Tuesday, October 31, 2006


Or, Where to Hang Out on Halloween in Canada

By Ovid Publius Hadweenzic, Ph.D., Visiting Professor of Pompous Pinheads & Permutated Pumpkins at the University of Undeniably Useless Undertakings (located in beautiful downtown Grizzly Bear’s Head & The Lean Man, Saskatchewan naturally).

Every year at Halloween, testy tikes from all over the globe manage to send me a gunny sack full of picayune, piffling or patently pitiful questions like: “Where pray tell does "The Great Pumpkin" live?”, “Where’s the best place to find wicked witches at this time of year?” or, “Are there any weird walkabouts worth doing on Halloween in Canada?”

So, in the interest of furthering an appreciation of melancholic, morbid and mumpish morsels of musings on this ghastly ghoulish occasion, please feel free to fill your blessedly barmy boots!

“Where pray tell does The Great Pumpkin live?”

Most likely you will find this valiant vagabond veggie with oodles of vim and vigor tucked away somewhere in one of the following nine cozy corners in this crazy Canuck country: Pumpkin Bay (Ontario), Pumpkin Hill (New Brunswick), Pumpkin Island (Ontario, Nova Scotia), Lac Pumpkin (Quebec), Pumpkin Point (Ontario), Pumpkin Rock (Nova Scotia), Baie Pumpkinseed (Quebec), or Pumkinvine Brook (a small river in Nova Scotia).

Word has it that a smelly sort named “Sasquatch” inhabits the Western environs, (which is why “The Great Pumpkin” had to seek refuge in the god-forsaken geography offered by the other half of the country that’s not over-run with bears, beavers, and blackflies).

“Where’s the best place to find wicked witches at this time of year?”

Often found flying around in black capes with pointy black hats and black leather boots aboard turbo-charged broomsticks, these feisty females will likely be located in “hot spots” like: Lucifer Mountain (Alberta); Bugaboos, Ogre Mountain, or Sorcerer Mountain (British Columbia); Brokenhead, Finger, or Lizard Point (Manitoba); Eel River Crossing (New Brunswick); Blow Me Down, Goblin, Goobies (Newfoundland); Gore (Nova Scotia); Merlin (Ontario), Nail Pond (Prince Edward Island), Magpie and Nitro (Quebec); Cut Knife, Druid or Snipe Lake (Saskatchewan), and last but not least, Snag (Yukon Territories).

If you come across a witch just smile and admire her hexing ability, (unless of course you don’t mind being turned into a tawdry toad for the remainder of your lily-livered life on planet Earth).

Are there any weird walkabouts worth doing in Canada on Halloween?

“The Tacky Tourist Guide to Potty or Peculiar Places Not to Miss Whilst Visiting Canada” recommends the following off-beat, off-the-map, orifices in the wall: Dead Man Flats, Ghost, or Vulcan (Alberta); Flathead, Horsefly, or Spuzzum (British Columbia); Bagot, Button, or Zbaraz (Manitoba); Poodiac (New Brunswick); Billy Butts Pond, Old Man’s Head, and Nicky’s Nose Cove (Newfoundland); Thumb Island (Northwest Territories); Ecum Secum, Mushaboom, and Old Sweat (Nova Scotia); Oldman’s Pocket, Moose Factory, or Pooh Lake (Ontario); Crapaud, Ebenezer, or Old Harry (Prince Edward Island), Aachikaayusaakaasich Portage, (Quebec); and those eye-biting, entertaining towns of Elbow, Eyebrow, or Little Bone (Saskatchewan).

Before I depart, may I wish you a marvellous monster-mashing evening with Morticia & Friends. And do beware of purple people and pumpkin eaters...they've got rather large appetites!


For those who would dearly love to learn more about crazy Canuck Halloween habits, feel free to check out this little gem.

And for those wicked wenches and wiseacre winkers, do drop by a previously-enjoyed pocketbook store, and pick up a cast-off copy of the Queen of the Witches by Jessica Berens. You'll adore the malevolent musings of a posh protagonist named Sheenah, (High Priestess of the Divine Order of Isis and Director of the Witches' Liberation League) and her arch rival/naughty nemesis, Myra, (Clan Mistress and Wiccan Mother of the South London Sisters of Diana).

