Friday, March 30, 2007

Recent News Roundup: Pour Him Over Ice Cream for a Nice Parfait

Have you been keeping track of what's going on in our fine world? You're probably up to speed on the big local stuff -- youth crime still rampant, downtown still dangerous, Jets still gone, so on and so forth -- so I'll run through a few items of interest beyond the top city stories. Wouldn't want you to miss anything!

First off, if you hadn't noticed this in yesterday's papers, I feel the need to note it now. The top of page B1 of yesterday's Winnipeg Free Press is an article about a Unicity Taxi driver, one who was suspended after sexually assaulting two young women. And the top of page B2 of yesterday's Winnipeg Free Press... is an article about an entirely different Unicity Taxi driver, one who was suspended after getting completely plastered and then plowing his cab right through the front wall of a living room in Maples.

What are the odds that two separate stories about Unicity drivers doing remarkably poorly at their jobs would top the first and second pages of the local section? Well, I used to work overnight shifts at a hotel with an attached bar -- so from my experience, I would say the odds are pretty good. My biggest surprise about any of this is that the top of page B3 wasn't an article about somebody dying of a brain clot after listening to Unicity's absolutely vomitous hold muzak for seemingly forever.

If you are considering phoning a cab at two in the morning on any given night, my advice is don't. Hitch a ride, walk, form a makeshift skateboard out of wood and beer cans, nap for four hours until the buses start running again (Winnipeg Transit's nonexistent overnight service really is a shameful reflection on our city) -- because you know what? These options will still be faster and cheaper than the countless minutes of terrible music and the glacier-slow car response time involved with getting home via taxi. Wait times of up to an hour were not uncommon with Unicity when I called to specifically request a cab for the manager each night, just to give you an idea of what I'm talking about here.

I hope that proposed airport shuttle idea goes through. I really do. Just to stick it to 'em.

But anyway! All that is yesterday's news, literally and figuratively. What all is buzzing around the news world today?

Well, this in particular caught my eye:

Oh, well, okay. Never underestimate the power of the human mind to concoct the worst possible rationalizations of failure.

"We find ourselves in third place for the first time in generations; this was our party's worst electoral showing since Trudeau was in power. What happened?"
"The, uh... the emergence of a third and equally competitive party in a provincial sphere desperate for change, combined with a salient general wane in support for the separatist movement?"
"What th--of course not! We are in third place because our leader likes men!"

So, if you were wondering, Andre Boisclair isn't Premier today entirely because he is an open homosexual -- just like Bob Rae isn't Liberal leader today entirely because his wife is Jewish. Remember: in Canadian politics, defeat is always taken personally!

Speaking of Liberal leaders. As any particular given news outlet will have mentioned by now, current Liberal leader (and, I continue to suspect, human Muppet) Stephane Dion fired off this line yesterday:

"I gave Canada Clarity; Stephen Harper gave Canada Flaherty."

Ba-zing. Jesus Christ. I want to know who wrote that for him so I can send that person flowers, or cigars, or something. What's the proper token of appreciation for excellent zingers? Is it a hug? I will hug you, unidentified speech writer!

See, this is why I love Canadian politics; most of the time you can kick back and pay attention entirely for entertainment value! Dion thinks he's hot right now because he got one rhyme in -- but he'll have nowhere to run when Ed Broadbent challenges him to a rap battle!


I couldn't resist. I'm sorry.

And that wasn't even the news item that inspired me to post today! No, after all of that, what finally got me started today was three paragraphs tucked quietly away in the depths of the paper.

Yes, seriously.

The artist is in the right and the organized religion knee-jerk reaction is in the wrong, of course, but that's not why I bring this up.

I glimpsed this, with amusement, very early this morning; right from the second the headline hit my eyeballs, a particular song started up in my head. That song kept going for the next several hours -- playing and looping and repeating itself -- until I gave up, plunked down with a borrowed electric guitar, and finally learned how to play it.

And if there was one song I would never have expected to lead into with a timely news item, it would have been:

Tom Waits - Chocolate Jesus [buy]

Just to bring this post around full circle -- I put on literally hundreds of CDs during my tenure at that overnight hotel job I had mentioned, and through all of that only three artists I was listening to were ever recognized by a passerby, guest or fellow staff member. One of those artists was Tom Waits. So you can rest assured that Tom Waits brings people together; if there were one man walking the planet right now that could handle the responsibility of being a prophet, I should hope it would be him.

It's a great big crazy world out there, folks! Try not to let it kill you!


Sheena said...

Found your site through the Manitoba Blogroll. I cannot think of a better possible name for a Winnipeg blog.

James Howard said...

Heck, so far the name's the best part!