Monday, December 05, 2011

“Bones in a grave,
Cover them as they will with choking earth,
May shout the truth to men who put them there,
More than all orators.”

— Edwin Arlington Robinson

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Monday 9:07 am

It sounds like Russian klezmer music and it’s coming from two small speakers that dangle from around his thick neck. The speakers are connected by wires to the device in his his large hand. From there the wires snake into the small backpack he’s wearing. He ambles with an air of contentment from one end of the bus shelter to the other and then outside again; a slow clockwise circle. He’s absolutely gigantic, towering over the rush hour foot traffic, his big head bobbing in self-satisfied happiness to the music. Pedestrians scurry around him, as if he is a hulking rock in a rushing river of people. He seems acutely aware of the looks of astonishment, the furtive glances of the passerby at this giant music-playing man. He smiles largely as a woman, hearing his alien music, eyes him with undisguised confusion. His eyes seem to say, yes, yes, this is my music and it’s damn wonderful, isn’t it? And I can’t help but smile at this man, calmly shattering social conventions with effortless nonchalance.

Friday, May 27, 2011


“This gentleman, an amateur botanist, happened to see a tulip-root lying in the conservatory of a wealthy Dutchman. Being ignorant of its quality, he took out his penknife, and peeled off its coats, with the view of making experiments upon it. When it was by this means reduced to half its original size, he cut it into two equal sections, making all the time many learned remarks on the singular appearances of the unknown bulb. Suddenly the owner pounced upon him, and, with fury in his eyes, asked him if he knew what he had been doing? “Peeling a most extraordinary onion,” replied the philosopher. “Hundert tausend duyvel!,” said the Dutchman; “it’s an Admiral Van der Eyck.” “Thank you,” replied the traveller, taking out his note-book to make a memorandum of the same; “are these admirals common in your country?” “Death and the devil,” said the Dutchman, seizing the astonished man of science by the collar; “come before the syndic, and you shall see.” In spite of his remonstrances, the traveller was led through the streets, followed by a mob of persons. When brought into the presence of the magistrate, he learned, to his consternation, that the root upon which he had been experimentalising was worth four thousand florins (According to the International Institute of Social History, one florin had the purchasing power of €10.28 in 2002) and, notwithstanding all he could urge in extenuation, he was lodged in prison until he found securities for the payment of this sum.”

Mackay, Charles (1841), Memoirs of Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds, London: Richard Bentley

Friday, May 20, 2011

I briefly worked for a company that made bullet-proof glass. Actually, they installed this high-end plastic sheeting over windows that made them bullet-proof. It was pretty cool, you could fire a shotgun or throw a Molotov cocktail at the glass and, although the glass would crack, the plastic would hold it together.

My co-worker told me that he installed some of this sheeting at a woman’s home somewhere in the States. The walls of her house were covered in newspaper clippings and scrawled verses from the Bible. While he was installing the sheeting on her windows, she walked up to him and asked in dead seriousness, “Will this protect against the locusts?”

“Protect against the what?”

“The locusts.”

“The locusts?”

“Yes, the locusts of Revelations with the scorpion tails. Will these windows hold up against them?”

“… uuuh, yes?”

“You don’t sound certain. Do you know the locusts I speak of?”

“… yes … yes I do. The, uh, windows will be protected against the, um, locusts.”


Saturday, April 30, 2011

Hey Bruno Mars, grenades aside, in what possible scenario are you going to walk in front of a train for someone you love? I mean, even if you had to save the person you love from some kind of super-villain, you'd probably run in front of the train. And if the person you love actually asked you to walk in front of the train to prove your love, they're not the one for you in the first place.

I guess it sounds more extreme than promising something like "I'd wait for five hours at the doctor's office with you." or "I'd follow you into twenty-five different shoe stores for an entire day" or "I'd spend an awkward afternoon at a baby shower for you."

It's probably better to say you would do something for a circumstance that would never arise anyways.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Things I've Recently Seen on the Internets:

•A girl whose favourite Bob Marley song was by Bunny Wailer.
•Advice on balding with dignity. Conclusion: the comb-over is a no go.
•The definition of the word "irony." I'm still confused (it's Alanis' fault). What, for example was Dostoevsky referring to when he talked about an ironic smile? I want to see a picture of an ironic smile.
•A quote attributed to Bob Marley that was in American Standard English.
•Some soccer cleats.
•An article about minority leadership. As in a minority government’s leader, not leaders who are minorities.
•A picture of Edgar Davids protecting a fan from the police.
•The website of the Radical Marijuana Party of Canada. We (I was with a friend) tried to find their platform, but somehow we just found a step by step guide to building a website. Conclusion: they’re not ready to govern.
•The platform of the Christian Heritage Party of Canada. They’re flirting with votes from the far right now by misrepresenting Islam and calling for a moratorium on all immigration from countries with Sharia law. Fortunately, they’ll never get a seat.
•Highlights from the Barca Real Madrid match.
•That 1-year-old Dutch kid who was signed to VVV-Venlo. This kid has skills, for real.
•News about the royal wedding. Billions of people were watching? Why? I don’t get it.
•Top news in Ottawa: it was really windy yesterday.
•A recipe for marble cheesecake.
•The address of a CRC church in Ottawa for when my grandmother visits.
•My fantasy soccer team scores. I do better when I forget to change my picks.
•My turf soccer team's standings. We were in first place for one week. We’re probably in second now again.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

I had a royal wedding back in 2005 and nobody made a big fuss like this.

