Author Archives: melissahardytrevenna

My two cents

pro choiceFor what it’s worth.

I’m very grateful that I never had occasion to consider whether or not to have an abortion — all my pregnancies were wanted and planned — but that doesn’t mean I can’t imagine a situation where that was not the case.  Bringing a child into the world is a weighty matter. Taking care of that child for the next twenty plus years is an even weightier one.   No woman should be forced to do that against her will. Period.  There are enough children in this world.  What’s more, there enough unwanted children in this world without adding to their number.   And why is it that Pro Lifers are so often the very people who support the Death Penalty?  Is life sacred or isn’t it?   Make up your damned mind.

No woman wants an abortion.  OK, maybe if they’ve been raped or the father is creepy old Uncle Harry, but otherwise, few women are exactly overjoyed to be terminating a pregnancy. But what Pro Lifers don’t seem to understand is that life might begin at conception, but it sure doesn’t stop there.  If you are going to insist that women bear children they do not want or are ill-prepared to raise, then you need to provide quality daycare for those children so their mothers can pursue a career if they wish, or go to school, and decent healthcare and schooling and other, generous supports throughout the course of that child’s coming of age.  That is only fair. To the mother and the child that you insisted must be born. You break it; you bought it.  You don’t get to just walk away, feeling all smug and self-righteous, because you think you’re championing the Unborn when what you’re really doing is making  someone whose life is already hard that much harder . . . and for a very long time. And this is costing you what?  Absolutely nothing.

Women represent half the population – and, with apologies to good men, of whom there are more than a few  – the more sensible half.  If we don’t want to have a baby, we shouldn’t have to have one.  End of story.  And you’ve got to know that, if men were the ones having the babies, this would not be an issue.  There would be lines around the block for abortion clinics and nobody would be saying a goddamned word.    I

What I am saying is neither new nor nuanced, but I’m feeling cranky and I don’t care. When it comes to babies, as with so much in life, you win a few and you lose a few. Get over it.


Retirement no nos: more snow, guns and buttholes

Port Stanley

Port Stanley

The other night, while doing the dogs’ Last Pee, I commented on the night sky.  On a clear night Port Stanley’s skies are star-studded.  It’s just another one of the perks of living in a small fishing village on the shores of Lake Erie with next to nothing in the way of light pollution.

“If you think the stars are bright here,” said my husband, “You should see them up north.  Why, on certain nights,  you can  see the Aurora Borealis!”

An innocent enough remark if we hadn’t just been discussing where we ought to move when we retire.  I like the idea of retiring in situ.  He likes to at least entertain the notion of retiring elsewhere.  “What about B.C.? What about the West Coast?” he asked.

I shook my head.  “Land is too expensive out west.”

“Not in Squamish!”

“I don’t want to live in Squamish.”

“What’s wrong with Squamish?”

He tried a new tack:  “What about Tobermory?”

Now, I love me some Bruce Peninsula, but I am of the firm opinion that, as one ages, one should run away and not towards more snow.“Too much snow,” I said.

Then the conversation took the inevitable tack.  “What about up north?”

Ken is from Timmins, Ontario. If you want to know how north that is, it’s north of the Artic Water Shed. There are two seasons in Timmins: a two month long summer and a ten month long winter.  The summer is beautiful if you don’t mind black flies the size of fruit bats.  The winter is . . .  Well, let me put it this way. In Timmins there is so much snow that they  can’t remove it from the streets — nowhere to put it —  so instead they pack it down, raising the level of the street  two feet. You have to bend down to feed your parking meter.  In my opinion, that is too much snow.  Way too much snow.

“What?” he says in mock chagrin.  “You won’t consider retiring up north, but you expect me to agree to retiring down south!”

Now, that’s where I’ve got him.  I used to want to return someday  to my home state of North Carolina, to warm weather and piney woods and dogwood blossoms blowing in the air, to the place my ancestors have lived for three hundred years.

Lately, however, I’ve come to reconsider my position.

Open carry laws such as North Carolina sports piss me off.  I’m afraid that, if the butthole ahead of me in line at a Starbucks happened to have a gun poking out of his back pocket, I would find it virtually impossible not to wonder aloud and to anyone who would listen about the size of his penis.  I told my husband this once and he got quite angry with me.  “If you did that, I’d be expected to defend you,” he pointed out. “Against a guy with a gun.”

