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  • Archive for December, 2009

    December 7th, 2009

    Christmas tips for ESL folks

    Bob RobertsonA message from the government of Canada for all recently-arrived immigrants struggling to learn English. The English language is the most difficult language to learn in the world. These tips will help you to get through the Christmas season without being embarrassed.

    Tip#1. While Christmas shopping, if you see a sign in a store window that says “Women’s dresses half-off”, do not begin to remove your dress after you have entered the store, if you are a woman, or a man for that matter, this being the 21st century. This is merely a sale in which the cost of women’s dresses will be half what you paid for them recently, or even something they just made up.

    Tip#2 .On Boxing Day, you are not required to challenge other men to a fight. Fighting with your fists should be strictly for professionals, or Tiger Woods’ wife. The Boxing comes from the English tradition of giving Christmas boxes or gifts on December 26th.

    Tip#3 .When you are asked by a volunteer to give a contribution to help Christmas Seals, you are not giving money to keep alive a rare breed of harbour seal that only surfaces once a year on December 25th, when it is clubbed by Newfoundland seal hunters, after which its parts are eaten raw by the Governor General. Christmas Seals are a very worthy Christmas charity helping those with lung disease.

    Tip#4 .When a choir comes to your front door singing “..don we now our gay apparel”, this does not mean you must rush into your bedroom and change into a Liza Minnelli outfit. This is an old Christmas song written when the word ‘gay’ meant light-hearted, cheerful and happy, not irritable, moody and miserable.

    Tip#5 .When a TV commercial says it’s time to dress the turkey, do not attempt to put tiny trousers, V-neck pullovers and fashionable jackets over the cooked dinner, especially not any gay apparel. Dressing the turkey simply means simply adding ingredients such as stuffing to make it taste better.

    Tip#6 .When a party host tells you there is mistletoe in the house, she does not mean the people living there have a disease that affects their feet. Mistletoe is simply a parasitic shrub that supposedly has aphrodisiac qualities, something we’ll explain in our next broadcast.

    Tip#7 .When you see a Christmas ad in a store window telling you to “Pamper your wife this Christmas”, this does not mean you should buy a large box of diapers for your wife. Yes, diapers can be called “Pampers” but in this case the word ‘Pamper’ means to treat your wife in a special way, not force her to wear nappies over the Christmas season, unless, of course, your wife needs nappies. In which case, you should look for ‘Depends’.

    This has been one in a series of programs offering tips to immigrants learning to speak English presented by the government of Canada which wishes you a merry Christmas.

    For more hilarity, you’ll want to purchase Double Exposure Radio’s very funny CD “Bob and Linda’s Juicy Bits Volume 1″, some of the best songs and sketches from the first few months of their comedy podcast. You can order the CD right here;

    December 3rd, 2009


    Linda Cullen

    I have PTPSD.  Post Traumatic Party Stress Disorder.  Okay, let me back up just a bit.  We had our big Christmas party last weekend.  Family and friends “donning their gay apparel” and wassailing, which I believe is still legal in most provinces.  In general I think the party was a success, primarily because there were no fist fights. (Memories of a family wedding in England, but that’s another story) 

                However, there was one moment of severe embarrassment for yours truly.  Knowing me as you do, you’re probably saying to yourself “Linda, surely severe embarrassment is as familiar to you as looks of incomprehension are to Stephane Dion*” and you’d be correct.   You see, I had promised to play the piano for the singing of Christmas carols.  Now, most everything I play has a dirge-like quality to it.  Plus I use a ‘Search and Destroy’ method when it comes to hitting the right notes, but I thought if I practiced I’d at least be able to hammer out 3 easy carols. 

                I began with Deck the Halls.  On the first try I managed to get all the way to “Deck the halls with…” when I lost my bearings and started playing something that you might hear in a really disturbing nightmare.  So I started again. 

                On my second attempt I didn’t quite make it through the first “Deck” when I fell apart!  The crowd was getting restless, desperately wanting to move beyond the first word of the song and I could sense if I didn’t find at least one note that sounded familiar I’d soon be pelted with mince tarts and cranberry sauce.  So in order to save the buffet, I had to stop playing.   Luckily we had an emergency room doctor in the group who had ‘good hands’ on the piano as well, and even though he was Jewish, he didn’t mind getting us through Joy to the World. 

                But I was pretty embarrassed because, well mostly because I stunk the joint out.  And I know in the future if I ever proclaim, modestly, “I’m not really very good at the piano,” instead of being reassuringly supportive, folks will just say “Oh you’re not just whistling Dixie, sister!”  I realized that playing the piano is like testifying at the Gomery** Inquiry…it’s all about the fingering. 

                There is something good that has come from the pain.  I’ve decided to hire myself out as a piano player, but not for the usual weddings and bar mitzvahs.  I think there’s a market for a talent like me to play at divorces and funerals for people that nobody liked.  And then when someone says,

    “Geez, that pianist at Horrible Harry’s funeral was TERRIBLE!”

    The response will be “Yeh, but somehow it suited him.”

    And the great thing is, I won’t need to practice.


    *Depending on when you read this, still the leader of The Liberal Party of Canada.  French is his mother tongue.  Unfortunately English is his ugly stepsister tongue.

    **Hard to believe, but politicians were investigated for corruption.  I know, you’re feeling faint from the shock.  Fingers were pointed, some folks were sent to jail, and once again our children are safe.

     PS    Another way to avoid this kind of embarrassment, is to purchase a copy of my book 5,378 Tips For a Better Life, Hotter Sex, Fresher Breath, Thicker Hair, Thinner Thighs and Cleaner Laundry!! (not necessarily in that order) and instead of trying to play the piano, simply read the above story, or choose from 56 other ones that are chock full of chuckles, or my name isn’t…wait, it’s coming to me…crap, it was on the tip of my tongue…Earl?  Somehow that doesn’t seem right, but let’s go with it until I can find an article of clothing that has my name sewn into it.  And hey, if you’re stuck for just the right kind of gift for the hundreds of employees you heroically lead, then I think you’ve found the answer.  This way, you don’t have to keep track of everyone’s inside seam measurements, and it’s definately LOW fat!  Plus, in these tough economic times, the price is pretty good too.  So follow the link below which will take you to the Double Exposure Radio site, and you’ll find all the places that you can buy this excellent quality merchandise. Plus, if you haven’t heard it already, you can listen to our podcats, also filled with laughs.   And if enough of you do purchase this book, then you will truly have a happy Christmas, and so will I.  Because even though my last name is Cullen, sadly I am not related to Edward Cullen, and all his vampire family, who can so easily render a bank manager unconscious, and just help themselves to the inside of a vault.  No, I’m doing it the old fashioned way…Visa and Mastercard.  Happy HO HO and happy READING!   http://doublexposureradio.com/books.html