September 15th @ Free Times Café

For those of us who live in Toronto, the harbinger of the end of the summer is the arrival of the Ex – the Canadian National Exhibition to those of you not in the know. The Ex is just basically a country fair on steroids but without tractor pulls or demolition derbies (which is too bad because they are a lot of fun). The Ex is not generally newsworthy unless one of two things happen, someone gets hurt on a ride or people get sick eating the food. I suppose the daily double would be if someone got hurt eating food on a ride, but I don’t think that’s happened yet.

This year the rides were relatively safe, it was the food that was the danger. The greatest food danger was found in the Cronut Burger. A Cronut is the rather unholy union of a croissant with a donut (given a donut is involved I’m actually not sure anymore if the term unholy can be used) – some deep frying may be involved. The Toronto version added a cheeseburger to the Cronut. I know some gentle readers think that simply consuming a Cronut burger in and of itself would cause someone to become ill, but as it turns out, it wasn’t the cro, it wasn’t the nut, it wasn’t even the burger, rather it was the maple bacon topping that was the culprit. Yes, the maple bacon topping because after all, it’s not really food unless its topped with bacon.

Now I like bacon as much as the next person – unless the next person happens to be a particularly devout Jew or Muslim or vegetarian – and even in those cases, these folks might like bacon, they just aren’t going to be eating it. Still, the current obsession with bacon seems, even to me, a bit much. You can have bacon appetizers, bacon desserts, bacon infused drinks. For those totally unconcerned with their health there are bacon-wrapped deep fried pickles, hot dogs and Mars bars – not altogether, or at least not yet, but just wait until next year’s Ex.

I suppose for many, bacon is a comfort food, but you can have too much comfort. Is it really necessary to have bacon for breakfast, lunch and dinner and as part of each course – there are other foods after all. I’m not suggesting laying off the bacon altogether (unless again you are a particularly observant Jew, Muslim or vegetarian in which case you probably do want to lay off the bacon), but you might consider expanding your palate (and perhaps laying off the deep fried everything might prevent some other forms of expansion).

And, seeing as we are discussing expanding palates, let me put in a word for expanding your musical palate. If you are interested in hearing different types of music played by a variety of instruments (and bagpipes too) and sung by, if not a multitude of voices, at least a bunch, you might want to drop by the Free Times Café (at College and Major just west of Spadina) on Sunday, September 15 when, guess what, Gordon’s Acoustic Living Room will be playing. Yes, starting at 8 pm you will hear a whole lot of different music – and to top it all off – there is no cover. It is a musical palate-expanding evening that I think is pretty hard to resist.

Hope to see you there – I’ll be the guy playing the bacon-wrapped mandolin.

September 15th Set List
Set #1 Set #2
Mist Covered Mountains / Conundrum
Five Days In May
Third Rate Romance
Sway
You Ain’t Going Nowhere
P Stands For Paddy
Lake of Ponchartrain
Every Time That You…
We Both Know
Brown Eyes Blue
Diamond Girl
Tracks Of My Tears
Unchain My Heart
Bang Bang
Copperhead Road
How Will I Ever Be Simple Again
Come Monday
A Prayer
Deportee
Ashokan Farewell
The Shieling
Trashy Woman
Hasn’t Hit Me Yet
The End Is Not In Sight
For What It’s Worth
Can’t Sit Down