Monday, October 31, 2005


Or, crappy carvings for Halloween...

By Ovid Publius Hadweenzic, Ph.D., a master of miscellaneous stuff like how to carve a melon or pumpkin if you have no imagination, why dweebs are fascinated with gourds, and what to do if you simply hate the sight or taste of squash!

Thank goodness that Halloween comes but once a year. Why? ...because I don't believe in ghosts, ghouls or the Great Pumpkin ...that's why!

If you're like me, when October 31st rolls around, I'd rather just skip the day entirely.

On the other hand, if I was really into morbid if not a tad spooky forms of entertainment, I might drop by a giddy ghoulish gala to be held in Vancouver, B.C. tonight at the "Mountain View Cemetry". It will be the site for a "A Night of All Souls" (dubbed a "contemplative social event" with ambient music, bonfires and shrine areas along with the usual smattering of light precipitation or monsoon downpour at this time of year).

But some of my fiendish friends suggest the only way to master the mystery of life or get a grip on things that go bump in the night is to learn how to communicate with pumpkins or, at least learn some behavior modification techniques like carving them, sticking a candle in them, and then inviting folks over for a "smashing pumpkin party" the day ofter this eerie event.

"Picasso of Pumpkins" I am not, so I've decided to share a few ripsnorting resources for those wishing to gauge out gourds, slash some squash, or poke a few holes in pumpkins.

Meanwhile, I shall keep my eyes and ears open for the "Big Bang and Boo" crew visiting my neighborhood tonight, as long as they don't interrupt my spell-casting rituals or my pagan and pentacle bedtime reading this evening which will include "The Complete Idiot's Guide to Wicca & Witchcraft"; (if you have to grab a copy, take a peek at one of my favorite haunted havens ...

Saturday, October 29, 2005


Or, if you can leap tall piles of filing in a single bound and save someone’s bacon…you’re hired!

By Theolonius McTavish, a Superman aficionado of sorts, and an acquaintance of someone called the “Guru of Glitch”, (who can transform mountains into molehills with the click of his glass slippers and whoosh of his magic wand if feels really inspired).

The following advertisement appeared in the local newspaper of a quaint community known to be the capital of flakes, fruits, and nuts on the West Coast of Canada.

Title: Superwoman/man (2005-30)
Closes: 10/31/2005
Location: Victoria , BC
Length: Permanent FT


Are you faster than a Pentium 5 computer? Can you leap tall piles of filing in a single bound? If so, then read on......PLACEMENT GROUP VICTORIA is now accepting resumes on behalf of their client, one of the most well known companies in Victoria and located in the downtown core. This new full-time permanent position for a SUPER ASSISTANT is a fantastic opportunity for someone with the following qualities:

-Multi-tasking is a natural ability and you do it with a smile
-You look forward to balancing your cheque book and it actually does!
-You're so organized that you don't know what a "junk drawer" is
-Your sense of humour is understood by many
-Your past employers have often commented on your "old fashioned work ethic"
-Changing a light bulb, ensuring your boss gets to their board meeting on time, delivery of that last minute order and analyzing/editing that monthly report are all common daily occurences that you don't think about twice
-You have an eagerness and enthusiasn about you that is contagious
-You're proud of your ability to spell.......correctly
-You are able to communicate with all types of individuals

Competitive salary ($30k to $40k) plus excellent benefits package.

If you believe that you fit this profile, then explain how in your cover letter that you'll be submitting along with your resume.

Requirements: • MUST currently reside in the Greater Victoria area • MUST have a valid driver's licence and reliable vehicle • Excellent knowledge of Windows, Word, Excel, PowerPoint (testing to be completed) • Hight accurate (testing to be completed) • Aptitute for numbers • Strong written and verbal communication skills • Dedicated and loyal individual looking for a long term commitment • Thirst for learning and experiencing new and exciting challenges

MailingAddress: Placement Group, 1027 Pandora Ave

Needless to say, the Guru of Glitch, sent along the following short note to express his enthusiasm in seeking such a challenging position.

Name: Ovid Publius Hadweenzic IV

Title: Superman - Guru of Glitch (...although everyone prefers to call me "GOG" for short)

Availability: Yesterday, (provided of course I can use my posh powers of persuasion to convince "The Great Pumpkin" that Halloween comes but once a year, and that I'm needed the other 364 days to troubleshoot for trolls and tackle titillating tasks at your esteemed firm).

Background, Experience & Qualifications:

A contrarian (by nature), and a magna cum laude graduate of the Druid Academy of Computerized Martial Arts & Feng Shui (by design), my mentor, Master Whatnot, told me that being fleet of foot I was probably faster than the speed of light on a slow day and more endurable than a shooting star in a dense black hole of a cosmically-impaired universe.

As for leaping over tall piles of filing in a single bound, I prefer eliminating all the easy solutions first …like tossing the blessed bumpf into the proverbial “File 13” …after which I do something infinitely more productive and pleasant, (a ripsnorting ritual known as “jumping for joy”).

