Archive for October, 2005

In keeping with my Hallowe’en theme of true-to-life horror, let me make a statement about something that I find wholly terrifying. This statement is very absolute, and its intolerance may infuriate some of you, but it speaks so much truth that you’ll be quickly placated.

Ahem. Here goes…

There are only 2.5 circumstances when it is appropriate for a man to wear a beret. Anyone wearing a beret outside of these circumstances is violating the Laws of Nature and should be reprimanded FIRMLY immediately.

Circumstance 1: You are a soldier. This is kind of a no-brainer, really. Soldiers in berets look dignified and deadly. If the beret is blue, the soldier is defiant of intolerance and stands for peace and if the beret is green, the soldier can kill a man 334 ways with his bare hands, and has his own theme song. In all cases, these guys are so manly, they wouldn’t be caught dead in a beret out of uniform.

Circumstance 2: If you are dressed as a mime specifically for the purpose of mocking mimes… or stalking them to kill them. Even then… it should be your last resort. I mean, c’mon… dressing like a mime?

Circumstance 2.5 (caveat): Jamie Hyneman builds really cool stuff on Mythbusters and then blows it up. He has what can only be called “the coolest job in the world”, and he wears a beret. How can someone SOOOO cool choose to wear a beret? It boggles the mind. So, although he looks like a complete moron, he’s allowed to get away with it.

So, to all of you ‘men’ out there on Toronto streets in your berets, I say “This isn’t Paris circa 1912. Get a ballcap or a toque or a doo rag. NOW!”. That is all.

Berets… shudder.

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Okay, so I just typed out that headline, and I’m actually laughing out loud. If you don’t remember (or have a clue) what I’m talking about, you clearly didn’t grow up watching SCTV. I can hear the 3-D sound playing in my head while John Candy thrusts objects at the camera. GOLD!

Still, Count Floyd’s ‘Monster Chiller Horror Theatre’ eptiomizes Hallowe’en for me. It’s more fun than scary. I’ve never really associated Hallowe’en with fear actually… that was, until today. This hallowe’en might just be the scariest yet. After I found out about this, I debated wether to share this with you for a long time… but I’ve decided it’s best you know about this terrible evil, than live in ignorance until the day it appears on your front doorstep ready to consume your entire family.

Click and readIF YOU DARE!!! Bwahahahahahaha.

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So every weekday morning I wake up to your standard morning radio gross-out show. It’s on Edge 102 here in Toronto, and it gets less and less funny every day (sadly). The past few weeks have been just embarassing though. At what point does morning radio start playing sight gags for a listening audience?

Take this morning, for example. They had overweight men competing against each to see who had the best man boobs. How is this funny for radio? We can’t see these guys in person, and we can’t see them on the floor wrestling each other. I’m sure it’s funny for the guys in the station, but it’s lost on the rest of us.

I hate to say it, but I think that when the Dean Blundell show started programming a TV show for their morning radio routine, they jumped the shark. Maybe they should just go back to playing WAY too much Nickelback (which, by the way, is ANY Nickelback… sorry Jackie) and prank calling people.

If Alan Cross read this, (and I’m sure he does… doesn’t everyone?!?) I’m available to audition as a replacement at any time. Any… time.

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As Hallowe’en approaches, and I find myself stockpiling toilet paper and eggs… er… I mean… candy for kids and brains for zombies, I can’t help but wonder at the meaning of the season. Yes, it’s the time of year when we all spend oodles (‘oodles’ are a perfectly legitimate unit of measure) of money on tiny little chocolate bars, bags of chips and the always glorious ‘Rockets’.

Parents spend an entire year encouraging their kids not to talk to strangers, and then send them off door-to-door to take candy from people they’ve never seen, and will likely never see again. I’m not complaining here… just noticing that we live in a weird society.

