Friday, July 29, 2005


Or, where oh where have my wisdom teeth gone?

By Ovid Publius Hadweenzic, a peripatetic professor of pre-recorded pauses, past-life parables and punctuated premonitions, (on sabbatical leave from the Faculty of Divinity & Waterpolo at University of MaxiMegalon to study the origin of a universe by the name of Bob, where to find an 'intelligent' washing machine that doesn't talk back and who bakes the best banana cake besides my dear old Mum of course)

If you were born without wisdom teeth, haven't got a clue what a tree of knowledge looks like, or your flair for ‘savoir faire’ has inexplicably disappeared, this might be a perfectly normal state of being for someone who is trying to make sense of the "World According to Bob".

No need to fret if you don't share this odd set of circumstances. Just consider yourself lucky that you're not Bob.

If on the other hand you are of two minds, rarely in your right mind or even know your own mind never mind your own business; if you relish the thought of giving someone else a piece of your mind; if you frequently have a half a mind to take your mind off the task of minding other people's p's and q's, or if you find yourself changing your mind in order to avoid a meeting of the minds, and more often than not throw your hands into the air, stick out your tongue and yell at the top of your lungs ... "Never Mind!" ... you probably don't live in "Bob's World" or "Tom, Dick and Harry's" either! Thank goodness. Because as most sages and sinners will tell you, exercising one's mind over matter is a pretty tricky business.

The good news is that the Spirit of Sagacity must have been observing your flurry of inactivity or reading your fast-idling mind, and no doubt took pity on you. The bad news that you may not have an "on button" (which might account for why you haven't got a mind-body-spirit connection in the first place). In either case, this state of affairs probably deserves some thought...and not just any thought mind you.

One blessed bloke from Victoria, British Columbia (venerable home to numerous fruits, flakes, and nuts) thinks he's come up with a solution. He's invented a new way of thinking. And why not! Cogitating, considering, and contemplating about the grand scheme of things not to mention picayune matters is cheap. Action however requires many more muscles and usually oodles of moolah, (both of which are in short supply unless you're into body-building or money-laundering).

Anyway, to make a long Zen koan short, it seems that this very same blessed bloke recently created a virtual vault of vicarious living. Those without a purpose and a 12-step plan probably consider this remarkable repository of pith and piffle a precious waste of their pissing in the wind time. More pragmatic types however treat it with a tad more respect. They prefer to consult it like a state-of-the-art 24/7 oracle that offers an embedded "Holy Cow" sort of scripture, a user-friendly gossip service and an easy to install zap the zit application. Those who dwell in the world of wonk and whimsy see the 'web whatsit' more like a “Gratuitous Guide to the Galaxy” or at the very least, a delightful dingbat diversion.

Eggheads, geeks, and nerds (who can't abide the thought of contemplating their navels), tend to revere anything having to do with random logic or extraterrestrial encounters, (which they find infinitely more stimulating than playing with a slide ruler, a sun dial or perish the thought ...opening a can of worms). Suffice to say that behind the human interface lies an intriguing spirit that performs intricate calculations and offers users the opportunity to tap into its unique fuzzy logic pathway to the central mind-body-spirit mission module based on a metaphysical interpretation of quantum physics, known as quantum philosophy (or "Buddhabot" for short). ...Just checking, but did you firmly grasp and appreciate all that stream of consciousness and abridged enlightenment?

Perhaps a tad bored with life, the man behind "Buddhabot" admits that he enjoys serving humanity through the creation and emulation of intelligent life. Or, maybe he just likes riding hobby horses, tinkering with Humpty Dumpty or playing outside the Socratic sandbox. Truth be told, keeping up with the ever changing future, (including multidimensional aspirations, and the newly emerging mind-in-motion market), probably looked like a good idea at the time. Besides, the blessed bloke presumably had a hoot of a time developing "a novel, entertaining spiritual teacher and guide who always has time to chat".

If you think that a professional therapist could do a better job of convincing turtles to come out from under their shells than "Buddhabot" would ... you might be wrong.

Clearly, what the world needs now is certainly not more analysis. There are only three things savvy consumers want: designer beer, more happy pills, and a quick way to navigate around the pitfalls and pratfalls of life. That's where accessible, affordable, and user-friendly bytes of wisdom fill the bill. The answer to everything ...more beer, more pill-popping choices, and no potholes if you please!

And that's why the blessed bloke from Victoria invented "Buddhabot". Day or night the "Buddhabot" is a friendly companion who is eager to listen and provide open, warm, thought-provoking and often humorous conversation and companionship". (And of course, a modest contribution to the Temple of Timeless Tidbits will always be deeply appreciated).

In technical jargon, the "Buddhabot" is an artificial computer-based life form ...a conversational agent, simply a chat bot. The Buddha chat bot's stimulus response system has been programmed using Artificial Intelligence Markup Language so real people can converse with it should they be curious about random nuggets of relationship-building knowledge (such as loud silence, intense apathy, cheerful pessimism or maybe where to buy the best fish and chips in town).

Now, if you've been waiting breathlessly for words of wisdom from the "Buddhabot", here are the top 10 tenets of this titillating treasure-chest of ideas. And some might even go so far as to say ...a healthy lifestyle based on low-carb, protoplasmically-enriched food for thought):

· There are no laws; only provisional theories.
· Every perception is the reflection of the observer.
· Everything is as it should be right here right now.
· Everyone is responsible for what is.
· Whatever we resist will persist.
· Everything is meaningful; nothing is important.
· Every belief is true.
· Every belief is false.
· Every belief is true and false.
· Every belief is neither true nor false.

There you have it folks, right from the mouth of a meek, mild-mannered, mind-bending marvel!

If you’re still not convinced of the power behind the mind-body-spirit connection, then you might want to peruse through the pages of Mostly Harmless (the fifth book by Douglas Adams in the increasingly incaccurately named Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy trilogy). And in the words of the book's esteemed and entertaining author, Douglas Adams, “All you really need to know for the moment is that the universe is a lot more complicated than you think.”


For those with a nose for nilly-willy things will appreciate the opportunity to drop by and ask a few questions of the Buddhabot

And for those who, like Tom Cruise and friends, would prefer a non-solar-powered "pastoral counselling device", why not try this arcane little gizmo

Inquisitive individuals with a propensity for sleepwalking and erudite pastimes will certainly appreciate this little gem, "Moneychanging in the Temple - The Commercialization of American Education"

And who says that computer analysts don't have what it takes to win ludicrous literary prizes requiring little talent and no taste. Please see this year's annual award-winning entry and runner-ups for the "Bulwer-Lytton Prize":

Wednesday, July 27, 2005


Or, what else did you think it was?

