Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Restaurant Review - Chez Crawford

Christmas Dinner at Chez Crawford was, despite my low expectations, fabulous.

It began with my entrance into the restaurant and being enchanted by the décor. The room was large and featured bits of potato chip visible beneath the comfy chair, a partial couch covered in cat hair and elegantly tousled Snuggies, and a bar stool upon which I settled my considerable bottom.

My server, though scratching and distracted by a good war movie on the TV, was elegantly attired in the finest sweat pants and tent-like tropical shirt. I had a difficult time deciding on something to drink, given my choice of Bailey’s, white wine of unknown age and vintage which had been in the fridge for several months, and milk straight from the jug since the dishwasher was still running. Naturally, I chose the milk since that is always the perfect accompaniment to any meal.

For an entrée (appetizers were not offered), I chose the Hungry Man special – advertised as consisting of ‘One Pound of Food a Manger’ (see accompanying photo)("...a Manger" is French for 'Ici guerre mondial numero deux').

Dinner was served promptly after 9 minutes, plus the time it took to peel back the plastic cover and stir the stuffing and potatoes.

Pausing only long enough to take the enclosed picture, I dove into my meal with relish (ketchup would have been a better choice).

The turkey slices, beautifully prepared by having some sort of white meat substance lightly extruded through an industrial blender tube, were sliced and arrayed steaming before me. They were delicious and tender as only mystery meat byproducts can be. The gravy was rich and filled with vital grease nutrients which I soon felt coursing through my veins. I took the opportunity to use the shooting pains then travelling down my arm to bag six ducks flying overhead.

The mashed potatoes were acceptable, while the corn niblets could have used a little more cooking since, I believe, the server cut quite a large slit in the plastic cover. A more modest opening would have been superior.

For desert, the cranberry apple mush was sweet and tangy and absolutely perfect! The bits of corn and stuffing mixed in only added to its enormous appeal.

All in all I would say that dining at Chez Crawford holds enormous appeal and receives many stars for its warm atmosphere and delightful host.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Household Hint #342 - Towel Washing

Step 1 - Pull room-sized load of clean towels from dryer and pile on top of counter. DO NOT FOLD.
Step 2 -Slowly (one towel per day) have children pilfer clean towels from pile and add used towels to separate used pile, knowing you will remember which pile is which because you are a grown-up who is paid to remember such things and also because you have clearly instructed offspring on methodology. Continue to not fold towels.
Step 3 - Add several more slightly used towels to slightly used pile. 
Step 4 - Continue clean towel pilferage. While pilfing from clean pile, discover crusty facecloth molded into shape of bathtub spigot.
Step 5 - Observe how formerly separate piles have now developed gravity and morphed into single enormous, slightly damp, steaming pile.
Step 6 - While taking normal avalanche precautions, dig down through Cretaceous layer (used) to (supposedly) clean layer and discover towels which smell of shampoo and other mystery ingredients.
Step 7 - Test all items in pile by high-tech method of sniffing. If tests are inconclusive, proceed to step 8
Step 8 - Using explosives and heavy machinery as necessary, load blended pile into washing machine and wash thoroughly.
Step 9 - Wash again, this time with detergent.
Step 10 - proceed to step 1

Repeat weekly.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Word Definitions

How to wash the inside of your vehicle while conversing with pre-teen children.

Take sip of water.
"Dad, what's a prostitute?"
"Well, it's a person who has sex for money."
Dad takes another sip of water.
"I thought that was a hooker?"
Pull over, wipe inside of windshield, discuss vocabulary.



Some people don't react well to the heat here in Kelowna.
For example, I was chilling out in my local grocery store today when along comes Mr. Bigshot Manager who kicks me out!
"What for?" I asked, nicely.
"You're laying in the frozen foods section, sir, and you're squishing the pizza's."
"I was going to buy that one anyway after I finished playing Funeral Parlor CSI," I said.
"We'd also like you to take the bag of frozen peas out of your shorts," he said. "Please don't come back."
Pizza and peas for dinner, again, I guess. Whatever.

Fat has its place...

It is not all bad being overweight. I've recently discovered a use for my excess personhood. 
I was sitting in my Scoliosis-brand, cheap folding chair at the beach yesterday, when Mr. Naptime quietly approached. 
Just as I nodded off I activated my drool glands for chest lubrication, then rested my head upon my second, third and fourth chins, which together acted as a rather effective pillow. 
Try THAT skinny people! Ha!

Sunday, May 13, 2012


I’m not that old, but my short term memory is starting to go on me.

Also, my short term memory is starting to go on me.

Even active counter-measures do not seem to help. There I’ll be, brushing my teeth with an electric toothbrush, when I notice it needs to be charged. So I get the charger thing out of the drawer, plug it in, and make a mental note to place the toothbrush upon it when I am finished.

