Friday, May 30, 2008

Friday's Thoughts

You may be wondering what on earth possessed me to write the previous blog post. (If you haven't read it, I suggest you do.) The answer is simple. One word: Nyquil. 'Nough said. I will write a second part, however.
A few thoughts for your Friday afternoon (P.S. Spidey says hi):
  • The first pictures from the new Mars lander came back. It clearly showed a lost, elderly Jewish couple who're trying to get back to Miami.
  • An earthquake struck Canada. The US gave it a 5.9 on the Richter scale, but France only gave it a 5.2.
  • Have you noticed how old Harrison Ford looks in the latest Indiana Jones movie? At the rate they're going, the next Indy movie will be called Jurassic Park.
  • The next time someone tells me to "Guess what?!" -- I'm actually going to start guessing. If they try to stop me, I'll say, "No no. You told me to guess. Let me know when I'm close."
  • I'm glad it was a baseball player that came up with that whole sex analogy (i.e. first base, second base, etc). Can you imagine if it was a football player?
Man #1: "Sooooo, how'd you do with Carol last night?"
Man #2: "Dude, she was amazing! It was easily third and goal, and I faked a pass and went with a quarterback draw up the weak side -- if you know what I mean, nudge, nudge."
  • Japanese cooking is so easy. No matter how badly you undercook a fish, you can call it sushi.
  • I tried to stick it where the sun don't shine, but I don't know how to get to the dark side of the moon.
  • Irony: A kid can't wait to grow up and all grown-ups wish they could be kids again.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Superheroes in Miami -- Part 1

It's the year 2030.

Batman, Superman, Spiderman and Wonderwoman have done such an effective job in their respective cities, there's no more crime at all.

Deciding to go into semi-retirement, coincidentally choosing the same condo complex, and without consultation with each other, they move where all good men and women go to relax and remove themselves from the day-to-day stresses of work: Miami.

Ah yes, Miami, where the sun is warm and the shopping is good. Never having had superheroes amongst their midst, Miami still suffers from crime. Purse snatchings, bank robberies, and the use of stolen coupons runs rampant in the city.

Their move to the south is fortunate, but creates its own problems. It's only one city and there are four of them. Emotions are on edge. Much to their excitement and dismay, there's still some crime-fighting to be had, and margaritas to drink...

Lounging by the pool sit Spiderman, Batman and Wonderwoman. Superman lands in front of the lounge chairs.

Spiderman: Heyyyyyyyyy. Wassup 'Supe?
Superman [with hands on hips]: Lady. Gentlemen. Just busted another crime ring. Oh, and stop calling me 'Supe. That sounds stupid.
Spiderman: No probs, 'Supe....rman, hahaha.
Batman: Another crime ring. In other words, you got another cat out of a tree.
Superman: Hey! At least I can get the cat without having to use a ladder or a rope, asshole.
Batman: Um, that's 'bat-rope' to you, Mr. I-Never-Use-My-X-Ray-Vision-On-Wonderwoman.
Wonderwoman [covering herself with a towel]: Hey! No peeking.
Superman [facing Wonderwoman]: Rest assured, Wonderwoman, I only use my x-ray vision for good. And besides, that mole you have makes it kinda gross to look...
Wonderwoman [standing up]: Stop looking at my ass! And besides, I had the mole removed. Who wants another drink? I'm going inside.
Spiderman: I'll take a beer.
Batman: Grab me a Batscotch from the Batbar.
Spiderman: Would you get over yourself already? Not everything starts with "bat". What are you? A friggin' smurf? It's scotch from the bar.
Batman [sighing]: What black widow crawled up your ass today? [Childish voice] Did the wittle purse snatcher run away from you again?
Superman: Gentlemen, gentlemen, lets stop our bickering. We have to get down to business still. How do we intend on sharing this great city amongst ourselves.
Spiderman: Well as far as I'm concerned, I want the downtown area. With all those tall buildings, it's easy for me to get around. Besides, there's this hot Latin girl downtown who's got this thing for webs and actually just sticky things in gener---
Superman: Yes, yes, we get the picture. Just do us a favour and remember to clean up afterwards. You keep leaving the webs everywhere and it's just making a mess.
Spiderman: Yeah, yeah. [Yells] Hey! My beer coming sometime today?!
Wonderwoman [approaching the lounge chairs]: Don't make me use my lasso on you Spidey. I've always wanted to find out what happened to you and that chick on the 7th floor.
Spiderman: You just want to tie me up. You'd like that.
Superman: Alright, enough from the two of you. Wonderwoman, stop parking your invisible car on the street. Cyclists keep ramming into it. Spiderman, clean up your webs and wash your damn outfit already. It smells like shit. Batman, I need to talk to you alone for a second.

