Thursday, April 30, 2009
They are still so honest and wonderful - they don't even try to hide or throw out the bits of their lunches they don't eat. I opened one bag this morning and found the uneaten orange, and the sandwich with one bite out of it. How sweet!
When do they develop the deceit gene such that they will lie their pants off about eating their entire delicious lunch?
It also turns out the school lunch monitors do not allow trading. What a shame.
When I was a kid we always traded the stuff we didn't like for the good stuff everyone wanted.
There was always some idiot kid who would trade his candy bar for an apple, for example.
I hate apples to this day...nevermind.
The wounds are still fresh.
Wednesday, April 29, 2009
I wrote this a while ago but it isn't really a column so I didn't do anything with it. Thought I'd post it and see what happens.
For my American friends, Tims is Tim Hortons - an iconic coffee and donut chain up here. I think there are some locations in the midwest but not too many.
Anyway - onward to my morning adventure!!
“Make your teeth and brush your bed!” I yelled, pre-caffeinated
My brain was not yet working, my taste buds not yet sated
“While you’re at it eat your clothes and put on your breakfast cereal!”
My kingly orders ringing out but sounding un-imperial
Sleeping in and running late is hampering my brain
No coffee in my belly tends to ruin my thought of train
Toasted ham and buttered cheese goes into lunch today
“Pop a Yop onto the stove and call it lunch OK?”
Off to school we madly race, debris from windows flying
“Dad your eyes are really red - have you at all been crying?”
“No my child I’m quite alright despite the gruff demeanor”
“It’s just I haven’t woken up and drunk my bathroom cleaner”
“Give me a kiss and off you go - be bright and bushy tailed”
“Despite my pasty, grizzled look, my heart it has not failed”
Back to home I dare to roam into my kitchen dream
With palsied hands I reach out to the sugar and the cream
I rush to slake my sleepy awake with liquid from the thermos
The heat will burn my lips but I don’t care about epidermis
It’s the liquid that I need, it’s the passion I so crave
I know it’s an addiction, I know I am its slave
'Can’t wait to pour the liquid from carafe into my cup
I close my eyes and dream of slowly sipping every drup
But all that pours is water hot and no aroma steam
“Bloody Hell!” I yell, “Is this some sort of waking nightmare dream?”
When I made the coffee, I forgot one simple step
It helps to have some coffee or to the store you’ll have to schlep
Into the car I clumsily run and smoke comes from my rims
I cannot get there fast enough – the line-up at my Tim’s
With frantic waving motions, I scurry past the queue
I elbow patrons from my path – I simply must have brew!
Forget the cup! I reach out for a pot of freshly made
And pour it down my gullet straight – the staff looking dismayed
The grizzly bear then disappeared – a smile now wasn’t trouble
They understood that service good meant charging for a double
I swear I don’t need treatment, I swear upon my word
But then again I wonder if I should be calling Betty Ford?
Tuesday, April 28, 2009
Sometimes I'll latch onto a topic and the stupid stuff just flows. The one below for example - Pirates of the Okanagan. I heard yet another newscast talking about a foiled attempt at hijacking a ship, and I thought wouldn't it be funny to have that here somehow? Off I went (I actually did call the local RCMP and yukked it up with the media relations gink...good guy) and that was that.
Usually though, I spend a lot of time stumbling across or dreaming up stupid things that amuse me, so I jot them down in a bulging word file and see if I can use them sometime.
I have quite a few disparate lines now. Here are a few that may appear in columns at some point in the future.
- Name of a law firm: Chase, Gittem, Flogg, Wallop and Shyster. I don't know why but that cracked me up today. I know you're not supposed to laugh at your own jokes but hey - I'm new at this so buzz off with the rules mmmkay?
- I was drinking some juice in the kitchen when I heard my wife approaching so I had to get a glass.
- American friends and I would sit around a table in the saloon, exchanging rounds of gunfire.
- I was Alpha Bitting my way through my breakfast victuals, and had just finished my third "Q", a rare feat, when much to my surprise...
