Wednesday, December 30, 2009


A new humor anthology, "Laugh Your Shorts Off" has been published and is now available at (link here).

It contains the collected works of every winner of the Humor and Life, In Particular contests for the past decade or so.

I'm in it! My column titled Myth Kids won the contest a while ago - the column is below.

I've ordered my copy. You?

As always - thanks very much for reading.

Myth Kids

Authors Note: I don't know why, but after this piece won the Humor and Life, In Particular writing contest, I never put it back on the blog - that I can find anyway. So, in recognition of the fact it is now part of a newly published anthology of short humor titled Laugh Your Shorts Off - here it is again!

I was walking down Orchard Street the other day, thinking about all the myths my mother told me as a kid, when I met a young man named Newton, who had apple trees growing out of his head.

To describe him is a bit of a challenge. He was tall and slender, clean shaven, and his fruit was neat and recently sprayed. I couldn’t tell his age, but based on his bark lesions I’d guess early twenties.

He said he had swallowed apple seeds as a kid, and these nicely-pruned, fruit-laden trees were the result.

So it WAS true I thought! You shouldn’t swallow the seeds after all. Huh.

He told me he had cherry trees growing out of his ears at one point, and like most rebellious teens he had let his branches grow long and, well, got into some trouble, hanging around places he shouldn’t have been. Power lines mainly.

Before I could get around to asking him the obvious pruning and fertilizing questions that sprang to mind, I realized that he was a Myth Kid!!

Myth Kids are extremely rare – so rare, in fact, that they themselves are considered mythical. They are people who got warned by their mothers of all sorts of terrible things that could happen to them, and then the terrible things actually happened!

He was living proof!

As we strolled in his shade, I asked about his crossed eyes.

“Froze that way – just like Mom said they would,” he explained. “I used to sit really close to the TV all the time and I used to practice going cross-eyed in school. I’ve only got myself to blame really.”

I asked about his scars, assuming they were old hockey injuries perhaps.

“This one here is from when I was running around the house with sharp scissors. And this little one here is from not holding onto my Popsicle stick” he said.

A chill crept up my spine. I thought these were just old wives tales – nothing more.

I worried about my own kids. Had I threatened them enough with implausible accidental injury?

For that matter, had I washed behind my ears that morning, or would potatoes start growing back there? I couldn’t remember, so I feigned scratching my head as I gently probed for sprouts.

As we walked I suggested to him that someone should write about his tragic life. He was about to answer when he yelled “Watch out!” but it was too late. I had stepped on a spider.

A sudden rainstorm began, the spider having been a Daddy Long Legs. The rain sounded nice dripping through his leaves. Another myth confirmed.

I remembered some other admonitions Mom used to say.

“Ever step on a crack in the sidewalk?” I asked.

“Mom will be in a wheelchair for the rest of her life. Broken back. My fault.” His remorse was obvious.

“That’s terrible!” I said. “Weren’t medical staff able to do anything?”

“I had eaten an apple that day, which kept the Doctor away. I’ve never forgiven myself.”

“Ever swim right after a meal?”

“I almost drown from cramps every time. Now I don’t even shower for at least 30 minutes after each meal. Terrifying.” he said.

“What do you do for fun?”

“Not a lot. Mom says it’s all fun until someone puts an eye out. That happened to my cousin Twiggy, so I have to be careful.”

I noticed his disfigured hands and asked “Arthritis?”

“Knuckle cracking” he said.

By this time it was dark out so I said I had best be going. It had been an interesting conversation.

As we walked towards the corner he stumbled into a lamp post.

“Are you OK?” I asked, peering into the gloom.

“I guess. My night vision is no good. I didn’t eat carrots as a kid. And could you stop picking my apples please? It tickles.”

This is Mything Children Awareness Month. When a Myth Kid scratches at your door, please give generously.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009


As I bask in the glow of a grateful public who are sated at last after my enormous contest win (I just threw up a little bit writing that), I can pause and reflect on what's going on around me.

We gave the kids Nintendo DSi's early for Christmas this year. We are going away (with the kids this time) and wanted them to have something to play with on the drive to the lower mainland, which, depending on conditions, could be either a 3 hour blast or 8 hour hellish nightmare. So it's good to be prepared. I have my knife and fork ready in case we turn into a modern day Donner Party.

Oh how cute - the kids are using their new Nintendo computer thingy's to re-task a Predator drone in Afghanisan!

"Don't blow away another wedding party kids!" I say helpfully.

"Oh, and are you adjusting the bank lending rate this week or will you leave it alone for the holidays kids?" I ask. They really are whizzes when it comes to computers.

Anyway, I'm off to the Cheap Crap For a Dollar store for some last minute stocking stuffers.

I also have to take the dog into the vet since she's more than her usual wobbly self, post-stroke.
She is also draining all the terlet bowls in the house with wild abandon, so maybe she's a little thirstier than usual - which I'll get checked out as well. She's drinking water in the same volumes I anticipate pounding back the Bailey's Irish Cream when we get to my sisters place. Kindred spirits I guess.

