Friday, September 25, 2009

My letter to the AGO

Dear Art Gallery of Ontario,

My name is Sarah Bertrand, and I am a vengeful, passionate, 26 year old woman who is somehow associated with an artist, and this is my tale of woe.

On September 19th, 2009, I was forced against my will to venture to your establishment, because my girlfriend has just started her first semester in art school, and wanted to be accompanied. Since I support her work, I decided I would put on my fancy hat and good t shirt, and venture out for some culture.

I have one question, one suggestion, and one comment. I shall begin with the "suggestion".

There was one painting, up, up, waaay up on the fifth floor (we could not locate the elevator, so we walked up the spiraling staircase of death.. I had to use my inhaler immediately after), and it was brown. Not my inhaler, the painting. A light brown. That was it. It was about the size my cat, Sunshine, if he was standing up and had his arms outstretched. He is orange, and very furry. He also is blind in one eye. It was a rather tawdry shade of brown, and there was no pattern, no picture, literally nothing on the canvas except the shade brown. It was called, "Untitled". Well, duh! That would be the *obvious* choice to call it. I, however, have contrived several more imaginative ideas for what this "piece of art" should be called. "Bark". Or, "Chocolate". Or, "Brunette". Or, "Autumn". These are just a few working ideas to jazz things up a little bit. I also thought it would be quite interesting to catch people off guard, and give them something they wouldn't expect. Like, "Shazaam! Brown!" Or, "Whoooaaaaa!" Or, "Peanut Brittle." I don't mind if you use any of the ideas. In fact, I would be very flattered. I would, however, have to insist that my name be accredited, and a wing of your building to be named after myself: Sarah C Bertrand.

Now, the comment. On the first floor, there was one larger scale photograph that took up a small wall. It was framed, and looked like someone took a picture of various items in their house, and got it developed at their local Wal Mart, or Sooters. Is Sooters still around? It was a picture of an empty pack of Belmont's brand cigarettes, an almost empty glass of what looked like Coca Cola, concealer, eyeshadow, and a few nick nacks. My friend, Kevin Tramov (who also went with us that day), exclaimed loudly and abruptly, "This looks like my make up counter!" It did, AGO, look like his makeup counter. What constitutes art nowadays? It just seemed to be random objects in a polaroid taken out of focus. Was there a hidden meaning I didn't comprehend? Or, is this is newest art fad that's going to be taking over? Because, in that case, I have several pictures I'd like to send you, and have immediately displayed. There was a brief period I was experimenting with piles. I would wait until my cat, Mr. Bojangles, was sleeping, and then I would pile as many things as I could on him until he woke up and started to squirm, and I would take a picture. Books, blankets, socks, cds, pens, a Lean Cuisine one time. I'd never hurt him, but the pictures turned out pretty inspiring. I also have pictures of my brother wearing my bathing suit when he was younger, a really great one of my mother dressed up as a cowboy a few Halloweens ago, trotting around my room, and I even have a very endearing picture of my other cat, Ned, in laundry basket. He's looking up at me, pleading with his eyes, "I'm not dirty mom! Don't put me in with the wash!" And I didn't. But it's still a great picture. Regardless, my comment is this: I don't understand it, so I fear it. You should make exhibits that are less confusing, and thus less scary.

Speaking of scary, here comes my question. As soon as you walk into the AGO, and after you've paid your fee (a fee which I will be demanding back in a few short paragraphs), there is a large room with a large exhibit. Although I do consider myself an artist at sandwich making, I am not in fact an actual, conventional artist. So, from a non artistic point of view (unless we're discussing sandwiches), what I saw not only confused me, but horrified me. There was a massive mirrored dwelling. Some of the glass was cracked, and it was two storeys high. On top there were several budgies that had visited the taxidermist, as well as a mannequin that had the body of an angry businessman, and the head of a giant bird with pubic hair glued to its face. There were several dildos on display, some bedazzled with leather, and odd viney things that looked as though they were haunted. There was also another birdman, who looked like he was late for an appointment, and thus wanted to kill someone. I don't know why he was so mad. I don't know why the words, "scrotum" and "tongue" were scratched in the trees that surrounded the whole display. I actually don't understand, even a little bit, what any of it meant. I even tried to think like a pretentious jerk, and think about it in terms of "society", and I *still* don't get it.

My question to you, AGO, is how quickly will it take me to get back my $18 sent back to me before I implement an artistic protest outside your building, involving interpretive dance, picture taking, some melting ice (like that other presentation upstairs that made even less sense), and perhaps showing of artistic emotion. Like tears. Or passion. I look forward to my $18 immediately, as well as an apology. For the world to see. Post haste.

Sarah Bertrand

Monday, September 21, 2009

My letter to Milton Bradley

Dear Milton Bradley,
My name is Sarah Bertrand, and I am a 26 year old-stay- at- home nanny who enjoys butterscotch pudding, Paddington Bear, and references to the color teal.

