Thursday, June 10, 2004


All You Ever Wanted to Know About Victoria Elizabeth ("The Quipping Queen") But Never Dared to Ask

(NOTE: This bio is designed to be sampled like a smorgasbord...and to be taken with a grain of salt naturally).

Nicknames my parents gave me: “Scallywag” or “Buglugs”
Nickname my sister gave me: “Yahootee”
Nickname employers gave me: “Miss Effie”

Astrological Sign:

The only mysterious magical zodiac-zapper capable of rising from the ashes (like the Phoenix bird) -- a Scorp of course! And, if you’re into Chinese astrology, I’m also a ripsnorting rascal of a rooster or the female version ...a hen if you please.

Favorite Children’s Stories:

“Francis the Talking Mule”, “Pookie Puts the World Right”, “Swiss Family Robinson”, “The Adventures of Freddie the Pig” and “The Great Escape”.

Favorite Heroes/Heroines:

Don Quixote, Zorro, and Prince Valiant; Katherine Hepburn, Deborah Kerr, and the cheeky angel in the Philadelphia cream cheese TV commercial.

Favorite Humorists:

John Cleese, Peter Cook, Dudley Moore, Douglas Adams, Dawn French (The Vicar of Dibley), Robin Williams, George Carlin, Flip Wilson, Jonathan Winters, Tim Conway, and Lily Tomlin.

Favorite Theme Songs:

“The Rubber Tree Plant”, “Dream the Impossible Dream”, “Climb Every Mountain”, and the never-to-be-forgotten merry melody, “Does Your Chewing Gum Lose its Flavor on the Bedpost Overnight?”

Famous People I Would Like to Invite to a Dinner Party:

Male Guests: Socrates, Voltaire, Jonathan Swift, the Scarlet Pimpernel, Lewis Lapham, Bill Maher, Mike Farrell, Anthony Hopkins. Female Guests: Eleanor Roosevelt, Joan of Arc, Ingrid Bergman, Whoopi Goldberg, Peggy Lee, Mae West and my namesakes - HRHs Elizabeth I and II, plus my namesake Queen Victoria of course.

Really Personal Stuff:

Birth date: Sometime between the twinkle in my father’s Celtic eye and my mother’s experiment with the “rhythm method” and “immaculate conception”

Birthplace: The venerable home to “la poutine”, les Canadiens, and the Expos.

Status: Previously wed-locked, with a flying knight-in-shining- armour for a son who's dedicated to saving damsels-in-distress or watching drama queens pout when their excess baggage will not fit into their designer handbag.

Awards: McLean Method of Writing Certificate (Grade 3), and my "1978 Employment & Immigration Canada Typing Test Result" – a staggering 79 wpm!

What I’ve done to earn my daily ration of 100% whole wheat (brown) bread, Seville orange marmalade, and smooth peanut butter:

Education: (Rum tiddledy pum and all that)

· Enjoyed 12 years as a dedicated “slow-learner” at West Van High School. Known to have suffered the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune from teachers who found my reading comprehension and Math skills somewhat lacking but gave me passing grades anyway because I could draw, play team sports, and shut up in class.

· Obtained a ‘Bafflegabbing Arts’ degree that qualifies me to train trolls, talk to plants and admonish pet-rocks.

Work Experience: (Things that grown-ups do in the real world)

· Part-time youth employment as a Lemonade Sales Rep. (Sold five 8-ounce glasses to three adults and two thirsty pets on a hot summer day – long before we had GST).

· Designer and printer of custom-made greeting cards for folks with fractured funnybones. (Spent a year with oodles of colourful silk-screen paint under my nails).

· Chief Cook and Bottle-Washer at a fishing lodge with a lot of strange-looking bottom-suckers. Later promoted to Camp Counselor where I discovered that not all rattlesnakes, skunks and porcupines live in zoos or pet stores. (Just a few of my “odd” summer jobs enjoyed in the Interior of British Columbia and in Northern California).