Batman and Superman go off to one side.
Superman: I spoke to the mayor this morning. He has no issues with the batsignal going digital. It'll be clearer, and in hi-def it'll definitely be visible across most of the eastern seaboard at any given time.
Batman [pumps arm]: Yes!
Superman: Not so fast, Batboy. The mayor said due to the rising cost of gas, and the increased greenhouse gases, you're forbidden to use the Batmobile anymore. From now on, you have to take the bus.
Batman: What the fuck?!
Superman: Hey, don't shoot the messenger with one of your bat-arrows or something. It's not my fault. Here [hands Batman a roll of coins]. Here are some tokens to start you off. Call them Batfare or something if it'll make you feel better.
Batman [stern, menacing look crosses his face]: What the fuck?
Superman: Awww, now don't get all 'Dark Knight' and moody on me now.

Suddenly, the red phone starts flashing. An emergency! Wonderwoman grabs the phone.

Spiderman [mumbling to himself]: Tyra-mail!
Womanwoman [hanging up the phone]: That was the mayor. He wants to see all of Something's up! be continued...

Friday, May 23, 2008

Baby Strollers

I paid a visit to a baby store last weekend. There's so much I could talk about, but I'm going to focus on one particular aspect of the visit that stood out in my mind: the baby stroller.

Now call me out-of-touch, but I seem to recall a simple time. Baby strollers had 4 wheels and a seat. You pushed the stroller and usually it had a baby in it. That was about it.

Stroller = wheels + seat + baby.

This has changed...a little.

I walked into the stroller section and saw objects that appeared to be around the same size as a Mini. There were strollers with 1 seat, 2 seats, reclining seats, bucket seats, removable seats, seats for the parents, seats for the kids, for the dog, for the neighbours dog, and probably the mailman fit in there too.

There were ones with rubber wheels, with inflatable wheels, spare wheels, removable wheels, winter tires, all-season tires. There were 8" tires, 10" tires, and tires that I could use as a spare for my care.

Some had shock absorbers. Shock absorbers! Where the hell do we take our kids these days? "Come on, Cindy! Load up the kid! We're doing some off-roading in the stroller!" Don't we just push our babies on the sidewalk or the mall? Are they that bumpy?

And lets think about this for a moment. When we're holding an infant, what is one of the natural things we do? We bounce them up and down. It helps soothe them and it's good for their balance. Now we're putting them in strollers where they don't feel any sort of bumps or bouncing? Does anyone else see the irony in this? We don't want the kid feeling bumps as we push them through a mall (where rocks, fallen branches and riverbeds abound!) but as soon as we take them out of the stroller, we're bouncing them up and down more than Richard Simmons on a cup of espresso.

And the accessories these strollers come with -- holy cow. Cup holders, stereo systems, wire mesh baskets, mosquito netting (in case we enter the jungle), rain gear, mobile dangly things, tvs, a nintendo wii -- it's just unbelievable. I'm surprised they don't offer a free tow if it gets stuck in a ditch. It scares me when a stroller manual is larger than my microwave, stereo and TV manuals combined.

On top of all that, these strollers collapse, they fold, they bend, they twist and somehow most can be folded up into your shirt pocket. Some will transform into a car seat, a playpen, a 2-story showhome -- it's incredible what these things can do. I wouldn't be surprised if the next Transformers movie was called Transformers 2: Attack of the Stroller

And since when do I need to take out a loan to buy a stroller? I mean I shouldn't have to figure out payment options to pay off my stroller. I'm surprised they don't offer lease and financing options for crying out loud. Hey, do they offer coupons? How about my CAA membership? Does that give me a 10% discount at least? It's got friggin' wheels -- does it count?

