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  • Archive for November, 2009

    November 30th, 2009

    God’s Picks of the Week

    Bob Robertson

    An excerpt from Neale Donald Walsh’s new book, “Conversations with God, Book 12, ‘Oh, and One More Thing’

    Here’s something I’ve been meaning to ask you but we’ve been so busy with things like “Why are we here?” and “Where do we go after we die?” that I haven’t had a chance to ask you.

    Shoot.

    Wait a minute. Did God just say ‘shoot’?

    Of course! I can be colloquial, too. It wasn’t me that started all that ‘thee’ and ‘thou’ stuff.

    Okay, here’s the question; why do you and your son prefer football to any other team sport?

    Why do you think we do?

    Well, I was watching the Grey Cup game and after the Alouettes won, the first thing out of the quarterback’s mouth was, ‘I’d like to thank my Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.’ And before you answer about your preference for football, just how did Jesus make sure the Alouettes won?

    We are all powerful. There’s nothing we can’t do. He was watching, as he always does in his heavenly rec room and with 40 seconds to go, it seemed as if Saskatchewan was going to win the game. Now, here’s something you don’t know about Jesus and you never heard this from me; he hates Saskatchewan. He hates everything about it. It’s too flat. It’s too dusty. It’s too cold in the winter and they make all their money selling potash. Potash for crying out loud! Worst of all are the Roughrider fans because they wear carved-out watermelons on their head and Jesus just goes ballistic when he sees that. So, with 40 seconds left, he whispered into the ear of one of the Roughriders standing on the sidelines and told him to run onto the field for the kick block. There were already twelve players on the field, so the Roughriders got a penalty, letting the kicker boot it from ten yards closer and the rest is history. It was nothing more than just a few words in a player’s ear, that’s all. The player thought it was the voice of the Special Teams coach. Another tid bit for you; Jesus is quite the mimic. I caught him doing me once at lunch in the Angelic Cafeteria. Not a bad impression although he over-did the ‘me giving Adam the finger thing’ from the Michelangelo painting. I kept yelling at him. I used my forefinger, for crying in the chalice!

    Okay, so let’s get back to my first question. In the Alouettes locker room afterwards there was a chant, “All the glory belongs to God!” Over and over they chanted this, but I never hear hockey players, after winning the Stanley Cup, thanking God. I never hear soccer teams winning the world Cup and thanking God. Why football?

    Well, I don’t know about Jesus, but for me it’s the uniforms. Any sport that puts men in tight pants and women in short shorts deserves my special attention. That’s about it, really. I never liked hockey because of all the trash talk taking my name in vain most of the time and the spitting! Makes me lose my dinner sometimes. Soccer has way too many guys diving for my liking. We just really dig football and that’s why we offer a ‘guiding hand’ to certain teams and players. We make our weekly picks and interfere accordingly. The players all know it and that’s why Jesus and I are always a big part of the celebration.

    Okay. One last question on this topic; why weren’t the players in the losing locker room thanking you and Jesus?

    Ah, that, my son, is the best question of them all and you’ll be surprised you hadn’t guessed the answer already. You see, Jesus and I only handle the good things that happen in the world. ‘You know who’ looks after all the bad stuff, which includes the losing teams in football games. He seems to get a kick out of watching them wallow in their misery in the locker room. So, the message is clear and your readers should remember this; when something great happens to you, a miracle of some sort, it’s God’s doing and you should shout that out to anyone who will listen. When something bad happens to you, how embarrassing would it be to start shouting “The Devil made me do it!” Oops gotta go. I just noticed the little sparrow fall.

    So, you’ll catch it and then what?

    Well, what else would a football fanatic do after a great catch like that? I spiked it into the turf.

    For more irreverence, go to the Double Exposure Radio website at;

    http://doublexposureradio.com/podcast.html

     

    November 25th, 2009

    Facts about the Grey Cup

    Bob Robertson

    Some illumination is required for those of you not in Canada, or those who are in Canada but don’t follow football. This is the biggest football weekend of the year coming up; The Grey Cup. It’s also known as Le Coupe Grey, and for those who are francophonally challenged, it is the official translation into French of the Grey Cup. No, not Le Coupe Gris (meaning bland two-door automobile) because the ‘Grey’ part is not Grey, the colour, but Grey the man, Earl Grey that is, Governor General of Canada and the man who donated this cup to the winner of the first Grey Cup game. Earl Grey, of course, never played football. He was too busy inventing tea.

