Tuesday, January 31, 2006


Or, pray tell, why not?

Sherlock Tidpit is a remarkable rumpus-room monitor, and even more impressive, he is a rule-of-thumb rapscallion with a very skewed assessment of reality, which among other things makes him a very valuable vestigial remnant in the Court of the Quipping Queen.

The second month of the Gregorian calendar owes its name to the Latin term, “Februa”, a feast of purification and offerings.

So needless to say, this is a momentous occasion for cleaning one's closet, cleaning one's colon, or cleaning one's two front teeth.

As far as making offerings to appease the gods, goddesses or grand juries are concerned - try smiling. If that doesn’t work, look for the nearest sacrificial scapegoat available.

Better yet, just avoid doing the following fruitless things this month.

  1. Keep the company of Piscean personalities. They’re fishy folk at the best of times, not to mention dependent, depressive, emotional, escapist, self-pitying, temperamental, and can lose touch with reality faster than you can shake a stick. (Find new playmates!)
  2. Become Casanova, Cupid, or King Canute. Perhaps send a box of cheap chocolates or a sentimental card to a lovelorn lollypop if you must; otherwise save your valuable romantic intentions for a wonder-wench who really gives a sweet patootie!
  3. Peek in hidey-holes for groundhogs. Frankly, you’ve got more on the ball than you give yourself credit. So hold your horses, count your lucky stars, and keep your eyes open for the first blossom of spring. On second thought, practice your green thumbing techniques – maybe you'll land a job in the Jolly Green Giant factory!
  4. Talk to a three-legged beaver...well any beaver as a matter of fact. If you must, just admire the critter that graces the back of a five-cent Canadian coin. The last thing this blessed world needs is another “eager beaver” like you for pity's sake!
  5. Feel sorry for “lassitudarians”. They’re the lazybone, lazyboot, or lazy-leg types who think nothing of grazing in your green pasture, accepting your hospitality for a month, or eating you out of house and home. (No house-guests …not even your best friend, the hottie-next-door or your in-laws!)
  6. Acquire a panting pooch to honor the “Year of the Dog”. Remember what John Sparrow once said, “That indefatigable and unsavoury engine of pollution, the dog.” (Perhaps that’s why God invented man: the super-duper pooper-scooper!)
  7. Masticate on wads of chewing gum. If you must flap your gums, at least chat up a cheery chin-wagger! They offer nothing but blandish balderdash, glowing gobbledygook, or tantalizing trivial talk; besides they don’t leave a mess behind thank goodness.
  8. Believe the weather forecasts. It’s a pointless pursuit that could ruin your golf game, destroy your faith in humanity, or leave you in a complete state of panic. Wringing people’s necks has never been your strong suit. Try something else!
  9. Learn pig-Latin. Frankly, there are far too many quirky characters running about these days in the barnyard of life. Find some other thingummy doodah to do!
  10. Press your point with legume-lovers - be they clover-kickers, carrot-crunchers, or turnip-snaggers. Remember, exercising your sentimental passion for vegetable fashion is hardly going to put you first in line at the supermarket check-out counter!


A Motivational Moment for Misguided Masters & Mutts

Compiled by Hugo Hotagen, DDD (Duke of Doorknobs & Doghouses), a loyal lapdog-in-training apprenticed to the affable, agnostic and all-round air-headed Court of the Quipping Queen.

A quirky, quizzical and sometimes questionable quotidian quotation, in honor of the "Year of the Dog", follows herewith:

"If you get to thinking you're a person of influence, try
ordering someone else's dog around."

Author: Will Rogers (1879-1945), American actor, humorist, and lecturer.


Note: Try taking a dog-training course before you attempt this feat! Even better, check out "It's PAWSible Dog Training Centre" for some helpful hints - http://www.itspawsible.com

Monday, January 30, 2006


A Motivational Moment for Misguided Masters & Their Mutts

Compiled by Hugo Hotagen, DDD (Duke of Doorknobs & Doghouses), a loyal lapdog-in-training apprenticed to the affable, agnostic and all-round air-headed Court of the Quipping Queen.

A quirky, quizzical and sometimes questionable quotidian quotation, in honor of the "Year of the Dog", follows herewith:

“The dog is a yes-animal, very popular with people who
can’t afford to keep a yes-man.”

Author: Robertson Davies (1913-1995), Canadian author.


Note: For those interested in woof workouts, do drop by and take a peek at http://www.hillspetslimmer.co.uk/exercise/dog.html

Sunday, January 29, 2006


Or, time to sample some fine "Whines of the Vine"!

Theolonius McTavish, a dansey-headed, deep-musing, do-it-yourself dendranthopologist, (better known as one who’s just descended from the Tree of Knowledge to learn that it’s time to pay tribute to man’s best four-legged friend in a dilettantish dog-eat-dog world!)

There’s no doubt about it - 2006 is the “Year of the Dog”, according to Chinese astrology.

So you'll feel right at home eating a dog’s breakfast, reading dog-eared books, and learning how to build or live in a doghouse. (The latter item is a recognized substitute for 'the naughty stool' used frequently by ticked-off teachers, nasty nannies, or very vexed vixens…also known as ‘insufferable icky-poos’).

If you're feeling the urge to throw a dazzling "doggone dinner party" to celebrate the “ruff-ruff” year ahead, don’t forget to serve a bottle of your finest, fully-matured, palate-pleasing, vivacious vino.

