Guest Post by Caitlyn James: Who Are These Canfields?

Caitlyn 'Smokie' James
Caitlyn 'Smokie' James
I’ve busted in here to ask you something. It’s Caitlyn … the Canfields will be staying at our place in August.

Joel & Sue agreed to give me some space to do a fun little post pre-launch of their nomad’s adventure. I’ll hit send before they can do a full proof-read. You’ll see why.

Seriously, folks, who are these Canfields? Have any of you met them in person? Would you let them stay in your house?

I don’t have time to be cautious and subtle so I apologize in advance for being a bit crass….

First, I get they’ll be living in the house so opening up the medicine cabinet is reasonable. We’ll take most of the anti-psychotic drugs with us; the Warfarin can be moved into the shed – we rarely use it for people, but we have friends with a tendency to forget to go home and at the right dose, the Warfarin just makes them feel a little woozy and they decide it’s time to go. Nothing serious. Of course, we use it on the pests, too, but it smells so nasty when they die in the walls. Anyway, my question is, are Joel and Sue the kind of people who will use up your Tylenol if you leave half a bottle sitting there?

Second, Fiona seems like a cute kid, but is she really 6? Apparently, she reads chapter books, flies at the sight of dogs, and has her own website. Makes me wonder if this is one of those sting operations the cops do when they pose as teenagers online to lure pedophiles. In this case, someone may have mentioned all the 6 foot deep holes we’ve been digging in the yard. The cops may have set up this kind-of-quirky family to infiltrate our home and networks. Fiona may very well be a donut eating 35-year-old with his own kid in kindergarten.

You see where I’m going with this. The Canfields might not be normal.

There’s this other thing. We LOVE our dog. Not in that nutty way that people can be with dog nail polish and bows in the hair; it’s just that we don’t see why people make their dogs eat on the floor. RK (Racoon Killer) has his dog dish on the table when we eat our dinner. I’m afraid Joel might try to change this. I dunno, I’m thinking he might be worried when RK takes an innocent little lick off Fiona’s plate. Problem is, RK has never taken direction all that well. Without a whole long story, let’s just point out that I only have 3 fingers on one hand. That’s 3 fingers total, out of 2 hands total. My question to you? Do you think I should tell them in advance about this?

As long as they don’t deviate from the regular routines nothing will go wrong.

In fact, I’m writing up some stuff for them (you can read about that at on July 7th) so they will know what the routines are and a few helpful hints. Don’t look Bruce, the neighbour, in the eye, that kind of thing. It’s a nice neighbourhood, but Bruce is a little touchy. Most of the rest of them just leave us alone. Walk on the other side of the street, skip us when collecting for charities – really respectful. Not too many nosey parkers.

Other than feeding the dog, we aren’t expecting much. Lock the doors when you leave, water the crop on schedule. Harvest time should coincide nicely with the Visa bill arrival, if the watering is done right. That’s it.

If there’s anything you believe is important for us to know before we turn our house and our dog and the crop over to Joel, Sue, and Fiona (if that’s even who they really are) can you leave some comments here… or send me an email,, you know, so they don’t intercept the communication?

Yikes, gotta go. Send.


  1. Oh, where to start. Well, first, I think I should tell you that “Sue” claims to be my “mother.” I’m still unsure of that, but I’m afraid to say otherwise. You don’t know what happened to … well, lets leave him out of this. It’s not like he’ll ever tell that story. Or can, anymore.

    Joel is a different matter. He seems all cute and fuzzy, but it’s not real. It’s a suit. A large, furry suit. No kidding. He’s not who he purports to be! Children can tell. As can dogs, so I think there will be some real issues with the dog. Maybe it was cats. Well, one of them can tell. The other cannot. The one that cannot ends up in the smokehouse. I wish I could remember if it was cats, dogs, or rabbits. One of them can’t figure it out.

    And Sue, well she is probably going to uproot your crops and plant lemon trees. It goes back to stories of grandma’s house. There were lemon and orange trees, but since her early demise at nearly 100, things just haven’t been the same. The obsessive lemon tree planting is one of them.

    Fiona is definitely not a man. But I cannot tell you what she actually is. Especially in writing. The squirrels will … and that’s about the entirety of what I can say about Fiona’s secret torture techniques. No wonder she advises for the *censored* government. That story about her just now getting a passport? Don’t question it.

    In other words, they aren’t anything like what you’re worried about. So you can just relax and let them come over. Obviously, if they can raise a child like me, they will be dealing with any medications appropriately.

