News from Around the World

AUSTRALIA –  Now that we’ve sort of forgotten about swine flu, maybe we could start worrying about Hendra Virus. This virus doesn’t bother to just make you really sick; it just kills. It’s killed 4 people in Australia already and is contracted by close contact with the bodily fluids of infected horses. Horses become infected with the virus by close contact with flying foxes. It’s only a matter of time before it gets us all!

NEW ZEALAND –   Eighty-two year old Polly Pollock has spent the last 16 years turning a dump near a housing estate into a green space. She’s planted about 3,000 native species trees and had to haul water in buckets to the site because there’s no running water.  She bought or grew all the trees herself. Now that she said the planting is done,  the Navy, who owns the land, told her she can’t use the land anymore. They said they said they’d look after it themselves now that it’s a popular park, walking and jogging trail. Polly is worried because their track record in greenspace maintenance isn’t good. Not to mention they’re a bunch of dickheads.

PollyPollock

SCOTLAND – Okay, here’s this story entitled  “Drink a Factor in Surgery Deaths”. It goes on to say that, “Alcohol abuse was a factor in the deaths of one in 15 patients who died in hospitals last year while under the care of surgeons. A total of 3,461 people died in surgery in 2008. The report found that alcohol was implicated in the deaths of 194 patients, representing about 1 in 15 of of all surgical deaths.”  I can’t figure out from this article if they mean the patients were alcoholics or if the surgeons were all drunk while performing surgery. Can you?

IRELAND – So there’s this 19 year-old-kid who was dying of cirrhosis of the liver and was admitted into hospital with only 3 weeks to live if he didn’t get a transplant. Some people were a little ticked off that he might get moved to the top of the transplant list when they reckon it’s his own damn fault that his liver failed. His dad says the kid didn’t really drink any more than most kids his age and that he deserves a chance. While the debate raged on, liver boy, Gareth Anderson, snuck out of the hospital to go across the road to the pub for a pint.

ENGLAND – There’s an art installation in Trafalgar Square that consists of a plinth where people can get up and do anything they like for one hour at a time, as long as it’s legal. Justin Holwell decided to get naked, horrifying all sorts of men on behalf of their women and children. There’s a video.

CANADA – Our craziest story is the weird incident between former Ontario attorney general Michael Bryant and bicycle courier, Darcy Sheppard. Apparently the two had some sort of altercation after Bryant’s car collided with Sheppard’s bike. Bryant took off and Sheppard went after him. At some point Sheppard grabbed the car, got smashed into a mailbox, then a tree and then got run over by the back wheels of Bryant’s car. He’s dead and Bryant’s in big trouble. I think. I’m not sure. They seem to be trying to make a case that Sheppard wasn’t a very upstanding guy and that he brought it all on himself.

USA – Baptist pastor Steven Anderson delivered a sermon recently entitled “Why I Hate Barack Obama.” He went on to tell his congregation that he prayed that the president would die.

If you want to know how I’d like to see Obama die, I’d like him to die of natural causes,” said Anderson.  “I don’t want him to be a martyr, we don’t need another holiday. I’d like to see him die, like Ted Kennedy, of brain cancer.

I’m pretty sure god is rolling over in his grave.

America’s Just Not That Into Us

Um… hey, Americans?

Why aren’t you visiting Canada like you use to?  Sure, we know you’re having a little cash flow problem at the moment, but if you really, really liked us, you’d still want to find a way to spend time with us, wouldn’t you? We’re only a few miles away.  Texans drive further to the Piggly Wiggly every day than it would take for a New Yorker to come up for the weekend.

According to the people who keep track of this stuff, US to Canada tourism is at a 36-year low !

Why? What have we done?

Haven’t we always been nice? Haven’t we harboured your draft dodgers? Don’t we send you all our best comedians and hockey players and super-models? Didn’t we just spend over $3 million[1] to show your President a good time AND give him free cookies which everybody in the world now wants just because your President bought some? (Seriously, are people totally insane or is it just me?)

So, anyway did the President say anything about us when he got back?  What did he say? Does he like us? Did he say anything bad about us? He said something, didn’t he? What? What was it? He hates us, right?

We knew it. We know you all hate us, don’t you?  A 2007 study said that Americans think Canada is boring!

O.M.G.! Is there anything worse than being called boring?  A relationship can recover from a lot of things, but not boring.

We don’t stand a chance next to exciting, ultra chic New York with our dowdy little matronly Toronto. And how could we ever compete with hotsy-totsy Vegas?

No wonder you can’t stand being around us. We’ve only got Niagara Falls.  Sure it’s got all the kitchy trash of Vegas and a couple of casinos, but no showgirls, no quickie wedding chapels and no Wayne Newton.

 wayne20newton

We don’t blame you for preferring glitzy, glamorous LA or hot, steamy, sultry Florida over our southernmost place: Windsor, Ontario — the genital scab of the country, where the mullet is just now coming into fashion. And it’s not even warm there.

Oh! Is that it? Is it because we’re frigid? Frigid and boring? Is that what you’re saying about us? Is that why you’re staying away?

We are working on it, you know.  We’re all over this new global warming therapy, for instance. So, if it’s beachy you prefer…. well, we could get beachy, we really could.

And how can you call us boring when we’ve got Cirque du Soleil, “the hauntingly beautiful circus full of whimsy and wonder that nourishes the child within you?” Eh? How?

And you’re always saying how clean and pretty we are. Doesn’t that count for anything?

No?

Fine. Stay away. We still have the Japanese and Chinese and Germans and Dutch and those bloody Scots. We’ve got plenty going for us and they know it! And they appreciate us!

So we’ll be just peachy, thank you very much. Will you?

Because every time a frosty wind blows down from the north, you know you’ll think of us. And you know, even as the goosebumps rise on your forearms and your nipples stiffen in the chill breeze, you’ll suddenly be filled with an excruciatingly unbearable yearning for our beavertails. Oh yes you will. 

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[1] I know! THREE MILLION. I couldn’t believe it either. That’s just for security and policing. For 6 hours! It doesn’t include firefighters, paramedics, road closures and buses during the visit. Holy crap!