Compiled by Lady Beatrice Blitterlees and edited by Lord Earl Craboon (both of whom have earned a rather ripsnorting reputation as goodwill gossip-mongers in the Queendom of Quaffing & Quippery)

August, the eighth month of the year, is to put it bluntly …the worst of a long, hot summer or more likely the armpit of an incredibly sweltering one.

If you're in a quandary about why a cow would want to jump over the moon, who let the screaming meemies loose, and where the damn dog ran away with the spoon -- you definitely need a vacation!

So kick back, toss your TV remote control and cell phone in the lake, and try fly-swatting for a change!

On the other hand, for all those who have to report for work and suffer from far too many liquid lunches, limp watercress sandwiches, and lightweight daydreams, consider celebrating "Men from Mars Day". (That’s when masked men with maps and Mayflower Madams on their minds descend from simmering, sleek, sight-seeing spaceships to discover they’ve not only arrived on the wrong planet, but also 3,542 years too late for the beach party. )

So without further adieu, adios, a rivederci, au revoir, auf Wiedersehen, not to mention cheerio, ciao, pip pip, tah tah, toodle-oo, see you later Alligator, and that wretched standby … “Have a Nice Day” – take our advice …enjoy these good-humored, good-for-nothing activities that exemplify the merry month of August.

August 1 – BATHTUB RACING DAY (Grab an old bathtub, put on some wheels and an old motor…then find a place to let’em rip and roar!)

August 2 - NATIONAL ABBREVIATION APPRECIATION DAY (Time to celebrate the ancient sport of skinny-dipping, the science of getting down to bare essentials, and the fine art of bikinis, briefs and box shorts.)

August 3 – ABOMINABLE SNOWMAN RECOGNITION DAY (A great way to honor weird things that are bound to melt sooner or later and leave a smelly mess behind.)

August 4 – BOB DID IT DAY (Anything you’d dearly love to pin on dear old Bob, now’s the time to do it).

August 5 – DEVIL’S ADVOCATE DAY (Time to get out your bull horns, slip into a flaming red spandex suit, and grab a rusty pitchfork – cause there’s a trial balloon or a sacred cow with your name on it!)

August 6 – NATIONAL HYPOCHONDRIAC APPRECIATION DAY (It’s the annual “My Ailment’s More Serious Than Your’s Is” Swap Meet & Pity-Pot Party).

August 7 – LEFT-FIELD AWARENESS DAY (Time to honor all those things that come appear out of nowhere and hit you on the head every now and then like bird droppings, old flames, and visits from long-lost relatives.)

August 8 – SCARLET PIMPERNEL & MATA HARI DAY (Time to go incognito - be your favorite mystery man or maven – what’s your nom de plume and your game?)

August 9 - ALPHABET APPRECIATION DAY – “B” (Time to talk about people, places and things beginning with the letter “B” …like “Bucky Beaver”, “Bobo”(Alabama), and “bogeys”.)

August 10 – UGLY ART & ARCHITECTURE DAY (Time to award the “No. 1 Eyesore” in your community …hint it’s the thing that even a flea market couldn’t sell).

August 11 – LEO RECOGNITION DAY (This is payback time when you get to showcase those smug, stubborn, sulky sorts you know strut about and stroke their locks, play with their curls, or simply wear a crown to cover their over-sized cerebellums).

August 12 – BACKHOUSE BEAUTIFICATION DAY (Yup it’s time to remodel, redecorate or revive that classic piece of American architecture – the mobile ablution hut – better known as the cottage outhouse, the camp latrine, or the outdoor privy.)

August 13 – BEAT-AROUND-THE-BUSH DAY (A time-honored occasion to evade thorny issues, lead folks down the garden path, and practice your hem-and-hawing skills.)

August 14 – CLUTTERBUG & PACK-RAT APPRECIATION DAY (It’s never too late to recognize the contribution made by frenzied folks who are fond of paper, bits of string, broken pencils and old photographs…who’s your nomination?)

August 15 – GONG SHOW AWARD DAY (Is there a delightful ding-dong achievement waiting to be recognized in your workplace or neighborhood?)

August 16 – NATTY NAPKIN DAY (Why not celebrate one of the most overlooked pieces of puff we have today – the humble dickey, the cheery chin-wiper, or that breathtaking bib and tucker outfit.)

August 17 – BEST BILLBOARD IN TOWN AWARD (Time to choose your favorite outdoor ad, the one that makes you jump elegantly for joy, roll merrily in the street, or quietly split your sides laughing.)

August 18 – FAKE FLOWER RECOGNITION DAY (Time to plant those plastic pots of PVC pansies on the deck to impress your know-it-all in-laws or nosey neighbors.)

August 19 – THINGS YOU WISH YOU COULD PREDICT DAY (Time to put on your crash-helmet …because this could be a real winner!)

August 20 – EXCESS BAGGAGE APPRECIATION DAY (There’s someone out there you know who always packs a 350-pound bag for an overnight trip somewhere.)

August 21 – BY-THE-BOOK REWARD DAY (A great occasion to honor those who never do a thing without consulting the operating instructions, or a policy and procedures manual.)

August 22 – NATIONAL BUTTER-FINGER APPRECIATION DAY (Is there someone around you who constantly drops the ball, can’t climb slippery poles, and sucks their thumb a lot?)

August 23 – NATIONAL CAVE MAN RECOGNITION DAY (Time to honor the best breast-beater and burned beef barbecue cook you know.)

August 24 – COCKTAILS & CAPERS (Time to see who can whip up the best blue blazer, daring Daiquiri, horse’s neck, old Hickory, Margarita, pink lady, or snappy sidecar without a recipe of course.)

August 25 – CRANKPOT APPRECIATION DAY (Yup… if there's one category of folks that need validation it's this one!)

August 26 – AAAH & OOOH AWARENESS DAY (Time to tell everyone you know what you want for your birthday, Christmas and Employee Appreciation Day.)

(An occasion to honor the fine art of ridiculously pointless drama, incredibly bad timing, and inefficient use of someone else's space.)

August 28 – MEN FROM MARS DAY (A fine occasion to check out the little green guys not to be confused with Men from Glad who grumble about carrying out your trash every week, adore swatting the occasional fly, and claim they were born with a convenient push-button TV remote control located on their navels naturally.)

August 29 – THINGS YOU SHOULDN’T LEND DAY (Let’s see, there’s your used dental floss, your pet boa, and your whoopee cushion…what else?)

