Monday, February 19, 2018

Beefcake on the Ice

George Karrys, the Toronto publisher of "The Curling News," has produced a 2018 "Men of Curling" calendar. It features photos of international skips and sweepers who skipped much of their woolies to sweep to brawny glory in an Oslo restaurant. This may be the male ice rink version of the "Sports Illustrated" swimsuit issue.

John Landsteiner, of the US curling team, said, "A lot of older ladies up in Alberta or Saskatchewan are going to buy those things up." He may be right: most of the 10,000 print run has been purchased.

On the other hand, we know a few older ladies in Alberta and Saskatchewan who might want to go after Landsteiner with brooms of their own.

Friday, February 16, 2018

Lilac me, Gianni

"In this, our spring fashion issue," writes Vanessa Craft, editor-in-chief of Elle, "we asked our cover star to showcase the color lilac. This spring hue is fresh, playful and provocative..."

So what we want to know is: where is that lilac-colored Versace suit we looked at longingly many springs ago?

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Valentine's Day at the White House

The oval office is covered in hearts, and Sarah Huckabee Sanders is leaning languorously by the Valentine box, garbed in the seductive Gypsy costume of Carmen, a rose between her teeth, which she removes to murmurously sing "Besame Mucho."

Now the Valentine cards are being distributed. Here's the first one:

"Who's in the parlor, kissy-koochin
With glamor puss Steve Mnuchin?"

And how about this?

"Believe me, Paul, you've got me sighin'
For your devotion, Speaker Ryan."

And now, for the President:

"Dear President Trump, don't mean to be nosey,
But do you have a thing for Nancy Pelosi?"

Ha-ha! And one more:

"POTUS, will you dunk a cruller
With your bromance pal, Robert Mueller?"

And let's look at this one, inside a heavily perfumed envelope:

"Chocolate is sweet, durian is smelly.
Let's send a bunch to General Kelly."

And that's it for our inside look at the White House Valentine's party. As we leave, Ms. Huckabee Sanders is about to warble the famous aria from "Carmen" known to Jimmy Durante as "Have a Banana."

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Pence: "We're just good friends."

Slap Maxwell here, with breaking news from the Winter Olympics in Pyongyang, South Korea:

Surprise winners in the mixed bobsled race today were US Vice President Mike Pence and Kim Yo Jong, sister of North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un.

Despite the closeness of the pair in the sled, Mr. Pence insisted, "We're just good friends."

There was no word on whether the VP would accompany Ms. Kim to the Olympics Valentine's Day Ball.

"I'll have to clear it with Don," he said. "And of course, Mother [i.e., Mrs. Pence] would come as chaperone."

Monday, February 12, 2018

Official White House Valentine

Roses are red, violets are blue,
POTUS sends his love to you.
I hope we can resume relations.
Those were merely allegations.

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Arf! Arf!

As days pass on the Chinese lunar calendar, we come close to entering the Year of the Dog, a triumphant occasion for dachshunds, dobermans, boxers, beagles, bulldogs, Afghans, salukis, greyhounds, great Danes, Irish wolfhounds, Scottish terriers, King Charles spaniels, collies, chihuahuas, pomeranians, poodles, lhasa apsos, mutts and pooches of every size and breed, and, of course and especially, the chow chows and shih tzus. All will be gathering for a gala doghouse celebration.

In China, where the dog is revered, the most popular name for a canine companion is not Spot, Rex, Rover, Prince, Bowser, Lassie or Buddy. It is Wang Cai. Wang Cai translates as "prosperous wealth."

We could all use a dog like that. "Wang Cai! Here, boy!"

Monday, February 5, 2018

Calendar Conundrum

For the first time in seventy-four years, Ash Wednesday, one of the moveable feasts on the church calendar, falls in 2018 on February 14--Valentine's Day.

The last time this happened was in 1944. In 118 years, it has occurred only three times.

This presents a conflict for those who view Ash Wednesday, the first day of Lent, the season of repentance and self denial, with appropriate solemnity, but are also romantically inclined, and associate St. Valentine's Day with flowers and bon-bons, Cupid's arrows and flirtatious cards signed "Guess Who."

Dealing with this situation calls for the combined wisdom of an archbishop and a lovelorn colonist.

Please send advice to "Confused, Pointless Digressions."

Friday, February 2, 2018

St. Brigid & Bill Murray

It is Groundhog Day, and people everywhere will be wondering if Bill Murray woke up and saw his shadow.

It is also--or so we thought--St. Brigid's Day. Wrong. The feast day for St. Brigid, one of the patron saints of Ireland, was yesterday. Brigid is, among other roles, the patron of dairymaids, cattle and babies, and among her miracles was turning water into beer. Pour a Guinness in her honor.

Meanwhile, the wretched news continues to seep out of Washington. Regarding the current battle between the White House and the FBI, the Trump team is fortunate that J. Edgar is no longer running the bureau. Hoover, who kept presidents and attorneys general terrified for decades, would have had dossiers on all those guys. "Representative Nunes? We have some photographs here..."

Thursday, February 1, 2018

The Dreaded Second Month

Dreaded by radio announcers, that is. February. The almost unpronounceable word.

We have talked about this before. But, it is a problem that won't go away, until someone changes the name of the second month on the Julian calendar. Golden-voiced broadcasters, over whose tongues names like Quagadougou and Matershala Ali flow effortlessly are stumped by February. Try as they may, it comes out Febooarey or Feboobery or Febrewery (Freudian slip).

There has been a handful of announcers able to negotiate the tricky four syllables of February, including Bill Phillips, who was able to speak it with seamless ease in seven languages, including Urdu and Swahili.

But for those still gargling and choking over February, this word: take heart. Only 28 days to go. Hey, it could be worse; it could be leap year.