Faith Can Move Mountains... But Dynamite Works Better

Thursday, November 28, 2019

Turkey Comas And Rioting Shoppers

America has Thanksgiving today. We Canadians sensibly had this whole thing last month at harvest time, and we don't really make that big a deal of it. So anyway... Happy Thanksgiving! Try not to get caught up in a turkey coma.

Friday, November 22, 2019

Narcissism Versus Cannibalism

Self Absorbed Director Announces New Film; Real Reporters Exasperated

Los Angeles (AP) It is a truth universally acknowledged that some creative talents in Hollywood aren’t that talented. This has never been truer than with Michael Bay, the director behind such explosion prone films as Armageddon, Pearl Harbor, and the Transformers franchise. Bay, who has never met a detonation he didn’t feel orgasmic about, suffers from a classic case of hyper-narcissism. This reporter, doomed for the remainder of his working career to have to work for a crazy, anger management challenged editor (albeit remotely, since the whackjob has a restraining order forbidding him from being anywhere near this reporter) attended a press conference at the production offices of Digital Domain, one of Bay’s enterprises.

This reporter would like to add (editor: hey! You don’t get to add anything, you insufferable jackass! And don’t call me anger management challenged!) that this is systematically unfair, as this reporter is not an entertainment reporter. This reporter, after all, has a working brain (editor: the fact that you hate it is the reason I keep sending you out on these assignments. Because I want you to be miserable. Because I hate you. Oh, do I hate you!).

And so it was that this reporter showed up for the press conference, attended mostly by entertainment reporters, but a few other actual reporters who were condemned to gigs like this for the time being. Mostly because of cranky editors who really should lighten up (editor: don’t tell me to lighten up, you miserable mother****er!!!). The auditorium hall was filled with gushing entertainment reporters, while the real reporters rolled their eyes and braced themselves for an incoming ego-storm. After all, a full length mirror was already set up on the stage by the podium, as usual. This is very much a Michael Bay thing to do.

A spokeswoman came out. “Ladies and gentlemen, thank you for coming out. And now, without further ado, please put your hands together for the one, the only, the greatest film auteur in cinema history…. Mr. Michael Baaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaayyyyyyyy!”

The entertainment reporters broke out into wild applause. This reporter wondered how much the spokeswoman was being paid to build up Bay’s ego (editor: Shut up! Michael Bay is a great filmmaker!). And out came Bay himself. He looked the same as usual: two or three days of beard stubble, dishevelled hair, jeans, blazer, and denim shirt. He waved at the crowd, smiling in that goofy way that suggested not much was going on between the ears. He paused at the podium, glanced at his reflection in the mirror, and smiled more, blowing kisses at himself and winking at himself.

“Thank you for coming out!” Bay said, finally facing his audience. “But of course you came. Because everyone wants to know what I’m up to. Because that’s how fascinating I am. You know, like many of you, I pay attention to the news. And like many of you, I pay attention to cheesy B- movies. What do the two of those have attention, you ask?” This reporter found himself concluding that calling Bay’s filmography cheesy B-movies would be generous (editor: shut up!).

“Well, let’s look at the latter first. The Sharknado franchise. Now that struck a nerve with a lot of people. Including me. It was a lot of fun. Not enough explosions, but a lot of fun anyway. I thought about it for a long time. I could just go and do a remake of that. But why just go for a remake when there’s other material I could play around with? A different kind of story, with a different kind of animal adversary. The sort of animals that don’t get a lot of exposure in feature films.”

This reporter rolled his eyes, envisioning a film about guinea pigs. Yet that wasn’t the case. Bay paused for a moment and continued. “A few weeks back we all heard the story about the cannibal ants. Stuck in a nuclear bunker for a few years, turning on each other and cannibalizing the dead. I thought, there’s a movie in that. Cannibal Ants… a big, prestige sort of film that can win me lots of Oscars, because everyone loves a success story. So that’s the story I want to tell. An epic adventure with a scheming mad bomber of a villain controlling ants, and the only thing that can save the world is a plucky scientist heroine who just happens to know how to defuse bombs. Because you can’t have a film without bombs.”

“Are you crazy?” this reporter asked.

Bay looked confused. “Why do people keep asking me that?”

“Because it’s a reasonable explanation,” this reporter pressed.