A few days ago, I made the mistake of feeling nostalgic. A mistake that I will regret for the rest of my days. I was working at the time, and had what Oprah would call an "A Ha!" moment. I thought to myself, "Sarah Bertrand," I thought. "Remember when your life had meaning?" And then I thought to myself, "Nope." And then I thought to myself, "'Guess Who?' was a really good board game." And then I deduced that on my break I should mission to Wal Mart and see if they carried said game. It reminded me of my childhood, and I missed my childhood. I'm so mature right now, I can't even remember what it felt like to be a child.

So when 1:00pm came, I scuttled my way out of the store, punching wildly and invading the customer's space, while I tried to maneuver the quickest route out of there. I absconded my way through the mall, directly into Wal Mart, and scampered off to the nostalgic treasure section.

Mr. Bradley, would you like to "Guess Who?" I found?? Well sir, it's not a "who", but a "what". The game, "Guess Who!" Obviously I snatched it off the shelf, and impressively tore my way over to the cash register, and then out into the mall, and back to my place of work. I couldn't wait to get this baby home, and reacquaint myself with all those familiar faces. I missed Charles the most. He reminded me of my Uncle Pat.

Milty.. can I address you as such? Well Milty, without going into too much detail, upon opening the package of the game and discovering it's disappointing contents, I decided that a letter is in order. Not only were the various pieces so shoddily constructed that it was virtually impossible to keep the game together and functioning without cards falling out, or hinges dislocating themselves (plus a missing score keeping piece, but by that time I was so over it that I didn't deem that a priority), but the FACES.. the faces. I have written a meticulous account of every single NEW (not appeasing my sense of nostalgia at all.. i didn't recognize anybody!) mugs, what I assumed their positions in life would be, and how they made me feel.

Danial (spelt really oddly): A creepy bus driver. The kind that leers after little boys, and yells at little girls. Also, I believe he probably listens to Enya, and punches walls.

Chris: A deadbeat, unambitious, elementary school dropout who still gets an allowance, and spends it on tiny action figures, and then proceeds to melt them.

Emily: She looks like Mrs. Doubtfire. And although I really liked that movie, and have a fondness for drag queens, she looks like the version of Mrs. Doubtfire that would probably be a sociopathic thief. She also looks like she has several cats with various maladies that range in severity, and I believe I'm safe in assuming that all these felines have names that start with either "Mr." or "Mrs." Is this a safe assumption, Milty?

Kyle: Looks like he attempted to start his own boy band, and failed.. because he's 37. He also looks like he's obsessed with his past, and regrets letting his mom deter him from being a professional baseball player.

Nick: An inadequate, impotent science teacher. The pervy one you hated in high school.

Ashley: Looks like the snobby jerk who's from the ghetto but tries to act exotic with a beret and flashy costume jewelry. She also looks like she lacks respect for herself and has misplaced her morals. She undoubtedly uses a fake accent, however, I cannot decide which type of accent I feel as though she uses.

David: Looks like he's stumbled into non Mennonite territory by accident, and is terrified. The only thing that seemingly calms him down are birds living in his beard, singing him a sweet melody.

Zachary: High strung and strung out virgin. Loves pastrami, and has a diaper fetish. He also looks constipated. Is he, Milton Bradley?

Matt: Poor Matt. I mean, it's not his fault that his wife cheated on him. With another woman. Ashley, to be more precise (the aforementioned Harlot). I'm fairly certain that Matt is Benjamin Button. I am more certain that he sits down to pee.

Alex: Overweight underachiever.

Jake: Huzzah! A homosexual magician! Probably with a sassy catchphrase. He loves bananas, and refers to himself as a Hulkamaniac.

Rachel: Pillpopper.

Sarah: Great name, struggling actress. In the meantime, she's a self hating librarian, and screams into her mirror at night.

Connor: Played too much Super Mario as a kid, and is searching for his life partner, Luigi.

Brandon: Running from obesity for his whole life, and doesn't trust himself.

William: "Surf's up!" This freeloading hippy liar makes me feel anxious and disappointed.

Jon: Preteen serial killer.

Joshua: Hey, is that Joshua? Yes. And he'll kill you. He also has a sexual fetish, with sauces.

James: I believe that James is actually a chocolate covered almond that was placed in this game by accident. A goatee was then thrown on as a lackluster apology. No one's head looks like that.

Joseph: Tranny riddled with anxiety.

Andy: Hey, do you like tax evasions? No? Andy does.

Tyler: Tyler's touching Kyle as I type.

Justin: Wears a stained wife beater, eats ketchup sandwiches, and beats his wife. He has given up on himself, and doesn't deserve the exposure.. just leave him alone.

Last, but not least..

Megan: Her indiscretions got her a great job. I can't be mad at that.

