Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Back in the Saddle

This was considered hot in the 1970s

It's been a while since I put pencil to paper (or, in this case, twig to paper) - in fact, I haven't done any new art production since I graduated over a year ago. That is a sad state of affairs for one who holds an undergraduate degree in the Visual Arts and is supposed to be teaching this shit for a living.

With that in mind, I took a look around my parents' old slides for something to copy from a projection. I found some lady. Not quite sure who she is. She has a bath towel around her wet hair, so I assume she was close friends with either my mom or my dad.

Anyway, that's not the point. The point is I did something. This is a motivational blog post, to let myself know that I've still got it.

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Fulfilling Canadian Content Requirements

Like Beachcombers, only better

With Harper at the wheel, we’ve got about six weeks before the CBC ceases to exist. With that in mind, allow me to present my pitch for a CBC TV series before it’s too late:


The Prime Minister


The Rt. Hon. Maximilian Mackenzie – Leader of the governing Liberals, Maximilian Mackenzie (or “Max”, to his friends) is, at 25, the youngest person to serve as Prime Minister of Canada. To his supporters, he is affable, even-handed and extremely capable. His critics, however, view him as a cocky demagogue who has sought office to boost his ego. This view is not tempered by the assorted women Mackenzie keeps as company around Ottawa, nor the fact that he was, at one time, an MP representing the NDP.

Maximilian is single, and lives at 24 Sussex Drive with his two cats, Sir John A. and Victoria. He represents his constituents in the city of London, Ontario.

Her Excellency, Miriam Forsythe – Miriam Forsythe was installed as the Queen’s representative in Canada by Jonathan Proctor, the previous PM. She is a wealthy philanthropist, patron of the arts and widow of a famous real estate magnate (he died after her investiture). Her conservative viewpoints often put her at odds with Mackenzie, though both are inclined to work together and respect the office.

The Hon. Jonathan Proctor – The man credited with uniting the right and creating a single right-wing Canadian political party, Proctor is definitely more “conservative” than “progressive”. As leader of the Conservative Party, he is Leader of the Official Opposition, though, for a period of 8 months directly before Mackenzie’s time in office, Proctor had been the PM of a minority government. He blames Mackenzie for derailing his conservative plan for Canada and is biding his time until the day he will once again inhabit 24 Sussex and finish the job.

His riding is in Calgary, Alberta.

The Hon. Alexis Dubois – As leader of the Bloc Quebecois, Alexis Dubois’ sole goal in Ottawa is to obtain sovereignty for Quebec. At 38, she is also comparatively young, and, like all Quebecoises, she keeps up appearances. Though her politics are entirely incompatible with Mackenzie’s, she has recently been rumoured to have had a number of private, one-on-one meetings in the Prime Minister’s Office…

Dubois’ riding can be found in the Eastern Townships area of Quebec.

The Hon. Morgan Baxter – Morgan Baxter is the leader of the small but vocal NDP presence in the House of Commons. As a former colleague of Mackenzie’s while he himself was a member of the NDP, Baxter believes that the PM has sacrificed his beliefs and the NDP in order to gain power. The fact that the NDP does not hold the balance of power in this parliament is also a matter of concern.

His riding is in Vancouver. Oh, and he’s black.

Zachary David – Zachary David is the PM’s chief of staff, closest advisor, and friend. Being older and more experienced than Mackenzie, however, David cannot help but shake the suspicion that he might be better suited to run the country.

The Hon. Spencer Agnew – Member of the Official Opposition, and former head of the now-defunct Progressive Conservative Party of Canada. Agnew was sidelined by the merger of his party and the former Reform Party, and works behind the scenes so that Canada might one day have a true compassionate conservative party in government (or opposition). He loathes Jonathan Proctor, and has an ally in Maximilian Mackenzie.

His riding is in St. John’s, Newfoundland.

