Saturday, June 23, 2007

I am about to go corporate!

Not that anyone else really cares, I suppose, but I am about to sell the soul of my blog to the corporate empire to which much of my life is subject. On my way out of the station on Friday morning, I was told that our web guys wanted to "CHEZ up" my blog some. Banners and links and pictures and so forth. Our web guys are actual people, with an actual office in our building, and not just in their parents basements. Jon and Rich pretty well run every one of the corporate empire's 950 websites, as is my understanding. Rich does a good job of hiding his inner geek by being quite funny and dressing like a regular guy. But make no mistake, his geek gene is as large as that of anyone else. Jon is much different, in that rather than masquerading as a regular guy in order to hide the geek within, he treads the fine line between "suit" and "geek", and says things that are rarely heard outside the sales department. I believe he aspires to the world of the corner office and the constant need to wear a tie and a suit jacket. Soon, Jon, soon!

Between the two of them, they make our websites happen, with the exception of the Doc and Woody page, which Doc runs in a fairly unilateral fashion. This is a constant source of consternation of the web geeks, because of it's low production values or whatever the case may be. They would very much like to take over this webpage and create a more modern, streamlined site, where you can get to this thing with five clicks and that thing with eleven clicks and so forth. Doc is not the computer-savvy guy he pretends to be, and his philosophy is that if he can't navigate the page, then others of a similar skill set will have trouble as well. So, the Doc and Woody Fun Page remains a one-page document that must be navigated simply by scrolling down from one thing to the next to the next.

I think this is the way the Doc and Woody page should look, but for my blog, I am fairly lost. My computer skills are on a par with Doc's, I feel, possibly even lagging behind his. I mean, he is able to put up links and pictures. I don't even know how to do that. I am writing about our web guys in the hopes that it irritates them whenever they attempt to update this page, but I hope not irritate them enough to no longer want to do so. That is why I haven't mentioned any details about Jon and his balloon fetish, or Rich and his personal hygiene. I want to have pictures and links. But at the same time, I don't really want to learn how to do them. Actually, I have never tried this one: Hang on. http://4thecure.waterford-group.com ! OK, I CAN make a link. Click on that and join their golf tournament. It's great, and it's for cancer!

I think that having CHEZ stuff on my blog is capitulating to the corporate culture only on the level of say, joining the company softball team. I endores joining the company softball team, but only if you really enjoy softball. Otherwise, you may as well attend team-building seminars, like our sales department, or hit "reply all" and make some clever remark about the boss's email. No, this is OK with me. Like softball, or attending the Christmas party. But I hope they don't put up ads. Then it's like attending the company Chirstmas party, AND signing up for the secret Santa program, AND volunteering to be the distributor of the hilarious nametags for everyone. Nope, my soul is intact. And if you don't see CHEZ stuff everywhere on this blog in the next couple of weeks, it is because Rich is having a shower, Jon is smuggling CHEZ balloons out of the office, and both are not speaking to me.

More golf...with ribs in my belly!

I am certainly looking forward to the Doc and Woody tournament this year. I played the Canadian for the first time this year yesterday, and it's in fantastic shape. I was at the CMC Electronics golf tournament, and I golfed in a foursome with the organizer, Peter Tom, his co-worker Rick and Rick's wife Susie. A beautiful day, a little on the windy side, but I'd much prefer that to 35 degree weather. It's one thing to not know where your ball is going thanks to the wind. That, for me, is every game, wind or no wind. It's quite another thing to go through the day drinking fifteen beers, seven waters, and never peeing once.