“No it’s not. Now you’re interrupting my train of thought,” Bay insisted. “Ladies and gentlemen, let me bring out two members of my cast for this whole thing. I’ve worked with this guy a lot, and nobody plays crazy just like he does. So give it up for my pal and yours, playing Vladimir Drago, the mad scientist turned mad bomber who’s found a way to control cannibal ants… Mr. Nicolas Cage!”

Cage came out on stage…. Stumbled, to be precise, seeming drunk, waving around a bottle of scotch. “Hey! Thanks for coming out!” He shuffled over to Bay, grinning like an idiot, looking like he’d rolled out of bed five minutes ago, or had been up all night drinking.

“Now then usually I’d be going for the hero and heroine that I usually cast in my films,” Bay said. “Unfortunately my go-to team of Megan Fox and Shia LaBeouf are unavailable at the moment.” Bay didn’t go into detail about how Fox and LaBeouf are presently facing charges of grand larceny, jaywalking, and public indecency in regards to the infamous Bensonhurst Incident in August. “So I thought about it, and I thought, if I’m not making a Sharknado film, I can at least make a nod to it by casting a member of the old Beverly Hills 90210 show as my lead. So give it up, playing the lead, an expert in insect behaviour…. Doctor Francesca Fallon, everyone say hello to Tori Spelling!”

Out came the former 90210 actress, if you want to call her an actress. Spelling has spent the last few years as a reality show fixture and tabloid headline. She’s had some plastic surgery done, has been used to hanging around with a drunk, what with her husband, and still comes across as an airhead. “Hey there!” she said in a bubbly but vacant way as the applause from the entertainment reporters died down. “It’s wonderful to get this chance to work with Michael. I think it’s a crime he hasn’t been given lots of Oscars, but we’re gonna do everything we can to make this right.”

“You’re actually expecting people to believe Tori Spelling playing a scientist?” this reporter asked.

“Of course I do,” Bay said. “Folks, this film is going to be epic. Terrifying cannibal ants by the millions. Mad bombers and extortion schemes. Taking over the world. And all our hopes rest in just one person.” And if this was reality, this reporter mused, the world would be totally screwed. “We’re going to be announcing more cast members as we go along. Steve Buscemi told me to go **** myself for some reason, but I’m sure he was just joking. For the moment, ladies and gentlemen, give it up for the protagonist and antagonist of Cannibal Ants, coming soon!” With that, Bay, Cage, and Spelling left the stage. Entertainment reporters applauded wildly.

This reporter took his leave of the building, wishing to never be sent here again, but knowing that his editor is a vile, cranky, rotten excuse for a human being who relishes torturing everyone who (editor: if you don’t shut up right now, I’m going to douse you in barbecue sauce and feed you to cannibal ants).

This reporter closes with this statement: that was a threat, and that violates the restraining order in place against the editor (editor: do you think I really give a damn about a restraining order???)

Tuesday, November 19, 2019

A Day In The Life Of A Cat

And so it is time for the cat to have her say. Show her the respect she deserves, for she is a supreme being, after all.

7:04 AM. Waking up at home. Taking a big stretch. Slept exceptionally well. Dreamed of the biggest stretch of catnip ever seen by any cat.

7:07 AM. An examination of the exterior from my perch on the back of the couch. More snow has fallen in the night. Flying lunches hanging around the feeders. If I was out there right now, I’d be stalking every last one of you. 

7:11 AM. Waiting on the staff to get down here and see to my breakfast. I do hear her moving around up there, which is a good thing. That means I won’t have to go up there and yell at her to wake up. Of course, waiting on her to finish getting ready for the day is trying enough. Patience, patience. She’ll be down sooner or later.

7:19 AM. The staff finally gets downstairs. It’s about time, staff. I’ve been waiting for you to get down here for a quarter of an hour. Do you have any idea how frustrating it is to wait for that long? Now then, how about seeing to my breakfast? 

7:20 AM. Instructing the staff about how I want my breakfast as she goes into the kitchen. Now then, staff, do pay attention, because I don’t like repeating myself. If you set your alarm clock a half hour early, you could come down here and put a plate in the fridge in advance. Because I like my breakfast plate slightly chilled for optimum dining experience. And I would remind you that while milk and meat is entirely to my satisfaction for breakfast, the same does not apply to the field rations you keep putting down for me too. Are we clear on that?