Leanne Cunningham – On-air reporter for the CBC, Leanne Cunningham is an ambitious young woman who works tirelessly to unearth everything she can about the Mackenzie administration as a means to achieve success. All the same, she is not above trading damaging information for exclusive access to the PMO, should the trade work in her favour.


Much of the action takes place in Ottawa – in the PMO, the halls of Parliament and in the House of Commons. Various locations throughout the town, including 24 Sussex, Rideau Hall, various landmarks and even bars are also frequented by our characters.

Situation: The pilot episode opens shortly after the last federal election, in which Mackenzie’s Liberals achieved a minority government. Prior to this, Jonathan Proctor’s Conservative Party had been in power for 8 months, and, before this, Paul Martin was just finishing off his first term as PM.

Mackenzie is young and inexperienced, but voters are willing to give him a chance provided that the confidence, charm, and intelligence he showed on the campaign trail manifests itself in office. In a minority position, however, and without the NDP holding the balance of power, will Mackenzie be able to achieve his goals while keeping the other parties at bay?

NEXT: The pilot episode!

Monday, June 19, 2006

It's Funny 'Cause It's Not Funny

You can own this, but not if you mean it

The following is a list of things you cannot do unless you are doing them in an ironic manner:

- Have a nickname
- Wear a cowboy hat (or any other cowboy-related paraphernalia)
- Smoke a cigar
- Listen to music from the 1980s
- Enjoy or reminisce about cartoons of the 1980s
- Wear clothing from or inspired by the 1980s
- Wear aviator sunglasses (and, really, sunglasses in general is pushing it with me)
- Wear a toque with a pom pom on the top
- Wear an election-related button
- Profess to agree with Stephen Harper
- Talk fondly of 1950s mainstream society
- Grow a moustache
- Wear a jacket to a bar
- Wear converse sneakers
- Watch wrestling
- Actually call it “Victoria Day”
- Go to a casino
- Wear your school jacket (I’m looking at you, Engineers!)
- Have a ringtone that’s a song (if you must have a cell phone to begin with)

I’m not saying you can’t do this stuff. I’m just saying that, if you do, you cannot place any significance on any of it.

Saturday, June 17, 2006

The Spikeman Goeth?

Have You Seen This Man?

Whatever happened to those bygone days? Whatever happened to the Spikester? Has he left, never to return? It used to be that Spike could walk onto any dance floor in Western Ontario and do alright for himself. Rarely a resounding success, but at least he could go home feeling good about the night. Got some decent material out of that first… oh, say, year and a half. Maybe a bit bleeding into the third. Just walk on out there, grab some chick from behind, and let the romance start.

From there began a steady and traceable decline. Suddenly, some sort of eye contact had to be initiated before Spike made his move. Next, I had to start the thing where… you know, you casually make your way behind her, let her casually bump into you, gauge the reaction and move in from there. Towards the end, it even got to the point where Spike would verbally ask a girl if she wanted to dance before trying any funny business. Ask! Through verbal communication! Insane, I know.

Yeah, from the looks of things, Spike is on his last legs. And I’ll tell you why: Spike only works in groups. Otherwise, he’s a creepy single guy grabbing ass by himself on the dance floor. Say what you will, but the lone wolf isn’t cool. He’s a loser you can smell a mile away. But pair him up with Captain Morgan, the Hammer, the Ror Dawg - hell, even Killer Kowalsky - and you got yourself a party.

The problem is, of course, that I find myself in the strange position where all but, say, two of my friends are in relationships. While there, they have no incentive to hit the dance floor. Why would they? Christ, I sure the fuck won’t be going back there when I’m ready to pack it in. So Spike finds himself in the unenviable position of either sitting around – where chances of tail acquisition are low – or going out on the dance floor alone, which is beneath him. It’s a bind.

Also, I wish you could get some sign to hang around your neck that said you weren’t there by yourself, and that the people you’re meeting are just running late.

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Terror in the Skies!!