I managed to pull off a few truly fantastic shots. Some were merely the result of dumb luck, like the ones where I hit it 200 yards into the trees and still found my ball. Others were the work of other people. Like the 5-wood that I smashed around the corner of the 13th hole, right in a small path between the trees and the fairway, only to see a guy (marshall I believe) in a golf cart come barelling around the corner in the opposite direction, and take my ball square off the plastic shield on the front of the cart. Had that shield not been up, I might have ruined a large portion of his face. But he seemed perfectly happy, said "my fault!" and threw me the ball as he went by. He had not stopped the cart, hadn't even slowed it down, so I can only assume that the ball popped up in the air, off the plastic partition, and landed right in his lap as he sped along! I was just pleased I finally had a shot where I could find my ball. Peter was the monster driver in our group - he won the longest drive with a tee shot that actually hit a tree and bounced BACKWARDS into the fairway. Rick and Susie were both very good as well, and I was there for moral support, and to provide the other three with shots at which they could laugh. Our team finished at 4-under, and I contributed almost nothing at all.

Fantastic people and a fantastic day, plus a terrific meal of pasta and chicken burgers, and in the end, 360 dollars for the Doc and Woody Fund! Many thanks to Peter and all the others at CMC who made this donation and put on a fine event! And thanks also to all those who brought me enough beer that when I got home I left my golf clubs on the front steps all night, and conducted a prolonged search for my keys to lock the house for quite a while, before realizing this morning that the keys were in the golf bag.

Take that, strawberries.

The winner of the Most Unfortunate Timing Award in radio this year is the lady that brought us strawberries yesterday morning. Ordinarily, we would have eaten many, talked about it...Randall would have gone on about the local strawberry farms and how his girls like to go pick their own and come back covered in red juice. Woody would have reminisced about some childhood memory that in some vague way involved a strawberry. Do would have gone on about the healthy nature of strawberries because he's on a big health kick where he tells me all about trans-fats. And I would have been very quiet, since my mouth would have been full of strawberries. Doc is on this healthy kick that he feels he should share with me. He likes to impart his wisdom in the area of proper eating and so forth. I know he believes it is for my own good, and he just wants me to avoid the health problems he has encountered later on in his own life, but every tip I get from people about healthy eating, I hear something completely different from someone else a month later. Milk is great for the body! No, milk will kill you. Drink eight glasses of water a day! No, that will make you sicker...I plan to eat burgers for breakfast, nachos for lunch and ribs for supper the rest of my life if I can. Let the chips fall where they may.

Yes, ribs. Pity the poor strawberry farmer, whose attempt to get noticed was overshadowed, nay, obliterated, by the presence of some of Ribfest's finest offerings on Friday morning. Soon enough, even Doc had thrown aside all health-related objections in order to chow down on a rib or two, and we were all stuffing ourselves once again. Even Woody and myself, still crammed with delicious ribs from the previous night, were sucked in by the tastiness and dove headlong, once again, into the orgy of meat that was presented to us. I made a valiant attempt to chase my last rib with a couple of strawberries, which were truly fantastic as well, but the ribs dominated the day in a major way, and my lame attempt to include the forlorn strawberries in my morning food fest came long after the show had actually ended. But I do heartily endorse both ribs AND strawberries, and both at once if possible.

A baby seal walks into a club...

Ribfest once again is a sensational success. Woody and myself were out there judging on Thursday night, absolutely packed with meat when we were done. 11 entries, which meant eating 11 ribs and nine chickens. It's fairly tough to come up with an accurate judging system, since you're eating so much. You have to give rib #1 a five out of ten, and then decide for each subsequent rib how much better or worse the ribs are based on the last one you ate. You cleanse your palate between each entry with some beer, and continue along your way. Beside me, the host of Rogers daytime TV, a lovely blonde named T.L., had sort of a Rain Man method of judging. She would eat a bite, mark down the score, and them she kept every single rib on a paper towel in front of her, so she could cross-reference each one before coming up with a final decision. It made for a decidedly bizarre scene, as we all had the messiest faces and hands ever, and here's this one woman, clean and neat, with a systematic catalog of ribs, each marked with symbols and scores, laid out in front of her like some nerdy kid's bug collection.