So, rather than bore you with my achievements (such as my "Grade 2 McLean’s Method of Writing Award"), certificates (my most prized one being, “Communicating With Your Pet Rock”), handy dandy diplomas (like my rigorous 3-year program, “Celebrity Pet Grooming & Massage Therapy”), plus ring letters of endorsement (from "Mugwumps Anonymous" and the "Croquet Club of Boring, Maryland"), I think it more appropriate to summarize my scintillating skill sets:

-- A "Master of Multitasking" – having the legs of a centipede, the neck of a giraffe, and the tentacles of an octopus certainly helps me navigate my way through the trials and tribulations of every day life, not to mention perform mundane tasks like fetch coffee and water plants, or smile sweetly and kick butt if required in a tight pinch.

-- “Balancing acts” come second nature to me and, as a tried-and-true tightwad treasury officer, I never let rubber cheques bounce around in bank accounts any more than I would recommend my boss eat another rubber chicken lunch…even if it is for a good cause!

-- "Junk" - Yuck! I don’t eat "junk"-food, I never open "junk"-mail, and I have certainly never owned a "junk"-drawer…but I must admit, I do have one small shortcomingcoming …the other day I dropped my old clunker off at a "junk"-yard in order to collect a modest charitable tax receipt.

-- “Old fashioned work ethic” …if by that you mean, do I wear shoes (as opposed to bare feet to work), a clean shirt (as opposed to a pizza spattered cotton t-shirt), and whistle while I work (at my 12-hour day minimum wage job that I’m ever so pleased to have)? …the answer’s a very simple, sharp and succinct … “yes”.

-- “Changing light bulbs” - no problem, (although I’ve always found the “perpetual light of the Lord” to be a longer-lasting solution to wandering around in the dark than using a light bulb, a propane lamp or a flickering candle).

-- Spelling and grammar are a passion with me. (I sleep with a dictionary and thesaurus under my pillow at night -- to keep the gremlins of grammar at bay, which is probably why I can also spot at least five typos or spelling errors in your jolly job description.)

-- Ability to “communicate with all types of individuals”, (well let’s just say that I have the eyes of an owl, ears like a rabbit, a nose the size of an elephant, and speak Pig-Latin which allows me to slip unnoticed into petting zoos, board rooms, and political backrooms. I don't really want to toot my horn or namedrop but, one of my nearest and dearest friends is none other than "Francis the Talking Mule"!)

And since you're probably wondering about my level of energy, I’ve been told that my eagerness and enthusiasm for life is akin to the “boobonic” plague, (or it’s close second cousin, the pandemic boisterous birdbrain flu. PS: I never use pills -- even the little blue ones!)

A dedicated serial monogamist, I can assure you that loyalty and commitment are in my veins, (at least that’s what the lady from Mind’s Eye Hynotherapy told me about my past, present and future lives.)

Let's face it, I’m so hungry for learning more about life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness that I could eat a horse! And may I also point out that my thirst for new opportunities and challenges can never be quenched with a Sprite, a Snapple, or a sip of Shiraz. (Now pint of Guinness ...well that's an entirely different matter ...but never on company time!)

In closing, I just want to say that having a giggling Guru of Glitch on your management team will not only save your bacon but also trounce any testy troglodytes or truculent trolls who are looking for a good time at your expense!

Ciao plus a bit of Ta Ta, Pip Pip and All That

Ovid Publius Hadweenzic IV
(aka GOG)

Thursday, October 27, 2005


Or, wherefore art thou?

By: Theolonius McTavish, a permanently “lost” soul who hangs out at the “lost-and-found” for companionship, (especially when he can’t remember what he’s looking for or where he can find his reason for being).

There are some things you never seem to find when you’re just meandering along minding your own business, or more to the point, doing anything to keep your mind off impending disasters like the arrival of an alien from outer space, a cosmic collision, or a blessed bill collector from the Big Guy in the Sky.

To make things easier on those with failing memories and falling arches, the following represents a short list of things I’ve never been able to find in my entire life.

1. Humble Pie – Few have ever heard of it, fewer have found the recipe, and still fewer admit to eating it!

2. Heffalumps and Hippogriffs – These are wonderful weird and wild beasts that no one has ever spotted, captured or been able to ride side saddle upon.

3. Shangri-la – There may be a lot of posh places on earth called “Shangri-la”, (like saloons, spas, and spendthrift resorts), but I’ve never heard of anyone who’s happy, well-adjusted, and contented with life admitting they come from this enigmatic if not elusive place in the cosmos.

4. One-Eyed-One-Horned-Flying-Purple-People-Eaters – They do not appear to be listed in any reputable encyclopedia nor are they found in petting zoos.