Look, I'm not naive. I fully understand that I'm making fun of a lot of things I'll be thankful for once I have my little one and I'm going for a walk. But holy shit, for the same price, I'll buy a Mini Convertible and at least I'll have a gas pedal, a brake and a steering wheel.

Oh wait, some of the strollers had those too...

Monday, May 19, 2008

Monday's Best Of -- The Levels of Dating

From January 24th, 2008
Editor's Note: This blog has been my most popular post so far, both with regards to views and comments....and I still haven't been beat up.

I have a lot to learn about women. I'm slowly learning, but they don't offer the classes online, so I have to learn through my friends. Dating is a prime example where verbs are everything...

As a guy, there are basically two levels of dating:
1) Single -- can see as many girls as we want as often as we want.
2) Married -- can see one girl as often as we want.

Most guys hang on to number 1 as long as they can because #2 is kind of limiting. It's really a simple thing: Level 1: You meet a girl; you like her; you have sex with her; you have sex with her enough and like it you buy her a ring so you can keep doing it with her for a number of years. This leads to level 2...

But with women, there seems to be a few more stages.
In order:
1) He's really nice
2) He's cute
3) I'm interested in him
4) I'm seeing him
5) I'm going out with him
6) I like him
7) We're seeing each other
8) I'm dating him
9) He's my boyfriend
10) I love him
11) Probably going to get married
12) I'm pre-engaged
13) We're engaged
14) We're married

That's not even including these "one-off" situations that you can insert at any stage:
1) Infatuated with him
2) He's my friend
3) My fuck-friend
4) A friend with benefits (note this is different than #3, I've been informed).

Getting into details about all of these levels if for another posting...or five.

But, this is why men get confused about relationships so easily. He proudly introduces his girlfriend to his friends: "Meet Suzie. We're sort of seeing each other." She glares at him: "Seeing each other?! What the hell?"

See, in his mind, he's somewhere on Level 1 for a guy. For a girl, she heard "We're at level 4" while in her mind, they're at level 8. Biiiiiiiig difference in levels. That's a whole 100% difference, in fact.

It's easy to test this theory. Ask any non-married woman friend the status of their relationship and guaranteed she'll select from one of the 14 on the list (or in combo with one of the one-offs) very quickly and definitively.

Ask a guy the same question and he'll always start the same way: "Uh, hmmm. I dunno. I guess we're..."

I'm going to get beat up now, aren't I?

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Sunday's Best Of

From December 24th, 2007

A couple months back, I was in line to pick up a package. It was a relatively small room with a relatively large line, so the line had to snake and weave around the room. Aren't those lines fun? You're actually 5 feet from the counter, yet somehow there are 20 other people in line.

Well a lady walks in, and just stands right at the counter. Well of course, people immediately got into a huff and told her to stand at the end of the line. She said she knew there was a lineup and she was in it, but she was choosing to stand where she was. Apparently the concept of LINE-UP was lost on her. It wasn't a case of pick a number and when the number is called you're up front. She just decided to make up her own rules about a lineup.

Another story: I was in a store waiting to get my passport photo done. The gentleman behind the counter told me to hang on as they were just finishing with someone else, which I could plainly see in front of me.

A minute later, they wrapped up and I was about to sit on the chair when literally out of the, a lady makes a beeline into the store and plops down on the chair with a huff. I look at her and the gentleman with a smile and said I believed I was next. The gentleman said: "Well, she was actually in here a half hour ago."

I was a bit confused by this. She wasn't even in the store moments ago. Now suddenly she's in front of the line. Apparently, you can be in line without having to even be there. I pointed this out to both of them by making this point: "Well, I was in here the other day. Does that make me go before her?" They both looked at me like I had said something horribly unreasonable, to which I pointed out, "So why does she get to go ahead even though she wasn't even in line?" They both looked confused. Do I sound angry?

Good. I'm going to start a new business: Lineup etiquette. I'd love to hear your stories...

