AS I STOOD NAKED IN MY KITCHEN THE OTHER MORNING, smoking my first Pall Mall Red of the day, desperate for a pee and staring with pink, watery rabbit eyes at the jars of Colombian Roast, Gold Espresso and Special Regular Blend flash-frozen crystals while debating my options—
—whether I should dredge up a greasy mug from the fetid swamp water of the sink, or boil the water on the stovetop (kettle died, see below), add the instant coffee to that and just drink it right out of the saucepan; what particular mutilations I should perform on the person who used up all the milk then replaced the empty bag, in its plastic jug, back in the fridge; and whether I should throw my last shred of self-esteem under the bus and order that penis-enlarging pump with the special rhino-horn cream from Grommet to counteract the gradual and undeniable process of age-related, disuse-related or indifference-related atrophy—
—I asked myself a question.
We’re all adults? I can talk freely?
Why is it, I wondered, that my default blog post, at least eight times out of ten, is a searing analysis of American, rather than Canadian, political shenanigans and social hooligan-ry?
This is what being a merciless and unsparing Skewerer of Modern Times entails, and so as not to put you off completely, I’m not even mentioning the unrelenting stream of hate mail I receive, which basically consists of pink notices from Canada Revenue insisting that I file my taxes from 2012 onwards while simultaneously remitting forty-thousand dollars; and Bell Canada Fibe promotions addressed to “Occupant”.
Then I went for a pee, and at age sixty-odd and counting I damn well deserve to sit down for this one, at which point I dozed off again on the john.
I awakened with a little scream of confusion, which is how I regain consciousness during a Wagner opera, hoping to be well into the final act then realizing it’s only five minutes later; which is to say, in a state of desperate hope followed immediately by despair. Little by little, and with nominal assistance from Facebook and GPS, I managed to piece together my identify and location coordinates; at which point I felt confident enough to make the coffee, finish the pack of smokes and file for immediate attention that day’s final notices, a process that involves stuffing them into an old leather suitcase that I found on the side of the road four years ago.
My morning calisthenics complete, I felt really quite pulled together and ready to ignore my uncomfortable question and blast ahead into my day of doing the next, doh, obvious thing that doesn’t make any money.
Then I logged on.
The headline on Huffington Post Canada sent shivers down my spine, put my heart on the express elevator to the basement and stood on end the clumps of earlobe and nostril hair that I’d missed during my bi-yearly trim. Unmissable, unfathomable, and in what must have been at least a 24-point display font, probably Helvetica or Gill Sans, was the following, confirming that what I most feared had come to pass (and those of you who read standing up may wish to find a spot on the nearest ottoman post haste, lest you topple over in shock and crash into your vitrine filled with priceless Lalique statuettes):
New Brunswick Government Falls!
I did try to prepare you. Now to address a couple of points, while you let the full import of that headline sink in.
You may be wondering about the kettle thing (see above). Americans don’t drink tea and therefore tend not to have electric kettles, which I discovered during my frequent trips to New York City to stay at the homes of random psychotics that I’d naked-Skyped with. I’d be craving a cup of tea and after an hour or so rummaging around their tiny alcove-kitchen I’d finally shriek, “Where’s your friggin’ kettle, by the grace of Judy, Mother of Liza!?”
And the psychotic would stop for just a sec, stare at me blankly, then go back to boffing whatever trashed up, face-down, GHB’d-out piece of street twink they’d picked up online the previous night.
I hope that clarifies about the kettle thing, and always happy to be of service.
Then there’s the bags of milk. I know you’re all thinking, he means ‘breasts’, but, no, these are actual plastic bags of milk, containing about a quart each, that come packed in three’s inside another bag that’s sealed with a twist tie. You also need to buy a cheap jug that holds the bag of milk so you can pour it out, but first you must take the special miniature tool, containing a tiny razor blade set at an angle, that lives on the top of the handle of the jug, and with this special tool you perform a bris on the corner of the plastic bag of milk.
This requires holding the tip of the corner of the bag with one hand, and with a swift, confident gesture and an optional cry of mazel tov, slicing off that tip of the bag that G-D put there for whatever reason, but that you in your greater wisdom have since determined was a design flaw.
I’m goy, so I compromise by performing a bris that is so hideously botched that the bag of milk is whimpering and reproaching me with a look that cries, “Why you do this to me, bro? Why you spoil that beautiful bag/boy thing we had?” I pour milk into my coffee through the torn, ragged, gaping hole, and despite every effort not to, I imagine the torn udder of a dairy cow who saw the dish run away with the spoon, tried to jump over the moon, miscalculated and ripped herself to shreds on the barbed-wire fence.