Forget about those gurgling grape juice jugs full of fancy fizz that accompany a heaping plate of sphaghetti-and-meatballs or conveniently mask the flavor of those ever-popular, easy-to-prepare "hamburger helper" lean-cuisine, family meals advertised on prime-time TV.

Frankly “Purple Pooch Plonk”, “Cantankerous Corgi Cabernet Sauvignon”, “Panting Poodle Pinot Gris”, “Snooty Spitz Shiraz”, “Piddling Pomeranian Pinot Noir”, or “Slobbering St. Bernard Sauvignon Blanc” won't cut it with either the top "hot dogs" or the weiner variety! In a pinch, they work well as mouthwash, but your dog biscuit appetizers need something with a bite more bite and body!

Take my humble advice -- choose something from the following list of “dog" whines on the vine. (Note: A "dog" wine is not necessarily bad in quality but one that is hard to sell and more apt to sit on the shelf waiting for Godot not to mention making the acquaintance of some very boring dust-bunnies.)

Now give these "dogs" the light of day to play. And hopefully they'll impress the paws off your canine companions. So without further ado... here we go:


  • Bad Dog Red (France)
  • Bad Dog White (France)
  • Bad Dog Red (Australia)
  • Bad Dog White (Australia)
  • Bastard Hill, Yarra Burn Hardy Wines (Australia)
  • Big Ass (U.S.A.)
  • Big Dog Wine – Canis Major (U.S.A.)
  • Big Fat & Gutsy, Arakoon Wines (Australia)
  • Black Dog, Bent Creek Vineyards (Australia)
  • Blue Nose (U.S.A.)
  • Bong Bong, Centennial Vineyards (Australia)
  • Brown Dog, Stevens Brook Estate (Australia)
  • Bungawarra, Bungawarra Wines (Australia)
  • Bunnamagoo, Bunnamagoo Estate Wines (Australia)


  • Devi’s Corner, Tamar Ridge Wines (Australia)
  • Dingabledinga, Arakoon Wines (Australia)
  • Dogajolo (Italy)
  • Dog House - Charlie’s Chardonnay (U.S.A.)
  • Dog House - Maxie’s Merlot (U.S.A.)


  • Fat Bastard (France)
  • Frost Dodger, Torzi Matthews Vintners (Australia)
  • Fun Dog, Wild Dog Winery (Australia)


  • His Master’s Choice, Ridgeback Wines (South Africa)
  • Humpers, Tom’s Waterhole Wines Pty Ltd. (Australia)


  • Il Bastardo (Italy)


  • Jezebel, Cabonne (Australia)


  • Lucky Bastard, Samson Hill Estate (Australia)
  • Lucy’s Run, Lucy’s Run (Australia)


  • Marmaduke, Cape Mentelle (Australia)
  • Mad Dog, Mad Dog Wines Pty. Ltd. (Australia)
  • Merlot Over and Play Dead, Livermore Valley (U.S.A.)
  • MoonDog Acre, Moon Dog Acre Wines (Australia)


  • Old Bastard, Kaesler Wines (Australia)


  • Portrait of a Mutt, Mutt Lynch Winery (Australia)


  • Racy Rosé, Bremerton Wines (Australia)
  • Rascal’s Prayer, Beelgara Estate, (Australia)
  • Red Dingo, The Settlement Wine Co. (Australia)
  • Red Dog, Stumpy Gully Vineyard (Australia)
  • Red Nipper, BlueManna (Australia)
  • Red Spot, Penny’s Hill (Australia)
  • Romeo, T’Gallant Winemakers (Australia)
  • Rufus Stone, Tyrrell’s Wines (Australia)
  • Runrig, Torbreck Vintners (Australia)


  • Scarlet, Logan Wines (Australia)
  • Secret Garden, Secret Garden Wines (Australia)
  • Shadow’s Run, Fox Creek Wines (Australia)
  • Siblings, Leeuwin Estate (Australia)
  • Sleeping Dogs, Sleeping Dog Wines (U.S.A.)
  • Snobs, Snobs Creek Estate Wine (Australia)
  • Sparkle Arse, Hidden River Estate (Australia)
  • Sticks, Sticks (Australia)
  • Sweet Panic, Thorogoods Apple Wines (Australia)


  • The Clan, Capercaillie Wine Co. (Australia)
  • The Jump Stump, d’Arenberg McLaren Vale Wines (Australia)
  • The Rogue, Nepenthe Wines (Australia)
  • The Ruffian, Hugh Hamilton Wines (Australia)
  • The Scallywag, Hugh Hamilton Wines (Australia)
  • The Scoundrel, Hugh Hamilton Wines (Australia)
  • The Sticky One, Norse Wines (Australia)
  • The Trickster, Hugh Hamilton Wines (Australia)
  • The Villain, Hugh Hamilton Wines (Australia)
  • Top-Dog Wines, (Spain)
  • Two Tails, Two Tails Wines (Australia)


  • Untamed, Peacock Hill Vineyard (Australia)


  • Vixen, Fox Creek Wines (Australia)


  • Where's Molly?, Maxwell Wines (Australia)
  • Whippet, Longview Wines (Australia)
  • White Nipper, BlueManna (Australia)
  • Wiggy, Bremerton Wines (Australia)
  • Wildcard, Peter Lehmann Wines (Australia)
  • Wild Dog, Wild Dog Wines (Australia)
  • Wild Soul, Wild Soul Wines (Australia)
  • Wise, Wise Vineyards (Australia)

And, if this selection of "fine whine vines" doesn't oblige you to wiggle your nose at every merry mutt in sight, just wag your tail instead!