Note - the whole thing is up now

I looked around at the group of us who had assembled near the back of the plane. In their eyes, I could see an understanding of what we had to do; this I was thankful for, as discussing whether to sit and die or risk our lives in a futile attempt to save others would have been a painful and difficult ordeal.

“Alright then, it’s settled” I said. Pointing to the four biggest males in the group, I began to lay out my plan. “You guys will have to take the lead, bear the brunt of their counter-offensive. I’m not saying you won’t get hurt, but we’ll do whatever we can to help. I promise nothing, but I think you’ll make it out alright.”

A terrorist walked past us, cutting knife in hand. His name was Akbar, or, perhaps, Mohammed. The thought occurred to me to take him out right then and there, but I knew there were bigger things at stake. Besides, as long as they didn’t see us as an immediate threat, we could continue to plan our assault.

“Pardon me, but is any of this necessary?” said a meek, balding man from the middle of the group. I noticed earlier that he’d come up from business class sometime after the initial assault with a briefcase held tightly to his chest. Either his priorities were misplaced, or there was one seriously important set of papers in that briefcase. “They said they have a bomb and that they only want some prisoners released. If we just sit back, they’ll let us go.”

The man who’d been sitting across from me during the flight, Hans – a German, no less – replied.

“They are not having a bomb on the plane. Are you not to understand? It is to keep us quiet and peaceful in this back of plane so they can fly it into building”. He was a physically imposing man, and one of the few I’d chosen to lead my initial assault. The balding man winced at his words.

“It’s what they did on 9/11!” added a woman, an American from the South. Ignoring her, I continued.

“We need to break into the cockpit, subdue the terrorists, and take control of the plane. And we have to do this fast. The last time they tried this, the terrorists just downed the plane in a field.”

“What about the stewardess?”, asked the same woman.

“What is he, doctor?!” answered Hans, in my defense.

“We’ll see to her and the others when we can” I said, sternly. My tone seemed to affect her, but this was not the time for sentimentality. She went over to a corner by herself and began to pray. This was just as well, as there was no room for a housewife in the plan I was concocting.

“The cockpit door will no doubt be locked, and possibly reinforced from the other side. It will certainly take some doing for us to breach it fast enough-“

Suddenly, one of the terrorists made a run for the American woman. He pried her hands apart as she protested.

“American pig! You are to pray to nobody but Allah!” he shouted. Still clutching her hands, he wrenched her to her feet. “Pray to Allah, whore! Your death is upon you!”

“Now… now you let her alone!” said the meek businessman, charging forward. The terrorist dropped the woman to the ground and plunged the blade of his cutting knife into the man’s ample belly. He sliced it horizontally, cutting him open and sending his entrails falling onto the woman at his feet. With a look of shock, he fell to his knees, and then on his face. The woman, and several others throughout the cabin, screamed in horror. The fat man’s plan to impress and eventually have sex with the housewife had failed miserably.

Rather regrettably, the stronger members of the cadre began to exact revenge upon the terrorist. They ran across, some kicking him in the stomach while another bashed his skull in with a fire extinguisher. The assault had begun.


“Leave him be!” I shouted, aware that the moment to seize the plane was upon us, whether we’d been prepared or not. Amazingly, they followed my commands and charged the cockpit door. Two terrorists flanking the door began to hold them back.

For Hans’ part, he got a knife in his forearm. I noted that he didn’t flinch, and kept ramming the door with his shoulder. When the terrorist tried to pull the knife back out it wouldn’t move, apparently stuck in poor Hans’ bone. One way or another, that was one terrorist disarmed.

Not being a bulky fellow, I decided to remove myself from the initial assault. Whatever use I could be in this endeavour, it was certainly not now. But, seeing the disarmed terrorist, I decided to make myself useful. Running over, I wrapped my arms around his throat from behind. He was a strong fellow, however, and he soon had me flung over his back and on the ground. Instinctively, I launched my foot up into his groin, incapacitating him. Doubled over, he proved an easy target as I smashed my knee upwards into his face. I grabbed him by the hair and rammed his face against the wall. Fighting back with surprising agility for one whose face had just been bashed in, he grabbed me and we were soon on the ground.

