Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Off-Site Olympic Games

"This is Bart Falafel, Pointless Digressions' man at the Olympic Games in London. But not the usual games. No, leave it to the conventional media to cover weight lifting and discus hurling. We're reporting from the Octopus and Squid Public House in South Chippington, where the Pub Grub Championships are being held.

"Already we have some impressive performances. In the Conspicuous Consumption event, Lyle Flatula of the USA has put away massive amounts of pork scratchings, pickled eggs, steak and kidney pud, bangers and mash, and jellied eel. To keep it going, Lyle has also knocked back barrels of bitter, Guinness, bucks fizz, Pimms, scrumpy and shandy. Well done, Lyle!

"Turning now to the Cockney Slang competition, we find Winston Wallaby of Australia well ahead with his mastery of such terms as weasel and stoat, butcher's hook, treacle and strife, and daffadown dilly. Good on you, Winston! Keep them coming!

"Finally, looking at the Darts competition, we see fine form. There was an unfortunate upset, however, when hometown hero Basil Smithe was disqualified, after his dart pierced the pub owner's posterior. Smithe explained that he had been distracted by the sudden appearance of a comely bar maid, and believes she may have deliberately been placed in his line of vision by rival hurlers.

"Stay tuned for more news of international competition at the Pub Grub Championships. No gold medals here, but those triumphing in first place will receive coveted Octopus and Squid laminated coasters.

"This is Bart Falafel, returning you to the P.D. desk, and heading to the bar."    

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Ms. Clark vs. Ms. Redford

The gathering of Canadian provincial premiers in Halifax is shaping up as The Clark and Redford Show. It is no secret that the premiers of Alberta and British Columbia have about the same sisterly fondness for each other as that shared by Lillian Hellman and Mary McCarthy.

We have imagined the following scene:

Premier Clark and Premier Redford turn up at a formal dinner wearing identical dresses.

Clark: "Good evening, Premier Redneck. I mean Redford."

Redford: "Well, Premier Clark. Still slipping down in the polls? Perhaps you should become a poll dancer. Ha ha. "

Clark: "Getting oiled again tonight, Alison?"

We look forward to the film, starring Jane Fonda and Meryl Streep.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Stein's Lines

The wittiest candidate to enter the US Presidential race is one we may never hear. Her name is Jean Stein, and she is the candidate of the always-distant-third Green Party.

Jean Stein--Dr. Stein--is a physician, a cook (organic foods), and former lead singer in a rock band. Contemplating her candidacy, she wonders "how a nice doctor like me got to be in a God-forsaken place like this." She then provides her own answer: "I'm now practicing political medicine because politics is the mother of all illnesses."

It would be entertaining to hear Dr. Stein in debate with Messrs. Obama and Romney, but that is unlikely to happen (even though she did engage in debate with Romney in the 2002 Massachusetts gubernatorial race. Her take on that: "It's easy to debate a robot.").

Stein's lines probably won't be heard in this year's debates, because the Commission on Presidential Debates has ruled that a participant must have "a level of support of at least 15 percent of the national electorate."

The rock singer/organic cook/Harvard-schooled doctor thinks the major parties, Democrats and Republicans, like that rule. She says, "If they actually have to debate a living, thinking, informed person, it's very hard for them."

Maybe she should go into broadcasting. We need more of Stein's lines.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Mike's Lucky Socks

The BC Lions, last year's Grey Cup winners, began this season well, but have now dropped two games. Some fans suggest Friday's loss to the Eskimos was deserved penance for having blocked out local televising and broadcasting of the game.

We believe it's time for Coach Mike Benevides to pull on his lucky socks again. You may remember that the Lions came out of a losing streak last season and won all their subsequent games when Mike wore the same socks to each game. A reporter called out at a news conference, "Mike, you washed those socks between games, right?" Mike: "Next question."

So Mike, it's time to pull on those socks again. Unless you've had them bronzed.

Or even if you have.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Stoned Again

The Rolling Stones, celebrating their fiftieth anniversary as a performing group, are thought to be considering another world tour. Watch out for riots of medication crazed seniors, charging the stage in their walkers and electric scooters.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Support Your Local Bootlegger

The series of rotating strikes at BC Liquor Distribution Branches would have been good news years ago for bootleggers, but, laments Laverne Bouley, "These darned private stores have put us out of the liquor business. However, we do have a sideline in bootleg recordings. Want a tape of Bob Dylan singing at his nephew's bar mitzvah?"

The LCB dispute reminded us of a brewery strike in Vancouver during a hot 1960s summer. This occasioned the publication in Vancouver magazine of "How I Survived the Beer Strike," written under the nom de six-pack of Manville Rathborne III.

As we remember the story, the desperately parched author, encouraged by his housekeeper, Mrs. McGregor, rode his polo pony onto the Bowen Island ferry, and headed off in search of a cache of Guinness.

If the LCB walkout spreads, it may be time for Rathborne III to saddle up again.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Yankee Doodle!

It's the Glorious Fourth of July, birthday (or so we like to believe) of Louis Armstrong and George M. Cohan. Louis made so many arts tours for the US State Department he was dubbed "Ambassador Satch," and it was George M. who wrote this:

I'm a Yankee Doodle Dandy,
Yankee Doodle, do or die!
A real live nephew of my Uncle Sam,
Born on the Fourth of July.

I've a Yankee Doodle sweetheart,
She's my Yankee Doodle joy.
Yankee Doodle came to London
Riding on a pony--
I am that Yankee Doodle boy!

A fond tip of the hat to President O. and all our American cousins!

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Send In the Browns

Robert Louis Stevenson's "The Strange Case of Dr. Jeckyl and Mr. Hyde" almost didn't make it to the publisher. Stevenson's wife hated the story and threw it out with the left over haggis and empty Glenfiddich bottles. Fortunately, the author retrieved the manuscript before it was carted away, and since then, Dr. J. and Mr. H. has become, arguably, Stevenson's best known work ("Treasure Island" a close second) with at least three movies and one musical based on it. Among those who played the dual role: John Barrymore, Fredric March, Spencer Tracy and Jack Palance.

Stevenson gave two accounts of the story's creation. In one, he said it came to him in a dream. But the story we prefer is that the Brownies--not the ones who sell cookies--came during the night and wrote it for him.

We are all for this way of getting a good story without actually having to do the work. Please give the Brownies our address.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Canada Day on the Diamond

It is Canada Day, and the highlight of today's celebrations will be a baseball game on Parliament Hill between the Fathers of Confederation and the Mothers of Invention. Sir John A. Macdonald is on the mound for the Fathers, Frank Zappa is pitching for the Mothers.

Following the game, Prime Minister Harper will barbecue beaver burgers and Opposition Leader Tom Mulcair will mix maple syrup martinis. Y'all come!