Someone in my workplace has a cellphone that quacks. This wouldn't be too bad if it weren't for her regularly not answering her phone.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Starstruck couple - they literally stop and wait for the blinking hand to become solid. Then, entirely wrapped up in eachother, they proceed to cross the street, completely oblivious to the traffic that is too polite to honk at them.

Monday, April 25, 2011

I just watched "the Searchers" and was thoroughly unimpressed. The story wasn't interesting, and the First Nations were portrayed as half-witted terrorist goombahs whose savagery infected white captives like some kind of schizoid virus. Most of all, John Wayne can't act worth shit. Did he have some kind of speech impediment that made him speak like a half-wit?

What a waste of time.

"I don't feel we did wrong in taking this great country away from them. There were great numbers of people who needed new land, and the Indians were selfishly trying to keep it for themselves."

~ John Wayne, telling off the Indians for their selfishness.

Friday, April 15, 2011

My Favourite Commercial

As long time boerishbwoy readers may know, I am a big fan of watching commercials. I wait impatiently through the mundane adventures of Jack Bauer so that I can watch products flashed quickly and stylishly before my eyes in thirty second intervals. Commercials fill that void in my soul the way only sales pitches for cleaning products, life insurance, lottery cards, tampons, beer, khaki pants, and cars can.

So, it was with much happiness that I discovered this beauty of a commercial:
Toyota Highlander

Rarely has a commercial done so many things right. Annoying parents singing? Check. Gigantic SUV? Check. Superficial message? Check. Entitled brat? Check. The list goes on.

People need to know that instead of spending time with family, children need to be entertained by mindless cartoons in a cocoon that protects them from anything that might build their character. We do not need any more encouragement to the imaginations of our youth. Why allow a child to entertain their minds with puzzle books, road games, maps, or even the seatbelt beside them when we just want them to be quiet? Do you think the North Korean government is encouraging imagination? I sincerely doubt it. Children need to be exposed to music with parental advisories that their parents were too lazy to check into. How else will they learn about sex? Children need to be ignored so that they have angst and can grow up to write bad poetry. The world needs more bad poetry.

Listen, you neeeed this car. It's an SUV. It is huuuge. Besides the back of your head, you will be invisible to your children! You will no longer be lame. You can go straight in a left turn lane. Why? Because your car is so incredibly huge that you can basically do whatever you want. You do not need to greet the parents of your child's friend even though the windows are open. Who wants social interaction anyways? What you have here is a self-sustained autonomous island free from the pestering influences of other people.

So, max out your credit cards and incur massive debt. Do whatever it takes to get this car because you do not want your children thinking you're lame. Do it. Do it for the kids.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

The Main Differences Between Americans and Canadians

I read somewhere that if you want to tell the difference between an American and a Canadian, all that you have to do is say that there is no difference between Americans and Canadians. The Canadian is the one who objects.

The biggest difference between Americans and Canadians is that Canadians care about the difference between Americans and Canadians.

Americans drink soda and coke. Canadians drink pop.

An American doesn't care if his country is mentioned in the foreign news, he expects it. Canadians voraciously read news stories about Canada appearing in the foreign news.

Americans know that their country is number one, rankings be damned. Canadians are ecstatic if they are mentioned in the top ten.

Americans have their milk in cartons. Canadians have their milk in cartons and in bags.

In a movie, if an American is portrayed as stupid, crass, or obnoxious, it is anti-Americanism. In a movie, if a Canadian is portrayed as stupid, crass, or obnoxious, there is much rejoicing in the streets - for a Canadian has been portrayed in a movie.

Almost all Americans have accents. Canadians honestly believe that they speak in standard American English, with a few colloquial expressions and ehs thrown in.

According to Americans, they won the war of 1812 - they sacked York. According to Canadians, they won the war of 1812 - they burnt down the White House.

Americans think smarties come in rolls and taste like fruity candies. Canadians know better.

Old Americans in Canada are probably draft dodgers. Old Canadians in the States are probably in Florida.

Americans have green paper money. Canadians have paper money in a multitude of colours . . . it's also much crisper.

Americans pronounce the -er in foyer "urrr." Canadians pronounce it correctly.

Americans think Texas is big. Canadians think Saskatchewan is small.

Americans have Captain America. Canadians have Wayne Gretzky.

Americans apologize for stepping on your foot, Canadians apologize for having their foot stepped on.

If something goes wrong in the world, Americans are blamed for doing too little or too much. If something goes wrong in the world, Canadians are probably watching curling.

An American election campaign takes about one million weeks. A Canadian election campaign is a little over a month.

Americans have the ugly side of Niagara Falls while Canadians are stuck with the beautiful side.

Many Americans believe that Barack Obama wishes he weren't Kenyan. Many Canadians believe that Stephen Harper wishes he were American.

Thursday, April 07, 2011

This is the Title, It Contains Numerous Capitals and Is in a Larger Font.

This here is the attention-grabbing first sentence, which, unfortunately, defines the topic at hand using a common dictionary. This sentence questions that definition. This sentence contains the actual content of this piece. This is a humourous anecdote that will pull you even further in. This is a serious statement that will make you nod your head gravely in agreement.