7:23 AM. The staff has set down a bowl of milk and a plate of tuna for me. For whatever reason she persists in putting down a bowl of field rations too. I set to work on the milk and tuna. I shall ignore the field rations, and perhaps someday she’ll get the message.

7:25 AM. Finished with my breakfast. Heading back into the living room so that my staff can have her breakfast in peace. Because, after all, I am a benevolent higher being.

7:36 AM. The staff is on her way out the door, off to that work place. Well, have a good day, staff. Don’t forget to bring home some milk when you’re on the way home.

7:38 AM. I hear the distant barking of that idiot dog down the road. Someone remind me what the exact purpose of dogs is again, because I can’t figure it out.

8:03 AM. My tail is twitching furiously. I’m on the back of the couch. And a squirrel is on the window ledge outside staring in at me. A pane of glass and two feet of empty space separate us, and the little bastard knows it. Which is why he’s sticking out his tongue at me and giving me the finger. 

8:05 AM. The squirrel appears to presently be laughing and has turned to moon me. This is hardly the sort of behaviour to be engaged in around a superior being like a cat. I take my leave, refusing to give this miscreant an audience.

9:58 AM. Waking up from a nap. A yawn and a stretch. You can never stockpile too many naps, if you ask me, and you are asking me.

10:04 AM. An examination of the kitchen determines that the only food out and about is field rations. See, this is the problem with my staff. If she installed automatic food dispensers instead of leaving field rations around, I wouldn’t be in this situation. Well, I shall just ignore the field rations. For now.

11:17 AM. Watching a flat earther advocate trying to get his point across on CNN. Why isn’t the host putting a stop to this nonsense? Or challenging them? We all know the world is a sphere. If it was flat, the cats would have knocked everything off the edges.

12:02 PM. Coming back into the kitchen. Staring at the bowl of field rations. What to do, what to do…

12:04 PM. After much reluctance, I start eating some of the field rations.

1:28 PM. My peaceful nap is interrupted by the barking of that annoying mutt from down the road. A glance at the clock suggests that it must be time for the mailman to be dropping off the mail. Does it occur to the foul hound that it’s only the guy’s job to do that?

4:10 PM. Watching the Weather Network. They’ve brought back that crazy guy who keeps predicting the end of the world every time there’s a snowfall and has spent one too many times in a mental hospital. Is this general policy over there to hire paranoid lunatics, even if they have the proviso that he’s ‘doing better now’?

4:13 PM. Sure enough the crazy forecaster has gone off on a rant about how ten centimetres of snow overnight is going to result in closures of everything, of mass starvation, of looting the stores and eating the dead, and… oh, there he goes suggesting that if you have to, you can kill someone so that you’ll have a food source. And with that they drag him off the air.

4:14 PM. The other meteorologist apologizes for the behaviour of her colleague and promises he’ll get all the help he needs and will be back soon. Look, all due respect, this is like the twelfth time this guy has suggested we’re in Donner Party scenarios here- when we’re not- and you people still let him on the air after he does a couple of months in St. Waldo’s Home For The Deranged?

5:19 PM. The staff arrives at home. Well, staff, I’ll have you know that you missed seeing the deranged forecaster back on the job for less than fifteen minutes before being dragged off by the producers. So how was your day? And more important, did you bring any milk?

5:46 PM. Observing the staff while she makes dinner. She’s doing some work with stewing beef, which of course I approve of.

6:20 PM. Dinner with the staff. She’s having sprouts with her meat. I don’t know why, I mean, what is the appeal of sprouts? But she’s been good enough to give me a plate of stewing beef, uncooked, of course, just the way I like it. Now if you could be this thoughtful with breakfast, that would be ideal.

7:03 PM. While the staff is doing the dishes, the television is on the news. And it turns out that crazy forecaster just escaped from a place called Belwood. If you ask me, St. Waldo’s Home For The Deranged is a much better name for a mental hospital.

8:48 PM. Lying in the living room, staring up at the ceiling, pondering the great mysteries of existence. When did the purr first come into common usage among the various feline species? 

11:35 PM. The staff is off to bed. Very well, staff, but do keep the door open. I expect to be able to access you at any hour of the night, particularly if I want to walk all over you at four in the morning. Because that’s the sort of thing a cat likes doing.