5. The Pink Panther – With the exception of a movie by the same name, this creature appears to shun publicity by avoiding spunky safari hunters, which leaves only one conclusion – he’d rather let those dreadful pink flamingos flap their wings and excite all those camera-toting tourists into behaving like utter fools.

6. A cow that can jump over the moon – I’ve never seen a dairy cow or a sacred cow capable of jumping over a celestial body of any sort (but then there’s always a first time if you believe that pigs can fly).

7. A silk purse made from a sow’s ear – This is another one of those miracle makeovers they might flog on the Shopping Channel for only three easy payments of $49.95 plus shipping and handling…although I’m sure that the SPCA would have a thing or two to say about such an occurrence not to mention environmentally-friendly folks from Greenpeace and the Sierra Club.
8. The Great Pumpkin – There are so few friendly fiends to see on Halloween, that this would be a real winner if anyone could ever coax this critter out from wherever he’s hiding so we can all dress up in our orange outfits and hum a little ditty to keep the horrible hobgoblins away plus the testy trolls.

9. Francis the Talking Mule – Most mules I’ve met don’t talk, don’t walk, and don’t do what they’re asked to do even if you plead with them nicely, which means if you can find one that can communicate …for Pete’s sake ask him where to buy the best burger and ice-cream in town!

10. A Flying Carpet – We may have “frequent flyer points” but frankly, what good are they without a “flying carpet” to take you anywhere you want to go?

So rather than fret about the top 10 things I’ve never seen, I shall pull the wool over my eyes, and pretend that this is the best of all possible worlds like my dear friend, Candide!


For those who are really desperate for kitschy witchy sorts of entertainment ...such as how to cast love spells on members of the lonely hearts club or who want to explore the intricacies of a serene life without the aid of magic mushrooms, do visit

Sunday, October 16, 2005


Or, all you ever wanted to know about lawn mowers but never dared to ask

By Penelope Bonkles, (formerly of Glutt Lodge in the Olde Country), inveterate collector of grass-cuttings for the compost, amateur slug-stomper, and charter member of the esteemed, “Better Gnomes & Garden Show”, held annually in a quaint if not oddly curious hole-in the-wall of humanity known as Hell Hollow, New Hampshire.

Cutting grass is generally not something women are expected to do, any more than they’re expected to take out the trash.

But should their significant other become indisposed or expire without notice, it always pays to be prepared for any eventuality…including the notion of nipping the grass every now and then.

Judging from the plethora of pretty if not pithy and practical gardening publications on the market today, women appear to be more adept than their counterparts when it comes to planting, potting, or simply pitching out stuff that doesn’t belong, obscures the view, or simply clutters up the space.

When it comes to lawns for example, males prefer tranquil tasks like backyard wrestling with a weed whacker as opposed to females who prefer manually pulling up things by the roots so they disappear for good. Males also prefer sitting atop a turbo-charged, super-cooled engine equipped with a razor-sharp revolving knife that cuts things off at the knees with glee, as opposed to women who are somewhat reticent about toying with testosterone tools or else choose a low-maintenance garden that has no turf in the first place.

According to the respected repository of rather fascinating facts and fluff, (Google), there are now 73,200,000 web pages devoted to gardens, 6,830,000 devoted to “lawns”, and 2,390,000 web pages devoted to the “lawn mower”.

For those who are keen on learning more about the lawn mower, they are invited to take a peek at following little gems. Besides cutting grass, the lawn mower seems to have acquired a new lease on life.

The Americans and British, not content just to cut lawns in their own backyards, are fiercely competing in an alternative racing sport. Associations have now been established for those wishing to race their sleek, mean, lawn-mower machines in order to secure red ribbons, tacky trophies, "honorable mentions" or "safe-driving" certificates.

And trust the Brits to one-up everyone by creating the “British Lawnmower Museum”, home to more than 200 vintage machines designed to trim lawns if not whiskers! They also claim to have established the world’s first lawn mower club for lawnmower collectors, (called “The Old Lawnmower Club” naturally!)

Not to be outdone by a boisterous band of British know-it-alls, the Americans have now come up with practical pointers, helpful hints, and tried-and-true tips on “putting your lawnmower to bed” (at the end of the grass-cutting season…what else did you think?).

For those not content to own a trendy tool that simply shortens the sod inconspicuously, they can invest in a new-fangled "multitasking" machine called a “mulch mower”. Otherwise, they can always learn how to convert their marvelous muncher into a snow blower or a generator when the power goes out…(except that no one has as yet figured out how to keep it running without some sort of fuel).

Some enterprising video game designers have even come up with a way to make a lawn mower fly, (which might be a boon to those collecting frequent-flyer points or parents concerned with reducing the number of wicked witches whirling about on Halloween).

However, much as human ingenuity has devised a way to keep lawns slim and trim, environmentalists now tell us that grass-cutting beats driving as a significant source of air-pollution, while health officials tell us that exposure to the sound of a power lawn mower or hair-dryer (90 db) may cause hearing loss, and safety professionals inform us that more than 2,300 children in the U.S. are seriously injured every year by riding and pushing lawn mowers.