This is a terse statement.

This is a well-worded but ultimately meaningless sentence that may sound impressive but really isn't saying anything. This is a sentence that basically repeats what was said earlier but more emphatically. This sentence provides a poorly constructed metaphor that ultimately fails to provide any parallel to the topic at hand. This sentence contains a stronger metaphor that confuses you because it is completely different than the previous metaphor.

This sentence is filled with righteous indignation. This sentence is extremely long, containing numerous commas, unnecessary clutter, and a mildly veiled insult to those of an opposing view. This sentence does not belong here, it should be in the first paragraph. This sentence has very little to do with the topic but does show the author's knowledge of a completely unrelated field.

This sentence concludes the essay.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Things I Did Not Know Contained in an 1835 Grammar Book for Children

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Untrustworthy Bloggers

I was watching the news the other day. A group of scientists were discussing how, according to some kind of poll, scientists were the most trusted profession. They, of course, were thrilled about this, in the sort of roundabout analytical way that scientists are thrilled.

“How about this poll that says you're awesome?” – interviewer.

“On the one hand, bla bla blah superb scientific sociological mumbo-jumbo. While on the other hand, blah blah blah reservations grain of salt et cetera.” – scientist.

There were other professions listed, including teachers (near the top), politicians (near the bottom), and journalists (I forget). At the very bottom of the list were bloggers. Why aren’t bloggers trusted? Here are a few reasons:

~ Not all bloggers are boerishbwoy. In fact, there is only one boerishbwoy blog.

~ Bloggers often rely on memory instead of checking their facts. For example, they will just say that they were watching the news and saw a poll without referencing the news station or the poll. Both of these items would be simple enough for the blogger to check through the google, but some bloggers are just too lazy to do this.

~ Who has time to answer polls? Answer: old people. When you ask the average octogenarian what he or she thinks of bloggers here’s what he or she is thinking – “dagnabbit, that’s one of them internets doohickies, innit? The internets did away with them respectable professions of encyclopaedia salesman and vaudeville performer. Isn’t that swine flu spread on the internets? Internets is chalk-full of them trollops and isn’t Osama bin Laden hiding in the internets somewhere? Clarence told me the internets told him he had leprosy when it was just the flu. Dern internets. Then there was that whole Nigerian investment thing that didn’t work out so well for him, that was the internets too.”

So, of course, their answer will be that they do not trust bloggers.

~ Bloggers effectively alienate whole swathes of society by, for example, making fun of the aged.

~ The poll did not include faith healers, snake oil salesmen, infomercial spokesmen, police officers in movies about Boston, or reality television stars. If it had, bloggers would have had at least one profession below it.

~ Some bloggers blog, stop blogging, blog again, promise to continue blogging, stop blogging, promise to continue blogging, continue not blogging, start blogging again and then stop blogging. Very unreliable.

~ Some bloggers blog about fingernail fungi. Why would they do this?

~ Some bloggers will just add an item to a list to fill space.

~ Seventy-five per cent of blogs do not last more than two years.

~ Bloggers make up eighty four per cent of their statistics.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

People I see (or have seen) on the transit system while going to work:

- The man with the bouffant. Alright, I’m actually not sure if this person is a man or if the hairstyle qualifies as a bouffant. In fact, this person might actually be “the woman with the beehive.” However, there is a person who I believe is a man that I occasionally see with a very tall sweeping hairstyle that must require a lot of gel.

- The Chinese ladies who like coffee. It’s really not significant that they’re Chinese or that they’re ladies or even that they like coffee. The significant factor is that they look like identical twins and they seem to work at the same company. They might be Korean or Japanese. I’m racist.

- The massively obese woman with fat rolls that are strange. Why do her fat rolls grow in the places they do? She has a fat person upper body, an obese person stomach, and a massively obese person legs. She’s like a giant corpulent pear that can walk. I’m sure she’s a nice lady though. This wasn’t mean-spirited because I said something nice about her.

- The guy who looks Dutch. He’s a guy, and he looks Dutch. He’s the Dutch-looking guy.

- The incredibly baggy jogging pants guy. His jogging pants are rancid-looking. They’re very baggy. He wears jeans underneath, thankfully. He’s quite skinny, but he sits with his legs splayed out on the crowded bus because maybe he wants to show just how baggy his dirty jogging pants are.

- The first-in-line bearded guy. He is always first in line at the one of the busy stops. He has a beard. He once ordered everyone to move to the back of the bus on a very busy day when he was the fifth person on. Unfortunately, this was impossible and he had to wait for the next bus. Ever since, he’s always the first - even when there are pregnant ladies.

- Wael. He’s my friend. I saw him once on the bus and that counts.

- Steven Spielberg. I saw a guy who looked like him, for real. He took the 148 Elmvale.

- Old wrinkly bearded man with the kindly face. I sat next to him on the bus once and he handed me a flyer for a free speech at the Ottawa Public Library about toxins in pesticides. If he had not had such a kindly face, I might not have expressed vague interest. My vague interest encouraged him to ask if I liked organ music. I answered in the affirmative. A free concert at Ottawa’s Notre Dame Cathedral flyer was immediately handed to me. I mentioned that I was busy that Friday. “No problem,” he said, “how about this talk about municipal public policy?” I asked the date of the talk, mumbled something about keeping it in mind, and stood up for my stop.
“Could I have the flyers back please? I didn’t make copies.”
I handed them back to him and he carefully placed them in the plastic covers in his leather hippie-bag. Saving paper – that’s cool.

