I had a college roommate who possessed good looks and charisma. He exuded passion. In college he felt that taxes were unconstitutional because he believed the government had been taken over by a ruthless organization which was in turn controlled by a group of powerful industrialists. These industrialists used kings and….
I’ve often wondered how parents teach their children to love.he other day I found one way. I was writing a screenplay with a former undercover Mountie Sergeant Dalton Taggart. He, his wife and two teenage sons live in Victoria, and I had a wonderful time staying with them and working on the movie. The two Taggart boys…
Most parents have no business raising children. They labor under total illusion as to their offsprings’ intellect.Take my friends, the Thors, who invited me to meet their new baby, Liam.I had no wish to meet any baby. (One does not have to be a rocket scientist to realize that few children under eight years are not human when it…
Boxers have left hooks and right crosses. Or is it left crosses and right hooks? Anyway, for me, there will only be one kind of hook, and that’s Charlie Taggart’s right hook. Charlie had an iron hook, the result of a boyhood flirtation with dynamite that almost blew him off the map.I will always be indebted to Charlie …
Being a CB radio operator, when I heard static coming from the Hale-Bopp Comet, I homed in on it.I was astonished to make contact with someone lurking behind the comet. Following is a transcript of our conversation:”This is Do,” said a frail voice through the ether.”Are you the leader of that cult that killed…
He died Sunday, October 10, in Edmonton. His family had sold his house and he had moved into the Waterford, an assisted living complex. He stayed there barely a week and then had to return to the Grey Nuns Hospital and intensive care.His short-term memory was burned out, but I could get him back on track by talking…
When you go to college you meet people and if you’re lucky one or two often become friends. In my case I met three guys. We become friends for life. We were roommates at BYU together. There was Darrell, Kent and Dennis. I was very lucky.Darrell Jones made a hundred times more money than the other three…
Stina Thor’s family and friends said goodbye to her, September 14, 2002 in Malibu. She was born in 1958. When I met her in 1968 I would have bet she was going to live forever. Stina had everything. Brains, beauty, humor, an infectious enthusiasm for life and she really cared about people. Her father, Larry Thor, was my professor at UCLA.
We have some dear friends in Australia and they are going to have a grandchild in a few months. The mother-to-be often wonders what her baby might be thinking about or saying. I was able to contact the child and here are the things the child wants in a few months. Hi Mom, Just a quick note to let you know how things are going.
Recently, a dear friend, Gary Dartnall (the executive producer of a film I wrote), became effusive with his praise when I handed in some rewrites. Gary also took to bursting into upbeat songs and I noticed he was tipping waiters more than five per cent. It was obvious to both the director and me that Gary was slipping…
Each time Kate and I go to the national parks in Canada we hear stories of Elk that escape the parks by rolling over the Texas Cattle Gates. I wanted to see if it was possible for an Elk to do this and get a photo of it. Many days I waited and waited…
I make the astonishing observation that cell phones (mobile phones) caused the murder rate to drop annually from 2,200 to 500 in New York. Of course, I know nothing about statistics but neither do statisticians. Still, if you look at when the NY murder rate started to plummet (around 1995), you will see that’s when cell phone saturation hit almost…
You know, talking to friends and colleagues about rumors and happenings. Meaningless babble. Apparently we are hard-wired to stand around the water cooler and chew the fat since in the good old days knowing what was going on, saved having our own fat from being chewed up. “Say did you hear Uncle Henry was eaten at ….
Some become diplomats through birth. Others through dedicated education and focused study. A few geniuses, such as myself, achieve statesmanship (the ultimate diplomacy) through pure genius. I won’t give details and examples, Gentle Reader, for that would insult your intelligence. I am sure you are aware Prince Phillip…
Yep. I have three passports. US. Canada and GB. No, I’m not a spy except in my dreams in which I pilot my personal flying saucer. I love England, Canada and the USA. And wisely picked the correct grandparents so that I ended up a citizen of all three countries. Having three passports has caused me some….
Tools. The things that separate men from
Using ominous and shiny tools, dentists can hammer fresh incisors into your head after some miscreant uses a tire iron (auto tool) to smash in your porcelain caps (bite tools) because your wallet (money tool) contained only ….
It would be a singular honor for the town to have me address the expected throngs—present and past lovers of Coronation. 3,000+ guests are expected. The town will be aswarm with visitors. Many are aware that I have written short stories about Coronation.