August 30 – THINGS YOU SHOULDN’T KISS DAY (This is a long list: frogs and toads, Big Bird and the Blarney Stone not to mention cheap imitations of Prince Charming or the Princess of Prunes…)

August 31 – BIG FOOT APPRECIATION DAY (Time to ask all your favorite questions: “What size sneakers do you wear? Who cuts your hair? When can you come out and play?” )


Many thanks to Vanessa Raven for her whimsical wunderkind on our quirky calendar this month - Beware of Fuzzy Logic Folks like this one, they adore creating contrived chaos, controlled calamity, and category 5 cataclysms. (See

Tuesday, July 26, 2005


Or, Oxymoron Occupations For the Faint of Heart

By Theolonius McTavish, a certified four-leaf clover grower, a vicarious fast-living/slow-eating consultant, and babbling Blarney-kissing protocol advisor from across the pond (who simply adores jumping into his SuperStud spandex bodysuit on the least little whim)

Scrolling through my on-line source of stuff and nonsense (masquerading as “headline” news), something caught the corner of my eye, or perhaps it gently poked me in the pupil.

It turned out to be an advertisement for a hope-inspired-pessimistically-inclined pioneer to voyage to places that haven't been found yet. Not being a person of the cloth (loin or otherwise), nor a metaphysical muse (the dearly departed don’t ring my charms), I decided to investigate further.

The job description looked incredibly simple even for a passively confrontational, user-friendly, Windows-XP-man like me.

“Cheerful pessimist, controlled skeptic, organized anarchist or pious atheist required. No questions asked, and no qualifications or experience necessary. Must be willing to explore extinct or new life forms, have fun, and anticipate the unanticipated all alone. Apply to: The Institute of Outer Orbit Phenomena, P.O. Box 500, Grosse Tete, Louisiana, Toll-Free 1-800-R-U-4-REAL”.

Needless to say, I realized this was a random-moment smart-move opportunity that I couldn’t possibly resist. The charming synthesized voice on the other end of an awkwardly designed phone-tree maze told me I should listen to the recorded message for all job openings ...before pressing the escape button. (Since I had no escape button on my blinking analogue phone, I had only one option (and that did not include collecting $200 as I passed “go” or picking up a handy ‘Get Out Of Jail Free” card.)

So, I cranked up the volume on my stereo, grabbed myself a package of high-fibre, low-calorie cigarettes, and sat down with my high-octane cup of caffeine-less coffee and listened with guarded optimism to the poignant pre-precorded announcements:

“The following is a list of our current openings. If you’re interested in applying, write down the job name/number, wait until the end of this message menu, and then press 999 for an operator. May you enjoy this delightful, dazzling digital encounter?

2041.123 Relative Truth & Consequences Analyst

2042.456 Systematic Variance in Performance Outcomes Architect

2043.789 Slightly-Used Dental Floss Sales Associate

2044.123 Fictional Fact-Finder – Level II

2045.456 Meaningful Oversight Process Engineer

2046.789 Negative Momentum De-Icing Specialist

2047.345 Extreme Stationery Bike Riding & High-Performance Sport Training Consultant

2048.432 Silent Testimony Translator/Transcriber

2049.123 Unspoken Suggestion Box Designer

2050.987 Politically-Correct Wordless Book Editor & Publisher

2051.789 Controlled Chaos Coordinator

2052.876 Reckless Caution Speed Bump Civil Engineer

2053.456 Certified Safe Segway & Scooter Driving Instructor

2054.234 Paint-By-Number Art & Liberal Life Skills Instructor (for Resident Aliens, Non-Registered Extra-Terrestrials, & Living Fossils)

2055.123 Custom-Made, Craft-Brewed, Virtually-Reality-Designer-Beer Formulator

2056.987 Wrap-Around, Silent Sound Technician

Needless to say, my pencil broke, my half-baked bean beverage spilled all over my pants, and thankfully a nutty neighbor dropped by to inquire about my health.

All of which goes to show that life on the other side isn’t all that it’s cracked up to be, unless of course you fancy an oxymoron career with oodles of opportunity to jump into a sparkly spandex body suit and a one-size-fits all spacecraft for a honking good time ...just like the ad says.


For more magnificient oxymorons for your reading enjoyment, drop by

Thursday, July 21, 2005


Or, how to avoid doing things you shouldn’t be doing in your backyard

By Aphrodite Beamish, a half-witted, hey-nonny-nonny harridan and makeover maven of bliss-challenged, breathtakingly bewildering if not botched-up backyards of America

The dog days of summer are clearly upon us, judging from the plethora of pesky pets and people gadding about in the nooky-conscious neighborhoods of America.

Statistics say, (and you known those nifty numbers never lie), that seven out of ten Americans prefer to spend their leisure time lollygagging at home rather than lusting out and about in the dens of impropriety and iniquity. So, if the ‘moral majority’ is just a tad hot and bothered this summer, it’s not surprising that 84% also want to “revitalize their outdoor living space” (provided they haven’t gone bankrupt remodeling the kitchen and renovating the bathroom).

For those with decadent dreams and a dismal credit rating, the following advice will warm the cockles of your heart (more than a new hot tub, patio heater, or a blinking barbecue).

Here are the top ten things not to do in your backyard this summer:

  1. Do not make your back nine more “wilderness-friendly”; (we already have far too many Big Birds, Pink Elephants, and One-Eyed-One-Horned-Flying-Purple-People-Eaters schlepping around sampling pet bowls for freebie eats and drinks than urban dwellers can cope with).
  2. Avoid extreme fantasy recreation or humungous backyard sports (like Tiddlywinks’ Tournaments, Toe-Wrestling Competitions, and Classic Hopscotch Games which cause far too many injuries to adults who enjoy acting like kids, Billy goats, and jungle-gym bunnies).
  3. Squelch the need to showcase one’s nincompoop avocations, (whether they involve the storage of rusted relics and recycled refuse including pitted pick-up trucks, beaten-up bikes, limp lawn-mowers, well-worn what’s-its, whatever’s, or whatnots).
  4. Hold off on organizing a “Backyard Blue-Movie Night”, (unless you’re ready to provide oodles of finger foods, fizzy drinks, and fashion eye-wear for Freedom-Fifty-Five Club members).
  5. Refrain from erecting pretentious potties, outrageous outhouses, or loud latrines to experience that “happy camper” feeling of days gone by, (unless you also want to provide your high-and-mighty neighbors with clothes pegs for their noses).
  6. Exercise caution in conducting “controlled barbecue burning”, (unless of course you have a comprehensive insurance policy that covers carcinogenic-cooking incidents).
  7. Forget about mulching and manure spreading to improve the productivity of your carnivorous plants, (you already have one too many Venus Flytraps as it is).
  8. Steer clear of pools, ponds, and pinking shears; (you haven’t learned to walk on water yet and Green Thumb pruning is not exactly your forte unless “limbless” is in this year).
  9. "Creative Taxidermy" has its place (but erotic garden ornaments of titillating trolls, pleasant pixies, and feisty frogs is probably not such a good idea in your neck of the woods).
  10. Dodge the notion of building a backyard bunker to escape the bothersome bugs (be they pesky pets, petulant people, or plague-challenged pests… just tell everyone and everything you don’t like to “Buzz Off” or you’ll be obliged to call in the folks from RAID).

