Monday, April 28, 2008

Stuff

Just a short-story (somewhat dated) I wrote a while ago...hope the 2 or 3 readers of my blog enjoy it :)
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I remember everything like it was yesterday. Well, actually, it was yesterday. I figured I had better write this all down before I forgot most of it...or all of it. It was cold out, below freezing. The frost clung tightly to every metal post and window pane in town. Odd for mid-July, I thought. Damn strange really, and not the least convenient since I had prepared for a lovely summer day by hastily donning my swimming trunks and a t-shirt, and had already began walking to the beach. I was halfway there before I realised that the reason I was shaking was NOT due to an adrenaline rush of anticipatory excitement. And, besides, my legs had turned a bland shade of puce-blue.

Now, usually I'm not one to complain. I mean, weather does as weather does, and any attempt to truly predict it is futile at best, but this was more than a little annoying. To whom should I have directed my complaints? The government could be blamed for a lot of things, but the weather was outside of their jurisdiction (fortunately, since that meant they were unable to tax it). The only person I thought could be held liable was God Himself, or Herself depending on your political-correctness.

So I hauled my shivering tukus over to my local RC church, whereupon I began berating the nearest religious icon for a most annoying bout of unseasonable weather.

“Okay God!” I said, rather presumptuously I thought. “Okay. I know You have got to be busy with running the entire universe and all, but I think You had better give some thought to the weather down here. Things are going haywire! Hot and sunny one second, freezing cold the next. Hey, I’m on holidays PAL!” By now my voice had risen to an almost deafening whisper, and since my courage was bolstered by the fact that I hadn’t been turned into a pillar of salt or zapped by a bolt of lightning, I began to speak even louder. “So..so...I think you had better get Yer butt down here and fix a few things before I get angry!”

A Priest, overhearing me, began to, in turn, berate me for my altogether sacrilegious and blasphemous display. When I surreptitiously pointed out the startling weather by grabbing the Priest by the front of his robes and slamming his head outside an open window, the Priest took one look outside, excused himself and stepped out the main church doors. Roughly three seconds later the Priest returned, a look of mixed disbelief and consternation on his face, and began whispering some unpriestly comments to the religious icon he had just accused me of practising heresy upon.

Figuring that a necessary scolding of the powers-that-be was well under way, by a source much better designed than I for such an undertaking, I hightailed my now warm patooties back to my apartment for a quick change of clothes. Several minutes later, winter boots and all, I proceeded out my front door once more right into a heat wave of noticeably more July-like conditions. By now I was becoming slightly bemused, as had several of my neighbours, some of which stood statue-still outside dressed in a hybrid combination of beach wear and ski suits.

I promptly retreated back into my abode, stripped naked, and sat my bare butt down in front of the television, determined to hear the official version of the events taking place; however, The Weather Network was a scene of uncontrolled chaos. Three weatherpersons had hanged themselves in desperation and the crew was playing chicken with the cameras. While somewhat amusing, I was determined to discover the wherefores, howtos and suchwhys about the recent, transitory weather patterns that plagued my otherwise dull and uninteresting life. I flipped it over to the All Religion Channel, to get a spiritual perspective only to be presented with another chaotic sight.

A Catholic Priest was quite busily defending himself with a candlestick while an old, bearded rabbi circled him warily. In the background, a Muslim smiled craftily, waiting for a chance to jump in. It seemed that each faction had accused the other of being the cause of this calamitous climate - something to do with the blasphemy of unbelievers. Just as the Catholic priest gained the upper hand by ramming the candlestick into the unprotected eye of the rabbi, a stray bolt of lightning turned the three combatants into crispy tots where they stood. The All Religion Channel, of course, cut immediately to a commercial for Depends undergarments.

CBC Newsworld was covering a press conference by the National Action Committee on the Status of Women, who were demanding more federal funding and whining that this was all a white-male plot designed to usurp the rightful control of females over the world. In the background, one of the gray-suited, gray-haired feminists could be seen giving a salutary “Sieg Heil”.

So then I figured that CNN would be the best choice, but discovered them still covering the Impeachment Trial of William Jefferson Clinton, 3142 day. Unfortunately, the Senate was slow to realize that Bill Clinton hadn’t been President for several years, and that, in fact, he had died not long after after his second term ended, after Hillary beat the crap out of him. His daughter, Chelsea had long since changed her name and was working as a professional Roller Derby queen/stripper named Monica Lewd-insky.

