Theresa and Tom Selleck

girls-470679_640Lost a close friend, last Christmas. One night, cuddled deep in her family’s sofa, I spun tales of our misadventures.

Theresa and Tom Selleck

Colin Joudrie was the 8th grade’s answer to swagger on a stick. When he returned from Christmas break stoked about his Hawaiian vacation, everyone heard about it.

Theresa and I shared a glance across the stuffy classroom. Destination: Hawaii.

I forged library passes so we could research during lunch. Our Science teacher, Mr. Summersgill, was a soft touch for the treasured passes, but what challenge is there in begging, right?

So we settled down to hard work, cracked the World Book, and tuned in to ‘Hawaii.’

Captain Cook. Check.

Pearl Harbor. Check.

Archipelago. That’d be good for an easy ‘A’ on the Social Studies term paper. High-five.

Well, and Magnum PI, duh. Tom Selleck was sure to give us a ride in his red Ferrari.

I scoured our local rag, The Calgary Herald, and found tickets to Hawaii, $549 inclusive. That means hotel, too.


I’d been babysitting for two years and had almost $368 in the world. At $2/hr, I figured I could swing a ticket in a couple of months, with some hustle.

Theresa turned up in the morning, long face. Time for a pow-wow.

We met between classes.

“Mom won’t let me go.”

Infuriating.  Theresa’s mom had some kind of idea we, who could forge our own library passes and cinch Social Studies in a noon-hour, we, who could spell ‘archipelego’ we, who could spell ‘Hawaii,’ were too young to travel internationally and hit the beach on our own.

It was about the money. I’d been around longer than Theresa (six months, seriously!) and knew more of the world. It was always about the money.

Trapped on acreages between the town of Cochrane and the city of Calgary, we had two choices.

Cochrane was a write-off.  Nobody in Cochrane (except McKay’s ice cream) had money. Even if they had, we weren’t allowed off the school property to earn it.

That left Calgary.

Too far to bike, except for a lone business on the edge of town: the Crowchild Motor Inn.

An inn hires maids.

Theresa added, “and they get tips.”

Done deal.  We would get jobs cleaning rooms at the Crowchild Motor Inn. The owners had no idea the gold mine they sat on.

Guests were dying for the right combination of speed and suds.

Theresa could scrub a bathroom in 10 minutes. I could run a vacuum and make a bed in the time it took my mom to open the garage door and climb the stairs.

Those rooms would sparkle so bright, we’d drown in tips. We’d tour Hawaii in our own Ferrari. We could feel the island breeze in our hair.

The next day, long face again. “Mom won’t let me go.”

Some blah-blah that translated to us being good enough for slave labor scrubbing toilets at home, but not for paid employment at the swank Crowchild Motor Inn.

“But that nukes Hawaii,” I wailed. What fun was Hawaii alone?  “I already wrote the Magnum PI producer and got us tickets to a taping.”

“Really?” Theresa was now as upset as I was.

My skill at telling lies is exceeded only by my inability to conceal them. I admitted there were no tickets.

Theresa forgave me for baiting her about the taping almost as soon as we hatched a new plan. We’d write a multi-million dollar computer game. Heck, we were halfway there; we’d coaxed a digital clown to stick out his tongue and buzz a raspberry. Next stop, Silicon Valley.

Years later, we danced ’til dawn with our university pal, Rob Ferrari; a good guy but no Tom Selleck.

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