- Terrifying phrases for any parent: "Dad I'm feeling sick", "What's that in the dog's mouth?", and "Honey can you check the sink in the kids bathroom? It's draining slowly." I started a column based on this - entering a kids bathroom without protective equipment of any kind. Gotta flesh that one out sometime...
I think that will do for now.
Hey - thanks for reading. And commenting (Susan in Texas!).
Piracy is a growing concern in the world as we all know from the news. It is a threat that is not limited to ships off the coast of
I called the local police detachment to investigate this growing menace…
“RCMP Constable Hornblower speaking.”
“Oh no. I thought we had a restraining order against you.”
“It expired yesterday. Tell me – can you comment on the growing threat of piracy in local waters?”
“The what? There is no piracy here. You’re a lunatic. Go away”
“Is it true that pirates thrive in unstable political climates and are therefore holed up on the west side of
“I’m going to call the judge to reinstate the order right now. Please stop calling us pretending to be a reporter. I’ve got work to do.”
“I see a lot of boats pulling anti-terrorist devices behind them. Are these devices effective?”
“Those are inner tubes they are pulling you idiot. They are for fun. Go away or I’ll call the co…I’ll call myself on you.”
“Is it true the Navy is establishing a crack anti-piracy force called the Naval Emergency Response Force – or NERF – to counter this threat to sea commerce and public safety?”
“I’m hanging up – I’ve got a press conference – with REAL press – in an hour. And stop making up acronyms – that’s our job.”
“What about ransoms of millions of dollars being paid to the owners of hijacked ships by dropping the money from airplanes – do you know anything about that?”
“This is a lake you fool, there are no pirates here – now shoo! Stop wasting my time.”
“Aha! A conspiracy! You probably know all about the ransom schemes! So tell me – how does a guy get one of those boats anyway? Do I need a license or anything?”
“You have reached the voicemail of Constable Hornblower. Beeeeep.”
“I know you’re still there. You know, a fellow in a small craft could hide under the new bridge and no one would be able to see him until it was too late. So when is the RCMP boat hitting the water anyway Constable? The public has a right to know, just for curiosity sake.”
“The RCMP Anti-Piracy vess…jeez now you have me thinking about pirates…the RCMP boat will resume its normal summer patrol activity in a few days.”
“Can you say ARRR like a pirate?”
“ARR… hey now cut that out!”
“How many dramatic pirate takedowns do you anticipate happening on the lake this year Constable?”
“None! What am I doing answering your stupid questions? Go away. I’m hanging up now.”
“Wait! Supplemental question! Where do you stand on the subject of music piracy then sir?”
“We only care about music if someone is playing it too loud on their boat. Now buzz off!”
“So you‘re condoning the active piracy of music on
“I’m not going to grace that idiotic remark with an answer. You’ve wasted enough of my time for one day Mr. Crawford. You’re obviously off your meds again and we will not tolerate this any longer. I’m just going to wait on the line here until our officers get to your location. Then we’ll explain what harassment means, in no uncertain terms. Sir?”
“Charlie 51 to base…he was calling from a payphone at the beach again…the receiver was just dangling here…no sign of him. Over.”
“Roger that. Be on the lookout for a goofy looking guy wearing a fedora with a “Press” card in the front. Possibly armed with an old flash camera. Actually, scratch that. He’s probably wearing a pirate outfit now. Approach with caution – he’s really weird.”
Sunday, April 26, 2009
Everyone does it I think. Holds their breath while digging their knuckles deeply into the eyeballs, rubbing and pushing and just really digging in there.
I find myself gasping for breath all the time.
Eyeball rubs are common in our house at bedtime.
They are not so common at corporate board meetings, as I recently discovered.
Friday, April 24, 2009
Memo To: My Fellow Parents
Re: Parenting Styles
I thought I would write you all and address some concerns that have been cropping up lately.
I must say that most of the kids who come over to play at our house have a really great time as I attend to important work matters while laying on the couch in my office.
