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Posts Tagged ‘humor’

It’s Not Always Easy Being Green in Vancouver

May 12, 2011 3 comments

Vancouver Canuck's most obvious fans: the Green Men

Canuck fever is burning hot in Vancouver, as our beloved hockey team is off to the semi-finals of the Stanley Cup. Blue and white flags are flying from cars and the lions on the Lions Gate Bridge have donned Canuck jerseys. Go Canucks go can be heard from the deepest, darkest recesses of our mountains as even the black bears have boarded the bandwagon.

But I’ve heard almost as much about the antics of the Green Men as the lackluster play by our team’s infamous twins, the Sedin brothers. In fact, these two pranksters have vaulted to popularity during these playoffs as fast as the Swedish twins have fallen from glory.

The Green Men have become an institution in Vancouver since 2009, when they first appeared on the scene in seats beside the opposing team’s penalty box. As their name suggests, they appear in the stadium wearing skintight green lycra suits. Whenever a player sits in the sin bin, the Green Men come to life, taunting and cajoling the player.

Quite a sight in the produce aisle

The home crowd generally loves them, they are more interesting to watch than Finn, the official mascot. Their object is to get under the competitors skin, in the hopes that it throws them off their game. If you’re a Canucks fan, this seems noble enough. If you’re on the other side, it seems rude and unsportsman-like.

Thus the clash of controversy.

Nevertheless they have grown in popularity, and are now not only a fixture during home games, they traveled to Nashville to continue their pranks beside the penalty box.

But recently our bonafide mascots have come under fire. The NHL has asked the Green Men to stop doing handstands and banging on the glass.

The Green Men responded by bringing a cardboard cut out of themselves to the next game, and inverting their likeness on the glass so that they weren’t doing the handstands, only their cardboard selves were.

Don Cherry, Hockey Night in Canada‘s hilarious and outrageous commentator, weighed in between periods in Game six of the Vancouver/Nashville series, with a message to the Green Men: Don’t be mean, keep it clean.

He was referring to the Green Men’s recent gag, bringing a cardboard cutout of Carrie Underwood wearing a Canuck jersey. Underwood is married to a player on Nashville’s team, and they taunted him with the picture when he was in the penalty box. Don felt they crossed the line of acceptable behavior by bringing a player’s wife into their act.

Love them or hate them, they are stirring up controversy and bringing another element to the game that Canadians are already passionate about. They are providing entertainment for the lower bowl and much fodder for the news outfits and local radio shows.

For ardent fans, it begs the question: how much is too much? Are the Green Men taking away from the game, or adding an element of fun?

A Royal Who Cares

April 29, 2011 9 comments

A pretty girl with dimples is plucked from mediocrity, shoved into a designer gown and paraded through the streets of London.

Tell me again, why should I care?

Since the British Royal family lacks real authority, it can only come down to nostalgia for a time when when women were even more marginalized by beheadings and corsets.

Of course, Britain has everything to gain by calling attention to an uncharacteristic rosy moment amongst its Royals. Hotel bookings alone have jumped 400% for the upcoming weekend spectacle. Not only are they selling commemorative spoons and plates, cell phones, condoms and barf bags, they are selling more magazines and newspapers. The wedding of William and Kate is expected to pump $1 billion into the British economy.

So they persist in shoving it down our throats.

No wonder they are riding this event into the Royal Mint for all they are worth. But we, the unsuspecting suckers for punishment, can fight back. We can ignore this spectacle for what it is: a desperate plea for legitimacy. Together, we commoners are powerful, and can send a message to those stuffy, tea drinking, jewel wearing royals to stop spending their money on pageantry.

Here are some tips to figuratively flip the bird to nobility, so that we can get back to Charlie Sheen and the Kardashians:

1. Do not, under any circumstances, turn on your tellie during the Royal Wedding.

2. When in line at the grocery store, turn your face away from the British tabloid magazines like Hello!,  and instead pick up National Geographic and educate yourself about the African Bat Biodiversity Project.

3. Refrain from buying anything commemorative, including the temptation to buy the Kate and William adorned condoms as a gag birthday present for your friend.

4. Do not talk about the aforementioned event on Friday. Stick to more stimulating topics like weather and hockey.

5. Most importantly, don’t click on any links, share on Facebook or tweet about anything remotely royal. Unless, of course, Kate trips going down the aisle or leaves William hanging at the alter; in which case tweet away.

This is our chance, as commoners, to shine. Ignore this pompous ceremony, in the hopes that William and Kate disappear into obscurity, thereby returning true gems like reality television to prominence in our media.

Freak? Or Minimalist?

January 10, 2011 5 comments
Parking garage

Image via Wikipedia

I am a bit of a freak.  I’m just realizing that my ex-boyfriend, so long ago, was right all along (but this was the only thing he was right about).

I have some peculiar tendencies which I had thought made me original, but in fact they make me just peculiar.