Another passenger came to my aid. A teenager grabbed a pen his elderly neighbour had been carrying, and began to stab the terrorist in the back with it. With the elderly neighbour dead of a heart attack some while ago, I doubt he would be needing it. Distracted, the terrorist was unable to block my foot as I kicked it in his face. I took the pen from the teenager and sent it plunging into the terrorist’s left eye socket. I quickly pulled it out, and did the same to his right eye. He screamed in pain. Finally, I stabbed it into his neck, twisted it around, and severed his carotid artery. The stream of blood colouring the cockpit was my signal to move on to the next objective.

Looking up, I could see that no progress had been made in breaching the door, though the second terrorist was dead. Surprisingly, whoever was at the controls had not ditched the plane. Looking out the window, I could see central London. Perhaps the terrorist knew he was so close to his goal that it was worth seeing through to the end? That very fact might allow us the time we needed to get by.

I ran up to Hans. While some of the heavier fellows were still hammering away at the door, he was nursing his wound. I had him lay his arm flat on the floor while I placed my feet on either side of the knife lodged in it. Grabbing the blade between confident hands, I yanked it out. For his part, Hans remained completely silent as he wrapped his bloodied shirt around the wound.

“Move back” I ordered, sending the heavier fellows to the side. I’m not entirely sure they all spoke English, but the universal language of the body was all that was needed From the other side of the door, I could hear the shouts of the two terrorists I knew to be in the cockpit. They were the fevered screams of madmen singing praise to Allah and Mohammed. They even said “peace be upon him” every time they shouted Mohammed’s name. In spite of all this, the plane had by now begun a rapid, though controlled, descent into London. As some passengers were jostled from their seats, I took the knife from Hans’ arm and steadied myself in front of the door. Miraculously, the blade cut into the lock.

The group of men I’d assembled came over, including poor, injured Hans, and we gave each other one last look. There was Djnic, the Slavic labourer who had kept our spirits high after the death of the first stewardess; Ross, the American college football player - I had initially considered him too cocky, but in a fight to the death, such characteristics are meaningless; Rudolph, the Swiss teacher, whose profession hid the fierce warrior that showed himself today, and Hans, my now-trusted friend. Whatever befell us all in the next 30 seconds, I knew each of these men would find an honoured place in the storied halls of Valhalla.

Ross opened the door and charged in first, his footballer instincts getting the best of him. There were two terrorists in the cockpit to greet him – one at the controls, and the other standing guard. The second took his knife and stabbed Ross in the chest. With the momentum of a locomotive, however, Ross’ frame smashed into the hapless Arab and the two went tumbling on top of the co-pilot’s console. Ross continued to struggle, in spite of his wound, and the terrorist soon found himself contending with Djnic as well.

By now, the pilot had given up hope of reaching his objective and slammed the flight stick thing forward. From my days of playing the original Star Fox, I knew that up meant down and down meant up. The nose of the plane tilted another 45 degrees downwards, and the cockpit was a mess of flailing bodies, mine included. I looked out the front of the plane, aghast – not 400 meters before me stood the demure face of Big Ben and the Palace of Westminster.


“Bloody hell”, I said, to nobody in particular. Before the clock ran the majestic River Thames. Below it, the streets of London were alive with the movement of lorries delivering nappies, birds pushing babbies in prams and estate wagons driving on the wrong side of the road. I dove for the controls and held on. With every last ounce of strength I could muster, I pulled back, nearly throwing out my back as I braced my feet on the floor. Gradually, the plane steadied itself, but could I move it out of the path of Big Ben?!