In the end, in the interests of better photography, we all took one for the team and got our faces dirtier and messier than need be, just so the photographer could get the most disgustingly beautiful candid shots. We all had to sign a waiver, which was written up as a "Standard Modelling contract". This was a first for most of us - only T.L., her co-host Derek, and our co-worker Jenny would ever be considered model-calibre. Actually, that's wrong. Just about everyone on the judging panel was fairly attractive, with the exception of myself and Woody. But...I am now a professional model, and I have the signed documents to prove it. That's going on my resume. There were several radio station representatvies - two from CHEZ, and one each from Y101 and KISS-FM, two representatives of Rogers TV, and two winners of various contests, including one young man whose wife wrote Sharon, the fantastic organizer of the events on Sparks Street, with a poem begging them to put her husband on the judging panel. Now there's a wife!

I wanted to take some ribs home with me after the judging - for the next day, for the family, and for the days after that. However, the judging is all done blindly, in that we have no idea which rib joint we're tasting, it's all done by numbers and they figure it out afterward. I guess that's to prevent us judges from being unduly influenced by the attractive women selling ribs. In fact, there should probably be a category of judging for "most attractive purveyor of ribs on Sparks Street". This is a very strange thing they do. Every single rib place has an unreasonably hot young 20-year-old girl at the booth. One who you think can't possibly know about ribs, can't possibly own the place. But you never see the old men who you assume run these places. You figure this is some old, handed-down family recipe, that only the chosen few are allowed to know, and they guard that secret as though it is the location of Jimmy Hoffa's body. But 90 percent of the people running the places are very young and attractive (even the men, I'm told). So Sharon kindly took my top three choices, told me one of the three names and I went to pick up a full rack of ribs for a mere 20 dollars. I won't say the name of the place, since the votes are supposed to be in only at the very end of Ribfest.

The rib guys were telling me afterward that PETA had been out protesting on the first day of ribfest - the slaughter of innocent pigs, and so forth. Sharon told me that only the left side of the pig is used for the ribs at Ribfest, since it is the best cut of meat always. I thought maybe that's what PETA was protesting - the waste of the entire right side of a pig. But I assume it's used for something. Hot dogs maybe. Some of them, the women, were naked, and some of them, the men, were dressed as pigs, but only about ten protesters showed. We on the Doc and Woody show have been trying for some time to get PETA to protest naked in front of our studios. We make fun of them and talk up meat every chance we can. So we were disappointed that Ribfest got the naked protest, but we didn't. In fact, they have merely filed complaints and charges against us, which are being dealt with by our lawyers at this moment. It could all stop, PETA, if you just shoed up naked! In the interests of moving the process along, I told a joke that was told to me by one of the rib guys from Billy Bones - A baby seal walks into a club...

The rumour floating around ribfest, and I don't know how true it is, is that after their protest, the PETA women put their shirts back on, the guys took their pig suits off, and they went to a restaurant and...ordered chicken. Now THAT would make me happy. Come on PETA, ribs are delicious. Pigs in general are delicious. Show up without clothes! Sharon wanted to present the best-dressed pig with an award at the protest. Congratulations, you won first prize in our costume contest - here's a rack of ribs.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

I'm very irked.

Jeff sent me an email a few days ago. I guess I used the term "pissed off" in one of my movie reviews, and he objected to it. Not strongly, but enough to suggest I refrain from using the term in the future. I stopped by his office yesterday morening to take issue with this flagrant display of heavy-handed censorship, and demanded an explanation. OK, that's not really true. I merely poked my head in and said "haven't I heard YOU say pissed off before?" He agreed that it was certainly possible he had used the term, and that he was not upset at my use of it, he just feels that it conveys very strong feelings and that I should perhaps steer clear of it. His example was that it is one thing to be "pissed off" at Al Quaeda...it's quite another to be "pissed off" at Nicholas Cage. I had to disagree. I am in a constant state of displeasure with Al Quaeda. At no point do I ever like them. As such, they can't piss me off, since they don't normally make me happy. Nicholas Cage does make me happy on occasion, so when he does something that irritates me, he pisses me off.