The North Carolina Legislature’s  recent anti-LGBTQ measures are another thing that really pisses me off.  If there was a business where I lived that would not serve LGBTQ people, I would feel morally obliged to picket said  establishment, hoisting a sign on which had been inscribed witty, salient invective . . . when what I really want to do in my Golden Years is go on field naturalist walks wearing khakis and a Tilley hat and knit sweaters for penguins tarred by oil spills.


Downtown Timmins

No, as far as I’m concerned, Port Stanley is just fine.  I can see the stars.  There’s snow, but not so much snow that you want to kill yourself.   Guns are controlled, everyone’s human rights are respected and buttholes, though certainly present, do not constitute a majority of the population.

If I want to see the Aurora Borealis, I will go to Iceland.   Which I would like to do.  Once. For a week. And then come home. To Port Stanley.

My father’s letter. To my dog.

Dixie 1930_NEW

My Dad with his first dog, Dixie — the first of many.

While rifling through some archival, dog-related papers (certificates of vaccination, vet bills, pet insurance, etc.), I happened upon a letter written twenty years by my father, Bill Hardy, speaking in the voice of his then dog, the Terrible Touli,  to Buddy, our then newly acq1uired golden retriever puppy.  I reproduce it here:

Dear Buddy,

Welcome to the family! You may not realize it yet, but you have really walked into a great deal.  These people (especially the female) will really do anything you want. 

There are a few ground rules which may prove helpful to you in achieving the life of love and luxury you are about to begin. Be adorable! This is a MUST. I always found it easy myself, and I’m sure you will be able to handle it, even if you are not a cocker spaniel.

Me and Buddy_NEW

‘The female’ and Buddy

Barking?  I know the temptation will be there, just to let your people know how much you love them, etc., but keep it down! Especially early in the morning. A little “woof” will suffice for most purposes.

Now the tough part.

We dogs have a unique way of staking out our territory.  We find the spot and then we pee on it. People are not always understanding of this perfectly sensible practice – especially indoors. If your two people do their job properly, they will set a reasonable routine for you to walk outside.  For some reason they don’t seem to mind our peeing outside as long as it is not on the neighbors’ flowers. The same thing goes for bowel movements. Of course, they will create some silly name for this natural process. My two, for example, refer to it as “poddle toodling.”  Isn’t that the silliest thing?  Anyway, let them train you in those processes.

As for food, you will work that out naturally.  We have an inborn talent in that department. I hope they don’t give you things that are bad for you, even though you may think you want everything  in sight.


Touli, not my favorite dog, although my parents adored his sorry ass

Be sure to get a few toys.  They will keep you company when your people are away at work. They have to work, you know, so that they will make money to buy you things.

Anyway, I’m glad you are in the family.  I don’t know when we will get a chance to get together in person, but I’ll keep up with you by email. Maybe your people will finally make the big move from the frozen north to North Carolina where the sun shines brightly all the day. Be sure to get your picture taken and sent to me. And remember –  BE ADORABLE.Everything else will take care of itself.

Love . . . Toulie

Dad wrote this back when they were living in Fearrington Village, just outside Pittsboro, N.C. — when Mom was alive, not to mention Touli and Buddy.  When Dad could see to type a letter. From a dog to a dog.

That makes me both happy and sad, but in a good way.

Hillary is OK. Stop bashing her.

HillaryI am a piss poor excuse for a feminist. When at age 17 my first novel was published by Viking Press, I was thrilled that the media described me as being not only smart, but in possession of a tiny waist. When I went for a PhD in Classics, my advisor — a woman, no less, and a distinctly maiden lady — grimly advised me that no woman could succeed in Classics and be married, much less have children. One husband and 3 children later, I abandoned my studies ABD.

Which brings me to my point.

Young women, you don’t realize how hard it was. You do not begin to understand what Hillary has gone through to be where she is today.  How she has had to play the game.  The concussions she has sustained  dashing her head against the glass ceiling over and over and over again.  I’m not saying don’t support Bernie. I will happily and wholeheartedly support Bernie if he becomes the nominee. But to say, “Bernie or nobody.” To say , “Any woman but Hillary!”


There is no woman in this race but Hillary, and, if you take that stance,  chances are there won’t be for a long,long time. There will be no President Klobuchar. There will be no President Gillibrand. There will no be no President Warren. Hello!  If you haven’t noticed, they are coming for our rights and, if you think they won’t succeed, check out all those states where male Republican politicians have have rolled back access to abortion. Make no mistake: they are coming for our reproductive rights and, if you think they aren’t, then you are sadly mistaken.