For those with an insatiable curiosity about all those alien Aussie labels, take a peek at:http://www.winediva.com.au. And for those keen on learning more about those brash, in-your-face, award-winning, red-white-and-blue grape crushers, stop by: http://www.winejudging.com/medal_winners.2005/2005_wineries.htm

More about those wacky wine labels at:http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/9633031/site/newsweek/

Our slightly spaced-out sad-sack and party pooch above owes his existence to a very talented Salt Spring Island artist named Julia Lucich - Landing Party Gallery - http://www.landingpartygallery.com

Nectars of the gods are not for everyone, so canine connoisseurs should screen their "best of breed" pedigree personality guest list to avoid any unexpected consequences from the inclusion of a grape-cat, plonk-dot, plonko, winebag, wine-dot, wine-head, or vacuous vino.


Or, time to kowtow to bow-wow!

Theolonius McTavish, a dansey-headed, deep-musing, do-it-yourself dendranthopologist, (better known as one who’s just descended from the Tree of Knowledge to learn that it’s time to pay tribute to man’s best four-legged friend in a dilettantish dog-eat-dog world!)

The Chinese New Year always makes for great fun and oodles of frolic. And 2006 is no exception with everyone and his dog paying tribute to the “Year of the Dog” …naturally.

So put on your weatherproof woof-woof outfit, and shake a leg (preferably near a fire-hydrant if you please)! Or if that’s out of the question, just try waddling, wiggling or wagging your trusty tail at man’s best friend, “Fido” or “Fifi” as the case may be.

According to Chinese astrology, here’s what’s in store for these four categories of canine creatures:

Wood Dog – Best advice: stay away from all manner of extreme-stuff, especially mutt-makeovers and skateboarding with stray scamps! And, whatever you do, beware of pesky pooches and nervous-Nellies, they’re sure to leave you with a bad case of the hives or else far too many itches in places that you can’t scratch …not in a million years!

Fire Dog – Some people will call you one very “hot dog”, and why not? Finally your creative imagination is paying off! All those delightful duct tape sculptures and paint-by-numbers portraits of dogmatic do-it-yourselfers just like you will finally grace the walls of doghouses the world over!

Earth Dog – We all know how much you love keeping your nose to the grindstone. That's a great position from which to sniff out useless opportunities going nowhere fast. The good news you're one very good "brown-noser". On the other hand, that might make your pooch paramour one very unhappy camper ...in what otherwise might have been a "hot diggety-dog-diggity, boom what you do to me" moment in time!

Metal Dog – Heavy metal music has always been your thing, but this year you may run into some domestic disasters. A certain whippet wunderkin next door is threatening to call the city bylaw enforcement officer. The latter is determined to put you behind bars where you’ll be obliged to listen to nothing but “Jailhouse Rock” for the rest of the year. Smile, it could be worse!

Water Dog – Yes, we know how much you adore your water wings and why you love to show off your dog-paddle. But the astral climate is changing -- that means it's raining cats and dogs, it's throwing monkeys into wrenches, and it's melting the polar ice cap leaving Abominable person of snow homeless, boo hoo. Stop snapping and snarling; learn how to become a frequent flyer ...that’s why the Big-Guy-In-The-Sky gave you large floppy ears, a streamlined undercarriage, and a wee wagger to handle those tailwinds!

So, count your lucky stars this year …cause every dog will have his day!


For more information on the "Year of the Dog" visit: http://chinese.astrology.com/dog.html

Reproduction of dog above from the whimsical "Party Animal Series" by Salt Spring Island artist Julia Lucich - http://www.landingpartygallery.com

In the Year Of The Dog, other critters must take special precautions with the following categories of culinary/quaffing canines: bar-hounds, booze-hounds, brew-hounds, chow-hounds, culture-hounds, juice-hounds, hash-hounds, lush-hounds, rock-hounds and sauce-hounds not to mention all manner of biscuit-eaters, brown-nosers, clever dogs, dog catchers/nappers, dog-breath/dog-collared/dog-faced/dog-fighting/Dog Star/dog-tired/dog-toothed types, doghouse-dwellers, dog-and-pony-show-offs, dogfish anglers, doggy-bag/tag collectors, dogleg golfers, droning dogmatists, dog paddlers, dogsbodies and dogs-in-the-mangers, dogtrotters, dog-walkers, dogwatchers, dogwood admirers, hot-doggers, hush-puppies, lackey-dogs, lap-dogs, legal beagles, lovers of dog days and woofers.

Monday, January 23, 2006


Or, pray tell, why not?

Sherlock Tidpit, (a remarkable rumpus-room monitor and a rule-of-thumb rapscallion with a skewed view of reality), is a valuable vestigial remnant in the Court of the Quipping Queen.

It occurred to me the other day, (as I sat on my tuffet eating my curds and whey), that there are at least TEN things that should never (and I repeat NEVER) be contemplated, considered or carried out during the first month of the year.

