Thursday, January 30, 2014

The 90-Year Ski Jump

The International Olympic Committee has announced that at the 2014 Winter Olympics, women's ski jumping events will be allowed.

Men's ski jumping events have been part of the Winter Olympics since 1924, and since 1924, women ski jumpers have campaigned to be admitted. For ninety years, the IOC said no, a decision that could have resulted from (a) gender discrimination; (b) a wish to keep women as apres-ski snow bunnies; (c) inadequate bribes.

But now, women's ski jumping competitions qualify as true Winter Olympics events. And no one could be more excited than Minnie Hochauser of Lake Wappicotuck, Vermont. Minnie was one of the ski jumpers hoping to participate in the 1924 winter games, and she has never given up hope. Although now 108 years old, she says she is ready.

"I'm still in condition," Minnie says, "still hot in my ski pants. Just let me out there, and when I hit the slopes, I'll show those dopes." Blushing modestly, Minnie says, "That's a little rhyme I've made up."

With a wave of her hand, Minnie cries, "Sure as shootin', we're coming to Sochi, Mr. Putin!"

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

A Very Large Weekend

Hard to know what to celebrate first this weekend--Chinese New Year (Year of the Horse), Saint Brigid's feast day (Brigid, friend of Saint Patrick, founded Ireland's first monastery, the seed of the city of Kildare), first day of Spring (on the ancient Celtic calendar), Groundhog Day (calling Bill Murray) or the Super Bowl (Richard Sherman vs. Peyton Manning).

For some celebrants, with all this going on, it may turn into a lost weekend. But others may choose to follow the lead of the reluctant groundhog, and stay underground.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Secret of Seahawks Success

Sports Illustrated has revealed what may be powering the Seattle Seahawks offence. It is the Beast Burger--a gargantuan meal inspired by Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch. Order one, and here's what you'll get:

A massive burger piled high with two beef patties, bacon, ham, cheese, onion rings, tomato and lettuce, a side of thick-cut fries, and a bag of Skittles--Mr. Lynch's favorite candy. Fifteen bucks; 1,743 calories.

It is rumored that BC Lions GM Wally Buono is ordering the Beast Burger to be put on the team's 2014 training camp menu.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Dressing Room & Dressing Up

Vancouver Canucks coach John Tortorella, given a six-game suspension for his dressing room encounter with Calgary Flames coach Bob Hartley, said, "I merely wanted to compliment Bob on his necktie. And perhaps help him with the knot."

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Stephen Harper has announced that on his return from a triumphant visit to Israel he will go on the road playing Tevya in "Fiddler on the Roof."John Baird will back him on the balalaika.

Famous Gerry Altman quote: "It doesn't matter how much bagels and lox you eat, it won't make you Jewish."

Saturday, January 18, 2014

No News is...well, No News

But there are a few items from the Pointless Digressions 24/7 News Desk:

1. Archaeologists in Britain believe they have found the bones of Alfred the Great. No trace, however, has been found of the burned cakes. (Come on, you remember the story. Don't you?)

2. Restaurants in Los Angeles, quick to spot a trend, are now offering the Justin Bieber Omelette, the Justin Bieber Frittata, and the Justin Bieber Zabaglione.

3. Stephen Harper, shortly before disconcerting his Israeli hosts by asking for ketchup with his schmaltz herring, announced that in retaliation for Neil Young's attack on his oil sands program, he will no longer include "Old Man" in his repertoire.

Stay tuned.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

What's On Your Plate?

The other day, the Vancouver Sun ran a story on vanity license plates disallowed by ICBC. And we should begin any study of these phenomena with Terry Garner's observation: "All vanity plates were commissioned after a three-martini lunch."

But probably not our friend Edna's. Edna was one of the "bright young things," as they were called, typing away at Bletchley Park as British cryptographers worked to crack the Enigma code. Edna's vanity plate reads "Agatha," and the auto to which it is affixed has developed that kind of regal great-aunt personality.

We have known some who used their vanity plates for self-promotion; e.g., "#1PRMan" and "AdWhiz." And many acknowledge some significant other in their lives: "Shermy," "Alicia." But our favorite was one displayed by a small town doctor who had successfully overcome a fondness for alcohol medication. His plate read "Dry Doc."

Several years ago, a Vancouver deejay found himself bounced from the air after reading obscene license plates on the air. He was ahead of his time. Today, he'd have a top-rated show.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

How Did That Name Get Its Band?

CBC Radio 2, in its relentless effort to sound like a mid-70s pop station, has a feature called "How did that band get its name?" This explores the genealogical roots of such groups as Arctic Monkeys and Bat for Lashes.

Listening to this mini-program, we were reminded of a routine recorded a millennium or two ago by Al "Jazzbo" Collins, the New York disc jockey who used to tell fairy tales in hipster style, and Steve Allen, fastest ad lib in the west.

It was their theory that pop band names were chosen at random, by words picked out of two bowls. One bowl contained adjectives, the other nouns.

Jazzbo and Steverino took turns pulling adjectives and nouns from the bowls, until they came up with what they were sure would be a chart-buster.

The band's name: The Chocolate Brassiere Strap.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

On Hangovers

I know that none of you will be suffering a post-New Year's Eve hangover today, because all our readers are abstemious, and were required to take a solemn Vow of Abstinence before signing on. But in your circle of friends there may be some who celebrated not wisely, but too well, and you might help ease their pain by recommending to them "Floyd on Hangovers."

Floyd was Keith Floyd. a most entertaining British chef who had, it seemed, a more than passing acquaintance with hangovers. His book--"Floyd on Hangovers"--is sub-titled "An Authoritative Guide and Five-Day Detoxification Programme."

Recipes for several quick remedies are included, the simplest of which is called, for some reason, the Sydney Sunrise. Floyd writes; "Into a blender squeeze the juice from one lime and add a dessert spoonful of runny honey. Add the yolk of a free-range egg, and top up with fresh orange juice. Whirr away for a few seconds, then pour into a glass over crushed ice and sprinkle with freshly grated nutmeg. It is quite refreshing and such a happy drink.'

As Floyd makes this drink, he likes to sing this little song.

"New every morning is the love
Our wakening and uprising prove;
Through sleep and darkness safely brought,
Restored to life, and power, and thought."

Song optional.

Finally, these comforting words of Jack Wasserman, preserved forever in "Colombo's Canadian Quotations":  "It's better to have a morning after than to never have a night before."

Okay, now to make that Sydney Sunrise.