WHISKERRUB: 1) The 'affectionate' act of rubbing an unshaven face against the face of another; often the child of the whiskerrubber. 2)What one says when rubbing an unshaven face against the face of another. 3) An action which tickles and yet kind of hurts. 4) A satirical 'blog

Thursday, February 01, 2007

A Year Abroad

The Government of Canada recently apologized to Maher Arar and his family on Friday. It said it would compensate him C$10.5 million for its role in his deportation by the United States to what he described as a year of repeated torture in a Syrian jail. Since then, Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper has been under increasing attacks for what some feel is an overly generous settlement. Holding onto a precarious minority government and loath to prompt anything which might further push his Conservative party lower in the polls, Mr. Harper (or Steve as he is affectionately known to George W. Bush) has come up with a new announcement to quell said attacks.

The plan is quite simple: to offer the same deal to other Canadians. But there is a catch. Every person who applies for the same payout must submit to being sent to Syria and spend a year being tortured in jail. All travel, food and accommodation are included in the offer. A hefty price you might think but there were some doughty souls who were prepared to brave all until they learned that the flights would be on Air Canada. This proved too much even for them and so far the offer remains untouched.

In further and related news the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation is hoping to offer any would be applicants the opportunity to take part in a reality series about the year abroad. The omnipresent George Stroumboulopoulos is said to be attached as host.

Monday, May 29, 2006


Summer’s here and the time is right... for running on treadmills. Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty announced today that in an effort to forestall brownouts, blackouts or any sort of electricity interference this summer he will be hooking children up to generators. With the Ontario government’s plan to shut its coal-fired generators come hell or temperatures approximating it and the Federal Conservative government looking shifty about whether it will live up to previous commitments to assist Ontario with its efforts to forestall global warming, the province has found itself in a bit of a bind. Namely, where is all the energy going to come to allow people to blast their air conditioners all summer long? The answer: kids.

Running in a large wire hamster wheel in front of Toronto’s lone wind-powered turbine yesterday, Premier McGuinty addressed the press yesterday. “To quote Whitney Houston, ‘I believe children are the future…’”, warbled the Premier to the great discomfort of all present. After a coughing fit apparently brought on by the first smog day of the year, McGuinty continued. “You see, we’ve got a perfect solution facing us, well, in the face. Our children are fat, lazy and under-exercised and we also require super-cooled office buildings, shopping malls and restaurants to get us through the hot days of summer. So we are insisting immediately that we institute a new exercise regime at all Ontario schools where for 90 minutes each day, the recommended amount, we will have children running on treadmills hooked up to generators. It’s a perfect solution and an example of this government’s creative approach to problem-solving.”

When it was pointed out that schools are on hiatus during the hottest part of the summer the Premier seemed momentarily flummoxed but gamely responded, “Well, luckily a lot of kids don’t pass classes and take summer school so we have some help there.”

The Premier refused to answer whether this policy had any connection to the recent announcement that children would be required to stay in school past 16, as is currently the case.

Monday, May 08, 2006

Smarty Pants

It was only a matter of time but a majority of Canadians are sick of hearing that Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper is the “Smartest Guy in the Room”. A recent poll done by Abacus Pollsters has revealed that 40% of Canadians are “Thoroughly Sick/Tired of Hearing/Reading that Stephen Harper is the Smartest Guy in The Room”. A further 13% are “Somewhat Sick/Tired of Hearing/Reading that Stephen Harper is the Smartest Guy in the Room”. 20% of Canadians Are “Not Sick/Tired At All of….”. Lastly, the final 27% of Canadians “Have No Opinion or Could Care Less…”. The poll results are considered accurate within 3% nine times out of ten Monday through Friday and seven out of ten on weekends and holidays.

Professor Burton Wallace of North North-Western University, an expert in political science and polling, explains the results.

“What this shows is that Canadians are getting sick of being told how smart Stephen Harper is. Part of it is a natural fatigue of being told the same thing all of the time, part of it is the same resentment you feel when your mother constantly compares you to your cousin Harold who is a plastic surgeon and drives a BMW and part of it is how it resonates with one’s own assessment of the situation. This the same guy who only months ago was derided in the same media as being yesterday’s man, arrogant and ham handed etcetera. People don’t completely forget that stuff. As well, it’s not like his government hasn’t been full of really very stupid actions”

Such actions might arguably be:
1) wooing former Liberal David Emerson over to a cabinet position within days of winning the election despite Harper’s criticism of similar actions by his Liberal predecessors;
2) appointing an unelected crony to the Senate so as to assume a Cabinet position despite campaigning specifically against such undemocratic actions;
3) cancelling many environmental programs designed to fight global warming in the teeth of all scientific evidence and without having a replacement plan in place; and
4) giving families $100 a month per child for child care despite the fact that this would have no real effect on people’s ability to rear their children.