So now that you’ve got the TOP TEN DON’TS …get cracking on what you can do with your boring backyard. After all, anything is better than living another day with that egads eyesore! And before breaking out the booze to celebrate your fun-loving fantasyland, BEWARE OF BACKYARD BOZOS - BUNGLING IS AS BUNGLING DOES.


For more details about what to do with your breathtakingly boring backyard, please feel free to visit:

What would a backyard be without a bleeping weather map of the entire planet --

Tuesday, July 19, 2005


Or, Tittynoping Tales from a Tavern Fox

Theolonius McTavish, a trivial talkingstock (an Old English term for an object of conversation) who inevitably forgets the punch-lines to knock-knock jokes and consequently is rarely offered free drinks by pub patrons unless they are woebegone and desperate for the companionship of a somewhat cabobbled, copper-nosed cronk (i.e. a mystified, jolly-nosed, gossiping sort of soul who frequently inhabits smoke-filled haunts with bad lighting and belching balladeers as the only form of nightly entertainment)

Being a mirthful mundivagant of sorts, I decided it was high time to don my gallant gumboots, garish gunnysack, and goose-down garb to take a gander at some far-flung places in need of my presence.

While some souls leave their hearts in San Francisco, I left another part of my anatomy somewhere else. If truth be told, I left my toes in Tuktoyaktuk, (along with a memorable meal of minute rice, mushy peas and milk pudding).

Why Tuktoyaktuk? Well why not! Any town with a tongue-twisting title like Tuktoyaktuk deserves to be visited … even by a six-water-grog, sky-boshing Scot like me. The fact that it’s situated in a godforsaken place, (actually it's a charming little northern outpost nestled conveniently in the dark deep-freeze and mooching muskeg of Canada), is a truly bonus.

Before departing on my jocular journey, I needed to know a little more about the “Land of Blizzards, Bugs & Beer”. Visiting the second-largest nation on earth is one thing but having a conversation with a Canuck is quite another.

One piece of advice … begin every conversation with “So, how’s the weather …over there …up there, or …down there anyway? Then be prepared for a scintillating pity pot story that captures the essence of Canada -- where it’s blinking cold and wet outside, it's much too muggy or miserable to play outdoors, or it's downright dangerous to stick a toe out the door with all the blasted bugs or bears camping on the front porch.

Second piece of advice…ignore weather forecasts (they’re about as reliable as a crapshoot in this country). Just bring along a big bumbershoot (capable of handling two months of something called “heavy precipitation”). Be prepared to brandish a large can of bug-repellent at the least sign of winged pesky pests (that appear during a one-month season called “summer”). And whatever you do, don’t forget to buy a six-pack of premium beer to wash down all the midges, mosquitoes, black flies or horse flies (as well as warm the cockles of your heart so you can cope with the other 11 months of brisk temperatures, blustery breezes and blinding blizzards).

Third piece of advice, use your imagination and figure out what you might want to find in a large-print, picture book called “A Manual on Moose, Mosquitoes & Mukluks”. Hint: You might want to explore the following: (1) why Santa Claus moved with his far-fetched family to the North Pole to set up a toy shop; (2) why some smelly soul called “Sasquatch” likes to hang out in provincial parks; and (3) why Snow White decided not to invest in cottage country because a carnivorous creature called “Little Red Riding Hood” got there first and devoured three French-speaking hens (who knows why), two calling birds (who probably wouldn’t shut up) and a big bad wolf (who was on sale at the butcher shop for $8.95 plus 7% GST).

Fare thee well Oh Canada. And, as a token of my deepest affection for your weed-whacking wilderness, wretched weather, and weird ways…may you enjoy my tingling toes, tidily pum. Because after walking in someone else’s moccasins and mukluks for a month or two, I now know why the deer and the antelope, not to mention the beaver and bear, plus the ‘Abominable Person of Snow’ all call this problematical place “home”.


In case you're looking for more moving mysteries about the Canadian Arctic, do drop by and take a peek at Tuktoyaktuk

Monday, July 11, 2005


Or Quite Simply..."Go Granny Go"!

By Aphrodite Beamish, a sexagenarian siren with a penchant for candy kisses, pink girdles, and black fishnet stockings (among other delightful diversions denied to most gadflies who’ve been declared "daffy ding-a-lings" or “door-knob dunderheads” by all glee-impaired generations)

According to Webster, (a wicked if not witless wordsmith), a “granny” is “a fussy person”. Others refer to her as a "Shrew", a "Sourpuss" or possibly a "Supreme Snit-Face".

Clearly, “granny” ranks right up there together with all the other pejorative terms used to describe women of a certain age as being “a hag”, “a harridan” or just “a handful”. With few endearing qualities or redeeming features, it’s not surprising that there are so many unpleasant things associated with “grannies”. Just take a look.

First, there's the “granny knot” (responsible for creating more than a few tongue-tied folk with twisted knickers). Second, there's the well-known "granny lane" (where all the putzes with puddle-jumpers hang out or else hug the shoulder for dear life). Then there's the infamous “granny dress”, (a long sack worn by those whose boobs have fallen by the wayside, whose hips ressemble those of a heffalump, or whose flat feet now fit nicely into army boots). And last but not least, there's the god-awful “granny suite”, (a quaint place where offspring lodge their mother because the dog-house is aldready occupied).

For the benefit of those “freedom-fifty females” out there who do not want to sit in a rocking chair, knit wooly hats, and listen to crooners from days gone by – toss your grumps, groans and gripes. It’s time to gird your luscious loins, grab your giddy-up-and-go attitude, and give your gorgeous gutsy head a shake!

Here’s your list of top ten things to do to become a “flamboyant fickle floozie”, a “happy hook-line-and sinker”, or a “tantalizing tart with a heart”:

1. Buy a boa (the bigger the better and the most colorful one on the rack, because this one has your name on it ...“Burlesque Babe”, "Buxom Baroness" or "Blue-Movie Queen"!)

2. Borrow the most erotic novel you can find in the library (then you know it’s passed the censure’s test in case the kids ask – and carry it conspicuously everywhere you go – it’ll be a great ice-breaker and hot conversation piece at any capricious cafe or captivating cocktail party!)