Background: Coronation, Canada (pop. 999), celebrates its centennial and I’m invited to speak. I confide to anyone who will listen, including the postman and gardener, that I’m the keynote speaker and guest of honor.My wife, Kate, has her doubts, plus it’s going to cost us a bucket of bucks to get back to my hometown … more expensive by…
I listen to senators and garbage collectors referring to themselves as public servants and my mind immediately substitutes public enemy and their faces turn to a twisted image of Jimmy Cagney as a two-bit gangster.America, once a magical country, has stopped producing anything much except weapons of war and…
Jacko Chessman, California career criminal, at the Flyaway bus ticket window, mulled over his last two decades in the Golden State. “I adore Southern California,” said Mr. Chessman, who served twelve of the last twenty years behind bars. “Truth is, our worst lock-ups beat most world-class resorts. You got the best climate on…
Kate and I flew to Las Vegas for one day and two nights—my only gal cousin, Pris, is living there with her husband. It was her birthday. We saw the water show for free at the Bellagio. Best thing to watch in Vegas. We spent no money gambling. The Eiffel tower is newer than the one they have in Paris. A security guard told me…
Historians will examine this decade to determine what went woogly. Someone will have to take responsibility for the disappeared dollars (about twenty trillion) and, the beginning of the ice age. And, oh yes, the raging cannibalism when the starving masses realized lawyers could constitute fine sources of protein.
When the Twin Towers disappeared in flames many thought a bunch of stupid and cowardly terrorists did it.
I felt that it was one of the cleverest sneak attacks that the world had ever seen and that the people behind it—although the personification of evil—were smart. And brave.
I am looking for a room to rent mainly on Thursday afternoon to evening. Could be other days rarely. My girlfriend and I would be meeting there. I would prefer following but not MUST:
1) Should be able to get a key to access this room so that I don’t have to bother someone to open it for me.
My wife and I do not have any children and we are sad about this. But we are even more sad about the number of children our friends are producing. It was not easy, but after we received the above Christmas card I wrote the following to the man who was responsible for these 28 children. Has he no shame?
The waters off the coast of Kona, Hawaii are said to be magical. And I have a story about that magic. It involves gypsies, a piper and a whale. The gypsies live in Kona and live to play music and conquer the sea — which was always the dream of their father.
We’ve been looking for them for most of my life and with little success. Make that no success. Until recently we sent out signals to reach out and touch someone or something. This seems to me to be a little dangerous. Kind of the like Bambi mailing mapquest directions of his home to the Big Bad Wolf. It’s lucky the Klingons didn’t get
I am a Canadian Citizen and have paid my full and fairly honest taxes for many years. Partial confession. I am not perfect. When I was ten I stole Lifesavers (peppermint) from our local grocer in Didsbury, Alberta, and although I was under a cloud of suspicion for over a year, I was never apprehended…
I might live to be a hundred he says. “But then again, there’s a chance I won’t. ”He taps a cigarette from a pack and touches a match to the tobacco and inhales deeply.
Now in his 81st year, Doug Paul, MD, contemplates death, something—he, as a medical doctor—has battled against all of his life. Until recently that battle has been fought on behalf of others.
New Zealand is the most beautiful and safest place in the world. Add to this a winter average temperature of 75 degrees and you have paradise. My wife and I just returned from Auckland, New Zealand. We were there for the shortest day of its year – June 21. In the Southern Hemisphere everything is backwards. Their winter is our summer and so on.
I usually concentrate on writing humorous pieces.
Recently, though, I haven’t felt like writing funny stuff, since I’ve been thinking a lot about the death of my mother, Pearl. I miss her. She was wise and funny and compassionate.
Born in 1903, she weathered all the depressions—
There’s a novel way to deal with people like me who may soon be faced with dementia and/or Alzheimer’s. According to the Telegraph in Great Britain, the Benrath Senior Centre in Düsseldorf, Germany had problems with patients wandering off. Residents, because of short term memory loss, inevitably forgot why they had left the facilities.
