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Another instalment of the ongoing adventures of Cliché World: where every cliché said is seen to be an actual thing that happens. Today, it ain’t over ’til the fat lady sings.

Someone at a boxing match heavily in favour of the brutal heavyweight champ says, “it ain’t over ’til the fat lady sings!” and each time it seems the hero has lost the camera pans over to an obese woman in an opera outfit, not singing. Finally, our hero knocks out the champ, and the camera turns to opera lady who, startled, jumps up and starts singing. It’s really over. The hero leaves the ring, surrounded by people who bet against him telling him they knew all along he’d win. He’s taken a horrible beating, and as he’s bleeding all over his heart-of-gold girlfriend, the one bookie who really believed in our hero slips a wad of bills into the singer’s hand.

“Buy yourself something nice,” he says.

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lady with a squirrel

 

“Squirrel Girl, Squirrel Girl!

She’s a Lady and also squirrel!

Can she climb up a tree?

Yes she can, verily.

That’s whyyyy

Her name is Squirrel Girl!

Is she tough? Listen sirrah:

She hath partially squirrel blood.

Who’s her friend? Dost thou know?

That’s the squirrel, Dame Tippy-Toe.

Surprise! She dialogues with squirrels!

At the top of trees, is where she faffs about

Like a huuuuman squirrel

She basks in fighting crime!

Squirrel Girl, Squirrel Girl!

Faculties of squirrel and girl!

Finds some nuts, partakes of nuts!

Punts some bad guuuuuys’ evil butts!

To her, life is a biggish acorn!

Where there’s a shire crime-torn,

You’ll find the Squirrel Girl!”

America: President Trump! Did you order the Code Red?!

“Judge” Jeanine Pirro: You don’t have to answer that question!

Trump: I’ll answer the question. You want an answer?

America: I think I’m entitled to it!

Trump: You want an answer?!

America: I want the truth!!

Trump: You’re fake news! We live in a world that has walls, like in Vatican City and around Obama’s mansion, and I’m the only one who can build this wall. A beautiful wall of solid concrete, or steel or gold or whatever. Who’s gonna build it? Me! Not the failing New York Times or Nancy Pelosi or Jeff Bozo! I am a stabler genius than you can possibly fathom. You weep for MS-13 and you curse the Deplorables. You have that luxury. You have the luxury of not knowing what I know: that colluding with Russia, which no one can prove and anyway it was Crooked Hillary who was colluding, probably saved lives. And my hair and spray tan and mushroom dick, while grotesque and incomprehensible to you, save lives! You don’t want the truth, because deep down in places you don’t talk about at parties, you want that wall. You need that wall. We use words like “Pocahantas”, “covfefe”, “loyalty.” We use these words as the backbone of a life spent lying about everything. You use them as a punchline. I have neither the time nor the attention span to explain myself to Democrats who rise and sleep under the Trump-branded blanket (all sales final) of the very freedom that I provide, and then question the manner in which I provide it! I would rather you just said “thank you Mr. Trump”, and went on your way. Otherwise, I suggest you come back to Washington, and give me $5.7 billion for this wall or steel slats or white picket fence. The real America has picket fences! Either way, I don’t give a damn what you think you are entitled to!

America: Sir, this is a Wendy’s. Did you order the Code Red?

Trump: I did the job that—-

America: Did you order the Code Red?!

Trump: I ORDERED A GODDAMN DIET COKE!

For Sale: Baby shoes, never worn.

-so they’re in mint condition?

Yes, sadly.

-girl or boy?

We never found out.

-sorry don’t understand

Who could understand another’s pain?

-yeah i just wanna know what colour they are

The colour of regret.

-is that a kind of blue?

They are as grey as the skies and as black as my heart.

-so kinda monochromatic? that could work

Work? At least I have my work to distract me.

-I could pick them up at your office

My office is the world; my teacher is pain.

-nearest subway statoin?

The underground suits me.

-great! so how much do you want?

What price reprieve from memory?

-uh… $5?

Done

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I’ve been writing a lot of trivia questions lately, for the monthly trivia night my friends and I host, and also as a fun way to learn things myself, with the notion of trying to host my own regular night in the future. What I’ve learned is that fascinating facts abound, but sometimes it’s a struggle to form a question around the facts, in a way that is “gettable” for people hoping to answer and also fun. And that’s especially true in the case of multiple choice questions.

Consider this: faced with a list of Jim Jarmusch movies, imagine the wealth of questions you could ask, the diverse plots, the range of actors appearing, the variety of styles. Jarmusch has used certain actors on multiple occasions, so the thought occurs to write a question with multiple choices where the correct response is the one outlier in an actor’s filmography with the snowy-haired auteur.

