Wednesday, May 26, 2010


I had a lot of grand things to say about heat... but unfortunately, heat has kicked in. Therefore, I have no more brainpower, as heat has zapped it all from me.

I am enjoying heat, nonetheless, even though it feels as if I'm being lapped in waves of warm butter with each heart beat.

(excerpt from: How a Poor Feller from Yellowknife Deals with 27-33C Humid-Ass Montreal Weather for Ten Consecutive Days. Soon available in paperback.)

Sunday, May 23, 2010

awesome band name #7,835

At the coal mine (read: glorified call centre) we run into all sorts of names. I keep a list of the best ones. I will share them one day, when I have retired from reference taking.

At the coal mine, I talk to scores of folks a day. Scores, folks. I meet wierdos and wackos and normals and egos and comedians and roughnecks and pencil-pushers. All told, speaking with these strangers is the second best part of the job. What's the best part? you're wondering. Well, the best part is sharing the stories and conversations you have with said wierdos and wackos and comedians with your colleagues.

(Please imagine the following words as if they came from Sam Elliott)


"Now this here story I'm about to retell for you is one that my friend told me a few weeks back when he was speaking to a reference with the last name 'Thompson.' In our line of work, we come across a lot of oddly-spelled names. Sarah has been spelt with a 'Z.' Shawn has been spelt 'Shean.' So we usually ask for a spelling of names, unless they are of the Bob or Jim variety. (Sidenote (not in Sam Elliott-voice): I have an overwhelming urge to call the gruffest sounding Jims by the name Jimberly when I leave them voicemail messages. I think it would really P them O.)

This Thompson fellow my friend was speaking with turned out to be a real beaut.

When asked, he told my friend how to spell his name: "Thompson with a 'p.'"

"Thanks, Mr. Thompson," my friend replied.

"Yep, Thompson with a 'p,'" he repeated. "Do you know what we call Thompsons without a 'p?'"

My friend paused. "What?"

"A dry Thompson."

And there you have it, my friends.

Awesome band name #7,835: "The Dry Thomsons."

Greatest. Movie. Ever.

Friday, May 21, 2010

thought process

Follow this thought...


Top 10 List: Worst Tall Guys (courtesy of Patch O'Hoolihan)

As advertised. The list speaks for itself. If you know Patch, this will make sense. Maybe too much.

If you don't know Patch, then here is a brief introduction.

While he is an all-around great, gregarious and generous guy who is probably my best pal on the planet, the Patch harbours a deep-seated resentment toward tall people - particularly tall dudes. He feels they get things easier than do short people. They don't have to work as hard. I couldn't honestly tell you whether I feel that's true or not because I'm about average height and I've never felt like I was being looked down at (literally) by somebody.

But the Patch doesn't like his tall folk. He frowns upon them as quickly as he is to side with anyone shorter than average. For instance, if we sat down to watch a hockey or basketball game, I'll know within seconds who Patch's favourite player is: it will be the most undersized person on the court. I'll laugh when he tells me this ten minutes later. He won't even realize why he is cheering for the person until I point out the person's size. How else do you explain his 2000 man-crush on Mike Comrie? The dude was a huge (wrong word choice) douche. (Comrie, not Patch.)

Also, Patch has turned down a date from a gorgeous friend of ours who is now modeling somewhere, based on the fact that she was a few inches taller than him. As well, I have heard him utter the phrase, "I'd get as many girls if I was as tall as you," to a mutual friend. (In Patch's defense, he was really drunk and a teenager at the time of that statement.)

In a nutshell, this guy knows his tall people. So when we were out at a concert a few months back and a tall guy shuffled in front of our lines of sight, we thought who better to compile a list of the world's worst tall guys than the Patch.

Maybe you this will be therapeutic and help heal you like thermic water. Or maybe this will cause you to see the world from a whole new perspective you've never had before. (Just pretend your eyes were at your armpits.)

Without further ado...

Honourable mentions (not included because they were kind of weird and revealed a bit too much about Patch's psychology to be found humorous -- until they were included in the honourable mentions section because, now knowing the reason why they weren't included on the list, they become funnier than some of the inclusions on the list): 'The Not-so-Tall Guy that thinks he is so much taller than me and even cuts me down about being short when, in reality, he is just barely taller than me but feels insecure about his height so he has to take it out on somebody;' 'The Tall Guy that has better rhythm than me;' and 'The Tall Hot Girl that likes me but makes me feel like a kid when I am with her.'

