Monday, March 31, 2014

Justin Trudeau says the Oops! word

"Prime Minister! Prime Minister! Justin Trudeau just said..well, you know what. It's material for another of our cheesey attack ads!"

"Yes, I know, but right now we have another #*&%@+ problem to deal with. Where is that #$@%^& Dimitri when we need him?"

"Mr. Prime Minister--I can't believe it. You just said...that word."

"I know. I can't #*&%@+ believe it myself. I have never said that #*&%@+ word in my whole #*&%@+ life."

"Mr. Prime Minister--are things beginning--I hate to say this--beginning to #$@!*% fall apart for our beloved, if somewhat dictatorial, #$%@!*&% government? Oh dear, now I've said it myself. This must be catching. What can we do? The election is only fifteen #$@*&% months away. What do you say?"

"I say oh, #*&%@+."

Friday, March 28, 2014

New Threat from North Korea

Alarming news from North Korea: the official state hair style is now the Kim Jong-Un cut.  North Korean men, when they go to their barbers, will be allowed only this one style--no Mohawks, no crew cuts, no Elvis waves, no Yul Brynner shaved heads, no Richard Sherman dreadlocks. Tonsorial equipment has been reduced to a bowl and a razor.

While this is bad news for North Korean would-be hipsters, who have lost their chance of ever looking cool, there are also international ramifications to be feared. What if other world leaders follow suit, and decree that all citizens of their countries should have coiffures to match that worn by the Big Cheese?

Think about it, Canadian men. Observe Prime Minister Stephen Harper's hair style, and think about it. Now, if it were Justin Trudeau...

Tuesday, March 25, 2014


More lookalikes discovered: rising tennis star Milos Raonic, Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird, and Attila, my neighbor's pit bull.

Monday, March 24, 2014

McCarthy and Hellman, at it again

It is almost thirty-five years since Mary McCarthy appeared on the Dick Cavett show on PBS and said of Lillian Hellman "every word she writes is a lie, including 'and' and 'the.'" Ms. Hellman was not amused, and filed a suit for $2.25 million, which was about $2.25 million more than Ms. McCarthy had. However, before the case reached the court, both women had departed this world, to continue their literary cat fight wherever aging writers go.

But other writers continue to find the story compelling. A dozen years ago, there was a play called "Contentious Minds" based on the affair, and Nora Ephron even wrote a musical version, called "Imaginary Friends." Now there is another play in New York, written by Brian Richard Mori, with the straightforward title "Hellman v. McCarthy."

In this production, Roberta Maxwell plays Hellman, Marcia Rodd is McCarthy, and Dick Cavett is...well, Dick Cavett. Who better?

What many accounts have failed to note is that Hellman may have thrown the first dart, although a much milder one, when, on the same show, she dismissed McCarthy's work as "women's magazine writing." (Not that, as Seinfeld and friends would have said, there's anything wrong with that.)

The real blood feud of the mid-twentieth century in US culture was between Alger Hiss and Whittaker Chambers. An interviewer suggested to Dalton Trumbo that this would make a powerful play or film, and Trumbo agreed, but so far, it hasn't happened.

Sunday, March 23, 2014


Recently, our ever alert staff noted a striking resemblance between Vancouver Canucks coach John Tortorella and New Yorker cartoon editor Bob Mankoff. We have now spotted a third: Lutheran pastor Tim Dutcher-Walls.

Tortorella has a pepper and salt beard, Mankoff has a white beard, and Dutcher-Walls has no beard at all; still, put them together and you would think you had found triplets.

Our artist pal Tom Huntley once said, "There are only six facial types." We were never sure if this was true, or if there were only six Tom could draw. But now, looking at Torts-Mank-Dutch, we think he may have had something. Or there is some crazy gene running around.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Football in Spring

Well, not the game, but certainly the players. First we learned that Richard Sherman would be in Vancouver May 30 to speak at an SFU Clansmen breakfast--Sherman, the Seattle Seahawks cornerback who made the play that led his team to the Super Bowl.

And now the news that Anthony Calvillo will be In Vancouver April 4 for the Orange Helmet Awards dinner at the Westin Bayshore--Calvillo, the longtime Montreal Alouettes quarterback ranked as professional football's all-time leading passer.