Sunday, October 15, 2006


Or, praise be to twisted turns of phrase

Compiled by Lady Beatrice Blitterlees and edited by the Earl of Craboon, a lively lollygagging couple who lounge about in the Court of Quintessential Quaffers & Quirks

  • Those who roll up their sleeves never lose their pants or shirt in a game of Crazy 8's.

  • People who live in glass houses can’t see through everything.

  • She who bumps her head on a glass ceiling also complains about glass slippers that don’t fit.

  • If you're going to act like a bull in a china shop, why don't they call you “Cowabungle”?

  • If you’re gonna take a bull by the horns, why are you buckling on your chaps and spurs?

  • A stitch in time will save a surprise in the behind.

  • Don’t try to teach your grandmother how to suck eggs, unless you'd like to eat the eye of newt and toe of a frog, wool of bat and tongue of dog for the rest of your life!

  • Never kick a gift horse in the mouth unless of course you like being called a jackass.

  • He who let the cat out of the bag probably stole the cat’s pyjamas.

  • If you're going to steal my thunder, may it rain cats and dogs upon you!

  • Beware of Greeks bearing gifts, unless they have white beards, are dressed in red spandex bodysuits, and are in the company of randy reindeers requesting a shot of ouzo.

  • If you can do this with your hands tied behind your back, imagine what you could do if your head was screwed on!

  • To hell with red tape, I’d rather be tied up in knots!

  • If you wanna bury the hatchet, may as well bury your head in the sand at the same time.

  • If you’re gonna eat humble pie, please don’t talk with your mouth full.

  • You may be head over heels in love, but if you can’t put your best foot forward, you may get the order of the boot!

  • Mind your p’s and q’s, otherwise you may never get from a to b.

  • Clearly my salad days are over if I can't be cool as a cucumber.

  • Beware of crocodile tears, they may cost you an arm and a leg!

  • Here lies one whose name is writ in water; his only saving grace, a laugh like a drain.

  • I may be a fish out of water but I certainly don't drink like one!

  • All good things come to he who waits…until the cows come home.

  • All that glitters is not gold, especially if you live in a fool’s paradise.

  • One who is broad in the beam deserves a wide berth at all times.

  • You can lead a dark horse to water but you can’t make him fish or cut bait!

  • Ask not for whom the bell tolls, just make sure you’re not ringing my chimes!

  • If you're gonna fly by the seat of your pants, at least make sure you qualify for Air Miles!

  • The good news is that those who live high on the hog today are just as likely to run amok tomorrow.

  • If you’re going to be a dog in the manger, stop whining about the quality of the mutt’s nuts.

  • He who can’t cast pearls before swine probably can’t turn a sow’s ear into a silk purse either.

  • If it's all the same to you, I’d rather be a fly on the wall than a fly in the ointment.

Sunday, October 08, 2006


Or, telltale signs that you’ve arrived in the home of the Canucks

By Theolonius McTavish, a transplanted toothy tartan type with a yen for tippling tankards and tasty tidbits that give one a terrible tummy ache, a red if not running nose and short-term memory loss.

Friends and even the occasional foe often ask me, “So, how’s life in Canada?”

Well the short answer is, it’s not like any other hub of humanity that’s for sure!

For those who’ve never set foot in a country full of ducks, pucks and Canucks, it’s how shall we say … “charmingly different” or “unprepossessing” if you really dig off-the-beaten path placid places such as “Driftpile”, “Old Sweat”, and “Nowhere Island”.

Here are a few signs to let you know that you’ve arrived in Canada, “the land of deer-in-the-headlight looks” and mythical monsters with bad breath, big feet, and bad hairdos not to mention curiously quaint names like “Bugaboos” or “Sasquatch”.

