Saturday, October 27, 2012

Typo Alert

We are indebted to Drummond Moir, intrepid typo trapper, and the book "Just My Typo" for some fine examples of words gone awry.

For example, these items from signs in French hotels:

"To call a broad from France, first dial 00."
"Please leave your values at the front desk,"
"French widow in every room."

Mr. Moir saw a newspaper headline reading "Bishops Agree Sex Abuse Rules" and a parking lot notice stating "Illegally parked cars will be fine."

Then there was this airport warning: "Passengers must stay with their luggage at all times or they will be taken away and destroyed." And in an 1864 edition of the Bible: "Rejoice and be exceedingly clad."

All of this reminds us of a time when Pacific Press typesetters took job action, and the irreplaceable Ormond Turner mounted a sign in the newspaper coffee room reading "Typorgaphers On Stirke."

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Hockey Fans for Obama

US President Obama won the support of hockey fans Wednesday when he spoke out for them on Jay Leno's "Tonight" show.

"C'mon, guys," he said, telling the owners and players, in effect, to get their act together. "You're making a lot of bucks, you should be able to figure this out."

Hockey fans, already in serious withdrawal, are praying that Gary Bettman and Donald Fehr will heed the words of the Commander in Chief. But whatever happens or does not happen on the ice this November, Obama has the hockey vote.

It would be so much simpler if the NHL were a wholly Canadian league. Then Stephen Harper could just have Labor Minister Lisa Raitt put the back-to-work legislation into action.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Football in Fog, Ice and Snow

One of the most charming moments in last weekend's CFL match between the Hamilton Tiger-Cats and the Calgary Stampeders, played in driving snow in McMahon Stadium, came when Bakari Grant, after scoring a touchdown, stretched out in the end zone and made snow angels.

For many, this is the way football is meant to be played--outdoors, in whatever weather is hurled at us. Chilly? Wear a scarf and carry a well-fortified Thermos.

One of the most memorable Grey Cup games, played in Toronto in 1962, was dubbed the Fog Bowl. Five minutes into the fourth quarter, when the officials realized the quarterbacks couldn't even see the guys snapping the ball, they called a 24-hour time out. The game was finished the following day, fog having lifted.

Then there was the Ice Bowl, in Montreal in 1977. The Alouettes' Tony Proudfoot said, "The field was a skating rink." So he came up with the idea that saved his team and the game: they switched their cleats for sneakers and nailed staples in the soles.

What might happen as we move toward the 100th Grey Cup game? Stay tuned, and watch the Weather Channel.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Post-debate Polling Results

Results from polling conducted immediately following the Obama-Romney debate at Hofstra University, Long Island:

79% of viewers who sat through the ninety-minute exchange said they would have preferred to have spent the time having a root canal.

82% of voters now say they would vote for Candy Crowley for President.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Justin Time

Tired of the US presidential election campaign? Yeah. Tired of Stephen Harper's traveling global statesman routine? Yeah. But  here's something: Canada's Liberal Party has seen a sudden upswing in voter support, now passing the NDP as second to Mr. Harper's Conservatives, and, one might say, nipping at their heels.

The reason? Many believe it's the entry of Justin Trudeau into the Liberal leadership race. We recommend that the Liberals immediately get the rights to the song "Just in Time" as a campaign theme. We can hear it now:

"Just in time
And now it's Justin time
Before his time
We were running low.

"But now that stops.
We know he's got the chops.
He looks just like his pops.
He's a Trudeau!"

(Please feel free to sing along)

"Now he's here,
And we know just where we're going.
No more doubt or fear,
Of Stevie's snowing.

"Cause this is Justin's time,
He found us just in time,
And Trudeau mania
Once again is here!"

(Apologies to original "Just in Time" lyricists Betty Comden and Adolph Green.)

Thursday, October 11, 2012

No Fast Eddie, Mr. President!

Obama fans across the country are pleading, "Don't do a Fast Eddie Felson, Mr. President!" The reference is to the character in "The Hustler," the Walter Tevis novel (and Paul Newman film) who is brilliant with a pool cue, but for some reason lets his guard down and allows himself to be beaten by an inferior player.

This was the awful scenario that sprang to mind after the initial Obama-Romney debate. The President has since said, "I was too polite with Governor Romney."

Do not expect Vice-President Joe Biden to be too polite with Rep. Paul Ryan tonight. Ryan, the B-side on the Republican ticket, will face Veep Joe in debate in Kentucky. One of the few things these men have in common is that they are both Roman Catholic, but a kiss of peace is unlikely.

Meanwhile, Obama backers have high hopes for the next two Obama-Romney debates. They remember that Fast Eddie, after his humiliating loss, and broken thumbs, came back to beat the other guy, and then took Minnesota Fats, as well.