So next time your deary drops out of sight, (either temporarily or permanently), and you're stuck with how to manicure your green carpet ...first decide whether you wish to push, walk behind, or ride your lawn mower; then decide if you really need to find out exactly what all those bells and whistles do besides decorate the blessed beast.

On the other hand, maybe it's time to try some new technology. Why not turn on the remote control and leave the rest to a ripsnorting robot, (who won't complain, curse, or cut you off at the knees)!


Antique and vintage lawn mower collectors are invited to visit the British Lawnmower Museum at

Lawn mower racing fans should drop by and

And if you're totally confused about which lawn mower to buy... check into Consumer Reports

For history buffs and social butterflies who insist on joining every obscure organization on the face of the planet, do mosey on over and have a chat with some jolly types at the "Old Lawnmower Club" who can't wait to fill you in on the latest gossip about grass-cutting gizmos ...

Thursday, October 13, 2005


Or why these facts are important to good mental & physical health

Ovid Publius Hadweenzic, Ph.D., Professor of Pith n' Vinegar, (and an avid reader of paltry poetry by a little-known and quite inept weaver-of-wool from a small Welsh village that few can pronounce, Llanfairpwllgyngyllgogerychwryndrobllllantysiliogogogoch).

Academic research can be a tad boring, (especially to those whose cerebellums do not resemble the shape of an egg or a pear).

Every now and then however, investigation into the obvious or even obscure things in life often yields some rather fascinating data. These findings may delight even those with few opportunities to exercise their intelligent genes by demanding they use “smart” appliances, consume “smarties”, drive “smart” cars, or become a card-carrying member of the “Smarty-Pants” Club).

For those who've been dubbed "factoid freaks" by family members and friends, they'll be delighted to know that there are 23,500,000 web pages devoted to "pockets", and only 1,090 web pages devoted to "things in pockets". (Note: For those who couldn't give a hoot, they should probably stop right here, find a nearby loo, and plunge into the next page of "Uncle John's Bathroom Reader".)

Careful study of all manner of things left behind in pockets, reveals some interesting results and some clear recommendations as to what stuff should be removed from pockets prior to the peering eyes of strangers or perhaps the more common process known as the weekly wash cycle.

Exhaustive research into the contents of pockets suggests that the following items should be left elsewhere, given to another for care, or at least removed so as to avoid senseless embarrassment when discovered by eyes belonging to someone other than the owner of said pocket.

Top ten things that should not be left in pockets:

  • 1. Animals (dead or alive), as they tend to discombulate, perturbate, or strangulate if not remind strangers that nature is full of wild things that are not always a sight to behold!

  • 2. Food (half-consumed or otherwise), is likely to invite uninvited guests such as ants, fruit flies or maggots, (you know the wild critters that have never been domesticated, let alone placed in a zoo to be admired by masses of inquisitive children and indifferent parents who are bored out of their gourds and yearning for the opportunity to watch another soap opera episode or hunker down as an armchair coach on a boob-tube game night).

  • 3. Seductive scraps of paper such as billet doux, love-sonnets, or torrid email memos, (all of these things usually lead to sticky-wicket stuff akin to explaining why you enjoy playing hockey in the buff, why you strap on web-feet, and why you have a penchant for sweet meats when you’re a dedicated vegetarian).

  • 4. Chocolate bars, jellybeans, and licorice (all are designed to leave a colorful mess behind not to mention attract crumbs, fluff and unidentified hairs that alter the flavor of what was once a pleasant distraction or diversion for tawdry taste buds).

  • 5. Photographs of flames, (for those who should know better...the combustible compromising type); Warning: posh pics will undoubtedly burn a hole in one's garment if left unattended for any length of time).

    6. Wise words of wisdom, (after all if they have to be committed to paper, you haven’t grasped them to the bosom of your heart and clearly they should remain in the Book of the Dun Cow from whence you found them ...until you can improve your memory).

  • 7. Band-Aids (while they offer “quick-fixes”, try focusing on problems that have no solutions, then you won’t feel obliged to resort to them unless of course you like playing “doctor” or “nurse”, in which case you should probably find a more lucrative thing to push such as prescription medications or miracle makeovers for only $9,999 plus a short stay in an exotic spa and resort -- that also has elephants for your companion to ride or invite into the living room whichever comes first).

  • 8. Loose pills, (this is a recipe for disaster because with your short-term memory loss, you'll forget what “the little blue one” is for and may, in a fit of compassion, offer it to your mood-disordered pet Pomeranian named “Fifi”, (who may not appreciate the consequence of your altruistic gesture).

  • 9. Tissues (whether soiled or unused), inevitably break down into itty-bitty bothersome pieces of picayune piffle that slosh about with a variety of unmentionables during the wash cycle and then cling with all their might to unmentionables again during the dry cycle in spite of the fragrant non-static solutions said to solve this problem…which they don’t!)