And onto the list...

10. The Tall Asian Guy

This is the trend-bucking fellow from the world's most populated -- and historically height-challenged -- continent.

Patch says: "Man, aren't they genetically shorter?"

9. The Tall Guy in front

This is the universally annoying tall guy who actually inspired this list during an RJD2 concert. A tall guy with an a-fraux shuffled in front of us right before the show was set to begin. We had to crane our necks around his messy, Sideshow Bob doo for the duration of the show. This guy is a pest at the movies too (and doesn't he always show up just as the flick is about to start?) The tall guy in front gets extra points if he has a hat or a big hairdo.

Patch says: "Get a haircut."

8. The Tall Guy that writes demeaning songs about short people

I came home once to find Patch at my kitchen table watching this video.

He was incredulous. He wanted to call a hate crimes organization. I don't blame him.

Patch says: ".... (something mumbled into his beer)..."

7. The Faux Hollywood Tall Guy

This is the short guy who is made to look tall in movies. Have you ever noticed that any picture you see of an A-list celebrity that isn't a production still reveals that person to be a functioning midgets? There is something more subliminal than a few dozen individual egos at work here: Hollywood is perpetuating the belief that tall is optimal, while short is something to be disguised.

Patch says: "I wish I could always be filmed from below."

6. The Tall Guy who does Short-Guy stuff better than Short Guys

This can be seen in baseball, football, soccer or hockey, where short guys who were once more agile and deceptive than their lankier and taller counterparts are slowly being replaced by coordinated giants. See Peter Crouch.

Patch says: "You've got this tall guy paving the way for other tall people to dominate."

5. The One-Move One-on-One Basketball Tall Guy

This is the tall guy with limited basketball ability, who perseveres against his shorter opponent based on one back in move. He is able to heave up brick after brick until he clunks one in, while his hapless rival jumps in vain to get his hand on just one rebound.

Patch says: "That's a foul."

4. The Tall Guy "who weighs less than me"

This Tall Guy is a personal foe of Patch's.

Patch says: nothing (putting down cheeseburger.)

3. The Tall Guy with a short girlfriend

This is the tall guy who can pick and choose whoever he wants but is a firm believer in the 'big things come in small packages' proverb. Short guys, on the other hand, don't have this option generally, which makes the tall guy's choice that much more unbearable, since it plucks out one more short fish from the sea. Just another slight against the little man.

Patch says: "Short girls were created to make short men feel more manly, not tall man double manly."

2. The Tall for Nothing guy

This it the 6'5" guy who inhabits the World of Warcraft, who builds model airplanes and does "other nerdy things," which Patch describes as computer stuff and baking. This tall guy does absolutely nothing to use his Flying Spaghetti Monster-given tallness as an athletic advantage.

Patch says: (from an actual, late-night email in 2006, where there was no prior mention of tall people at all) "I hate tall dudes who like computers and not sports."

1. The Backfire Tall Guy

Basically, this tall guy is the cautionary, karmic tale. It's the tall guy who was short once upon a time and everyone used to pick on him about being vertically-challenged until that pube-fueled growth spurt. He winds up being a head taller than the rest. He is pretty much the ultimate kick in the nuts to short people.

Patch says: "..muu... (gurgle).. burp..."

Monday, May 17, 2010


It was a beautiful damn pure-blue Sunday and I didn't know exactly what to do with it. I was tired and not feeling particularly social and figured I'd head off to the park with a book, a pad of paper and an empty stomach and see what happened.

Swigging luke-cold Coke from a plastic bottle on a rock overlooking the river at Parc Jean Drapeau, I realized how long it had been since I'd been at all sequestered from the city. A pair of ducks bobbed in around the shallow pools on the shore of the St. Laurent. The river rolled out east, the current so strong and manic it gave the river a texture. The wind blew west against the flow, whipping up spray. The conflict seemed unnecessary but the birds paid no mind as they played in between. The current pushed on, accelerating like mad down the centre of the river, but the water pooled back in eddies along the edges, like exit lanes on a superhighway and the water flowed westward down these St. Laurent suburbs.

