A sweetly smiling young woman on a busy Ottawa street pats a child on the head and the child says: “What the hell do you think you’re doing?” The child is a midget who doesn’t like being treated as a child. Andrew Cohen’s true story of the “cuteness syndrome” makes the point.
The familiar voice crackling out over the Iranian airwaves was unaccustomedly hesitant. The short, ramrodstiff man who had held his country in a vise-like grip of fear for a quarter of a century seemed shrunken and suddenly frail on screen.
Dressed in funereal black, at first glance George Steiner looks as if he might have spent the last 25 years in the cloistered bank vaults of Geneva. Nothing could be further from the truth. The Paris-born critic and English professor is a truly international figure, as at home in Chicago where he studied as he is in Cambridge or Geneva where he now divides his teaching year.
It hasn’t yet reached the point of kittynapping, but given the consumer’s yen this year to throw a fur—any furon her back, owners of the lustrous Persian cat or the ombre-hued Siamese might be wise to keep a close eye on their pets’ nocturnal outings.
He is an ex-wartime intelligence officer who drops Latin phrases with : the grace of falling leaves, yet he was “notoriously bad” at all the RCMP code words. He was ambassador to Germany during the Cold War and in the Middle East during the 1967 Six-Day War, but as head of the Security Service he says he didn’t “know one end of a microphone from the other.”
It had promised to be little more than diplomatic potlatch—a routine goodwill tour from which both sides would emerge with modest gifts. But by the time Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin ended his six-day official visit to Canada on Sunday, the political definition of “routine” had changed dramatically.
Paul Ormsby went to his physician for a routine checkup and found he was suffering from hypertension. He was placed on a course of drug therapy but, as he didn’t feel sick to begin with, he didn’t see much point in taking his pills and easily persuaded himself to discontinue treatment.
Barker Fairley is an elemental man who seems exempt from the vicissitudes of mortality. At 91, his spirit is as ebullient as champagne, and he has been spared the bodily and mental decrepitude which sometimes overtakes men far younger than he.
Stan McCreary hasn’t been fishing long enough to acquire the gnarled, weather-beaten facial trademark of the veteran British Columbia commercial fisherman. The fresh-faced 32-year-old, who still looks much like the fellow who left university eight years ago with a few hundred in his pocket to start fishing, seems to have everything going for him:
Snug in a chemical snooze and swaddled in surgical green, a pale, blonde boy named Peter Chapman lies supine on an operating table and awaits the knife. Peter, at 11, has endured open-heart surgery twice before. Scar tissue will make this third cutting of his heart more difficult.
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