I’ll say it again: don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good. The stakes are high, we are at war and, if we don’t rally behind the only goddamned woman in the field,  provided she manages to win the nomination, then the blood of the women’s movement is on your hands.I don’t want my granddaughter to face the same discrimination I did, the discrimination my mother, a true feminist, fought so hard against. If Hillary is the nominee, then,  for crying out loud,  just go ahead and support her.

Unless you want the best thing anyone will ever have to say about you is that you have a tiny waist.


Mouldering and rumbling

lissa typing_NEWI’m beginning to moulder. Also to experience chthonic rumblings. All of which means I should probably start writing fiction again before I go totally off.  I have therefore acquired  a copy of Ian Brown’s Sixty, which I plan to deploy as a kind of Yorick’s skull,and different coloured index cards and am off, bound on yet another voyage down, down, down  into my inner depths.

Only this time, this time I swear it, I’m not going to sweat the damn thing(s) ever getting published, because, really, I am just too old for this shit.

Her for King

Feel the Bern -- Vicky and Lauren (2)

My granddaughter Victoria and her mother Lauren . . . clearly Victoria is not feeling the Bern.

I feel an overpowering urge to write about something I should really steer clear of in the current, overheated political environment and my inability – due to a logic that might charitably be described as squishy – to adequately defend why I am supporting Hillary Clinton and why, much pace to female millennials, I think Gloria Steinem was kinda sorta right when she identified that place where the boys are as Bernie’s campaign: she was alluding, in a foot-in-mouth kind of way, to the fact that  Bernie’s campaign is a sweeping movement fueled by idealism and that being part of such a movement is . . . well . . . sexy. Exciting.   Now, come on. You know it’s true.  We’ve all been there.

And I get it. In 2008, I ditched Hillary for the brighter, shinier, more aspirational Barack Obama and I’ve never regretted it. I think he’s made an exceptional President despite gobsmacking obstructionism on the part of a Congress about which I can say literally nothing nice and, let’s face it, the country needed to be inspired . . . I needed to be inspired. And I was.   Also, we needed a black President.  Yes, we did.

But now it’s eight years later, I’m eight years older, the Republicans have gone completely bonkers, and, given the status quo,  I can’t think that the kind of revolution Bernie is fomenting has even a prayer of success. Not that I don’t define myself as any less a Democratic Socialist than he does. Not that I don’t believe in Single Payer and free tuition for all and just generally remaking the United States over in Denmark’s image, because, yes,  I’ve watched Borgen and think that Denmark is swell and that the nightmarish version of Capitalism that Republicans venerate is completely pernicious and out of control. Not that, when I see hear Simon and Garfunkle’s America on Bernie’s commercial, I don’t tear up and think, “Yes!” and “It’s so true!” I agree.   I agree. And yet. . . .

Given the lunatic state of a country in which a disturbingly large portion of the electorate seems to think  Donald Trump has been dispatched by God to save their sorry white asses, any change, if it is to come, will have to be incremental.  That being the case, having a smart, tough, experienced, and capable incrementalist, someone whose opinions can evolve (I don’t think this is a bad thing)  and a woman at the helm. . . .  Well, we could do a Hell of a lot worse.   



Ruminations on posterity

3 generations

Sabrina, Victoria and me

I stepped away from center stage some time ago, ceding the spotlight to my children and, with it, the drama attendant in staring in one’s own story. Every once in a while, one of their dramas sloshes over into my life or I am invited or even summoned to pull on maternal hip waders and plunge into the guck welling up from the drains . . . This provided that I remember that my role is a supporting one and that any advice I might proffer will probably be ignored. Just as I, during my turn in the spotlight, ignored much of my mother’s advice. To my considerable detriment.

As regards the Afterlife, I put no stock in the Resurrection. There are just too many logistical problems. Which body gets resurrected: the sixteen year old body or the eighty-six year old body? Is there a choice? Because, if there isn’t, I’m inclined to give the whole operation a pass. And the only Heaven of which I can conceive is reintegration into the cosmos as energy, an obliteration of personhood that is surely the opposite of why people conjured up a Heaven in the first place – so that they could imagine a way in which they might continue to exist as individuals. That becomes less and less important to me as time goes on and I realize that, though unique, I am no big whop, and, in truth, the only creatures with whom  I, at present, might long to be reunited are my mother and various, deceased pets, all of whom, in fact, do live on in a way I will explain.

