HOME /// 400 Day LETS Odyssey - CONTENTS

400 Day LETS Odyssey
Copyright � James Taris

JAMES TARIS around the World- (2003-4)

John Turmel plays Crocodile Rock on his famous piano accordion.

CANADA - Kitchener (Wk.3 of 16 weeks)
Week 36 of World Tour

1. The Greatest Loser In The World

John Turmel is officially known as The Greatest Loser In The World, and he’s managed to get the Guinness Book Of World Records to back him up on this claim, which he is quite proud of. In fact, just this week he sent them an update to his current Guinness Records entry. And at the end of this article I’ve included a copy of the email he’s just sent them [you don’t need to read it, just count the losses!]

But in contrast to the above claim, John Turmel also claims to be the biggest Poker winner in the world, though this claim hasn’t made the Guinness Book Of World Records just yet.

And if you take winning and losing out of John Turmel’s vocabulary, all you are left with is LETS. Because John would have to be the most vocal supporter of LETS in the world. And he uses every electoral fight he’s in to promote LETS as the best way to abolish interest worldwide. In fact, he’s the founder of UNILETS http://www.cyberclass.net/turmel, which is an international LETS system designed to do exactly what he proposes.

And this is the guy that answered an email which I wrote to him when I was in a very silly mood (it happens sometimes), asking for the privilege of a meeting with him. This is the email …

Hi John,

Hows about meeting for a cuppa? Or better still, an icy cold glass of beer (Fosters preferably)? I'll be in Kitchener-Waterloo from Feb 1-7 and I'm told that Brantford is within pissing distance.

One of my hosts on 'My 400 Day LETS Odyssey' showed me a photo of you without your trade mark 'hard hat', and I couldn't persuade him to part with it for all the trade dollars on the planet. But I guess Rob Follett (Falmouth) is just a great mate to have. In fact, one of the nicest blokes I've ever met.

If I'm barking up the wrong tree and you don't live anywhere near Brantford, then I may as well be up shit creek without a paddle, because I'll have Buckley’s chance of finding ya.

Here's hoping we'll get a chance for a yak.

See ya later,

James Taris

P.S. Aussie lingo embellishment added for your entertainment.

So a few nights later, John Turmel and his partner, Helen, visited us for dinner. And he was such a nice guy. Nothing like the rude and obnoxious guy everyone thinks he is. And as an added bonus, I got to see him without his hard hat!

Later that night we went to a Tom Kennedy seminar. I was the introductory speaker for the evening, sharing a short 20 minute account of my early experiences in joining LETS and the huge benefits I gained from that association. Tom followed with his passionate stance against usury, or interest. Then, at very short notice, John Turmel was asked to be the final speaker, which he did with the vivre and panash of a veteran entertainer.

So the audience was treated to a rare event featuring the LETSaholic, Mr. Usury-Free and The Engineer.

Then Helen invited us to her home for the coming Saturday night, so I got another dose of John Turmel. As we rang the doorbell, we could hear some music coming from within. It was John playing his piano accordion. And after dinner, he entertained us by playing a few songs, including Crocodile Rock and Hotel California, which he did very capably. He’s a very accomplished musician with many, many years of public performances to his name. And we even got to hear him recite a couple of his famous poems, extolling the virtues of using LETS currency over federal currency.

This was my opportunity to share part of my play, The Glory Of Athens, with my new friends, so I performed the inspirational monologues of Homer and Odysseus, which left them a little in awe. In fact, John was so impressed, he even asked me to repeat the final part of my Odysseus monologue, which is exceptionally motivational.

But the highlight for me was when John Turmel handed me an autographed copy of his yellow self-published book, ‘The Adventures of John “The Engineer” Turmel featuring Turmel’s Poker Power Tools’.

So winner or loser, John Turmel is definitely on a mission. The LETS mission. And according to John, there aint nobody in the whole wide world that’s not gonna hear about it.



Feb 2 2004

Correspondence Editor,
Guinness Book of World Records,
338 Euston Road, London, NW1 3BD, UK
Tel/Fax: 44(0) 171 891 4567/4501
Email: webmaster@guinnessworlds.com

I would like to bring you up to date on the changes in my Guinness Records for ...

"most elections contested" and "most elections lost."