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Saturday's Best Of

From December 31st, 2007

  • The opposite of "outlaw" is "in-law". I would tend to disagree that they're opposites.
    "Suck up", "Ass kisser", "Brown noser", "Boot licker" all essentially mean the same thing. Do you get the impression someone watched one too many porn movies?
  • When vampires die, do they go to bloody hell?
  • Has it dawned on anyone that during the 70's and 80's, McDonalds had television commericals that involved a clown, a thief and a purple blob? Anyone else find that a bit weird?
  • Weathermen have the easiest job. They assign "probabilities" to the weather. There's an 80% chance of rain. Either way, they win. If it didn't rain, then they can say, that was part of the forecast: 20% chance of no rain.
  • Contrary to popular belief, it's easily possible to stuff more than 20 people into a car. Don't ask me how I know that.
  • I've heard the saying "Talk is cheap". The person who made that saying has never called a 1-900 number
  • Diamonds are a girl's best friend. Dogs are man's best friend. One you can wear around your neck. The other poops in your shoe. Someone got ripped off in this deal.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Friday's Best of

From December 29th, 2007

  • Beer truck spills load -- thousands pull over to help with cleanup
  • Scientists find that 9 out of 10 people have short-term memory problems and 9 out of 10 people have short-term memory problems
  • There is a strong buzz in town about the upcoming film festival. Experts attribute the buzz to a swarm of bees.
  • Scientists announced that nailpolish remover will dissolve the glue that causes birds of a feather to stick together
  • Members of the Invisible Club closed shop today, as attendence numbers were always in dispute
  • The world's record for largest female formation during a skydive was set today. In related news, the world's record for the largest all-male audience watching a skydiving event with erections was also set today.
  • A Miami, Florida weatherman quit today after 20 years when he realized he's been giving the exact same forecast every single day: Sunny, high of 93, chance of hurricanes.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Thursday's Randomness

            As you can see, I've had a quiet week on my blog. Some things are going on that I will likely speak of next week. So until then, I'm going to pull a Johnny Carson and offer some Best Of material (in my mind) for the rest of the week and into early next week. These will come from my early blogs, and I suspect a lot of you aren't aware my thoughts didn't start this year. They actually started waaaaaaaay back in November and December. *Gasp*. A couple of thoughts for today, and then my first Best Of beneath that.

            Please check back daily, and look next week for some hopefully interesting and exciting news.

            • I've never been able to master the ability to fuse two soaps together. You know when you're in the shower and one soap is so thin, you can see through it and you try to weld it to another bigger soap? I can't seem to do it. The small soap flies across the shower stall and the big one drops onto my toe.
            • Mum's the word. Grease is also the word. I'm so confused.

            December 26, 2007

            • According to the packaging, Sour Cream and Bacon Potato Chips are Kosher -- this means there is absolutely no bacon, nor is there sour cream in the all.
            • The Sun is 7 light-minutes away from Earth, meaning if it blew up right now, we wouldn't know about it for 7 minutes. So I'm not going to mow the grass tonight...I'm a gambling man.
            • A dog wags it's tail when it's happy. It also wags it's tail just before it lunges at your throat.
            • Ferrets can catch the human flu from people. A person can also catch the flu from a ferret. Therefore, do not french-kiss ferrets.
            • The grass is always greener on the other side, but they also use more fertilizer.
            • Prenatal vitamins are not safe for children.
            • When a bee gets drunk, is it buzzed? Sorry, it's a holiday. I'm allowed to ask.
            • Can soap get dirty? If so, how do you clean it?
            • Heard on the radio the other day, this ad: "Are you hard of hearing? Can't hear anything? Maybe it's time you get a hearing aid from..." I won't mention the product name. So let me ask. If you're hard of hearing, you're listening to this ad how?
            • When frogs play leapfrog, do they call it leapme?
            • When one "toots their horn", what part of their body are they tooting?
            • Having sex with three people is a menage-a-trois. With four people, it's a fourgasm

            Saturday, May 10, 2008

            Weekend Random Thoughts

            Well, it's the weekend. On the weekend, I'm light in comedy and heavy into...well...not comedy. I call these my "left-overs" from the week. I'm sure I'll have many more interesting things to say in the coming week or two, but I have to get these off my chest:

            • When will Mr. Noodles get married? I'd like to see a Mrs. Noodles and Noodles Jr. in the future.
            • Finding a man who'll ask for directions is like finding jello in a volcano
            • I have the gift of gab. My uncle gave it to me for my 5th birthday. My parents are still wondering if they can return it.
            • Anytime anyone says "...if all goes well..." you know it won't.
            • Positivity comes from the mind. Negativity comes from a magnet.
            • Change is in the air -- two dimes and a nickel from what I can tell.
            • I'm quite optimistic I'm a pessimist
            • The next time someone says to you "Exuse me" reply back with "No. I'm afraid there's no excuse for you." Then duck.

