Michael Murray is a Toronto-based creative writer, copywriter, blogger and journalist. As he is modest, he feels awkward talking about his genius, which he recently found out does not translate into IQ tests. He won the New Yorker cartoon caption contest and maintains a blog like an all-star.
His new book, A Van Full of Girls, is out this month, and you’re all invited to his spectacular book launch (and Capybara petting zoo) on Thursday July 7, 6-9:30 at Supermarket (268 Augusta Ave.)
SDTC: What aisle do you spend the most time in at the grocery store?
If they had a steak aisle, that is where I would spend all of my time. But as they don’t, I just stand in front of the butcher counter as if bewitched.
What would you do with 1 million bucks?
I would bet it all on red.
The receipts in your wallet would indicate what?
That I do absolutely ALL of my shopping at Shopper’s Drug Mart. They are taking over the world, you know.
What places in Toronto do you absolutely love?
I am going to name three places because that’s how many medals they give out in each Olympic event.
The Bronze medal goes to the Island. It’s different there, almost magical, and the view of Toronto is like something from a movie. And the feeling, after a long day of island exploration, of being ferried home across the waters, through the dark to the glittering lights of the city, is amazing.
Silver goes to the AGO, but more specifically FRANK restaurant. Going in there is like stepping into a Brian Eno composition. The tables are spaced WAY apart, and you never feel crunched up or subordinate to the bottom line. No, you feel like you’ve stepped from one art space into another. Also, the AGO gift shop is always a treat, not to even mention the entirely gorgeous and wonderful museum itself.
Gold goes to the Park Hyatt rooftop bar, which is where I had my first date with my wife, Rachelle Maynard. I love hotel bars, and this one has old servers in uncomfortable uniforms, martinis you could sail a boat around in, a great view of downtown and a splash of transitory patrons you simply could not invent.
(Honourable mention goes to Trinity Bellwoods park, which is a pageant of beauty in so many ways.)
What was your high school yearbook pet peeve?
I did not have one, but if I did it would have been, “Having to take my shirt off at pool parties.”
What would you do with your time if you didn’t write?
A charming bank robber, like George Clooney in Out of Sight. Have you seen that movie? It’s good. Don’t let Jennifer Lopez scare you off!
What makes you happy?
The best thing I ever did with my life, and perhaps the happiest I have ever been, was when I taught my ten-month-old son how to roar.
What makes you cringe?
Open mic nights.
What, in your opinion, is overrated?
Confidence is way overrated. It usually just sucks the oxygen out of the room and puts everybody on the irritated defensive, so just tone it down a little.
Person you’d most like to meet?
I would like to meet somebody who claims to have had a UFO abduction experience or an encounter with Bigfoot.
What is the best thing you did all week?
I offered a friend some fine advice about dating men who own swords.
Describe your perfect Saturday:
Rachelle, Jones, Heidi (our dog) and I sit on our front steps in the sun. I am drinking tea. We are talking with everybody who passes by. Some friends come over and we all go out to Trinity Bellwoods for a picnic/lunch thing, then we go on an adventure that has us finding the missing Capybara. I see a UFO in the sky, we go to a batting cage and then eat an awesome steak dinner. And then, miraculously, we are not tired but are beautiful and rested and clever, and go to a party in which all those assembled are the same.
Describe the funniest thing you’ve ever witnessed:
Oh, that’s easy. That would be my mother telling my father to, “Go sit on a fuck,” over Sunday night dinner.
What word or phrase should we all use more?