  • 10. Miniature voodoo dolls, weekly horoscopes, or “Get out of Jail Free” cards, (frankly they won’t save you from a fate worse than death, nor offer you salvation if you’ve been a naughty nemesis; so, why not try befriending a troll or a dragon…they do a better job than carrying around these silly SOS souvenirs).


And for those who are bored with the contents of pockets but are simply fascinated with the notion of pockets (including the etymology of the word, not to mention the origin and design of this basic element of men's fashionware), please consult the following piece of pedantry, "The History of the Pocket"

For those unimpressed with this ripsnorting research, they should let their fingers do the walking over to the "Bathroom Readers Institute", (a place that's flush with facts perhaps more suitable to their cerebellum)

Friday, October 07, 2005


Or, learn how to flog fruit and at least lob the losers!

Theolonius McTavish, a lemonade-stand sales rep at the tender age of five, a used car salesman at the testy age of 20, and now a paltry pie-maker just a tad too old to remember the darn recipe!

A quick glance at the phrase, “When life gives you lemons”, leaves a lot to be desired.

Actually, these five words have spawned more than 119,000 web pages devoted to this tarty topic.

So, if you’re looking for advice on what to do with your lemons, take heart and follow this abbreviated list of suggestions.

When life gives you lemons you should:

  • Start your own unforgettable “lemonade experience”.
  • Just shut up and eat your damn lemons.
  • Do some research on them. (Sources all agree that lemons originated from somewhere in Asia; today, America claims to grow a quarter of the world’s supply, and California is said to be the biggest producer …no wonder they call it the “The Land of Posh n’ Pits”!)
  • The Ethical Werewolf recommends that you throw them at Republicans!
  • Stop snivelling and sell’em on eBay!
  • Make something called “Visualade”.
  • Donate them to a school food-drive, (someone's bound to pick them up).
  • Make a battery out of them and harness electricity for pity’s sake!
  • Go to a “limoncello factory” in Amalfi, Italy where they whip up lemon salads.
  • Turn around and squirt it in the eye of your nemesis.
  • Throw them through life’s windows (for those who have nothing else to do).
  • Ask for a diet drink to put them in.
  • Turn them into a profit just like Martha Stewart did!
  • Become a lemonologist, (that way you can polish furniture with the oil).
  • Remember that God loves the yellow ones as much as the little green ones, (but it might have helped if he’d also supplied the water, sugar, a few spare ice-cubes, a pitcher to mix it in, a spoon to stir it and of course a glass from which to sip it!)
  • Jump on the optimist’s bandwagon by building resilience and forging your way to success in whatever you’re pursuing, (even if it doesn’t make you King of the Castle forever and ever or produce mounds of money like Rumplestiltskin!)
  • Pick up a get-well or care package, (provided they still have them in stock).
  • Make lemonade and be sure to share it with others, (just to let them know how much you care about the bitter things in life that seem to come with an unexpected cost attached).
  • Call your husband to come home right away and then make lemon-colored frosting, (to decorate whatever you’ve got lying around in the fridge)!
  • SMILE, return the lemons to the person who presented them to you, and then ask for the oranges that you requested in the first place!
  • Switch to limes and try a mean margarita, chips and salsa! (Oh, and do bring along a pair of dancing shoes…no not your big brogues or steel-toed stilettos!)
  • Get tipsy, (and just say no when the bartender inquires whether you want “bitters” with your brew or bubbly).
  • Buy all your lemons at Sobey’s! (If you don’t have one in your neighborhood, contact them and find out when they plan on opening up a shop with lemons in your neck of the woods!)
  • Have another root beer, (and maybe lemons will make you burp less!)
  • Pucker up! (Or at least show them who has Pucker Power in your family!)
  • Use a gadget called a “zester”, (to remove lemon peels what else?)
  • Of course, if you fancy yourself a bit of a wizard…you can always use your abracadabra skills to make orange juice!
  • Smash them with a heavy KB and hope for the best, (according to a dedicated dragon door strength conditioning martial arts expert).
  • Say “****-off” and go to bed! (For those with short attention spans and few alternative-dispute resolution mechanisms to deal with difficult dilemmas or dorks of course).
  • Go shopping with a valid credit card! (And avoid's not your color!)
  • Sue - it makes lawyers rich and leave schmucks like you with a sour taste in your mouth! (So quit complaining and invest your money in sugar; even if your all teeth fall out, your taste buds will be happy.)
  • Find a politician and a lawyer who want to perform a “public service”; then ask them to draft and enact a “computer lemon law” entitling consumers to timely replacement of their personal computers if manufacturers can’t fix them and requires manufacturers to pay claimants’ legal fees as well as any expenses incurred in resolving their claims. (Isn't this is a great opportunity to turn the tables on flashy floggers of faulty fruit?)
  • When all else fails suck them, (recommended by someone calling himself “A Digital Dude who loves lemons").
  • Never forget to get your daily dose of cold, refreshing lemon juice, (it's full of vitamin C according to a healthy food fare lady).
  • Be quiet and eat your lemons, (just like grown-ups do who have no other way of proving their courage, fortitude and mastery of the basic food groups.)
  • Make “Snickers” because they taste a whole lot better than lemonade, (a recommendation from a grade two student in Miss Plum’s class).
  • Eat more gelato, (from a contributor named “Quark” in the Wordlab Forum).
  • Say thank you and run, (from an anonymous online bulletin board contributor).
  • Just add some vodka and have a party, (definitely not submitted by a party-pooper!)
  • Watch a Frogcatcher Film titled, "When Life Gives You Lemons", that parodies the world of unemployed white-collar workers (...who better than a few loafers to tell a lemon-aid story!)
  • Ask yourself what Eeyore would have done to resolve this muss of a mess ...after all didn't he say, "They're funny things, Accidents. You never have them till you're having them".
  • And if all else fails, try reading the twelfth volume in "A Series of Unfortunate Events" by Lemony Snicket, a hermit and a nomad who wishes everyone nothing but the best, (after spending an inordinate amount of time investigating and reporting upon woeful things that most people are better off without).


