Wednesday, August 28, 2013

So! How's your week so far?

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Farmers Market

The kids and I attended the local Farmers Market today, since you can never get enough Natural, Vegan, Organic, Free-Range, Hemp, Granola and Bark Mulch-based tie-died t-shirts sold by aging hippies from Nelson wearing knitted hats and body odor.

Since I tend to swim against the stream, I also bought a loaf of full fat, all-the-gluten bread containing every food dye and carcinogen known to science, from a very lonely but satisfied-looking vendor in a far corner of the parking lot, and it was the best bread ever.

I made toast, slathered in deadly margarine, and I liked it.

I may be arrested.

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Fantasies Most Foul!

I don’t know about you, but some of my best daydreams consist of plotting sinister and often violent revenge against those who annoy me. Sadly, most of these dreams remain unrealized.

One of my more enduring and wonderful criminal fantasies began to take shape after I moved into my new home.

I was enjoying a delicious and well-earned Saturday morning sleep-in when my charming neighbour decided to spark up his electric weed whacker and noisily trim his lawn.

Did I mention it was 5:00am? It was 5:00am.

His trimmer sounded like a mosquito the size of a Volkswagen, and my (open) bedroom window faces the small plot of land upon which he focused his oblivious, whacking energies.

Instead of my delicious sleep-in, I stood at my window and, with spittle flying and eyeballs bulging, vocally expressed my extreme displeasure at his actions (“Excuse me? Would you mind turning off your machine please? I’m trying to sleep! Thank you!”)

This shamefully un-Canadian outburst gave me some satisfaction, but sadly he did not wither beneath my stream of vitriol. He is deaf - a condition brought on by prolonged, unprotected weed whacking, or being bashed in the head by temporarily insane neighbours armed with two-by-fours and garden implements.

I lay back down and twitched in the fetal position, plotting and scheming as my mind raced with various plans (most involving clubs with enormous spikes through them) for ending my neighbour’s wretched, miserable, and annoying life.

I mean really. It was 5am for Pete’s sake.

I have a different annoying neighbour who smokes, you know.

Normally I wouldn’t care about this, but this other soon-to-be-maimed victim (in my dreams, at least) emerges from his lair very early each morning, lights up a cigarette, then spends the next ten minutes loudly hocking up lung-slugs the size of turnips by the sound of it.

His dreadful and tortured coughing is, I admit, performed with considerable artistry.

He begins by inhaling great rattling lungful’s of tobacco smoke, rich with impurities and tar, deep into his chest, past his internal organs and swallowed metal objects, and buries the cloud down near his shins.

Thus stimulated, his wracked and quivering anatomy emits a ghastly rumbling sound, similar to an Italian earthquake, or a train shunting oil cars, or Senator Duffy pushing his chair back from a dining table.

This cavernous thunder dislodges great chunks of quasi-solid material from the walls of his blackened lungs, chunks which coalesce into the thick mucous magma about to erupt volcanically from his esophagus in a cloud of tobacco ash and super-heated sputum. (Warning! Do not attempt metaphors like this without proper literary supervision. I am a trained professional).

The actual cough begins somewhere below his knees, rippling upwards with dreadful speed and ominous sound, then bursts forth in a spray-laden blast which darkens the landscape in a fan-shaped arc covering several hectares (I have seen the aerial photographs).  

Purple head now between his knees, dentures blown out and neck veins distended, his tortured lungs then reverse the process and create a powerful vacuum into which vast amounts of air, leaves, tree branches and gravel are sucked, such that this pneumatic ebb and flow can repeat itself. 

Cigarette finished, airways refreshed and yard denuded, he eventually retreats back inside his lung-stuccoed home until the tobacco urge returns one hour hence, just as I am dozing off to sleep again.

For this kind of behaviour I’m sure you will agree that medieval torture, or him getting whacked upside the head with a spiked club, would be far too kind.

My delicious plans progress. Don’t tell anyone.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Old Growth Billboard Destruction

Old growth billboards are being callously destroyed in Westbank to make way for a new hospital.

The huge and stately billboards, situated in a beautiful location overlooking Okanagan Lake, are home to colourful pictures, ancient fonts, and some rare advertising sales-person species.

The removal of such long-standing billboards, to make way for something as frivolous as a hospital (according to protesters), has raised hackles in both the environmental and advertising communities.

“Look at the size of this hackle,” said one protester. “It’s standing straight up.”

“While some of the advertising material such as slogans and seasonal sale announcements can be recycled (again), most of the advertising will simply be destroyed,” said a spokesman for one group. “This is a tragedy since everyone has come to love the visual splendor of ‘Just across the Bridge!’ and ‘Next to Wendy’s!’. They call this progress,” said the protester.

Efforts to forcibly trap and move the rare species of advertising sales staff have met with mixed results. Some of them have become so stressed they have been seen working for radio stations. Others simply wind up down and out, working for newspapers.