"Hey cool kids! I didn't think you could aim the Hubble telescope towards Earth! Pan left a little and maybe we can see what the neighbours are building out back there..."

Anyway, this is probably my last post for a few days. Have a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Monday, December 21, 2009

First Place!!

I won!! Amazing!

If you check out the first Featured Post over to the left there, you'll connect with a rather startling column that just won First Place in the humor writing competition.

After my interview with Entertainment Tonight and Time magazine, I'll be flitting about the country, promoting my, er, small collection of columns here on this very amateurish blog.

We really do need a sarcasm font don't we??

Recent Headlines and Associated Commentary

A Member (snicker) of Parliament here in Canada recently urged the regulation of the Sex Toy Industry - news story here.

Well it's about time! This ticklish issue is about to blow up!! Yes it is hard to regulate, but with hard, sweaty, pulsating work we can come to some sort of position on the issue!! I'll stop there.

Next Headline:

Tigers Wife to go Clubbing With Friends

Not an actual headline - I just made that up.

More Action News when it occurs to me!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

The Year in Review

There's some local Kelowna stuff in here which will be irrelevant to international readers, but whatever...

The year it started well enough with the swearing of Obama
But then the tea began to cool and change became a drama
A vote for change let freedom shine, the light of change was glaring
The Yanks don’t want our health care much, which leaves Obama swearing

US Airways found a way to make their planes deliver
They also made a runway on the chilly Hudson River
A flock of geese is now no more, Captain Sully is a hero
The final score was Airbus 1. The flock it numbers zero

H1N1 in the news, from Mexico it’s spreadin’
Hysteria is in the news, despite low numbers deadin’
With shoulders sore we jam the doors of clinics that be jabbin’
The vaccines worse than the H1 curse – but the networks keep on blabbin’

Elections in Iran had the populace atwitter
People protest in the streets (if they could find a sitter)
As people died, they tried and tried, to raise a mighty racket
The leadership remained unhip - Mahmoud Ahmadinnerjacket

The summer haze became a blaze – along the west side track
Many hundreds left their homes to let the planes attack
No one hurt, a few homes burnt but none the worse for wear
A shouted “Thanks!” to the airborne tanks and fire crews that were there

Now you may think that something stinks when it comes to Kelowna’s new logo
The debate reminds of left-behinds from a large, well fed Ogopogo
“It’s a pine cone!” “It’s a starburst!” “It’s a copy!” they all say
After summer smoke which made us choke let’s face it – it’s an ashtray

You may have thought that the fires wrought all the flames that came our way
But the letters soared and debates they roared and the vitriol did spray
Politics? Abortion? Were there bunnies here to see?
No, not really, just a lane of highway called HOV

Gangs and thugs were busy as their bullets sprayed the nation
The Bacon boys collected toys for other gang’s ventilation
Imagine if the bangers had been busy with their trollops
Then bacon could return to being wrapping for our scallops

Controversy reared its head about the Richmond rink
Americans with big, long blades were raising quite a stink
“It isn’t fair!” said our friend Colbert, “You’ll eat our icy dust!”
“Oh yeah?” we say, in our polite way, “Go practice on the bus”

Olympic flames are burning bright, to Whistler we shall go!
If only I had tickets I would sure enjoy the show
I’d love to see the fastest ski and soar and speed and schuss!
I only got lame hockey seats – China/Belarus

Global warming in the news, a Copenhagen riot
The earth has got to cool itself, go on a carbon diet
The polar ice is melting and the water’s on the hunt
Regina will be filled with glee and on the waterfront

Between the beetles, banks and housing the economy did tank
It seemed no matter what we did our balance came up blank
I have a scheme that’s still a dream, creating cash filled barges
I dream of getting just a cut of banking service charges

He drove the holes aggressively, he plowed some fancy divots
His Cadillac it was attacked with golf clubs popping rivets
He cops a plea for privacy to “mend his family – thanks!”
Then Tiger gets back on his cell and texts “How ‘bout it, skanks?”

The deadly toll in Afghanistan’s knolls and roads creeps ever higher
Our Highway of Hero’s is too well used, though our salutes they never tire
It would fill us with joy if our troops would deploy to a region that wants peace
Let our soldiers drive themselves home, let the many convoys cease

Happy 2010

Saturday, December 5, 2009


I've just returned from a run to Costco (a rare one in which I spent less than $500), and I am now looking at a large container of York Peppermint Patties (miniature version).

I have to admit a certain weakness.

Some day, if/when I am in charge of security for the Crown Jewels, or Fort Knox, the following conversation may take place:

Me, in tone of authority: "None shall pass."

Terrorist/Robber/Burglar: "We have York Peppermint Patties."

Me: "Here's the keys - have a good time. Om nom nom."

A Recent Conversation

Here is the transcript of a recent conversation in our house:

Me: "Kids, please flush the toilet after going to the bathroom."

Kids: "Why?"

Me: "So the dog has a clean water dish."

Kids: "Oh. OK."