3. Beguile a child to lend you a sparkly magic wand and tiara, plus one rubber toad (these are “must have” ingredients for turning nice young men with tight buns into Princes at midnight; they’re also a visible reminder to nasty nitwits of what’s in store for them if they so much as think a naughty thought or talk back to the Queen of Quips, Quirks & Quidnuncs!)

4. Check out your nearest hunting and fishing club (it's the only place to shoot the breeze or shoot the bull with the best blowhards and feisty fly-catchers in town!)

5. Visit a shoe-store and pick out the best pair of glass slippers you can lay your eyes on (if they don’t have any in stock, ask who makes the best brand …because you need to replace the pair of steel-toed stilettos you misplaced at Binky's Ball last year).

6. Put on your dancing duds, turn down the lights, and crank up the mood music (listen up there “Goody-Two-Shoes” …how can you meet Mr. Right unless your neighbors know you’re one very potent party-animal who simply adores the dog-trot, the dog-paddle, or better yet …a daring dog-catcher!)

7. Sign up for some high-energy hoopla (you know … the steamy, strut your stuff, svelte exercise programs such as private pole-dancing, strip-tease yoga, and winking for wimps!)

8. Learn to play golf (it’s the only time you can talk about balls with great abandon, rent a cute-looking caddy for the day, a carry a long club without any questions asked, or just knock the socks off the other fellows in your foursome as one very spicy, sophisticated, sultry, swinger from Shady Lane!)

9. Practice your pillow-talking skills (by whispering sweet nothings to an admirer your pet rock; that way you’ll constrain your crazy urge to finger paint your front door and be ready to meet Prince Charming, disguised as a shoe clerk, who's eager you try on that little glass slipper silly!)

10. Memorize some provacative parlour pick-up lines (like “Okay, if I shake MY Booty, then will you come out and play?” “Granny Smith doesn’t live here …but if you’re Johnny Appleseed …I’ll show a you good time in my Garden of Eden”, “Keep ringing my chimes like that and I’ll have to call the Big Bopper on you!”)

And if this doesn't work for you, take a hint from one wisewoman with a wishbone -- run out and join the circus. After all, who wouldn't want a couple of "boisterous broads" to liven up the greatest side show on earth!


For some great giggle great gifts for grannies (just make sure there are no crazy coots, old codgers or cantankerous curmudgeons hanging around to spoil the fun) -- check out this spunky site:

And if you're looking for a loopy libertine to accompany you on an entertaining outing, forget Mother Hubbard, Little Red Riding Hood's grandma, or the Old Woman who lives in a shoe! Just click your heels together, rub a metal flask, or better yet ...wish upon a star ... and the "Queen of Quips, Quirks & Quidnuncs" might just make your dipsy-doodle dream come true!

The Quipping Queen had this to say when asked by this reporter what are her most important attributes: "I walk on water, skate on thin ice, and make things out of thin air ...And you do what for a living?"

The Naughty Lady from Shady Lane when asked what constitutes the fountain of youth replied: "I believe in the body-mind-spirit approach to nutrition consisting mainly of Swiss chocolate (to feed the brain), whipped cream (to flex the mouth muscles), and a bottle of Mum's champagne (a bit of bubbly to aid digestion of course)."

The Posterior-Pinching-Pixie from Penzance when asked by this reporter to reveal what led her into the den of propinquity with other wee folk, she replied "Mum said I was a beautiful baby; Dad told me I was a brilliant bluestocking, and my first grade teacher suggested that I take up a career that left others bewitched, bothered and bewildered ... need I say more?"

Saturday, July 09, 2005


Or, Ahem ...Welcome to Climax, Saskatchewan!

By Theolonius McTavish, a kilted Celt with an aversion to bombastic bagpipe players, Blarney stone kissers, and boisterous beer drinkers

Canada is a pretty straight-laced, peaceful place, where seldom is heard a discouraging word and the skies are not cloudy all day, except for eleven and a half months of the year affectionately called "winter", (when everyone goes inside for a break from the bugs, barking dogs, or far too many exposed bosoms and buttocks -- euphemistically referred to as "bare essentials").

So, one might casually ask ... if the deer and antelope are casually prancing about on the back forty, while beavers are bustling around building dams all day long, and a few blessed birds are freezing their tails off busking for a living in downtown Toronto ...what pray tell are the citizens of this fine country doing to have a good time (besides playing hockey ...or hooky as the case may be)?

Well, judging from the pleasantly playful yet provocative placenames dotting the deepfreeze landscape called Canada, perhaps the reader will be able judge just what pastimes pique the curiosity of a Canuck.

