lost ironies

© dm gillis and lost ironies, 2012 -2017. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to dm gillis and lost ironies with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Tag: Stephen Harper

top ten reasons you probably won’t vote for Stephen Harper

10. Even though you’re a Harper family member, you think Justin has a nice ass.

9. You’re probably not a spitting-with-sloppy-rage elderly reactionary male with a swollen prostate, AWOL grandchildren, and who still measures length in cubits.

8. Your topic hashtags actually trend.

7. The Harper election machine refers to you only by your first name.

6. Though you believe all clowns are evil, you are otherwise not a bigot.

5. You love the men in your life, but don’t buy into a patriarchal system that upholds heterosexual male privilege and a status quo of control, enforced by rudimentary oppression mechanisms. (phew!)

4. Your ability to recognise and appreciate nuance helps you to live a balanced and mindful life.

3. You probably don’t have a private, artistically unfulfilled hairdresser on your campaign bus.

2. You probably don’t travel with the flag of Tajikistan on your luggage, just in case.

1. To you “Urine in the lead” means something completely different.

top 10 reasons Bill C-51 might not work

  1. Suddenly CSIS will be able to track all of your pull my finger jokes.
  1. Why do we need surveillance legislation to track people’s activities when we have Air Miles cards?
  1. Mass surveillance is just another Mary Kay pyramid scheme.
  1. Real terrorists use incomprehensible tattoos, graffiti and gang hand signals to communicate, just like the Conservatives Party of Canada.
  1. Tracking keystrokes is useless because most terrorists can’t spell.
  1. Prohibiting free speech will only really effect Don Cherry – oops! I guess that would be a good thing.
  1. Radicalisation is a process by which an individual or group comes to adopt increasingly extreme political, social, or religious ideals. Holy shit, that’s Stephen Harper!
  1. Canadians will have to sew the Turkmenistanian flag onto their backpacks when travelling abroad.
  1. Counterterrorism must begin with getting Justin Bieber off the streets.
  1. All Citizens of Canada must leave DNA sample at the Stephen Harper kissing booth.

the helicopters over Tacoma

Her name was Thelma, which wasn’t her fault — her parents were Scientologists. We’d met on Cougarpit.com, a web-based dating service for women of a certain age playing the field, the ones too young to be called geriatric, but too old for the hot sweaty hyena sex they’d once enjoyed in their youth.

And when they say opposites attract, I guess they’re right. She was American and a Republican. I was Canadian, and believed politics of any kind was just a Falangist confidence trick played on the willfully stupid. But there was still something about her that attracted me. I was a dope.

She lived in an American Beauty doublewide trailer, on a lot just outside of Tacoma – a bedroom community of stormy boudoir secrets and pitiless drivers. To her the doublewide wasn’t just a trailer, though. To her it was a tastefully appointed manufactured home. Never mind the molded plastic textures and the Gestetner Cyclographed wood grains.

She lived there with her dog, George W Bush. Thelma thought her pet’s namesake had been the greatest president in American history. George W Bush, the dog, however, was a clinically depressed Chihuahua, with massive, spherical brown eyes, far too large for his face. They made him look like a deep sea submersible, something Jacques Cousteau would take down to the bottom of the mid oceanic ridge. And though I’m not a fan of the breed, I at first had empathy for the mutt.

He’d been bought during a six month period a few years previously when Chihuahuas were considered chic. When women went shopping with them poking out of their Louis Vuitton bags. It was never cute or glamorous, however. It was an obvious form of animal cruelty. PETA should have been mobilised. And who knew what small surprises the little critters were leaving behind in their mistress’s designer bags.

Now George W Bush was out of fashion and ripe to be euthanized. He spent his days despondently sniffing at his food and biting his toe nails.

It wasn’t long after we exchanged email addresses that Thelma and I began making border crossings to further our liaison. I’m still not sure what I saw in her. She had a great ass, sure, and these crazy little Cyndi Lauper breasts. But a forensic psychiatrist once described me as lugubriously self-destructive. Maybe that’s what it came down to. And really, wasn’t that what every woman was looking for in a man?

In time, the relationship arrived at that special place where all romantic relationships end up. There I was, a 47 year old widely published award winning writer, doing her monkey work – carrying her multiple Saturday afternoon shopping mall purchases, repairing broken pieces of her shoddily finished manufactured home and taking her Lexus in for extended warranty mandated servicing.