1. Make resolutions to be good, bad or downright ugly. (It’s a waste of valuable time that could be devoted to building sandcastles in the air, launching trial balloons, twiddling one’s thumbs and last but not least, counting some sheep at bedtime).

2. Wear red. (It’s a highly over-rated color and should only be worn in an emergency or during the biggest and longest spendthrift season of the year!)

3. Commune with nature …in particular, with bears or plants. (Like #1, it’s not a productive use of one’s energies, considering that both of these living things can’t hear a blooming thing you say ...'cause they’re indisposed ...taking a long winter nap!)

4. Discovering the true personality of a “seagoat”. (Do you really want to know that Capricorns are critical, egotistical, fatalistic, status seeking not to mention slave-driving, dissatisfied perfectionists who only believe that their way is always the best ...so there!)

5. Whistle while you work. (This is a sign of true contentment, a ticket-boo state of affairs, or other hunky-dory stuff that only happens in fairy tales; since life’s not a happily-ever-after story, suck it up and stop blowing wind through your teeth!)

6. Cry in your soup (be it chicken, tomato, or clam chowder). Simpering and sniveling do not become sensitive souls like you who deserve a double shot of a good single malt Scotch (no ice naturally) and lots of high-calorie, high-carb and high-five finger-foods!

7. Hum or sing songs. (Like #5, no one wants to hear someone who can’t hold a tune or remember the words. Best to wait for a cozy campfire in July when one can perform and keep the bears, bugs, plus the other wild beasties off one's back.)

8. Find an Aquarian friend to keep you company. (Just because they’re called the “Water Carrier” of the zodiac doesn’t mean they want to spend time on a beach with you! Ahem … didn’t you know that they’re ambivalent, eccentric, perverse, rude, self-interested, tactless types who lack self-confidence ...besides they exhibit a voyeuristic curiosity about people…and that will undoubtedly include you!)

9. Play musical chairs. (This is, shall we say, a complicated, strenuous, aerobic exercise to begin the year; your time would be better spent banging drums, nails, or even pots…that will appeal to your strong sense of roguish rhythm).

10. Toe-wrestling. (While you may have two left-feet, and that means no tripping the light fantastic for you, toe-wrestling is truly an outdoor recreational pastime best left to a warm weather, beer-guzzling, barbecuing-time of year!)

Tuesday, January 17, 2006


Or, finding the right words to describe your wonky workplace

By: Theolonius McTavish, a cachinnating cacoethes scribendi (a.k.a. an immoderate laughing soul with an insatiable desire to write), better known by his friends as a nonchalant, nonconformist, nonpartisan nincompoop with a nose for mirth and mayhem.

How would you describe your workplace? What makes your workplace tick? Who are your workplace personalities?

If those catatonic classified career ads and joy-challenged job descriptions don’t fit life in your cubefarm, perhaps you might want to consider using these obscure, original if not a tad ornate expressions to convince other folks just like you to come and play in your sandbox.

If there are moaning and groaning sighs in your workplace, maybe employees have come down with a touch of the Aeolian Flu, or the H.R. Department may have hired too many moirologists (professional mourners).

On the other hand, if there’s a caboodle of cockamamie cock-uppers, (better known as a collection of incredibly messy people), you may have a pizzlesprung on your hands (a Kentucky word meaning 'wearyworts'), or heaven forbid, your organization may have inadvertently promoted a member of the mumpsimus family, (a simple soul who refuses to correct an error and may be there for life!)

Corporate headquarters are often filled with altiloquent (high-flying, pompous) individuals like adoxographers (skilled in the art of writing much ado about nothing, a.k.a. trivial pursuit gamers with large egos), and their close associates, the aeromancers, (gifted gas-inspired gurus whose talents lie in divining the future by interpreting changing atmospheric conditions that can have a serious impact on the successful launch of “trial balloons”, the supply and demand curve of “wind-bags”, and best-of-breed “hot air enthusiast” technology applications).

While large organizations can afford aeromancers, this far-out in left field form of leadership and e-thereal management style is becoming extremely competitive these days due to an increase in global e-missionaries. Hence, many firms are now seeking experienced austromancers (auguring wind observers), ceronauscopists (thunder and lightening analysts), chaomancers (cosmic particle prophets & comet tail evaluators), meteormancers (meteor/shooting star research and development consultants), not to mention, nephomancers (cloud movement interpretation professionals).

Small business on the other hand must make do with asterisms. These are entry-level workers who get stars in their eyes from seeing too many celebrities and or get fanciful ideas in their heads about visiting far-away constellations on SlumpJets (budget-priced, overcrowded, uncomfortable hyperspace vehicles with no fast-food outlets). While a lot of awkward things happen in space and time travel (even to small business owners and entrepreneurs), a lot of them make a whole whack of dough particularly if they have a pettifogger (barrister & solictor) on their team. And, if you really must know not all lawyers charge an arm and a leg, not like some low-life cosmic cretins better known as “NowWhattian boghogs”.

If none of these handles quite fit, perhaps you have one of the following posh personalities in your workplace:

Autodeist: a self-proclaimed god

Bowderlizer: one who purges politically incorrect expressions and off-color remarks from memos, reports and speeches for a living

Cagophilist: a collector of keys, a passion for passe-partoutDringle: a time-waster extraordinaire

Euphobist: one who fears good news (like the glass is half full).