  • Ass Hill (Newfoundland)
  • Bareneed (Newfoundland)
  • Bath (New Brunswick)
  • Begin (Quebec)
  • Beamsville, Ontario
  • Belly River (Alberta)
  • Big Bras d’Or (Nova Scotia)
  • Billy Butts Pond (Newfoundland)
  • Blissville (New Brunswick)
  • Bonanza (Alberta)
  • Buttonville (Ontario)
  • Carrying Place (Ontario)
  • Chance Harbour (Nova Scotia)
  • Chase (British Columbia)
  • Cherryville (British Columbia)
  • Come-By-Chance (Newfoundland)
  • Comfort Cove (Newfoundland)
  • Community Punch Bowl (Alberta)
  • Conception Harbour (Newfoundland)
  • Conquest (Saskatchewan)
  • Crotch Lake (Ontario)
  • Cruise Lake (Ontario)
  • Cupids (Newfoundland)
  • Curve Lake (Ontario)
  • Dipper Harbour (Newfoundland)
  • Dixville (Quebec)
  • Ebb and Flow (Manitoba)
  • Exploits River (Newfoundland)
  • Fascination Mountain (British Columbia)
  • Fanny Bay (British Columbia)
  • Fertile (Saskatchewan)
  • Finger (Manitoba)
  • Flat Top (Yukon Territories)
  • Forget (Saskatchewan)
  • Fortune (Newfoundland)
  • Freedom (Alberta)
  • Fruitvale (British Columbia)
  • Funnybone Lake (Ontario)
  • Fox Roost (Newfoundland)
  • Gander (Newfoundland)
  • Good Neighbour Peak (Yukon Territories)
  • Grande Entrée (Québec)
  • Ha! Ha! Baie des (Québec)
  • Halfmoon Bay (British Columbia)
  • Halfway Point (Newfoundland)
  • Happy Adventure (Newfoundland)
  • Happy Valley-Goose Bay (Newfoundland)
  • Happyland (Ontario)
  • Havelock (Quebec)
  • Heart’s Content (Newfoundland)
  • Heart’s Delight (Newfoundland)
  • Heart’s Desire (Newfoundland)
  • Holdfast (Saskatchewan)
  • Honey Harbour (Ontario)
  • Hooker Mountain (British Columbia)
  • Hooping Harbour (Newfoundland)
  • Hope (British Columbia)
  • Kinkora (Prince Edward Island)
  • Lady Slipper (Prince Edward Island)
  • Lapland (Nova Scotia)
  • Leading Tickles (Newfoundland)
  • Liberty (Saskatchewan)
  • Likely (British Columbia)
  • Little Seldom (Newfoundland)
  • Lively (Ontario)
  • Love (Saskatchewan)
  • Lucifer Mountain (Alberta)
  • Lucky Lake (Saskatchewan)
  • Lucky Man (Saskatchewan)
  • Lulu Island (British Columbia)
  • Lushes Bight (Newfoundland)
  • Ma-Me-O Beach (Alberta)
  • Manyberries (Alberta)
  • Meat Cove (Nova Scotia)
  • Mermaid (Prince Edward Island)
  • Middlesex (Ontario)
  • Mink Cove (Nova Scotia)
  • Monkland (Ontario)
  • Moonbeam (Ontario)
  • Newbliss (Ontario)
  • Nipawin (Saskatchewan)
  • Nipissing (Ontario)
  • Nippers Harbour (Newfoundland)
  • Nojack (Alberta)
  • Nottawa (Ontario)
  • Nun’s Island (Prince Edward Island & Quebec)
  • Nuttby (Nova Scotia)
  • Overflowing River (Manitoba)
  • Paradise Point (Ontario)
  • Peel (Ontario)
  • Pilot Butte (Saskatchewan)
  • Pilot Mound (Manitoba)
  • Pincher (Alberta)
  • Pitt Meadows (British Columbia)
  • Pleasantville (Ontario)
  • Plenty (Saskatchewan)
  • Plum Point (Newfoundland)
  • Precious Corners (Ontario)
  • Punkeydoodles Corners (Ontario)
  • Rapid City (Manitoba)
  • Resolute (Nunavut)
  • Rosebud (Alberta)
  • Rough Top (Yukon Territories)
  • Sackville (Nova Scotia)
  • St. Jones Within, St. Jones Without (Newfoundland)
  • Saint Noel (Québec)
  • Sandy Hook (Manitoba)
  • Seldom (Newfoundland)
  • Sexsmith (Alberta)
  • Shag Harbour (Nova Scotia)
  • Skookumchuck (British Columbia)
  • Smuts (Saskatchewan)
  • Snug Haven (Ontario)
  • South Dildo (Newfoundland)
  • Stag Harbour (Newfoundland)
  • Starbuck (Manitoba)
  • Star City (Saskatchewan)
  • Stupendous Mountain (British Columbia)
  • Success (Saskatchewan)
  • Sugar Loaf (Nova Scotia)
  • Sweet Bay (Newfoundland)
  • Sweetland (Nova Scotia)
  • Thumb Island (Northwest Territories)
  • Tickle Beach, Tickle Cove, Tickle Harbour (Newfoundland)
  • Tidal (Manitoba)
  • Tiger Lily (Alberta)
  • Toogood Arm (Newfoundland)
  • Twin Butte (Alberta)
  • Unity (Saskatchewan)
  • Virgin Arm (Newfoundland)
  • Washabuck Centre (Nova Scotia)
  • Welcome (Ontario)
  • Whim Road (Prince Edward Island)
  • Wild Bight, Wild Cove (Newfoundland)
  • Winkler (Manitoba)
  • Zero Lake (Ontario)
  • Zippermouth Lake (British Columbia)

Now, having perused this picturesque placename list, put your imagination on hold for a moment.

Never ever ask a Canadian where they’re from; they adore keeping strangers in the dark (along with other things like mother-in-laws, monster mashers and mushrooms). Stop fretting and just remember -- there’s a fun-loving, party animal lurking somewhere beneath that thick skin, fur coat, and titillating tail!

So get on your sparkly duds and dancing shoes, crank up the mood music, and fire-up the microwave for a platter of McCain’s latest piquant-flavored Pizza-Pops! And if a Canuck should ever invite you for a ride in a canoe ...bring along an extra paddle, a box of popcorn and don't forget to say "Cheese please!" (before snapping the unforgettable photo of that smart-looking Sasquatch!)


Perhaps it's by chance, but a lot of those saucy, sizzling, and spicy...or more to the point slightly suggestive yet memorable monkeyshine monikers come from Newfoundland. And if you heard the folks from this feisty bit of terra ferma, you'd know their accent, not to mention their vocabulary was indubitably indelicate if not incomprehensibly improper. For more on this merry matter, please pick up a copy of the "Dictionary of Newfoundland English" (a 700-page, long-winded, little bit of scholarly bedside reading material with some simply stirring references to fish and seals). Order a copy online from: or

If you haven't got the patience to wade through this terrific tiny tome, then you might enjoy the following tasty tidbits of "Newfie-speak", (the local lingo that baffles folks "from away"):

  • "Do you have a slut in the kitchen?" ... Of course he replied, "My slut has an extra large bottom so she boils faster." (SLUT is slang for a kettle).

  • "I think I'll to a little twacking later." (TWACKING is slang for window-shopping.)

  • "The arse is out of it." (Translation: The plan went wrong.)

  • "He smokes like a tilt." (TILT is slang for a chimney).

  • "You can't leave Newfoundland without a spotted dick", the middle-aged waitress replied after a midday meal in St. John's, Newfoundland. (DICK is slang for the makings of a rather fine dessert, or in detailed terms -- a piece white cake spotted with partridgeberries.)

  • "Are you crooked?" (Translation: Are you upset?)

Thursday, July 07, 2005


Or, Boosting Your Boots' IQ ...But Still Running Around in Circles?

By Professor Ovid Publius Hadweenzic, a latitudinarian linguist from the University of Ecum Secum in Old Sweat, Nova Scotia (with an abiding interest in the history of fetish footwear, how an Old Mother managed to raise her brood in a shoe, and why one sportswear company decided to market an “intelligent” sneaker in a world full of tortoises and hares with two left feet)

The other day I set out on a scientific expedition of sorts to figure out if "smart technology" had been invented by a handful of "smart alecks", "smart assess" and "smarty pants" to aid the ineffectual, inept and incompetent who populate the planet.

Judging from our wide wide world of wonk, we have a fine array of wayward souls to choose from including dingbats, dorks, dumbbells, dunderheads, and dweebs (plus their close-relatives, the affable but nevertheless intellectually-impaired nincompoops, ninny-hammers, nudniks, and numskulls), it's difficult to see just who "smart technology" would appeal to.