Ablution complete, I rinse the toothbrush then place it gently in the drawer, about two feet from the empty charging device which I have, in the span of three seconds, completely forgotten about.

What was I writing about just now? I seem to have lost my train of thought.

Anyway, the economic system is filled with idiots, as I was saying, and MEMORY! I was talking about my failing memory.  Right.

There is also a problem with the auto-pilot in my cranial innards. I’ll be driving the kids to some activity or other (Tae Kwon Kicking The Crap Out Of Each Other, say) but, since we are taking the same route we use to go shopping, we’ll wind up at the mall, activity-less, with puzzled looks on our faces.

The kids have learned to not focus on their electronic supercomputers while I am driving them anywhere.

Now, as we approach the turnoff for an activity, which I have completely forgotten about since we are on the same route as we take to the grocery store, they loudly announce “Dad! Autopilot!” so I remember to turn. By reminding me to turn (and not ‘waking me up’ as has been alleged), I snap back to reality and we safely reach our destination.

We were heading out the other day, in fact, when I had an actual lucid moment. I had remembered the grocery list, the dry cleaning, and the actual children this time, as we departed for some activity, the name of which I forget. Whatever.

Opening the van, I dumped everything inside and took off.  Then I backed up, let the kids in, and departed again. For some reason I had a toothbrush charger in my hand so I tossed it in the back seat. Off we went.

I can’t remember what happened, but I do remember forgetting the kitty litter, which was on the grocery list I left in the van when I went into the grocery store. I remembered the bananas and milk, but kitty litter was item three on the list and my mental list capacity is two (on a good day). So I failed miserably, although I did get some dish soap since I knew I was supposed to get something down that aisle and dish soap seemed to make sense at the time.

And by the way, while I think of it, I believe it is high time the inventor of clumping kitty litter receives the Nobel Prize for chemistry, if they have not already done so. Do you think these insightful thoughts are part of my distraction problem? Call me for coffee so we can discuss this. I’ll check my calendar when I get home. Home. Why am I in this van?

“Dad! Auto pilot!”

Ah! Shopping complete we head home, the kids happily playing amongst the dirty clothes I didn’t drop off, and me alertly snoring through red lights as we sail safely along.

I have a column due soon but I forget what I was going to write about.

I think I’ll go brush my teeth.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Hilarious Kids

We're on our way to school, and the morning show we're listening to is/are talking about French parenting.  What they (the French) do is called Le Pause or something - it's just basically chilling out and not letting your kids run your life.

Anyway, while listening to this, my son is about to burst - he needs to jump in and ask a question.
I'm expecting something like "Dad, did you and Mom use that technique on us?" or something pertaining to what I was listening to. 

Here's what came out:

"Dad did you know there's a place in Afghanistan called Bum?"

I almost drove off the road I was laughing so hard.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Okanagan Prison Announced

Details are beginning to emerge about the new prison, announced yesterday in Oliver - the Wine Capital of Canada:

Cellmates to be called 'Pairings'
Prison choir to be called The Aromatics
The term 'crush' now refers to parole hearings
Newest Okanagan grape varietal: 'Penal Noir'
Ideal wine aging now minimum 25 years to life
Prison winery vintages to include 'Shiv,', 'Shank,' and 'Isolation'
Contraband to be smuggled in with cork and bottle shipments
Local Denny's renames breakfast 'Grand Slammer'
Vineyard workers already lining up for admission due to better working conditions

Thursday, January 19, 2012

How to Sneeze

This column was a semi-finalist in the Robert Benchley Humor Writing Contest in 2010.

Sneezing is the most expressive of the human body’s functions.  Make sure yours are extra special.

Upon realizing that sternutation is imminent, today’s fashionable sneezer will pause in conversation and raise their eyebrows.  This serves as a warning to bartenders and other nobility that a Great Event is about to unfold, and observers should vacate the immediate blast area. 

During this pre-sneeze period, as your inhalation progresses, dramatically over-express yourself, like an opera singer.  Be expansive in your chest.  Wave your arms about and draw attention to your twitching features.  Yell or scream, again like an opera singer.  If a sneeze (or opera) is not immediately forthcoming, take something slender such as a chopstick or Calista Flockhart and thrust it repeatedly up your nostril to initiate the proceedings.

At the height of your inhalation, squint your eyes and cease all motion. This is the pause before the Great Storm.  It is the final notice that something wondrous is about to be born, or that you are choking on an oyster.  Be absolutely still, nose elevated slightly, arms aflutter, teary eyes about to close in the final moments before the triumphant finale.