Funambulist: a tightrope walker without a safety net

Gormandizer: one whose eyes are larger than his/her head not to mention a keen interest in overeating at every opportunity

Hoddypole: fumbling inept person

Honorificabilitudinitatibus: any hoddypole with a long title after his/her name

Insufflator: one who is capable of blowing something such as a gas, powder or vapor into a body cavity

Jongleur: a meandering mirthful soul who likes to sing his/her own songs of praise generally to his/her own accompaniment

Loup-Garou: a werewolf in sheep’s clothing

Merry-Go-Sorryist: an individual capable of laughing and crying simultaneously

Ninny-brother: one who hogs the coffee machine or requires at least 15 cups of caffeine a day to feel normal

Papelard: a pretentious flatterer or heck-of-a-good hypocrite

Phishing expert: an angling troller whom you fall for hook, line and sinker

Puzzomous: a disgustingly obsequious yes person

Skybosher: a practical joker or a loquacious larker who enjoys too much tomfoolery.


For more information on the planet of "Now What" and the main town of "Oh Well", please visit pages 53 and 54 of a book by Douglas Adams entitled, Mostly Harmless (published by Serious Productions Limited in 1992).

Sunday, January 15, 2006


Or, try some tidbits that roll off the top of your tongue…

By The Duchess of Dither, (a.k.a. Dame Do-This-Do-That or DDT for shot), is not your run-of-the-mill doddering, do-nothing, dour dowager but rather a chronologically-gifted social butterfly, a swish social etiquette consultant, not to mention a noted antipasto, aperitif and artichoke recipe collector and antediluvian author of a little-known romance novel entitled, “Foxy Bell-Bottoms & The Pirates of Pugwash Junction”.

Many of my bombastically bashful clients have asked me what they should say or do when the 'cat’s got their tongue'? You know when the proverbial ‘Mout-hab-nuttin-fe-do’ (literally, ‘mouth has nothing to do’).

The answer to this consummate conundrum lies in reframing this doggone dilemma. After all, everyone knows that felines rule the jungle (except for that wussy one in the ‘Wizard of Oz’). Thank goodness my clients don’t want to join that tacky trio of woebegone winners just blithely bopping along down the Yellow Brick Road!

When one is firmly entrenched in an indubitably irrelevant place at an inopportune moment in time and at loss for words, it’s best to console oneself with a few grapes of wrath and then excuse oneself with much aplomb and gusto to the nearest place of ease. Once ensconced in a powder room or gentlemen’s ablutionary, it’s time to seek the advice of a Goddess or Guru of Glitch. (Hopefully, the owner of the calamity has access to a cellular phone equipped with all the latest features including text messaging, email, camera, video, TV, radio, music-player, and personal scheduling capabilities).

In the absence of a do-it-all device and a glad-handing guru or a fact-finding fairy godmother, just consult a pocketbook edition of “The Portable Poppycocker”, (which every adult is supposed to carry conveniently around in a pocket, purse, or portmanteau at all times).

Now peruse the chapter on “Interesting Interjections”. Then randomly select one of the 175 or so itty-bitty, impressionable yet easy-flowing ejaculatory exclamations that one can blurt out in a bubbly impromptu manner. (Hint: Avoid those well-worn, vexing vociferations like: Alas! Bingo! Dear Me! Heavens! Ouch! Phooey! and Ugh! Instead, go for one of the following hefty little humdingers:

  • Bada Bada Bing or Bada Bing Bada Boom, Begora, Bellswagger, Bosh, Brava,
  • Climb-A-Pole, Coniwobble, Crickey, Cunningberry, Dizzy Flat, Doddypoll,
  • Egads, Eureka, Faugh, Fiddlesticks, Fie, Fopdoodle, Gadzooks, Gardyloo, Gramercy,
  • Hey Presto, Hoddy Peak, Hoots, Huzza, Lackaday, Lerricomtwang, Lorgeous-Days,
  • Nerts, Oolfoo, Oy Vay, Pardy, Pip-Pip, Pish, Poof, Purting Glumpot,
  • Quotha, Rog, Swankpot, Tah-Tah, Touché, Tut-Tut, View Halloo,
  • Waesucks, Wellaway, Widdershins, Wiffle-Woffle, Wirra, Wisha, Whist, Woonkers,
  • Yeuch, Yum-Yum, Yoicks, Zooks, Zounds, Zowie, or Zuggers.

When returning to the company of others (after a suitable sojourn in the comfort station or water closet), never forget to:

  1. smile solicitously and shake a few limp hands vigorously,
  2. inconspicuously yet incisively invoke an inspiring interjection from “The Portable Poppycocker”, with a generous dollop of vacuous verve and envervating enthusiasm or
  3. follow the wise words of wisdom articulated extemporaneously by a Goddess/Guru for a princely/princessly sum of $3.99 a minute plus applicable taxes billed to one's 23.9% interest "Perks n’ Points Advantage Credit Card".

And if that doesn’t loosen one's tongue and lighten one's wallet, try a double scotch on the rocks with no swizzle stick if you please!

Wednesday, January 11, 2006


Or, Stop Complaining & Find Ten Ways to Play!

By Victoria Elizabeth, a curious soul who ponders in vain about what to wear on St. Patrick's Day, why she doesn't like parsnips, and how she managed to grow up without having to spend any time on the "naughty stool".

When it's raining cats and dogs on your parade, remember every cloud has a silver lining ...so quit complaining and find 10 ways to play!