For an appreciation of some tarty tidbits take a peek at Anne Taintor's work:

No individual should be without the bothersome if not clearly biased books by one loopy loud-mouthed fellow named Lemony Snicket

Thursday, October 06, 2005


Or, what makes Victoria a very odd place to live-in or visit?

By Penelope Bonkles, a late-blooming purple-people-eater with a penchant for inconsiderate imps who leave their precious pooch’s poop behind on public pathways and in pristine places

Victoria, (capital of British Columbia), is perched precariously on the southern tip of a rather big blessed island off the west coast of Canada, (which is home to a wide assortment of flakes, fruits, and granola lovers).

What makes this city unique is its rather quaint past as a British colonial outpost and booming brothel for soldiers, sailors, and sotted souls who spent a good deal of time whacking down trees, mucking about in mines, or flinging fish all over the place.

Besides all this breathtaking bumpf, there are oodles of oddities that remind residents and visitors alike that they are living in one very strange if not silly place.

Who can be found this quirky capital of curmudgeons and quidnuncs?
  • The Ghost of Emily Carr plus a heck of a lot more freaky figments of your imagination in a ripsnorting resting place known as Ross Bay Cemetery.
  • A Queen-Elizabeth look-alike who is trotted out at every special event in town.
  • A weary window-installer at the Royal Theatre during a facelift (worth a Queen’s ransom) whose sojourn on a sagging city landmark was not caught on tape by a security camera or featured on a “Trading Places” extreme-makeovers segment!
  • A two-year-old wayward basset hound named “Lucy” who checked-in for a night of five-star service at the Empress Hotel and subsequently applied for “permanent refugee status”.
  • People who complain about the paltry public art in the city and politicians who need to dole out funds plus tacky titles like "Cultural Capital of Canada", "City of Gardens" or "Home of the Salmon Kings".
  • A feisty, fossil-fuel-conscious, female vehicle owner who’s petitioning City Hall to create half-sized, half-priced, metered parking stalls for “Smart Cars” if you please.
  • A flogger of fancy frippery along the Inner Harbor Causeway.
  • A sullen silver-haired couple who just stepped off a rather fine cruise ship into a huge horse-pie deftly deposited by a four-legged creature with fetlocks hauling a credit card or cash carriage fit for pleasingly plump members of a royal family.
  • An irate member of the Tweed Curtain who wants to install a 15-foot electric fence around Oak Bay to keep the riff raff out of their beautiful backyards filled with posh palm trees, nattily-dressed gnomes, and far too many flower beds.
  • A senior’s scooter club in the NIMBY-conscious neighborhood of James Bay complaining about the lack of stop lights and obnoxious speed-bumps -- all aimed at shortening the life span of “Golden-Agers” not to mention cramp the style of newly-arrived “Freedom-55ers”.
  • A dedicated bagpipe player in a kilt standing opposite the carefully manicured lawns of the provincial legislature; a silent mannikan dressed in white who calls himself "Plaster Man", and a scantily-clad mermaid whom visitors love to pose with for a "scenic shot".
  • A reserved rest and recreation volunteer coordinator for the "Garden City Wanderers Club" and the "Saanich Plodders".
  • A very vexed visitor looking for a warm wet spot called, "The Sooke Potholes".
  • A blessed bird-lover from elsewhere in Canada who adores feeding stray pets, pidgeons, and pooping seagulls (also known in impolite circles as the 'trash cans of the cosmos').
  • A pattering panhandler on Government Street with a marvelous munching mutt.
  • A “Monday Magazine” invitation to try the services of a therapeutic bodyworker, a CrUsHeR Combat Sportswoman, Zen for Men and Laser Hair Removal professionals, a Hot Stone Massage Serene Setting Non-Sexual Encounter Person, an Irish Dance Instructor, plus an anger management, self-esteem counselor looking for new business among early-retirees and divas-in-distress; and an eclectic entourage of escorts.