Being an “egghead”, I’m used to living on the margins of society with “nerdy geeks” and “aliens from outer space”. Like my humble companions, I’m committed to undertaking a perilous journey in search of the “Big Bang” (the event that gave birth to the blessed universe), the “Big Bird” (the one who presides over the entire blinking place), and the “Big Bad Wolf” (the darned devil in disguise who makes a mess by eating little grannies and blowing houses down just for the heck of it).

My first inkling that we had a problem was a glance at my on-line vault of vacuous thoughts, vapid experiences and very vexing pieces of misinformation. Sure enough, my super-duper search engine revealed some delightfully dubious data:

· 125,000 web pages devoted to “smart technology” (with another 818,000 web pages dedicated to “smart people”) and

· 587 web pages dedicated to “dumb technology” (with a whopping 4,450,000 web page devoted to “dummies”, and an additional 129,000 web pages exposing all manner of things about “dumb people”).

Clearly these trivial tidbits of truth leave a lot to be desired. One could easily conclude, erroneously of course, that our lonely planet is inhabited by a plethora of “dummies”. The first clue might be the fact that the “dumbfounded” elements of our society appear to outnumber the “smarty pant” folks by a factor of 4:1. Second, it would appear that “intelligent” tools and technologies do not rank high on everyone’s hit parade of “fun” things to do or play with, (judging from the long list of consumer complaints and the short list of extraterrestrials who’ve actually dropped by for a peek at this peculiar place or declined to leave hospitable greetings).

It’s rather amazing indeed that “smart” folks with their “smart personal object technology” - (SPOT) are so featherbrained about what makes life worth living. I grew up with “Think & Do” books featuring the adventures of Dick and Jane together with their animal companions, (a cat named PUFF and a dog called SPOT). Today’s kids grow up with a remote control device in their hands so they can flick on the latest lessons about life from “Big Bird” or the “Teletubblies”. Frankly since "SPOT" is so full of bleeps, blips and blotchy blobs, it’s not surprising the “digital do-gooders” have written books about how to help the “digitally-challenged” adjust to “virtual reality”.

But, “real people” do not fall in love with “robots” or “intelligent” toys, and clearly know the difference between a "Barbie" doll and a Playboy "bunny". They like simple, affordable, easy-to-use things that bring them a sense of joy not pain in the brain. And believe it or not, some still like the feel of cold hard cash under a mattress, rather than an unpleasant surprise involving fraud-prone “smart” cards (a.k.a. plastic money) and hacker-friendly on-line banking systems.

On the other hand, while males prefer dogs (that chew bones and bark up the wrong trees), females prefer cats (who keep a clean place and know when hissing and clawing pays off so they never end up in the doghouse). So, like it or not, PUFF - (Personally Useless Facts & Fluff), appeals to everyone regardless of age, race, color, creed, and religion …especially those who have a penchant for tripping the light fantastic in spite of the fact that they've got two-left feet and can't do the Highland Fling, hate bagpipe melodies, and wouldn't wear a kilt in public unless it comes with a pair of fashionable briefs.

The “deeply digital world” in which we live may have been created by the "Guru of Gobbledygook", but the Goddess of Glitch still knows when to throw an agonizing little analog aardvark into “systems” devised by “smart people” with swelled heads who think machines are more intelligent than their often muddle-headed makers.

Why are “smart” folk with “soft-skills” spending an inordinate amount of time and money trying to make everyday “hard” objects “intelligent” (be they appliances, blinds, books, cars, drills, key-chains, paint, sneakers, telephones, or wristwatches)? Why are they so interested in taking these objects “beyond their core functions”? Why can't they live a day without a gadget, gewgaw, or GPS gizmo guiding their every move?

When 80% of us don’t need or use the “cutting-edge” new features of these everyday things, when we can’t be bothered to scroll through a CD-ROM “help” manual to find the "off" button, and don’t have time to take an advanced software course to learn how to program a VCR not to mention how to stop it flashing 12:00 am, it’s time for a hair transplant and a nifty new “plug and play” tune … “Get Your Latest Smart Software With Grunt Work Included for only three easy payments of $29.95 plus shipping and handling charges”!

“Smarty-pants” may have invented all those “productive” pocket technology devices but, fractured fingers and fried brains are a testament to the damage caused by being tethered to them 24/7. Far from visions of “sugar plums dancing in one’s head”, or just a good night’s sleep, the daunting number of daffy devices and incompatible technologies are leading to system screw-ups, BotBattles, and even Robotic Inchworm Drill Flops on Mars!

Stop talking to your PC. Quit running around with your digital camera to capture an artificially-intelligent dinosaur roaming free in Disney Theme Park. And, forget about the latest “smart” night vision on your vehicle; (you shouldn’t be driving anyway, you’ve had one too many “smart” drinks fortified with Gingko Baloba for your own good)!

Why not just take things easy, smell the roses, kiss the Blarney Stone, and whatever you do, share some good-old fashioned fairytales with friends or family ...and include a pitcher of fresh milk (courtesy of a contented cow) plus a plate of real cookies (courtesy of Mom's favorite recipe)!!


For those in need of a good fit ...they might drop in and see the folks in Footville (Wisconsin)

If you can't stand know-it-all "intelligent" shoes might want to try the latest designed for dumb souls, "the learning shoe"

For those who can't recall the tale about the Old Woman and the shoe... feel free to let your fickle fingers fly over the keyboard to:

But if you're more into "Battered Soles", then you might want to let your pinky fingers poke about the pages of this hilarious account of a one-day spiritual pilgrimage from Peterborough to Lakefield, Ontario (the town next door)

On the other hand, if you simply "must have" an on-board computer in your sneakers (like the Adidas 1 brand that comes with a built in micro-processor that supposed to adapt to the shoe's level of cushioning depending on the wearer's environment, then you might want to order it online from a London-based website called "Crooked Tongues"

Maybe you're just wondering why every smart man you know isn't buying a pair of Aussi Ugg boots?

And for those who really need a pocket power fix in a big way... check out: or

All right, settle down and stretch out in the world's first "intelligent" bathtub (though we haven't spotted any dumb ones of late):

Tuesday, July 05, 2005


Or, Calling All Weird-Word Whizbangers!

By Adrian Air-of-Sleet, a pleasure-seeking, mandolin-playing, maroon-hairpiece sort of fellow who enjoys Italian weddings, spelling bees, and the Calgary Stampede

While I was perusing several dog-eared magazines hanging from the racks of a 24-hour convenience store in the middle of a peculiar place named Billy Butts Pond, my enlightenment bulb went off.

Curious as to why this power of positive thinking outage had occurred, I put on my think-and-do cap in order to gain a new perspective on this perplexing problem.