If Jeff wants me to stop using the phrase, of course I will. But I'm not certain that it is really such strong language. Al Quaeda? How about they infuriate me, the make me furious, they disgust me, they outrage me. Piss me off? Not really. To me, that's kind of like saying them neo-Nazis really irk me. Bill O'Reilly ruffles my feathers. Ann Coulter bothers me to a small degree. Sex tickles my fancy. Am I wrong? Has "pissed off" become strong language on a par with "enraged". And had I said Nicholas Cage enrages me, there would really have been no problem. I think Jeff just doesn't like the word "piss". That is why we were going to "pee" on his Leafs jersey, "urinate", "wee", "tinkle", but he never did say piss. In the world of arbitrarily determined severity of language, I would suggest that "urinate" bothers me more. I think "mucus" sounds much grosser than "snot". I won't go into detail about what other words I like versus those I dislike...but for most of the ones I dislike, consult a medical textbook. This whole thing urinates me off.

Corporate functions...

After the Walkley golf tournament, I was blitzed. Completely smashed, and I needed to get downtown to Prime 360 for what they call a "loyalty dinner". This is a name "they" (I guess the bosses) have dreamed up, having something to do with the number of people in the Platinum Nation and the fact that everyone who works at CHEZ is so terrific. I still don't really know to what "loyalty dinner" refers. Adam drove me to South Keys, where I hopped on a bus to head downtown to Minto Place, where Prime 360 is located. I walked in, staggering only a little, to see the table filled with the whole CHEZ team, bosses, co-workers, and so forth. It's an event that has been postponed four or five times since the original date in September, and I was hoping to perhaps avoid it if possible. Not that I dislike my coworkers, or at least not all of them, but rather a dinner at 7:00 really screws up my schedule. I'm normally in bed by 6, and if I eat late, I'm up until midnight, which makes me rather irritable and incoherent when I wake up at 2 the next morning. I was a little concerned that I might be classing down the place with my appearance and the state I was in, so I attempted to remain quiet for a while, so as not to call attention to myself.

I was one of the few people at the table wearing running shoes. One of those running shoes was caked all over in mud. I had run into the bushes at Cloverdale earlier in the day to pee, and one of my feet had sunk into the mud up to my ankle. Of course, I had no opportunity to change shoes, so I had to make do. Robin Harper and myself were the only two wearing hats, although this did not strike me as unusual until Doc made fun of me the next morning. I guess everyone else there was suited-up, especially those who were not at our table.

This place is a very interesting place, the kind I am not used to frequenting. Steaks are 50 bucks. Fifty. There is a seafood platter for 50 bucks. I imagine these steaks must be fantastic, but I could not eat a bite. I was so stuffed from eating at the Walkley Bowling golf tournament that I couldn't cram more than two jumbo shrimp into me. In the bathroom upstairs, there is a high-definition TV. Not over the urinals, which would make sense, not near the sinks, which would be OK, but near the hand dryers. And CNN was running as I peed. Wolf Blitzer is watching me pee! And Wolf Blitzer creeps me out at the best of times. On a side note, is there a dumber title for a TV show than The Situation Room? What the hell does that mean? Nothing. Yet it appears to encompass everything. Welcome to...The SITUATION Room. We may or may not have...A Situation!

Anyway, as I made my way back to my seat, I sat very quietly, trying not to call attention to the fact that I was hammered. I listened with interest as Woody engaged the waiter in a conversation - well, more of an inquisition, really, about where the shrimp supplier they used was located, and they shared a long, fascinating discussion on the best way to cook shrimp, butterfly or otherwise. I know Woody does a lot of impressions, but this is the first time I heard him do Bubba from Forrest Gump. I nursed my beer as Jason and Jeff got into a discussion about the upcoming season, the possible concerts and so forth. Then I heard Jeff let his giant secret slip. The concert he has been so secretive about, the huge announcement we are not allowed to make, the one about which we have entertained so many theories and guesswork. Right beside me, I was conscious of Doc attempting to become invisible. Perhaps he thought that, much like a T-Rex, Jeff Brown's vision is based on movement, and if Doc froze completely, Jeff would forget he was there and reveal the entire secret. And he did.

