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Sea Bastard

November 28, 2009 @ 01:49

What a drag. Most of the past 24 hours of my life have been spent dealing with a fishbone. Let me explain.

A couple of weeks back my good buddy Darren who's the promotion and marketing wizard at Q-107 invited me to see Steely Dan at Massey Hall.

We would see their presentation of "The Royal Scam" but before hand we'd go somewhere for dinner and catch up on a few things.

We ended up at a little Portuguese place on Elm Street called Adega and as we usually do, we got adventurous with menu and ended up sharing an entire grilled octopus and a European sea bass. We started with appetizers of grilled calamari.

Everything was great but the sea bass was boney as hell. It came as the complete fish, head and everything which meant the young waiter who served us had to de-bone the bastard.

Well, let me tell ya, when you order sea bass don't be fooled by the de-boning process because its still filled with lots of tiny slivers of bone and although I was very careful, one of them slipped through and went down my gullet.

It was one of those weird moments in your life. You're sitting there having a pleasant time and all of a sudden you know something is wrong. As the bone went down my throat my mind started to race. My eyes watered a bit while it scraped the sides of my esophagus and I immediately started to "will" it into my stomach.

In those few short seconds I imagined it getting caught in the wrong place and causing me to choke at the table. I would turn pink, then red and then blue while Darren dove across the table in a valiant attempt to save his doughy little friend.

Darren would scream for someone to call 911 while I slowly lost consciousness hoping that someone, anyone, maybe a doctor in the house would know the Heimlich maneuver and save my life.

So what if I expelled everything that I had consumed in the last half hour and ruined the dinners of all those around us, so what if there was beer, bones, bread and bile all over the floors and walls around us, I would live. My last moments of life wouldn't be spent with an octopus, a sea bass and a women at the next table who was showing way too much cleavage for her age.

Shit, I hadn't even seen the concert yet.

As turned out it wasn't that dramatic. It didn't feel the bone made it into my stomach, it seemed to stop somewhere near the bottom of my throat and although it felt uncomfortable it wasn't going to kill me, not yet anyway.

When the young waiter came back to the table I brought the situation to his attention and he really didn't have a solution but told me he'd ask the manager for any bone-in-throat remedies.

He came back with a big pile of mashed potatoes and told me to take big scoops and swallow them and the bone should go down.

I did, but it didn't. It was still rather uncomfortable while we sipped cappuccinos and cognacs and I was still pre-occupied with the sea bastard that was trying very hard to ruin my evening.

I kept swallowing hard while we walked down Yonge Street. I couldn't tell whether the bone was lodged in my throat or whether it had just scraped the walls on the way down. Either way, every time I swallowed, it felt like a large lump.

As we approached Eggspectations at Shuter St., Darren decided he had to have a dump, something he does like clock work after every meal. I thought I'd go in with him and have a leak but the washroom was small with only one toilet and one pisser.

Not wanting to listen to him bust a gut I decided to pass on the piss and I went back out into the hall, and that's when it happened. Something triggered my gag reflex so I turned around and for some reason went into the women's washroom rather than the men's.

Luckily there was nobody in there to witness by my heaving and gagging and subsequent load of discolored phlegm that was deposited into the garbage pail. My mind started to race again, I was afraid the octopus and sea bastard would try and come up, but not be able to get out because of the bone that might be lodged in my throat.

Perfect I thought, I'm going to die in the basement of Eggspectations. How classy is that? The only upside is that I'd die not far from some of the greatest moments of my life, near the Edge studios at 228 Yonge.

It didn't get that dramatic. After heaving a few times things settled down and I convinced myself that the bone was no longer in my throat, it was somewhere in the garbage pail. I sprinkled some water on my face, had a whiz in the women's toilet, washed my hands and proceeded to the concert.

The concert was great. Except for some big fat fuck with a bald head and pony tail dancing like an idiot in the aisles, it was everything I hoped for and more. Although it still hurt when I swallowed, the sea bastard did not ruin my Steely Dan experience.

It wasn't until I got home and lied down that things changed. I quickly convinced myself the bone was still there and that if I fell asleep it might go sideways and kill me. Although this scenario was a little more attractive, expiring in my own bed beside my wife, I still didn't want to die so I got up at two o'clock in the morning and drove myself to emergency where I underwent some inconclusive ex-rays.

The doctor told me he didn't think there was anything lodged in my throat but the only way to make sure was to come back in the morning for a cat-scan. I quickly reminded him that it was already morning, like five o'clock in the morning, so he apologized and recommended I come back "later" in the morning, which I did.