This should have been a warning for me to stay home in Canada, to obliterate all history of my presence on the internet and hide deep in some abandoned basement. But I didn’t. I just grotesquely tripped along like some sucker for love.

In 2014, the Texas Republican State Convention was held in Fort Worth from June 5-7. Thelma had a perverse appetite for travelling to different Republican state conventions every year, and Texas was her choice for 2014. The real W was going to be there. This made her a little too excited to contain.

At first, when she informed me of this, I had nightmarish visions of a southern American city filled with right-wing nut bars. I witnessed, in my mind’s eye, the demented but good natured hijinks of Republican conventioneers, the violent imposition of temporary open-carry laws and the instigation of a three day long race war within the precincts of Fort Worth. Then I thought of all of the working girls and rent boys they’d have to fly in, all of the erotic rosé enemas. And then I decided I didn’t want to talk about it anymore.

Then one evening, I received a text –

I need you to take care of George W Bush, Thelma’s message read.

W? I thumbed. Why?

Don’t call him W. I hate that.

Okay, but what’s up?

I arranged the final details of my trip to Fort Worth today, Thelma texted. I leave the day after tomorrow. Finding someone to take care of George W Bush is the last detail.

Okay, I typed back. Send him up, UPS prepaid. I have a Studebaker up on blocks in the backyard. He can stay in there. I’ll let him out occasionally to question the foundations of his K-9 existence.

LOL, Thelma texted back. No, you’ll have to come down here.

(I hate LOL. She obviously doubted my sincerity.)

Really? I wrote. That’s awkward. I’m just in the middle of writing an opinion piece for Guns & Ammo, and I’m getting into the crux of it now – how the gun lobby resembles too many evil clowns in too small of a car, each of them farting with the windows up. I may be at it for another week. I can’t just stop to look after a suicidal Chihuahua.

You’re not writing anything for Guns & Ammo. (She was right.) And don’t call George W Bush a suicidal Chihuahua. You just don’t understand him.

She was right again, in so many ways.

So I crossed the border once more, headed for Tacoma. The US Customs and Border Protection boys and girls were getting to know me by now. They no longer saw my dilapidated ‘69 VW Bus as an excuse to search my body cavities. That saved a lot of time.

Later, it was just me and George W Bush in Thelma’s Lexus, after driving her to the airport. He sat shotgun most of the way home, staring at the radio’s glowing LCD, and occasionally sighing very deeply. I stroked his head once, and he escaped into the backseat. There were some gagging noises back there, and at a red light I turned round to make sure he was still alive. He was, lying next to a lumpy wad of dog puke. He seemed to smile.

“That’s just wrong, W,” I said.

He looked away with an elegant distain which for any other dog would have been impossible, especially lying next to a heap of regurgitated Alpo.

I took him inside when we arrived back at the American Beauty, and he disappeared. That was fine by me. He was starting to have microwave oven written all over him.

I took off my boots, the way Thelma had always insisted, and then I texted her –

George W Bush just puked in your Lexus.

On the leather? she replied.

And all over the distinctive synthetic Berber.

Don’t make fun, she texted. He suffers from separation anxiety.

I’m not cleaning up Bush’s mess, I texted back.

Someone has to.

I’ll hire a professional. There must be someone out there who’ll mop up after dirty little ex-presidents.

I ended it there.

Shortly after, I noticed a light flashing through the kitchen window. I looked out and saw a dark SUV stop, and the pull away. It was odd. But America was the land of the strange. So, I thought nothing more about it.

In the den Thelma had a seizure inducing 102 inch 4K screen, hooked up to a satellite box. It was an Orwellian monstrosity that made Geraldo Rivera look like a mustachioed Nicolae Ceaușescu denouncing the intelligentsia. Thelma called it a TV.

After surfing a while, I was able to find a channel showing a panel discussion with Noam Chomsky discussing Stephen Harper’s abhorrent attraction to kittens. It was the sort of lefty chatter that sucked the life out of the viewer, and made any socialistic alternative to the proto-fascist Government of Canada seem hideously unappealing.

I changed the channel to an all Mexican professional wrestling station, and for a while, watched muscular masked men simulate consensual anal sex.