       Now, if you’ve ever seen the Grey Cup itself, you’ve probably thought, “What on earth did Earl Grey use this for before he donated it to the winning team? Was it a two-handled beer stein, or maybe a vase for flowers? Personally, I think he donated it to the football league because it was either that or give it to Value Village.

       It’s the 100th anniversary, this year, of the annual Grey Cup game which is billed as the great East-West Canadian Classic and most of the time it has been, except one year, we had a team from Baltimore, Maryland that won the Grey Cup. No one talks about that anymore, especially in Baltimore.

       I should tell you that this year’s Grey Cup could also have been strange. You see, there are only three actual teams in ‘Eastern’ Canada, so a western team can cross-over in the play-offs and that’s what Vancouver’s BC Lions did for the ‘Eastern final’ against the Montreal Alouettes. Fortunately, the Alouettes won the game; otherwise Eastern Canada would have been represented by the most westerly city in Canada. And you think Steven Colbert thinks we’re goofy now.

       Another interesting tidbit for you is that for many years we had two teams in the CFL called the Roughriders, who actually did play each other for the Grey Cup a few times over the years and each time, strangely, the game was won by the Roughriders! The truth is; keen observers will know that to differentiate the two teams while they were on the field, the Ottawa team used two words ‘Rough Riders’, and Saskatchewan used one word ‘Roughriders’. Otherwise, we’d never have known who was leading in the game.

       As I said, the Grey Cup is 100 years old this year. The first match where the Grey Cup was awarded was in 1909. It was a game between the University of Toronto and the Parkdale Canoe Club. The U of T won the game 26-6, mostly because the Parkdale players found it hard to execute an end-around sweep from the T formation while in a canoe. The next Grey Cup game, officials insisted that all the players walk or run only, so from that day forward; players were banned from using canoes, row boats and schooners to score touchdowns.

       Finally, if you visit a Canadian home this Sunday, you will notice that Grey Cup parties abound throughout the land. The general idea is to eat so much meat, beans and salsa and consume so much alcohol while watching the match that after three hours no one in Canada can pronounce Saskatchewan. By early in the evening on Grey Cup day, that province is usually known as ‘Sashawan’.

       I hope this has been enlightening to the pigskin challenged and remember, for full coverage of the Grey Cup game and complete play-by-play, do not go to http://doublexposureradio.com/podcast.html, All you’ll hear is a very funny Canadian comedy show.

    November 24th, 2009

    I’ve Got Emily Carr Syndrome!

