call the dispatcher.  The towing company and cops show up. Yadda yadda. 

The car is totalled, and that sucks, because, as everyone knows, I loved and cherished my Kia. 

I get a ride home.

I get to my house, and sitting on the porch is all of the Fulcrum’s editorial board  that made it to the barbecue: Amira, Bridget, Damian, Hailey, Sanjida, and Kate, who is technically on the Board of Directors, but who cares. Anyway, the reason I’m naming all these beautiful people is because this incident made me realize how much our week-old editorial board cares about me, and each other, and that nearly made me melt to tears. 

Anyhow: later that day my parents and my sister drove up from Montreal to see me, and they brought me to East Side Mario’s and then grocery shopping, chirping me along the way. 

So that was my Monday. 

Now, moving on to Tuesday. 

I gave the reigns of the Fulcrum on Tuesday to Aly to give myself a break. Production for us usually starts on Friday, and it’s a grueling three days where we barely get any sleep. So, on Tuesday, I go to sleep in, which was nice. I was awoken by my father who told me insurance had secured a rental car for me at the Enterprise on Catherine St. — which was frankly a relief since, I got now, once again, got to drive to Dairy Queen when I wanted, which is often — Blizzards do be addictive. 

Anyways, since this is my week from hell, I pay  $20 or so for an Uber to the Catherine St. Enterprise, just to get there and realise that it  has closed and that it’s now an arts gallery.

Fuck. 

I call my dad. He calls the car rental people. They tell him there’s a car for me at the Youville St. location in Orleans. I take a $36 Uber to that Enterprise just to be told upon arrival they also don’t have a vehicle available for me — calisse. 

But, the guy at the Enterprise, bless his soul, calls the South Orleans location, which does have a car for me. I take a $12 Uber to South Orleans, and finally I get a rental. 

I drive home. I try not to take the highw—, I’m at this point scared of highways, but about 20 minutes into my drive I get frustrated enough to forget my fear and take the 417 home. 

I take back the reigns of the Fulcrum Tuesday night, host our edboard meeting, and another production cycle starts: oh brother. 

Wednesday, Thursday and Friday are pretty uneventful — thank the lord — also, yeah, sorry, this article is getting long for poor Aly to edit (note from Aly: yes, but, dear readers of the Fulcrum, rest assured, I am laughing my ass off at 2 a.m. on Monday morning editing this as Charley writes). Oh yeah, one thing: sources aren’t getting back to my staff writers, which sucks. 

On Saturday, we finally host the barbecue. The first hour is rough. Amira and I struggle to get heat in the rented BBQ, but we mostly get through it without problem. But of course, as luck would have it, I burn my hand with grease. 

It hurts. 

It’s not the end of the world.

In the evening, I cover the Gee-Gees men’s rugby game. It’s a massacre, but for some reason, I keep getting into arguments. It is what it is.

Sunday rolls around, and here I am at 2 a.m. writing this piece, with Aly editing my every word so we can finish this damn PDF. 

(Aly: PREACH.)

Yeah. 

So this is how my life’s going. 

But at least I’m still alive.

Cheers!