Frankly, I’m looking forward to Hallowe’en this year. I love to dress up, and unlike my once-weekly habit of dressing like a mummy and scaring children in the local park, October 31st gives my morbid habit a brief air of legitimacy. ‘Cause in the end, isn’t that what it comes down to? Scaring the living bejeezus out of small children and scarring their delicate young minds forever? If we don’t have that, what do we have?

To be honest, I have no idea where this blog post is headed. I just woke up and I’m not thinking too clearly. In lieu of a well-written and clever conclusion… here’s a link that might make you laugh. I promise to do better next time.

Gesundheit.

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Sometimes you sit down to write something, and discover that someone else has already said it all. Today is one of those days.

  • “The word of the U.S. has been as good as gold in international dealings and agreements,” Condoleeza Rice ‘reassuring’ Canada that the softwood lumber issue will be resolved. According to NAFTA and legal rulings (that is, court cases that Canada has already won), the US owes Canada about $5 BILLION in illegally collected tariffs.
  • “We have no political motive. Our job is to be a broadcaster.” BBC World Service Director Nigel Chapman on the announcement of an Arabic News Channel. I’m not going to even touch this one.
  • “I don’t see this as censorship, I believe we are teaching common civility, courtesy and respect.” Rev. Kieran McHugh speaking on his decision to ban any of the 900 students of Pope John XXIII Regional High School from Blogging or posting personal information on the internet. The school claims it’s to protect children from would-be sexual predators. Ahem. This joke is pretty much just a ‘fill in the blanks’, so let’s move on.
  • “… but I don’t want to go to school, Mom!” Dave Duncan to his alarm clock this morning shortly before realizing how late he was.

Now, it’s time to go to school… er, I mean work.

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Finally. Weather I can live with! This is the Canada I know and love. Frankly, if the weather outside can’t be complemented with a roaring woodstove indoors, then something isn’t right. I can just feel the heat of the stove at the cottage on the back of my legs right now… it’s just a matter of days now until we’re up there.

Since we’re talking about all things Canadian (sort of) here’s some great reading about the office of Governor General of Canada. To whet your appetite for trivia, here are some interesting facts.

  • Vincent Massey was Canada’s first Canadian-born Governor General, and he wasn’t appointed until 1952.
  • Charles Lennox was Governor General of Upper Canada from 1818 to 1819, when his tenure was cut short on a visit here. He was bit by a rabid fox and promptly died. (Richmond Hill and Richmond St are named after Lennox, who was the Duke of Richmond).

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Saturday was a loooooooooooooong day, but Will and Ana’s wedding was a total blast, as was the drive home in the sleet. I’m sure many of you will read about the wedding on Will and Ana’s blog, so I’ll leave that for now and get down to other business.

Root beer. And lots of it. First, we were all surprised at how hard it was to distinguish one root beer from another. Second, we were also all surprised at how disgusted we were by Dad’s Root Beer. I’ll never drink it again. Third, Jared and I both ranked two of the cheapest root beers as our favourites… Our Compliments and PC, respectively. There’s no accounting for taste… to each his own.

Once Mark has completely tallied our results and I’ve uploaded the pictures off my camera, I’ll come up with a more detailed review for your reading pleasure.

Now, back to our regularly schedulded monday…

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In recognition of the Great Root Beer Taste Test (to be performed in Waterloo tomorrow morning at ten in the morning), Shari-Anne asked me to write a poem.

Syrup and carbonate blend like water and sunlight; and like that combination, they birth life, vibrance and colour… only this colour is shades of brown.

The cap hisses at me as though it is angry at being separated from such a fine nectar and it releases it’s bouquet into the world.

I hold the decanter aloft, admiring its feminine shape briefly before I unleash the caramel river into my glass. It flows in a miniature torrent whose speed is only matched by the beating of my heart in anticipation.

I lift the glass… sip… and am carried away to nirvana by cherubim and seraphim.

This is just an excerpt from my forthcoming book of prose entitled “Might As Well Go For a Soda“.

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