Of course, Doc is now itching desperately to blurt out the secret, blatantly, cryptically, subtly, or otherwise, on the radio. My concern is that making the show public knowledge before we are allowed to could actually jeopardize the show, and it's so good I would never want that to happen. Randall and I successfully shouted down Doc this morning as he began to get into it, but I don't know how long we can hold him off.

I had a couple more beers. I figured, the wheels are in motion now. May as well keep the ball rolling. By this point, I had given up on the whole remaining quiet thing, or perhaps I had just passed the point where I had that kind of self-control, and I became engaged with Andrew, Robin and Jason in a discussion about the merits and drawbacks of strip clubs, paddy wagons, and some really gross things as well. Scott Parsons, the big boss, stood up to make a speech, but my recollections of Scott's speeches past are mostly from our Christmas party, where they have on occasion lasted longer than a live rendition of Free Bird. Without being accompanied by an awesome guitar solo. So I promptly paid him no attention, and amused myself with the remnants of a lobster tail that Andrew had recently finished. I figured that if I ever broke two fingers at once, a lobster tail and some electrical tape would have made an excellent splint. I thought about writing that down, but I didn't want to ask someone for a pen in the middle of the boss's speech.

Scott did stop by to inform me that as of now, he will be taking on some new duties around the station, among them the editor-in-chief of my blog. So...if this appears in a stilted, bizarrely edited form (and you'll know) this was the long finger of corporate censorship working above me. I think it unlikely, however, since he must be too busy running thirty radio stations all over Canada to also become a proof-reader. Robin and Jason and Andrew and I decided to close out the night with some jager-bombs. The bet we had was that our waiter, who was able to pretentiously pontificate at length about the steak, the cooking methods, and the various wines, would not know what a jager-bomb was. I was right. Although he had more than a working knowledge of the history and the intricacies of Chateau-Neuf-De-Pap, a jager bomb was beyond his scope. (For those of you also unfamiliar, it is like a depth charge, or a Dr Pepper, in that the idea is you drop a shot of Jagermeister, shot glass and all, into a pint of beer, then drink it all in one gulp.) A fine capper to a fine day, and certainly the classiest display witnessed that evening by the patrons of Prime 360.

It's Golf Tournament Season

Of course, the Doc and Woody golf tournament sold very well, and was almost sold out instantly. There were people lined up at 4 in the morning for a shot at tickets a few Saturdays ago. That is because our golf tournament is the best the city has to offer. Cheerleaders, prizes, beer, dinner...golf...it's outstanding. But there are many other golf tournaments throughout the year, and although I hesitate to call them "less prestigious", in point of fact they are. All golf tournaments have merit, some have a lot of merit, but they all pale in comparison to ours. It's a fact. That being said, I enjoyed the first of what are many tournaments I have lined up for the rest of the year yesterday.

The Walkley Bowling golf tournament was fantastic. A small crowd, no shotgun start, at the Cloverdale golf course in Winchester. I have never played the Cloverdale before, but it is well suited to my kind of game since there are no trees, and you can get back to your own fairway from the adjacent fairway with relative ease. Of course, it was a best-ball tournament, so it didn't really matter if I hit the ball onto the opposing green. We had a guy, Norm, who could drive the ball consistently 280+, sometimes 300+, who more than made our own driving ability obsolete. My foursome consisted of Norm, Bobby (one of the Walkley regulars, and a fine golfer) and Adam, our least-obnoxious sales weasel. Some of you may remember Adam from his "make people pay for Platinum Points" platform during the Platinum Nation leadership campaigning. He is also the one who sold expired Vicodin to his own grandmother.

I may have played the best game of my life. Had I been playing my own ball, there is a chance I may have broken 100 for the first time ever. Adam was having, at least for the front nine, the worst game I have ever seen him play. But our bet wasn't on the good shots, it was on how many of OUR shots we used during the game. Despite Adam's consistently lousy play, and my consistently better-than-lousy play, I was but two shots ahead going into the back nine. When the dust settled on the game, I was three shots back, I had lost the bet, and I had trouble standing thanks to a massive intake of beer. We went back to Walkley Bowling for the dinner and after-party, where the owner of Walkley, Don, created a game where you had to putt a golf ball into a square of masking tape on the floor of the Fireside Pub. This was for Cirque Du Soleil tickets that CHEZ had provided.