- Young gangster Spike Lee. He’s like Spike Lee, except he’s younger and he’s gangster and he doesn’t have a speech impediment. He cussed out the driver for missing his stop – admittedly the next stop was pretty far.

- The “Oh my gaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaawd” girl. I don’t remember what she looks like. Let’s just say that she was blonde with pink hoop earrings, aviator glasses, and gladiator sandals. She was talking on her cellphone and she said “oh my gaaawwwwd” a lot. Like, a lot, like, really.

- The lady with the angry stare. I only saw her once, but I feel like I may have murdered her cat. She was not happy with me.

- The white Rasta. Notable for being white and being a Rasta, he had a very cute kid. Maybe he was just a hippie. *Sidenote* Laurianne and her friend met a white Rasta the other day – he greeted them with a fist bump and the words “Selassie I.”

- The incredibly tall dreadlocked vegan vampire. He must be six foot eight. He lives/lived in my apartment building. He looks like he may lack some protein, vitamins, essential minerals, and sunlight. How do you get so tall when you only drink soy-milk?

- The little person who is not advancing the cause of little people in the way he presents himself. You’re supposed to call them little people now right? Well, this guy looks exactly the way dwarves are portrayed in fantasy with the big bushy beard, the prominent facial features, big boots, and the axe slung over his shoulder. He doesn’t actually have an axe, but everything else is true. He looks like a stand-in for Gimli in “the Lord of the Rings.” Every time I see him my brain goes “dwarf, dwarf, dwarf, dwarf, dwarf, dwarf.” I can’t help it, he’s a dwarf. Sorry to little people everywhere.

- People with stupid hats. I realize this is Canada and everybody looks a little stupid in the winter time all bundled up against the cold. However, these people are wearing toques that are cartoon animals and they are adults. They’re adults, not children. They have cartoon hats that look stupid. I want one.

- Justin Bieber. I see him everywhere. It’s not a big deal.

- Fedex Delivery People. Why do they take the bus, don’t they have brown vans to drive in? I saw one of them getting a ticket from the transit authority or whatever they’re called. She was upset.

- The guy with the handlebar moustache. I mentioned him before. It was weird. I don’t think I mentioned his boots, which were white and went up to his knees.

- The guy with incredibly large circle-things in his earlobes. WHY DO YOU WANT THAT FOR YOUR FACE? Seriously, your ears must be depressed from being stretched like that. They probably cry themselves to sleep every night. You could honestly suffocate on your earlobes. Your earlobes should not touch your shoulders. A friend once told me that my attached earlobes were an abnormal mutation. I am self-conscious of my ears now. However, compared to your ears, my ears are a thoroughbred racehorse (yours would be more like a crippled mule with a saggy belly). You will never be able to run through a forest if you’re being chased by a psycho because your ear lobes will get caught on the tree branches. You really didn’t think this through did you?

- Mother whose children were really bratty one day and the next day were perfect angels. I know she laid down the law with them when she got home. She was all like “You go ahead and try to lick the stop button tomorrow. Ooooh, you’ll think that this punishment was heaven compared to the fire that will reign down upon your bottom if you even think of putting the sole of your shoe on your sister’s cheek again.” Yeah, awesome sauce.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

"The world is more like it is now than it ever has before."
- Dwight Eisenhower.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Dear Mr. Boerishbwoy,

I am writing in response to your recent letter regarding my children’s work entitled “Fuzzy Rabbit Visits the Doctor.” I do take a lot of pride in the work that I produce, so thank you for your very thorough critique. However, I would like to point out that the intended audience for this book is much younger than you. In fact, I was rather surprised by the heated tone of your criticism.

If I may, I would like to address some of the more harsh aspersions you have cast on the book. First of all, Fuzzy Rabbit is in no way representative of the young people of North America nor is the doctor representative of the “single-minded Soviet Communism that is secreting its dark influences into the impressionable minds of our youth” Fuzzy Rabbit is just a small rabbit who needs to be vaccinated, and the doctor is just that, a doctor. Moreover, the USSR collapsed in December of 1991, nearly sixteen years before my book was even written. The idea that Leonid Brezhnev, who was entirely dead at least twenty-six years before my book came into existence (and two months before I was even born), actively sought me out in order to have me act as “a propagandistic stooge for totalitarian ideals” is absolutely ridiculous.

Secondly, children’s books often utilize repetition as young children enjoy this and it’s helpful for their reading skills. It is not, as you so fervently argued, “yet another jack-booted attempt by the soul-crushing forces of socialism to hypnotize young people through the use of mind-numbing chants.” Also, I would hardly label the words “hippity-hippity hop, hippity-hippity hop” a call for “the proletariats to violently overthrow their governments with bloody and treasonous intent.”

Finally, my illustrator can vouch that the red substance on Fuzzy Rabbit’s mouth near the end of the book is, in fact, raspberry jam and not “the blood of the bourgeoisie.” Please do not write to me again.


Debbie R. Burrows

Friday, March 11, 2011


~ I am playing a lot of soccer lately, both indoor and in a dome on turf. Endorphines are good. My teams are doing well.