If only the Obama-Romney contest could be settled one-on-one on a basketball court.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

The Great Thanksgiving Escape

Several hundred turkeys held captive in a Fraser Valley farm made a daring escape only hours before facing their fate as Thanksgiving dinner. The great escape was engineered by Hercules ("Herky") Turkey, who spoke to reporters while relaxing poolside in Palm Springs.

"Did you call that a farm?" said Herky. "We called it a gulag. I said to my buddy Lurky, 'We're gettin' outa here. We're bustin' free. I have a plan'."

Guards at the farm were mystified to find the pens empty on their early morning rounds. "I was sure them pens was full," said one, "on accounta we good hear all that panicked gobbling."

"I recorded the gobbling," said Herky, "and set up a player with a tape loop. Then we built skate boards outa slats from the fence, and took off. Not as classy as Steve McQueen's motorcycle, maybe, but they did the job."

Lurky, just in from a round of golf, joined the conversation. "We were lucky," he said, "that our pal Murky had a DVD of 'The Great Escape.' That showed us how to do it. I personally modeled my performance after James Garner's."

The happy fugitives were about to set out for the evening with some female companions. "And let me tell you," winked Herky, "these are some wild turkeys."

Anything else you would like to say?

"Yes," said Herky, "I just want to wish a very happy Thanksgiving to all the folks feasting on roast tofu." Then, with a roar of gobbles, they were off.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

The Mitt and Barry Show

Television audiences last evening were treated to the first episode of the US Presidential Election Debates, or, as the show has become known in political circles,"Survivor."

Perhaps "treated" isn't the correct word. "Sedated" might be better. The tone of the debate was set at the beginning by moderator Jim Lehrer, playing his firm but kindly (if occasionally befuddled) schoolmaster role. Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney was ready to fire, having popped a handful of pep pills in the green room. President Barrack Obama seemed distracted, his mind elsewhere, possibly still trying to explain to Michelle why he had agreed to debate on the evening of their twentieth wedding anniversary.

"Sorry, sweetie," said the President. "I promise we won't spend this day next year like this."

"Don't call me sweetie," said Governor Romney.

Broadcast ratings showed the debate coming in well behind a "Gilligan's Island" re-run, but comfortably ahead of test patterns.

While many viewers expressed disappointment with the generally lacklustre performance, chronic insomniacs say they can't wait for the next debate. "I'm looking forward to another good long snooze," said one.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Mad About Politics

Today is the birthday of Harvey Kurtzman, founder of Mad Magazine, which has been, as Mad says, a staple of dens, libraries, living rooms and recycling bins for sixty years.

As the US Presidential election approaches, Mad has brought out a special issue, on which its regular gap-toothed cover boy, Alfred E. Neuman, has taken on a distinctly Obama-like appearance.

Can't find Mad on the stands?  Google it.  It's all there.

Meanwhile, as President Obama and Governor Romney warm up for their first television debate, both echo the immortal words of Alfred E. Neuman:  "What, me worry?"

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Political news from all over

Christy Clark, Premier of British Columbia, met this week with Alison Redford, Premier of Alberta, neither of whom is likely ever to be featured in Vogue. Ms. Clark, icicles hanging from her earlobes, described the meeting as "frosty." Brian Forst, long known as "Frosty" on CKNW, deplored the use of his nickname and threatened to sue.

Mitt Romney, preparing for his initial debate with President Barrack Obama, said he would prefer to debate Clint Eastwood's empty chair. Unfortunately, the chair had a prior engagement.

Prime Minister Stephen ("The Grin") Harper was in New York to accept a Great Statesman of the Universe Award from some unknown organization, a trophy he can place on his mantel along with his autographed picture of Mr. Dressup and his Best Impersonation of Elton John Award.

Harper, however, went out of his way to avoid the United Nations, sending instead John Baird, the Darth Vader of the Conservative party, to deliver a stern lecture to the General Assembly. Many member nations, feeling their knuckles severely rapped, agreed they must quickly pull up their socks to meet the Harper-Baird standard.

Across Canada, following the E-coli outbreak believed to have sprung from Alberta beef, vegetarian and vegan diets showed an impressive increase. Please pass the soya burgers.

Recent polls show that female voters in British Columbia are opposed to Liberal Premier Christy Clark, but male voters are close to even on Ms. Clark and her government. This has led to Liberal strategists sending suggestions to their male supporters; e.g., "On election day, hide your wife's car keys.  Or change the date on the calendar.  Or tell her the polling station has been moved to Tukoyaktuk."

Finally, last chance to get tickets for the mud wrestling match in Nakusp Hot Springs between Premiers Clark and Redford.  TSN will be there.