Don went on for some time about how he would never go see Cirque Du Soleil even if he won. The rest of us tried to impress upon him that in no way did attending the Cirque make him any less of a man. That there was no danger of emasculation, it was not like taking a flower arranging class or attending Hugh Grant movies, that it was actually very cool! But he was not to be convinced. We didn't want to be around all night, so we decided that if no one got the putt into the square, the last ticket in the hat would win the Cirque Du Soleil tickets. Of course, that was Don's rule, Don ran the game, and that last ticket was...Don's. This caused great consternation and calls of FIXED! But in the end, people were too drunk to care, myself among them.

What a fantastic bunch of people, real salt-of-the-earth types and the kind you'll meet in the tavern on a Saturday afternoon. You become best friends, you take your leave, and then you forget them until the next visit to said tavern. But I had to leave, after several more beers, because I had a corporate dinner to attend with the radio station brass, the details of which I shall relate in another blog post. The next Walkley Bowling tournament is on August 29th, it costs 60 bucks per person, that's golf cart, 18 holes and an amazing catered dinner afterward at Walkley Bowling. You can sign up by going to the bowling lanes.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Mike Myers may be out of ideas.

Mike Myers has been a hero of mine for some time. Since Wayne's World and So I Married an Ax Murderer. But I think the well of funny may have run dry for him. In So I Married An Ax Murderer, he created at least one hilarious character, the old Scottish father. He though, this Scottish thing could work out! So he created Fat Bastard in the Austin Powers movies. Then he created Shrek. I guess he liked the whole "gross and fat thing" with Fat Bastard as well. I remember liking the first Austin Powers quite a lot. I remember watching the second Austin Powers thinking...haven't I already seen this movie? When they called it Austin Powers I? It was almost scene-for-scene, shot for shot the same movie! The only difference between them is Elizabeth Hurley vs. Heather Graham. (For the record, I choose Liz Hurley.)

And the third movie was just bad. Same goes with this Shrek series. I was out at the Port Elmsley drive-in on Saturday night, watching Shrek 3 with a bunch of kids all over the place. And they seemed to like it. But not me. There are only so many Shrek is an ogre so he likes farting and is smelly jokes I can handle. It is NO LONGER FUNNY. It is done. Donkey? Sick of him. That cat? Boring. Truly, I am hoping for a spin-off of the Shrek series that stars the gingerbread man in his own film. THAT guy is still very funny. But not nearly enough screen time!

Cheese is delicious.

I was out in Limoges for a live commercial at Trailica, and I realized I hadn't been there since I was about thirteen. When I was younger, my mom would drive out that way about once every three or four months. There was a cheese co-op of sorts on Java Street, you see. All the ladies on the street would get together and place orders for cheese. Then, once a month, a designated Java Street representative would drive out to St. Albert, just past Limoges, and load up at their cheese factory with all the orders from the street. I guess the cheese was cheaper direct from the factory. I don't know. Maybe not. But it was certainly fresher. And one of my fondest memories of childhood was driving back into Ottawa with fresh cheese curds in my lap, eating a whole small bag to myself. Fresh from the cheese makers, curds squeaking between my teeth - glorious!

So I decided to make a visit to the cheese factory in St. Albert once I was there. Memories of childhood, and some incredibly tasty fresh cheese. I might need to call my mom though, because there's one thing I hadn't figured out. Apparently, in the long drive I had back to Kanata, there was enough time for the very very hot sun to melt my very very tasty cheese. It's still OK, and it's still delicious, but it's a little deformed now. I guess maybe Mom blasted the A/C all the way back to Ottawa or something. Perhaps in this way she unwittingly contributed that much more to Global Warming, and because of that it's actually hotter now than it was in those days. And as such, MY A/C can't keep my cheese cold enough. Who knows. But what a sandwich!