To make a long story short I went back at eleven o'clock and had a cat-scan at 11:30, but it was four o'clock in the afternoon before I finally got the results. For some reason it took that long for a doctor to have a look and tell me there was no obstruction in my throat.

I felt like leaving a few times during the wait, but again, I was worried that there might be something in there and I had to make a stop on the way home for some batteries and I didn't want to die in a Dollarama.

With a clean bill of health I left the hospital and to celebrate on the way home I bought a big order of jerk pork, no bones, and a case of beer.

But not before calling Darren to let him know everything that had transpired in the past several hours. He laughed his bag off and made a shrewd observation.

"What a great way to get a free order of mashed potatoes."

Category: Short Stories | Stuff

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Crazy Cable

November 19, 2009 @ 10:41

Part of my job situation right now dictates that I have to rent an apartment and this week opened my eyes to the practices of cable companies.

Talk about frustrating.

I called Cogeco Cable to ask about getting hooked up and by the end of the conversation I wanted to pound my head against a wall.

I should let you know, at home I'm a Star Choice customer and I've had nothing but positive experiences with them.

The Cogeco experience was a completely different story. I went on line and noticed a package priced at $28.99 which was called Classic Cable. It appeared suit my needs except for one thing.

The basic package included TSN but not Rogers Sportsnet. That's a bit of a drag I thought, why would they offer one sports channel yet not the other one. Upon further investigation I noticed that in order to get Sportsnet, which has most of the Leaf games, I would have to step up to the Analogue Value Pack which is priced at $48.99.

Wow. I want only one more channel but I have to spend twenty dollars more and take a bunch of channels I don't want? That can't be right. It's either gouging or a mistake so I placed a call and got my answer.

Wow again. Talk about a company having no problem fucking with a potential new customer.

First of all, it was brought to my attention that if I wanted the $28.99 package, the first month would cost me $78.98. What? How does that work?

The lady on the line was quick with the response. "Well sir, somebody has to pay for the truck to come out."
"What truck?" I asked.
"The technician who connects the line." She said.
"Pardon me?"
"There's a $49.99 connection fee."
"Let me get this straight" I replied. "I want to become your customer and use your service but I have to pay for the initial hook-up?"
"Yes."
"Well that doesn't seem right" I said
"Well that's the way it is sir, somebody has to pay for the technician."
"That's ridiculous" I replied. "I can't become a subscriber until the service comes into my apartment and I really think that's your responsibility, but if its not, maybe I'll look into satellite. They hook you up for free."

At that point she said. "One second sir, I'm going to place you on hold."

A couple of minutes later she came back and told me that if I took a package that was worth almost sixty dollars a month they would wave the hook-up fee.

"But I don't want or need all those channels" I said.

At this point she basically told me to take it or leave it so like most suckers I took a minute to ponder this, I didn't want to pay for the hook-up but I didn't want all those channels so I momentarily considered paying for the hook-up.

"Tell me this" I asked. "If I take the basic package and pay for the hook-up, can you add Rogers Sportsnet to it?"
"No"
"Why"
"Because we don't offer it, if you want Sportsnet you have to take the Value Pack."
"But that's twenty dollars more" I said.
"Yes"
"But I don't want to spend twenty dollars more for one channel. Can't I just buy one more channel; I thought you could add extra channels for a couple of bucks."
"Sir, if you want to buy individual channels you have to take a digital package."
"How much is that?"
"They start at $51.99" she said. "And you have to rent a receiver."
"But that's even more than the $48.99."
"You're right sir, but those are your only options."

At this point I didn't know what I was more pissed off at. Her attitude, the hook-up fee, the separation of the sports channels so you had to buy more than the basic package or the fact I didn't have a pair of rabbit ears.

So here's what I did. I said goodbye.

And here's what I will do. I'll learn to live without cable, or maybe make friends with someone else in the four-plex who already has cable.

It's nice to share.

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Who Wants To Be A Cop Nowadays?

November 18, 2009 @ 13:07

$5,000 award in race-related arrest

"The ruling said the case fit a pattern whereby a Caucasian in a position of authority has "an expectation of docility and compliance" from a black person."

But the questions begs to be asked. What if the black woman had been a white woman? Would the arrest have been OK?

The Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario is a runaway train!

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Despicable

November 14, 2009 @ 12:02

There are three things that make my blood boil. Wife beaters, animal abusers and forced marriages - in no particular order I might add, it all depends on the situation.

I got up Saturday morning and went through the various e-papers and happened upon an article in the Toronto Star about forced marriages and it made me shake by head - and of course, made my blood boil.