The list goes on.

Marcia Rogers, chief analyst for Abacus Pollsters, explains further:

“What we discovered was when people were asked this question they often asked in return, ‘Who else was in the room?’. Since the answer was generally other social conservatives, politicians of all parties and journalists, their response was often one of laughter or snorting. In that company it was felt that perhaps he was the smartest but it was hardly a great accomplishment”

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Local Woman Loses It

Below is the transcript of a recent conversation between a local woman and an OnStar customer representative.

OnStar: This OnStar, Candace speaking. How may OnStar help you?

Customer: (background screaming and pounding) Shut up! Shut up! For once will you shut up? I am making a call here!

OnStar: Ma’am?

Customer: (muffled screaming, pounding which suddenly ceases) You still there? (heavy breathing) Hello?

OnStar: Yes, hello, ma’am, this is OnStar, Candace speaking. How may OnStar help you?

Customer: Whew. Just let me catch my breath here.

OnStar: Certainly.

Customer: So hard to get a word in sometimes. Anyway, I just bought the GM Envoy SLT. And may I say, I LOVE it.

OnStar: A very popular choice certainly.

Customer: I went with the Emerald Green Metallic exterior and the ebony leather interior. It looks fabulous.

OnStar: I like the Cranberry myself.

Customer: Very nice but a bit flashy for us. My husband wanted to go for the Liquid Silver Metallic but I talked him out of that. Boring!

OnStar: I’m sorry, ma’am, is there a reason why you’re calling?

Customer: Oh yes, my mother. I’ve run over her in my Envoy and she needs an ambulance or something. Of course it hasn’t affected her mouth any. I’m sorry to say.

OnStar: I am determining your position via the GPS system and am dispatching an ambulance to the scene. What happened?

Customer: Well, we drove up to my parents’ place for Easter in the Envoy and I should have known it was a mistake because almost as soon as we arrive, I mean, I’m still in the truck, she starts in on us about the lack of responsibility in driving an SUV, conspicuous consumption blah blah blah and I don’t know what exactly happened. I just found myself putting the truck into gear and ramming her into the side of the house. I mean, I don’t know. It’s just too much, you know? Last month, the woman asked my kids’ nanny in front of me whether we were treating her well. I mean… argh!

Other Female Voice: (somewhat muffled and distant) Of course I managed to raise 3 children on my own without hiring someone else but I guess that was just foolishness on my part.

Customer: That’s it, Mum, you’re toast!

Transmission ends.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Square Meal?

Pope Benedict XVI continues to prove a controversial leader for the world’s Catholics. Only months ago he stunned and angered many when he announced that condoms were not an option for preventing the spread of AIDS throughout sub-Saharan Africa. Despite the fact that millions have contracted the deadly virus and that many Catholic leaders have espoused the use of condoms as the lesser of two evils, the former Vatican doctrine chief had rejected that point of view. His view is that the Church teaching of abstinence is the only sure fire way to avoid the spread of AIDS. The use of condoms is decried as a major contributor to the large-scale “breakdown in sexual morality”. How this teaching helps those women forced into sexual intercourse by their partners or strangers remains shrouded in religious mystery.

The Vatican angrily denies the rumour that there is a sizeable wager going on with Muslim leaders to see who has the most followers by the end of the decade. They further deny that the winner “gets” to turn the impoverished country of Chad into a theocracy of its choice.

In an attempt to quell the controversy, the pontiff has advanced a plan for the expected thousands of children both unwanted and orphaned by HIV-infected mothers that his decree will result in. He suggests that they be sent to Vatican City where they can be used to chase the pigeons out of Piazza San Pietro.

“Have you ever seen the energy of one of those little kids chasing pigeons in the park? We can send the children out in shifts to get rid those infernal rats with wings. Their droppings are a terrible hazard. I slipped on some just last week and tore my cassock right up the back. Not very dignified, I can tell you. And, the kids can eat whatever they catch.”

