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Despite rarely shifting past third gear until Barrie, Ont., we still made good time driving to the cottage last night.

To help pass said time, the Beast read aloud some Yelp restaurant reviews. I can’t remember when he first started doing this, but it’s something we both enjoy. Whether they are mundane reviews by “Tammy” about the cold biscuits from Red Lobster, or “Ryan” expressing outrage over the small portions at Denny’s, they are entertaining—and provide a glimpse of how average, humorous, and outrageous we humans can be.

We all have something to say, particularly “Teena D,” an extraordinarily prolific Yelp reviewer. Since 2010, she’s yelped 914 reviews and shared 9,944 photos. From Island Roti in Toronto to Pizza Delight in Halifax, we’ve learned she travels a lot for work…frequently uses ellipsis in her reviews…has a healthy appetite, prefers dishes featuring chicken, and almost always learns the name of her server. Her reviews routinely end with a nod to them. For example, “Trevor was kind and knowledgeable about craft brews,” she says. “He took good care of us…We’ll be back!”

I will leave the cottage on Sunday night but the Beast—who officially retired on Wednesday—will stay on all week by himself. For the first time in our relationship, he had to do the cottage meal planning. While he was out grocery shopping Friday, he texted me: “Meal planning and organizing is so hard!!!! I can not believe everything you do. You are amazing!!!”

This was followed, inexplicably, by a text about the end of Brangelina. “I’d throw Brad a sympathy fuck in a hot second,” he said.

At 9:30 p.m., while the Beast unloaded the car, I organized his provisions, which include:

1 tambourine
1 euphonium
2 boxes Ritz crackers
2 tins sardines
1 can maple beans
1 lb. butter
12 eggs
1 loaf Wonderbread
1 loaf raisin-cinnamon bread
1 large frozen meat pie
1 box Cheerios
4 bags chips (all-dressed, tortilla, plain, and party mix)
2 bottles Cava
2 bottle Vinho Verde
1 bottle Laphroaig
2 pairs Brooks Brothers pyjamas
1 bandana

Then we had a late-night dinner of prosciutto, cheese, and bread, which we washed down with a bottle of Barolo. In hindsight, the wine choice may have been a bit excessive.


The Beast fell asleep about 10 minutes into An Unfinished Life. I stayed wide awake until the very end. Directed by Lasse Hallström, and starring Robert Redford, Jennifer Lopez, Morgan Freeman, and Josh Lucas, it is a very average movie that shamelessly manipulates your heart strings, which, if I’m being honest, is my favourite kind of movie.

If I’m still being honest, I didn’t sleep well last night. My anus was extremely itchy.

“Is an itchy butt a sign of hemorrhoids?” I asked the Beast while we sipped on coffee and read our books. (I’m reading a collection of Lillian Ross’ New Yorker pieces: The one on Federico Fellini in Connecticut, is laugh-out-loud good. And I couldn’t help but think that the one on Wes Anderson must’ve been a career highlight for the director, who seems to live his life as though he is a walking and talking Lillian Ross “Talk of the Town.”)

“It could be,” he said. “It could also just be all the cheese and bread you ate for dinner. Or just a  dry butt, dirty butt, or rotten butt.”

No matter, I’m certain it’s something that a quick dip in the chilly lake will help soothe. Although, I’m hesitant right now to get my hair wet. It has quite a bit of product in it. I woke up looking like Miss Honeychurch from A Room with a View, if you ask me. A true vision.


The Beast is on the dock now, reading his book, and warming up in the sun, which is making the lake sparkle.


Tonight we will uncork a bottle of Champagne, feast on either steak or Italian sausages—I can’t decide right now—and maybe watch another movie.

I don’t know who I will wake up looking like tomorrow.

7 replies »

  1. Your blog and work on The Social have brought so much joy to my life. Your delightful personality is so refreshing. I will be jumping in the lake next weekend too. Best wishes to the Beast with his new life adventures. Thanks for so many laughs and sharing your charming self.

  2. Thanks for the shout out! It’s “Teena D.” aka Teena in Toronto.

    Yes, I do travel a lot for work … I do use ellipsis … I do have a healthy appetite (too healthy!) and I do like chicken. I always chat with my servers and give them thanks for doing a good job.

    BTW, I had lunch at Swiss Chalet in London today (chicken, of course) and Serena took good care of me 🙂

    Teena in Toronto

    • Teena, you have no idea how happy you’ve made me. Please keep the Yelps coming. I feel like I both know and trust your tastes.

  3. I saw on Dragons’ Den that an itchy butt hole is a sign of worms. The lady suggested sitting on a bowl of warm milk to bring out the worm. I’ve not tried it, Jess I hope you give it a try and report back your findings then I’ll have a go at it.
    Poor Angelina, even the Beast sees Brad as the injured one.

  4. I love the Social but am new to Foodie and The Beast. I am in love with this blog and enjoying catching up on previous entries. Please never stop Jess!

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