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    October 26th, 2009

    What Happens In Vegas…

    Linda Cullen

    As you age, you take great comfort in the fact that you have probably gained enough experience and wisdom through the years to allow you to maneuver through life without the intestine liquefying embarrassments that may have plagued your younger, more irresponsible years… (and when I say ‘you’, I mean ‘ME’) I thought that, until last week, when I was heading home from Las Vegas.

    Now being Vegas, you would probably expect that if embarrassment was to be had, it would be had while in the actual confines of the city of Sin itself. You know, one too many free drinks while playing the Whack-a-Mole slot machines, leading to a complete song by song re-enactment of Cher’s show, resulting in you being hauled away by Animal Control, due to the fact that your impression of Cher sounded more like a goat being abused than the bejeweled, bewigged diva.

    No, my humiliation came at the airport, coming home. I had taken my Mother there on a birthday present trip, so she could see the many changes, and also so she could recite a variety of complaints that work well there, e.g. “It’s too dark.” “That’s too much food!!” “It’s too cold.” “That’s too loud.” “That’s too complicated!” “That’s too expensive!” “That’s too Big!” “The teapot has no lid!” “The gondolas are too Italian!” And many others I don’t have the energy to type out. This may have led to a kind of brain numbing, I’m not sure, because I got us to the airport, and through security in plenty of time for our flight…but then something happened to my head, and I don’t know when or where, but I suddenly thought we had really a lot of time before our flight. So I said, well, let’s have one last go on the slots for the road and we sat down to donate more money to the Pat & Vanna charity for wayward game show hosts. Finally, after a few bonus rounds with the Wheel, we decided to make our way to the gate…slowly, really really slowly. All of a sudden an Air Canada attendant came up to us and asked if we were Cullen. I said yes and for an instant, I thought, well she must recognize me from my old TV show, or maybe she listens now to our podcast, Double Exposure Radio, so I was about to start signing an autograph for her, when her voice got loud, “You are supposed to be on the plane!! They are waiting for YOU!!” I started to get angry. Our flight wasn’t until 12:25. “NO! 11:05 boarding. They are waiting for YOU!” Now I’m becoming outraged. That’s Air Canada for you, now they’re just randomly picking times for boarding, just to screw with your mind…and then I realized, no, it wasn’t 12:25, it was 11:25…yes, they were waiting for US. I was mortified. And now I have to walk down the aisle of shame, the last two people to board. And I know what everyone is thinking, because I have thought those things too over the many years of flying. How STUPID could these people be? Where were they, those sewage sucking scab picking pox infested lichen lickers!! That’s what I called people like me!

    I desperately wanted to walk on the plane and yell, “So sorry folks, I was walking to the gate in plenty of time, but a man collapsed from a heart attack, and I had to perform CPR, so yes, I’m a few minutes late, but hey, I saved a life!!” To which the plane would erupt in thunderous applause, and I would get a free curry chicken wrap for lunch. Good times! But I said nothing, kept my head down, and got me and my Mother into our seats as quickly as possible. Now, I felt guilty about everything that happened on the flight. “Folks captain speaking. Sorry about the turbulence, but if we’d left on TIME, well it would’ve been smoooth sailing.”

    I think the worst part about the whole mess was that I’m pretty sure that my Mother has always harboured suspicions that her daughter was 2 parts idiot, 1 part flake, and now, finally, she had her proof.

    I wish I had a really legitimate excuse. Being a Sagittarius? Flares on the Sun? The only thing that comes close to being a bona fide defense, is that I had a really nasty case of sinusitis for two weeks, and had been blowing out some disturbing looking chunks. I realize now that a number of the greener looking pieces were actually hunks of brain. The good news is I work in comedy…in tact brains are not a prerequisite.

    Listen to the podcast Double Exposure Radio every week at www.doublexposureradio.com

    June 17th, 2009

    Happy Father’s Day To One Of A Kind

    This is the Father’s Day weekend, and it’s a time when we all like to take a moment to thank our dads for, well, being our dads. And, if your father has passed on to the great Lazy Boy in the sky, as mine has, it’s also a time to reflect on just who your dad was. Well, my father was a character. And when I say ‘character’, I mean character in giant CAPITAL letters, in BOLD font, and underlined several times. Oh yes, if you looked up character in the dictionary, you know who’s picture you’d see. Now, he was a caring person, loved animals, and at times, had a pretty devastating sense of humour. But one of the features of his personality that fell squarely under the ‘character’ column, was that he was very fond of the ‘5 Finger Discount’. In other words, he liked to pinch, pilfer, filch, pocket, or just plain shoplift. If anyone ever made a comment about some item mysteriously showing up at our house, like, “Say, Dad, where did that piano come from?”