It would appear though, that some of you have issues regarding my parenting style, or rather, the way I strap them onto the roof of our mini van when I deliver them to your homes after play dates.
While most 8 year old boys enjoy pretending to be jet pilots, I realize that using lawn chairs may not have been the best way to create this sensation, despite the limited seating in our vehicle.
I deeply regret the bee incident, although I’m sure the swelling will go down in a day or two. Remember, his mouth was open because he was laughing and not shrieking as some have reported.
By the way, we are hoping someone has found the pillow we were using as a booster seat, which flew off at some point in our journey. We heard someone was holding onto it as evidence (!) but I’m sure that is just a joke!
To address another concern raised by a parent, let me assure you that all participants in the ride were securely fastened to their lawn chairs with new bungee cords.
I’m sure you’ll understand that if, during the course of our adventure, your luggage (excuse me – child) happens to un-hook their particular cord (or gnaw through it in one memorable case), well, of course I cannot be held responsible since I’m inside driving.
In these circumstances, we pick up your son after he lands in the soft, safe, ‘no big alligators anymore!’ lake just beside Big Bend Corner on
Some parents have also questioned my choice of identity tags used with their children.
I have developed an exciting new type of glue/ink mixture that keeps the brightly coloured barcodes firmly in place on your child’s forehead (just in time for school photo’s!).
These barcodes are really useful. With them we can track your child’s attendance, food preferences, allergies, any embarrassing stories they have told about Mom and Dad – all with a single scan with a hand held laser beam thing – just like Costco.
In one humourous instance, we learned all about the really bright lights in the spare garage that Jimmy isn’t allowed to play in anymore! Let’s hope Mr. Hydro Meter Man doesn’t hear about those! Don’t worry – your data is safe with us!
Those wishing to opt out of this handy bar-coding program can be assured the ink will wash off all on its own, usually within 3 years. Attempts at removing the barcodes using rubbing alcohol and belt sanders have met with mixed results. Your results may vary.
While we do not live in a completely risk-free world as you know, let me assure you that I keep my advanced chemistry lab locked at all times, along with my fireworks packing machinery, ninja weapons, New Guinea blowgun collection, and display of Bowie knives. All are safely stored in the old shed out back and I have told the boys to not go near there. I know I can trust your boy to respect our rules just like all the others.
So in summary, let me just reassure you that your concerns are being addressed and your children are in safe and capable hands at all times.
I have my Level One first aid certificate hanging on my wall (course summary: “Call 911!”), and don’t forget I have my Introductory Babysitting course from when I was 12.
Anyway – thanks for the opportunity to clear the air! Let’s have a safe play date again real soon!
I pulled on my favourite summer shorts the other day. When I finally let my breath out, two buttons at the waist exploded, sending shrapnel flying about the house, shattering the fish tank and wounding a neighbour kid playing in the yard next door.
Poorly made buttons aside, it seems I have become a man of some caliber these past years. I have grown from a tall, skinny, fit person to a “Please do not sit on that antique chair sir…SIR!!” size.
I now have what medical authorities call “girth”, meaning they’ll need a special lift truck to remove me from my bedroom when my diabetic limbs start falling off.
I’ve been thinking of shedding some of this excess weight. For about ten years now.
The latest thinking came about when I was laying on the couch with the kids, reluctantly allowing them to spoon raw Pillsbury cookie dough into my pie hole.
While doing so, I looked at the laundry rack (sorry – treadmill) and started thinking about getting motivated.
Clearly, my problem is too much thinking, so I may give that up and make some popcorn instead.
To be brutally honest, the source of my weight issue, I have to admit, is my wife.
She is a wonderful cook and since we got married she has been constantly plying me with evil recipes. Not eating them would be hurtful, and we can't have that now can we?
Actually, I’m beginning to feel the same determination building in me to lose weight as when I quit smoking years ago. Well, I think its determination building. It may be gas – hard to tell. Burritos.
Anyway, while contemplating my navel, in my minds eye since I haven’t seen it in a while, I had an ingenious idea which will lead to enormous riches (not that I need more), and may even put that annoying old fatty Jenny Craig out of business once and for all.