~ Kumis!

~ Have you ever ridden on an accordion bus in the accordion part and imagined the bus suddenly splitting in two and contemplated whether you would stay with the front or the back section of the bus? You have? Really? . . . You’re weird.

~ A lot of snow, followed by a lot of rain and warm weather = hopscotch through the puddles.

~ When I was a child I would deliberately jump in puddles during recess. Now? Not so much.

~ I don’t have recess anymore, that’s the main reason.

~ The Endorphines is not the name of my soccer team, although it should be.

~ I watched “the Treasure of the Sierra Madre” recently. I highly recommend this film. If they were to do a remake, they would botch it.

~ The Coen Brothers might be able to do something cool with it, though. They could cast Denzel Washington as Dobbs, Don Cheadle as Curtin, and maybe Al Pacino as the old man. I’d watch that.

~ Dear Treasure of the Sierra Madre,
There are no tigers in Mexico.

~ Yurt!

~ I could be a hand model, that’s how awesome my fingernails are now.

~ John = currently obsessed with Westerns.

~ Rule # 231. If you believe that all of the demonstrations in North Africa and the Middle East are the machinations of a vast Zionist conspiracy, you are not allowed to look at me as if I’m na├»ve when I express a differing opinion.

~ The best Western is a hotel chain.

~ When you miss someone who has passed on, it makes the memories of them that much more valuable.

~ Dear Boerishbwoy,
You’re a little late, and our movie is still more awesome than your blog.
The Treasure of the Sierra Madre.

~ Ulan Batar!

~ Note to self: do not talk to yourself in public places, even if you think no one can hear you.

~ Here’s a tongue twister that I recently made up: How much phlegm would a phlegmatic Flemish flamingo phlegm if a phlegmatic Flemish flamingo had influenza?

~ I tried to watch an episode of “Mike and Molly” the other day. I made it three minutes in before I ground my teeth to the gumline. Also, the laugh track caused my ears to wilt.

~ I recovered, though.

~ This sitcom is so bad, I think it will fill the void left by the absence of “Two and a Half Men” - which I had a similar reaction to.

~ Dear Treasure of the Sierra Madre,
You are no longer on my favourite movies list. My blog is awesome.
P.S. Humphrey Bogart had a gigantic head.

~ Note to man on bus that I sat beside: I did not move because of your ugly hat, I moved because you smelled like the rotting carcass of a fish in the Hamilton Harbour.

~ I like the way tumblr blogs look, but it seems like most people on there just post funny pictures.

~ Genghis Khan!

~ I want to know how to play guitar. I don’t want to learn, though, that would take too long.

~ Dear Boerishbwoy,
Your head is more gigantic, your list will suck without us, and Humphrey Bogart is three times more awesome than the most awesome thing you ever posted on your blog.
The Treasure of the Sierra Madre
P.S. the most awesome thing you ever posted on your blog was the phrase “The Treasure of the Sierra Madre.” Everything else is just okay.

~ I have a pineapple to cut up.

~ Jebtsundamba Khutuktus!

~ Dear Treasure of the Sierra Madre,
I am crying right now. Would you cut some slack if I said that there are tigers in Mexico?
P.S. Just kidding, I just put you below any “Mike and Molly” movie that is ever made in my film ranking system.

~ Note to stranger: you're welcome for humouring you.

~ Dear Boerishbwoy,
We won. That is all.
The Treasure of the Sierra Madre

Thursday, March 10, 2011

"Protest however you want, but do not go into the streets and squares."

~ Moammar Ghaddafi

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

Buster Keaton

Buster Keaton is my favourite comedian of the silent era. The man was a genius of physical comedy, performing stunts that would cause the bravest of modern-day risk assessors to succumb to paroxysms of fear. The next time Tom Cruise brags about performing some of his own stunts (i.e. climbing a wall while wearing a harness), think about Buster Keaton nonchalantly falling three stories onto the ground or impassively passing in front of a moving locomotive. Buster not only performed all of his own stunts, he would often perform the stunts of other characters in his movies.

I love Charlie Chaplin, he had a great talent for pantomime and an ability to create deeply moving films. The humanization that Chaplin brought to his films has stood the test of time. Audiences continue to be enthralled by the humorous little guy, who despite being buffeted by misfortune, would dust himself off and keep trying. Harold Lloyd’s films were more profitable than Charlie Chaplin’s and Buster Keaton’s as their spirit matched the heady optimism of the twenties. It’s easy to relate to Lloyd’s happy, bumbling character and how can you not admire his daring climb in “Safety Last” (1923)? (Especially since he performed the stunt wearing dress shoes and sporting partial prosthesis on his hand). I believe Buster Keaton was best, though. Roger Ebert put it very well:

The greatest of the silent clowns is Buster Keaton, not only because of what he did, but because of how he did it. Harold Lloyd made us laugh as much, Charlie Chaplin moved us more deeply, but no one had more courage than Buster. I define courage as Hemingway did: "Grace under pressure." In films that combined comedy with extraordinary physical risks, Buster Keaton played a brave spirit who took the universe on its own terms, and gave no quarter.