Where do they go?

  • Butchart Gardens (if they need a fix of flower power and pretty plots)
  • Craigdarroch Castle (if they wand to be "King of The Castle" for a day)
  • Ministry of Casual Living (a different kind of art gallery)
  • Bug Zoo (if they have a passion about cuddling creepy crawlies for several hours)
  • Tattoo Zoo (a place for posh personalities with a penchant for paint pin-pricks)
  • Royal London Wax Museum (their Chamber of Horrors is not recommended for Nervous Nellies who should probably stick with famous-name wax wunderkinds)
  • Royal B.C. Museum & Maritime Museum (buccaneers, blue-beards, and bountiful booty collectors cannot help but be impressed with their titillating tours)
  • Darcy’s Pub (where the wings are so good the chickens are running scared!)
  • Beacon Hill Park (flexible accommodation for clumsy lovers, music lovers, pet-lovers, pesky perambulators, pitch-and-putt enthusiasts, and petting-zoo visitors!)
  • Belfry Theatre (if one likes spicy specials like “Girl in the Goldfish Bowl”)
  • Sticky Wicket Pub or The Waddling Dog (for quaffing quippers only)
  • Hartland Landfill (where all the refuse in town gets buried)

What do they eat and drink?

  • Tough tea-biscuits and crumbless crumpets
  • Frozen ‘fresh’ wild salmon or halibut and chips with white vinegar & sea-salt
  • Organically certified veggies, brazen beef from Alberta, free-range poultry, multi-grain bread, freshly-made pasta, "lite" beer and VQA wine
  • Rubber-chicken platter featuring a white and wimpy thing slathered in cheese sauce on a mound of white rice, (a delicacy served at boring luncheon meetings)
  • Brand-name bottled water, herbal tea (or a weak insipid thing called 'tea as it should be'), and expensive coffee with Italian names served in super-sized mugs (complete with low-carb chocolate or caramel sauce fortified with low-calorie whipped crème on top)
  • Tasteless take-out-food that you can find conveniently located on every street corner

Predominant weather conditions:

  • Misty and gusty
  • Light precipitation and light winds
  • Overcast with periods of rain
  • Gale force warnings and occasional showers
  • Deluges and downpours
  • Wellyboots and Bumbershoots recommended for a slight spot of inclement weather

Snippets of conversation overheard on a beach, a bistro and in a public restroom:

  • “Brush your teeth and get in gear…”
  • “…are we getting to yes anytime soon?
  • “Those crumpets come in all colors…”
  • “…He made a remark about as distinctive as a pig’s ear!”
  • “I’ll give you an award if you mangle those files and photographs…”


For those who can't get enough of this seductively soppy place to spend a good bit of time, they should probably check out this scintillating soap-opera destined to put "Mile-Zero" on the map!

Saturday, October 01, 2005


Or, it’s Merry Monster-Mashing Month of course!

Compiled by Lady Beatrice Blitterlees and edited by Lord Earl Craboon

This is the 10th month of the year, which should mean a measure of good luck …that is if you like things beginning with one and ending with infinity!

There are however more than a few munchkins out there who are not at all happy with the month of October. This 31-day period of perturbations probably has a great deal more to do with things that go bump in the night than many care to admit in front of their friends and family.

So if you’re really into positive stuff like a belief in the Great Pumpkin, Casper the Friendly Ghost, or the Jolly Green Giant…life should be hunky dory for you this month. But, if you’ve had your fill of Wailing Werewolves, Monster Mashers, and Testy Trolls…then you probably could do with a few feisty things to do to keep your mind off the origins of a blood-curdling scream in the night, the sound of thumping, whacking and whomping designed to give you gargantuan goosebumps not to mention remind you that some horrid hoofed creatures leave horrible hickeys behind on your tender tush whilst you're grabbing a bit of blessed shut-eye.

So, without further adieu…here are a few things to celebrate this month:

October 1: Ask Someone Who Cares Day! (The trick here is to come up with an easy answer for a question you never asked from a person who’s not on your radar screen!)

October 2: Paper Airplane Tournament Day! (For talented armchair pilots with a penchant for paper, a strong sense of competition, and lots of time on their hands!)

October 3: White Elephant Appreciation Day!
(Time to name your favorite government boondoggle, the biggest waste of time and money, which gets your goat!)

October 4: Chia-Pet Remembrance Day! (In honor of all imported plants in clay pots that sprout weird hairdos overnight and scare the living daylights out of you!)

October 4: Save the Shush Day! (Actually the “Shush” sound is the international symbol for keep your mouth shut in the library, in school, and in the workplace so people can hear themselves think or at least look very busy so no one will bug them!)