This is me. This is Canada. We do things differently up here.
Exhibit A: Moment of truth
Read the caption carefully. This is the campaign headquarters of the Progressive Conservative candidate for Premier of New Brunswick, on election night, as the votes come in, and may I just say that provincial stores of Coumadin are surely depleted as these old white guys, median age 173, try to contain their excrement. Or did I mean excitement, I get them mixed up.
Try? Let us give this cartload of pink wrinkles its due: Succeed.
I’m not sure who the dewy young whippersnapper is in the second row, who would seem to be urging them to return to their Beginner Flamenco Class, but I have a hunch that, should they hesitate when presented with their voting card, he would guide their liver-spotted hands to—Brett Higgs? Heinous Bogg? Glans Bipp? At any rate, the other old guy—and help them plant their spidery “x” in the correct square, and no going over the edges.
Exhibit B: Identifying the Liberal
This is Brian Gallant, Premier, or possibly fallen Premier, of New Brunswick. Pretty, yes? Are you kidding? I mean, this is entering serious babe-licious territory. Hunka hunka! Just look at those shoulders! The dimples! The rakish, slightly loosened tie! The sensual, pursed lips that all but scream, “No point in resisting! Run right up, tear open my shirt and suck those nipples! Did I say suck? No, TWIST!”
This means he is a Liberal. Let’s try another example:
Just look at those shoulders! The dimples! The rakish, slightly loosened tie! The sensual, pursed lips that… etc, etc.
Are you getting the hang of this?
To sum up: If you look at a male Canadian politician and pop a woody (women and gays) or instantly resent and revile him (hetero white men) be confident that you’re looking at a member of the Liberal Party.
Brian Gallant, by the way, is celebrating after his victory, or is it his fall, I get them mixed up, by singing a bit of “Mon pays,” the celebrated Canadian anthem by Gilles-Antoine-Saint- Saveur-Tabernac-Marie-Joseph Succer-Le-Coq, to demonstrate that, unlike the liver-spotted Progressive Conservative, he is functionally bilingual.
Bigguns Hainely, or whatever, actually refused to debate with Brian Gallant because he doesn’t speak French. Just imagine! If the same standard applied in the U.S., you’d have had Hillary standing there, with Trump going, “I’m sorry, but I can’t speak English real good and I have no ideas because no one talked to me in the last thirty minutes, so go fry your huevos rancheros! I’m outta here!”
And he still would have won. Because speaking English real good is like. You know.
Snow. All Americans think Canada – up there – snow – socialists – mounties which is shallow but efficient, and leaves you more time to run out and lay waste to some black kids who were unwrapping their Mars bars, but you were absolutely convinced they were reaching for their assault weapons, and how could you be expected to think otherwise?
I get it.
Or shut down birth control and eradicate abortion (except the same number of abortions will take place, just with coat hangers and bowls of dishwashing liquid). You don’t trust killing anything that doesn’t look you right in the eye and scream before it starts bleeding, and you sure as fucktard-ery don’t trust anyone who bleeds for three days and doesn’t die!
I mean, women are all very well in their place, but seriously, what’s that my-little-visitor-got-the-curse icky nonsense all about? Even Ann Coulter, that embarrassing waste of non-aborted fetal personhood, thinks she’s got balls, but here’s the acid test: Can she write her name in the snow? We thought so! Out of our tree-house, girl-pundit! Your free man-pass is up!
Honestly, I get it.
You get to trill, as you pluck at the petals of a daisy, “Pull out of Syria… Bomb Syria… Russia’s the enemy…. Russia’s not the enemy …. He sucks my cock… He sucks my cock not…” and call that foreign policy because you’re The Man. You Are America and You Go Big and Never Go Home, and Nobody Pushes You Around.
I so very, very muchly get it. No, seriously, I do.
You don’t just reflexively dislike Nancy Pelosi then admit she’s a pretty admirable bit of high-class, high-functioning career politician, and, frankly, kinda hot, too, with her MILF-y, nay, GILF-Y, seen it all, done it all, one-of-the-boys redoubtable air. Oh, no. That’s the Canadian way.