1 Federal Ottawa West 1979 May. 22
2 Federal Ottawa Centre 1980 Feb. 20
3 Federal Frontenac 1980 Mar. 24
4 Federal Hamilton West 1980 Sept. 8
5 Municipal Ottawa 1980 Nov. 10
6 Provincial Carleton 1980 Nov. 20
7 Provincial Ottawa Centre 1981 Mar. 19
8 Federal London West 1981 Apr. 12
9 Federal Levis 1981 May 4
10 Federal Spadina 1981 Aug. 17
11 Provincial Hamilton West 1982 June 17
12 Federal Broadview-Greenwood 1982 Oct. 12
13 Provincial York South 1982 Nov. 4
14 Municipal Gloucester Alderman 1982 Nov. 8
15 Federal Central Nova 1983 Aug. 29
16 Provincial Stormont-Dundas-Glengarry 1983 Dec. 15
17 Federal Beaches 1984 Sept. 4
18 Provincial Ottawa Centre 1984 Dec. 13
19 Provincial Ottawa Centre 1985 May 2
20 Municipal Nepean 1985 Nov. 12
21 Provincial York East 1986 Apr. 17
22 Provincial Cochrane North 1986 Aug. 14
23 Federal St. Maurice 1986 Sep. 29
24 Federal Hamilton Mountain 1987 July 20
25 Provincial Ottawa Centre 1987 Sep. 10
26 Provincial London North 1988 Mar. 31
27 Provincial Welland-Thorold 1988 Nov. 3
28 Municipal Ottawa mayor 1988 Nov. 14
29 Federal Ottawa Centre 1988 Nov. 21
30 Federal Oshawa Centre 1990 Aug. 13
31 Provincial Ottawa Centre 1990 Sep. 6
32 Provincial York North 1990 Dec. 10
33 Municipal Ottawa Regional Chair 1991 Nov. 12
34 Federal Frontenac 1993 Oct. 23
Provincial Essex South 1993 Dec. 2
36 Provincial Victoria-Haliburton 1994 Mar. 17
37 Municipal Ottawa Regional Chair 1994 Nov. 14
38 Federal Ottawa Vanier 1995 Feb. 13
39 Provincial Ottawa Centre 1995 Jun. 8
40 Federal Etobicoke North 1996 Mar. 25
41 Federal Hamilton East 1996 Jun. 17
42 Federal Ottawa West-Nepean 1997 Jun. 2
43 Provincial Ottawa West 1997 Sep. 4
44 Municipal Ottawa Regional Chair 1997 Nov. 10
45 Federal Sherbrooke 1998 Sep. 14
46 Federal Windsor-St.Clair 1999 Apr. 12
47 Provincial Ottawa West-Nepean 1999 Jun. 3
48 Federal Hull-Aylmer 1999 Nov. 15
49 Provincial Ancaster-Dundas 2000 Sep. 7
50 Federal Kings-Hants 2000 Sep. 11
51 Municipal Ottawa Mayor 2000 Nov. 13
52 Federal Ottawa 2000 Nov. 27
53 Provincial Parry Sound 2001 Mar. 22
54 Provincial Dufferin-Peel-Wellington-Grey 2002 May 2
55 Provincial Brant 2003 Oct. 2
56 Municipal Ottawa Mayor 2003 Nov. 10

Photo by: Marjan Borsjes

2. Everything Turns Out For The Best

I nearly called this article, Shit Happens, and this is why …

Due to a lack of finances, I’ve had to cancel my trips to Argentina, Chile, Peru and Bolivia.

When I began my world tour, I knew that my visits to South America and Morocco would have to be at an additional cost, because I couldn’t fit them into my already bulging round-the-world flight ticket.

And it didn’t help that I had no means of getting a bank balance from my bank in Melbourne, Australia. So, knowing that soon I would have to make some rather sizeable airfare payments, I managed to contact my bank by email and get internet access to my account.

Well, that’s when all hell broke loose, because I had barely enough money to buy myself a bus ticket, let alone travel though 4 countries in another continent.

I hadn’t realized how quickly my funds would be drained with the added expense of Morocco, a couple of visits back to Holland (where my computer was finally repaired), and ongoing payments to my ISP, domain name registrations and web hosting.

But this little nightmare went a bit further. My trip to Madison, USA, was scheduled to begin from February 7, but because my next destinations were supposed to be South America, I’d have nowhere to go and nobody waiting to host me until my visit to Hawaii in April.

And even though my host in Kitchener, Canada, assured me that I could be hosted for a few more weeks, I didn’t have the money required to get to Madison from Toronto and back again. So Madison had to be cancelled too!

In fact, as I still haven’t got a recent confirmation from my host in Hawaii, then maybe that won’t eventuate either. So I’ll have traveled to 11 countries in my first 200 days of my 400 Day LETS Odyssey, and only to one more in my last 200! Luckily, as an Australian citizen, I can stay in Canada for up to 6 months without a visa, otherwise that would’ve been another headache.

But I believe that everything turns out for the best, because like everyone else on this planet, I have total control with how things turn out in my life.

I’ve already given 6 performances of The Glory Of Athens in Canada, and while I’m here I plan to give dozens more to schools, businesses and organisations. But at last I’ll have enough time to promote my play properly, and thus get larger audiences.

I’ve also been invited to go to Ottawa and Montreal with Tom ‘Usury-Free’ Kennedy, from Ottawa LETS, to give presentations to LETS members in those areas too.

And I’ll be developing a couple of web sites as well. One will be www.YouCanBeFamousToo.com which will promote people from all over the world in whatever they do. And the other will be to produce a business web site for my Kitchener LETS host in exchange for hosting me. I’ve also been told that there could be some house painting involved as well. So it looks like I’ll still be busy, and productive, even though I won’t be traveling as much.

But I do hope that my trip to Hawaii still eventuates. And just today I sent an email to the Greek Community in Los Angeles, USA, hoping to perform my play for them in exchange for a trip to Disneyland and Hollywood, so that’s a strong possibility too.

And as I look out of the window now, the streets are still covered with several feet of snow, but the sun is out and it has just stopped drizzling. The first rain I’ve seen in 5 weeks. So it’s a beautiful day, and the future looks bright ahead. And it would be a gross misrepresentation to call this article, Shit Happens.

This article is taken from the ebook,
400-Day LETS Odyssey

About the book

James Taris web sites