The male duck sat on a rock contemplatively. It was Sunday, remember. He watched the river cautiously, only gazing over at his partner every so often, maybe just to make sure she was there. His mate was busy. She ducked her head underwater every few seconds. She'd get up, shake off water and then bob back down, her back-end buoyed in the air. She reminded me of a goggle-wearing five-year-old, searching for sea life at the beach. Yet, there didn't seem to be much playfulness with the duck. She wasn't doing this for fun. She was doing it to eat. It was earnest. I felt jealous of that female duck there at that moment. I watched it while burning in the sun and the humid heat that came down like buckets of hot shower water. I studied it, holding a Bic pen and jotting things onto a pad of paper I'd used previously to collect notes of trivial processes while training for my job. I tried to learn something from the duck. But all I knew was that that was all it knew. And I felt envy. It knows what it is here to do.

Seagulls start shrieking. I had forgotten seagulls lived outside of the city. They swooped down over white water. They fought each other whenever one of them found something worth fighting over.

A dog peers over the trial railing ten feet behind and ten feet above me. It yelps then whimpers when its owner yanks its leash. The human is satisfied with her river view. The dog is choked it won't get to play and chase birds and bugs and its reflection in the water.

A little myna with crimson epaulettes the colour of the Red Coats yaps at me. It's telling me something important because it won't move and won't stop squeaking out commands. It's not scared of me. I can understand that, for some reason. The tiny black bird looks like he's trying to tell me something. He's trying to tell me what I should write. But his shrill yips don't translate and so, frustrated, he turns around and starts searching the rock crevices on the shore for lunch. It's movements are herky-jerky, like old wooden stop-motion animation.

The ducks continue to bob and bounce around in the slow moving water. The male has now started to search for grub.

A bug crawls onto my pad of paper to have a read of what I've scrawled down. But the gets bored and flies away.

A seagull falls from the sky to rest on a rock. It ruffles then folds its wings onto its back and stands there staring off into the distance thoughtful as like an Afghan elder. The fucking shit hawk manages to look regal and pensive.

What am I hear to do?

I put my foot down on the rock and cut my big toe on a piece of broken glass. Blood smears on the brown rock. My left eye is itchy and raw from allergies. I have to piss. I'm going to get out of here. I need a band-aid, some Reactin and a pisser.

I pack my things into my book bag. I leave the regal seagull and the ducking ducks and go urinate into an open, white porcelain coffin. I pass a human crouched down in an uncomfortable position to point a gigantic camera contraption at detritus under a rock. I slip $2.75 to a human in a blue suit behind a piece of glass, put a piece of paper into a metal slot and then disappear underground and then under the river in a giant machine.

* * *

Wound up at the Tam Tams on Mont Royal following a phone call. What else was I going to do?

Humanity. More humans than seagulls on the river. People in varying levels of dress and sobriety and sanity. Drums in all corners of the park. Real serious guys looking to get laid pounding out real serious beats with serious faces like they are baring their real serious souls, surrounded by serious-looking guys and girls. Large pits of people slamming anything they have to make noise. Lively rhythms driving old braless hippy ladies with George W. Bush haircuts to dance and watch their melons bob around in their shirts like clumsy people in a horse costume. An old hippy caricature walks around with tinted-glasses and long-combed hair and a green speedo under a dressy vest, popping finger cymbals together. Groups of shirtless people dancing. Some right into it. Others looking at others. Uncomfortable. Doing it to be seen doing it.

But it's what they are supposed to do.

It makes sense.

Montreal is inhabited by performers. Everywhere. All sorts. Everyone is a performer in some way.

Anywhere you walked, you saw someone doing something. There were acrobats, propping people up on their shoulders to balance. There were jugglers and people batting sticks around with other sticks. There were singers and banjo players and guitar players and loads and loads and loads of drum players. There were line-walkers and hoola-hoop dancers. There were circus string acrobats, hanging 20 feet in the air off a tree. There were kids rolling down the grass hills.

There were the weekend warriors, who play war with duct tape swords and shields and inhale dust by the lungful. They are adorned in steel-ringed vests and some of the more serious 'players' wear homemade full-body armour, with fifteen-foot long nerf-like javelins they lunge at opponents. A Japanese samurai warrior comes up behind an enemy with his two swords and, in a flash, rests one sword on the back of the guy's neck and the other against the jugular and slices. It looked a bit too real.