Now if only they could get them together--A.C. passing, Sherman knocking balls down.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Talking with TED

As you have probably heard from your buddy Bill Gates, the TED Conference is now taking place in Vancouver. TED is an acronym for Technology Design Entertainment, but it might also stand for Totally Elite Dudes.

And, as Edward Snowden appeared at the conference on screen from somewhere in Russia, TED could mean Tiresome Egoistic Defector.

We would be part of the crowd at the Convention Centre, but, alas, TED also means Terribly Expensive Deal.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Sherman's March

Seattle Seahawks fans and football buffs in general should be very excited by the news that Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman will be the keynote speaker at Simon Fraser University's "Gathering of the Clan" fifth annual breakfast fund raiser. The event is scheduled for May 30 at the Vancouver Convention Centre. Tickets go on sale April 14 at

For those tuning in late, Sherman is the player who deflected Colin Kaepernick's last minute pass to the end zone, thereby propelling the Seahawks into the Super Bowl. (And don't even ask what they did then to the Denver Broncos.)

Look forward to an entertaining presentation by Sherman for the SFU Clansmen--although he may have to deflect the odd breakfast bagel from '49ers fans in the crowd.

Friday, March 14, 2014

When Irish Eyes Aren't Smiling

A bulletin from the Hop & Vine brings the devastating news that the entire shipment of Guinness, for which pubs and clubs and saloons and liquor stores all over British Columbia's lower mainland are waiting, and their patrons thirsting, is sitting on a terminal dock, prevented from delivery by the port truckers' strike. And this on the very verge of St. Patrick's Day! Saints alive!

This may be the first time in history when loyal Irishmen, on St. Paddy's Day, are reduced to drinking Ovaltine.

Of course, they could think of it as O'Valtine.  Heh heh.


Bad punster dispatched with a shillelagh.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

NHL Menu

While Vancouver Canucks fans are brooding over their Shark Club doubles and dreaming up new recipes for the team--Mince Torts, Gillisburgers--few can be as bereft as Pino Posterero. owner-chef of Cioppino's, who, before every home game, would serve Roberto Luongo the goalie's favorite (and lucky) dish: lobster linguine. "If he didn't have it," said Pino, "I was afraid we wouldn't win."

And now Posterero is in his kitchen with a season's supply of linguine and lobster, wondering what Eddie Lack likes. Probably gravlax and herring and Swedish meatballs.

And where is Luongo? He's in Florida--dining on 'gator linguine.

Saturday, March 8, 2014

New Pipeline Threat

Enbridge warned today that if it doesn't get approval for its Northern Gateway project, "We're going to keep running those Janet Holder commercials."

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Pent-Up House

Heritage Vancouver Society has announced a tour of the Marine Building penthouse, to take place March 12, 5:30-8:00 p.m., with wine and hors d'oeuvres to be served, and tour led by Donald Luxon; all this yours for a $100 donation.

We thought of various penthouse songs--"Penthouse Serenade" (Nat Cole, Tony Bennett, Stan Getz); "Pent-Up House" (Sonny Rollins) and "Pent Up in a Penthouse" (Fats Waller). But what we really thought of was spending time in the Marine Building penthouse--no wine or hors d'oeuvres, but then, it didn't cost us a hundred bucks.

The Marine Building penthouse, described in the Vancouver Sun as exemplifying "ultra elegant, jazz age" design, was for many years the headquarters of Robert Friedland's Ivanhoe Capital Corporation, and those of us who toiled on Friedland projects spent many an hour there. Wine would have helped, but we made up for it in billing.

Friedland's base is now Singapore, and his net worth has been estimated by Forbes magazine at $1.15 billion--a leap from his status when he first arrived in Vancouver and was given a spare office in Ray Torresan's p.r. digs.

The Friedland fortune was built on mining, especially the extraordinary Diamond Fields project in Labrador, but he has had other interests, and the latest is movie making. Friedland's recently created Ivanhoe Pictures has, it's reported, two films in view: one is "Copper" (that title needs work) set on Mars in the 24th century. But our favorite, and one that seems particularly apt for Friedland, is called--wait for it--"Crazy Rich Asians."

Okay, enjoy your tour of the Marine Building penthouse. Been there. Seen that.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014


Okay, is it just me or has anyone else noticed that Canucks coach John Tortorella is a dead ringer for New Yorker cartoon editor Bob Mankoff?

"I think I've noticed," says Luongo.

"Me too," says Kesler. "Maybe we can work a trade."