  1. It’s a very secular spot -- where doughnut and coffee shops dot the landscape and outnumber places of piety by a ratio of 7 to 1, and a wayward winery that has vexed the Vatican by naming one of its vaunting varietals, “Blasted Church”.
  2. The deer and the antelope play right outside your back door, along with the blinking beavers, mangy moose, and those cacophonous crapping creatures known as "Canada Geese".
  3. Politicians who can’t walk on water usually take up skating on thin ice, going on wild-goose chases, or shooting the breeze – three great Canadian pastimes.
  4. The “Barenaked Ladies” serenade you at the border crossing, while conscientious yet highly circumspect Customs & Immigration officials search your bags and travel trunks for any contraband including their favorite froth, “Naked Grape”.
  5. Every barber or barbell shop in town is obliged to play the warbling wafts of waifs like Shania Twain, Diana Krall or Celine Dion, just to keep baby-boomer boys happy.
  6. 7-11 convenience stores and the TV shopping channel fill the 24/7 shopaholic segment of the consumer-driven economy, (when Santa Claus and his effervescent eleves at the North Pole are not available to prance about the planet in a fuel-efficient reindeer-powered sleigh dropping off naughty and nice things that make the world go round).
  7. Where “eh” is a more popular pause point in a cat-your-your tongue conversation than such riveting random retorts as “um”, “ah” or “oh”.
  8. Fashionable footwear includes handsome H2O-proof hip-waders, stylish steel-toed boots, or brightly-colored light-weight recycled rubber clogs.
  9. Popular pests, (such as the 79 species of mega-munching mosquitoes who breed here in summer), come in only one size, “Grande”.
  10. Teetotalers recommend sipping rather than slurping “Tea as it should be” when visiting Victoria, B.C., (home to far too many flakes, nuts, and raging grannies).

Sunday, October 01, 2006


Or, why not have some fun with pirates, pumpkins and posh pet costumes

Compiled by the Lady Beatrice Blitterlees and edited by The Earl of Craboon, a lively lollygagging two-some in the Court of Quintessentially Quirky Quaffers & Quidnuncs

For those who can’t wait for the autumn equinox, falling leaves, and senseless scarecrows, October has just arrived.

Just think of it, only three months to go before that flighty fellow in the red suit comes riding by with his gunnysack full of great stuff for all the good guys and gals.

In the meantime, there’s plenty to do keep the mind occupied, especially if you into pirates, pumpkins and posh pet costumes.

October 2 – Pump Up Your Pumpkin! – You’ll need to practice your yodeling for this one because it’s in Zurich, Switzerland at the Jucker Farmart where everyone loves to weigh in on heavy matters, especially who has the plumpest pumpkin? Last year the prize went to a honking great thing – 341 kilograms (the density of a disproportionate duchess).

October 7 – Loomis Egglant Festival – So you hate “aubergine”, can’t spell it and haven’t developed a taste for it yet, but you might just want to visit the Sierra Nevada mountains of California and visit the town of Loomis where eggplant entries race down a wooden plank in children’s wagons just for the heck of it. Quit complaining…give it a shot!

October 8 – World Conker Championships – Why not be among 500 contestants or 5,000 lollygagging leisure-minded folk…after all, if you can’t toss chestnuts on an open fire the least you can do is join in this saucy sporting event at Ashton Village Green in the U.K.

20-29 October – Fantasy Fest – Can’t wait to don your dorky duds/dazzling diva outfits or posh pet poofery? Well why not take in a week of wonk and weird happenings in Key West Florida on the “Dis-Oriented Express” including masquerade balls, quirky costume events, plumed parades, and much jest if not wholesome jocularity and joy-riding!

21-22 October – Wooly Worm Festival – Vanity-conscious virmiculturists will be pleased to know that they have a special spot to hang out every year. Why not rub shoulders with 1,000 creepy-inspired contestants along with 20,000 more of their furry friends and watch them race their colorful curious critters in Banner Elk, North Carolina.

27 October – November 5 – Pirates Week Festival – Captain Morgan, Captain of the HMCS Pinafore, and Captain Hook invite you to the balmy buccaneers in Georgetown, Cayman Islands for some roguish rum-running and romping about in style!

21-28 October – Circleville Pumpkin Show – Wanna join a crowd of quirky characters (300,000 strong)? Then head on over to a town outside of Columbus, Ohio where they plug the fact they have pumpkins that weigh more than 1,300 lbs., toss the orange orbs all over the place, and invite everyone to join in hog calling and pumpkin pie eating contests.

28-29 October – Witch Festival – If you’re a fan of frightening films, boisterous broomsticks, and wicked wenches, or have an interest in connecting to your Celtic past, casting spiffy spells in a curious coven, now you can join in with other saucy spooks and visit a scary supernatural spot called “Devil’s Point” (the Fort of Cognelot in France).

And whatever you do this month, make sure you keep your eye out for Monster Mashers, Troll Trouncers, and the spunkiest spirit of all, "The Great Pumpkin"!


And if you can't get enough of those priceless pumpkins, you can always pay a visit to the Quipping Queen's Corner.