Thursday, October 29, 2009


It being panic (sorry – flu) season and all, it’s refreshing to see people changing their hygiene habits.

Because of recent outbreaks of Bird Flu, Swine Flu, Halitosis, Dog Mange and Tendonitis, what we are now encouraged to do by health authorities is to sneeze into our elbows instead of our hands.

In the past, we were always told to “Cover your mouth!” when sneezing or coughing. Being lazy cretins, we as a population (well, guys mainly) would usually just hold our hand up in the general region of our disgusting, germ-laden snouts and let fly, resulting in containment of a good 10% of the virus-laden spray.

Even allowing for prevailing wind conditions, this lack of germ control resulted in the spread of many contagions, including bubonic plague, polio, teen pregnancy, ptomaine, botulism, syphilis, weevils, and the Liberal Party (Democrats in the 'States).

I find this a welcome change in that we are now able to SEE if people have sneezed by observing the hideous, dried material on the inside of their arms. Instead of launching ourselves on a delightful voyage of germ discovery by shaking their just-sneezed-into hands, we can just check out the inside crease of their jacket, shirt, or bathrobe.

It saddens me, though, to think that the pastime of watching men sneeze in public will become less entertaining.

Since men are not like grandmothers, whose sleeves bulge with enormous wads of facial tissue, and since men no longer carry boog-laden hankies around with them (thank goodness), they are very amusing to observe.

What men usually do is sneeze into their hand, surreptitiously glance down to confirm their suspicion that something did indeed land there, then try to camouflage that fact by wandering around, trying to look normal, all the while attempting to figure out when and where to wipe the splat from their (now) webbed fingers.

For some reason they don’t want the world to think they expelled anything and so they hide the cooling, solidifying excreta now in their (external) possession, despite witnesses knowing exactly what happened.

Men can spend extraordinary lengths of time acting nonchalant, gently cradling their ‘package’ before actually breaking down and smearing their hand on their pants, drapes, couch cushions, or their friend, whose shoulders they have just warmly embraced.

Automobiles and computer apparatus should also welcome this new sneezing protocol. Steering wheels, speedometers, computer monitors, keyboards – all have been recipients of airborne mucus impacts. Now it’s clothing’s turn.

With this new sneeze regimen, gone will be the annoyance of losing track of one’s phlegm. Knowing it emerged because you felt it hurtle past your teeth, but not being able to actually find it anywhere, can be disconcerting to a sneezer. Since your eyes close during the act, and the ‘material’ is supersonic when departing, having to engage a six-man search party to examine every square foot of carpet prior to party guests arriving will no longer be necessary.

Employing the In Your Elbow technique, you now know where your nose and throat secretions are - right there, in the crook of your arm, stretching from bicep to forearm in a disgusting yet fascinating web display that would make Spiderman proud.

It is advances such as these in the public health arena that make our lives so much better than in the past, and I'm sure you'll thank me for having brought to mind this important health initiative.

Enjoy your meal.

Elbows off the table please.

Sleepy or Senile?

Got up early this morning. Start coffee maker. Sit at computer, check my news sites, blogs, email.

Coffee machine tells me its done. Go to machine in kitchen, put sugar in mug, pour coffee, stir coffee, then begin staring blankly at coffee wondering - did I put sugar in? Well - did I? Hmmm.

It's too hot to sip, I haven't put milk in yet, so lets guess. Did I? I usually add sugar before putting in coffee. Lets add some, then test. I can't stand un-sweetened coffee. Add spoon of sugar, milk.


Blech! Too much sugar!! I DID put in sugar at first!

So - to summarize: it appears I am either losing my short term memory, becoming senile, or should more fully wake up in the morning prior to making important decisions like sugar levels in coffee.

I should write a blog post about that.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Funny Picture

Monday, October 26, 2009

Hannah et al

If you have children of a certain age, you'll no doubt know these shows: Hannah Montana, Jonas Brothers, Wizards of Waverly Place, Secret Life of Zack and Cody and many others.

This is children and teen programming from the fevered minds of Disney, and as such they are so treacly sweet and pure they automatically make my Bad Boy Bile rise.

