Like A Candle On A Day Completely and Utterly Devoid of Wind

April 17, 2008

fat lot of good it did him

There may be glamour in dying in your early twenties. There is no glamour in dying in your fifties.

Michael Kinsley

I can't die, it would ruin my image.

Jack Lalanne

is updated on


For sale: small sized trampoline. Missing the outside rim and connecting springs. Actually it's really kind of a mat. $4 OBO. box 33.
For rent: photographs of me throwing a boat over a hedge. $1/day. Box 1961.
This Sunday, April 20th join us for the First Annual Gus Friedlander Memorial Run For Ice. The run commemorates the life of Gus Friedlander (still alive) who was known for his ability to dash down to the Sev for ice regardless of how drunk he was. The race begins at 11:30 pm at the corner of Lilac and MacMillan and follows a circuitous route to the 7/11 at Arbuthnot and returns via Warsaw (the street) for some reason. Sobriety is not encouraged.
For sale: white gym socks $2 ea. Not in pairs. Box 2.
Interested in canoeing? Kayaking? Hiking? Backpacking? Camping? Rockclimbing? Mountain Biking? Carolingian miniscule? The Hope Diamond? The origins of the pharmaceutical industry? Gavrilo Princip's homelife? Baccarat? Burt Bacharach? Ehud Barak? Anything else? Good for you. It's nice to take an interest in things.



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A Fitness Revolution

Well it's Spring and a lot of you(4) have been writing in to this website (and maybe others -which raises the question "Don't you people have jobs?" and the related question "How do you live?") with worries about the impending bathing suit season.

Many of us (I'm not naming names - who are you Charlie McCarthy?) are not happy about our body's (or a lot of other peoples') appearance whilst tricked out in a bathing costume or in some more revealing garment (what that would be I don't care to speculate).

Every year, about this time, there is a proliferation of articles and stories in the media concerning same. We, the fat public, are thrown into a panicky cycle of frenzied dieting and frantic exercise in a hopeless attempt to look a little less like Ernest Borgnine (deceased) on the beach (or some other setting he was known to frequent) during the summer months.

Those of us who get caught up in this pointless activity soon tire of it and slump back into our leather wingback chairs exhausted and depressed and covered in consoling cookie crumbs. This, quite frankly, is foolish and time-consuming and I, for one (or possibly two judging by the number on my bathroom scale), am sick of it.

This calorie-counting and vegetable-steaming and spin classes and pilates and big ball sitting is a lot of work and I LIKE pie. Lots of pie. I'd rather eat pie than do most things. I am disinclined to stop eating it. Also as lucrative as this enterprise (PERSIFLAGE) is, it does not provide me with sufficient funds to secure a personal trainer or one of those high tech wiggling machines that movie stars count on for their fabulous abs.

So what am I to do but watch my waistline steadily increase and abandon forever my dream of strolling down the beach clad only in a bright red Speedo while eating an entire Black Forest Cake? I will not. Every boy has a right to dream.

There is a solution to this problem. The problem is not me and my tubby brethren but Society. Society must change it's views. Society must be made to admire the slovenly and the portly.

How can this come about? Well, like all major developments in human history it must begin with celebrities.

Society must rid itself of its obsession with the sleek, toned carcasses of Brad and Angelina, Posh and Becks, Beyonce and Madonna. We must all learn to admire the curvy voluptuousness of John Madden and John Daly and we must encourage Eva Longoria and Hillary Swank and Antonio Banderas to forgo their insane workout routines and have another slice of pie. Let's fatten these folks up!

Are you the kind of person who sends fan letters? Why not include some macaroons in your next missive to Avril Lavigne? Doesn't Jennifer Garner look like she might enjoy a great wad of suet? I think Rupert Everett has a weakness for custard tarts.

Start today. The faster these trendsetters start slapping on the pounds the sooner I can start greasing up and sliding into the old Speedo. Hurry up summer's almost here!

Hugh Briss

The End

a hush

There was a hush in the room. No one said anything for a moment. Gilda herself was silent. There didn't seem to be anything to say. A chair scraped somewhere near the back of the hall. Someone else coughed. Herman finally said "uh..." but couldn't think of anything else. People stared at him for a moment and then went back to looking at their hands or their feet. Gilda sat down.

Mister Worthy looked around the room and then stood up, placing his hands on either side of the lectern he leaned into the microphone.

"Well" he said "I guess that about covers it." He paused. "Meeting adjourned."

Nobody moved for a moment. Then Bert Harlow stood up and that started people getting up and putting on their coats and finally shuffling towards the door. Still no one spoke. And no one looked at Gilda.

It was their most successful meeting ever.

Chester Broth

Unhand my participle!

The Return of the Armchair Grammarian

Regular readers of PERSIFLAGE (if there are any) will be pleased to see the return of Leonard Derwerthy's column, The Armchair Grammarian. Others will not.

When I was a wee lad (and I was a bonnie wee lad) my old gran used to start a lot of her endless complaining harangues with "what with me being old and all". In those days of poor sanitation, fluorescent lighting and wood panelled rec-rooms people just didn't know any better. Now, of course, with the advent of cel phones that you can play games on (or is it with?) and the internet, we know that what old gran should have said was "with my being old and all". And what a difference that would have made!

Although modern science has obviously made great strides forward, participle mishandling still afflicts more people today than any other single part of speech with the exception of the indefinite pronoun (which claimed 22,400 Canadians last year). The participle is certainly a tricky mistress and she must be handled with kid gloves (that's kid gloves not kids' gloves).

The first thing to remember about participles is that they are really more adjective than verb and so they really need to be modifying something in order to feel useful. You can't just leave your participles hanging out there. They get bored and then they start into all kind of mischief and the next thing you know they've hooked up with a bad crowd and you get something like: "Climbing the mountain the cabin came into view." Well! Just who the hell is climbing that mountain anyway? And aren't those my crampons? You see how important all this is?