Photo: Anthony Topper (flickr) Dear Mooseclean’s: Lately, I feel like a number of my friends have fallen victim to a cult. They talk obsessively about their group, use specialized language and berate themselves for missing meetings. I fear that if… Continue Reading
In 1987, Duane Butler went on holiday in Gabon, after graduating from the University of Manitoba. On a hike through the coastal plains, he came across a young bull elephant standing with one leg raised in the air. The elephant seemed distressed, so… Continue Reading
Yesterday I was eating a ham sandwich and I had another stark realization. Pork is evil.
As wide as the gulf of understanding may be between the Muslims and the Jews, this much they can agree on: Pork is evil.
Of course, they’ll continue their fervid debate on the relative merits of the Koran vs. the Torah, but when it comes to casting their scorn before swine, they’re “Brothers in Argghhh!!!” Because pork is evil.
I seem to get a lot of undue attention from strangers, and nearly always in the form of requests for money.
There are the occasional requests from the local animal shelter or the Children’s Hospital, but never more than once or twice a year. Same goes with the magical transporter screen in my living room, where a variety of well-dressed miniature people appear, give me that earnest look in the eye, then ask me to pledge a donation. Those times are also rare, thankfully, and if I whistle and pretend not to hear them they’ll usually stop asking without making a scene. But it’s the constant letters and phone calls that annoy me the most.
Dear whitish semi-translucent somewhat curdish looking substance, freeloading between my left and right baby toes and their respective next-door neighbours:
Now look—I consider myself a patient man. Not Ghandi patient, or even Mandela patient, but certainly more than Kanye patient or Alec Baldwin patient. But your persistent and unwarranted existence is really becoming a source of irritation, both in a physically literal and a more abstract psychological sense. In no uncertain terms, I am demanding that you shove off immediately.
Often it happens that I lie awake at night, unable to sleep, or sleeping fitfully as I ponder the ants that urinate in my driveway.
It isn’t enough that they inhabit my property, feast on my fertile grasses, and write weekly letters to the editor complaining about the appalling conditions under which they live. Of course I am never named in these letters, but I know that everyone knows that they mean me. Who else’s ants write to the local newspaper?
Now let’s just dismiss your first point of contention right away by saying that the fact that you are reading these non-words in a non-existent letter does not in any way, shape or form constitute some kind of proof that they were written by me, and therefore I must exist.
I’ve heard it said by people that “there is no compulsion in religion”. What exactly does that mean?
I wish someone would explain it to my family, because ever since I quit attending church regularly, they’ve been trying to compel me to return. Sure feels like compulsion to me. Of course, when I say “compulsion” what I really mean is “spiritual extortion”.
Sometimes I miss having a car, but then something inevitably happens to remind me that things are no better whether you’re a pedestrian or a motorist.
For example, just today I was travelling along the transit platform on my way into the shopping mall, when a woman passed me at high speed, then slowed down to a dead halt right in front of me. I was immediately struck by the urge to lean on my horn, roll down my window and yell obscenities while extending a raised finger at her rear-view mirror. But it was then that I remembered that I wasn’t in a car, and neither was she.
Every day on the bus ride to work I disembark at Metcalfe Station, where every day fat, unshaven men in garish, corporate vests try to make me read their free newspapers. I don’t like free newspapers. They are, by definition, worthless.
It’s a universal truth that things with value cost money, while things without value are free—particularly where fat, unshaven men are concerned. If it weren’t, then Richard M. Stallman would be the Editor of the Boston Globe, instead of the author of licenses no-one reads, and software that no-one uses. Also, Paul Prudhomme would probably be making edible steak and potato dinners, Dom DeLuise’s surviving relatives would be dusting the mantelpiece around his collection of Oscars, and Meat Loaf would be gyrating suggestively on MTV.