These kids are too pure. They don't drink, smoke, do drugs or snarl at their parents.

They have no zits, blotches, hangovers or diarrhea. They don't sneak small amounts of booze from their parents liquor cabinet (including the ever-dreadful lemon gin or peppermint schnapps) and put it in a mickey bottle and call it 'Sh*t Mix' for their chums.

I'm quite convinced these characters are robots.

I mean - why else would parents actually buy lemon gin if not for their children to steal in small amounts? Parents don't actually drink the stuff - do they?

These liquors were produced only for desperate teenagers who consume huge quantities of it in back alleys on their way to parties or movies, later suffering the ill effects of this Ipecac-like liquid. In a strange way, punishment for consuming illicit liquor supplies was built in to the product - who needed parents to tell us we'd messed up when we were barfing so hard our stomach came out our nose?

Further, the kids on these shows are not consumed by sex lust like most teenagers. When I was growing up, any teenage girl who stood within about a half mile of a teenage boy got pregnant and was shipped off to the 'Whisper School for Naughty Girls' - somewhere out of town.

To us boys, knowing some girls had babies, elicited hope in us all. SOME girls would do it, and girls who actually had a kid as a result were living proof! Hope sprang eternal.

I guess the point that is ultimately trying to excrete itself from my head is this: if, at any point in my life, I happen upon a Jonas brother, forgive me if I sic some diseased hooker on him.

Just once I'd like to see Hanna Montana weaving down a back lane, drunk out of her gourd, having a great time as she dis-colors the moss on the north side of a tree by hurling upon it.

My friends and I did this - many times - and look how good I turned out? See?

Disney - take note - there's such a thing as being too good for your own good.

Yeah - and good luck with that celibacy thing.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

7 Dwarfes

The kids and I were trying to remember the names of the 7 Dwarfs from Snow White. By the way, I think Dwarfs looks funny spelled that way - is it with a V or an F? Capitalized? Is it PC to say Dwarf at all anymore? Should I care? Is this the longest parenthetical statement you've ever seen?).

I can never remember them.

Slinky, Dopey, Whitey, Lunger, Doc, Sneezy, and Belch. Something like that. Help me. The kids aren't sure - this is our best guess. Maybe Ringo is in there. Zitty. Mondo. I have no idea.

Travel Update

We went away for a one night holiday last night - to a ski resort about 3 hours away.

It was completely deserted. Empty. Wonderful - we had the pool and hot tubs to ourselves for the most part - although there was one couple doing some canoodling in one last night it would seem. I had my glasses off so I was blind as a bat - but I've been in hot tubs with members of the opposite sex before - and I know what goes on there.

So - I showered thoroughly afterwards. Ick.

More later.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Second Place Press Release!

Kelowna Columnist Almost Wins Humour Writing Contest -

Vote Rigging Suspected

21 October 2009

David Crawford, the Kelowna-based humourist who writes the popular column “Something Like That” for the Kelowna Daily Courier and, has won second place in the most recent writing contest.

“I’m fairly certain someone cheated” said the Almost Winner of the contest. “Some of those ballot boxes looked a little shifty.”

As First Runner Up, David would assume the crown of winner, should Mr. Joel Schwartzberg of New Jersey be unable to complete his reign, perhaps because of embarrassing photographs being circulated on the internet from his recent ‘business trip.’

“Callous Remarks,” the warm and witty second place finisher, though strong enough to win mind you, tells the heart-warming story of how David struggled to overcome the hideous, disfiguring callouses on his heels, which were tearing his socks and causing his feet to stick to the carpet. “It’s a madcap romp through the sandpaper drawer!” say critics of the extremely humourous but not quite winning column.

Earlier this year, David won the “Humor and Life, In Particular” contest, also in the U.S. That contest’s judges called David one of the funniest writers in Canada, which made him blush, though he was secretly pleased.

In addition to writing hilarious columns, David regularly donates his kidneys to charity.

Letter from the Moon

Dear Phnurl;

You know buddy – sometimes you just can’t win for trying.