BenchSharonGreek-crop CU (2)

The Golden Retriever

After our beloved golden retriever Buddy died, plunging us into the most terrible grief, I encountered a woman who had owned a string of goldens. She advised me to get another pronto. “They are so alike genetically that, in no time at all, it will seem as though you never lost him,” she told me. She was right. Five years ago we bought our Nellie and now I remember Buddy with great tenderness, love and gratitude, but never grief, never pain. Nellie has effectively taken his place. She has become,  unequivocally,  The Golden Retriever.

Me, Mom, Brina_NEW

Mom, Me and Sabrina, 1990

As for my mother, she lives on in me, in my daughter Sabrina and now in my granddaughter Victoria, whose birth  has caused me to reflect on these things . . . that and the fact that  I have taken on my mother’s last great role – that of grandmother — and, as such, one whose death would not be entirely unexpected.    I may not  long for eternal life in any personal sense, embodied or no, but, when I first looked into Victoria’s navy blue eyes, I realized that it was my mother’s eyes looking back, that Mom was in there all right, tangled up in the DNA that expresses itself in her first great grandchild. Just as I am.  Just as my daughter Sabrina is.

And that’s fine with me.

In the baby trenches

Lauren, Brina, Vicky

Lauren, Sabrina and Baby Victoria

I have just come back from a couple of weeks spent in St. Anne-de-Bellevue, Quebec, helping my daughter and daughter-in-law transition into motherhood. One forgets what a travail those first few weeks/months of parenthood can be: REM-deprived parents, bleary-eyed and more than slightly unhinged, stumbling like sleepwalkers into traffic, hit first by one transport truck, then another as they stagger across the multiple lanes that stretch between feedings; secretions, everything that can leak leaking . . . and a few you had no idea were capable of it; the mounting, terrible realization that your house, in and out of which you are accustomed to blithely pass, is closing in around you, entombing you. That sound like a vacuum suck? The tomb sealing shut.

Albert Vicky

Albert contemplates Victoria. Future ally or nemesis?

Couple that with night and day turned inside out; the considerable pathos exhibited by the family dog, demoted from First Place, stricken, uncertain now as to his rank within the pack; the sluggish, incessant churn of the breast pump, punctuated by the string of commercials held together with gobbets of news that is CNN in the days leading up to the Iowa Caucus: ads for Trivago and Friskies and obscure medications trailing lengthy laundry lists of possible side effects, “up to and including death.” “You will be able to dance/leave the house without fear of soiling yourself/make love,” they promise, “Although there is the odd chance that you may also have a seizure/stroke/ or die.”

And at the center of this howling vortex, the bright new light of a glowing baby, in this case, my granddaughter, Victoria.

For prospective mothers childbirth looms large. It’s the great unknown, the question mark. Will it be painful? How long will it last?   What if I have to have a C-section? Will the baby be OK?

What they don’t tell you . . . what we don’t tell you . . . is this: , if labor is like charging up a hill in full battle armor under a barrage of enemy fire, the first two months following the birth of your child are like finding yourself trapped within the trenches, thigh deep in foul-smelling mud, exhausted, shell shocked and despairing of any light whatsoever at the end of the tunnel. We don’t tell you this, because you have enough to worry about. We don’t tell you this because, unless reminded, as I was this past several months, we have forgotten what it was like. Indeed, the only memories I have from the period after Sabrina’s birth was waking up in the middle of the day to a plumber taking out the wall in our bathroom with a sledgehammer – apparently, pursuant to a neighbor’s complaint of a leak, he had rung our bell shortly after I put the baby and myself down for a desperately needed nap, and, upon not receiving a reply,  entered the apartment and set about ripping out the wall. I erupted from the bedroom guns like a napalmed-she-cat. Hell hath no fury like the mother of a newborn awakened from a nap.

Lissa and newborn Sabrina_0001_NEW

Me and Sabrina, 1981

The other memory I have is of sitting on the couch for the 2 am feeding, leaden with fatigue, watching a PSA on heavy rotation that time of the night: at the end a long hall a closed door looms. From beyond the door comes the sound of a baby’s urgent wah-wahing. “Before you hurt your baby,” a soothing female voice counseled, “Call the number on the screen.”