· University Administrator (a.k.a. Certified Apple Polisher) who invented “management by smiling” (MBS) and organized fabulous weekly wine-and-cheese parties (called “scientific seminars”) for some very merry misanthropic munchkins.

Self-Employment: (What creative grown-ups do who don't like the view from inside the box)

· Having been scorched by a few fire-breathing dragons in my life, decided to put my moxie maven skills to good use before “Touched by an Angel” was in vogue. My first assignment -- creating “think and doodle” handouts for dorks, dweebs and dingbats.

· With lots of spunk and gumption under my belt, I took on more challenging tasks like writing clear, concise, client reports about as fun to read as the adventures of Dick-and-Jane and their phonetically-challenged animal companions, Puff and Spot.

· Soon learned that clients wanted time honored, well-honed Spanish Inquisition skills to eliminate a plethora of pesky problems rather than waiting for Godot to solve them.

· Offered career-counselling advice to those really keen on exploring questions like: "What’s the name of the elephant sitting in your living room?", "How do you get rid of a bull in a China shop?", "Why is the Spirit of Serendipity always pissing on my parade?", "When is it my turn to be King of the Castle?", "So, where do Superman, Bat Man, Spider Woman, and the Tooth Fairy go for a night off?"

· Currently Dean of Do-This-Do-That at the critically acclaimed Lemming Leadership Institute and guest lecturer on such topics as “Balderdash & Bunkum for Beginners”, “Blissful Blundering”, “Boisterous Botchery”, and “Bungling for Baby-Boomers”.

Humdinger Talents and Hidden Aptitudes:

· Established "contrarianN communicationS", to publish "Pith & Vinegar Times" (a literary laughingstock) and "The Lost Lemon News Service" (a delightful weird news archive). Wrote popular pieces such as, "The Glossary of Glitch" and its companion piece, "The Abridged Version of the Flop Glossary" not to mention a tiny titillating tome entitled, "The Glorious Glossary of SNIT". (Great throne room reading material!)

· Co-produced and wrote original content for a virtually unknown and unlinked amusing little website called that received an average of 30,000 hits monthly, (not bad considering we didn’t do a blessed thing to promote it).

· Became a single mother but never lived on welfare or declared bankruptcy. (Now if only I could remember my PIN number and navigate my way through the maze of voice-activated instructions for telephone banking, I’d be a flaming genius).

· Became a substitute teacher and videoconference lecturer without ever having taken an education course. (What else do you do to earn a living in a remote community when it’s 50 below zero in winter and buggy beyond belief during two-weeks of summer)? Produced an education promotion video although I had no experience in script writing or editing. (It went on to become a popular “dead space filler” for a community TV channel). Translated French documents into English even though I had no formal training. (Hmmm…do they have bilingual jobs for baby-boomer bipeds in the federal government yet)? Became a self-taught caricaturist and folk music guitarist, (but don’t ask me to yodel or tell a joke without a teleprompter).

· Organized trade delegations even though I never took a political science course, held a government job, or had any formal event management training. (By the way, I never met a single 'civil servant' who didn't start the day without exercising their snapping, crackling and popping genes!)

· Learned how to use a dull hatchet, pitch a tent during a rain storm, cook without matches, navigate by the stars and a compass (GPS hadn’t been invented yet), and last but not least…straddle and squat to relieve myself without splashing my legs or sneakers. (For heaven’s sake, please don’t ask me to change a tire, cook a gourmet meal for 10 on the barbecue, or decorate a Victorian commode like Martha Stewart).

· Known to get lost in the clouds while singing a diverse repertoire of gleeful tunes during my morning shower; (I’ve had rave reviews from neighbors to prove it!).


Be true to yourself and laugh a little every day. Remember the old adage, "Behind every wet blanket lies an incontinent universe". So, if you missed a ride on Noah's Ark, you can always count on a politician, preacher, pundit, or public relations professional to have a bumbershoot, a pair of hip waders, plus a genie in a bottle hiding somewhere in their magic bag of goodies.


TA DAH! ... "The Quipping Queen (grab your specs and take a peek) --


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