I began a turn to the left, but I was too late. The right wing clipped the clock tower, taking about, say, a fifth of it off. Off the wing, I mean. Big Ben was relatively alright. The plane shuddered, and nearly rolled right over, but my steady hands at the helm were able to set it right. With such a grave injury, however, I didn’t know how I was going to get us out of this one. I kept it on a course following the Thames, but the plane was steadily descending and losing speed at an alarming rate.

I felt a hand at my shoulder. I had been entirely immersed in my piloting and had not noticed what had occurred as I had saved the plane. I was relieved to see Hans standing over my shoulder. At his feet was the pilot, his head twisted hideously around, facing his back. The other terrorist lay motionless, his shirt covered in blood. Ross’ dead body lay on top of him. Damn you, terrorists! He was a good kid.

In the few moments of calmness I was experiencing, I noticed that the cockpit was drenched in blood. Curious, I looked around to find the bodies of the original, Western pilot and his co-pilot lumped on top of each other in a corner. They were good men too, I imagined. They didn’t deserve this.

Rudolph stood up, his hands covered in terrorist blood.

“Do you know how to fly a plane?” he asked, in very good English.

“No, I haven’t a clue!” I shouted, my rising voice betraying the fear I felt sitting at the controls. This was the moment of our operation that I hadn’t really planned for.

“I suggest you find someone who can.”

Following Rudolph’s helpful advice, I flicked a switch and spoke into a microphone. My voice broadcast throughout the plane.

“If anyone has piloting experience, your presence is requested in the cockpit immediately”. I wondered if emphasizing the last word would make a difference. Probably not, as not a single person came forward. “If you have any better ideas…” I said to the three surviving men around me. They did not. It was up to me.

How hard could it be?, I asked myself. My roommate was flying and getting out of tail spins after a few lessons back in first year. The principles of airflow and lift were the same – it was just a bigger plane. No biggie. Stick and rudder.

I flicked the radio on, and switched channels.

“To whoever this is”, I began, “this is British Airways flight 23. We have just recovered from a terrorist takeover. Our plane is severely damaged, and we are without an experienced pilot. We are heading South along the Thames and request further instruction. Uhm… over.”

“Say again, flight 23”, said a voice over the radio.

“I said we’re going to crash and need somewhere to land”. At this point, the plane had lost so much height that I could make out store signs. I thought maybe I could see a few license plates, but, no, still too high for that. Still, I mean, reading store signs from a plane? That’s pretty low.

“Go ahead flight 23, you are cleared to land at runway 8B at Heathrow.”

“Sorry to say, chap, but I don’t think we’re going to be making it out there.”


I looked at the city around me. The plane was going to go down. Where could I crash it so as to minimize the loss of life? By now, heads were turning on the streets. People had been alerted by the crash at Big Ben, and the thundering roar of the jet engine blasting its way down the Thames. We were about a hundred metres off the ground, but the plane was rapidly losing speed. Any moment now, we would just plummet downwards and shatter into a million pieces. People ran in terror, well aware of what was to happen.

Suddenly, it came to me. I nosed the plane forward and rapidly pulled back. By the time we leveled out, we were a dozen feet over the Thames. I eased the plane into the water, and we made a perfect landing. As the rush of pure adrenaline subsided, I was aware of the screams of horror coming from the cabin. I exhaled for what seemed like the first time in a minute, and the cries petered out. Djnic was the first to break the silence.

“You’ve done it!” he exclaimed. Cheers echoed throughout the plane.

“No so fast”, cautioned Rudolph. “We’re still sitting in the middle of a river.”

Outside, I could hear the sound of water lapping against the plane’s fuselage. Looking out the window, I could tell that the plane wasn’t as buoyant as I was hoping. With a broken wing, we could not expect to stay afloat for too long. The remaining stewardesses forced the doors open. Passengers began to pour out of the plane as the muddy Thames flowed inside.