Then you turn around . . . and you are a grandmother and it’s your child sitting on the couch at 2 am, your child, leaden with fatigue, holding your granddaughter, but watching American Horror Story instead. And you assure her, “Don’t worry. It will pass,” understanding that she doesn’t know whether to believe you or not, knowing that she fears her life just might be over, when in truth it has only just begun.

So this happened


Hawk’s Cliff, Port Stanley, Ontario

Four years ago my husband and I moved from a condo in London, Ontario to Port Stanley, a little community perched on the north shore of Lake Erie described by residents as “a quaint drinking village with a fishing problem.” We were enchanted by its lack of attention to anything resembling a grid, its higgledy piggledy rabbit’s warren of streets and laneways and its jumble of house types – working class cottages intermingled with architect designed homes, tucked away in ravines or astride what can only be described as eyries, some on lane ways posted with warnings to drive at one’s own peril, the roadway in question being unstable.

Our street, like many others in Port Stanley ends abruptly. It didn’t use to, but then that portion of it that joined up with the street below, fell into the Lake. In Port Stanley things fall into the Lake. Houses. Streets. One has only to look out to the east, towards Hawks Cliff, to see Erie’s taupe coloured waves clawing at the soft bluffs and the Lake stained the colour of clay all the way to the horizon to realize that this is a landscape in perpetual transformation and that, if there are winners and losers, then it is the Lake that is winning.

Tucked away at the end of our street where the road once was and secluded in a woody glen was a house occupied by a man I will call Lloyd. People  on our street are friendly in the way people are in small towns. They look out for one another; they have each other’s back. Not Lloyd. Invited to parties, he never attended and was only seen driving to and from his house in a battered truck, sometimes accompanied by two massive dogs who might have been Italian Mastiffs. These dogs were infamous. Shortly before we moved in, they had savaged a neighbour’s shih tzu; the little dog required extensive surgery and was so traumatized by the attack that, ever afterwards, the proximity of another canine reduced her to a trepidatious puddle. Consequently I took the “Beware of dogs,” sign posted on Lloyd’s chain link fence very seriously, keeping my dogs well away from his property, which I imagined patrolled by two creatures akin to the Hound of the Baskervilles, fiendish, with red, glowing eyes.


Douglas Spink.  With a horse. What could go wronhg?

Last summer the OPP apprehended a certain Doug Spink at the end of our street — an American fleeing charges of animal cruelty and dog-napping in the States who had been accidentally released from London’s provincial jail and had made his way to Lloyd’s house. They were friends apparently. Had been for years. In addition to being a drug smuggler (he was arrested in 2005 after investigators pulled him over with a load of nearly 375 pounds of cocaine, valued at $34 million), Spink had owned a purported bestiality tourism farm in Washington State featuring dogs and horses and, mysteriously, mice smothered in vaseline and tied up with string, and, in addition to having violated the terms of his supervised release, was suspected of having made off with Genghis, a neighbour’s Boerboel-Kangal mix.

On his website he expounds about about his philosophy vis a vis training stallions: “Are we unconventional in our approach to stallion care? Absolutely,” adding later,  “We don’t wall off sexual energy in our stallions as something dangerous or inappropriate, but rather channel that energy towards positive, safe, appropriate paths. There’s a proper time and place for it, and we work towards those sorts of skills rather than fighting un-winnable fights against deeply-rooted instincts.”

To which I can only respond, !!!!????

Once apprehended at Lloyd’s domicile, Spink was sent back across the border to New York State, only to return, a couple of months later, to Port Stanley to hang out with his old buddy Lloyd.

Then, on the evening of November 14, 2015, when my husband and I were down in Florida visiting our grandson, this happened.

Neighbours saw a fire in Lloyd’s house and went to investigate, whereupon Spink appeared, with Lloyd in a choke hold, and warned that he had a knife and that, if they came any closer, he would kill them. Then he released Lloyd and ran to the house of the very woman whose shih tzu Lloyd’s dogs had savaged; she was at the Legion at the time, waiting for the results of the Meat Draw. Spink broke down the front door using his right shoulder, dashed in, then out, letting the terrified shih tzu  escape into the night before making his way, yelling, down the road.  The Port Stanley fire truck arrived, followed by the Union fire truck, which is told to stand down because there is a weapon.  The police cruiser arrives, but cannot get past the Union fire truck blocking our  narrow road, forcing the police to get out and charge up what is a very steep hill. Aroused by all the commotion, the neighbours poured out into the street, our house sitter, who had been walking our dogs, along with them.