At 7pm, I called a Tacoma dealer I knew named Dicky. Dicky’s shit was always better than the commercially available stuff, and he made house calls for a nominal fee. He split after he’d sold me a bag and we’d smoked a fatty. Then I poked around for some booze. Thelma was a Jack Daniels fan. Maybe that’s what I liked about her. But all I found was a massive jug of Baileys Irish Cream, the stuff that hangovers are made of. It was in the broom closet behind a large blue bottle of something called Febreze Pet Odor Eliminator. It smelled like an offshoot of counter-Iraqi chemical weapons research. I replaced it gingerly back on the shelf after I snagged the booze.

The Baileys would work just fine, in lieu of anything else. Besides, Dicky had fronted me some microdot on a trial basis. I hoped it might take the edge off of the gummy effect of the petroleum based liqueur.

I sat down in front of the large screen in the den and began to watch topless women’s roller derby. It was the Puyallup Pugilists against the Wenatchee Steamroller. I had mocked and done without television for a couple of decades. Maybe I was wrong.

About 9:00pm, the acid began to kick in, and I was beginning to have a new appreciation of the 4K screen. The 2160p resolution was reaching out to me like the guiding hand of a personal saviour. The colours were pure spectral mysticism and the moving images, God-like.

The topless roller derby was over and the Women’s World Championship Finals of Mud Wrestling had begun. I poured a ceramic Venti Starbucks cup full of Baileys, lit a joint and began to realise just what a paradise American suburban life, with all of its crappy, mind numbing accoutrements, could be.

About 9:45pm, I noticed the lights flashing in through the windows in the den. I looked out and saw another couple of dark SUVs. They paused for a moment and then drove away. I figured it was schools kids.

Around 10:15pm, I remembered George W Bush. By now he must have needed to get out for a whiz. When I found the little varmint, he was in Thelma’s bedroom, chewing on my boots. My classic $400 Dayton Black Beauty boots, made in east Vancouver, a few blocks away from where I’d grown up. Not only that, but he had shit on the Gucci bedspread Thelma had bought in the Tijuana duty-free.

Again, he seemed to smile.

I pick the little shit up and tossed him out the front door.

“Don’t get eaten by coyotes,” I said, and shut him out.

Then I texted Thelma again –

I’m going to kill George W Bush.

It took her a minute to get back to me.

Why, she replied. What’s wrong?

He’s a depraved abomination, I thumbed. The drugs and booze were enhancing my already profuse eloquence. He’s a curse on the world. A hound of hellDeath I say. Death to George W Bush!!!

Just calm down, honey, Thelma texted back.

I won’t. I’m on a mission. He will not survive the night!

I threw my iPhone into the sink. The challenge now would be finding my inner Chihuahua-slayer. I began to experience self-doubt. The animal needed to die, that much was certain. But maybe I wasn’t the one to do it.

I picked up a butcher knife from out of the sink, and stared at it. Maybe there was a vet in town, a Chihuahua Dr Kevorkian running a clinic of no return for little Gucci crapping, Dayton chewing curs. I’d wait until tomorrow to find out. It was probably as easy as taking a number and waiting with W on my lap, while we listened to dreadful Mariah Carey tunes over a speaker in the ceiling.

Then there were more lights flashing through the windows and the sound of many helicopters. I looked out a window and was immediately blinded. Then there was a megaphone announcement —

“To the occupants of the trailer. Come out with your hands up. This is the FBI.”

The FBI? Surely the FBI would know it was a manufactured home, not a trailer.

I heard my iPhone ring in the sink, and I answered.

“Hello?”

“Mr Meeks?”

Meeks. That was me. “Yes?”

“This is Special Agent Wilma Flint.”

“Wilma Flint? Is this for real?”

“I know, I know,” said Special Agent Wilma Flint. “Just try to stay with me on this. I have someone on the line who’d like to talk to you.”

“Hello?” It was Thelma. “Reggie, is that you?”

“Yes,” I said.

“They think you’re going to kill George W Bush, Reggie. They’ve been monitoring everyone’s phone calls and texts at the convention. I tried to explain, but they won’t understand.”

“No!” I said. “I’m not going to kill him, after all. I’ve discovered I don’t have have the stomach for it.”

“Well that’s good,” Thelma said. “Just tell them.”

“Yeah,” I said. “I’ve decided to have a vet snuff the fucker.”

“A veteran?” Wilma Flint cut in.

“No, a veterinarian. Someone in Tacoma.”

