Archive for July 2008

Only in Splat Creek Ontario (*)…

July 31, 2008

(*) Note:  Based on an earlier post.
ONLY IN SPLAT CREEK….

…Can you go to a picnic area after work, and meet two drunken yahoos who invite you to drink beer with them, fire BB pellets at cans, and teach you how to throw a hunting knife at trees so that the blade sticks in.

…Will the only major Burger King within 30 miles refuse to sell you hamburgers, because their “grill is broken”.

…Can you personally email a restaurant manager about the poor service you received, and the next day get scolded by people all over town, who tell you that you “oughtn’t to have complained like that”.

…Will fellow fishermen act so friendly at the dock, that they’re not the least bit shy about taking a piss where they’re standing, three feet away from you.

…Will the only donut franchise on a 100 mile stretch of highway run out of DONUTS after 8:00 PM.

…Will the only Chip Wagon (located next to the main park and soccer field) close at 6:00 PM during peak summer hours.  (Actually, I heard if you showed up at 5:50 PM, the owner would grumble at you about it being almost closing time).

…Will the Town Library stay open all day, but close between 5:00 PM-7:00 PM,  just when everyone is getting home from work.

…Can you buy Baby Formula at the Cheezi-Mart, but when your kids are weaned and you stop buying it, the store manager gives you shit. (Because you should have TOLD him…now he has stuff back-ordered.)

…Will you find a video store that sorts its movies chronologically rather than alphabetically.   (Good luck trying to find a movie unless you know what year it was made in.)

…Will the local restaurant refuses to give you a table for the buffet because you didn’t “reserve”, even though the place is 90% empty and nobody is waiting in line.

…Can people living in a small town of 4,000 feel superior to the people living in the adjacent village of 900.

…Can you drive through the bush, and meet a Grizzly Adams look-alike wearing combat pants and hunting boots, who invites you to his shack for supper, offers you beer, and (if you want), some weed.

…Can you write a Letter to the Editor to the local paper, and then have some old retired fart harass you on the phone, and try to come by your house to talk to you, because he doesn’t agree with what you said.

Wedding Tips from a Cynical Bachelor

July 30, 2008

Stick to the three-month rule for the wedding ring
Somewhere along the line, some genius (probably from the jewelry industry) decided that the price of a wedding ring should equal three months salary.   And people have been swallowing up this urban myth ever since, as if it were Gospel Truth.

Of course, they didn’t specify whether this applied to someone earning $20,000 a year, or $200,000 a year.   Just pay three months salary, regardless.

Theoretically, you could use that money to buy useless things.  Like a down-payment on your new house together.  The 2nd car.  A Honeymoon in Hawaii.  Or even help pay for the wedding itself.

But instead, prioritize.  It’s important that you invest all your extra cash in a tiny sliver of crystalline carbon mounted in soft yellow metal.

If your future hubby truly loved you, he’d feel the same way.

Schedule your wedding during the best weekend of the summer
Never mind that you have the entire year from which to pick a wedding date.  Never mind that you’re gong to spend 95% of the day indoors.

It’s important that you get married during the precious weeks of June/July/August,  at precisely the moment everyone else wants to be at the cottage or the beach.

GOD FORBID, should you schedule your wedding in April or November.   You could die.   This is just NOT DONE.

Just remember.   There’s nothing people enjoy more than spending a beautiful summer day stuck indoors, wearing uncomfortable itchy clothing and baking in 95 degree heat.

Give yourself bonus points if you schedule the wedding on a long weekend.

Triple Bonus if the reception hall isn’t air conditioned.

Make it a Catholic Wedding, if you can
Churches are rarely air conditioned.  So Hooray!  Now you can extend the sweltering wedding ceremony to a full hour by throwing in an entire Catholic Mass, to boot.

For the Catholic guests, this is fine.  At least they’ll they know how to follow along.

But the non-Catholic guests might have problems keeping up with the priest playing Simon-Says.