At that point, my phone rang, and I reached over to answer it.

“Hello” I said, not surprisingly.

“Hello, this is the operator, I have a long distance call from Acturus Prime Central Commander Poof’lie, will you accept the charges?”, intoned the voice of the operator. Now, normally, I would assume that I was the brunt of a weird joke from one of my equally weird friends and would hang up the phone, but given the rather odd events of the day, I decided that I had better accept this call.

“Er...yes, okay. I will accept the charges. Thank you operator.” I answered. There was a momentary click, a mumble from the operator, and then a voice boomed through the speaker of my phone.

“EARTHLING! WE ARE IN ORBIT AROUND YOUR EARTH AND ARE EVEN NOW CONTROLLING YOUR WEATHER. SURRENDER TO US OR WE WILL ANNIHILATE YOU!” Unfortunately, I only heard the word EARTHLING, actually, just part of the word…the “ER” sound. The volume of the voice was such that I was sent rocketing across the room only to crash into my mural of jungle cats. After the ringing in my ear, and the spinning of the room, stopped , I picked up the phone to hear....

“...Hello...hello...pitiful earthling? Are you there? We apologize for the volume, we have now since turned it down. We are waiting patiently for your surrender.”

I was a slightly bemused by the proceedings and still hadn’t fully recovered from being turned into a wall-hanging, but attempted to respond anyways.

“YEAH, I HEAR YA. BUT I THINK YOU’VE GOT THE WRONG NUMBER. MAYBE YOU SHOULD TRY THE PRIME MINISTER OR SOMEONE LIKE THAT.” I yelled. I had to wait several seconds before I could hear someone, or something, shuffle itself off of a floor and return to the phone.

“Oh, sorry about that” The alien said “Would you happen to have this prime minister person’s number?”

“Um...no. Not quite. But you could try directory assistance at 411. They could probably help you out.” With that, the self-proclaimed Central Commander mumbled a few quick apologies, and sullenly hung up.

Suddenly, I felt in need of a very long, hot bath. In a surreal state of consternation, I shuffled myself over to the bathroom. Roughly twenty minutes later I was able to figure out the knobs and run myself a bath. My jumbled mind had finally settled down to something at least approximating hysteria, and I was just about to tootsie-test the steaming bath water, when the phone rang yet again.

Cursing the gods who toyed with me constantly, I went to the phone, noticing in passing through a window that the weather had seemed to turn back into winter.

“Hello?!” I said, curtly and with definite authority.

“Umm...hello...earthling? This is Acturus Prime Central Commander Poof’lie. Umm..earthling, I hate to bother you again, but I seem to be unable to reach this prime minister person. The being you call directory assistance was singularily unable to provide me with any assistance. Perhaps I could impose upon you yet again?” The being asked somewhat sweetly.

“Why should I help you?” I asked. “You want to take over my planet and subjugate the billions of inhabitants, turning them into your personal slaves.”

“Yes, I guess that’s true...however, we could make it...um...excuse me...did you say Billions?”

“Er..yeah...the population of the Earth is something like 5 Billion or so. Why?” I asked.

“Excuse me for a moment” With that, the being seemed to put down whatever it had been speaking into, and barked a series of outlandishly gutteral commands to what I could only assume was a subordinate. I heard a few thumps, a pitiful squeek, and after a few seconds Central Commander Poof’lie returned to the phone...or whatever.

“Umm..Earthling...we wish to offer our gravest apologies. It appears that the late former First Class Planet Examiner Perf’ril made a slight error estimating the population of your planet. His excuse was that he couldn’t imagine a paltry, little backwater marble of a planet harbouring that many semi-intelligent inhabitants, and thus arbitrarily took off a few zeros from his calculations...well...five zeros, actually. We...umm..well...we are unprepared at this time to continue with the planned invasion of your Earth. Please, disregard the preceeding comments...in fact, disregard the entire conversation. Thank you for your aid. Good-bye.”