You’re not going to believe this story so stow your appendages and relax while I tell you what happened.

That rumble you felt the other day? We were right there when it happened! No kidding!

The wife and I and our 788 larvae had just finished unpacking at our new place.

You’ll recall we had moved from the Sea of Tranquility (now there’s an ironic name…) down to the southern pole area. We had heard nice things about the region and thought it would be a nice place to raise the offspring.

Nice weather – only about 200 below in winter, and lovely in summer – about 200 above. In summer we could lay about on the nice frozen bits of water that lay on the shore of our chosen crater – Cabeus. It was great!

Cabeus is one of those new planned communities with all the amenities. Frozen lake, baseball diamonds the size of continents (micro-gravity sure has helped the hitting stats let me tell you, and the annoying in-field fly rule is finally gone). In short – it’s a great place to be.

Until the other day. There we were, laying about, watching the Earth-rise, when we got this hinky feeling like we were being watched. You know that feeling? Weird isn’t it? I couldn’t place it but it felt odd let me tell you.

Because of this strange sensation, we decided to head indoors to the frozen hydrogen/oxygen cave for some hibernation, when out of the corner of my central eye cluster I noticed a blur. Then BOOM! The whole moon shook beneath my feet and a huge cloud of dust and debris shot up from the Thnurbs place across the valley.

I nearly soiled my exoskeleton let me tell you! It’s a good thing we don’t have sound here or I suspect it (the impact) would have been deafening. Now that I think about it, we don’t have ears anyway, so nevermind.

Then, as I’m looking at the dust shooting up from the huge hole in the ground where their nuclear fuel was stored, and their cheese cellar now that I remember, in comes another object and splats into my friend Glurg who was rushing to the scene of the first impact!

Poor Glurg – vaporized in the prime of his life! He was only middle aged for goodness sake – just had his 400th birthday in fact. Poor thing. He had just trimmed down his lower thorax and was really working at getting into better shape. His antennae were shinier and you could tell he was really proud of his abdomens.

Oh well – such is life – and death - here on our happy orb. Maybe we can look forward to some more alien creatures showing up and running around the place. It’s sure fun for the kids – hiding just out of sight from them, stealing their tools when they aren’t looking, eating their vehicles after they leave.

Remember how the orange coloured powder fascinated them?! If they only knew that was where our friend Xlimt had his little ‘accident’. We laughed so hard we almost excreted.

Oh sure, there’s still a few crazies down here that think it didn’t happen, but when you’ve visited the sites like I have, there is simply no denying the evidence. There is definitely alien life out there. Somewhere.

Anyway – gotta go. Hope you and the rest of your life forms are doing well.

Your friend,

Sqaxz contest

Well I should know this afternoon how I've done in the latest humour writing contest.

I entered two pieces this time - Wave Rider and an older one called Callous Remarks (which will also be the title of my book - someday). The Callous Remarks one has been slightly changed and polished since I put it on the blog - compare it with the contest entry if you like and tell me which you prefer. I think the contest entry is leaner and easier to read - but your feedback is always welcome.

The results usually get posted in the afternoon. I've had a 5th and two 3rd place finishes, so I'm hoping for the same or better this time out.

I'll let you know how it goes - or you can visit them at

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

A Learning Environment

My wife and I care deeply about our children's education, and since I mainly work from home, I am able to devote a great deal of time to their needs.

This time usually begins about 10 minutes before we depart for school in the morning.

I open their backpacks and start re-filling their lunch kits with healthy, nutritious items from the Pop Tart food group, when I notice several Important School Documents that require my Immediate Attention for several parental hours.

‘Several Hours’ means time we should have devoted to our offspring last night instead of laying on the couch watching some idiotic dancing program on TV. I am consoled by the fact that while we zoned out, the children were outside getting lots of fresh air and exercise as they playfully skewered each other with sharp sticks.

This lack of attention to my children will ultimately result in them becoming Illiterate Cretins. “You Should Have Read These Important Books and Documents Last Night You Selfish Moron,” say the documents.