Before this assembled crowd, the police took Spink down in our driveway. They handcuffed him; he fought back. When the police had finally managed to wrestle him, bucking and kicking, into the cruiser, he smashed out both backseat side windows and bent the cruiser’s radar antenna. On the way to the hospital, he kicked the rear door and repeatedly smashed his head on the Plexiglass. He wouldn’t get out of the cruiser at the hospital and it took seven officers to drag him in, where he was restrained on a hospital bed, all the while shouting.

Meanwhile, back in sleepy little Port Stanley, an hour-long search by our neighbour Jim and our house sitter finally turned up poor traumatized shih tzu , cowering gelatinous under our deck. As for Lloyd’s house, it burnt down more or less. The dogs appear to have been unharmed – by the fire at least – and the word is that Lloyd will now make his home elsewhere. Which, all things considered,  is good news.

Patty Hearst.jpg

Patty Hearst

When we first moved to Port Stanley, neighbours advised us that, during Patty Hearst’s time as a fugitive, she hid out for a few months at the end of our street. They swore it was true, that they had seen her on a number of occasions, out walking.  I must admit that I didn’t believe them then. Patty Hearst, in little old Port Stanley?

Now. . . .  Well, now I’m not so sure.

Short Jesus

Real Jesus.png

Real Jesus

Recently forensic anthropologists have posited that Jesus was likely of normal height for his time – that is to say, 5’1”. They deduced this from examining the skeletal remains of Semite contemporaries of Jesus and the fact that, when the soldiers asked Judas in the garden of Gethsemane which one was Jesus, he didn’t reply, “The tall dude bathed in celestial light.”

fake jesus

Metrosexual Jesus

All but the most ahistorical of us (and, alas, they are legion) have figured out by now that Jesus probably more closely resembled that swarthy cab driver you don’t trust not to be a terrorist than the fair-haired, blue eyed, tall guy with the flowing locks depicted in most Western art — some sanitized hybrid of a metrosexual and a Norse god with clean fingernails and lots of hair product. We get it: Jesus looked like somebody on the No-Fly List. Adjust cultural lenses accordingly.

But then I thought: 5’1”. That’s short. That’s really short. Not Danny DiVito short, but only by an inch.  I’m short and I’ve got three inches on Jesus. Not to mention that, at 125 pounds, I probably outweigh him by a good 15 pounds.

Which gives one pause.

If Jesus was of normal height and normal height was 5’1”, then all the rest of those guys were short as well. The disciples were short. The three Kings were short. Mary was practically a pygmy. Everyone was shorter than we imagine. And what about animals — the ass, for example, that bore Jesus on Palm Sunday?   Was it smaller as well?


Madame Alexandra doll

My mother had a friend who had a vast and fabulous period doll house decades before such things were popular and furniture and trappings for them readily available. She and her daughter – an only child, adopted and dearly loved — were true collectors, traveling throughout Europe every summer to forage in antique and curiosity and junk shops to discover the perfect tiny copper kettle here and the miniature quilt the size of a coaster there. . . . The dollhouse, which was set in the Victorian era and featured a Madame Alexandra doll, suitably costumed, in each room, grew and grew until it eventually took up an entire wall of their capacious living room. My mother’s friend hosted a New Year’s Eve party every year to which children were invited, parties I would spend, transfixed, before this dollhouse, eating way too much party mix. (My mother’s friend lost her daughter when she was very young – in her twenties – to pneumonia. Heartbroken, she donated the dollhouse to a local museum.)


Spinal Tap contemplates a scaled down version of Stonehenge

Everything in that perfect dollhouse had to be to scale: one foot to a half an inch. And so, I realize now, must my imaginings of events in the First Century of the Christian Era. Remember the immortal scene in the Christopher Guest mockumentary Spinal Tap when an error in measurement on the part of Guest’s character leaves the band with no option but to perform their song Stonehenge on stage with dwarfs dancing around a scaled-down version of the Druid stone circle?

And, yes, I know. There are those coats of armor, the ones that you see all over Europe, the ones worn by actual knights, who themselves appear to have been on the pint-er size. And, yes I know. People are getting bigger. Witness my twins, who tower over me and refer to me – affectionately – as Mouse Woman.

But still.