With that, he/it hung up. I only remembered to hang up the phone several hours later when my hand cramped up and the blood drained from it. It took several more minutes to actually pry my stiffened claw from the receiver. After that I poured myself a stiff drink, flipped on the tube, and hummed along with the opening theme of The Simpsons….


The End.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Political-correctness stoops to new low

News from about a week ago, but just getting to blogging about it now. An 8-year old boy in Westminster, Colorado was suspended from school for 3 days for sniffing a SHARPIE. That's right. He liked the smell of the pen and sniffed it, and the teacher told the principal, who then suspended him. For sniffing...a sharpie.

This from the article:

Dr. Eric Lavonas says non-toxic markers like Sharpies, while pungent-smelling, cannot be used to get high.

"I don't know whether it would be possible for a real overachiever to figure out a way to get high off them," Lavonas said. "But in regular use, it's just not something that's going to happen."

"If you went to Costco and bought 50 bags of Sharpies and did something to them, maybe there's a way to get creative and make it happen," Lavonas said.

Adams County School District 50 leaders were unfazed by the poison control center's medical opinion.

"Principals make hundreds of decisions everyday based on our best judgment. And in that time, smelling that marker, I felt like, 'Wow, that's a very serious marker,'" Benisch said.

Despite the medical evidence, Benisch promised to draw an even clearer line on markers.

"We've purged every permanent marker there is in this building," he said.


Behold the face of stupidity bordering on pure fucking bureaucratic evil, one Chris Benisch:



Probably small-dicked and picked on most of his life, Benisch more than likely became a teacher, then principal, so he could mold the minds of children and hold power for once in his soon-to-be-an-internet-laughingstock life. If I was a parent of a child in his school, I would either be demanding this fuck nuts resignation or outright firing. At the very least, I would kick his fat ass in the parking lot.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Ottawa Senators and Mediocrity

I occasionally check out and contribute to a website called Hockey Trade Rumors (careful, there are a lot of popups if you are using IE6/7...and they spell Rumours that way, not me :) ). Back on February 26th, after the NHL trade deadline, I commented on a thread and wrote:
My prediction is a 7th seed going into the playoffs and a quick exit in the 1st round. I don't see this team pulling together and rising above their current mediocrity to avoid this fate.

I am a Sens fan, by the way.


When I wrote this, the Sens were still in 1st in the Eastern Conference. I later added:
The Sens have NOT played well since their 15-2 start. In fact, they are below .500 since that start.

At this rate, I will revise my prediction of a 7th place finish and actually predict them to be OUT of the playoffs altogether. This team has never shown the fortitude to pull out of slides...ever.


Ok. So I was ONE WIN wrong about this. In fact, had Carolina won, Ottawa would have been out of the playoffs altogether.

I bring this up because of the slew of articles decrying fans in Ottawa. In particular, Kelly Egan of the Ottawa Citizen wrote a column entitled: O Sens Army, where art thou?. He goes on to scold the fans who have seemingly deserted the team...fans who last year proudly stuck Sens flags out the windows of their cars in the thousands. He wonders "...whether the city has, under its pallid, bureaucratic exterior, a fickle heart." He later goes on to write:
In any professional sport, really, there is one champion; everyone else loses. Yet there are millions of fans. Why?

Because the plight of the fan is to make peace with losing. The fun part is to not look beyond one game, or even one period. Because sport and sport-watching, is the moment, not the end.


I would put it to Mr. Egan that the heart isn't fickle...it is both discerning and realistic. I didn't pick the Canadian's Men hockey team to win ANY medals at the last Olympics. Not because I wasn't a "fan", but because I understand that the team that was chosen was old and slow and couldn't compete at the Olympic level. I was right. Doesn't make me "fickle"...it makes me smart. I always wonder at the legion of fans of teams that do not have a chance at winning much, if anything. Take Major League Baseball, for instance. Why would "fans" of a terrible team (take the Detroit Tigers...as of this post, they are 0-7), teams that have no hope of ever winning because they cannot afford the astronomical salaries, bother going to or watching a game? What is the freaking point? The joy of the sport? Who likes to lose on a nearly constant basis? Well, except for fans of the Maple Leafs.

I must contradict Mr. Egan when he writes that "..sport and sport-watching, is the moment, not the end." It most certainly IS about the end, otherwise there is no point at all.