            Thursday, May 8, 2008

            Much ado about a little Bit

            I came across a story the other day in the Toronto Star about a woman who was fired from a Tim Hortons because she gave a Timbit to a child for free. Seriously.

            The Timbit -- worth 16 cents -- was given to the youngster to keep her quiet. The woman, who had worked for Tim Hortons for 3 years mentioned that they often give Timbits to dogs and other kids, so she didn't see the issue. Apparently, their manager did. This is where I find the story outrageous and stupid.

            The employee was confronted by three managers the following day mentioning they had caught her on videotape. This astounds me on a number of levels. Three managers? Were they concerned the woman was going to bolt out of the office? Was one guarding the door in case she had plans to flee the country? Perhaps they were going to play good cop/bad cop with her?

            Manager 1: "Please, sit down. Would you like a coffee? We have tons of it, you know."
            Manager 2: "Coffee?! You think she deserves coffee?! She stole a friggin' Timbit! She deserves nothing from us!"
            Manager 1: "Don't listen to him. He's always like this. Want a sandwich? What have tons of those too..."

            Luckily, it was probably a short conversation because the crack security staff at the store reviewed the video tape and somehow determined the woman hadn't grabbed a day old Timbit, but instead a fresh Timbit to give to the child. Apparently the fresh Timbits look nicer or something. Perhaps the older ones are separated from the new ones somehow?

            "Awww, what a cute baby. Here's a Timbit..." *reaches into the trash can*

            It's nice to know that kids and dogs get the leftovers. Good stuff. Thanks for letting us know.

            I'm also thankful that the crack security system there caught the "theft" (as it was called!!) in action. Forget the money disappearing from the till -- this Timbit theft ring must end now! Geez.

            You know what? They caught her. Maybe she shouldn't have done it -- even though apparently it's done all the time in the store -- but she did. Perhaps these 3 managers were college kids who got a hard on whenever they got to discipline someone, but lets not go overboard (like what I'm doing in this rant, for example). Geez, tell her to not do it again. Hell, fine her. Tell her she's docked 16 cents. Or really punish her and double the fine -- make it 32 cents. It's call discretion, folks, and managers are supposed to have it.

            Mysteriously, the next day (today), she was re-hired, though at a different Tim Horton's store. The corporate headquarters called it an "overreaction" (duh!) and they're "working with the store owner" (meaning the managers were probably fired).

            Now this isn't a Tim Horton's bashing, per se. They serve wonderful coffee (though I've never had a coffee in my life), and their doughnuts are tasty and fresh (assuming I'm not a kid or a dog), but this incident shows that sometimes people must learn to think and not just react. Reacting first and thinking second leads to newspaper articles that cost more to write than what the incident was worth.

            You can find the two articles here:

            Tuesday, May 6, 2008

            It's...a new car!

            I bought a Santa Fe over the weekend. No, not the city (though with the poor US economy, there are a few cities for sale). I bought the Hyundai Santa Fe SUV.

            Don't worry, this isn't a commercial about how wonderful this SUV is, or how wonderful Hyundai is. This is a story about the wonderful sales people at car dealerships (he says with a sarcastic sneer). Actually, the sales person I dealt with wasn't too bad all things considered. In general, I find any sort of sales experience amusing, and certainly buying a car qualifies as one of them.

            The Santa Fe had already been identified as the likely candidate for purchase beforehand. Of course, the sales person didn't know this, but the whole point was really to go to the dealership; test drive the Santa Fe; make an offer...and go home.

            Walking through the door of the dealership is always a fun moment, isn't it? You're faced with a group of sad-faced salespeople, facing the door, waiting in anticipation like a dog does looking out the window waiting for his owner to come home. In fact, I'd swear I saw a couple of them wag their butts as I approached the sales staff.