“You’re going to have a veterinarian assassinate President Bush?”

Just then the door came crashing in, and I was wrestled to the ground by a herd of muscular masked men who I’d hoped, in my stoned sate, knew that any simulated anal sex would not be consensual.

The rest was a blur of knees, fists and handcuffs.

When I awoke the next day in the detention camp on foreign soil, I was informed that I wouldn’t have my day in court and that I would probably die there of old age. But the pleasant accommodation and lack of Mariah Carey tunes eventually made up for the inconvenience, and the discomfort of the enhanced interrogation techniques. And there were sing-a-longs in the cafeteria of Friday nights.

I understood Thelma had been placed on the women’s side. But George W Bush, the dog, had been placed with some happy family by a rescue agency. I hoped he didn’t choke on a milk-bone.

wireless

I had this to consider as I fell: that to be pushed from the eleventh floor of a slum hotel, in the end, is no different than being pushed from the eleventh floor of the Ritz-Carlton. The outcomes will differ very little.

*  *  *  *  *  *

It was 2:27 a.m. on Wednesday.

I woke the way I sometimes do, like someone just pulled my trigger. Bang! Eyes open wide in the middle of the night, remembering something I forgot to do, like set a mousetrap or put my compost into the freezer.

But this time, I had a weird feeling that someone was standing on the threshold. I sat up and looked across the room at the sliver of light that comes in under the door from the main corridor. Shadows were moving there. Feet on the other side. Big square cop shoes. Shuffling back and forth. There was monosyllabic whispering, cavemanish mumblings.

I remained quiet.

Then there was a polite knock.

“Mr Plonk?” a voice said.

“Yes?” I replied.

That’s when the door came crashing down, and three men in dark suits invited themselves in. They stood inside the doorway and were just silhouettes at first. But as my eyes adjusted, I recognised one of them. We’d met the day before, in the express-line. He was a goon, but I’ll get to that in a minute.

“So, Mr Plonk,” said the smallest of the three. “This is your humble abode.”

I thought that was an odd thing to say, under the circumstances, and I said so –

“That’s an odd thing to say. Under the circumstances.”

“Maybe,” said the little guy, stepping further into the room. “But you are the sole resident of this room, no?”

“There’re some mice,” I said.

“Shut it,” said the guy I’d met before.

“That’s fine, Jerome,” said the little guy. “We want Mr Plonk to speak freely. This is his home, after all.”

Ha! His name was Jerome, the guy I’d met the day before. With a name like that his wife probably spanked him, and made him serve her all-woman bridge club petit fours while wearing high heels and a lace apron. He was probably raised in a third rate trailer park by a pair of illiterate born again Christian Walmart shoppin’ gun nuts who’d kept him sealed in a cardboard box for the first ten years of his life.

Yeah, I was harbouring some animosity toward Jerome. And just so you know it, I’m not normally the animosity harbouring kind. But this son of a syphilitic shrew was a real prick. And here’s how I know.

I was standing in front of him in the express-line at Whole Foods, where I normally don’t shop due to the haughty mania of their food supplement-crazed clientele. But they had organic apples on sale.

The Whole Foods buyers had probably ground some luckless local grower so far into the gravel on the price that now he had to reach up to scrape the mud off his boots. But who was I to judge? They were a steal at $1.75 a pound.

I was holding ten of them in my arms at the till, because I didn’t want to use a plastic bag, which I was afraid would end up swirling around forever in the North Pacific Subtropical Gyre. So when I put them down onto the cashier’s counter, Jerome, who was behind me, taps me on my shoulder. I look round and he points up at the sign that says eight items or less. Then he points at the apples and says –

“You got ten items there, chief.”

“No,” I say. “It’s one item. They’re all the same thing.”

“Uh-uh-uh,” he said, wagging a finger.

(That’s right, he gave me three “uhs” and wagged his finger – what an asshole.)

“They’d be one item if they were in a bag,” he continued. “They’re not, however, so each of them is an individual item. But my point is that there are ten of them. And this is a check-out for people with eight items of less.”

I looked at the carrot juice and organic gummy bears in his hand and figured I knew all I wanted to know about the guy. Then I asked –

“Would you like to go ahead of me?”

