by LOU MAZE
RMG humour columnist
I have written about my son’s playmate Felmo. Felmo is a doll that goes everywhere with him. In fairness to my son, I must admit, I also have a friend named Geraldine.
Geraldine is a puppet, with a polka dot shirt and ribbons in her ears. She used to have pants but she lost them and since she is anatomically ambiguous, I haven’t tried that hard to find them. She gets along great with Felmo, who also doesn’t have pants.
Geraldine’s role in my life is simple, when there is something truly frightening, that I must do all alone, Geraldine comes with me.
This began 29 years ago, when I was sitting on the cusp of turning 30 and decided my life was pretty boring. So I cleared out my apartment, quit my job and moved to Europe. Moving to Europe wasn’t all that crazy, but going alone, to live with absolute strangers, definitely was.
Geraldine was a going away present from my friends. She was with me when I crossed the English Channel and happily shared a morning croissant with me in Paris. Even when she had to remain tucked away in the suitcase, with her legs up around her ears, she was a comfort.
Her loyalty was tested when I had to drive in Rome. I often tell people that Romans are good drivers because all the bad ones are dead already. You never look in the rear view mirror because you are too busy tending to the terrors in front of you. This may be one of the reasons, Italians live in the moment.
Since, I couldn’t risk the lives of my new found friends, Geraldine was the obvious candidate for crash test dummy. She stays serene under pressure, is incapable of wetting herself and probably wouldn’t crack the windshield upon impact. Her fate was sealed. She would provide moral support and not distract me with a lot of screaming. I put her in the passenger seat and buckled her belt, just like my son does with Felmo.
We survived, but Geraldine’s role was established. She goes with me, when I must go alone and don’t really want to. Once, I almost asked my surgeon if she could come into the OR with me, but I figured they would want to sterilize her and I couldn’t ask a friend to make that kind of sacrifice.