You Hate Nancy Pelosi. Hate her beyond all reason and expression. Nancy Pelosi, despite having all the cred even a social conservative should want—devout Catholic, raised her kids then had her career—is, of course, a Grade A, grass-fed, hormone-free Bitch, and an ambitious, ball-breaking Commie Bitch to boot. And she is sparkly clean; you have nothing on her except the unfortunate accident of her sex, so you willfully set about activating every male brain stem, stirring up its ingrained, atavistic revulsion against any ambitious, powerful, rich, successful female.
She must be styled bitch, because she was apparently born to do what she is doing so well as the single most effective Speaker in living memory, male or female. Think of it: Whatever she has set out to do, she has accomplished. Everything.
She’s so effective at whipping the Dems, so brilliant at legislative strategy, compromising with the insubstantial (abortion amendment) to get the substantial (universal coverage), such a dogged, idealistic, confident, take-no-prisoners, speaking-truth-to-power leader through—how many Presidents? That’s right, and now that she’s in a position to tell her underlings, which is everyone, what to do, they tremble in their conservatard boots and they quake in their rookie libtard pinafores and they do it.
Forget Joan Crawford: Don’t fuck with Nancy Pelosi, fellas. Whoever you are, she’s fought bigger sharks than you.
And that whispery, whooshy, crinkly sound, building in volume as it rumbles from Capitol Hill to Twin Peaks like a crescendo of ruched draperies being flung from the grimy, ante-bellum windows of Tara, is the sound of old white guy scrotums reflexively retracting, and I’m betting only Nancy knows when, if ever, those shriveled testes will ever descend again.
You Hated, still Hate, Hillary. Like the earth is flat, Hillary’s a child-molester; Hillary, who spent half a lifetime advocating for children’s rights and made some of the most important contributions to jurisprudence in that area of law. Like the moon landing didn’t happen, Hillary’s corrupt; Hillary, who took a deep breath and steered her family with whatever dignity was possible through a nightmare of scandal and bad publicity after her white-trash hubby thought assuming the Presidency was like driving a red convertible down Main Street on Saturday night: look at that great piece of tail hey girls wanna go for a spin on this?
Noam Chomsky, George Soros, those old Jews, had you manufacturing consent as they ruled the media and upped the stats from the greatly-exaggerated Holocaust, but you do them one better.
You manufactured the truth.
What’s up in Canadian politics? Trudeau, the Prime Pretty One, the Luscious Liberal-in-Chief, long on talk of reconciliation and global warming until the conversation turns to oil; the dreary, carping Andrew Scheer, sleazy snake-oil salesman of the Evangelical right; Andrea Horwath, whose droid, social democratic heart is in the right place, but who can’t yet pass the Turing test.
Same old, same old, in other words, which is to say same as you guys but with less conviction.
And our alt-right freaks? Thinkkk Faith Goldy, our very own Mädchen in uniform; and that’s a suspiciously Jew-y name for a white supremacette, but we have less people, we need to double up, sometimes.
Think Jordan Peterson, petulant man-boy, rather overly invested in the proper traditional gender-role training of young males, a training which clearly passed him by; a public embarrassment of tired misogyny and silly rants about “political correctness,” discussions that were passé thirty years ago. Mr Peterson holds prissy black-tie town halls—I’m sure he wears his best suits when he flies tourist class or shops the local mall—town halls at which he voices contempt, to his papered house and with a little too much drama, a few too many campy postures, for the liberal worldview that gave him the freedom to voice his contempt in the first place; he clutters up YouTube with solemn diatribes about “censorship” even as he reaches the eyeballs if not the hearts of worldwide audiences.
Oh, Jordan! You’re such a little kidder!
But we haven’t elected Jordan Peterson to anything, because he’s not a politician, yet, just another court jester; just a university professor, and considering what and how and to whom he professes we just can’t take him seriously; we sense the sociopath behind the smile.
See what I mean? Canadians just don’t have the Manifest Destiny mindset; we can’t help fumbling the pass. You set the agenda; we respond, but we’re just too progressive to keep daily tabs on who’s enraged, who’s the enemy and who’s supposed to be more equal than the others.
Celine Dion cries at a Paris fashion show! Now that’s news! Stop the presses! Even snow has us undone; after one January day of usual snowfall for a January day in Canada, it’s #snowmaggedon. We just can’t cope with the apocalyptic anymore.
And that fall of the New Brunswick government? My insomnia is out of control and, relapsed alcoholic that I am, I’m eyeing the bottles of Canadian Club rye, the cans of ginger ale, and I’m licking my lips. God help me if Fredericton ever reduces the opening hours at The Beaverbrook Gallery!
There’s only so much stress a boy can take.