I propose we gather the greatest scientific minds in the country and make vegetable patches. No, not that kind – I’m talking about patches like the nicotine ones.
Hey – if we can administer addictive and mind-altering substances through the skin (nicotine, medications, Paris Hilton), why can’t we do the same with stuff that is good for us?
I want to just slap a patch on my shoulder and know that vital, vegetable nutrients are coursing their way through my system, reducing my cholesterol, dusting, cleaning, taking out the trash, folding laundry, and generally tidying up.
One patch would equal one serving of veggies. Ingenious? Yes, I think so.
Think about it. Moms everywhere will be able to say “Good for you Billy – I see you are eating (well, getting) your vegetables. Here, let me stick some nutritious dessert on you too…”
There you’ll be in a restaurant, ordering and absorbing crazy stuff you would never normally eat because the spices would turn your innards into a smoking, lava-like puddle on top of your pelvis.
You could finally get the thrill of consuming fried goat eyeballs or poisonous snake parts without having to taste or chew it/them! Very cool. Travel agents will make a fortune. Visit the Eyeball/Snake Innard Eating Capitals of the World! And Not Have to Actually Eat Them!
I think these patches, combined with powerful narcotics to control the raucous hunger rumblings which are disturbing your fellow passengers, would be just the ticket.
This really could be a solution to the growing food crisis in the world too. Somehow.
I’ll chew on that thought for a while and let you know.
Thursday, April 23, 2009
Being male, I tend to scratch a lot. I know - try to quell your surprise at that statement.
Anyway, I ended her argument, and took two fist pumps in celebration, by stating clearly and precisely that I scratch so much because I'm the only one who knows where it itches.
I may have bowed as well. Victory is so sweet sometimes.
Wednesday, April 22, 2009
I placed 5th in the Humorpress.com's Frebruary/March humor writing contest. Now I can finally link to my very own column - yay!
Actually I'll link to both contests - my winning entry in the The Humor and Life, In Particular contest is at http://www.geocities.com/SoHo/Gallery/4111/crawford.html
Sunday, April 19, 2009
Friday, April 17, 2009
I was working hard at home, in the middle of a difficult task in my office, when I was distracted by the business line ringing. I paused my game (ahem) and answered the phone…
“Mr. Crawford, this is Ilsa, ‘She-Wolf of the SS’ calling from the dentist’s office, with a reminder that you are overdue for your teeth cleaning. Again. Please report to the office immediately or we’ll burn down your house.”
I’m just kidding – she didn’t really say ‘report to the office’.
So I prepare for my date with destiny two days hence. This means brushing one’s teeth so violently that your spouse suspects you have come down with a virulent new strain of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder.
“You’re not fooling anyone you know,” my wife said. “And don’t floss so hard either – look at all the gunk on the mirror. It’s disgusting.”
I brush and floss sixteen times per day, unlike my usual two. Well, four if the hygienist is asking.
This attempt at atonement is akin to hitting the gym nine times per day, beginning two days before your
The Day arrived.
I found myself deep in enemy territory, resisting their clever interrogation techniques. I surrendered only what is allowed under the Geneva Convention - name, address, dental plan number.
In the waiting room, I frantically ate an entire bag of Oreo cookies in a show of defiance to my captors. As my cheeks bulged, The Torture Beast herself, wearing a perky red jumpsuit, no doubt to hide the blood stains, emerged from her lair.
She smiled charmingly, spittle dripping from her fangs as she grinned her evil grin, and dragged me by the hand into the nearest chamber.
There, armed with the tiny, hideous metal implements of her trade, she tirelessly poked, prodded and scraped my mouth back to a condition of hygienic perfection unseen in years.
I nearly bled to death.
At some point in this process, punctuated by her cries of “Please stop screaming Mr. Crawford!” and “Security, tighten the straps!” she ushered in the great man himself.
