Thursday, January 31, 2013

St. Bridget and St. Patty

February 1 is the feast day of St. Bridget (aka Brigid, Bride, et al.). Bridget, who lived from 453 to 523, established four monasteries for women, the principal at Kildare. She is one of the three most revered saints of Ireland, with Patrick and Columba. Bridget is the patron saint of scholars. Scholarly viewers of Pointless Digressions, take note.

Patty Andrews, youngest (and blondest) of the Andrews Sisters, has departed this world, at age 94. Her elder siblings, LaVerne and Maxene (sic), left much earlier. While not jazz singers, the Andrews were great swing performers, with extraordinary harmonic ability and non-stop rhythm. Among their hits: "Bei Mir Bist Du Schon," "I'll Be With You in Apple Blossom Time," the slightly risque "Rum and Coca-Cola," and "The Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy of Company B," later the backing for a terrific dance piece by Paul Taylor. We like to imagine the Andrews Sisters reunited on some celestial plane, possibly welcomed by Bob Hope.

Meanwhile, there are saints all around us...

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Snake Eyes

February 10, on the Chinese lunar calendar, marks the beginning of the Year of the Snake. This is not good news for those suffering from ophidiophobia (which sounds like a morbid fear of Oprah, but is actually a morbid fear of snakes).

Persons burdened by ophidiophobia are the kind you see running screaming from theatres when Indiana Jones is tossed into the pit of vipers. These are people who cannot play Snakes and Ladders. If they roll dice and snake eyes come up, they faint.

Snake images, they should be warned, will be everywhere this year. Canada Post has already released a series of stamps picturing snakes so realistic that they rattle and hiss. Perfect for poison pen letters.

So, ophidiophobics, get ready to hide for twelve months. On the other hand, if you were born in a previous Year of the Snake, charge your venom and prepare to slither happily through 2013.

Monday, January 21, 2013

National Depression Day

We are told that Monday, January 21, is the day of the year in which depression is at its height. Or depth. And certainly there are many who can testify to that, beginning with:

Rich Coleman, BC's minister responsible for what the province euphemistically calls "gaming." Minister Coleman was depressed because Surrey City Council gave snake eyes to a casino application. "If people aren't allowed to go and lose their money," said the gaming minister, "what does that say about our society?"

Alain Vigneault, coach of the Vancouver Canucks: "I was depressed when the NHL lockout was on. Now, after two games, I feel even worse." Goalies Schneider and Luongo were unavailable for comment.

Mitt Romney, trying hard to avoid all coverage of President Obama's inauguration: "I'm really, really depressed. If you can't buy an election, what kind of democracy is this? I may have to go buy a couple of small countries to cheer up."

Sunday, January 20, 2013


The day before President Obama's second term swearing-in, Americans committed to gun ownership ("An assault weapon in every home!") organized a Gun Appreciation Day. In keeping with the theme, a number of participants were shot. Coming next: Machete Appreciation Day.

Vancouver now breathlessly awaits the arrival of Oprah Winfrey, bearing with her part of Lance Armstrong's scalp. Preparations for HRH O's visit are slightly more lavish than those for the Queen.

The long-delayed NHL season got underway on Saturday. Following their 5-2 loss to the Anaheim Ducks, several Canuck players said, "Let's go back to the lockout."

British Columbia's Liberal government has defended its $15-million advertising campaign, saying that focus groups show that viewers find the television commercials "informative." These are believed to be the same people who find commercials for walk-in tubs and frozen pizza intellectually stimulating.

And now, on to the rest of 2013.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

24-hour NHL Season

After intense negotiations, National Hockey League owners and players have settled on the logistics and timing of a 2013 season. The result: it will be completed within a 24-hour period.

Here's the schedule, hockey fans:

5:00 a.m.: Training camp.
8:00 a.m.: Season opening games.
12 noon.:  Division finals.
3:00 p.m.: Playoffs.
7:00 p.m.: Stanley Cup final.
9:00 p.m:  Don Cherry Fashion Awards.
12 midnight: 2014 lockout announcement.

There you have it, hockey fans. Enjoy!

Hyperbole Alert

Memo to deejays and other radio hosts: Following our edict to dump "iconic" from your vocabulary, we now direct you to scratch "superstar."

The over-use of this term, employed to laud anyone who has had more than two gigs, reminds us of Johnny Mercer's line from "Hooray for Hollywood"--a town "where you're terrific if you're even good."

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Slouching into 2013

Here we are in mid-January, and we wish a Happy New Year to all those just getting in from a New Year's Eve party. Here come a few leftovers from the Pointless Digressions Austerity Gala:

Organizers of the Grammy Awards have announced that a Lifetime Achievement Award will be given to Glenn Gould. Gould is not expected to attend the event, as he has been dead for thirty-three years. Grammy spokesperson Zip Finstead said the award is being given Gould for his interpretations of the music of J.S. Bach. "And next year," said Finstead, "we're thinking of giving a Grammy to Bach."

News of the removal of Brian Burke from his role as general manager of the Toronto Maple Leafs, following farewells to various GMs and coaches in other sports (so long, Messs. Tillman and Cortes), is a reminder once again to people in these positions to always keep their suitcases packed.

Gary Bettman, NHL Commissioner, has apologized for the three-month lockout. In light of this, a hold has been put on the plan to rename the Stanley Cup the Bettman Cup.

Finally, an order has been given to CBC hosts to desist using the word "iconic" to describe anything more than a week old.