Seeing these Important Documents in the morning sends me into paroxysms of hyper activity, as if time spent getting lunches prepared and kids dressed and off the computer and “stop beating up your sister!” and “turn the TV off and get dressed I'm not telling you again!” and “put that knife down!” and “where is your brothers ear?” aren't frantic enough.

“Why didn’t you tell me I needed to sign this form and get rocks from your collection and cut up a milk carton for a science experiment and sew a costume for drama today and order those books and pay five bucks for a field trip?” I ask.

“Dad, you’re getting flecks of foam on my sandwich…,” one of them says. “And we did tell you last night when you were watching TV. You were staring at someone wearing a very skimpy outfit and you kept muttering “Malfunction…malfunction…” It’s a good thing Mom was asleep…”

Nailed on a technicality.

Often, the Important School Documents request that you volunteer several dozen hours per week in some helpful capacity, such as Playground Vomit Scooper, or newsletter editorial writer, or Person Organizing Volunteers for The Next Big Fundraising Idea.

My mind wanders…

“Good evening! I'm here raising money for my child's education and this week we have a nice selection of lingerie, Cuban cigars, and some watches for a very nice price. Tupperware makes a great gift. Or, how about a nice pet? It would be a shame if something were to happen to your nice house here mister so which flavour of cookie dough would you like me to sign you up for…?”

There are signatures needed for a field trip to the local penitentiary, or maybe it’s the zoo. I haven’t had my coffee yet so it’s hard to tell. Maybe it’s both. I glance at the “You can’t sue us for any reason including de-limbing by alligators…” part, then I just sign. I may be enrolling them in a prison work experience program - I have no idea.

Oh look, there are 16 overdue books, several of which I’m sure I returned but maybe to the public library. Or perhaps I sold them to the used book store. Whatever – keep signing. They’ll turn up.

It is now 30 seconds to the first bell and we are flying down the road, backpacks bulging with that days form supply, me leaning out the window yelling at people “Get out of the way – we’re on our way to school!! Which magazine would you like again? Just hand me your money at the next stoplight…”

It’s only been a few weeks since school started. I hope I make it. Want some cookie dough?

Monday, October 19, 2009


I am always coming up with quite bright ideas for products which, in my opinion, will sell extremely well. To people like me.

Let's start with a small tracking device for library books. Specifically, the one I have been scouring the house for these last 20 minutes.

What we could use is a small chip implanted in every book, so that when I activate the base transmitter, the chip will emit a loud whistle, buzz, ring or honk, and the book can be found under the pile of laundry in my daughters room. Or in the yard out back. Or under the drivers seat in my car.

This search technique is well known to losers of cell phones, or at least, losers of cell phones which happen to be turned on at the time of losure. Lossure. When you lost it. I just made up those words. Huh.

Parents would buy these things like crazy, since losing books and gazillions of other items seems to be childrens full time occupation. Mine especially.

One could also use these tracking devices for children themselves, remote controls, beer, ties, errant odd socks, tools, dogs, cuff links, those important documents you swear were here on the desk, and so forth.

Would someone please fund this startup such that I can get going with production and marketing? Thanks.

Incidentally, it's So You Want To Be A Pilot. It's blue with a female fighter pilot on the front. The book I'm looking for. Let me know if you find it. Thanks. Overdue.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Costco Run

I just enjoyed a delicious, 28 course meal at Costco and, like a snake that has just consumed a small deer, I may not have to eat again for a few days.

While adding to my small paper dish collection, I also picked up some more Halloween candy, which I'm hoping will last until, well, Halloween.

If not, it's lights out on the 31st and neighbourhood kids can darn well go find candy at some place down the street. Us whales will be laying about, moaning, quietly watching a movie in the dark.

Business Travel article

I write a humour column for the Thompson Okanagan Business Examiner magazine, and here is my column for this month.

As a side comment, I find it difficult to write a humour column for business, instead of what I used to do, which was write a business column with occasional humour. Just sayin...

I re-worked my Top 10 Things that make a Great Hotel bit (now deleted from the blog), and added some more meat to those here it is.

Business travel may be down what with the recession and all, but there are still some tried and true rules and information that will make you a better business traveler.