    And responsibly. Let them stay. Let them …


    – James Ashman (Probably)

  2. My understanding is that the Canfields are wealthy, wealthy people. In fact, my sources tell me they own most of Canada, and (the good) parts of Yorguslovania. So they may actually take your dog to get a pet-icure and a few diamond dog tiaras. (Maybe even some for the raccoons.)

    Then again, there was that rumor that Joel is the REAL Darth Vader. To be safe, I suggest you keep some asthma medication handy, and maybe check birth certificates so everyone knows who their real rather is…just in case.

    Oh, and I lie a lot too.

  3. Well, I trust ’em! I’ve only known Joel via the interwebs, but we seem to be travelling in the same direction metaphorically speaking.

    I’ve got an open invite to him to come out to our neck of the woods in WA for some music, food, and conversation. I hope he can find a way to squeeze it in!

    I’ve found Joel to be friendly, intelligent and insightful, ever-so-willing to offer an opinion and ideas, and always at his best. It’s not a question to me of whether to let him in; it’d be more about whether to miss out on the experience of the Canfields!

  4. Oh. My. Gawd. There are tears running down my face. ROTFL. LMAO. LOL. All of it. A lot.

    James, if you were raised by Sue, I think it is possible she and I could be best friends, but I’m not sure about leaving my house in her hands!

    omg, still laughing.

  5. I have been advised to warm you that Joel DC and kin are happy lunatics. How do I say this, while Fiona is a prodigy who likes to read in the dark (She sees better than a cat in the dark), I can’t vouch for Joel and his preference for standing shirtless outside at sunrise staring at the rising sun.
    Sue, on the other hand, is subtle … in a Hannibal Lechter sorta way; she’s fine as long as (aside from her family) all living things are removed from the home. Did you say you have a dog? Hmmmm. Well, good luck, must dash now… I can smell them coming. Cheerio! Tongue firmly in cheek here Liz :-)

  6. Of course they’re not normal, they’re staying at your house instead of their own.

    But isn’t that great? How often do you get the chance to have some un-normal people stay at your house? (Maybe only once after this experience.)

    If you’re worried about what’s happening while you’re gone, just keep an eye on YouTube, I know Joel is pretty handy with a camera, so I’m sure he’ll be sharing your medicine cabinet, closet, underwear drawer, and any other most intimate places of your home with the world. It’ll make good fodder for one of his quirky business videos.

    But you can feel good knowing that the moldy food in your refridgerator helped someone improve their online business.

    Also, make sure Joel records an entire album while he’s there at your house. I hear he can crank those out pretty fast. He must then give it to you for free so you can sell it for money on iTunes.

    By the time they leave you’ll have a whole video documentary and a bunch of songs about your house, dog, crops, and medicines.

    You can’t get that from normal people.

    Nice move.

  7. Oh, Rex, more ROTFL. You are so right. You can’t PAY to have this experience. Note to self: clean out underwear drawer tomorrow.

  8. Liz – this is exactly what I am worried about. The neighbours will have complained to the city about the strange naked man in the front yard, the dog will be dead, but at least the light bulbs won’t be burnt out in the guest room … Fiona’s room!

  9. Blimey. These bandicoots have done this once too often.

    I had the entire Frank Sinatra on vinyl. Originals, every one. Mint condition, like everything else I own.

    This joker ‘Joel’ (I think not) sells my entire set of Frankie’s tunes and puts in about half of a collection by some Bob something-or-other, and the flipping sleeves are empty. Empty.

    This clown ever shows his face in Alice Springs again, he’s in the dunny, but quick.

  10. This wealthy, wealthy owning of Canada and odd European kingdoms is intriguing. Add that to Extreme Home Makeover and maybe we’ll come home to a bedroom and TV room addition? I’ll leave colour chips.

  11. Leave chord progressions too- Like Rex said, this whole thing will not only be on youtube, it will be fully orchestrated with world fusion trance music. You won’t even be able to tell he used a saw on the strings of your grandma’s piano once he runs the whole thing through distortion.

    I also hear Fiona is really an overgrown pixie and is 105. Sue is actually her niece, but Sue & Joel had to take over care for her when she lost her memory in the last goblin war.

    & I’m pretty sure rabbits can not only tell, but tend to aid & abet. Wasn’t it smoked lynx Joel sent out last Christmas? I think that means the dog is safe, as long as he keeps his wits about him.

  12. Oops almost forgot the bad part- Sue is known for her organizational skills & may leave your house in a shocking state of order- I mean, she might even tidy your napkin drawer- disgusting! And Joel- I think he leaves those sappy little encouragement letters all over the place. Makes me shudder just to think of it! Tell your dog to guard the pens & papers & you may survive.