Stand up.  Sit down.  A letter from St. Paul to the Crustaceans.  Sit down.  Stand up.  Kneel.  Stand up…etc.

But at least they get to watch everyone else eat the wafer.

Obsess.  And assume everyone gives a shit
The color of the table cloths.  The design of the salt and pepper shakers.  The shoes the ushers are wearing.  The Easter-egg pastel shade of the bridesmaids’ dresses.

There are hundreds of these details to worry about.  And if you think some of these might be trivial…DON’T YOU BELIEVE IT!

My God!!  Haven’t’ they told out about the Double-Secret Probation Checklist that everyone will be filling out at the reception?    Don’t you know that all your friends and relatives will be monitoring and recording each and every nano-detail for the entire day?

Later, everyone will meet in an undisclosed location, and they’ll be comparing notes with each other.  You’ll then be assigned a Wedding Grade that will go on your PERMANENT RECORD.  It will follow you for the REST OF YOUR LIFE and will determine how your peers judge and treat you.

So you better think twice, and start choosing more carefully, when it comes to the flowers for the bouquet, or the style of the limo driver’s necktie.

Because you’ll never know…

Make it a Fruit Cake
Regarding the wedding cake, forget what everyone likes (i.e. chocolate cake or angel-food).  Go with the crappy fruit cake.

There is NOTHING more appetizing than a raisin-encrusted quasi-edible brick.

Except when the same raisin-encrusted quasi-edible brick is smothered with $1200 worth of  fancy white icing.

Yum.

If your guests don’t like it, they can always send their portion to NASA, where it  can be used as a re-entry tile for the Space Shuttle.

Assume Every Memento will end up in the Smithsonian
This is the most important day of your life.   So obviously, it’s your guests’ most important day of their life, too.

So don’t skimp on ANYTHING.   Everything must be as complicated and expensive as possible.

Wedding invitations, for example.

Sure, you could order the store-bought ones that just specify the time, date, and place.  But that would be TOO EASY.

Instead (seeing as how you have copious amounts of free time), why not do it yourselves?

Invest in a paper-making workshop, and fabricate your own poppy-seed gilded rose petal paper at $50 a sheet.   Then take a calligraphy class 6 months beforehand, so you can hand-write the invitations in Gothic manuscript that would put Gregorian Monks to shame.

Never mind that this will take you 1500 hours.  It’s worth it, for the 30 seconds that it will take your guests to read the invitation to find out where the church is.

After the wedding, I’m pretty sure everyone will treasure these mementos of your Special Day, and frame them over their mantelpiece, to cherish for decades to come.

The same things applies to those 250 lovingly-wrapped doily-covered pieces of wedding cake that each guests takes home.   Into the Time Capsule with those.

Make sure the DJ sticks to the tried-and-true formula
Wedding By-Law 102 (Paragraph b) dictates that the following songs MUST be played at each reception.

Lady in Red.
Footloose.
New York, New York.
Shout.
You Make a Grown Man Cry.
Mambo Number 5.

Also, don’t forget:

Hot-hot-hot (so all the women can form a Conga Line and force their reluctant husbands and boyfriends to join in ).

Mony Mony (so that the DJ can turn off the speaker at the precise moment, allowing the younger audience to yell out about mothers’ companions having intimate relations with each other…)

The Bird Dance (make sure everyone is pleasantly sloshed before you play this).

The Macarena (It’s always a pleasure to see middle-aged overweight dance provocatively in sausage-skin tight pantsuits)

Crank the Volume after 11:00 PM to Drive the Seniors Away
Wedding receptions give families the chance to catch up with long-lost relatives and friends they haven’t seen in years (if not decades).  But this can only be allowed for a couple of hours.

To prevent any further conversations or family bonding to take place, have the DJ crank up the speakers to 120 decibels and play really bad Hip-Hop music.

This will drive the older crowd in droves.  The added bonus is that this allows the 20-something yuppie suburban white kids to pretend they’re part of “The Hood” as they “get down” with the music.