First – bring your own pillow. This is handy for when you are flying and you can pull out your own pillow instead of those idiotic ones the airlines give you, which are the size and usefulness of a small package of Kleenex.

The problem with having your own pillow is it can make you feel like you are at home when you sleep, which can cause problems if you tend to scratch yourself, or sleep naked, or in my case, both.

Getting up in the middle of your sleep and paddling off to the bathroom can also be awkward on an aircraft, again referring to the naked sleeping part. I don’t recall ever actually doing this, but it will be a few years before they let me fly Air Canada again, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing.

I have a lot more to say about hotels than I do airlines, so I have assembled them in humourous David Letterman Top Ten List format:

Top 10 Things that Make a Great Hotel:

10. Shower head is higher on the wall than my nipples. (Business travelers less than 6 feet tall may ignore this item).

9. Long hallways with lots of intersections to better facilitate running up and down them in my jammies (or naked as noted above). This one is mainly for my kids. Mainly.

8. Windows that open such that you can lean out and spit on passersby below. Not that, as a mature business man, I would ever do such a thing. This item is mainly for my kids again. Let me just take a moment, though, to offer a sincere apology to any patrons of the Hotel MacDonald in Edmonton, Alberta, from about 1962 to around 1990, upon whom I may have spat from a great height. While deeply sorry for having done so, I must tell you my siblings and I laughed until we peed every time we did this. But – sorry anyway.

7. Hair dryers with cords long enough to stretch to the windows to better facilitate drying of the privates. Actually, never mind about the window thing, I was just kidding. Honestly, officer, it wasn’t me.

6. Receipts that don’t list the movies you actually watched. For the record, let me just say this right now: I don’t watch dirty movies in hotel rooms…all the time.

5. Really great, rough towels and the ability to use every single one of them to dry off your various parts after a shower. Not having to hang them up again is one of life’s delicious joys. FREEDOM!! Using all the towels in ones own home and throwing them all on the floor like you do in hotel rooms can sometimes lead to a frank exchange of viewpoints with ones spouse.

4. Distracted room attendants who happen to leave their trolleys in the hall, filled with the refreshments and snacks that normally you have to pay for. Um de dum de dum…

3. Free local calling and 80 pages worth of escort listings in the yellow pages! Ahem! That particular item I was going to use in the Playboy version of this article. Nevermind! Editor please remove…

2. A pool equipped with squirt guns and other play toys, such that I don’t have to pack my own.

1. The number one thing I like about business hotels: sheets so stiff with starch that your entire body gets exfoliated in one sleep!!

Once this recession is over, perhaps I’ll write about what I like and don’t like about my own business jet (once I get one). Just don’t ever peek in the window if you ever see it at the airport. I may be sleeping.

To the Pool!

We're off to the new pool this morning - because we don't have enough hideous fungal growths on our feet just yet.

The last time we went I tried my kids goggles on and discovered that children wearing swim goggles are endearing and cute.

When an adult male wears swim goggles, he is a pervert and dirty old man who shouldn't wear swim goggles lest he get his face slapped by women he inadvertently ogles under water.

Off to the wild, blue under!

Flying Fun

The weight shift model I learned on...

The Fighter Plane version I played with a lot...

Many years ago, in a land far, far away, I used to fly these things (the pictures are not of me or my aircraft btw).

It was on the western fringes of Edmonton, AB and since I had no money, I would trade shop help for flying time. I actually got to the point where I was teaching people how to fly them.

It was a time filled with joy, wonder, wind in the face, bugs in the teeth, and occasional events which turned my bowels to water. Such is flying.

I was telling my kids the other day about how, when I was still learning in the weight shift models (top photo), I happened upon a duck.

He was flying along ahead of me, and slowly, slowly, I was gaining on him. Understand that the early weight shift models were very under-powered (a 15 hp Yamaha engine as I recall). It took forever to get airborne, and I suspect it was only the curvature of the earth that caused it to leave the runway. The great fear among us pilots was experiencing bird strikes from the rear - a very real possibility.