Geez, the traffic cops are everywhere!

I was driving home from a live commercial on Sunday along the queensway. I got past a pile of construction and made it into the fast lane, but got stuck behind a guy doing about 110. I had just seen a bunch of signs telling me to leave two seconds between marks, so I knew to keep a safe distance. The guy behind me, however, may have missed the memo. He was in a huge truck, maybe two inches from my back bumper. I would have moved out of his way, but I was afraid that if I slowed down even half a kilometre an hour, he would end up with his license plate leaving a personalized mark on the back of my head. So I kept on keeping on, leaving my safe distance in front of me, while this guy rode my tail for 2 clicks. Normally, guys who do this will eventually get irritated, pull into the next lane and pass you, flipping you the bird as though you have somehow insulted their honour. Perhaps for some, their family crest is a speeding ticket and as such they let their whole family down when they go less than one thousand km/h on the queensway. But this guy didn't. He had ample room beside me, but I couldn't get over even an inch or I would have been dead. Finally, he grew tired of his intimidation tactics and pulled into that lane to my right.

He indicates to me that I should roll down my passenger side window. Now I think geez, maybe he was trying to tell me something. Like my trunk is open, or there's a killer in the back seat, or my tail light is out, or there's a cat stuck to my undercarraige. Nope, he was just angry. "You know you're driving in the PASSING lane" he yelled. I looked ahead of me. The car I was following was still there. I became confused. He's mad that I'm in the passing lane without passing, yet there is no one to pass. Strange. I yelled back, indicating the car in front of me. "What do you want me to do? Ride up an inch from his bumper until he moves? Because that would make me a dick." He said "What?" (we were going 110 at the time) so I flipped him the bird, rolled up my window and carried on.

Had I had more time, and had I not been yelling out my window at a high spped, I might have enjoyed taking the time to point out the irony in this situation to Captain Bigtruck. The irony of course being that he felt I should have a lesson in the rules of the road. The rules of the road are in place so that everyone drives predictably. Predictability leads to safety, and safety leads to less collisions. Less collisions mean less death. And this man felt that he was the only person who could teach me this lesson, and that this lesson was best administered through open car windows at very high speeds. And that the crime of tailgating to excess was merely an instructional tool to drive home this lesson to those of us who were not with the program. Of course, I had no time to point this out, because Colonel Safety had already reached his exit. That's right, his exit. This means of course, that had I manged to pull out of his way, and he had made it to the car in front of me, the moment that poor driver managed to vacate the fast lane would also have been the moment where Major Traffic Rules would have cut across four lanes of traffic to zip off at his destination. I was so perplexed that I'm still thinking about it today. I can only hope that HE is still thinking about my middle finger.

So as not to be known as a brown-noser...

Congratulations Scott Parsons, you have made my blog twice! After the last post I wrote, I was accused of being somewhat of a brown-noser. Thank you Scott. In an effort to correct this misconception, I will now relate the story of the first time I met my esteemed boss. I was in college, for radio of course, and one of our classes was...radio...something. They were all Radio Something. Radio Performance, Radio Production, Radio Trends in Pop Culture, Radio Marketing, Radio Programming...90 percent of these classes were interchangeable. If I learned about the Baby Boom in one class, there was a very good chance I would learn about it in the next class as well. And not something different about the Baby Boom - the same lesson, again. So I tended not to pay much attention. In one of these Radio Whatever Generic 104 classes, we had a constant stream of guest speakers. Maybe the promotions guy from the country station, who would come in and do his best Tony Robbins motivational speech impression; "try really hard and you TOO could succeed in the world of whatever it is that I do!" In fact, all of our guest speakers were clearly chosen for their ability to promote hard, back-breaking labour without ever telling us anything at all about radio.