  13. As one who has been over to the Canfields on several occasions I leave the following observations:

    Dog – they have none – think Korea

    Fiona – she is the chatterbox cafe and a Jack-in-the-Box all rolled into one little person. If you have the blessing to have her in your presence just practice your Bobblehead technique, nod…a lot!

    Sue – she is not real…she’s virtual. She will water your crops but unless they are virtual will die ’cause it’s all illusion. She is living in the Virtual World dontcha know.

    Joel – just leave lots of vinyl Bob Dylan around and something to spin it on and you will never need to worry about medicine cabinets. Oh…don’t forget the and paper and pencil. He likes to scribble while he drools.

    But here is the caveat, I have never, ever, not once, seen them without a vast number of computers (at least one in ever room if not three) nor have I seen them without guitars, drums, amplifiers or other assorted musical instruments (not that amps are musical instruments) so I am a little worried what will happen when they leave their security blankets for a great length of time. You don’t happen to have a big brass bed, do you?

  14. Caitlyn: These other speculators are simply shooting flaming arrows without a target; the Canfields (minus the Fiona entity who was on the dark side of Europa getting her monthly instructions from Zoldar, her “handler”) actually did stay in my home some months back. The visit was supervised, officers were at the ready. All went fine. Only it was the Canfield’s version of fine. To wit:

    They did a psychic surgery on my couch, pulling from what I thought were its innocent innards a large mass of what seemed to be raccoon tails and baked beans

    They performed a shamanic ritual involving beef brisket, speaker wire and Chiclets in the yard where the neighbors could see them

    Every eleven or twelve minutes, Joel would shout “Albondigas!” and then do an awkward, mincing dance that was painful to watch

    Sue furiously scribbled every word I said, and then an hour before they left she handed me the notebook that said, “Poor cadence, passive voice, non-development of topic sentences. C-”

    They left a small crocodile behind

    Needless to say, I’ve invited them to visit on the nomad expedition headed this way.

  15. I have “met with” Joel on various occasions via the interweb.

    It’s not clear, however, if he’s fully-realized that I’m a psychologist.

    From what I’ve observed, Joel’s (1) frequent biting (wit) and, (2) obvious problems with (narrow-minded, unimaginative) authority figures can be quite pronounced at times, but as far as I can tell, do NOT pose an immediate threat to most people. Well, except for those who are witless, narrow-minded, and/or unimaginative. Do you have anyone like that in your neighborhood? Like maybe Bruce? If so, uh-oh.

    As for Sue and Fiona, I haven’t had the pleasure of interacting with either of them, but have caught a glimpse of them through Joel’s eyes.

    Since Joel seems to be kind of obsessive (in proper spelling & punctuation, especially), but not outright delusional, I’m comfortable in my initial assessment that (1) Sue (i.e., the Best Beloved) does, indeed, have super-hero powers and, (2) the precocious Fiona has Daddy wrapped around her little finger.

    Which is, in my professional opinion, exactly where he should be.

    Indeed, as the gravitational pull from the sun keeps a planet neatly in orbit (most of the time), I suspect that the love of Sue and Fiona does something similar for Joel.

    So, yes, Caitlyn. Based on my limited observations, I think that you can trust the Canfield constellation with house, dog, and crop. Just keep Joel away from the neighbors, okay?

  16. Oh my! I am gasping for breath, tears on my cheeks, and a big ol’ grin practically breaking my face in half. Joel & Sue, I don’t know if you have the best friends in the world, or the craziest … but one pick one, when you can have both?!

    It’s just nice to think that in the final organization, the crocodile will unlikely be left inconveniently in the napkin drawer. And, I have to say the Fiona as 105 year-old pixie makes a lot of sense (I’m practicing my head-bobbing.)

    Can’t wait to see the video(s)! And, the look on the neighbours’ faces when we return.

  17. Caitlyn:

    Joel said I should come say something nice about his family to counter all the madness above. However, considering he’s done this to me, I’m thinking I’ll just tell you the truth. Or, rather, let the truth from above stand on its own. How much more could I add?

    You (and the rest of Canada) are in for a treat…



  18. Caitlyn,

    Two words best sum up Joel – Drunk Pyromaniac.

    Yes, I have interacted with Joel much (online and professionally) lately and Beer & Fire make their way into pretty much every conversation. If I were you, I would hide the long matches, you know, the fireplace starters that never seem to work anyway. And a lock on the beer fridge would be advisable. Otherwise you may find him stuffing those beer cans inside an otherwise unsuspecting turkey and using your matches to start a fire unseen in modern suburbia.