Anyway, you steered it by (surprise!) shifting your weight left, right, forward or back. This shifting behaviour mainly resulted in you plummeting from the skies, shrieking.

So there I was, approaching the duck, like I was passing him slowly on the highway. As I gradually pulled along side, his look was priceless. He couldn't quite figure out what this big thing was, and he was a little upset that it was passing him. Typical guy in traffic really. He kept glancing over at me as if to say "Hey! This is my turf up here you inelegant oaf! Buzz off!"

So I moved over and chewed him up with my propeller.

I didn't really do that - I was a Sky Warrior at that point, guiding my Sopwith Camel towards my home aerodrome. I saluted him chivalrously and slowly pulled away.

In another posting I'll tell you how we used to race snow mobiles in winter in these things, and how we regularly bombed rabbits and coyotes with water balloons. Yes, that unique fur coat with the fur collar? See how the fur is standing straight up? That's from me.

I can also expand on the time I was flying and part of the wooden propeller fell off, prompting a quick response, successful emergency landing, and change of undies.

Until then...

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Fruit Matters

As your brain is about to say "He doesn't post anything for a week and this is all he has to offer?" bear with me. This will be fascinating...

First, the internet is a wonderful thing. The kids and I were eating bananas the other day when one asked "What are those stringy bits called, Dad?" I admitted to not knowing, but found out in short order - phloem bundles. Fascinating yes/no?

Oh - you can also peel a banana from the 'bottom' end, then use the stem thing as a handle. This apparently reduces the number of phloem bundles you have to deal with. Not sure why or even if that is, but it's what 'they' say. I think that's how gorillas eat the darn things and who am I to argue with a gorilla?

Then our discussion wandered over to the little stickers on apples and such. We all pretty much concluded that they don't taste very good, shouldn't be eaten but sometimes are, thus making them somewhat edible, but wishing for a different (or even some) flavour.

So there you go. You are richer for having visited here.

Phloem bundles. That's going to stick in your brain uselessly for many decades now.

Good day.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Nobel Prize

About this whole Nobel Prize thing.

No, not Obama and all that. I'm talking the Nobel Prize for literature. I'm thinking, if I ever get a book deal out of these posts and columns - would someone remember to send my name in to the Nobel committee?

I don't own a black tie or anything, and I could care less about the prestige and all that.

I just heard the winners get something like $1.4 million.

Plop on book sales I say.

Do they accept self published works do you think? What if I only printed about 10 copies? Would you get back to me on that please?


Saturday, October 10, 2009


With the announcement that golf and rugby will be Olympic sports in 2016, my first thought was "I'd better brush up on my back swing."

Then for some reason I thought the news announcer said the sports were somehow combined, and my mind wandered deliciously...

"It's a beautiful, gusty day here at the Links Rugby Pitch in St. Andrews.

"This is the first round of qualifying for the 2016 Olympics, in this, the new sport of Golby."

"Actually, officials are still trying to determine a name for this new and exciting sport. Golby seems to be taking hold, although Gugby was popular for a time. Other suggested names have been Rulf, Golly and Earsrippedoffgolferhaha."

"The ball is at mid-field, Tiger is just adjusting his headband as he and Phil Mickelson watch Padraig Harrington of the English side tee up the ball.

"The referee whistles and the players lean in to the scrum...there's a little shoving the club is tossed in and OH! what a tee shot! Tiger got a good one off of Nick Faldo's head and Faldo is bleeding profusely as the ball sails down the field!"

"The players charge towards the goal line, clubs swinging, as we get this 60 minute test match under way. Back to you in the studio Jim..."

Friday, October 2, 2009

Clearing the Air

One of the many dilemmas facing parents these days pertains to meal choices, and their consequences.

For example, I avoid bark mulch and granola-based breakfast cereals because they produce in me enormous volumes of sour gas, which I’m sure you’re pleased to know.

My children, however, who are easily entertained, encourage me to eat massive bowlfuls of the stuff, for the exact same reason I avoid them.

As for consequences, I recently ate a large bowl of this material for breakfast, thinking I had the day off from anything important, and thus didn’t have to worry about any powerful (public) emissions.