1. Buy a fake flower or better yet a posh-looking pet plant (…then talk to it everyday, ‘cause it may grow on you; if it doesn’t, at least you’ve become a full-fledged flake or a merry member of the Chinwag & Chortle Club!)

2. Ask a toddler to sing a song, name their favorite food, and tell you how to catch a pink elephant; (…it’s a great way to lollygag about, reconnect with your inner child and, it might even give you a new perspective on what really matters!)

3. Ask your pharmacist, what brand and flavor of mental floss he/she would recommend? (…then be prepared for a few awkward answers, curious comments, pregnant pauses punctuated by the odd quizzical look or two!)

4. Write a note to your local MP and request he/she look into the burning issues of unregulated water pistol use by minors, poor quality Christmas crackers, not to mention the proliferation of ‘hot’ spots everywhere (…a picture of a pistol-packing pre-schooler, a poorly translated cracker joke, and a print ad for such dens of iniquity as cyber cafés to make your case).

5. Call into a radio talk show to complain about the unusually high-incidence of unidentified flying objects such as single socks, umbrellas (also known as ‘bumbershoots) and TV remote control units that have all disappeared from your end of the galaxy (and request directions to the nearest Museum of Missing Miscellany).

6. Email “Santa’s Anonymous” to inquire if they need any eccentric elves, sassy sleigh-bell ringers, or nifty North Pole greeters? (and sign it, “The Spunky Spirit of Serendipity”).

7. Enter a Tiddlywinks or Toe-Wrestling Tournament (…who knows what wunderkinds will show up just for the heck it exactly like you!)

8. Pen a little love limerick and mail it to your favorite funnybone on Valentine’s Day (…if that doesn’t work, try a hilarious haiku -- what have you got to lose?)

9. Visit a “Thrift Shop” and pick up the makings of an April Fools’ Day costume (…lighten up, use your imagination, after all what better way to celebrate going bonkers than wearing mismatched clothing, dreadlocks, and flippers!)

10. Look for “fairy stones” on a beach, (the ones with a ring around them), then invite someone to choose one and make a wish. (Don’t forget to smile; the world needs all the positive vibes it can get!)

Sunday, January 08, 2006


Or, are you sure everything’s A-Okay?

By Ovid Publius Hadweenzic, Ph.D., Head, Department of the Highly Suspect & Grossly Exaggerated Facts of Life, (more commonly referred to as figments of one’s imagination, farcical flimflam or simply fanciful fluff that often give rise to too much heated debate among ephemeral egg-heads at the Creative Loafing Institute, an under-funded, under-appreciated, and under-the-radar research center situated somewhere in an out-of-the-way closet, cubbyhole, or cubicle at the highly-esteemed University of the Bleeding Obvious).

“Tickety-Boo”, (or the lesser-known “tiggerty-boo”), is a rather titillating tidbit to utter when one feels that “everything’s coming up roses”, “life’s a bowl full of cherries”, or “all’s right with the world”.

It is said that this saucy syllabled adjective originated during the heady days of British colonial rule in India. Nowadays it’s become a curious, quaint, Canadian expression meaning, “good to go”, “in working order” or “running smoothly”.

Trust those inhabitants from the 'Land of Sasquatch, Snow Forts & Santa Claus' to come up with some positive thinking to get their minds off the bone-chilling, bun-numbing winter temperatures or having to their find big boots, bug repellant, and bumbershoots during a two-week long wet summer break with three rays of sunshine.

Other versions of “everything’s OK”, “no problem” or “peachy keen” expressions describing one's attitude to life include a contribution from those ever so charming ‘Yankee Doodle Dandies’ who prefer a word with a little more clout, oomph, and punch like, “hunky-dory”.

So "hunky-dory" aside, just what things do people associate with “tickety-boo”? Well, after an exhaustive investigation of some 40,800 web pages devoted to “tickety-boo”, here are a few fabulous frivolities that might impress the pants off all one’s “know-it-all” friends, or put a sock in the mouth of the obnoxious “been there, done that” types.

  • An artist management and small television company in Victoria, B.C. (with a blooming cactus on their homepage…perhaps implying they can transform prickly plants into posh plonk or pin-headed personalities into plucky pixies?)

  • A UK company offers handcrafted fairy-boxes, door-pegs, and clocks (for those who are bored with meandering about in the aisles of big box stores looking for fruit-flavored baking-soda toothpaste, anti-streak and smudge-resistant kitchen detergent, and knee-high hosiery that won’t fall down after the first wearing).

  • A British pet, possessions and property-minding service that caters to jet-setters, junket-lovers, and just jaunty retirees willing to pay the price for a hassle-free home security service, (while they buzz off to burn themselves on beaches, bleed profusely from bedbug bites, or just go blotto from one too many Bloody Marys!)

  • If you like something that’s charitable, full-bodied, fairly-trade, and nice -- then taste some “Tickety-Boo Tea” (…who said itty-bitty baggies aren’t fun?)

  • “Super skinny On-One Tickety-Boo rubber grips for maximum control” might just do the trick (…especially if one’s into bikes and not boudoirs!)

  • What makes “The Land of Milk And Honey” go round? Buy “Ticketyboo-Nappies” on eBay, (millions of wee wet wunderkinds can’t do without them!)