Although likely apocryphal, the story is told that Keaton got his “Buster” moniker from the great Harry Houdini. Houdini, who toured with Keaton’s vaudeville family, witnessed the six-month old slip down a flight of stairs and remarked “what a buster!” However it was obtained, the name stuck, and Keaton’s talent for taking falls grew. Young Buster toured the vaudeville circuit with his family in a popular act that saw the straight-faced child tossed all over the stage by his father, with Buster miraculously escaping injury. When Buster began in movies, he retained this incredible sense of physical comedy as well as his trademark stoic expression. Buster’s first films were with his friend, the great Roscoe “Fatty” Arbuckle. Buster played supporting roles to his mentor and, when Arbuckle was embroiled in scandal, he remained steadfastly loyal.

Buster’s golden period was during the twenties, where he produced his greatest work including “Sherlock Jr.” (1924), “The Navigator” (1924), “The General” (1926), “Steamboat Bill, Jr.” (1928), and “the Cameraman” (1928). The thirties, however, were difficult for Keaton, who lost much of his creative control when he left his studio to join MGM. His marriage to his first wife ended in divorce, he was forced to file for bankruptcy, his friend and mentor, Fatty Arbuckle, died of a heart attack, and Keaton spiraled into an alcoholic haze. It was a dark time for Buster, but he managed, with the help of his family, to bring his drinking under control. He married his third wife, Eleanor in 1938 and their happy marriage lasted until Keaton’s death 26 years later. Throughout this time, he continued to work in entertainment, on television, in film, and on stage.

Keaton was rediscovered by critics and audiences after a Life cover story in 1949. His popularity resurged, and he managed to make as much money in the last ten years of his life as he had during his golden period. Shortly before his death in 1966, he remarked: “I can’t feel sorry for myself. It all goes to show that if you stay on the merry-go-round long enough you’ll get another chance at the brass ring. Luckily, I stayed on."

Wednesday, March 02, 2011

Dear Readers,

I have taken the time to translate the great poem, "My Humps", by the Black Eyed Peas from its slang form into pretentious paraphrasing.

For those unfamiliar with the original words of this epic, you can find them here:

This classic work opens with a male putting forth a question to his female companion. The Peas' use of repetition, chauvinism, and simplistic plot development was peerless. "My Humps" stands along other monumental works like Fergie's "Fergalicious", Gwen Stefanie's "Hollaback Girl", Kelis' "Milkshake", and everything that Ke$ha has ever done. Without further ado, here is the Black Eyed Peas' Legendary Work, "My Humps."

Excuse me, ma’am, but I notice that your figure has rather sleek and generous bulges. May I inquire as to what you intend to do with this voluptuous shape?

To answer you, good sir, I intend to behave in such a manner as to induce a state of inebriation through the round contours of my body, a metaphorical intoxication brought about by my feminine form. I think it bears repeating – round contours, round contours, round contours, round contours, round contours (Please do regard my curvaceous figure).

Many men are driven to irrational acts by me. This is a regular occurrence.
These men conduct themselves most generously, frequently buying me expensive jewelry and name-brand apparel. It is true that the generosity of these men has allowed me to dress myself both fashionably and extravagantly.

Although I have not requested it, men commonly refer to my hind parts most affectionately. They buy the finest denim trousers for me despite my protests. Because of their insistence, I am left with little choice but to accept these gifts.

I must offer my most hearty and staunch protests at this point to any suggestion that I am somehow stealing from these men. After all, I continue to see these men on a romantic basis and manifest my amorous appreciation, my amorous appreciation, my amorous appreciation, my amorous appreciation (appreciation).
I am, good sir, aware that you yourself have an amorous appreciation toward my rounded proportions.
My rounded proportions, my rounded proportions, my rounded proportions (appreciation),
My rounded proportions, with all due respect, have complete control over your person.

Oh dear me, this woman has me investing . . .

Female (interrupting):
. . . You are investing all of your money and time on my personage.

Yes, this is correct, she does indeed have me investing . . .

Female (interrupting):
. . . all of your money and time on my personage.

Yes, correct. I realize I may have asked this earlier, but for the sake of clarity, what exactly do you intend to do with your most robust and ample curves? I am particularly curious about the robust and ample curves of your bottom.

Good sir, my answer remains the same: I intend to induce you into a state of inebriation through my curves, a condition that would be comparable to being intoxicated by curvaceousness.

Again, for the sake of clarity, what precisely are your intentions regarding the excess fat, particularly the excess fat contained within the confines of your denim trousers?

I aspire to induce you to emit a loud piercing sound, a sort of piercing cry inspired by my curvesome figure, if you will. This will all occur because of my curvesome figure, my curvesome figure, my curvesome figure

Pardon me?

My curvesome figure, my curvesome figure, my curvesome figure, my most rounded characteristically feminine attributes (please do witness their proportions).

This may be a bit of non-sequitor, Ma'am, but I had the experience of encountering a young woman at a nightclub specializing in dancing.
She related to me that she would be agreeable to commencing a relationship of a romantic capacity in which pet names would be exchanged. Furthermore, she explained that she was not searching for financial gain, but a sharing of temporal experiences with one another. I responded agreeably by alluding to our differing allocations of melanin through the use of a crude metaphor involving homogenized dairy and chocolate cereal.