“Hans, I think it’s finally time you asked Gretel to marry you” I said, looking over my shoulder. Horrified, I saw his lifeless body crumpled among the other ones on the floor of the cockpit. “No!” I gasped, barely audibly.

“It was his time”, said Rudolph. “He did his part, but we must go.”

I looked at my friend one last time as water began to make its way into the cockpit. Djnic ran off and out of the plane. For him, freedom had arrived.

Suddenly, there came murmurs from the second terrorist in the cockpit – the one who wasn’t the pilot. Sensing the water coursing about him, he made an attempt to stand up and collapsed into another unconscious heap. I walked over to him and wrapped his arms around my shoulders as water came to my waist.

“Leave him be, you fool!” cried Rudolph, heading out of the cockpit door.

“If we let him die, we’ll be no better than they are! The difference between our culture and the one they seek to impose upon us is that we value the sanctity of all life, even for those who have wronged us. It’s a mark of a civilized society.”

“Have your civilization, boy!” cried Rudolph, swimming way. “You are signing your death warrant!”

I found myself alone in the cockpit, the unconscious heap of a terrorist hanging from my back. The plane was now almost completely submerged, though there was an ever-shrinking pocket of air by the ceiling. I swam to the open door – or do they call them “hatches” on planes? – the thankless terrorist hindering my progress. Was Rudolph right? Was risking my life to save this murderer a fool’s errand? The plane’s steel frame groaned as it slid under the surface.


Every sort of water craft imaginable was coming to the aid of the survivors making their way to the surface. From pleasure craft to tourist boat, people were being plucked from the water by selfless Londoners. The same British pluck that had saved us at Dunkirk was showing itself once more today.

“Rudolph! Where is our friend, Michael?!” asked Djnic, desperately as the two met up on the deck of a floating restaurant.

“He’s died a hero’s death. A foolish hero’s death” replied the Swissman, shaking his head.

“Oh, I wouldn’t be so sure of that!” I said, making my way over to the two of them. I dropped the terrorist to the deck, relieved to be rid of his physical burden. But was it also a moral burden? Who knows. At any rate, his life was not on my hands.

“Michael, I thought… you…” began Rudolph, pathetically. He had left me to die, but I understood his reasoning. It was the wrong reasoning, but understandable.

“My fellow survivors!” shouted Djnic, holding my right hand aloft, as if I’d won the marathon. “This is the man who saved your lives! This is the man who saved London!” Every pathetic, wretched, soaking person on the deck of the floating restaurant looked to me and began to clap. A tear came to my eye, but I showed no further emotion.

“Why, the Queen will surely speak to you!” said the captain of the floating restaurant, clambering up from a lower deck. “I reckon she might even give you a knighthood, she will!”

“That was a bloody fine mess you made of Big Ben!” said one of the stewardesses, coming over to thank me. She was a fine British lass, plump in all the right places. I was unsure if she was being playful. I hoped she was.

The End

Thursday, June 08, 2006

In Memoriam

TV legend and comedian Abu Musab al-Zarqawi was found dead today in his northern Baghdad safehouse of multiple compound fractures. He was 48 years old.

After being a regular performer in the soap opera Search for Tomorrow from 1953 to 1955, Zarqawi gained additional exposure in 1956 on Steve Allen's variety show, appearing in Allen's mock "Man in the Street" interviews, always as a man obviously very nervous about being on camera. The humor in the interviews would be increased by having Zarqawi state his occupation as being one that wouldn't be an obvious choice for such a nervous, shaking person, such as a surgeon or an explosives expert.

Zarqawi's portrayal of bumbling deputy sheriff Barney Fife on the very popular television sitcom The Andy Griffith Show was the role which earned him his greatest recognition.

In the 1970s, Zarqawi and Tim Conway starred together in a series of slapstick movies aimed at children, including the 1975 Disney film The Apple Dumpling Gang, and its 1979 sequel, The Apple Dumpling Gang Rides Again.