Turns out it was parent-teacher interview day at our children’s school.

We had scheduled our interview for 4:30pm - about the time the full effect of the breakfast cereal would be erupting within me.

Visualize, if you will, the steaming mud pots of Yellowstone Park. Remember porridge burbling in a pot on the stove as a kid? Such were my innards. Something like that.

The day progressed normally, although city residents did notice a certain increase in wind activity around noon.

Picking the kids up at 2:30, I was truly thankful for power windows, and the absorptive quality of automobile seat cushions.

By 4:30 I was feeling considerable discomfort as my wife and I walked down the deserted hallway to the classroom. Slowing my gait, I surreptitiously scanned both ways, then let fly with a reasonably quiet if long blast which warmed our immediate vicinity several degrees.

Noting how I kept pausing and hiking up my leg, and knowing exactly why, my wife, eyes watering, loudly whispered “Stop that!”

I wish I could have.

We entered the classroom and sat down on the very small, hard plastic chairs that are normal size for 8 year-olds. The bent over posture, combined with my considerable girth, made for a certain pressure being created in my abdominal area – in addition to what was being naturally produced within my digestive system.

My wife and the teacher were chatting amiably as I looked around the classroom. I noticed some pictures and winced. Facing me was a large poster of a swollen hot air balloon. On another wall was a picture of a space shuttle launching.

I pressed my knees together.

Sweat appeared on my brow as I focused on what the teacher was saying, for once in my life.

“Your child is positively bursting with new ideas,” she said.

I crossed my legs.

“She expresses these ideas with some volume in class, and she expands on them very well. She works well under pressure…” she said.

I was getting woozy.

As nonchalantly as possible I rose from my chair, an effort requiring fierce concentration, and slowly wandered to the activity area of the class. I thought if nature took its course I had best protect innocent bystanders from any danger.

It was then the choirs sang and a benevolent light shone upon me. There on a counter were several beakers filled with cloudy fluids and floating layers of scum.

“Mr. Crawford please don’t touch that experim…” the teacher cried, as I deliberately removed one of the corks.

A blessedly dreadful odor, evocative of swamp gas and rotting vegetation, erupted into the room (from the beaker).

Salvation was at hand as I noisily coughed, cleared my throat, re-arranged furniture, and frantically searched for the cork which I had somehow accidentally dropped somewhere.

Teacher Interview Notes: “Mr. Crawford appeared dour at first; perhaps ‘focused’ would be a better term, although as the interview progressed he became almost giddy. By the end he was positively dancing around the class, delighting in everything his children have done. Quite a remarkable father.”

“Note: talk to the janitor about watering the plants more frequently. I noticed them wilting after today’s interviews.”

Thursday, October 1, 2009


“Dad I’m bored”

“Why don’t you go outside and play?”

“It’s raining”

“Why don’t you read a book? You know, one of those analog things with pages?”

“They’re boring Dad. The graphics suck.”

“Well, why don’t you go smear peanut butter on that allergic kid – what’s his name – Itchy?”

“Puffy. Nah – his Mom won’t let him play with us anymore.”

“Then I don’t know what you can do. Go wash the garage…”

“Daaaaad…why don’t you and I do something? Let’s play a videogame together.”

“Nah – I’m working.”

“Dad – you’re writing another stupid column. You keep laughing at your own jokes.”

“No I’m not – I’m doing research by visiting humourous websites.”

“You’re watching videos of guys getting hit in the berries."

"It reminds me that there are clumsier people than me out there. It’s sort of an affirmation thing for me.”

“Dad. I’m only 8 years old – I don’t know what you’re talking about.”

“Let’s play catch then.”

“Is that a Wii game?”

“Yes it is. It’s a game called ‘Reality’ – you should try it sometime.”

“Dad I’m still really bored.”

“Go to my toolbox. In it is an old hunting knife. Go play with it out in the yard. Throw it around and try to stick it in a tree. I used to do that at your age. Remember what I said though – a TREE, not a kid. Now go.”

“Gee dad – you’re swell. What’s a knife Dad?”

Father facepalms and turns on the game console…