Talk about infuriating, and from so many angles. In its purest form, a forced marriage is not only archaic and selfish and silly, in most cases it's racist.

Imagine your average white Canadian man refusing to let his daughter marry someone because of their colour or religion? He immediately would be labeled an intolerant, trailer park Archie Bunker asshole. But for some reason, when it happens within the South Asian community, where it's most prominent, there's an air of understanding or tolerance.

Like most things that deal with race and religion in our confused little country, there's always politically correct attempt to understand it as long as it doesn't involve the white guy.

It's culture they say. It's tradition. It's the way it's always been done. Cool, and I'll accept all that if it doesn't happen on Canadian soil. It doesn't make it right that they're still living in the dark ages in India, but there are enough things in Canada to fix without having to worry about a third world country with something as oppressive as a caste system.

In Canada, forced marriages should be declared illegal. Any attempt by parents to force their child to marry someone against their wishes should be reported to authorities and be dealt with severely. This is no better than the slave trade or human trading that every decent society has worked so hard to prevent or snuff out.

Maybe I'm too rational, or I've always been too distanced from religion, but as the human species evolves I can't help but think that rationality should take over in many instances.

In the year 2009, regardless of race or religion or status, the idea of one person forcing another to marry someone against their wishes is simply not acceptable. There is no excuse for it, there is reason for it and there should be zero tolerance for it.

It is wrong.

The stories referred to in the Star article are shocking and we should all take notice because it's happening all around us. Cultural strength within some communities has reduced some children to objects, objects to offer someone else to keep a culture or a race intact, objects to satisfy prehistoric beliefs.

And this should be far reaching. If parents coerce their children out of the country and force the marriage of a Canadian child on foreign soil they should be charged immediately upon their return and the marriage should not be recognized and any documentation initiated to bring the "new husband" to Canada should be dumped into the garbage.

That's another motive of these forced marriages, easy access to Canada.

And let's not try to play games through this. In the Star article the point is made that this problem is a cross-cultural and cross-racial issue. If you want to beat the bushes long enough you can find examples of forced marriage within every race, religion and culture including the polygamists out in BC who are conveniently referred to in the Star.

Of course this is an attempt to draw white boy into the fray, but make no mistake about it, this is decidedly a South Asian practice.

The Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in BC is a cult and can't be compared to the systemic practices of the South Asian community. Neither is right, but one vastly differs from the other.

And I have to laugh at the headline of the Star article. "Forced to wed: 'They think they're doing what's best for the child." .... To my mind just another politically correct attempt to justify this on some level.

Anyone with half a brain in their head knows this is wrong and no level of rationale can justify it.

Don't kid yourself, these parents do it for themselves because they're very selfish, extremely intolerant but mostly racist.

Category: Racism | Stuff

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The Brother Barfs Big

November 6, 2009 @ 08:29

Neil Morrison aka Brother Bill from his CFNY / Edge days sent me this e-mail yesterday. Neil does afternoon drive at CFOX in Vancouver and H1N1 has kicked him in the nuts.

Look what it's done to his hair!

Freddie - I have been away all week after contracting the H1N1 virus.
Buddy, it's NOT FUN!
NM
p.s this is the note on my webpage at cfox.com

Update: Thursday November 5, 2009
Greetings.
As you may know, I have been away for the past week. Last Friday night I arrived home and started feeling, 'pressure' on my chest. I thought I was perhaps coming down with a cold. I couldn't be any further from the truth. By Halloween night I was SICK. Very Sick. For the next three days, it was impossible to get out of bed. Hell, it was impossible to do anything! For two days I lay in bed and struggled to breathe. Very close to going to hospital but thanks to a fantastic new wife...(...in sickness and in health!) managed to keep breathing despite a fever of over 102f. Nurse practitioner Sue diagnosed me with H1N1 on Monday. ( She will be on the show Friday if I'm in ) After another couple days, I managed to walk up and down my stairs more than once without almost passing out. As of today - Thursday November 5 - I can breathe and am 99% better. I hope to be back at work tomorrow but that decision is not up to me.

Let me just say this.
If you are thinking that H1N1 cannot get you... and/or you believe the H1N1 Shot, 'Ain't for you'...you are insane.
Get your shot.

Shame on the people responsible for its production and distribution and shame on those who believe professional sport means more than pregnancy and people who work in the medical fields.

Talk soon,

Category: Friends | Radio | Stuff

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Personal Choice

November 1, 2009 @ 11:13

I paid a visit to Toronto Mike yesterday and I amazed to read what my good buddy had written on Thursday about H1N1.

Basically, Mike things anyone who doesn't get the shot is selfish and is not being a responsible member of society or responsible parent if they have kids.