These people are performing. But so was everyone else.

A guy played with his hair until he got it just right, and then he started dancing in a pit. Hard-looking, tattooed-up dudes played with their pitbulls. Hipsters smoked weed and drank beer. Pretty girls wore little. UFC-addict T-shirt-wearing juice heads spoke louder than they had to.

Before long, my friends were doing summersaults and handstands and were crawling around backwards. What were they supposed to do?

It all had rubbed off. I was telling jokes and line-walking.

I couldn't help it. I had to do it.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

women getting brainwashed

I'm going to get flamed hard for the next sentence from some of you, but fuck it, here it goes...

A couple weeks ago, I was watching Flashdance with my roommate and her friend.

There. I said it.

Okay, it didn't take that much convincing...

With that out of the way, I'm going to get into something I found very interesting when watching the movie and my friends. I love women and I feel bad that they can get sucked into movies like this where, on the surface at least, it appears the message is about a woman's independence and self-determination, but really, when you look at it, it's about something wholly different. Unfortunately, they are missing the whole thread and hidden message of the movie.

Flashdance appears to be a movie about a young woman with humble upbringings attempting to persevere in the snooty dance world, inhabited by prissy ballerinas and dance-conservatory trained performers. She has to battle the fact that she's a quasi-stripper with no formal training at all.

She may not be high class, but she's definitely got ass.

Flashdance feels like a feel good story. The two very intelligent and thoughtful young women I watched it with got worked up over the film. The lead character has a big audition but she flakes out because she is nervous and feels she doesn't belong. But her boyfriend steps in and gets her another audition and she knocks it out of the park and so the good girl wins and the moral of the story is that with hard work, dedication and a little luck you can succeed, despite the hand you are dealt.

Or at least that's what they want you to think...

I saw things a little bit differently. I looked at it through the eyes of the male protagonist: a well-to-do steel foreman in his early-30s who goes gaga over Jennifer Beals at a cabaret. Throughout the entire movie, he courts the 18-year old, who just happens to work at the foundry. (Yes, 18... and she's an apprentice welder with her own sick apartment. ¿Que? Note: The girls thought nothing of the fact that this 30-something was shamelessly following this teenager around like the pony-ring at a circus, but I'm sure if I started dating an 18-year-old, they would be revolted. Again, it's the way the movie is framed or something.) The man buys Beals expensive dinners and we find out she's a total sex pot, playing with his junk with her foot at a fancy eatery one night. At that same dinner, she basically fellates a piece of lobster. This guy is living the dream.

After she blows her audition, he sets something up with one of his connections and gets her another shot. She hates him for this when she finds out because she doesn't need any help and they break up. At this point, I felt like this man's dream was dashed. I was sad. But then Beals' grandma dies and she is inspired to take another crack at it. She goes to the audition and knocks it out of the park. The foreman is leaning on his whip on the street holding a big bouquet of flowers and she hugs him and they drive away in love.

Who do you think is happier here? The one who just overcame her demons or the one who's about to unload some semen? I'll go with the one who's sporting the chubby.

A tear trickles down from mine eye and I learn something from the flick: the moral of the story being that, with a little effort and with some connections, a middle-aged man's dream of railing an 18-year-old dancer can come true.

Don't think I'm on the level? Think I'm just trying to be provocative?

I think not. I have proof that this is what the movie is about.

Go and IMDB Flashdance...

Go ahead. I'll wait for you.

Here I'll even put up a link: FLASHDANCE on IMDB

You're back. Nice to see you again.

So, did you notice anything interesting about the flick? No?

You didn't read that the movie was directed by a man? And written by two men? I bet they were both around the same age as the male lead. Just a guess.

Why would three middle-aged men have any interest in making a movie about a dancer following her dream? Seriously, what would they know about that struggle? Absolutely nothing.

No, they were writing about their dreams and fantasies.

I'm just sayin.

Friday, May 14, 2010

post game

Man vs. Tree

The ladies doing their pre-riot lunges.

I know it's like 36 hours or so since the Habs pulled off Upset: The Sequel, but trust me, I have not had the time to get these shots up. I'm literally rushing to work right now, so the recap will have to be done via photo.