    His standard answer was, “Oh, that. It fell off the back of a truck.”

    Some of his targets were pretty minor, although they always made for extremely nerve wracking moments for me. For example, whenever he and my Mom and I went shopping, there was usually a stop in a department store cafeteria for coffee. My Dad always liked to have more than just one cup of coffee, but he didn’t want to pay for that extra cup, so he would slide his tray along to where the teapots were, grab one, and then go and fill it up with coffee, and that gave him just the right amount extra that he needed, gratis. But every time he did this, it was always at top speed, as if any second a coffee siren might go off and all hell would break loose…

    “Somebody stop that man! He just put coffee in a TEA POT. He’s stealing a second cup of coffee!! POLICE!! POLICE!!”

    So I always dreaded the tea pot moment, and for those few lightening speed seconds that he executed his mission, I would wander over looking at the desserts, pretending that I didn’t know him, just in case the alarm was sounded. I believe my Mom was doing the same in the salad section.

    I’ll admit to you today, and this is the first time ever, that throughout the entire span of my formative years, not once was toilet paper purchased. This is not because we had found some magical way of never going to the bathroom, or had purchased a used NASA toilet that just vacuumed everything away. No, it’s because on a regular basis, Dad brought home rolls of toilet paper from work, which, you guessed it, fell off the back of the toilet paper truck. I can’t tell you where he worked, because I don’t know what the statute of limitations is on Purex pilfering, but let’s just say, he had access to a lot of Charmin.

    Then there was his cache of miscellaneous items. Every once in a while I’d uncover his secret stash that was stuck in a corner of one of his dresser drawers. It was filled with many coveted items like crystal decanter stoppers…no crystal decanter, just the stopper. Same with the teapot lids. These things he would have found on an odds and ends sale table, and probably felt that the store had a lot of nerve to put a price on a crystal decanter stopper when there was no decanter, in the first place and so it was his duty to shove it in his pocket. And then I’m sure my Dad was just waiting for that moment when my Mother would announce, “Oh for goodness sakes! I accidentally flushed the crystal decanter stopper down the toilet. Now how are we going to keep fruit flies out of the wine?”

    “Don’t worry dear, I’ve got a spare one right here!”

    “Well, where did that come from?”

    “It’s the craziest thing. It fell off the back of this decanter delivery truck!”

    Of course, this all happened long before everything had magnetic security stickers and tags put on them and I suppose in one way, my Dad can feel proud that he contributed to changing the retail industry.

    Thankfully, it wasn’t something that was passed from father to daughter. Let me just state for the record; I pay for my toilet paper…I pay a LOT for my toilet paper.

    Nevertheless, Happy Father’s Day Dad, wherever you are. And my guess is that he’s up with the angels, because, you know, he did like the little animals. But if that is truly where he is, then St. Peter better not take his eyes of his harp.

    May 20th, 2009

    What the Duck is Going On?

    Linda Cullen
    I lead an incredibly busy life. My days are jam packed. For example, every other day, I have to scour newspapers and magazines in order to keep a running tally on Brad and Angelina’s offspring. I believe at last count it was three thousand two hundred and eight. I also have to put in at least 3 or 4 hours daily trying to solve that age old problem; If train ‘A’ leaves the west coast at 4 o’clock traveling a hundred miles an hour, and train ‘B’ leaves the east coast at 5 o’clock traveling 110 miles an hour, at what time will ‘Happy Hour’ start on train ‘A’, and more importantly, why am I cut off after only 7 Cosmopolitans? On top of all of that, I have to fit in at least 3 high-quality, intensive beauty naps. So, you can see, there is very little time left for anything else.

    However, at this time of year, I take on the heavy burden of trying to keep all of the Animal Kingdom alive…well, okay, not ALL of it, but a big portion of it, if you consider a big portion of the Animal Kingdom a dozen or so baby ducks. You see, I live in a townhouse complex that has as one of its desirable features, ponds and streams running behind most of our places. And so, over the years a number of ducks have made these waterways their home. And for most of the year they go about their duck business, you know, rooting for Anaheim in the play-offs, that kind of thing. But every spring, because Mother Nature seems to demand it, we have babies. And of course, when you first see the little puff balls, it’s as if you are discovering these rare elusive creatures for the very first time. “Ah, what an interesting puffball. I think I’ll name this species Daffydoopidus Cullengoofitus!” Oh, yes, there’s a lot of squeeling, and clucking…and these are the human beings I’m talking about. “Ohhhhhhh!! Loooook at the widdle baby wabies!! Oh my god, they’re soooo cuuuuute!!”