What a pile of crap.

I'm not getting the H1N1 because I don't bloody well feel like it. My wife isn't and my grown kids aren't either. We don't want to and we have as much right to this decision as Mike Boon has to his.

What this shouldn't become is a pissing match because believe me, I could write a couple of chapters on how ridiculous I think it is that people who generally seem to be stable, get caught up in the over-blown hysteria of something like this and become freaking imbeciles.

Can you say Global warming?

Let's address a few things. Mike claims that all the doctors he's spoken with recommend that everyone get the H1N1 shot. Yea, so what, big deal - what else are they going to say. It's nothing more than ass covering at this point.

Very few doctors are going to take the chance of not recommending the shot and then having a patient contract the virus, even if they don't believe in it.

Secondly, Mike doesn't seem to think there's much to the theory that this could be part of a pharmaceutical industry conspiracy. Are you kidding me?

A good measure of the entire medical industry is built on pharmaceutical industry payoffs and back scratching. Excuse me for entertaining the thought that millions of vaccinations on a rush order might be making a few people rich along the way, both above board and below.

How about e-heath Mike?

And how about this? Those who think that they should decide for me whether or not I get the shot don't seem to think the long term affects of the shot is anything to worry about - easy for you to say while you're lining up with the rest of the sheep feeling all proud of yourself.

But how about this, ten years ago while I was battling severe back pain I was prescribed Viox by more than one doctor, including one who I trusted immensely. At the time, based on all he knew, Viox was a safe and effective drug. Six years later it was quickly removed from the market because of severe long term side affects.

How about that Mike? Do you think that's a myth? Do you really think I want to line up with a bunch of hypochondriacs or bubble wrapping parents to be injected with something that might actually cause problems down the road - and do it while I'm not sick?

I've been offered the regular flu shot every year for the past decade but I've never accepted, and you know how many times I've had the flu? Maybe twice, for 24 hours. I can live with that if it means not being "cranked" with something I'm not comfortable with.

That's my experience Mike, and that's how I've arrived at my decision.

And of course I have to address this - the young Mississauga hockey player who died last week. I feel horrible about that and I can't for a moment imagine losing one of my kids, especially to something like a flu virus.

But again, we have to keep our heads through this. The death of Evan Frustaglio provided everyone with an example of what "could" happen and probably made a lot of passive people sit up and take notice.

But it still comes back to the same thing. You deal with what's in front of you, you make an assessment and then you make a personal decision, a decision that involves being injected with something that still has an unfinished story.

It's a personal decision and certainly not something that should be criticized or lead to insults from people who are willing to buy into every flavour of the month.

If you want to throw the word selfish around, how about those bastards who showed up even though they knew they weren't eligible. And I wonder how many healthy people have actually contracted something while standing in one of those pathetic lineups.

If you're that worried about the virus put your house in lock-down or wear a flippin' mask when you leave the house.

Get your goddamn flu shot Mike, but leave me out of it.

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Tabernac

October 31, 2009 @ 23:27

I got a little bummed out yesterday. I returned from Peterborough for the weekend and after exchanging hugs and kisses and pleasantries with my sweet little darlin' I got back in the car and headed for my local beer store.

My local beer store resides in the Heart Lake Town Centre in the north end of Brampton (insert Brampton joke here) and it's been part of my life since we moved here in 1984. That's 25 years of going to the same beer store, the same Shoppers Drug Mart and the same A+P.

The Heart Lake Town Centre provides a comfort zone for me that I've taken for granted over the years. You use the amenities and presume they'll always be there for you.

But yesterday, things changed. As I got out of the car at the beer store I glanced way across the parking lot and was startled by what I saw.

Where the big letters A+P once were, they were now replaced by a strikingly cold display of "metro'". I was aware that a Quebec company had taken control of A+P and that all stores were slowly being switched over, but that doesn't make the transition any easier for me and it all deals with sentimentality.

The A+P in the Heart Lake Town Centre has been a reference point for our family for a quarter century. In our first house we were half a kilometer away, our second house we could almost see it, and the house I'm in now is about three kilometers away.

A+P was part of our vernacular.

"Hey hon, we need some ketchup, can you whip down to the A+P?"
"We need a pumpkin for Halloween; I'll just grab one at A+P."
"Why would I buy flowers at a florist when A+P is half the price?"

Ring ring. "Hello."
"Fred where are you?"
"I'm on the 410."
"Can you stop at A+P and grab some toilet paper?"