“Look,” he said. “This isn’t a purely self-centred reflection on my part. There are other people in line, besides me.” (Actually, there weren’t.) “And each one of them has observed a crucial social covenant that says that they will not try to slink by with ten items in a line designated for customers with eight items or less. Am I making myself clear?”

And as he said this, he elbowed the left side of his sports jacket back to reveal a handgun in a shoulder holster.

I raised my eyebrows. Shit, I mean, I almost pissed myself. I’d never really seen a gun up close before. I grew up in Canada before Stephen Harper. It looked like something forged by trolls in the cesspit of a third rate trailer park.

“You the express-line police?” I said.

He smirked at that, and said, “Just remember this moment, apple boy.”

Apple boy. I’d been called worse. But never by a gun-toting wiener in a Whole Foods store. And since I figured John Mackey would probably like this creep, I paid for my apples and split. It’s a noble Darwinian impulse to recognise defeat, when it calls.

Later that day I sat at my desk, finishing my first soon to be unpublished novel. It was about Johnny Rialto, a loan shark with a glass eye, torn between the allure of his glamorous street existence and his desire to play the accordion on the Ed Sullivan Show. His girl was a dame named Wendy, who worked at the White Lunch and had a tattoo on her back that contained a curling esoteric text that, if deciphered, could change the world. But mostly, in her free time, she rolled her own cigarettes and played the harmonica on her fire escape over the alley.

I knew it would need editing. From its over sixteen hundred pages to a more manageable fourteen or fifteen hundred. But I was brave. I could face down any editor, and yet be generous in my defense of my masterwork. Besides, I’d written in a lot of kinky accordion sex for them to cut out without destroying the soul of the story.

As I typed the final epic chapter, a mysterious thing happened. Without cause, the printer next to my desk awoke from its deep binary sleep, and it began making the confused back and forth conveyor belt noises a printer makes just before it begins to spit out copy. But I hadn’t sent it anything to print. In fact, the machine was so new that I hadn’t even figured out how to use it.

Maybe it was the weed or maybe the codeine laced cough syrup I had imported from Mexico, but I’d inadvertently set it to wireless mode and couldn’t undo it. And since my vintage Radio Shack 486 PC needed a multi-pin serial bus cable to print, I’d just walked away.

The printer had printed a single page. Then it stopped, and looked impervious.

Was this how the technology worked, I asked myself. Was my wireless printer a slut for any signal that stroked its antenna?

It was a moot question, now. What it had printed went like this:

Government of Canada
CSIS Memorandum – Top Secret 

From: Vancouver (137)
Subject: Morton Teapole 

SYNOPSIS

It has been confirmed that Morton Teapole is a Caucasian male of Christian-European descent, who has recently converted to Islam.

He resides at #516-159 East Hastings Vancouver, BC, and drives a 2005 blue Ford Focus with BC plate X11-112.

Morton Teapole has no known employment, and spends most of his time at the public library, viewing video on the internet, as documented through observation.

Further investigation has confirmed, through the tracking of his library card number, that Morton Teapole primarily views videos produced by terrorist organisations, including the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, or ISIL, and the Jama’atu Ahlis Sunna Lidda’Awati Wal-Jihad, or Boko Haram.

He also has a Facebook page where he regularly posts terrorist messages and videos.

He attends mosque daily.

Though obviously radicalised, there is no evidence of illegal activity at this time. Indeed, the subject does not appear to possess the necessary intelligence to independently initiate terrorist activities dangerous to Canadian interests.

 It is believed by the author of this report, however, that the subject is open to coercion and may be easily persuaded by a Canadian Security Intelligence Service agent or operative to act as a puppet, partaking in false terrorist activities and the dissemination of false information essential to Canadian interests, and should, therefore, be recruited by CSIS to that end. 

– Report to follow –

I read the document five times. Sometimes the words moved round and looked like animals in the desert, but they always meant the same thing. My dauntless wireless printer had picked up a sinister transmission from a computer operated by the secret police.

I stood very still and listened. All around me the wood was rotting, dust motes were colliding. But I could otherwise hear nothing. They were out there, though, the bastards. Sending unwelcome communiqués through my walls, penetrating my brain. My God! It was mind control. The NSA, the Stasi and the KGB were already lurking, and now CSIS. I took a gulp of cough syrup, then sat in a corner on the floor. At some point I’d have to get to the telephone on my desk. And order pizza.

That was several hours before the door came crashing in, and Jerome and his pals entered my life in a big way.