    Linda CullenI’ve been thinking about Emily Carr a lot lately.  You know Emily Carr; the famous B.C. artist who was a contemporary of The Group of Seven.  Now, I’m not thinking about her art.  If I was thinking about her art, my thoughts would mostly consist of me kicking myself for not buying some of it way back when it wasn’t worth much.  That was many years ago, when I was probably about 2 years old, and was not able to talk, or to go to the bathroom without an adult’s help, but hey, that’s no excuse!  I should have been wiser with those baby bonus cheques, and invested the money, instead of blowing it on Pablum and gripe water.  Although I have to admit, I did enjoy the gripe water…as often as possible, which might explain my love of Cosmopolitans today…but that’s for another blog.  No, I’ve been thinking about Emily Carr, mostly because of menopause.  Okay, let me explain.  I am one of the millions of women who is, to use an expression from the old days, going through the ‘change of life’.  There are some good things about this, the first being those famous hot flashes, or as I like to call them, Chinooks.  They’re great, because if you live in a northern country, as I do, in the winter time, every 3 or 4 minutes, you can pretend that all that sweat dripping down the inside of your long johns is being caused by the heat of a beautiful tropical island.  Also, if you have a screaming fit in a restaurant because some inconsiderate individual in the kitchen had the gall to allow the hash browns to touch the over easy eggs!!!…then as soon as you take a breath and mention that you’re experiencing menopause, everybody totally understands, and they instantly tell the 911 operator to cancel the SWAT team, and then someone very kindly offers you a free slice of pie if you’ll just slowly drop the fork that you’re holding at the waitress’ neck!  Good times!!  But here’s one of the downsides to menopause; there’s this thing that can kind of creep up on you, and it’s something I like to call the ‘Emily Carr Syndrome’.  You see, when she was a younger person, Emily Carr was quite an attractive girl.  I’ve seen the pictures.  But as she got older, she hit a point, not sure when, but I’m guessing somewhere around the ‘change’, where she started to stick this black stocking cap on her head, and in every picture from that point on, that’s all you ever see her wearing. It was not the most flattering look, even in the early 1900s.  But I sort of understand this, because there are many days when I get up in the morning, and there is nowhere to go, so I pretty much say, why bother, and I shove my hair up in a clip, throw on sweats and a t-shirt, and I’m done.  There’s this insidious little voice that continually says, ‘Why bother Linda Cullen?  If you clean yourself up today, you’ll only have to do it again in another 3 or 4 weeks!”  But I yell at that voice “NO!!  I have to make an effort, or else the man I live with will report me and I’ll be dragged away by the health department, listed as a toxic waste site, and then buried somewhere in the Canadian Shield, where I won’t be able to contaminate anyone else!”  Okay, I’m being a bit dramatic, but there have been a few days when I’ve been sitting at my desk, and suddenly I think, PEE-YEW, what smells bad?  The cats must have…oh GOD!  It’s not the cats, it’s ME!!  So, that’s why I’ve been wondering about ‘Emily Carr Syndrome’.  Am I at the point where my husband might say, “Hey, let’s get cleaned up and go see a movie!”  And I reply with “Naa, I’ll just shove this pair of pantyhose on my head, and I’m good to go.”  Is that where menopause is leading me?  Yearly baths, a stocking on my head, living with a monkey?  Oh, yeh, did I mention that Emily lived with a monkey?  Well, I can guarantee this; if I start shoving my head into a stocking cap every morning, I might as well live with a monkey…because the husband will be gone.

    Want more funny stuff?  Listen to the Double Exposure Radio Podcast at http://doublexposureradio.com/podcast.html

    November 18th, 2009

    Kindle Kills Doodles

    Bob Robertson

    Kindle is here! Kindle is here! Yes, Canadians satisfied their cravings this week with the arrival in Canada of Amazon’s wireless reading device. Personally, I will always read books, the kind made of paper, but I don’t doubt the fact that Kindle will become a big seller. I saw online yesterday someone in the education business predicting that someday  students in schools won’t have books, just a Kindle each. Well, that saddened me. You see part of the training for a comedian (and you read it here first) is that you must take every textbook in school and doodle in it, filling all the blank spots with witticisms, well, as much as a 16 year old can muster who doesn’t even know the word witticism exists. Here is where comedy is born and Kindle will wipe that out completely, leaving the world devoid of comics, and what a poorer world it will be. I happen to have a few of my high school text books still on a shelf. They came from my mother when she sold her house. They were up in the attic in a cardboard box filled with old school books. I started to browse through them when I got them home and suddenly discovered why I decided to get into comedy for a living. After a great deal of furious pencilmanship, in my grade ten history book every leader in Canada’s history has a mustache, beard, granny glasses and is cross-eyed. In the Robert Harris painting of the Fathers of Confederation, Sir John A. Macdonald has an arrow through his head and both Alexander Galt and George Brown have naked women sitting on their knee. Kids, you can’t do that on a Kindle! So, once again technology is wiping out another profession. First stagecoach drivers, then key punch operators and now comedians. And thanks to Amazon, you’ll miss the great doodles that made us what we are today. In that cardboard box was also my dog-eared bible from Vacation Bible School, heavily marked up with the pencil of a 12 year old boy. Moses can be seen arriving from his trip up Mount Sinai with the Ten Commandments in both hands, and, what appears to be, a serious erection. Thankfully, I’m mostly over that phase. These days when I doodle a picture of Moses, the tablets he’s holding are Viagra.

