How to write a Gallantry card...

October 05, 2016

How to write a Gallantry card...

People often ask us, ‘how do you guys write these cards’? …

It usually begins with a random and somewhat cryptic text from Andrea.

“Talked to friend. Said we should have a thank-you card that’s funny and woodsy like elm.”

Or …

“The lady at the post office said we need a ‘sorry you lost your pet’ card. She’s on to something.“

“Get to it. Just going on a seven-hour bike ride. Think I need a haircut. Loves.”

Danielle will then find 30 minutes during a break from saving lives at some two-bit rural Alberta hospital to brainstorm 20 ideas, none of which will be a thank-you card.

Dr. Lewis will then go back to diagnosing a 74-year-old lady with deep vein thrombosis, or helping a man who fell off a ladder four days ago while harvesting canola.

A few hours later, Kerry will argue for 23 minutes with the boys who refuse to get in the damn shower, yell at them 12 times to hang up their damn towels, find lost shin pads so we’re ready for tomorrow’s soccer practice, turn on his computer, review Danielle’s stuff, and write.

An hour or two later, there will be something there, a nugget, the beginnings of something good. And there will be one that Kerry will think of as the greatest card ever to be written.

Long after the sun sets, Danielle will come home, pat the dog, down a beer (hoppy, no grapefruit shit), then laugh hysterically while reading Gallantry’s new incarnations. She won’t understand Kerry’s favourite card, but she will politely laugh anyway.

Then, if we are lucky, Gallantry will have the inkling of a thank-you card … and 17 other cards that are really, unbelievably funny but will never get made because nobody would ever buy them (other than Kerry’s mum).

Things really start cooking the next day.

Andrea will have returned from her bike ride with at least 10 new stories about her dog, some boy and a random tale about how she decided to re-side her own house, or start a company that makes artisan clipboards.

She will share a dropbox folder filled with drafted cards, complete with beautiful photographs taken during one of her seven-hour bike rides. Gallantry’s newest creations are finally taking shape.

After battling rush-hour Edmonton traffic to get two boys from two different schools across town, Kerry will send them outside to practice their skateboarding in the alley, while he settles down to proof the cards.

Spelling, grammar, font size, calibri versus tahoma versus ugly helvetica - it’s all considered, before one of the boys comes in with a grazed elbow, elephant tears, and 14 excuses as to why he shouldn’t have a shower.

When the boys are in finally in bed, Danielle and Kerry will proof the new cards for the last time, discover four new spelling mistakes, and realize that one of the pictures is horribly phallic. Kerry will watch Netflix, and Danielle will fall asleep.

Andrea will text something about a tree and a dog and a fire-pit at two in the morning; then send a photograph of a clipboard; then apologise.

And two weeks later, boxes of new, wonderful Gallantry cards will end up on Danielle’s front porch. The dog will bark at the Fedex guy.

A few days later, Andrea will meet someone at the grocery store who thinks Gallantry needs a line of “vegan, organic, LGBTQ, soy-milk cards for people who like motocross.”

And it will all begin again.



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