Christmas decorations make me claustrophobic.  Even knowing I have boxes stashed away with ribbons and lights and stale gingerbread men missing limbs makes me uneasy.  I realized when I swept up the last of the pine needles from the tree that must have been cut in June and took my first full breath of pine-free air that it wasn’t the shopping I abhorred as much as the infringement on my personal space.

When faced with abundances, I turtle.  I can’t eat at buffets, and I run screaming out of Sephora and never EVER shop at department stores.  I once drank only grapefruit juice during a trip to Vegas with my parents when faced with buffet after buffet.  They thought I had an eating disorder until I enthusiastically dug in to my plane food.  And need I explain Sephora?  Surely everyone feels the same waves of panic when presented with endless walls of makeup, or in fact any display of makeup with more than lip gloss?  I’m sweating just thinking about it.

When faced with underground parkades (the Canadian term for parking garage, did you know?), the only question is do we really need to park?  Whatever errand I’m running, friend I’m meeting, broadway show we’re going to is immediately in question when I’m behind the wheel and a parkade is involved.  They terrify me.  No matter how short my car, and how many times I have been there, I am convinced my car will hit the roof.  If you’re my friend and I’ve parked in one of these in order to see you, I must really like you.  This is the real reason I live in Suburbia: a distinct lack of parkades.  If you google ‘parkade syndrome’ you will find a picture of me.

And where to begin with Disneyland?  I will only say that everyone should be wary of a place that bills itself as the happiest place on earth; very wary.  This is a whole other blog for another day.  My children didn’t win the lottery of mothers, needless to say.

I previously thought everyone felt this way about all these issues and continuously lied, but I noticed people taking half a step back from me when I described my joy at taking my tree to the chipper.  My friends look at me quizzically when I suggest I just circle the block rather than enter the parkade.  I’ve met normal people – adults, no less –  who claim to LOVE Disneyland (I immediately think: liars!).

Putting two and two together, maybe I really am a freak, and not just the cool minimalist I prefer to label myself.  My oddities are not something I can seek a prescription for, yet if left unchecked could become exaggerated in my old age, leading people to whisper about that strange reclusive cat lady.

Who’s kidding who, if I can’t stand pine needles, imagine cat hair.  And they’re already whispering.

Look! Below is a nice little blank form where you can write what makes you a freak original too.  It might work like a confessional, where the instant you write it you will be exonerated from your freakiness.  Or it might not, and your friends might start avoiding you, so use at your own risk.






The naivete of youth

January 6, 2011 2 comments

I'm the baby in the back ground, missing all the fun as usual

I had a tough audience to impress when I was a kid.

I was the youngest by a long shot in a litter of nine children, so by the time I got around to doing things they were old news.  No one batted an eye when I started kindergarten, for instance, I think my mother wondered why I wasn’t under her feet from the hours of 9-3 one day and put it all together.

Me in the front thinking "how can I get big, fast?"

I desperately wanted to inhabit the world of my older siblings, who always had more interesting drama in their lives than me winning square ball at recess.  Their lives consisted of mystical things, like getting jobs and getting fired, boyfriends or girlfriends and getting dumped, getting the keys to my parents car, and partying.  I couldn’t compete.  I put my Fisher Price Little People aside and just watched them coming and going instead, it was infinitely more interesting.

My toys were not nearly as interesting as my siblings

Finally I started Junior High, and on the much further walk to the bigger school some of my classmates lit up a smoke.  I had finally reached the Big Time; I had joined the ranks of my siblings.  At thirteen, I was a bona fide adult.

Feeling high and mighty with my new half locker, my class schedule carefully taped to the inside, lock combination written on my hand, I entered my geography class as the grade nine students cleared out.  If I was now an adult they were virtually grandparents – I was awestruck by the whiskers adorning the top lips of the boys, and downright perplexed by the concealed pimples on the girls.

Settling into my seat, I noticed a student had written something in loopy handwriting on the board.  It was profound.  Deep.  I was memorized by its multiple meanings, inspired by its possibilities.  Would I be this smart when I was in grade nine?  The teacher entered and erased the board, but not before I had committed the quote to memory.  Finally, I had something worthy and wise to contribute to the dinner table discussion that evening.  My siblings would be astonished with my insightful prose, and ensured of my step into adulthood.

As I crammed into the least desirable spot at the dinner table, the corner spot that necessitated either climbing over one of my sisters or climbing under the table and over my dog, a permanent resident under foot at dinner, I bided my time for making my announcement.  I waited for a quieter moment, which only ever happened when everyone’s mouths were full of clam chowder.  As the spoons rose to their lips, I left mine in its place and took a deep breath.

“So I read this really cool quote on the board today at school: It’s not the size of the ship, it’s the motion of the ocean.”

My father almost choked on his chowder, and my sister’s went flying out of her mouth and across the table.  I was startled; this had more impact than I had imagined.  But before I could inwardly congratulate myself, the entire table burst out laughing, and I knew my error in one horrible second.  My whole face turned pink, then red, and finally purple as I stared into my clam chowder, wanting to disappear into its creamy depth.  My naivete set me firmly back into my barely teen-aged self, the lesson being don’t pretend to be something you’re not.