*  *  *  *  *

Now I was sitting up in my bed as the smallest of them, let’s call him Gomez, sat down next to me and put his hand on my knee.

“So, Mr Plonk,” he said. “We have traced a fugitive wireless transmission to your room.”

He looked over at my desk, and said, “Is that your printer?”

“I’m thinking of getting a refund.”

“That’s very amusing, Mr Plonk,” Gomez said, rubbing my knee like a dirty old uncle. “But the transmission was sensitive and confidential. We’d like to have the copy your printer made.”

“Maybe it never made a copy.”

“Now, now, Mr Plonk….”

“I say we just waste the little freak now,” Jerome said.

“You’re just stoned on carrot juice and gummy bears,” I told him.

“Give me a reason to trust you, Mr Plonk,” Gomez said. “Give me the printed document, and maybe this will all turn out in your favour.”

By now the third of the three gorillas, who’ll remain nameless for obvious dramatic effect, had shimmied over to my desk and opened the top drawer. He pulled out a nitrous oxide inhaler and a sixty gram chunk of Himalayan yak hash. He sniffed it, and put it into his pocket.

“Fuck,” I said.

Then he pulled the document out, gave it a quick eye and handed it over to Gomez.

I was busted. I should have burned it. But some sick sense of duty to my fellow humanoids had prevented me.

“Any other copies?” Gomez said.

“A million of them,” I said. “Under my bed. I was planning to drop them from a plane. I was gonna go on the Oprah Channel, and do the cooking show circuit.”

“We’ll search the room after we’re finished here,” said Gomez. He sounded disappointed. “My work is difficult, you know.”

“Really?” I said.

“Yes. Now, thanks to your intransigence, there’s only one thing for us to do.”

The nameless agent opened the window over my desk and Jerome stepped forward, grabbing me by the collar of my Björk t-shirt.

“I’m really going to enjoy this,” he said.

In a moment, Jerome had me by the arms and the nameless agent by the feet. They were swinging me back and forth, trying achieve a critical momentum.

“You could have cooperated,” Gomez said over the vacillating commotion. “There’s always a place for the unconventional in our line of work. But you have to be able to play along, Mr Plonk.”

Then Jerome said, “On three.”

One two three, and wham! I missed the window and hit the desk and rolled onto the floor.

“Please concentrate on what you’re doing,” Gomez said to his men.

Jerome tore my t-shirt as he pulled me up off the floor. It had cost me the equivalent of $75 Canadian in Reykjavik. I wore it to bed every night. It was like sleeping with an Icelandic goddess with a recording contract.

The nameless agent cleared my desktop with a single sweep of his arm, and I was place there. I looked down, out of the open window, and gulped. The late night air was cool, but I could smell spring in it. It was April, after all. I thought of Gene Kelly and Debbie Reynolds dancing up a storm down there. The whole crack-addled neighbourhood recovering from its stupor just long enough to join in. I thought of how nice it would be to have a toke. The Himalayan yak the nameless one had swiped was 30% THC. That’d do me and Gene Kelly just fine right now.

Then with one swift kick, Jerome launched me out of the window.

It’s a wonderful thing, falling through space. You should try it, if you really must die. I thought of Morton Teapole all of the way down, wondering from whence he came and all of that. And as I looked into the windows of the many rooms I fell past, I witnessed the people enjoying the freedom of their intellectual squalor and knew they’d be safe from Gomez and Jerome. That, at least, was something.

 

 

 

 

 

getting through

8104064543_03d9a137d3_o

“Hello. You have reached the Government of Canada’s Ministry of Not Returning Phone Calls. Please choose from the following list of extensions, or leave a message after the tone. Call volume is heavy — we’ll ignore your inquiry as soon as we are able. Please be advised that your call will be surveilled by CSIS and the RCMP who are currently fighting with one another over the exclusive right to pre-emptively arrest you for conspiring to exercise your rights under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.”

