I had no interest in attending a dinner party of any kind. Certainly not one with so many people attending. Ever since Gilbert, my good friend, had died last year, I had avoided social gatherings altogether. They had always seemed so artificial to me, but now the very idea of sitting around a table with a group of people I had never met and knew nothing about made me physically ill.

Nonetheless, Tom was going to be there, and he was absolutely insistent that I come. “It’ll be great!” he said, “You need to get out of that stuffy old apartment anyway! Besides, you’ll like the guys who are coming. There’ll be a bunch of Our People there.” He said that last part with such emphasis that I knew he could only mean one thing.




In other words, Canadians.

So, I went. To this day I have no idea who owned the house we were in. I assume it was one of the attendees, but if it was, they never brought up the fact. Tom tried to introduce me to some of the attendees, and I felt like I recognized some of their names, but I couldn’t for the life of me remember from where. The dinner itself was decent enough, I’m not one for elaborate descriptions of meals, so I won’t bore you. The interesting part began after dinner.

We had all retired to the parlor, and were sitting in groups of two or three. The host had a roaring fire in the fireplace, and there was more than a little brandy passed around. We were chatting away about one thing or another, when someone started raising their voice.

“He’s not dead, you dolt; I saw him in the news last week!”

“He died a long time ago! I don’t know who you saw in the news, but it certainly wasn’t him!”

Tom, who had been sitting with me at the time, approached the arguing pair and asked who they were talking about.

“Trudeau!” they answered in unison.

“Pierre or Justin?” I asked.

“Justin, of course!” said the one. “I’m certain he’s dead!”

“And I’m certain he’s alive!” retorted the other.

The only rule that the host, whoever it was, had insisted upon in the invitation was that no one was to bring a cell phone or smart device of any kind. As such, this disagreement that would have been answered with around ten seconds of research ended up devolving into an argument that consumed the whole party.

Every person there absolutely insisted that he knew exactly what had happened to Justin Trudeau, and not one person agreed with another. People were shouting over one another, trying to insist that they knew Justin personally or had seen him die. Finally, after much cajoling, Tom and I convinced the group that the best way to settle this would be for everyone to make their case, one at a time, for what exactly happened to Justin Trudeau. I was tasked with recording each person’s version of events and figuring out the next day who had been most accurate. The host, whoever it was, offered the prize: a bottle of 44-Year-Old Canadian Club whiskey that we had all eyed when we came in.

We drew straws to see who would speak first. The winner of the draw was a man named Wurtweakle. He called his version of events “Ending Calmly.”


This is an excerpt from the new anthology Ending Bigly, Eh? The Many Fates of Justin Trudeau, edited by Bill Marchant. You can purchase the book from Terror House Press here.