One of these guest speakers was Mr. Parsons. This was a big deal - the most powerful man in Ottawa radio is going to be in our class, and we'd damn well better pay attention! I did my very best to pay close attention and I even took out a paper and grabbed a pen in order to take notes. Maybe I was hungover, or hadn't slept much what with being up all night studying or something, because I drifted off fairly quickly. Or perhaps the talk was rather boring. He began by saying that he had two daughters about our age, both of whom listened to different types of music. Then he told a story about buying a boat and bringing it to Ottawa that took about an hour and a half to tell. Then he opened it up to the class for questions. I tuned out very fast as the brown-nosers shot up their hands and said things like "I volunteer for one of your stations, and I think..." Don't care what you think. I am missing sleep here.

When he was done, I had gleaned some sort of small nugget of wisdom out of the whole process. Something about "when preparedness meets opportunity". My teacher, who had been adamant we take detailed notes, went to check mine before anyone else, either assuming that my notes would be very thorough and exemplary, or figuring I had not done anything. Boy, was he wrong! I HAD taken notes...before drifting away. On my paper were the words - "two daughters. Possibly hot?"

As it turns out, I later met one of Scott's daughters, Ashley, when she worked reception here at CHEZ. And she was, indeed, hot. Good thing I took notes in school.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Spongebob...get out da way!

I went to the Lynx game on Saturday, just to see if Carly, who was throwing out the first pitch, could make it to the plate with her throw. I missed the event, however, as I was at the "Fun Zone" with my girlfriend's young son. He wanted to play the game where you try to throw the ball through a tiny hole and win a Scratch mascot baseball card. He played once, and lost, before I discovered that you actually have to pay for this game. It was one dollar per play, and I had only twenties, and the guy running the game didn't have enough change. so I gave him the 20, and said let him play until he wins. First throw, he gets it in. Wins the card. The guy keeps my 20. Best money I ever spent.

I also spent a great 3 bucks on a Spongebob popsicle. This is a sort-of-Spongebob-looking thing on a stick. And it's actually freaky looking. On one side, it's Spongebob without eyeballs, and on the other side he HAS eyeballs. The blank side is creepy in that he has this weird blank stare, and rahter than the tiny white-square teeth he has as a cartoon, as a popsicle, Spongebob appears to have fangs. What results is a horror-movie looking creature, something Wes Craven might create to terrorize small children. And the eyeballs are made of gum. So one third of the way through the popsicle, you have...gum. What is a child to do? Chew the gum at the expense of the rest of the popsicle? Spit out and waste the gum in order to continue with your banana-flavoured popsicle goodness? My charge decided to chew the gum, and on a 30 degree plus day, that led to disaster for Popsicle Spongebob. Before long, he slipped his mortal coil, dropped from the stick, and lay face down, prostrate on the concourse of Lynx stadium. A creation that already looked creepy, it looked far freakier as Spongebob, missing a portion of his half-eaten head, slowly slid along the ground in a pool of his own melted face. IT was like a slow-motion scene out of Raiders of the Lost Ark, only instead of Nazis it was Spongebob whose head was melting.

Then we got a chance to meet the real Spongebob, who had to be sweating a lot in the suit. As such, he was continually running back inside to cool off, then he would make another brief appearance. And during every one of these moves, he was accompanied by a security contingent, which was maybe the most bizarre scene I have ever witnessed. The leader of Spongebob's security detail was a fat, angry-looking, disheveled and unkempt gangster. That's the only way I can describe him, because it was very surreal. He was dressed all in black, shades pulled down, pits drenched in sweat, black button-up shirt untucked and askew. The shirt was unbuttoned down to the middle of his chest, chest hair spilling out beneath his neck, where several gold chains proclaimed his Oringinal Gangster status. This man would lead Spongebob's posse as he made his way along the concourse, clearing out the more adventurous children merely by his presence. I could actually see many children begin to approach Mr. Squarepants, before running off at the sight of Mr. Chest Hair.

Thankfully, I was with a very outgoing small boy, one who was not to be deterred by slovenly gangsterism, and one who was not frightened by the sight of his beloved Spongebob missing part of his skull, and deteriorating in a pool of his own melted face. Of course, that also meant that he did not have the attention span to actually watch baseball, and I have no idea who won the game.