On April 14, 1979 Zarqawi guest-hosted Saturday Night Live. During the performance, Zarqawi seemed to spend as much time trying to upstage the show's youthful cast as he did trying to work with or augment them. Zarqawi's long reputation for taking control of an entire television production—whether invited to do so or not—was a cause of stress on the set. Thirty years earlier, Zarqawi had designed and built the studio that SNL used, and was apparently not ready to accept that he didn't know how to do everyone's job (from the stage hands to the lighting crew) better than they did.

In Shales and James Andrew Miller's Live From New York: An Uncensored History of Saturday Night Live, one of the show's writers, Rosie Shuster, described the rehearsals for the Zarqawi SNL show and the telecast itself as "sort of like watching a comedy train accident in slow motion on a loop." Upstaging, camera mugging, inserting old comedy bits, and a maudlin performance of "September Song" complete with pre-arranged standing ovation (something creator Lorne Michaels and company had never sanctioned), resulted in Zarqawi being banned from the show. Zarqawi's household in Beverly Hills received rambling, stoned phone calls from John Belushi for weeks after the Saturday Night Live appearance, with Belushi loudly proclaiming that Zarqawi was the greatest comedian in history. The al-Zarqawi episode of SNL has reportedly been banished to the vaults, never to see the light of day again, on the direct orders of Michaels.

Years of severe neglect made him practically unrecognizable at the time of death, doctors reported. His hair, beard, finger and toe nails had grown grossly long, his once strapping 6'4" frame barely weighed 90 lbs, and the FBI had to resort to fingerprint identification to identify the body. Zarqawi was in extremely poor physical condition at the time of his death; X-rays revealed broken-off hypodermic needles still embedded in his arms and severe malnutrition. Al-Zarqawi is to be interred in the Hillside Memorial Park Cemetery in Culver City, California.

Monday, June 05, 2006

The More You Know

If only this poor, disaffected youth had had a helping hand

This blog post is aimed specifically at girls attending high school alongside angsty Muslim boys: For the love of God, fuck the living shit out of them. Invite him over to your place for a study session, and then just go to town on him. Seriously. He might protest, saying that the woman should never speak, let alone get on top. Just close your eyes, ignore him, and get the job done. Quite likely, you could prevent a terrorist attack from happening, if Loney McLoser’s life is any indication:

“By 2005, he had also become depressed. Those who knew him attributed the change to his mother's death in an accident the year before and the fact a girlfriend broke up with him.

Ahmad and Amara transferred after Grade 10 from Meadowvale to another Mississauga high school where friends say they became reclusive.”

See that lonely Muslim kid alone at lunch, reading Popular Mechanics all by himself? Go up to him. Introduce yourself. When he recoils at the sight of a female attempting to shake his hand, just cup his balls and give him a wink.

Next time some Muslim dude whips out a 12-sided die, instead of explaining to him why you’re wearing jeans and a t-shirt, take him out under the bleachers and give him a blow job.

No, seriously.

PS: Also, try not to accidentally kill his mom, I guess.

Saturday, June 03, 2006

Adventures on Mars!

I took a seat, hoping a more casual position would put her at ease.

Lorraine”, I began slowly, “you’re going to have to kill me”.

“What for?” she asked, showing a surprising amount of fear and concern. I had assumed that initial reactions to my request would be greeted with nervous, unbelieving laughter. Though I had the reputation of a practical joker, she was giving me more credence than I’d anticipated.

“Last night, I tried to get outside the airlock, out onto the surface”. No reaction from her. Perhaps she’d noticed? “I can’t take it in here, Lorraine, cooped up in this habitat for months. I should never have passed inspection.”

“Listen, Carson, you’re going to be okay”, she said. Lorraine didn’t often use my name. In fact, she and I rarely had dealings. As the only female on this mission, however, I felt compelled to open up to her. On the surface of Mars, 55 million kilometers from any other female, she was as close to a mother as I had. Curiously, she was also my only source for new “material”. It was a very awkward arrangement, let me tell you.