  • Press 1 to have your inquiry ignored.
  • Press 2 if your previous inquiry was ignored and you wish to be ignored again.
  • Press 3 to hear a recording of one of Canada’s last remaining public servants dismiss your inquiry without having heard it.
  • Press 4 if you’d like to hear Prime Minister Stephen Harper sing the Guns N’ Roses classic Sweet Child O’ Mine while wearing nothing but a cardigan and a pair of Christian Louboutin pumps.
  • Press 5 if your pizza delivery is late.
  • Press 6 if you’d like to win a War of 1812 tee shirt. (And yes, before you say it, we already know that no Canadians actually fought in the War of 1812, and that Canada didn’t really even exist in 1812. So, just press 3 if you’re planning to state the obvious – that connecting Canada to a war it never fought in is just a cynical and jingoistic ploy to turn the country into a Stephen Harper theme park.)
  • Press 7 if you’re not a member of the Canadian Conservative Party, and wish to receive a robo-call during the next election, directing you to the wrong polling station.
  • Press 8 if you’re so disgusted by the petty and criminal nature of Canadian politics that you wish to surrender your right to vote. Please note that these calls will be expedited.
  • Press 9 for a list of retailers selling long guns.
  • Press 0 if you’d like to hear the Prime Minister sing I Did it My Way while a kitten sits on his face.

the difference between Stephen Harper and me

 

harpo double

I’ve been getting some feedback lately on my look. Mostly people think I’m either a cop or a stand-in for Stephen Harper. In fact, Harpo and I couldn’t be more different. We’re both aliens, it’s true. But I’m actually a cleverly disguised left leaning Andromedan, while Harpo is, of course, a Reptilian. And we all know that Andromedans are all about peace, love and understanding, while Reptilians are all proto-fascist cardigan wearing evangelical supply-side economists. I hope this clears things up.

Horoscope of the Apocalypse – The Canada Day Edition

why not read them all

For Fire Signs (Aries, Leo, Sagittarius) Oooh yeah, fire signs! It’s Canada Day. The day when you drop everything and express your undying, never ending, ever lasting love for the country that gave the world Pablum, canola oil and standard time. There’s excitement and dynamism for you, eh? Oh yeah, and Canada’s also the nation that gave the world the cardigan-wearing hell spawn we know as Stephen Harper, who celebrates every Canada Day by sacrificing kittens at his alter to Margaret Thatcher. Actually, did you know ol’ Steevo likes to dress up like Baroness Thatcher and play Pokémon in the basement of 24 Sussex Drive? For real, there’s a picture of him here — oops, wrong picture. I once observed Stephen Harper eating Taco Bell in a shopping mall food court in suburban Calgary, where he sat gorging himself on deep fried burritos. It was really gross, man. I mean he was really digging in. Anyway, this ten year old kid with a Hello Kitty notepad comes up to him and asks for an autograph, and Harper’s bodyguards wrestle her to the ground, and arrest her. The kid’s eighteen now, and she’s still doing time at Guantanamo Bay where she participates in a CIA run program that has inmates test McDonalds Happy Meal toys for choke hazards. The PMO doesn’t like to talk about it. And now I guess you want some kind of prediction based on my observations of how the planets align. What am I, your private astrology monkey? 

For Earth Signs (Taurus, Virgo, Capricorn) In 1812, Canada, a colony of Great Britain, was swept up in a war with America. It was called the War of 1812, even though it lasted way longer than that, because War of 1812 just kind of roles off the tongue, doesn’t it? And who doesn’t like a well named war? Like the War of the Quadruple Alliance, the Napoleonic Wars, the Ottoman-Wahhabi Revolt, the Mexico-Yaqui Indian War, Viang Chan-Siamese War of 1826-1827, the Farroupilha War and the Chinese Pirates War of 1849 – that’s a good one, eh, eh? Then there’s Star Wars, the franchise that strangely enough started out being called Attack of the Killer Cabbage Aliens from Planet Porno. That was really just a working title back when George Lucas thought he could still work some leather corseted Amazons into the script. Fortunately, friends and family intervened and Lucas was detoxed, received extensive ECT treatments and had his medication changed. That’s how we ended up with Darth Vader instead of Imelda the Vinyl Cabbage Queen – now wouldn’t she have made an awesome action figure, eh? And hey, I really don’t know what any of this has to do with astrology. I mean, to be honest, I’m really baked on some oxycodone they gave me for a kidney stone I had the other day. So, just take care of family matters this week. That’s my advice. And since your partner’s probably cheating on you, it’s okay to put on your fat pants and stare out the window like a grumpy tabby cat.