But then you run into problems, entirely based on the standard format of multiple choice questions including five or six potential answers. Bill Murray, for example, has been a favourite actor for Jarmusch, and so I thought to write a question asking simply, “Which of these Jarmusch films did not feature the inimitable talents of Bill Murray?” The issue: Murray only appeared in three films for Jarmusch, so there aren’t enough wrong answers to fill the requisite number of false choices. Same problem for Roberto Benigni, another Jarmusch favourite. The end result? Two potentially fun and informative questions that just can’t be written as multiple choice, and a sad quizmaster who loves the Jarmusch oeuvre but finds his options seriously curtailed.

There’s a happy ending, though: 2019 promises a brand new Jim Jarmusch film, The Dead Don’t Die, a “comedy zombie” movie, starring none other than… Bill Murray.

Sliding into Second Base

In the spirit of the baseball playoffs, I started thinking about hitting streaks and 0-fers, and how they relate to my own sexual history. It took me a long time to reach the majors, after college in fact, but I made up for it with enthusiasm and energy. I was no Rookie of the Year, but I had a solid first season, learned a few things, and took chances. Things were looking good, but quickly took a turn for the worse. I’ve mostly been out of the game, but every few years would somehow manage to get an at-bat, but even those rare opportunities have dried up. I still love the game, and would love to play an inning now and again, but these days I’m just a spectator. After all, who would sign up someone who hasn’t even had a base hit in the past six years?

First Base – 6 years

Second Base – 20 years

Thrown out between Second and Third Base – 9 years *

Third Base – 22 years

Home Run – 23 years

 

* a.k.a. “trying to stretch a double into a triple”

3-2 loss to Burnley

on opening day (or

is it 2-3 because Chelsea

was the home team?

I can never remember)

with Cahill

and Fabregas both sent off

(lunging “tackle” for the captain

and sarcastic clapping and

clumsy tackle for the Spaniard)

but we came back

in the second half and made

a game of it

and it was more memorable

than the 1-0 wins against

West Brom and blah and whoever

last year

and if you don’t love football

even when your team loses a

stinker

you love it for the wrong reasons

 

[wrote this more than a year ago but the loss was too painful to post until now]

The last bus to the airport is at 5:20pm, but the connecting bus will take you most of the way there, and call a cab to pick you up at Tim Horton’s! The drivers are quite chatty and will note points of interest along the route.

Two bartenders asked my name and offered theirs, along with a handshake. Very friendly, and seemingly quite genuine.

The concierge at my hotel was Chinese-Canadian perhaps, but still had the Newfoundland lilt… I love that not just white people have the accent, that it’s a part of our multicultural nation, and I’m reminded of Shaun Majumder.

The most Newfie-sounding guy I met was a waiter at the Duke of Duckworth, who remembered what I’d ordered the day before.

I was only there for two and a half days, but I think about it a lot, and can’t wait to go back.

This ought to be a TV commercial.

I was sitting at the bar of the Celtic Hearth on Water Street in St. John’s, Newfoundland watching the game when a retired couple came in and sat beside me. The gentleman asked for a Guinness and was shocked to hear they didn’t have it, but rather Kilkenny.

Surprising that they didn’t, but moreso that they usually do but were somehow out, and most surprising that this wasn’t the first bar on the strip he’d asked after a Guinness, only to be denied. He turned to me and asked could I believe it? His people had settled the damn place and they didn’t have Guinness?

Where are you from? I asked. Originally Ireland but lately Sudbury. We talked a bit about the footie and then he left, off on his appallingly quixotic search for Guinness in a city more Irish than Ireland.

Can you fucking handle this truck?

You say you’re in the market for a truck, and they don’t make a better one than the Ford F-150.

It’s made from military grade aluminum, the strength of which is increased by heat-treating after it is formed.

Which begs the question, are you man enough for military grade aluminum? Or are you just a pussy?

Because at Ford, we want to make money, and we want to sell trucks, but we don’t want to sell them to just anybody.

Are you looking for a truck to drive to work, pick up the kids, or even do some heavy carrying? Or are you looking for a truck that you could ride into war, if you really needed to?

If it’s the latter, well maybe we’d consider taking your money. If it’s the former, don’t even fucking look at a Ford F-150, you piece of shit.

Goddamnit, it’s military grade, do you fucking get it? This is a truck for heroes. It’s for patriots.

It’s for goddamn Americans.

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