Not too much rioting Wednesday night. I heard only a Foot Locker and an SAQ (Government LIQUOR store) got ransacked, meaning drunk Montrealers wants shoes 'n booze.

Game was great. At Mad Hatters, no one was breathing easy until maybe the last 30 seconds. Up by a bunch with 3 minutes, Freduardo still couldn't celebrate. He was waiting for the other foot to drop. Anything went in the pub. People would start chants and everyone would join. You could have chanted anything and it would have been picked up.

The celebrations were epic. More people than the Red Mile. It was packed, packed, packed. They shut down St. Catherine from Spaghetti-Monster knows where down past my place. No titties, just hockey fans (and lots of guidos and guidettes on MDMA.) Lots of fireworks. You would be standing in a crowd, then everyone would push you back, you'd look over and there was a guy 5 feet from you holding a firework in the air. BAM!!!

Another positive: Two more weeks with Joel Bouchard's HAIR!!!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

montreal game 7

I think they're already shutting down St. Catherine. Tonight is going to be wild. Jersey Shore wild. Blacked-out-Ronnie-post-fight-with-Sammy-Sweetheart-multiplied-by-J-WOWW-on-her-period-wild. Yeah!!

Hopefully the Habs win, so the cops will be less aggressive and hate-filled when the rioting starts. (I always wondered what it would be like to be one of these post-game riot cops. You don't get to watch the game and you have to deal with a bunch of drunken knuckleheads who don't like you. No wonder why they're so angry.)

Don't worry though, mom. Going down as an objective observer. I am a former-journalist, remember.

Yes, the flow of humanity has started. It's the first decent, sunny day in a week and everyone is talking "tricolores." Red shirted Montrealers are flooding into the downtown. I went salmon-style on my way home to grab some jeans. Can't watch a game at the pub in business casual. That's not keeping (Mont-)real.

Apparently they sold out $10 tickets to the Centre Bell to watch the game on the Jumbotron in four hours yesterday.

A guy at work is on shaky ground because he's missed so many days of work due to "illness" after Habs games this playoffs.

This has been quite the run. No matter what happens, it has been a time. This team is playing playoff hockey, for better or worse. They're blocking shots. They're riding a hot goalie. It's a nice contrast to the Canucks team I've spent nearly a month fretting over. I swear, that team is going to kill me. It was ugly. I have a lot to say about them, but nothing that hasn't been said a zillion times already -- and by myself none the less. Only guys who looked like they gave a crap consistently were Edler, Raymond, Wellwood and Grabner. The Sedins got shutdown by Keith and Seabrook. Erhoff and Samuelsson played well for the most part. Bernier wasn't as bad as everyone made him out to be. But Demitra better be on the way out of town, and hopefully Bieksa isn't far behind. I wouldn't mind if they made him a forward, but he is so mistake-prone, I have mini-shits every time he is on the ice. Luongo wasn't as bad as he was made out to be either, but he's got to ditch the 'C' and concentrate on being a netminder.

I'm depressed, but Chicago is a good team, as much as I hate them.

Man, I was excited about the game tonight but now the Nucks have me bummed.

I'm just going to go to bed.

(Yeah right...)

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

nothing of importance, unless you are concerned for the health of dogs

The snow should be gone by now and other than a few depressing flurries the past few weeks, it is.

With it's annual absence, it has revealed something interesting, which before recently, I had not seen very often.

Now I don't know if they were covered in snow all winter and as the white stuff receded, they were uncovered and slowly thawed out, but the homeless are out in full force along St. Catherine, outside Berri-UQAM, in parks, bus stops, Metro entrances and on any street corner with any sort of foot traffic right now.

Coming from Yellowknife, seeing a disheveled-looking drunk guy yelling at someone on the street isn't something I would call abnormal. Actually, it's probably a bad sign if you don't see something depressing on a few downtown streets, because that means everyone has converged somewhere else and feces is likely to be hitting a fan.

But what I have noticed here is that most anyone who spends any time on the street does so with Man's best friend. (Apparently a dog will be your best friend even if you don't have a home.) Other than YK's Charlie -- who often had two dogs with him -- I hadn't really experienced this before.