For Air Signs (Gemini, Libra, Aquarius) Remember Bob and Doug McKenzie, that fictional pair of Canadian brothers who came up with the Great White North on SCTV. They’re the ones who started putting “eh” at the end of everything they said, as if that was what all Canadians did, which they don’t, eh. Okay, that was a slip, eh. Alright screw it, eh. Maybe Canadians really do put “eh” at the end of every sentence, eh. Like in the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, where it says…

2. Everyone has the following fundamental freedoms, eh:
(a) freedom of conscience and religion, eh;
(b) freedom of thought, belief, opinion and expression, including freedom of the press and other media of communication, eh;
(c) freedom of peaceful assembly, eh; and
(d) freedom of association, eh.

…and where Prime Minister Stephen Harper says, “No way, eh. Who came up with this Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms shit, anyway, eh? It’s getting in the way of me ruining the country, eh. So that Enbridge and ExxonMobil can rule and take over all the aboriginal land, eh.” And then the Supreme Court of Canada says, “To bad Steevo, no way, eh. The doctrine of terra nullius [that no one owned the land prior to European assertion of sovereignty] never applied in Canada, eh.” And then the aboriginals said, “Ha, eh! Sit on this, Steevo, eh.” So now I guess you want some astrological monkey slush, eh. Ok, so stay indoors this long weekend and snake your drains, eh. A clean drain means a healthy mind, eh. This advice is gold, eh. Don’t never say I didn’t give you nothing. Eh.

For Water Signs (Cancer, Scorpio, Pisces) It’s shameful to admit that some forms of torture actually originated in Canada. Like five pin bowling, and the 56k modem that was invented by Dr. Brent Townshend in 1996. Hopefully you’re too young to recall this hateful little contraption. To get on the internet, your computer would commence dialling up a server somewhere in Tanzania, and then you’d have time to walk away and build a box girder bridge while you waited for a connection. Then once you had a connection, your internet porn would take all day to download, line by line on a cathode ray tube, so it was a good thing you had some Hustler magazines under your mattress. That’s a real Canadian Moment, babies. Believe me. I was there – and I’m Canadian, although my actual birth records were lost back in 1957 in a highway accident involving a moose and a Winnebago near Saskatoon. Since then, to be honest, I’ve sort of felt a little alone and without a country. And lately, I’ve been drinking a lot of stolen hospital hand sanitizer, too. I thought of moving to Qatar once, but the architecture looks too much like a FIFA Google Doodle. You know, it’s not easy being an astrologer. Your friends are always waiting for you to say shit like: Avoid controversial subjects today, like politics, religion and recreational amputation. When all I want is some compassion and normalcy, and to be smeared with honey and left to the humming birds – you’ll get it later and weep.

revisiting my 2012 new year’s resolutions

Just around this time of year, I think it’s fun to do an inventory of resolutions from the previous New Year’s Eve. It’s a fun way to see where I’ve succeeded and failed, and strategise about what completely impossible and unreasonable commitments I’ll make for the year to come. So, here’s the success/fail breakdown of my 2012 New Year’s resolutions.

  1. I will breathe through my nose more.

Fail: I did this a lot at first, but people said it made me look surly and bellicose. Many said they preferred my slack-jawed, mouth-breather look. They also suggested that I slouch more and use more monosyllabic words. Maybe they just thought I was ahead of the curve.

  1. I will start calling mall security guards “Porky”.

Fail: A real disappointment. The most common response from guards was, “Yes, may I help you?”

  1. I will eat more animals because they taste good.

Fail: Due to lack of funds.

  1. I will refer to Stephen Harper as Prime Minister Walmart.

Success: I did this pretty consistently throughout 2012. In 2013, however, I intend to refer to him as The Chunky Newt Gingrich-Looking Lunchbox Ikea Monkey in Ottawa.

  1. I will steal at least one bus.

Success: I’m keeping it in my apartment building’s bike room.

  1. I will try to incorporate more sequins into my wardrobe.

Success: I now look like Stephen Harper in drag.

  1. I will stop trying to communicate with Mars; I think they’re dissing me.

Success (sort of): Mars called to say that, yes, they are dissing me.

  1. I will use my ThighMaster® more.

Success: It makes a great doorstop and meat tenderiser.

  1. I will start a stable company, selling stables.

Fail: This was just silly.

  1. I will lie and cheat more, because that’s what successful people do.

Fail: Didn’t work for me or Mitt Romney. I may rethink this one in 2013.