            One of them got up and introduced himself like he was seeing a long-lost relative for the first time. I almost thought he was going to give me a hug. At this point, I knew his attempt at winning Best Actor was about to start.

            I indicated I was interested in the Santa Fe, to which the salesperson told me I'd made a "wise decision" and almost literally bowed as if I had seen through the haze and falsities of other car brands and had made the wisest choice of all time.

            He began to explain the various features of the Santa Fe, which is fine since that's what he's supposed to do anyways. Everything was wonderful and nothing was bad, of course. He also adopted the cliche approach of trying to be my friend. On occasion, he'd lean in and whisper something that was allegedly of extreme value or importance, always starting off with lines like "...between you and me..." or " be honest with you..." Of course, none of the information was between me and him, and if he's being honest with me at that moment, it doesn't say much about the other things he said to me.

            Then came the test drive. I've always felt badly for the salesperson when they go on a test drive. They never know how good or bad the driver is, and it's an awkward situation. It's not like they can grab the wheel and insist on returning back to the dealership. It's like they've volunteered to be kidnapped by total strangers: "Here, let me sit in the backseat while you do the driving. By the way, what's your name again?"

            The test drive went well and it came down to getting a quote. This is the part I hate with car-buying. I know that you can bargain from the sticker price. The salesperson knows that too. And he knows I know. Yet, they still put on this charade of how big of a deal it is to ask for the price to be dropped. They have to sign forms, ask the sales manager, give up their first born son, and ask for a review committee to sign off on the deal.

            This was exactly what I experienced as well. I gave a "range" of what I was willing to pay -- I say "range" in quotes because they only care about the maximum amount -- and after much thought, protest, and meetings, he came back with a number $6 over my maximum and said that was as far as he could drop things. After I pointed out he'd only dropped $300 off the sticker price (he seemed shocked I could do math), he disappeared again for minutes at a time to return with the miraculous amount of exactly what my maximum was. Imagine that?

            What was most amusing is when I was about to walk over this $6 difference. His hands were literally shaking as he asked what he needed to do to "keep my business." What a stupid question to ask. What did he think I was going to say? "Can you sing me a love song from West Side Story?" I looked at him and said "Drop the price." He looked back at me like I had insulted his mother before he sighed and went back to the sales manager.

            The next portion of this exercise was even more interesting. Now that I've agreed to a price and he's told wonderful the SUV is and how my life will never be the same, he then proceeded to tell me how the SUV will fall apart. It'll rust, the wheels will come off, the transmission will fail -- all after the warranty expires, so it's important that I buy an extended warranty and rust-proof protection.

            Obviously, it's an exaggeration, but it's something I love hearing when buying electronics, cars, or other expensive items. "You'll love it! This is a wonderful choice! You should buy it because of the quality." After I say ok: "It sucks! It won't last 3 years. It'll blow up. You need our extended warranty for another $2,000, and then it won't suck anymore." Uh-huh.

            To make a long story not much longer, I ultimately bought the car (without the extended warranty, the rust proofing, etc, etc). I found it amazing how the entire dealership congratulated me as I walked out the door -- like I'd won a medal or given birth. I just gave them $40,000 -- that's not something that requires me to celebrate -- it requires them to celebrate.

            The salesperson was nice, and helpful, but he'll lose Best Actor to the guy trying to sell cheap gas rates.

            Saturday, May 3, 2008

            My 100th post -- happy...anniversary?

            Yup, it's my 100th post! Exciting, I know. I can see you're withholding your applause and praise, which is great. Hold it for my 1000th post.

            Speaking of 1000, I'm so close to the 1,000-hit mark, I can almost smell it!

            Ok actually, I can't. I tried pressing my nose to the screen and other than leaving snot marks all over the volume knob, it did me no good. But I thank you once again for your visits and support and please continue to tell your friends, family, and random strangers about my blog. The bigger the audience, the more fun it becomes.