(Well, it was past Aunt Matilda and Grampa Yårgen‘s bedtime, anyway!)

My Dog Basil is So Special

July 23, 2008

Author’s Note:  I’m working on a childrens’ book.  Here’s a rough draft of the first installment .  Feel free to let me know what you think…

*********************************************

This is my dog Basil.
He’s a big old friendly dog.

But he’s also, well….kind of “special”.   My Dad says a few bricks short of a full load.

When some dogs bark, they go “Yap! Yap!”, “Woof Woof” or “Bow Wow”.

My dog Basil is so special, he goes “Nee!  Nee!”

Some dogs are afraid of the vacuum cleaner

Basil is so special, he’s afraid of the barbecue.

TO BE CONTINUED…..

Increasing your Traffic with Mr. Dylan

July 23, 2008

For those of you who are new to the Deep Friar, I’m just an amateur blogger.

I write for fun and I’ve managed to generate a small, but loyal following.  But certainly not anything large enough to quit my day job over and start blogging full-time.

And I claim to know NOTHING WHATSOEVER about customer satisfaction, free-lance writing, e-commerce or sales and marketing.

Yet suddenly, I received 2400 hits in just under two days.

At first I thought it was a glitch on the Stats software, but no, it was true.   In fact, I even made the WordPressTop Posts of the Day” and “Growing Blogs” lists.

Holy crap. What happened?

Bob Dylan, that’s what happened.

I wrote a silly post about Bob Dylan, and it got picked up by another website:  http://expectingrain.com.

The site provided a link to my blog, and this was responsible for generating most of my traffic.

Seems Bob is quite the popular conversation topic.

So I’m enjoying my 15 minutes of fame while it lasts.  (But already, I can see my traffic spiking back down to more modest levels.)

My advice to you bloggers out there:  if you want to increase your traffic, then write something about Bob Dylan.

But be warned:  Bob Dylan has many disciples out there…

…and not all of them take kindly if you dare to mock their Prophet.  🙂

Bob Dylan is Messing With Us.

July 21, 2008

Bob Dylan:

Brilliant musician and genius troubadour?

Or just someone spaced out of their gourd, putting random words together?

It’s hard to tell…depending on which song you listen to:

*******************************************

He went down to Oxford Town
Guns and clubs followed him down
All because his face was brown
Better get away from Oxford Town

Oxford Town around the bend
He come to the door, can’t get in
All because the color of his skin
What do you think about that, my frien’ ?

– Oxford Town

Friar’s Critique: This light-hearted cheerful tune poignantly contrasts with the dark underlying message of racism and civil unrest.

Biting satire and social commentary at it’s best.  Brilliant.

*******************************************

I like to do just like the rest, I like my sugar sweet,
But jumping queues and making haste,
It ain’t my cup of meat.
Ev’rybody’s ‘neath the trees,
Feeding pigeons on a limb
But when Quinn the Eskimo gets here,
All the pigeons gonna run to him
.

– Quinn the Eskimo

Friar’s Critique: Okay, this one just makes my head hurt!   An Eskimo named QUINN?  Feeding pigeons?

Rhyming “sweet” with “cup of meat” ?

Bob…tsk! tsk!  tsk!  What were you smoking when you wrote this?

*******************************************

May God bless and keep you always
May your wishes all come true;
May you always do for others
And let others do for you,
May you build a ladder to the stars
And climb on every rung
May you stay forever young,
Forever young, forever young
May you stay forever young.

-Forever Young

Friar’s Critique: Simple lyrics, but powerful.   This could be a farewell to someone on their deathbed.  It could be advice from a grandfather to a grandson.

This song works on so many levels.  I consider it one of Bob’s hidden gems.

*******************************************

Lord, I aint’ goin’ down to no race track
See no sports car run
I dont’ have no sports car
And I don’t even care to have one
I can walk anytime around the block.