    And that day arrived yesterday. We have our first batch of puff balls. Ten of them. And they are just so cuuuute! But now, I have to stand guard for hours on end, trying to make sure that, first of all, the crows don’t get at them. I’m not quite sure how the crows do it, except that I know they’re smart, and they work well in teams. I think what happens is, they get a couple of them to go to the front door and ring the bell, and then when I go to answer that, another bunch of crow thugs hold down my husband, so he can’t protect the babies, and then they snatch a few. Plus we have hawks, and a hawk is just your basic deadly duck hunting machine. Not to mention cats, raccoons, and who knows what other creatures are lurking out there in the dead of night, I’m too afraid to look.

    It just about drove me cuckoo last year, because when they have these big families, there’s always one knucklehead in the group that doesn’t pay attention when mom turns left, ‘cause he’s busy playing pocket Nintendo or something, and BAM! The whole family is gone, and he starts squeaking incessantly, like a rusty water pump, or a Jessica Simpson song. So I had to wade into the water, and start doing a fairly decent, if I do say so myself, impression of mom, in order to get him to swim toward me, and off in the right direction…which he DID! Yeh, I don’t think they’re very smart.

    And it’s the same this year. I was out this morning yelling at one of the Mallard males, because when it comes to being a parent, they suck. I’m tellin’ ya, like that Oscar winning rap song said a few years ago, “You know it’s hard out here for a duck.” Or something like that.

    I’m so worried about them I can’t sleep, I can’t eat (who’s kidding who, I could do with about 20 pounds of worry) because I just want to keep the babies alive, so that when they’re adults, and they fly over my place, in their happy quacky duck way, I can wave at them and say “Hey duckies, if you drop one more of your stinking payloads on my patio furniture I’ll KILL you!!!”

    May 10th, 2009

    Happy Mother’s Day…Love, Nelson The Cat

    Linda Cullen

    Dear Mom/Linda/Supplier of all my needs,

    After years of observing the habits and patterns of you and your kind, I have come to notice that on this particular day each year, you cram yourselves into cars with your mothers, and head en masse to all the restaurants in the area, where you cram yourselves into a table, because this is their busiest day of the year, and then proceed to cram as much food into said mothers as possible, in order to say “Thank you Mom, for pushing me out through the vaginal canal.” As much as I appreciate the sentimentality of this tradition, being a cat, I’m afraid I don’t own a car. Come to think of it, I never did get my license, not to mention I’m not very good with big crowds, or traffic, and finally, and I believe most importantly, I have absolutely no money. So, dinner on me is a no go. However, I feel compelled to take a moment on this special day, to let you know how I feel.

    So, thanks Mom, for coming to the shelter 9 years ago and choosing me, out of all the others. Even though I know you were looking for a kitten, and I was the only kitten there, I still like to think you saw something special in me. Thanks for not taking me back to the shelter a few days later when I decided to jump up and attach myself with all of my needle like claws to your butt when you were standing at the sink. Seemed like a good idea at the time. Your screams told me something very different. Thanks for bringing your Dad’s cat Mitzie to live with us after he died. I really loved Mitzie. She was like a second Mom to me, and I especially liked it when she would grab hold of me with both her paws and start licking my head. And remember how she would blast out of the litter box every time she did some major work, and she’d tear around the house like a rocket ship. Man, we would laugh and laugh. She’s keeping your Dad company now, but I’m glad I knew her. I’m not so crazy about the bonehead you brought home to replace her. He likes to spend hours licking me too, and as much as I enjoy it, don’t you think that’s a little creepy? Not that there’s anything wrong with it…I’m just saying. Plus he’s really noisy, and he’s always cleaning up my food dish. Oh well, at least he’s not a dog!

    I also want to thank you Mom, for not getting mad at me when I poop outside the box. You see, I’m a lot like that guy that was on the Ally McBeal show, remember? When he went to the bathroom, he always wanted a fresh bowl. I’m very much the same, and I’d prefer it if you could get upstairs to clean the boxes every hour or so, but, I know, you’ve got a life. So, I leave my deposit on that nice mat you put in front of the box. From where I sit, it seems to be a win/win situation. And thank you Mom, for not ridiculing me because I’ve chewed most of the hair off of my underside, well except for the bits covering my dangling participles…which I believe you had stolen from me, not that I’m bitter…but I leave that bit because otherwise I think I’d be a little chilly. I know I used to be a handsome devil, and now I’m a bit of a freak, but you still seem to love me, so I’m good with that. And a real BIG thank you for getting me to the vets last January right quick, when my penis was blocked. WHEW!! Enough said.
    So, Mom, you’ve told me many times that you didn’t have real children because you were allergic, and that having me and the bonehead has made your life complete. Well, I couldn’t be happier. And in order to show my love and appreciation for all you do Mom, I’ve hacked up something pretty impressive on the hallway carpet. HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY!