He was wearing a mask (as all professional torturers do), and proceeded to open my clenched jaw by asking me an innocuous question about my golf game, then plunging his fingers into my mouth when I attempted to answer.
Using the little magnifier thingy’s on his glasses, he examined my teeth and called out strange coded messages to his assistant, Igor.
“Number 28, Stan Musial on third, humidor molar…”
Something like that anyway.
After more poking and speaking in tongues, he said “Everything looks good I’ll have to take some x-rays and everything you need done will be ten thousand dollars rinse please!”
I may have passed out at that point.
After he had his way with me (so to speak), I didn’t think I could endure any more, brave though I had been up to that point. Alas, my story doesn’t end there.
I still had to survive the Getting the Teeth Rubbed with Gritty Mud Technique, and the Mouthful of Minty Foam Procedure. All the while they were plying me for information – knowledge about the weather or my business or my children.
I resisted as best I could.
I’m not clear on how I got away. I remember brief flashes of things - running with the paper bib flapping around my neck, leaping over a waiting room coffee table, writing a cheque – it’s all a blur.
I have recovered for the most part. I still get the odd flashback, but I’m fine. Really. Thanks for asking.
Just remember to keep some floss in your Escape and Evasion kit. It is useful stuff when you need tripwires or booby traps.
Tuesday, April 14, 2009
Overall the place is great, but I could cheerfully boil in oil the person who decreed that showers in hotel bathrooms are to be at a height of no greater than five feet.
Now for the vast majority of the population this is just fine.
For those of us who tower above 6 feet, it leads to some frustration.
Standing in such a shower, one has to adjust the spray to near horizontal in order to rinse one's head and such. Either that, or resort to a comical squatting posture, like a ballerina plie, whereby one bends ones knees and ducks one's head to accomplish the task at hand (or head as the case may be).
This shower head positioning has resulted in men over the height of 6 feet having the most gloriously clean nipples that underwear manufacturers are beginning to notice. Sales of undershirts are on the wane, since men are now so proud of their sparkling chests they feel compelled to show them off.
This phenomenon could spell the end of the under-garment trade as we know it, so please write to your local Member of Parliament today and demand action! Mens nipples were not meant for public display and should be banned and covered immediately!
As we know, one is supposed to wet their hands first, THEN apply the soap to them and commence the procedure.
I think I can partly understand the 'why' involved. Perhaps there is an altruism at play here, whereby the washer is trying to prevent an unsightly build-up of drip water underneath the dispenser (which will no doubt be the topic for a future rant).
The bottom line in my opinion is this is just plain wrong. Wet hands, apply soap, proceed with washing digits etc.
Do people put the shampoo in their hands prior to wetting their heads I ask?
Using brilliant if/then syllogisms such as this, I thusly win the argument.
No need to convene the Rules Committee on this one.
Thursday, April 9, 2009
There, I go to the cashier and pre-pay like you're supposed to.
Then I absent-mindedly walk back out to my vehicle, get in, and drive briskly and confidently away.
This behaviour has been known to cause angst in me, and just about the time I'm re-entering the flow of traffic, I realize my error and use bad words. Quite a few of them really.
So - 'follow me' could be a profitable phrase to remember, if stalking me for autographs.
You are welcome.
Sunday, April 5, 2009
It is a smallish restaurant, maybe 30 seats. The atmosphere is such that if you really trained your ears in a certain direction, you could hear the conversation going on across the room.
We are having dinner here with the kids, and since it is a law that All Children Must Go To The Bathroom At The Same Time, I was escorting them to the biffy's along the side of the room.
The echo chambers known as washrooms are small too, just one holer's and a sink.
Son goes with no issues, finds his way back to table.
Daughter is taking longer (surprise!), but this is getting silly. Approach door and discretely (from outside) ask if everything is OK?
The loud response knocks me back from the door...
"Dad, I'm having a runny poo!!"
This line comes just as every single conversation in the restaurant has paused for breath, and an unearthly silence has been shattered.
Parents merely smile knowingly.
A young couple on a date now seem to be having second thoughts.