And it's a little jarring. Here is some guy with his teeth falling out, walking with a limp, in tattered clothes and maybe nursing a black eye, leading a frisky dog that looks like it could do a backflip through a hoolahoop.

How can these dogs possibly be healthier than their masters?

Who's wearing the pants in this relationship?

At first, I thought it was just a cheap ploy the bums were using. Of course, they have these lean, gleaning dogs hanging around them to guilt us into coughing up money to satisfy their own coffee-drinking or jean jacket-collecting habits. (That's what homeless people spend their money on, right?) As a society, we like pretty things and they are using that against us.

But then I started to think that was a ridiculous thought and not at all reasonable.

For one, how did these dogs stay so fit? No matter how much money these shelter-challenged folks collected, they couldn't possibly feed themselves and the dogs well enough that the dogs looked like they did. I wondered whether these dogs were adopted from animal shelters or saved from puppy mills, used until they died from worms or the cold or from eating a bad turd and then the homeless person moved on and found a new dog to guilt us with.

But that couldn't be it, could it? No one at an animal shelter would hand a dog over to a homeless person, would they? And wouldn't a homeless person eat a dog from a puppy mill instead of feeding it?

Maybe that's what they did. The bum was harvesting the dog. They fattened it up and then, when the time was right, they whipped up some Chicken Poodle Soup. I mean, they eat dogs in Asia. Is that so far-fetched?

Again, though, I realized that could not be true. We were raised on Lassie and Old Yeller and Santa's Little Helper and there was no way any North American, no matter how down and out, could fathom putting a piece of a virtuous canines into their mouth.

Then it hit me. I had been totally wrong. It wasn't the dogs that were being used by the homeless people. It was the other way around.

How could I be so ignorant?

It didn't happen until I walked past a couple with a beautiful black lab today that it dawned on me.

These dogs weren't used as tools to drum up change by greedy, shameless homeless people. No, these compassionate people were just not able to cut the leash with their dogs and because of that, they found themselves without even a dog house to shelter them.

It was true. The couple today did not look at all like they did just a few years ago. They wore faded black hoodies. The woman's blond hair had splashes of blue, but overall, it was faded white by the elements and age and harrowing experience. The couple's faces were scarred with acne and burned by sun and their teeth were grey. They marinated in hopelessness, while their dog raced around, oblivious to them, like he was on speed.

And that was it. He probably was.

This downtrodden and forlorn couple probably once lived in a nice house in the suburbs with a white-picket fence. They were leasing-to-own a reasonable-sized SUV. They both had jobs in office towers. He was a junior broker. She was a human resources administrator. They hosted dinner parties a few times a year. They were planning on having a child, but not until they had a few more years of the mortgage paid off and they owned the vehicle. They were the picture of the successful, lower-middle-class 20-something couple.

Except, they had a demon. And it was a demon of their own making.

Once in college and before going to a party, the husband-to-be blew some weed smoke into the dog's face as a gag for his friends. The dog coughed. Everyone laughed. They joked the dog would get the munchies and laughed as it laid in front of the TV like they probably did. The husband-to-be and his friends went out and enjoyed the night without a care or a thought for the dog.

But something changed within the dog. He was feeling good. I mean, GOOD! This usually conscientious and order-taking dog was hungry, but there was no food in his dish. He raided the fridge and found a chicken breast and ripped the meat from the bone. He was thirsty now and he found a few beer cans, which he bit into and lapped up. Feeling even better, he then stumbled across a bottle of whiskey, which he smashed and then polished the floor with. Full of piss and vinegar, he fell out through the doggy door and into the night.

He woke up behind a McDonalds, not remembering a thing that he had done. He had an itch on his little red stick and some claw marks on his side.

But he did recall the way he felt. And he remembered he had liked it.

Over the next few months, the dog would leave for days at a time. The husband-to-be thought nothing of it. Maybe he'd made some friends. A few months later, every single dog in the neighbourhood was knocked up. A couple cats walked around with noticeable limps.

The husband-to-be didn't suspect a thing. He moved into a new house with his girlfriend and soon they got married.