    The only defense you might have is Joel’s one true weakness – optical illusions. Maybe by decorating your house in a Wimmer-Ferguson motiff, you may keep him off balance (now there’s a redundancy) enough to keep the beers cold, the turkeys unviolated and the fires to a dull glow.

    Best of luck, and may we all find plausible deniability when all is said and done!

  19. Put the beer fridge on craigslist this morning. Will BBQ all month to use up the propane. Have given the matches to little children in the park.

    Does anyone know a good optical illusionist? The house needs painting by next summer anyway.

  20. Caitlyn,

    I must say you are both brave and daring to host such a raucous bunch. Joel…the quiet, brooding type, and Sue…oh so talkative and such a party animal. I’ve always found Fiona to be the most mature of the crew, but hey that’s just me.

    But on the [slightly more] serious side, my guess is that you are in for both a treat and an experience. I’ve only known Joel for a little more than a year now, but I think his is a soul that knows many of us…from long ago [and perhaps far, far away]. For many people, you have to “do” something with them to really understand them. For Joel, just hang out with him. And listen.

    Have fun.


  21. Note to other M&M “They really do exist”.
    I have seen, not heard tell of, those Canfields. Ralph is right they are not to be missed. Your house will have an odd feeling for several days after they leave. The happiness lingers. -Kari-

  22. Now that I hear all thins I may have to re-think the Canfield’s visit to my house… Its not just Canada that has to watch out. It’s the entire I-5 corridor!!! fortunately we will be home with them, so hopefully our underwear drawer is safe!

  23. Brad, In spite of Ted’s & Kari’s words of endearment, the whole package does sound raucous, indeed. If it’s only the underwear drawer, well, it’s only an underwear drawer. It sounds to me like you may have to “endure” music, chatter, laughter, philosophizing … and Joel in the front yard doing ritualistic things with his shirt off! And, the crocodile (or whatever they leave for you.)

    I dunno, you might rather just turn the keys over to them. ;-)

  24. Joel is OK. It’s his evil doppelgänger for whom you must watch out. The thoughtful, intelligent, and generous human being who often makes his presence known in the ether is the man you want at your home. The other one… Sorry, I still have flashbacks. Often takes me a moment. The tears make typing hard. My hands tremble. He trapped me in my basement, see, forcing me to eat bacon. I am a vegetarian, and he broke…my…very…soul…yes, my SOUL. The bacon. I had to eat bacon. So much bacon. The little, innocent pigs. In blankets. Little piggies. In the bacon. I could see their faces…in…the…bacon. Everywhere, always. The bacon.

    One you invite the one, the other always comes. Always. With the bacon.

  25. I would describe them as living in “Wonderland” and I want to live in their neighborhood, remain good friends and spends lots of time with them . . . forever.

  26. o.k. I just can’t deny the facts anymore. The “Wonderland” thing was what I thought people might like to hear and since I wanted to paint a nice picture, supporting the Canfield’s and all, well I thought, you know, make it all sugary and whatnot.

    The truth of the matter was really ALL revealed in my most recent contact with them, as a matter of fact it was early this afternoon. They are planning a “Garage Sale” tomorrow and I thought, o.k. I’ll help them out a little and they could use the proceeds for their endeavors. I mean I was going to give all this stuff to goodwill anyway and rather than give them cold hard cash (you never know what they might really use THAT for). Anyway, to make a long story short, as they were loading all this stuff up in the van (acting like they just hit the motherlode), Sue made a comment, something to the effect that if they didn’t sell everything don’t be surprised if we see some of it around the house someday. I mean couldn’t they have at least waited until they drove away before they let on?

    And speaking of “Extreme Home Makeover”, what is it that usually happens first? Come on people . . . HELLO . . . . “Garage Sale”

  27. Oh, I missed some important lessons here. I wasn’t paying attention for a few days. Thank goodness I came back, because… well, Ric …

    I have a friend who, to this day, a decade plus later, still refers to me as “the vegetarian who eats bacon”. I mean, who can resist the smell? The basement with bacon sound pretty much like my dream vacation.

    Pam, you paint a more horrifying picture because of it’s subtlety. I see I will have to watch phrases like, “Help yourself to anything while you’re here.” “The neighbourhood is known for its excellent garage sales; people come from all over town.” “Mi casa, your casa.” Yup, gotta watch the subtleties.

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