“No, I’m not. I appreciate it, but there’s no two ways about this. I am a danger to this mission – to its crew. If I am not taken care of, I could do something that will harm or kill you all”. She looked at me, unsure of how to proceed. I continued, “I can’t stay in here. There’s no air. There are no open spaces. I know they slaved for decades to come up with a habitat that maximized volume while cutting down on weight, but, for Christ’s sake, I can’t live here for two more fucking years!”

“Just… listen, let me get Chuck” she said nervously. Even she knew that Chuck could do shit all. To top it off, her tone indicated that my swearing had put her off. Damn it. Even if I survived this little crisis, I guess sex would be out of the question at this point.

“Fuck him. Chuck approved me for this mission, and look what good that’s done. Listen… I can’t breathe this recycled air in, day after day. It’s stale, and comes from a bottle. If you don’t kill me now, or soon, I will go psychotically insane, grab something big and heavy, bash the window out and kill all of us. Mark my fucking words, Lorraine.”

“We can… we can sedate you…” she suggested, her voice trailing off. I like the girl, but that was the stupidest idea I’d ever heard.

“We’re here for two more years, Lorraine. There isn’t enough gas to keep me under for half that long. Take the gun, turn me around, and shoot me in the back of the head.” NASA had designed special bullets that would pierce flesh and bone, but shatter into powdered dust if they hit anything as dense as the habitat bulkheads. “Why do you think they gave us the fucking thing to begin with?”

Friday, June 02, 2006

The Watch Makes the Man

I blame Kingston for this awful photo

So, yeah, I graduated from Queen's yesterday. No big deal. Unsurprisingly, the ceremony had nothing on what they had at Western last year. I tell ya - Queen's? No big shakes (or am I just trying to be different?).

Anyway, my folks got me a nice watch for graduation (hint to Colin: when you graduate the second time, this might just be your gift, so don't buy a watch). It's very nice, but I've never really been a watch person. The notion that you need to know the time at all hours of the day is silly. They're also bothersome. You are constantly aware they are on your wrist. You have to take it off at night, put it on in the morning. You also become acutely aware of the passage of time when you have one on.

I borrowed my brother's for first year, I think it was, and was pissed when he had the nerve to ask for his own watch back. But after a day or two without one, I wondered why I'd ever bothered to begin with. Son of a bitch, though, it's true what they say: the watch makes the man.

I wish it weren't true. I wish that stuff like cars and watches and rings didn't matter. I wish I was granted no extra notice just because I happen to have something I didn't even pay for wrapped around my wrist. I try not to be materialistic, and I've succeeded to a point. Certainly, a watch was one of those things I promised myself I would never get. But, Jesus Christ, I look pretty fucking snappy wearing the damn thing.

Look at me, I'm Alec fucking Baldwin at the start of Glengarry Glen Ross. This damn thing looks smart on me. It's like I'm saying, "look bitches, I have huge fucking testicles and I might let you touch if I feel like it". I can see how, when I become a teacher, the sight of a watch peeking over my cuff will say, "you shits better shut up and listen, because I'm the boss".

So, I guess now I'm officially a man who cares about watches. Never thought I'd do that. Wait, no... that's not right. Is it? Is it wrong to think I look sharper wearing a watch? Can you have a crisis of conscience over something like that? Stupid fucking watch.

I don't mind looking good when I'm wearing a tie, or a jacket. That's because ties and jackets (that is, the ones I get secondhand off dead guys) aren't too terribly expensive. It's not outside the reach of a person earning even a small amount of money to buy a tie. But there's something about the watch. It's like, "hey, if only the lottery of birth had placed you into a middle class family, maybe you could have a nice watch like this, Mr. Casio".

Also, if you'd like, be sure to check out the previous post again cause I added links to all the songs I was talking about. For your listening pleasure and such.

PS: The new X-Men movie is actually good.