The sound of a proper sneeze is important.  Most amateur sneezers still use the outdated Cleveland Technique of letting fly with a constrained and demure “Ssshhhhew!” sound.  This method is rarely used in competition nowadays, although it is still popular with denture wearers. 

What you want in competitions is the loudest possible expulsion from your chest, such that a single sneeze is all that is required.  If the sneeze is accompanied by the popping sound of herniating spinal discs, so much the better.

Attempting to suppress all sound by holding the nose and forcing the blast up into the cranium can pose a danger to the sneezer and those around them – particularly in theaters.  Earwax bullets shot into patrons on either side of the participant have caused needless injury, and were the impetus for the Stockholm Sneezing Protocols of 1929.  These protocols now eliminate the need to wear combat helmets at most recitals, while rifling of competitor’s ear canals has worked wonders to improve accuracy.

As with other seizures, for a high score, one must enunciate using proper verbiage.  Asian-sounding surnames are prized, with the Japanese “Hyyy-ASHiii!” being most common in tournaments.

Of Middle Eastern origin is the popular and sophisticated “Haa-BLAH-haaa!”  For truly memorable scores, professionals add a slight upward intonation at the conclusion, as though asking the romantic question, “Haa-BLAH-haaa?”

In closing, let me offer a cautionary note about arm movements, which was related to me by several members of the royal family.

It never fails that a sneeze occurs while one’s hands are occupied holding flowers, glasses of bourbon, or bottles of ketchup. While one hand must remain stationary under these circumstances, the other hand will involuntarily thrust upward from the waist in a rapid motion which may injure passersby.  Swift uppercuts administered by sneezing enthusiasts have rendered more than a few bystanders (and sneezers) unconscious, so do be careful, or sneeze only while boxing.

America can hold its head high when it comes to sneezing.  Whether amateur or professional, the people of this great country lead the world.  Bless you!

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Pipeline Progress

“We are on location at the opening ceremonies of the Northern Pipeline, here in Kitimat, BC.  We have put microphones onto various officials to record their comments for posterity.  Let’s listen in before the ceremony begins…

“It was an accident!  They were pounding in the ‘Warning! Pipeline Located Here’ signs when they heard a ‘Ping!’ sound and…”

“Don’t tell me – they ruptured the pipeline?”

“We’ll have it under control in no time, boss.  It sure makes a pretty geyser though – look at these pictures I took on my phone…against the pristine mountain backdrop! I think it’s beautiful”

“Never mind that.  How is everything on the first tanker?”

“It’s just coming into the harbour now, sir.”

“What is the name of it again?”

“It’s the Exxon Edmund Fitzgerald.”

“Ah.  Where is it registered?”

“Bolivia, sir.”

“Bolivia?  Bolivia is a landlocked hell hole filled with nothing but illiterate, migrant workers producing a highly addictive substance that is driving us all to economic ruin!”

“Oops – correction.  It’s registered in Ft. McMurray.”

“Same thing…”

Meanwhile on board ship, we see the Captain in front of his crew, pointing with two fingers…

“We have emergency exits located at the front of the ship – what we call the pointy end in the shipping business – also the middle and back of the vessel.  In the unlikely event of a rare, non-scheduled shore landing you can use your mattress as padding for when you leap onto the rocks. 

“During our transit we ask you to keep your cell phones on at all times, since our own GPS navigation system doesn’t seem to be working at the moment.”

“While under way you can help yourself to beverages and snacks at any time.  We have an excellent selection of single malt scotches, vodka, bourbon, beer, cider and rum, of course, since we do have our sea-going traditions to uphold!  We do ask the harbor pilots to not over-serve themselves, and the tugboat captains to not start drinking until we have left the immediate harbour area.   

“I’ll remind you crew members of our excellent safety record on board this vessel – we have not had a spill of any beverage in over three years, so let’s all do our best to keep a clean record, people.  I said lets do our best.  People?  Hello?  Do you speak English?  English!  DO YOU SPEAK ENGLISH?  NO HABLA? Hello?”

Back on shore…

“We are most fortunate to have with us today our docking safety consultant, Mr. Andrew ‘Sleepy’ Bigbumper.  Mr. Bigbumper is the former docking supervisor with BC Ferries and as the ship approaches our terminal…uh, Mr. Bigbumper perhaps you could explain why the ship is coming at the pier at such a high rate of speed?”

“Why thank you Mr. Chairman, and yes, to answer your question, in order to maneuver properly, a ship must carry some speed while ramming the dock and this is quite normal for us in the ferry business.  The key is to judge how much speed you should use and I think our captain is doing just fine, although he does appear to have dropped his spectacles and this bright sun is in his eyes…”

“Well, everything appears to be going smoothly here in Kitimat, so it’s back to you in the studio…”