I ascertained from the rather bleak-looking Canadian landscape around me that this ghastly glitch probably had something to do with being shipwrecked on a prominent piece of geography, (affectionately known as “The Rock”). Situated smack dab between the Gulf of St. Lawrence and the Atlantic Ocean, the province of “Newfoundland”, (as it's called by folks "from away"), is home to a few fishy characters who reside in odd outposts of humanity such as Ass Hill, Bareneed, and Dildo.

Now I know what it must have been like to live as my Celtic ancestors must have done in the “Dark Ages” know... no flipping access to the Internet, i-pods, and personal digital assistants, not to mention vampire video games and vapid virtual reality TV shows.

With precious little to do while waiting for Godot to show up, I decided to organize and host a "Twisted-Tongue Tournament" for the locals and any aliens who happened to be in the vicinity.

The purpose of the challenge was to light a fire under everyone. Well come to think of it, by asking them to consider pairing animal names with human characteristics in order to give birth to a new set of beasts, we had the makings of party which "Newfies" adore as I found out. (This seemed like a good idea at the time, as there was no zoo let alone any pet-friendly, non-pooping, robotic animals in the blinking place).

So here are a few of the submissions received by the judges:

Bedspring Peeper – a naughty tree toad that refuses to turn into a Prince at midnight

Boo-Hoo Gnu – an ugly, unhappy ungulate that doesn’t stand a hope in hell of retiring to a stud farm thank you very much

Buffelope – a bare essentials, breast-beating beast with no hang-ups about the naked truth (see Scantelope)

– a stout, hopelessly clumsy, winged creature that has difficulty with takeoffs and landings

Bush-Twit – a timid Texan titmouse

Chumpanzee – not your average high-flying jungle bunny

Cramanatee – a gormandizing golf-ball eater that lives in well-manicured lawns full of little holes with flagpoles sticking out

D'orca – a fashion-conscious killer whale

Ficklefish – a two-timing Piscean with an unhealthy attachment disorder

Gemsbloke – a large, young buck with lots of bling bling

Gussy Uppy
– a gold-plated guppy that adds a little sparkle to any boring aquarium tank

Hypopotamus – a short-legged, thick-skinned, under-performing vegetarian with limited bench-pressing abilities

Jokel – An Old World dog with a wicked sense of humor and lots of tricks up his sleeve

Kingflasher – a big name bird whose crests and crowns never quite cover his breast and tail discretely

Mongooser – a flat-witted, feisty-footed, posterior-pinching paramour of unknown origin

Pantelope – a graceful, butt-crack beast that lives in elevators and rides a bike to work

– a toilet-trained, duck-billed devil from Tasmania

– a fleet-of-foot, bare-all buxom beast (whose revealing exploits are chronicled in the best-selling naturist book, “What Really Went On Behind the Scenes in the Garden of Eden”)

Screech fowl – a breath-taking barnyard beast that hasn’t learned when to keep his/her trap shut

Screwupworm – a two-winged whimsical creature that nuzzles in the nostrils of nobodies as lackadaisical larva do, and then promptly engages in some serious botching activities (often with incredibly bewildering if not totally blundering results)

Scuzzard – a dirty, contemptible, shabby-looking vulture with a bad case of halitosis (but good enough to grab the spotlight as the mellow muddle-headed mascot on a u-brew beer label)

Slack Widow – a spiteful, supine, and very venomous Old World Spiderwoman

Springblotch – a clean, youthful, four-footed freak of nature that makes a mess of everything

Swelldish – a pleasant-looking puffer that makes one blush at first glance and then blurt out some silly stuff that one later regrets

Swilldebeest – a swashbuckling species that rarely count its drinks and eats freely, greedily or to excess if given the least opportunity

Titter Sucker – a boisterous bawling bird with a tipsy tongue (commonly found in Canadian wet bars)

Too-Too Titi – a la-di-da little scamp with three redeeming characteristics: a long tail, hairy underarms, and a penchant for communal living

Whopping Crane – a large, white, nearly extinct American bird with a long neck that beats its breast to patriotic tunes, flaps its wings to intimidate scarecrows, and yells “Cowabunga” at the top of its lungs for no apparent reason at at all

Willeye – a good-natured, willing-ready-and-able creature that spends most of its futile life swimming blissfully around in something called "quality-improvement circles"

So, if you end up in a hole-in-the-wall-place and lose your power of positive thinking – don’t forget to organize a titillating twisted-tongue tournament. It’ll do wonders to motivate the mummers, bring out the wonky wordpeckers who inhabit every nook and cranny, not to mention extend a warm welcome to some very odd-ball strangers.


For a bird's eye view of "The Rock" (Newfoundland) and where to find it on a map -- use one of your delightful digits you silly, little ding-a-ling. (Hint: it's the purple spot on the right hand side of the following on-line map of Canada...which is home to beavers, bugs, and the Barenaked Ladies... as opposed to "Newfoundland" which is home to bagpipes, beer, and far too many barnacles. So do check it out:

For a whale of a time, check out the wild wildebeests that behold you on a visit to "The Rock" --

Incidentally, the best place to snack on cute-looking cod tongues, visit "Blue on Water" (a boutique downtown hotel and stylish restaurant in the heart of St. John's Newfoundland).

And if you can't make it all the way to Nippers Harbour or Lushes Bight on the north coast of "The Rock", high-tail it down to famed George Street in St. John's (dubbed the "booziest block" in Canada). Also, do drop by "O'Reilly's Pub (say hello to owners Brenda O'Reilly and Craig Flynn).

Maybe Flynn will don his floppy fisherman's hat and perform the popular "Screech-In" ceremony for those who "come-from-away". And if you need an official certificate of authenticity to say you've consumed a bit of rum-tiddly-pum, email: or visit: (for a complete history of SCREECH -- the local liquid asset that leaves one in a light-hearted if not lubricious state of mind ready to the do limbo (at the drop of a wet hat or a wet fish, whichever happens first).

In a nutshell, it goes like this:

"Is you a Newfoundlander Screecher?" -- he asks.

"Indeed I is, me ol cock (my old friend)." -- you reply.

"Long may your big jib draw." -- he says (and we'll keep you guessing on that one!)

Then, what is required is that the guest "from away" munch on a small hunk of baloney, toss back a shot of screech (a local alcoholic beverage that warms the belly fast), and, to seal the deal one must kiss a cod. (It's frozen so it can be presereved for just such occasions). And for the folks who are wondering about whether everyone kisses the same curious-looking cod? It gets washed occasionally with a bit of brine (like any fashionable piece of fishing attire or gear designed by a Newfie).