I’m finishing off edits for Here’s To Hound Dogs and trying to find the right inspiration the sports writing and Canadian series that I’m working on. For Toronto our three biggest sports would be hockey, baseball and basketball. Men here cry out for gold rings and the cup like women did with Beyonce on “Single Ladies.” The truth of the matter is that the story is hard to right since I’ve never branded myself a Toronto Raptors, Leafs fan, or Blue Jays fan with jerseys and hats. I had a stint in a community basketball league where I was basically head cheer leader for the team. That’s when I finally understood basketball world. It’s the complete dedication that it takes and pushing yourself to physical limits because athletes do it every day. No days off as they would say.
The feeling of Canadians wanting gold is in our branding. We always want gold during the Olympics and from birth feed our children what it takes to help them succeed in their leagues. We also brand them giving them Maple Leafs, Raptors, the Blue Jays shirts, hats etc. Our men want it bad but our ladies want it just as badly as they do. This story would have to be for our ladies who would give it up for the cup. The girls that understand that sport is this our guy’s religions and are waiting alongside them for gold. The guys who start from the bottom (as Drake would say) and brought her along side up.
Updates for Turnover, and Canadian Series are always on twitter @startswithakesh
For now here is a sneak peek at Here’s To Hound Dogs.
Just try to keep your cool man. It’s almost over.
Ray Dalton talked himself down but it wasn’t working. There was no way to leave the pressure of the bright stage lights and with the audience looking on at him blankly it impossible to reach up and catch all of the sweat rolling down into his tuxedo collar. On Live TV there were only two real choices when caught lying: sit in sweat like you just finished running a marathon or try to mop yourself off like a wet dog. Either way Ray knew he looked guilty and was screwed.
No dating history. No dating history. Definitely no dating history questions.
He warned his manger with that mantra when he signed on to do an interview with Christina Grey on her show Modern Dating & Love. Ray had been reassured over and over again that he wouldn’t be asked about his love life.
“Don’t be quiet now, Ray. Our audience would like to know why the most successful Dating Coach in twenty years hasn’t met an ex-girlfriend’s parents to signify, you know, a long-term relationship? And I’m not going into all of those times you went just for the anecdotes you put in your books,” Christina said. “‘Guess Who’s Never Coming to Dinner?’ can be the title of your next book.”
Ray returned her smile with something short of a Joker grin. Avoiding anger at this point seemed unnecessary. He had been thrown to a lioness in light pink lipstick and expensive perfume with his career hanging in the balance. Being trustworthy was at the center of his work. Complete strangers gave him control over their love lives. Christina’s questions chipped away at that trust and dropped zeros off of his royalty account statements.
In the past year alone, he could count ten short term girlfriends. Women who knew what the deal was when dating a public figure. Or at least wanted to be Ray Dalton’s arm candy. The last woman who flipped the script on him—even after she had been briefed on the rules of his love life—he affectionately nicknamed Private Investigator or P.I. for short. The woman should have been an amateur detective the way she was able to break through his cell phone and computer passwords. God knows he couldn’t resist the temptation. She was a plus-sized model who was blessed with curves on curves. But that kind of detective skill was required for a purpose and he couldn’t connect the dots until that moment. P.I. would be more than able to track down his ex-girlfriends to see what was up with his love life and sell it to the highest possible bidder. Ray reached for his bottle of water to buy time when he remembered the line that he used on her and all of the women before her.
“This isn’t going to be the kind of relationship that you want. Not the kind of relationship you deserve…”
Ray’s perfectly crafted words made sure everyone woman who heard them was out the door after hearing them but instead of moving onto her next boyfriend, P.I. had zoned in on his “commitment phobia.” As a career driven man he was focused on collecting data from his dating life instead of settling down. But the truth was hidden within a phobia that gave Christina Grey his family jewels to twist whichever way she wanted. A relationship guru without a long term relationship in all of his thirty-three years, the contradiction would be a boring tagline for a rom-com movie in the middle of a summer blockbuster lull. But the empire Ray built was about to fall down faster than the author who was exposed as a liar after getting on Oprah Book Club.
“Mr. Dalton, did you not hear the question? Our audience would like to know how one of the most successful Dating Coach’s… has never even had a successful long-term relationship,”Christina repeated.
Her tone was neutral but it would have been less painful to take a knife to the chest. He needed O.J.’s lawyer or Clinton’s publicist. Anyone who would be able to get him out of the hot seat and into the lazy boy recliner in his bachelor pad with a cold beer in his hand.
“Well, you see, Christina…” he began.
Ray knew exactly where the truth would get him, in the bargain bin or a garage sale with other writers who were hung in the jury of public opinion. Ray ran a hand through his hair. This is going to be my last interview. I might as well do it in style.
Ray began with his dating history andwatched as the audience’s faces changed as he spoke. From shocked gazes to annoyed looks to their watches. It wasn’t hard to imagine people watching at home switching off their televisions sets or just going to bed early. There would be no more advances and no more books.
Too bad because the radio silence after he finished speaking inspired him to think of one of his best opening lines: The best revenge after a break up isn’t plotting your comeback but their downfall. Complete ex-lover destruction is how you recover quickly from an unfair breakup. Or how you end up on prime time news.