Well, the wind a keeps a blowin’- me
Up and down the street
With my hat in my hand
And my boots on my feet
Watch out, so you don’t step on me.

– Bob Dylan’s Blues

Friar’s Critique:  There are only two verses but the whole damn song is like this.  Bob’s just wailing away on his acoustic guitar, and spewing words in a random torrent.

I can just picture the coffee shop pseudo-intellectuals listening to this, and hanging onto Bob’s every word.

But I wonder if he even knew what the next sentence was going to be when he sang this?

*******************************************

There must be some way out of here,” said the joker to the thief,
“There’s too much confusion, I can’t get no relief.
Businessmen, they drink my wine, plowmen dig my earth,
None of them along the line know what any of it is worth

No reason to get excited,” the thief, he kindly spoke,
“There are many here among us who feel that life is but a joke.
But you and I, we’ve been through that, and this is not our fate,
So let us not talk falsely now, the hour is getting late.”

All along the watchtower, princes kept the view
While all the women came and went, barefoot servants, too.

Outside in the distance a wildcat did growl,
Two riders were approaching, the wind began to howl.

– “Along the Watchtower”

Friar’s Critique:  The lyrics are totally stupid and make no sense to me whatsoever.   Jokers and thieves along the line.  (Whaaat?) Not to mention servants (which apparently had to be barefoot).

Yet there’s something about this song that’s compelling.

I have images of princesses and dark castles and a knight riding through a torrential storm.  Getting ready for some big show-down with the Forces of Evil.

I’m on the fence with this one.  This is a great song…but don’t try to tell me there was any conscious thought or meaning put behind these lyrics.

*******************************************

Then take me disappearin’ through the smoke rings of my mind,
Down the foggy ruins of time, far past the frozen leaves,
The haunted, frightened trees, out to the windy beach,
Far from the twisted reach of crazy sorrow

Yes, to dance beneath the diamond sky with one hand waving free,
Silhouetted by sea, circled by the circus sands,
With all memory and fate driven deep beneath the waves,
Let me forget about today until tomorrow.

– Mr. Tambourine Man

Friar’s Critique: In my opinion, these have got to be some of the best song lyrics ever written.  This is pure genius.

While other artists at the time were rolling out simple pop songs with “moon-June-spoon ” lyrics, Bob sang about smoke rings of the mind, circus sands and diamond skies.

He was so far ahead of the pack.  My mind reels with visual imagery whenever I hear this song.

The words “Let me forget about today until tomorrow” really hit home.

It’s amazing how one sentence can say so much.

*******************************************

Well, I got a woman five feet short
She yells and hollers and squeals and snorts
She tickles my nose pats me on the head
Blows me over and kicks me out of bed
(She’s a man eater,
Meat grinder
Bad Loser).

– I shall be Free

Friar’s Critique: (Snicker).    OMG!   He ACTUALLY said “Meat Grinder”.   This entire song is hilarious, and worth checking out.  You know Bob was having a lot of fun when he sang this one.

But what happened to Mr. Poet, Troubadour of our Generation?    This is not exactly the same calibre as Mr. Tambourine Man, is it?

*******************************************


CONCLUSION
:  There is no way anyone this talented can simultaneously put out such brilliant and such stupid lyrics.    Bob Dylan must be two different people

Either that, or he’s just messing with us.

(You know he is.)

I tried, but couldn’t eat this candy…

July 18, 2008

A fluorescent marshmallow SpongeBob Square Pants.

On a stick.

Made in China, no less.

This is wrong on so many levels, I don’t know where to begin.

Watercolors: Too Many Tulips

July 18, 2008

Once in a while (not too often), I’ll paint flowers.

Here’s one I did, when I decided to try tulips.

Oboy.   By the time that painting was done, I never wanted to see a tulip again.

That was five years ago.  I haven’t painted tulips since.

But I think I’m ready again.

Wonder if I should try any of these?  …(or am I just asking to drive myself INSANE?)