            • Keep healthy: Don't fry your brain. Boil your blood instead. Less fattening.
            • When dating, it starts off with chemistry and if all goes well, it ends with biology
            • I could go for a cold patio on a nice beer.
            • Has anyone actually had their eye poked out? If I poke someone's eye, it goes in, not out. Did I ever mention I think too much?
            • Two men walk into a bar. It was metal. It hurt.
            • Why do people seem to care so much about why a chicken crossed a road?
            • I love it when I hear a baby burp. It makes me wonder how much beer it had.
            • Definition of chaos: The 4x50 relay in short-track speedskating
            • Here's something that'll hurt your brain: There's a jar full of flies. All the flies are resting at the bottom of the jar. You weigh the jar. Then you shake the jar. Now all the flies are flying around in the jar. None of them are touching the bottom, top, or sides of the jar. You weigh the jar again. Does it weigh the same? More? Or less than the first weight?

            Thursday, May 1, 2008

            Hockey Diplomats

            I was listening to the radio the other day (as opposed to watching the radio which is really, really boring) and they had an interview with a former diplomat who was sharing his experiences. He commented on how "nuanced" he had to be when communicating with other diplomats. Every word, every verb, every pause must be thought through and analyzed because each moment will mean something. It got me thinking about how formal a life a diplomat or ambassador must lead. They can't take a walk without someone wondering what that means and how it's an insult to an entire foreign country that he was walking too fast or on the right side of the street instead of the left.

            Later that night, I caught one of the hockey games on TV and as I watched an interview at the end of the game, I realized that most hockey players are diplomats as well -- just waaaaaaay more informally. No matter how tough the question, their answers are amazingly diplomatic, nuanced and skirt around the issue like any true politician would. I have no idea how they do it. I'm amazed that somehow with a limited vocabulary, they can take a loaded question and turn it into a non-answer.

            Interviewer: "So what do you think of player X who bashed in your head last week?"
            Player: "Well, you know, like, it's a game and you know things happen sometimes. You want to, you know, avoid accidents, and everything should be fine."

            Interviewer: "The goal you scored last week that critics say you deliberately redirected with your arm -- is that what you did?"
            Player: "Well, the ref, you know, like he calls the game as he sees it. Sometimes you get the calls and you know, sometimes you don't. This one went in my favour."

            So it got me thinking (unfortunately), what it would be like if we used hockey players as ambassadors. A Russian hockey player represents Russia. A Canadian hockey player represents Canada, and so on. Can you imagine what U.N. debates would be like? Can you imagine what summits and negotiations would be like?

            John, the Canadian player (munching on a doughnut): "Yo, Mikey. Did you catch the game last night?"

            Mike, the US player: "Nah, I couldn't. I was out hunting with the kids. You know, the deer season and stuff."

            John (after chugging a Blue): "Yeah, Mike, you know those guns are, like, you know, getting into Canada, eh? You know, I know you guys like to shoot and stuff, and I'm all for that, but can you, you know, keep it down there in your country?

            Mike: "Yeah, you know, sorry, John. I go by what the boss Bushy says, you know. He's all for the hunting thing and, you know, it's not really anyone's fault. I mean, there's the whole border thing where, you know, the guards are there, but it's a big border. I mean the guys are trying hard, right."

            John (offers Mike a Timbit): "Yeah, I mean my boss, Stevey-H, wants the best for everyone, eh? I mean you have your deer and I mean we have cars that we build for you guys and stuff. Hey want to come by for a BBQ later?"

            Mike: "Nah, I have to meet with that Boralov guy from Russia. Get this, his boss is peeved about these missiles we built and you know, they're just around the corner from his country. I mean the wind is against his back right now, you know, and I just think that, you know, there won't be accidents in an accidental way because of this, right?"

            John (looks up from staring at the Sunshine Girl): "Huh? Oh yeah, Bory's a good guy. You know, he's got a mouth, but you know, he's trying and he's good at what he does, you know. I mean, I he's shown he's got the goods in the past, and I think his respect goes a long way. Ok, I gotta grab a two-four, so I'll see ya tomorrow sometime, eh?"

            Mike: "Shoot, no I can't. That whole Middle East thing is really tricky, you know, with the two teams really staring each other down. I mean they're both really good and you know they're strong. I mean I met them both before and, you know, even with their injuries you have to watch them closely, you know, because even when they're down, they're up."

            John (throwing on his Roots toque): "Alright, Mikey. I'm outta here. Take it easy and say hi to Georgey for me. I mean he's a good guy too, eh, and I only want the best, but you know, we still have to kick your ass, but I mean we're all good sports, eh?"