You get the idea. A+P was a big part of our lives. When my kids were young the name A+P was music to their ears. it's where they picked out their favourite cereal, their lunch time treats and hollow fake fruit drinks with absolutely no nutritional value.

A+P. Buns and meat. Cake and tea.

I got to know the aisles, and the butcher and I looked forward to seeing one cashier who was stunningly attractive. All these things were talked about with A+P the constant. But now that has changed.

I could handle the odd aisle change, the retiring butcher and the attractive cashier having a few body parts drop over the years, I could even handle having to use a quarter to release a shopping cart, but I really can't handle the name change.

I will not buy my frozen Lick's burgers at "metro". I will not whip down to "metro" to grab some garbage bags. I will not buy my lottery tickets at "metro."

They can call it anything they want, but it will always be A+P to me.

And I'll still buy my economical game snacks there before going to the "Skydome."

Category: Stuff

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I Wouldn't Do It

October 26, 2009 @ 19:44

I've had several e-mails from people asking me what I think of news that 27 members of CTV Bell Globe Media will carry the Olympic Torch when it arrives in Canada later this year.

I think it blows, but I just can't figure it out. Of course CTV as the host broadcaster will try to suck as much publicity as they can out of this colossal waste of time because they have to justify the expenditure, but what about the people who've agreed to do it.

To me there are three categories to this thing.
1. athletes, both former and current 2. the public 3. assholes.

Don't get me wrong, if any of the 27 from CTV had registered to carry the torch like any other Canadian it would be a different story. If they had registered like the woman my wife works with or the kid next door and they were chosen, that would be cool.

But this is a dirty rotten, slimy inside job that stinks as bad as one of Neighbour John's farts. It stinks so bad that anybody with any character would refuse to do it.

And that's where I have the problem.

I look down the list and I see Ben Mulroney and I can understand why he'd do it. He loves himself and in many quarters he's considered an asshole, but then I see the likes of Ken Shaw and James Duthie and I know they're solid decent and extremely humble guys and I can't believe they'd buy into this shit.

I realize it's easy for me to say at this point but if I worked for CTV and they arranged this inside job which might actually mean that Joe Smith from Wawa won't get his chance, I'd refuse to do it. I honestly would.

So it ends up begging the question. What gives? Why would people like Brian Williams and Stephen Brunt agree to do this when you know it probably goes counter to everything they believe in?

Were they told they had to? If they were, it makes them look like assholes.

The only people who should carry the torch are athletes both former and current and the public.

Not assholes, neither bona fide or created by CTV.

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Surprise Surprise

October 20, 2009 @ 19:02

I won't write much about this because if I started I couldn't stop. It tells you all you need to know about the Olympics and how corrupt the whole process is.

Book alleges China cut deal to host 2008 Olympics.

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Finally Something

October 18, 2009 @ 18:53

Not that there's anything wrong with it, but don't you think its interesting that of all the things that the city of Toronto bids for, the one it captures is the 2014 World Pride Bash.

Toronto lost out on the 1996 and 2008 Olympics and the city is currently in what appears to be a losing battle to host the 2015 Pan American Games.

When it comes to events of this magnitude, Toronto is taken seriously, but never really taken for real, but when it comes to an event like the World Pride Bash, good old TO ramps to the top of the list.

Not that there's anything wrong with it. (Actually, I'm tired of the saying "not that there's anything wrong with it", but when it comes to the Gay community you have to say it to prevent yourself from being labeled a homophobic arshole.)

Anyway, I found reports out of St. Petersburg today quite amusing because those who were representing Toronto rode the same roller coaster of emotions that the Toronto Olympic Committee experienced while waiting for the Olympic decisions, only this time, we won.

Toronto knocked the livin' shit out Stockholm 77 votes to 61.

To be honest, I don't know what all of this means. I doubt it means a new stadium, a redeveloped waterfront or an athlete's village that will be used in the future to house the homeless, but it's something.

Estimates put the financial injection to the city at about 100 million dollars which makes the cost of ten million look like a pittance. Of course the problem here is that the ten million is real and will come from taxpayers, while the 100 million is a great big guess.

But again, it's something and Toronto is a city that likes to consider itself world class, and if it can't have events like the Olympics, what the hell, have something like the World Pride Bash.

Toronto does a bang up job with Gay Pride Week and I guess you could consider it to be the farm system of World Pride Bash, so now the big smoke has finally entered the big leagues of world class events.

Toronto's World Pride Committee will go after all levels of government for funding and you can't help but wonder what the tone of the backlash will be if somebody says no.

Ah, what the fuck, congrats to all involved, but in the words of my late father Big Dick Patterson, "keep your pecker in your pants."

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