I recently told you there was a way to get some of the cheese, the cheese being the money and/or real property in a world that offers diminishing jobs and spiraling inflation. I think by now you realize that my philosophy is to work for yourself. There are many reasons for this but one of the best ones is that when you work for yourself you have
Let us begin with a small Ponzi scheme. Bernie Madoff put one together – we all know he bilked sophisticated investors out of fifty billion dollars. He is going to jail for forever and day. Everyone knows how a Ponzi scheme works. Essentially you persuade people to let you invest their money and then you put it in your pocket. You pay the people who invested
If you are looking for the smartest scholars in the world come to my home, within walking distance of The University of Alberta. I rent rooms to four grad students who attend the great campus. I would put my four fellows up against any group of scholars who have ever lived. Aristotle, Einstein, Hawking. It would not matter. My lads – in their sleep
They say nothing ever happened in Coronation but I heard stories about the Gent from Geneva, who in the late 1940s, arrived in Alberta. This guy, I think his name was Franz, had seen a travelogue of Western Canada. Its majestic Rocky Mountains gave Franz the idea that moving to Alberta was like living in Switzerland in the shadow of the
They say nothing happened in Coronation but they must have been out of town one Saturday night in 1960. The evening started out dull, not much to do but watch a movie at The Avalon, the town’s only theater, or maybe wander over to the Chinese cafe and have a cold Coke and a warm piece of pie. Sometimes there was a dance or a
Background. After months of mind games (using electron microscopes to find fly specs on my head shot so it could reject my application and destroy our travel plans), Passport Canada reluctantly awarded me a new passport but sent my driver’s license and birth certificate to a stranger, Mr. X. They also sent me Mr. X’s old passport
Note to self: When buying co-ops in New York go for something above the fifth floor. Perhaps global warming will cause the oceans to rise and New York will be underwater and you will drown on lower floors. Logical? Nope. Within a New York second of the Atlantic’s rise Washington will hire a bunch of Dutch engineers to build dikes along the
The chaos was worsening. The loons on St. Margaret’s Bay sang silly songs in the Nova Scotia fog. A phone rang and McDuff, 71 and overweight, sat bolt upright. He felt insignificant on his huge Simmons Beautyrest memory foam bed in the corner of his massive second floor suite. Nestled beside McDuff his third wife Danielle, 35,
Not that far in the future, a few years after the kids learned to use surface-plus computers … the Armed Forces of Earth offered a course called War Animation for Peace (WAP). The course was a hit with the younger cyber crowd. It took six years of intense dedication and you learned how to annihilate computer-generated space invaders.
Bill Meilen told me that the difference between a wedding and a funeral in Wales is one less drunk. At the time he was gravely ill but even so his humor did not fail him. Days later on September 4, 2006, Bill, 73, died. My wife, Kate, and I attended his funeral in downtown Vancouver, BC, where he and his wife, Patricia, had made their home for the
As you will recall I decided to write a history book that is easy enough for any nine year old to understand. Becki, a distant cousin, is about nine. (History lesson 1) Becki wrote me back a nice letter about our forefathers.
Since we regard you as a “partner” in our banking family, we at the Royal Bank appreciate your concerns. Rest assured, we look upon the administration of your money as a solemn duty.
You wrote to me that you felt we were
Max Wayward was the first person publicly executed in California as a result of the Travel Controls & Restrictions Act of 2007.
The governor of California presided over a television special, showing authorities strapping a sedated Wayward to a green gurney as a medical doctor pumped blue liquid into his main artery.
I usually have the greatest admiration for Steven Spielberg, a film genius.
War of the Worlds. Its best feature is the voice over by Morgan Freeman. The guy could convince me that my wife is perfect. He has that kind of power. He’s so good that he could probably convince my wife that I’m perfect.
Supermodel Niki Bassett divides her hectic life between New York runways and faraway Ethiopia.
Ms. Bassett, who earns $100,000 a day posing for clients such as Victoria’s Secret, returned via private jet from Ethiopia where she had addressed indigenous groups in an effort to raise the consciousness of women…
CNN: Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, the suspected mastermind of the Sept. 11 attacks and a senior operative in Osama bin Laden’s al-Qaida network, was captured Saturday in a joint raid by CIA and Pakistani agents.
Our crew on the Olympia Voyager had warned and re-warned us of the perils of exploring the 166-square mile island-country on our own, emphasizing and reemphasizing that the only safe way to explore the home of the world’s oldest rum (Mount Gay—300 years and still going strong) was under the guidance of a certified Oylmpia Voyager excursion
I recently spent several days in the world’s friendliest city, New York.
The town is coming back like a lion and the colorful residents turned out to be some of the most helpful I have ever had the pleasure to spend time with. If the terrorists thought they have brought the city to its knees those terrorists were sadly mistaken.