Monday, April 10, 2006

It All Depends

Blame it on the Boomer parents. Blame it on the permissive ‘anything goes’ ethos of our times. Blame it on improved moisture-wicking technology. Whatever you blame it on, if this trend continues Diaper Genies will be required in all first year university dorm rooms. Admissions personnel from many colleges and universities have reported a disturbing trend in recent applicants and, while fingers are pointed in various directions, one thing seems clear - too many college age kids are wearing diapers.

Brad Duguid, Chief Custodian of North-North-Eastern University summarizes the problem.

“I don’t know what it is but all of a sudden there is this rash of kids who either can’t or refuse to use the toilet. On one hand it has really cut down on the washroom cleaning duties of my staff but they are rebelling at emptying the trashcans. We’re used to college kids' dorm rooms being pretty ripe-smelling but this is a whole new level of stench.”

Stephanie Ross, a leading sociologist at the Institute of Disturbing Social Trends, a think tank in New Westminster, gives some analysis.

“We first saw the use of adult diapers for non-necessary reasons by VLT (video lottery terminal) addicts. Rather than leaving to use the facilities while they were “hot” or “on a roll”, these addicts would wear adult diapers so that they could remain at the terminals for extended periods of times. Almost simultaneously, we noticed the rise of their use in the rave culture where kids would ingest large amounts of drugs and alcohol and, knowing that loss of bodily functions would likely result, took preventative measures. Whether there is any link between these two other uses and this recent development is unclear but it is unlikely. Preliminary studies indicate that this is not a late reversion to early childhood behaviour but shows rather that these kids have never learned how to use the toilet.”

Dr. Maxim Okri, The World’s Most Trusted PediatricianTM, spells out what this can mean for parents trying to toilet train their toddlers.

“All the time I hear people talking about this thing this “world without borders” like it’s a good thing - it’s not. Borders are important concepts to separate things that should be separated. Too many children are being encouraged to have this positive self-image that is immune to good old social pressure and disapproval. When you couple this with the space-age fabrics in the market place is it any surprise that they are saying, ‘Why should I press my bottom against some cold porcelain when I can much more comfortably settle into my own waste? It’s warm, I made it and everything I do is wonderful - just ask my besotted parents.”

This, of course, spells trouble for those parents of toddlers who, when encountering toilet-training difficulties, have long comforted themselves with the nostrum that, ‘However long it takes, you never hear of anyone entering University not already toilet trained.’

Monday, June 27, 2005

See You In September

The Federal Conservative party has recently announced that it will no longer attempt to delay and defeat the Same Sex marriage legislation the Liberals are trying to push through. The party claims that since it will be ultimately unsuccessful it sees little point in continuing the process. Inside sources, however, reveal that the real reason is that Dear Leader Steven Harper is going to undergo a major makeover and it will require all summer to effect the changes required.
Mr. Harper was recently seen in Toronto this week during Pride week festivities with a two fold plan in mind: 1) shake the stodgy bigotted profile he's been consienciously working on for years; and 2) scout out a likely homosexual to help with the makeover. As Brent Humboldt, Mr. Harper's publicist, put it, "Those gays really know a lot about clothes and haircuts and stuff, 'cause they're like women. Well, half of them are, I guess, you know, and then there's the butch ones who are like the men... well, they are men but, oh jeez, you know what I mean. I'm from Prince Albert, for gosh sakes, what do I know about this stuff? Although you did hear about funny stuff going on in the Penitentiary."
The selected homosexual, Todd Ramalingam, was contacted about his plans for Mr. Harper.
"Well, you know, I do have some pretty good material to work with. He's got a lot of hair, thick, and still its original colour so I think we'll grow it out a bit, layer it to give it more zing and throw in some very subtle highlights for that sunkissed look. We're going to go for the surfer kind of thing here. And he's got great legs, so he'll look really cute in these long board shorts I've picked out. Some Hawaiian shirts which I've tailored slightly to give him a bit more shape and accentuate his broad shoulders. His eyes are a little beady so some cool sunglasses work well for the look. He's quite a good barbequer, I understand, and you know they're mad about beef out there in Alberta - pardon the pun - so he'll be on the deck having a lot of people over and that kind of stuff."
Mr. Humboldt was quick to assert that there will be no SeaDoo photo ops.
Ramalingam continued, "I've got to know him really well and he's not as bad as you think. We spent a lot of time watching those teen Ugly Duckling movies and he made some very interesting comments about them. He's got a lot to offer but he's kind of shy and I think that I can help him loosen up."
When Mr. Harper was asked what he thinks about the changes the party and Mr. Ramalingam have for him he tossed this reporter a cold can of beer and said, "Call me Steve-O".