Sunday, September 29, 2013

Endangered Species Revisited

With Eskimo quarterback Mike Reilly now seeing stars, the number of first string QBs in the Canadian Football League has been reduced to two.

Anthony Calvillo, Ricky Ray, Travis Lulay--all sidelined. The Roughriders' Darian Durant is back in action, but has he returned to his first of season fitness? The only one in the group standing fast is the apparently indestructible Henry Burris. With six games to go.

We are reminded of a famous Agatha Christie novel: "And Then There Were None."

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Weekend Sweepout

Bits and pieces from the week:

This Sunday has been designated International Coffee Day. For those of us accustomed to fourteen cups daily, including four double espressos, every day is International Coffee Day. With the possible exception of Martini Monday.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper has said he won't accept a negative answer to the proposal for the Keystone XL pipeline. He may now be adding to his repertoire a song made famous by Danish tenor Lauritz Melchior: "Please Don't Say No, Say Maybe."

In Washington, the split widens between moderate and extreme Republicans. It is believed the extremists may break away to form a new party: The United Lemmings.

Finally, the highly rated television series "Breaking Bad" is coming to a conclusion. Before it goes, we just want to say that we had a chemistry teacher who was way scarier than Walt White.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Yakuza Newsa

The Columbia Journalism Review reports that Yamaguchi-gumi, Japan's number one yakuza syndicate, has become the publisher of a magazine. Its contents include satirical haiku and tips on fishing.

This may lead to a number of like-minded organizations publishing magazines. We look forward to "Hell's Angels Home Decorating" and "Russian Mafia Gourmet Cuisine."

Meanwhile, the Vancouver Canucks are said to be considering a newsletter. Proposed title: "Re: Torts."

Prime Minister Stephen Harper is in New York, but the UN General Assembly has rejected his offer to appear and sing "With a Little Help from My Friends." Instead, the PM has been spotted in an East Village saloon singing "I Get Along Without You Very Well."

Finally, Royal Canadian Mounted Police headquarters in Regina have brought forth a Barbie doll in full RCMP dress uniform. Constable Barbie's first act: she busted Ken.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Pass me my Mrs. Doubtfire wig

There is a New Yorker cartoon that shows a dog at a computer saying to another dog, "On the Internet, no one knows you're a dog." No one knows your gender, either, and this is why I believe i can start selling pieces to an on-line magazine that publishes only stories by women over the age of sixty.

How hard can it be to impersonate someone of the opposite sex? Think of Dustin Hoffman in "Tootsie." Robin Williams as "Mrs. Doubtfire." Ray Bolger as "Charlie's Aunt." Jack Lemmon and Tony Curtis in "Some Like it Hot."

I have my first story ready to go. It's a tell-all about my dangerous attractiveness to young men. Here's how it begins:

"I have always," Justin Bieber told me, "been strangely attracted to mature women."

My pen name: Mama Gaga.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Endangered Species: Quarterbacks

The latest species to appear on the endangered list is CFL quarterbacks. Of the eight starting QBs in the  Canadian Football League, four have been put out of action--temporarily, one hopes, but who knows?

Meanwhile, the BC Lions have re-signed QB Buck Pierce, a player who has an injury category all his own and who seems to have embraced masochism as a lifestyle. In Edmonton, Eskimo QB Mike Reilly appears to be indestructible, but how long can a player withstand the  full-out impact of a trio of tacklers, weighing a total of roughly nine hundred pounds, on every play?

Our advice to young football players thinking of becoming quarterbacks: Go into a less dangerous line of work. Like interplanetary exploration.

Saturday, September 14, 2013


Documents revealing that BC Hydro rates could increase by as much as twenty-six percent have meant good news for the kerosene lamp industry. Virgil Mulluch, spokesman for the industry, said, "This is turning into our biggest year since 1890!" Similar soaring sales are expected for coal stoves, hand-held fans and ice boxes.

Prime Minister Harper is sending his A-team of cabinet ministers into northern British Columbia to persuade First Nations communities that they are sensitive to the concerns of indigenous peoples and that the proposed Enbridge pipeline would be of benefit to them. However, there has been negative reaction to the government slogan "Pipeline Means Big Wampum."

BC NDP leader Adrian Dix has indicated he wishes to remain in that position, despite many calls for a new leader. This led to the morning paper's terse headline: "Dix: 'Nix!' Sticks." Some observers believe party president Moe Sihota may counter with another headline: "Moe: 'No.' Go!"

Finally, Vladimir Putin's success with an opinion piece on the editorial page of the New York Times has encouraged the Russian leader to venture into other areas of journalism. It has been reported he will soon have regular columns in Rolling Stone, Cosmopolitan, and the Hockey News. It is also said he is looking at acquiring a blog, and..."Silence! This is Vladimir Putin, new voice of Pointless Digressions. From now on, it is I who will be addressing you, so pay attention. Previous decadent western writer of blog is now on way to polar bear sanctuary in Siberia."

Monday, September 9, 2013

Spiders Do It

"Birds do it, bees do it, even educated fleas do it...." So wrote Cole Porter in "Let's Do It (Let's Fall in Love)." But in his list of animals' amatory pursuits, which ranged from "Argentines without means"  to "goldfish in the privacy of bowls," he did not include spiders.

And this is a pity, for now it is their time for romance. Yes, dear reader, it is mating season for spiders. In British Columbia, one entomologist estimates, there are eighteen species of spider. Or maybe it's eighteen hundred. A lot, anyway, from teeny-weeny to the Aquarium's South American imports, the size of dinner plates.

So if you spy a spider, or, more probably, a pair of spiders, please allow them their special moment.

And arachnophobiacs--you might want to leave town for the next couple of weeks.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

The Open Line Table Fan

A friend of this department, battle-weary from another 3-Day Novel siege, staggered in, covered with split infinitives and dangling participles, to reveal something very strange: "My table fan," he said, "is picking up open line radio shows."

The fan, he told us, "functions as every other ordinary fan when turned on. But turned off, it is not only not silent, it distinctly emits the far-off sound of old radio programs. I'm sure I heard Pat Burns the other day."

Curious, indeed. But not an isolated phenomenon. We have heard of people who received radio transmissions through the fillings in their teeth. And we ourselves have a whistling tea kettle that likes to whistle along with the arias on "Saturday Afternoon at the Opera."

We are now carting up a 1935 icebox from storage to see if it might bring back other old radio programs--"Amos and Andy," "The Green Hornet," "Ma Perkins," "The Happy Gang."

Our friend with the fan said, "This gives me a great idea for the next 3-Day Novel contest! I'm going to write my novel in the voice of my table fan!"

Better yet, he could let the fan write the novel.