Well Mr. Bradley, my disappointment is unmistakeable, and completely founded, but I am sure that you have already come to that conclusion on your own. I expect a full refund of $18.96 plus applicable taxes, and every single current "Guess Who?" game to be taken off of store shelves, everywhere. I expect a new game constructed this instant, with the use of all of the old characters, and two new ones: Sarah Bertrand, and my grey domestic cat, Ned. I'll send pictures to aid the process. Ned is very fluffy. It's very important to me that this aspect of him is captured.

Thank you so much for your time, and I look forward to a response immediately.

Sarah Bertrand

Guess Who board game [Incident: 090923-000027]
Wednesday, September 23, 2009 5:43 AM
From: This sender is DomainKeys verified"Hasbro Consumer Affairs"
Add sender to Contacts

Recently you submitted a question to our Consumer Affairs team. Below is a summary of your question and our response.

Thank you for allowing us to be of service to you.

If your issue remains unresolved, please update this question here.

Guess Who board game

Discussion Thread
Response (Kerry Vaux) 09/23/2009 08:43 AM
Hi Sarah,

Thank you for contacting Hasbro, Inc.

We are very sorry to hear that you were not satisfied with your Guess Who game and can fully appreciate the disappointment caused. We pride ourselves on ensuring that our products are of the highest quality and we are concerned to learn that this game was unsatisfactory.

We will be happy to send a postage paid mailing label to assist you in returning the game to us along with your receipt. . Once we have received your game and receipt, and a refund will be issued to you less the tax.

Please be advised that we cannot accept responsibility for uninsured, lost or misdirected mail. To facilitate the process, please include a brief note explaining the problem with the product, along with your return address and phone number.

Sarah, we appreciate having the opportunity to assist you. We hope you and your family will enjoy our products for many years to come.
re: Guess Who board game [Incident: 090923-000027]
Wednesday, September 23, 2009 6:28 PM
From: "Sarah Bertrand" View contact details
To: "Hasbro Consumer Affairs"

Dear Milton Bradley, or Kerry Vaux- Bradley,

Huzzah! Such a prompt and diplomatic response! "Guess Who?"!! It's Sarah Bertrand! Did you enjoy my approach? Did I make you giggle? Even a little bit? I hope so. I appreciate your offer to refund my hard earned money, however I have misplaced the receipt. I had it on the computer table for two weeks, and my girlfriend did a "big clean", and then it went missing. I'm not blaming her for it being gone (I already told her that), but I am saying that it was definately there before she cleaned, and now it's not. Perhaps I should get a decorative container for my receipts. Or a file folder. There wouldn't be very many receipts in it though, so maybe just a sandwich bag. Like a ziploc. I'll have to remember to pick some up.

Alas, I am getting off track. I'm saddened and perplexed as to why my simple request at the personalized "Guess Who?" game could not come into fruitation.. I had already told my family (extended as well) that I had made myself into an overnight success, and they should expect very impressive and prestigious early Christmas presents. I assumed the game would be on the shelves by early next week. There is already a huge demand for this product. I just don't understand, Milton Bradley. You have disappointed a lot of Bertrands. Not to mention friends of Bertrand's.

I guess, since I don't have a receipt anymore, the only logical thing to do would be to go out, and re-purchase another "Guess Who?" sub par board game from Wal Mart. Maybe they'll have jacked up the price this time, so I'll get even more money back from you guys. God I'm so smart!! Maybe I'll quit my job and make a living getting refunds for products I've purchased. I'd better go now and try and figure out how to patent my idea. Thanks for being so accommodating and nice.


Sarah Bertrand

Friday, September 4, 2009

My letter to Red Lobster

Dear Red Lobster,

Salutations! My name is Sarah Bertrand, and I am a 26 year old crustacean lover, who enjoys garlic butter, seamen, and watching food I'm about to consume in it's last afflicted moments of life.

I just finished grazing upon a scrumptious meal at your Yonge and John location, and I am stuffed! I enjoyed a medley of flavours, namely seafood, mashed potatoes, and one and a half buns. It was like Jesus himself had punched me in the mouth with a hug. And garlic shrimp.

I wanted to congratulate you on the impeccable positioning of your live lobsters (right smack dab as soon as you enter the establishment.) It's such a great idea. I always find myself saying, after fine dining, "God, that chicken was so tasty. I just wish I got to see an overzealous morbid display before I ate it. For example, a gaggle of rabid hens tearing through the restaurant in all their glory, feathers flying, skittering over my feet so I can truly see their personalities, thus being able to determine which fowl to devour."

I shall immediately begin a crusade in restaurants across Canada, to implement mandatory animal showcasing before ingesting. Not being able to see my dinner before feasting is just tacky.

You are delicious, Mr. Lobster. Thank you, and goodnight.

Sarah Bertrand