Interesting story, sir. Many people have gone on record as saying that I am very seductive. Many young men desire intimacy with me, so that they are constantly in my vicinity. For example, when I am dancing, these young men consistently dance in my proximity in an attempt to grope my rounded rump and leer at me.

However, I would be remiss if I did not warn that, while I am more than willing to be ogled, I draw the line at groping. In fact, if you were to attempt to frisk me, I would create the sort of spectacle you would not desire. No, you would not desire this spectacle. Therefore, I ask that you do not pull upon my hand. After all, you are not romantically involved with me, and I am only attempting to move rhythmically to this music and manoeuvre my curvaceous posterior. My curvaceous posterior, my curvaceous posterior, my curvaceous posterior, my curvaceous posterior, My curvaceous posterior, my curvaceous posterior, my curvaceous posterior, my curvaceous posterior, my curvaceous posterior, my curvaceous posterior.

My rounded globules of fatty tissue (fatty tissue)
My rounded globules of fatty tissue (fatty tissue)
My rounded globules of fatty tissue (fatty tissue)
Both the rounded globules of fatty tissue at the anterior and posterior.

My amorous appreciation has resulted in . . .

Male (interrupting):
Yes, it has resulted in me lavishing . . .

Female (interrupting):
. . . lavishing all of your finances and time on me.

Correct, she has induced me to lavishing . . .

Female (interrupting):
. . . lavishing all of your finances and time on me.

Once again, ma’am, I realize we may have covered this ground earlier, but I must ask what your intentions concerning your curved protrusions, particularly the curved protrusions that are so prominent in you hind parts?

It bears repeating that I aim to intoxicate you with my hind quarters, induce you into a metaphorical condition of drunkenness brought about by my rear end.

Yes, but what do you intend to do with the generous proportions of your bottom that are currently confined to your denim pantaloons?

I am going to force a high-pitched shout from you using only my buttocks.

What was it again that you were going to do with your curved protrusions, particularly the curved protrusions of your posterior segment?

My aim, good sir, is to inebriate you with my posterior segment, make you inebriated with appreciation for my posterior segment.

And what is it you will do with your mammary glands, the mammary glands that are currently furnishing your shirt?

I intend to create tasks for you, sir.

She has made it so that I am investing . . .

Female (interrupting):
. . . You are investing all of your money and time on my personage.

Yes, this is correct, she does indeed have me investing . . .

Female (interrupting):
. . . all of your money and time on my personage.

~ Fin.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Almond Slices

- J. den Boer

In Hartman’s grocery store in the baking aisle
Checking for sliced almonds proves quite the trial
I finally locate bags of cashews and pistachios
but I only see regular almonds, with the skinless ones below
I hover for some time, scanning the shelf with utmost care,
When fortunately for me, a worker happens there
“Excuse me sir, I hate to be a pest
but I have a recipe for which sliced almonds are best,
kindly tell me where I can find this prize.”
He scans the shelf with sharp youthful eyes,
“I see them not,” he points to an empty part of the rack
“Hold on please sir, I’ll check for these almonds in the back.”
I thank him as I gaze forlornly at the shelf
Pondering the time it would take to slice the almonds myself.
A gentleman slowly ambles through my section
Searching the shelves for some unknown confection.
His eyes stare intently past where I stand,
I move and look to where his eyes have scanned.
“Are you seeking sliced almonds?” I point to the empty spot,
“he should be back soon to let us know if they have them or not.”
He thanks me with a smile and a nod of appreciation,
And I grin to myself at this coincidental situation.
For what are the chances that both of our prey
Happens to be sliced almonds at this time of this day?
The worker returns shortly carrying nothing with him
He shrugs his shoulders, “the warehouse is full to the brim,
And I could not locate the sliced almonds anywhere.”
I smile warmly, “Thanks for trying, I appreciate your care.”
I grab a bag of skinless almonds from their perch,
And say, not wishing to leave my fellow almond seeker in the lurch,
“I can grind these up, no, it won’t be as pretty to view.
The chunky almonds are not the same, but it will have to do.”
I tried my best to get those almond slices, no jest.
Some would have given up, but I did my best.
So I am honest when I say that I did not mean to provoke
with the chunks rather than slices of almonds in the boeter koek.

Tuesday, February 08, 2011

“It is an honour to meet you, sir. Read your screenplay and, I must say, I loved it.”

“Thank you, I’m happy to hear that.”

“Now, you might not be familiar with the way the movie industry works, but I have a few suggestions for the screenplay that will make it, shall we say . . . a little more marketable.”


“The, uh, protagonist, what’s his name?”


“Yeah, interesting character - needs a friend - can you write black humour?”

“You mean dark humour? There is some of that in there.”

“No, I mean black humour, like Eddie Murphy-type humour. We need a wild and crazy black friend for Victor.”


“A black friend, you know, to appeal to the urban audience. Can you write black humour?”

“Victor wouldn’t be the type to have a wild and crazy friend, though. Plus, I wrote him as a slight racist.”

“Yeah, maybe nix the racism.”

“But he’s supposed to be unlikable.”

“Yeah, about that, maybe you could give him better manners, make him interact with people more positively?”

“But the point of the screenplay is how this ugly character finds redemption through Lisette.”

“Yeah, Lisette, great character, can her friend, Dolores, be a little more quirky? I was thinking of maybe an Ellen Degeneres type . . . except really fat. Fat people are funny. Maybe we can have Ellen Degeneres in a fat suit?”