    Listen to Linda’s comedy podcast every week at

    May 3rd, 2009

    Facebook, Why Don’t You Like Me?

    It’s terribly disturbing and embarrassing to come to the realization, at the age of 49…okay, 50…yes, yes, alright, 50 and a HALF, that I am a terribly needy person. I suppose if I paused for a few quiet moments of navel gazing, I would conclude that a) this started a long time ago, and b) I should really clean out my navel more often, there appears to be some kind of trailing foliage growing in there, but…oh sorry, you don’t want to hear about that right now. Yes, I remember one time, as a young child, going to some girl’s birthday party, and making a real obnoxious point of asking the birthday girl which gift she thought was the best, assuming, of course, that she would say mine. I was stunned, dismayed, shocked…wait, let me get my thesaurus…bewildered, startled and astounded, that she replied, “Oh, I don’t know, everybody’s present was the best.” Yeh, right. What kind of lame cop out is THAT? I mean, come ON!! I got her a Super Whamo Spinmaster Thingy Do Dah…in all 3 colours! That had to come in wayyy ahead of the stupid kid that got her a ball of string and a bag of Cheese Doodles. She probably works for the U.N. now- “Oh, yes, I believe we are all created equal, and all humans are good.” I mean, really, who believes that kind of…ah, you see, I thought I had that stuff under control. Now, I blame my neediness on my mother weaning me at 3 months, and then feeding me Pablum, which I immediately returned to her in a fun Linda Blair kind of way. At any rate, for almost a year now I have been somewhat casually working on my Facebook page. At first I didn’t think a whole lot about it. I’d write a few things, throw on a picture or two, and get on with my life. But over the last few months, something changed. It’s begun to bug me that I keep getting bumped down when I write my little What’s On My Mind comment, i.e. Linda Cullen just noticed that when she breathes in, her throat gets cool! Crucial things like that. And it really bugs me that no one comments on it, or even just gives me an ‘I like this’, thumbs up. Are my status comments not stimulating enough? But then, I noticed the Highlights column at the side. Fantastic, I thought. That’s where I want to be, in that highlights column. But no matter what I do, no matter how many pictures I load onto my page, no matter how many important announcements I make, I can’t get myself into the highlights. But I’ll look down it, and there’ll be some schmuck who’s RSVP’d to the Fruit Fly Protection Society’s Annual BBQ & Banana Rotting Gala…and they get into it!! So now I start asking myself, “Who’ve ya gotta fu…pardon me…poke…to get on the highlights column!!!???” Well, I have come to the only logical conclusion a needy 50 something like me can come to…Facebook is JUDGING me!! Oh, did I mention I might also be paranoid?

    April 26th, 2009

    Linda Cullen’s New Blog

    I don’t know if you’ve heard this, you may be too wrapped up following hockey play-offs and Scottish virgin make-overs, but these are tough economic times. This recession, or as I call it, The Age of Eee!NoCents, has left no one untouched. And so, due to an epidemic of belt tightening in the newspaper business in this country, last month, I was relieved of my duties as a columnist for 24 Hours in Vancouver. I have to say, it was quite a high pressure job. My number one responsibility was to write something, as often as possible, that was so hilarious that coffee would shoot out an unsuspecting commuter’s nose. The interesting thing is that what most people will say at times like this is that it’s such a relief to read a humour column, because the rest of the news is so depressing. So, I was a little bummed when I got the phone call, but not surprised, because when accountants start going through budgets looking for things that are dispensable, well, what chance does a goofball have?

    BEAN COUNTER: Who is this Linda Cullen? Is she a pundit? Does she do in-depth political analysis using her many top secret insider contacts?

    EDITOR: No, she writes about her cats, and armpit farts and makes people laugh.

    BEAN COUNTER: Laugh?? No no no, we can’t have that. Not in these tough economic times. This is a newspaper for crying out loud. We’re not in the business of making people feel good!

    Of course, historically it’s always been this way. Hundreds of years ago, kings in England had court jesters to keep them amused. But if suddenly coin of the realm became a little tight, well, the guy telling the joke about the king having to pay for all his ex-wives powdered wigs would be the first to be cut. And when I say cut, I mean that literally. He’d have his funny bone removed in a really slow and painful way, and then he’d be mounted on the castle’s front gate post in a fast and even more painful way. So, I’m thankful that all I got was an unpleasant phone call. And I’m also thankful that there are now blogs to fill that laughter gap. And so begins my weekly blog, where I pledge to you, that I will, with every inch of my being, try as often as possible, to make coffee shoot out your nose.