One lady appears ready to lose her entree and is turning iridescent green at the imagery.
"OK sweetie!" I say, proud, smiling.
My kids are becoming quite the sophisticates yes?
So what I've been doing is training her to bark outside when she wants in so that I instantly jump up from the couch and run out the door, scurry outside to open the gate, then run back and let her inside the house.
You've got to maintain discipline with your animals or they will just take over.
Friday, April 3, 2009
It’s 9 o’clock at night. The TV glows and while none of my favourite shows are on, it’s too early to go to bed, and the images of those lions and hyenas on the Discovery channel have planted a seed in my brain.
As I’m saying to myself “Hey those Sham Wows sound like a pretty good idea,” my stomach lets go with a gurgle that saves me $19.95 plus shipping and handling, and might have awakened the kids upstairs.
“Time for a nibble” I think. No not that kind, and my wife has left the room anyway.
It is not a full blown, out and out, “When’s supper?” kind of urgency. More like the memories of supper are fading and now I’m restless for a little something extra. Kind of like that lion on TV lolling around in the dirt, pondering that fourth gazelle leg.
The trouble is, our pantry is seriously nuked. There is nothing good there – no chips, no cookies, no licorice, not even any of the bad-for-me crackers I like so much.
The shelves are as empty of good stuff as that vacant-looking, trollopy reporter’s head is, promoting some bit of twittery from
Air is not what I seek, unfortunately. Caveman Thag hungry now!
Boring stuff taunts me, as if it knows what I want and is deliberately hiding it from me in my hour of need. Slowly it dawns on me. I am entering…the Snack Desperation Zone.
The partial sleeve of soup crackers does nothing. I stare at the lonely box of Graham crackers for several minutes, dithering, but ultimately know they won’t do it.
Lack of good stuff somehow makes the yearning stronger.
I need to feel the rush of something bad for me. I need salt in copious quantities. I need sweets. I need grease. I. Must. Have. Calories.
Like a bear in a campsite, my nose starts to sniffle through forlorn bags of month old, stale cereal, but turns away, unsatisfied.
Hands shaking now, TV long forgotten, the fridge light dazzles my eyes as I root through the shelves, hunting, seeking, thirsting. I know it is in there. Where is it? I shove aside the old jar of pickles and... Yes! It IS still there!
With mounting excitement I lunge for the container of cake frosting from those cupcakes we made last month.
The last time I snuck a spoonful was two weeks ago. I almost got busted that time but my spouse didn’t realize what I was doing, huddled behind the fridge door, spoon in hand, a look of guilty pleasure washing over my face.
As my prying fingers scrabble at the lid, thoughts of mold or staleness flit through my mind and are dismissed as quickly as an original thought might flit through the head of the nitwit on TV.
I open to reveal – crunchy, dried out crumbs. And a snarky Post-It note saying “Ha!” from my wife. Busted after all…
Remembering the cupcakes, an evil, Grinch-like smile slowly appears on my face.
I slink to the pantry again, but this time I know exactly where to reach.
I’ve succumbed to the last resort of the serious snacker.
The baking stuff.
Cake sprinkles? Not bad. Sweet, but ultimately unsatisfying. Like living on a diet of hors d’oevres. Plus those little silver balls almost knock out my fillings.
I need the snack equivalent of meat.
Spices? Shredded coconut? Nah. Keep digging – you know they are in there.
Ahhhhhhh yes! There they are. Come to Papa…
The twist tie around the neck of the bag is no match for my probing, grasping fingers. Quickly but with practiced skill I hold open the bag and pour the sweet elixir straight into my mouth, a moan of pleasure and satisfaction escaping my throat as the tiny chunks of splendor spill into my grinning, greedy cheeks.
Semi-sweet chocolate chips.
The line from Babe echoes in my mind. “That’ll do, pig.”
Thursday, April 2, 2009
Sorry. My bad.
Now I'm laughing like an idiot because I'm such an idiot.
Ah, life is so delightful when you don't have a single brain cell in your head...
La de da