  • On your next trip to Nottingham, do drop by the “Tickety-Boo Day Nursery” (…where Robin Hood & His Merry Men are practicing how to bond with bunnykins not to mention how to change and dispose of dirty diapers in an environmentally-friendly manner without incurring high landfill tipping fees in the 21st century?)

  • Need a bleeping boost? …Down this digital ditty entitled, “Tickety-Boo School Tie”! (and maybe you’ll be inspired to write your own wacky or weird tune!)

  • “Tickety-Boo Can Do It For You!” (…Especially if you’re a bellyaching bride-to-be or a perturbed princess from up North somewhere who refuses to spin oodles of yarn or sew her own gown without the help of a frumpy fairy godmother who adores playing with pesky pins, naughty needles, and spunky spools of thread!)

  • A 62-foot boat with a stern deck built to accommodate a motor scooter, a diesel boiler with fin rads; a small day cabin replete with a galley, L-shaped sofa bed with freezer beneath, wet-locker; a bedroom with a brass double-bed, a loo with a ‘Vacuflush’ toilet system and a curved “Showerlux’ unit (…the only question is will it accommodate mermaids, mermen and other merry monsters of the deep?)

  • A delightful, affectionate donkey who loves to be cuddled stroked but doesn’t like to be photographed; (why not call it DNA, a Dysfunctional Nipping Animal?)

So next time when it’s raining cats and dogs, you've lost your bumbershoot, and your cell phone won’t work to call a cab, bear in mind that “every cloud has a silver lining”. More to the point, pucker up and put a smile on your face, hum a happy tune from your ripsnorting repertoire, and last of all -- remember -- it's up to you to find your own tickety-boo in life!

Friday, January 06, 2006


Or, when you’re fit to be tied and can’t stand the sight of something…

Ovid Publius Hadweenzic, Ph.D., the mixed-metaphor mastermind behind a little-known sweat-hog scriptorium that caters to leisure-challenged little leprechauns with fanciful imaginations that delight in tickling the fickle fingers of fate while devouring tubs of barbecue- flavored ice crystals spiked with a shot of tequila or vodka thrown in for good measure.

“Scram” is a handy five-lettered slang expression to use when one is feeling a bit peckish. It’s also a convenient if not curt commentary to blurt out under one's breath, particularly if one is sending any blankety-blank bogeymen packing ‘toute de suite’.

“Scram” is a relatively recent addition to the lexicon of the English language. It first appeared in 1928 as a verb, meaning, “to go away at once”. In the 1953 post-war era however, it assumed a new definition as “a rapid emergency shutdown of a nuclear reactor”.

Before “scram” appeared on the scene, people had to make do with such colorful cussing substitutes as: away with you, beat it, begone, be off, be off with you, buzz off, bugger off, draw your sled, f*** off, gangway, get going, get lost, get out from under my feet, get outta here, get out of my sight, get out of my way, git, go away, go forth, high tail it out of here, leave, march, out with you, p*** off, pull your freight, scat, scoot, shoo, shoo-fly, take a flying leap, take a hike, or simply “vamoose”!

Essentially, “scram” is the equivalent of a short, sharp, sucker-punching pejorative. It is produced by doing three physical actions simultaneously: exhaling a hissing sound when pronouncing “sc”, then curling one’s tongue on the roof of one’s mouth while saying “ra” and finally smacking one’s lips together quickly making an “m” sound, akin to humming. (Note: this interjection should be proclaimed with great gusto, élan, or verve in order that intended recipients are left with no option but to act with great haste and little aplomb, especially if they value the skin they’re in!)

While “scram” is slightly more than 75-years-old, few people seem to use it in everyday speech. But the word has by no means gone the way of the dodo bird. Quite the contrary, more than one million web pages cite this modest multivalent mouthful.

So what is the context in which this lovely little word appears, and what does it say about the user or the recipient pray tell? Well, a perversely long glimpse at some of these web pages reveals that “scram” has something to do with the following:

  • Vital information from the US Environmental Protection Agency regarding air pollution modeling software (…could it be that “scram” has something to do with some "rogue" fetid odors emanating from who knows what or where?)

  • A wild animal repellent that’s guaranteed to protect one’s flowers, gardens, and gnomes from marauding deer and munching rabbits, (…does that mean the untimely end of the Easter Bunny and cancellation of the annual Easter Egg Hunt?)

  • A jestful journal dedicated to rooting out the cashews in the bridge mix of unpopular culture (including neglected, odd, nifty or simply nutty stuff like weird records, tapes, and CDs found in out-of-the-way music stores or honoring the “Bubblegum Queen” in October).

  • The first and only secure, continuous, remote, trans-dermal, alcohol monitor, (hmmm…does that mean that huffing and puffing into a Big Brother Breathalyzer is now bad for our health?)

  • A 1997 Microsoft Word macro virus that deletes files and adds text to documents (…but the real question why don't these misguided munchkins play "Dungeons and Dragons" instead of creating mayhem with my Commodore 64 computer!)
  • Acronym for “Safety Cut Rope Axe-Man”, (…a circuit breaker, for those who haven’t got a clue what the heck the author’s waxing on about in this tear-jerking technical tome about as enlightening as 'How many engineers does it take to change a lightbulb?' Frankly they're far too busy singing "Ohm On the Range" or reciting every last verse of "99 bottles of beer on the wall" to care!)