“It’s sad that these experienced advertising experts, many of whom can tell you from memory the cost per thousand views of any billboard, are being displaced,” said a spokesperson for one group or another. “Just think of how this will affect the wine and spirits ecosystem, and the breweries for that matter. The downstream effects of this situation are not yet fully understood and should be studied before they’re lost forever.”

Yet another spokesperson refused to answer my questions, preferring instead to work on the spokes of her bicycle. “I’m really just a spokes person,” she said.

The police are also wading into the controversy.

“Drivers are being distracted by this development,” said Sergeant Major ‘Corporal’ Kernel. “Suddenly you have this bright, clear view of the lake, which is blinding drivers who are used to the sheltering nature of the billboards,” popped Kernel. “It is definitely a hazard.”

“We are also having to deal with all the advertising salespeople as they wander around offices downtown, abusing alcohol and shouting at citizens. Something about the “Power of Outdoor” and other nonsense. We’ll be humanely tazing them soon, of course, for their own safety.”

Only seven thousand of these rare billboards remain in this roadside habitat, leading environmentalists and advertising executives to form a rare partnership in order to fight the destruction.

“These old-growth billboards have been here since before trees,” said a protestor wearing a tie-dyed three piece suit, knitted cap, and body odour. “They should be left alone to quietly live their lives, distracting drivers as to the location of the next McDonalds, or promoting the Holiday Inn’s $99 per night special for residents seeking a dirty weekend getaway.”

A Westbank First Nations spokesman said an exhaustive environmental review process was undertaken prior to removal of the billboards. “All the plywood was gently removed by the excavator, and most of the eye-catching advertising material was gently recycled under the wheels of the dump trucks,” said the spokesman.

“We are also hoping to hire many of the displaced advertising professionals once we open the hospital. Because of their experience in advertising, we feel it will be an easy transition to handling bedpans.”

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Vatican Newsletter

It’s certainly great to have all of you back in town again for some full-contact conclaving. The dart boards have been dusted off, the arm-wrestling tables are ready to break any ties, and for those who haven’t been working out, we also have some big souvenir coins for flipping.

Some of you have never been to the Vatican before, so we have put together this informative newsletter.

Special thanks to my co-editor Cardinal Rasta from Jamaica for the help, and also for the awesome new incense burning in the office here. Wow.  
- We’re asking all visiting Cardinals to please not bait the Swiss Guards. They know they have funny pants. You should hear what they say about your outfits.

- The duty roster for answering the Mel Gibson, Dan Brown and Linda Blair private hot lines is posted in the locker room. Just make stuff up when they call. Oh, and remember; only the Pope is allowed to update Bono’s Facebook page.  

- If you wear your skullcap to the deli down the street they’ll think you’re Jewish and give you 10% off. Try the knishes. Oy, they’re fabulous.

- Correction: An announcement in the last issue, about an upcoming ballet recital by Sister Mary Ignetowski from Warsaw, was incorrect. The ‘pole dancing event’, which caused a stampede to the gym and a sudden shortage of five dollar bills at the canteen, should have read ‘A Pole, Dancing’ event. We regret the error.

- The Holy Father’s soap on a rope is missing from the downstairs shower. Would whoever has it please hang it up again and no questions will be asked.

- Cardinal Ouellette of Canada asks his holy brothers to please stop saying “Amen, eh” when passing him in the halls. The joke was old about a day after he got here, he reports. Amusingly, he still says “Sorry” every time you bump into him.

- Our first Pay-per-view bill has come in, guys, and as a result the Holy Father has once again changed the passcode on the remote.  Would whoever hacks the code please Tweet it to the rest of us. Also, Vinny in accounting says there’s no way those women are amateurs.

- Just a reminder that referring to a turkey’s neck as the ‘Pope’s Nose’ is still considered offensive.

- Please use restraint and good taste when vandalizing Cardinals campaign posters. Black Sharpies only, and no cartoons or thought balloons please.

- The recreation committee needs volunteers to move the pews in St Peter’s for the weekend ball hockey tournament. See Father Flying Phil for details. And hey - watch the cross-checking… (that’s a little newsletter humour there).

- In cafeteria news, ‘Eggs Me’ is now off the menu.

- For those of you going on the skeet shooting excursion this weekend, a supply of devices used to keep water out of your shotgun barrel has been obtained. These clever rubber things come rolled up in a small package, and are available in the gym changing room. Simply roll one of these over the end of your weapon to prevent any unfortunate incidents out on the trap range.

- The apparition recently seen in the cafeteria, which some wag referred to jokingly as the ‘Flying Spaghetti Monster,’ has been investigated by our top scientists. They report there is no solid evidence to prove the existence of such a spirit, they think whoever reported it had swamp gas, and do not question their authority. Case closed.