     

     

    For more comedy, try Double Exposure Radio at;

    http://doublexposureradio.com/podcast.html

     

     

    November 9th, 2009

    Remembrance Day-Words and Music

    Bob Robertson

    And now for something completely different…Since 1987 Double Exposure has been satirizing and parodying governments, political and business leaders, the media, celebrities and those who make the nightly news, and we carry on today, as always, because we live in a country, Canada, that values and guarantees freedoms of rights, including freedom of speech.

       In 2009, it’s easy to forget how we gained all this hard-earned freedom, the freedom that motivated Voltaire to say, “I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.”

       I was thinking about this freedom the other day when I read, again, the story of the “Donkey Bloggers”. They are, by name, Hadnan Hajizade and Emin Abdullayev. They are Azerbaijanis who, in September of this year, angered their government by posting a satirical video on the internet in which they interview a donkey (one of them sitting at a table in a donkey costume) which praises the government of Azerbaijan for its positive attitude towards donkeys. Hajizade and Abdullayev are in jail and currently on trial for their internet video. Some will know that press freedom in Azerbaijan is almost non-existant. Meanwhile in Canada and in many other western nations, we luxuriate in the ability to say what we like, for or against those in power.

       These freedoms came about not without incredible effort, including sacrificing the lives of thousands of our citizens to safeguard our freedoms against those who would take them away. This included fighting some horrible wars against tyrants; World War One, World War Two, Korea, and now the terrorists who would deny us our freedoms in the 21st century. Remembrance Day in Canada is on Wednesday, November 11th and we at Double Exposure Radio are asking all of you to spend some time remembering the sacrifices of many to allow all of us, including Double Exposure, the freedom, amongst others, to satirize and parody without fear of prison or death.

       With this in mind, we have produced our tribute to those who have given of themselves, and, often with their lives, to preserve these freedoms. What you will hear is a 45 minute tribute in words and music; words, mostly, not much heard these days, and music, not often associated with Remembrance Day. This comes from our hearts, the children of parents who offered up their lives in war for what we enjoy today.

       We hope you appreciate the words of the poems and the songs, as we do. You can hear this tribute at;

    http://doublexposureradio.com/remembrance.html

     

    Here is a list of the words and music you will hear;

    Music-“An Epitaph to War” soundtrack by James Horner from the film “Glory”

    Poem-“I Have a Rendezvous with death” by Alan Seeger-1917

    Poem-“Any Woman to a Soldier” by Grace Ellery Channing-1918

    Music-“The Minstrel Boy” sung by Chor Leoni

    Poem-“The Charge of the Light Brigade” by Alfred, Lord Tennyson-1854

    Music-“We Will Stand Together” (Based on Variations on an Original Theme-Opus 36, Nimrod) sung by Russell Watson

    Poem-“Nefarious War” written by Li Po-750 AD

    Music-“Many Rivers to Cross” sung by Annie Lennox

    Poem-“Sunset Vigil” written by Andrew McFarlane-2001

    Music-“Little Island” sung by Elton John from “Faust”

    Poem-“The Man He Killed” by Thomas Hardy-1915

    Music-“Brothers in Arms” sung by Celtic Thunder

    Poem-“Not to Keep” written by Robert Frost

    Music-“Over the Rainbow” sung by Harry Nilson

    Poem-“The Soldier’s Dream” by ‘Mr. Campbell’-1804

    Music-“Feels Like Home” written and sung by Randy Newman

    Poem-“Aftermath” by Siegfried Sasoon-1919

    Music-“In These Times” sung by Joan Armatrading

    Music-“Hymn to the Fallen” from the movie “Saving Private Ryan”-John Williams

    Poem-“In Flanders Fields” written by John McCrae; poet, physician, author, Lieutenant Colonel of the Canadian Expeditionary Force, who died in Boulogne-sur-Mer, France, January 28th, 1918, while commanding No. 3 Canadian General Hospital on the battlefield.