“Better yet, a black Ellen Degeneres in a fat suit?”

“ . . .”

“Alright, we’ll leave that on the table maybe.”

“I don’t think so.”

“On the table.”


“Alright, I’ll put it down as a possibility then.”

“I don’t . . .”

“Also, sorry for interrupting, but not a whole lot is happening in this screenplay. Maybe we could introduce a side-plot to liven things up a bit.”

“What do you have in mind? I think the minimalist tone of this screenplay is key.”


“Well, yes, Dolores has immigration issues, but it’s not really stressed in the screenplay.”

“No, no, I mean aliens invading from outer space. We could have Victor and Lisette working out their issues while running away from the invading aliens.”

“No aliens.”

“You’re right, that’s ridiculous.”

“Thank you.”

“It will fit in a lot more to the underlying theme of life and death if we have zombies.”

“There’s no underlying theme of life and death in the screenplay.”

“You can add that, though, right? No sweat. It’ll be a sort of post-apocolyptic art film, the critics will eat that up.”

“No zombies.”

“Zombies are in right now.”

“No zombies.”

“Vampires it is then. We’ll milk this Twilight thing for all it’s worth.”

“Vampires? No. This isn’t science fiction or horror, it’s a drama.”

“Well, vampires are more of a romance thing now and, of course, Victor and Lisette have quite the connection. Victor can be the ugly vampire character who is redeemed by the charm of Lisette. Sound good?”

“No, that’s horrible.”

“You’re right, you’re right, too close to the Twilight thing. Lisette can be the vampire and Victor finds redemption through her.”

“No vampires.”

“Genetic weapons that wreak havoc on the population?”

“No. Out of the question.”

“Alright, alright. I get it, you want something more realistic.”

“Yes, thank you for recognizing that.”

“We’ll go the Day After Tomorrow or 2012 route and have a massive global disaster.”

“That’s not realistic.”

“We’ll tone it down, of course.”


“Alright, alright . . . but what if Dolores isn’t a fat black lesbian?”

“She’s not.”

“What I mean is, what if she’s a psychopathic killer?”

“No, that wouldn’t work.”

“Yeah, we need her humour.”

“She isn’t . . .”

“Unless, unless she’s a fat black lesbian psychopathic killer!”


Thursday, January 27, 2011

There is a crack in everything, that's how the light gets in.

~ Leonard Cohen

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

His dirty hands were tanned and dotted with small scars, veins bulging and crisscrossing their backs. His fingers were thick and creased with wrinkles and marked with callouses. They gripped the handle of a sturdy spade as he churned the soil from the hole. The land around him was a monastery, dark and empty, and the strange meditative silence that enveloped him was somehow appropriate. The only sounds were the blade of his spade scuttling through the earth and the rhythm of his heavy breaths.

“Why do you dig in this rolling wasteland?” I asked him, my voice rasping through the calm like a rusted dagger.

He glanced up, his shovel never ceasing its motion.

“I search,” he grunted. He stopped, only for a moment, to wipe the sweat from his ancient dirt-streaked face. He returned to his work, his seemingly aimless hole widening. The silence, only broken his exertions, returned.

I observed his digging, hoping to divine his purpose. He would dig intently in one place and then suddenly abandon the area and begin to dig somewhere else. His hole was a snake-like maze of trenches of varying depths.

Bemused, I broke the quiet again, “What do you search for?”

“I search,” he repeated, the words coming out as a curse.

“Did you lose something?” I queried.

His knotted arms continued their interminable motion, as soil flew into a section of the hole he had previously dug so intently in. “Yes,” he spat, “I know it’s here.”

“You lost it here?” I ask, “what is it that you lost?”

One hand continued to grip the spade and redistribute the dirt, as the other hand gestured with gangly nonchalance toward a distant hill. “Over there, outside the city wall.”

I gazed at the far off green hill, “why do you search here if you lost it over there?”

He laughed grimly, “it no longer suits my purpose, I need another.”

“And you know the other one is here? What does it look like?”

His shovel ceased, and he turned to me, his eyes betraying a hardened sorrow, “I don’t know.”

The shovel scraped against the soil once again as he returned desparately to his labour.

Friday, January 07, 2011

Rule # 342

If you are carrying a small child in some kind of tote bag in front of your chest in a blizzard during rush hour, you are not allowed to jay walk.

Monday, January 03, 2011

New Years Resolutions 2011:

~ Read more. This will in entail going to the library more. Sidenote: Terryberry Library has got to be the coolest name for a library ever.

~ Blog regularly.

~ Keep in contact with the family more.

~ Keep a tidier home. This will involve folding laundry.

~ Watch the King's Speech and True Grit. This will be a tough one to keep, but I'll do my best.

~ Discover new music.

~ Maybe I'll run? I don't know. There is no resolve behind this resolution.

~ Eat more vegetables, except for cucumbers. Sidenote: Pickles are fine.

~ Eat less pizza. Sidenote: vegetarian pizzas are only half a pizza.

~ Become proficient enough at FIFA to defeat my two brother-in-laws with ease. Or at least win against them fifty per cent of the time.

~ Smile more.

~ Stop balding.

~ Go to church.

~ Write something here so that I have an even number of resolutions.

Who deh?