  • A software configuration, release, management and build tool, (…with all this gobbledygook going for it, perhaps it’ll save someone’s posterior in a pinch!)

  • Acronym for “Schools Conflict Resolution and Mediation”, (…probably works wonders for banishing bugbears from playgrounds, but will it teach kids to say “please”, “thank you”, and “I love brussels sprouts, spinach and tofu”?)

  • "The Navel of Narcissus", (...now if you have to ask what's this got to do with the price of tea in China, then clearly you need more information about “scram” and why it’s an important alternative to admiring your rather mediocre, mundane mug in a mirror all day long!)

  • 15 minutes of oxygen generation in the form of a respirator providing head and neck protection against liquid and vapor chemicals and biological contaminants (…however the manufacturer neglects to mention whether it also guards the wearer against attacks from Unidentified Flying Objects or obnoxious aliens from outer space).

  • It seems that Google is experimenting with a “scram” button that will permit someone to block unwanted sites from showing up during an online search. (But when will they design a mute button to silence the snarky, snooty or snotty statements made by nefarious nerdy know-it-alls?)

  • Ankle bracelets (...they probably make a nice accessory for those barefoot bling-bling types who want to wear a pair of sparkly steel-toed booties to their spring prom!)

Just remember the next time you feel the urge to splurge by resorting to the use of the retort “scram”, be sure you smile ever so sweetly, wear prominently-displayed ear plugs or better yet hearing aids, and carry a long white cane.

Thursday, January 05, 2006


Or, daffy delights to keep you amused when nothing else will…

By Ovid Publius Hadweenzic, Ph.D., esteemed Egghead-in-Residence and eccentric director of the Creative Loafing Institute, (an off-the-beaten endeavor supported by the FunnyMoney Foundation and the world-renowned University of Laughing Matters).

If “bonkers” is not a word commonly heard in conversation or appearing in written form today, it’s rather surprising that more than 2.2 million web pages are devoted to it.

“Bonkers” is one of those rather nice-sounding words suggesting what might occur after a good knock on the noggin or being the recipient of a thunderous thwack on one’s thinking cap leaving one slightly giddy if not entirely barmy, batty, berserk, buggy, cracked, crazy, cuckoo, daft, delirious, demented, discombobulated, disordered, distraught, dotty, fruity, gaga, insane, loco, loony, lunatic-like, maniacal, moonstruck, nuts or more to the point … gone bananas, slightly off-one’s-rocker, of unsound mind, out-to-lunch, non-compos-mentis, not-all-there, nutty as a fruitcake, sick or a tad touched-in-the-head!

So just what makes one “go bonkers”? A cursory glance at the web pages citing this state of affairs suggests the following:

  • A Disney animated series called “Bonkers” (they know that anything rather nutty will have broad appeal to squirrly folk all over the giggle-challenged globe!)

  • An award-winning U.K. gift shop by the same name (that offers delightful ditties such as “jelly cat soft toys” if you please!)

  • A family-fun center in Quincy, Illinois that offers a great place to gulp down goodies, trounce tikes n’ tots, and play mind-boggling arcade games (yikes!)

  • Hardcore dance music (designed to send one into a permanent trance perhaps?)

  • Strawberry candies (that may break your bicuspid if you’re not careful!)

  • A British Lord by the name of Bonkers who served as a Liberal MP from 1906 to 1910 (perhaps just a prelude to the infamous Lord HaHa in WWII).

  • Hand-dyed exotic spinning yarns (…perhaps for those who love to tell tall tales?)

  • Toxic Bonkers (the details of which remain quite obscure due to the foreign text that accompanies said materials).

  • A quaint fishing accessory known as “Bass Bonkers” (…lurid lines never fail!)

  • “Bonkers and Pickles” homepage (likely to appeal only to “Beaglepersons”).

  • A ripsnorting recipe for a rum and raspberry cocktail (that may leave you with tingly toes or a twitching twizzle stick!)

  • A curious book title by author Jen Sorenson called, “Slowpoke America Gone Bonkers” (not recommended for fast-track MBA graduates!)

  • Chance of infection by a mobile phone virus (the real question is …what’s the antidote other than chucking your chinwag and chortle device?)

  • The name of a bingo game and slot machine (for those who don't know what to do with loose change, fidgety fingers and too much time on their hands).

  • “Banana Bonkers” require bananas naturally plus grapefruit juice, lemon sherbet and crushed ice (which is also why some citric suckers just pucker up and glow all night).

  • Name of an unusual fabric-covered “catnip mouse” (you probably won’t find in any ordinary house full of fickle felines!)

  • Innovative strategies designed to unleash your genius by increasing your brain IQ (not to mention letting you come completely unhinged and crazy if you’re willing to try them!)

  • Toucan Inn & Bonkers – in Tobago (if you have to kick back in this remote resort…you probably have had a little too much sunshine for your own good!)

  • Why “Festival CocoNuts” (in Edinburgh, Scotland) aren’t bonkers (like the rest of the flipping fringe and kilt-hiking elements of society).

Conclusion, next time you want to take a walk on the wild side, check out the dark side of the moon, or tap into the world of the supernatural wear safety boots, carry an Oxford Concise Dictionary and your hand-dandy Swiss Army knife. And, whatever you do … don’t forget to “Smile” …you never know who’s hiding behind a “candid camera”!