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My friend from Calgary came to talk about his book Imperfections at my book group (or as some like to call it “book club.”) I’m unsure if he’d like to stay anonymous so let’s just say his name sounds like Bradley Somer. In fact, it sounds so much like that, some may say his name actually is Bradley Somer. Of course those same people may say I’m bad at anonymity. What can I do? Haters gonna hate.
“Brad” arrived on a bright Wednesday afternoon. A friend of his back in Calgary wanted us to stop at the local Bath and Body Works to pick up a lotion and cleanser order. I said we didn’t have a Bath and Body Works store anymore, but the friend insisted we did. We discussed it a bit and I decided to believe the Canadian who’d never been to Helena that we had a store I’d never seen. Maybe there was an urban renewal project happening I didn’t know about. It’s not like I know everything… So I took “Brad” to the mall.
If you tell people you’ve taken a visitor to the mall, you hear two responses:
1. The mall here?
2. We have a mall?
But I think there’s a lot of potential to a 90% abandoned building with bad lighting. None that’s legal, but there’s still potential. And I think hanging out at a deserted mall brings friends closer together. Literally. I held “Brad” out in front of me as a shield.
We also went to the Windbag. Previously known as Big Dorothy’s, the longest operating brothel in town. It’s now known for its hamburgers.
The book discussion went swimmingly. No fist fights occurred so that was nice. Everyone had delightful things to say about the book. (It’s a good book. Stop what you’re doing now and buy it.) (Actually, wait until after you read this.) I never had to change the subject by bringing up what I’d read in Entertainment Weekly like I usually do.
And everyone loved “Brad.” They liked him so much they thought I was not a good host because I took him to the mall. But now whenever “Brad” sees a dark building where people hang out to purchase powdered substances and practice knife throwing, he’ll think of Helena.
Our final stop was Sieben Ranch.
The sheep loved him too. They couldn’t take their eyes off of him. I think they liked him a little less once they realized he wasn’t there to help them deliver their lambs, but at least he tried.
We had a joyously fun time. Everyone should come visit me.
I’ll take you to the mall.
PS Brad was born in Australia and lived there until he was 2, yet does not know Simon Baker. So, so odd. But I’m getting closer.