strangely familiar in a vaguely unpleasant way 

April 15th, 2010

Ah, everybody is a stranger to himself! I discovered that, to my dismay, during the unexpected examination. It seems that I know absolutely nothing about myself, other than the little bit perhaps that reached my ears by way of gossip.

Alfred Polgar


I am travelling to Darkest Africa next fall and I am looking for a good flashlight. Got one? Box 112.
For Sale: One big canoe. Ideal for large family outings. Some bulbs in the chandelier in the main dining room need replacing. Make me an offer! Box 30.
April 19th is National Parka Storing Day. Jam yours in a bag under the stairs and join the fun!
For sale: collection of classic albumen. Ideal for healthy omelettes or photographic prints! $400 for the entire collection. Box 1.
Willing to trade my signed photograph of Gavrilo Princip's second cousin Vojislav for any memorabilia relating to the Great Mac Davis vehicle, Sting II. Box 13.
For rent: Post-It Notes with useful notices on them. Now available: Back in 5; Call Home; Pick up (several different food stuffs); Doctor's Appointment at (various times); Circumnavigate the Globe. $1/day. Box 5.
Wondering where the lions are? They're at the Zoo! Come down for a visit today!
Some kind of ecstasy got a hold on you? Come see us. We're Narcotics Anonymous!
For sale: potatoes fried within the boundaries of the nation of France. That's right, authentic French-fried potatoes. Imported from France. Oui oui! 56 dollars per pound or 90 euros per kilogram. Box 372623 (C'est bon! It spells FRANCE!).
For sale: one sad memory. slightly tinged with regret. some salt staining. $2OBO. Box 99.

The Mystery of the Lost Lenore

Listen to Part Fify-two

Click on the picture. (2:41)

Or start from the beginning.



Wondering how we're doing? Why not drop us a line?

World Domination

The Humorous Side

From a correspondence in 2001 between Hugh Briss and Elrose Watermuldar, who was then in Europe (the continent).

Dear Hugh,
When you asked me for my thoughts for your special issue on World Domination I was at first worried that you'd begun that whole sorry business again and contemplated speaking to your mother about returning you to "that place" but I have been assured that PERSIFLAGE is a legitimate enterprise or at least as legitimate an enterprise as someone like yourself is likely to be involved in. Here is a part of my conversation with the noted German megalomaniac Otto Bauday. At the time of this interview he was incarcerated in a Czech prison for conspiracy to import Canadian mild cheddar.

Elrose Watermuldar

EW: How did you get started on this whole world domination thing?
OB: I think it is something from my childhood. I had very few toys and this makes me very sad.

EW: Even now?
OB: Even now.

EW: So this started as a desire for more toys.
OB: Not quite. Is always a question of power.

EW: Power over toys?
OB: At first - yes.

EW: When did it become something more?
OB: After fall of Berlin wall.

EW: How old were you then?
OB: I was in my late twenties. I was only dimly aware of history but I knew that we [the Germans he means, not he and I - EW] had twice invaded Europe and I began to think of the old phrase "The third time's the charm".

EW: That was in fact the original motto of your organization was it not?
OB: Yes, but finally we went with "Once more with feeling."

EW: How did your attempt differ from the previous ones?
OB: In many ways. Well, that Hitler was quite scooters you know.

EW: Really?
OB: Oh yes, very strange man. And he had no sense of humour.

EW: But he was German wasn't he? I mean you're not exactly known as a funny people.
OB: He was Austrian. You are quite wrong about Germans. We love fun. This is one thing we want to bring out - the humorous fun loving side of Germans.

EW: For instance?
OB: Oh, the whole lederhosen wearing, beer drinking thing. We wanted to show the world how much funner it would be if Germans were in charge.

EW: I can't think of a single funny German.
OB: What about Wagner?

EW: The composer?
OB: I find the Ride of the Valkyries hilarious.

EW: Oh.
OB: We make great toys too. Chocolate, things for the kiddies. Kinder Surprise - that is us.

EW: Oh yeah?
OB: Oh yes we are very fun.

EW: I'll take your word for it I guess. Where do you think you went wrong?
OB: We were in too much the hurry. We should have started small. Our plan to annex Florida was... premature.

EW: Maybe you should have started with the Sudetenland?
OB: Have you ever been there?

EW: No.
OB: Very dreary place. Nothing of interest. No fun. Besides we wanted someplace warm. You know bathing suit weather in January. It is very cold here in winter. Also the Walt Disney world. If we could've got Mickey on board then who knows?

EW: Well, thanks for taking the time to talk to us. Any final thoughts?
OB: Yes, I am a lovable song and dance man at heart.

EW: Ah... very good. Thanks.
OB: My pleasure.

Everybody I Know

Has At Least One Thing Wrong With Them That They Don't Know About

I had thought about listing them here. You know, as a kind of public service or personal favour to my friends I would write out a list of their names and next to each name I would write their particular glaring error in such a way that it would be, finally and completely clear to them why they had been making such a mess of their lives up to this point.

But then I thought about it and I realised that my friends would not take it in the spirit it was intended. I thought about it some more and I came to the conclusion that they would probably band together and set my car on fire. Again.

I have on my desk before me (in front of me I mean)a notice from the City of Winnipeg Fire Department stating that if they are forced to put out a fire in my car again they will give me a pink belly that will stay pink.

I don't think I like people.

Hugh Briss

10 Things to Remember if You Want to Be Successful

(but you should read this anyway)

1) Bologna is not an entree.

2) The capital of Estonia is Tallinn and it doesn't matter.

3) Not everyone enjoys your whistling and some of them are prone to violence.

4) Knowing all the words to Skaterboi does not make you erudite.

5) Vince Neil was once very popular.

6) Looking both ways before you cross the street is only important if you care about getting hit.

7) The bank is not your friend no matter how chatty they get on the phone or how concerned for your well-being they seem in their folksy little missives.

8) Love of money may be the root of all evil but so what?

9) People never wanted to know how Boswell himself was and sometimes, late at night, that made him cry.

10) Soylent Green is people. No, seriously.

Poetry to fill the belly

An award (we won't say which one) winning poem concerning the birds (notice we didn't say (or, in fact, write) "for").

   A wonderful bird
        is the Pelican.

   His physical attributes
        are disproportionally
             disturbing, and,

   to say the least,
        useful to him
             in the extreme.

   But I,
        who share none
             of his fine qualities,

   or love of fish,
        can still jam
   a lot of these cookies
                  in my mouth.


Jen Teal