October 5: International Pssst! Day (This positive action day to celebrate the wonderful world of juicy gossip not to mention the goodness gracious grapevine.)

October 6: Toothless Appreciation Day (Discover the joy of verbal communication with a dental dam or better yet... without a terrific set of tantalizing teeth or dazzling dentures).

October 7: One-Horse Recognition Day (This is a day to celebrate everything small, limited, little, or single floating about in the universe looking for a place to fit in naturally!)

October 8: Casper the Friendly Ghost Day (Time to reminisce about out the old Saturday morning cartoons about a smiley-faced vapor state who adores people…not like your average scary ghost that frequent places you wouldn’t be caught dead in naturally!)

October 9: Pumpkin Patch Appreciation Day (A great day for visiting a nearby farm to spot "The Great Pumpkin" to keep the witches & weirdoes happy on Halloween!)

October 10: Turkey Recognition Day (They say there’s a turkey in every crowd …so who would you like to baste or roast tonight…just for fun of course!)

October 11: Grimm’s Fairytale Appreciation Day
(Turn off the TV and get out all those scary, gory tales about kings, magic and talking animals…no not your fiendish relatives!)

October 12: Bedroom Slipper Recognition Day (Finally you can don your slippers and wear them to school, to work, or to a posh party tonight …are you happy yet?)

October 13: Kissing Cousin Appreciation Day (This is a day when you get to send a greeting to some long-lost relative or a friend you’ve overlooked, just to let them know you haven’t forgotten their whereabouts, or why you’re not on the same wavelength).

October 14: Libra Appreciation Day (Keep your eyes peeled for indecisive, irritable, overbearing sulky folks who hate loud arguments, confused situations, ugly places, and sloppiness but adore green, purple and pink not to mention emeralds and elephants).

October 15: Slipslops Awareness Day (Oh what ho, time to recall all those tasteless, watery foods that you’d just as soon not see on a menu or your plate anytime soon!)

October 16: Nixing & Hexing Awareness Day
(Now you can try out your hocus-pocus mind-control techniques to see if you can put your pesky plants or pets in their place.)

October 17: Snool Recognition Day (Time to pay homage to “funny” fools…those who flaunt their foolishness or flatulence before the public in all manner of outrageous ways).

October 18: Giggleotamus Awareness Day (Celebrate those in your life who giggle when young, snort when old, joyfully reject questions, and laugh at topics like: “The Bicycle as a Factor in Genito-Urinary Diseases, Prostatitis, Prostatorrhea or Prostatic Catarrh” or “Voyage Up the Amazon and the Lion Smacked His Head Off”.)

October 19: Ode to Purple Day (If you’ve always avoided the color purple, you might want to use today to ponder the question why, or if you love it…why on earth would you pick it?)

October 20: Stopwatch Appreciation Day (This is a fine day to put “clockocrats” to shame by proclaiming a time-out to appreciate what happens when all the clocks stop ticking).

October 21: Barriers Built By Bores Day (A day to recognize all the barriers built by bores, clones or drones who wish to keep the ho-hum status quo firmly in place at all costs).

October 22: Vampire & Werewolf Recognition Day (A day of celebration for monster-mashers who need these naughty nemeses to justify their merry-making existence!)

October 23: Snooker Awareness Day
(Forget about those blessed balls…and recall the times you’ve used your sniffing and smelling abilities to ferret out important information).

October 24: Plastic or Elastic Virtue Appreciation Day (Time to honor those thinly disguised compliments or magnificent mission statements that amount to diddly squat!)

October 25: A-Musement Park Day (Imagine what it might be like to be locked up for life in a cage with the Jolly Green Giant, Santa Claus, the Tooth Fairy, the Pied Piper, the Abominable Snowman, or the One-Eyed-One-Horned Flying Purple People Eater!)

October 26: Maze & Labyrinth Awareness Day
(Time to identify the most confusing, convoluted, or quaint public service devised to help people if they only knew which door to enter first, where to go and who to speak to who knows what’s really going on.)

October 27: Man-Made Toxic-Waste Awareness Day (What wasteful things do you think you can live without? Junk food, junk mail, junk products, junk entertainment etc.)

October 28: Dry As Dust Day (A timely day to recall all the subjects of conversation that you find dull as dishwater, stale as burnt toast, or simply dry as dust for Pete’s sake!)

October 29: DELIGHT Day At Last! (A celebration of everything in your life that simply delights you, inspires you, and makes your brief stay on planet earth very worthwhile)!

October 30: Wild Goose Chase Day (A fun-filled day when you get to plan and implement your very own “Wild Goose Chase” on some unsuspecting soul of course).

October 31: Halloween of Course! (A day when all the Great Hags, Harpies, and Heathens dress up in colorful crony costumes to woo witches, curse cockamammes, or bob for apples!)


And for some terrific Pumpkin Art, take a peek at the crazy carvings of John Vickers