As the leader of the Holy Roman Empire, I and the rest of the civilized world, are appalled by your encouraging suicide bombers, little more than children, to enter various pizza restaurants in the state of Israel, blow themselves up and kill innocent citizens. Isn’t there something we can do to..
Kenny Lay and I were having a drink the other day and he chatted about his resignation as CEO from Enron, America’s energy giant.
“Are you bitter?” I asked.
“Why, no. I’ve squirreled away a few bucks for a rainy day.”
“Kenny,” I asked, “how much did you squirrel?”
When I am in the midst of composing one of my hilarious weekly columns, my wife often interrupts me with the pretense of cutting my hair. The result is the loss of a brilliant column, albeit the appearance of my ears.
Today, as I was thirty-seven per cent into an exquisitely funny column, Kate said, “Time for a trim.”
There is no question that my wife, Kate, and I were driving on your toll road at the time and place indicated on our recent “Notice of Toll Evasion.” I fully and freely admit this. My wife continues to harbor doubts.
Mr. and Mrs. and Mrs. and Mrs. and Mrs. bin Laden had been dwelling in the Afghanistan desert for what seemed like forever.
Bin Laden’s youngest wife had said at breakfast over shriveled figs, “it’s like we have been living like sand crabs on this like desert for like eons.” “I don’t appreciate it when you use the word ‘like,'” said her husband.
Mr. Richard (Rich) Twit, the world’s wealthiest man arose after a long and sleepless night. Several of his zillion dollar mergers were not going well. Mrs. Twit had a frightful headache and there had been no sex for Mr. Twit for some weeks now. The government was threatening yet another suit to bust up Mr. Twit’s many, many conglomerates.
I thought about going for a spin on the Concorde when the famous plane was here for our air show last month but I was short of cash and besides I’ve already had the pleasure of flitting across the Atlantic on the craft.
As a matter-of-fact it was aboard the Concorde that I was treated like an idiot and the captain pointed at me after we
The great thing about owning information is you can sell it. Unlike a car, after you sell information you still have the information—plus you have more information about the people who bought it from you, so you have more information to sell and so on. I think Bill Gates picked the right area to get into.
The dog is four years old and is named Nike and belonged to my mother who died last year. My mother was 95 and as her only offspring I am the sole beneficiary and executor of her tiny estate. I’m in charge now.
As readers will recall, after my mother died last year, I turned her home into a kennel for her beloved pup, Nike. He enjoyed my efforts but I worried he would get away and perish in cold weather or traffic. And Nike was lonesome.
I could not take the adorable pup to Los Angeles with me because we cannot
A WARNING. There is a question coming up that you may find offensive. I certainly don’t want to upset you by talking about what you may feel is a deplorable habit. So if you have never masturbated or you feel it is immoral, DO NOT READ any further.
Here is my explanation. It rained and our skylight leaked. Since we have a flat roof, your roof monitor (me) got in my car and drove down to the valley and bought five gallons of tar and some plastic sheeting. I managed to get some of the
Matthew Benson Applehead (MBA) had trouble peeing one night. Fearing he might be a diabetic, he ran to a nearby hospital. A passing car blinded him and while he was jabbering on his cell phone, a truck ran over him, killing him instantly.
Many decent and fine folks who work from nine to five, seven days a week, will NEVER retire.
They spend all their paychecks on food, clothing and housing. By the 22nd of each month, they run out of money and are forced to assume MASSIVE credit card DEBT to survive until their next meager paycheck.
I’m a security guard. If I ever pass the police aptitude test, I’m going to be a full-fledged peace officer and then I can carry a gun.
Just around midnight I was patrolling the South end of the city’s main nuclear generation facility when I observed this dude, dressed up like a friggin’ ninja, all in black, scaling the 15-foot cyclone
The year is AD 2027 and all but one of the millions of lawsuits precipitated by the Y2K bug have been settled.
The plaintiff is Mr. Jaron Summers, a handsome elderly man with a warm, grandfatherly smile. He walks with graceful dignity using a silver cane, one of the innumerable gifts he’s received from royalty around the world.
My wife, whom I love dearly, has a box fetish.This is a tragic and deep-seated neurosis that is apparently part of her family’s DNA. It causes the females in her family to collect and hoard boxes, mostly cardboard.
Over the past decade, Kate has crammed more and more boxes into our small condo and until last week there were so many in our bedroom that we could only make love in a south-by-southwestern configuration and only one participant had enough space to scream.