Life was busy and the couple didn't pay much attention to the dog. And with more time, they saw less and less of the dog. They started to notice he was acting differently. He would leave for a week sometimes. He slept most of the time he was home. He wasn't as hungry any more. He was more agitated around guests. Lots of shady dogs started visiting the house and hanging out and digging holes on the front lawn. The dog looked at the couple wearily at times and he often did so with a suspicious eye. He didn't enjoy being pet much any more.

The couple never suspected the dog was up to anything serious. He was just a dog being a dog. But one day, they found a raven, a snake and the dog huddled underneath the porch shivering and making a lot of noise. The dog had a band wrapped around his paw and the raven held a syringe in its beak. The couple chased the bird and the snake away without a problem, but chasing away the dog's urges would not prove so easy.

The couple spent long nights with the dog, caressing him and bringing him water and doggy treats. But as soon as the couple went to sleep, assured the dog was on the right track, he would leave and wouldn't be home for days. When he returned, the couple took took him to expensive counseling sessions, but they didn't work. The couple returned the SUV to get the dog into a drug rehab program in California, run by new age dog handlers. But the dog would sneak out at night and often come back so high, his rehab workers couldn't even get him to sit, let alone lay down.

Finally, when all other options were exhausted, the couple caved and started buying the dog the heroine he so keenly lusted after, so he wouldn't have to prowl the neighbhourhood after sundown, doing whatever he did to score the substance. They did it out of love; to try to keep him out of trouble. They would even help him shoot up. And when the dog got his high, he would lay in the couple's arms and coo and the couple would stroke his coat and they would be comforted for that moment.

That was six years ago. That was one SUV, one house, two jobs, one kidney and two lives ago.

I walked past that couple on the street today. They spent everything they had to keep their dog alive. They loved him too much to let him go. They followed him through to the edge and back every day. They slept in dark alleys, got menaced by pushers and hustlers and had to constantly carouse with evil hell-raised pooches with rabies, scabies and fleas. The woman even sold herself to pay for the dog's habit.

So I felt bad today. Not for the dog, but for the people. There was no way I couldn't give them a buck or two.

I looked at them and nodded. There was a tear in the woman's eye. I looked at the dog and shook my head. The dog didn't pay me any mind. He pissed on an old man's foot and snickered. He was gritting his teeth. He was so healthy, despite his habits. I could tell he got the choice cuts of meat when the family sat down around the garbage can.

Feeling sympathy bulging in my pocket, I reached in to help these poor people out. Maybe they could get a clean slice of pizza on me, tonight.

But. I only had a $5 bill and I didn't want to give them that much. It was $5 fucking bucks, man. That's like a beer.

So I put the bill back in my pocket, shrugged my shoulders and bounced.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

game 1 round 2: vancouver 5 - chicago 1

Just a few cliffnotes, because I don't want to perpetuate a jinx.

Bobby Lou is back. He seems to have regained the good old mojo. He's tracking the play and swallowing rebounds like his past self. He's not trying to be more than a goaltender right now. I'm a confident in my boy again...

Loved the Hank Sedin snow shower on Niemi early on in the first. Mr. Art Ross has a sense of history.

Also enjoyed that Burrows started lipping off Keith, just like he went after Doughty right away in Round 1.

While I still hate Scott Oake and can't understand how the players don't punch him in his 'chic' black spectacle-wearing, spiderweb combover head, I must say that I really enjoyed the CBC's build up to the game tonight.

That's it. That's all I'm going to say...

(Maybe the only thing that rivals Joel Bouchard's hair is Joel Quenneville's moustache.)


Saw the last two periods at le Station des Sports, amidst the Mayweather-Mosley fight. Still can't believe this was a bigtime, hyped fight because everyone knew Mayweather was going to mop the canvas with Mosley.

One question I had: So Michael Buffer gets paid like $10,000 to basically say "Let's get ready to rummmmm-bbbblllleeee" at these fights. And I suppose I'm okay with that, seeing that both fighters made millions and the "Let's get ready to rummmmm-bbbblllleeee" got everyone excited about the fight at the sports bar, but how does Mr. Buffer get away with using cue cards at these events? That's just unprofessional.

Dude, you're getting paid 10gs to list off a couple of sponsors, the heights, weights and hometowns of the boxers and then the "Let's get ready to rummmmm-bbbblllleeee." Are you really that dense that you need cue cards to remember that shit?

Come on, now.