isn't as informative as you think

August 23, 2007

If you let anything come too near you want to hold onto it. And there is nothing a man can hold onto.
               - Erich Maria Remarque

Generosity is the purest form of egotism.
               - Flavio Zaramella

PERSIFLAGE is updated on Thursdays.


For Sale: rare nude photos of Ernest Borgnine wrestling with what appears to be a tiny antelope but may be a dog with antlers strapped to his head like Max in How the Grinch Stole Christmas. $4 OBO. Box 1172.
Wanted: old police manuals from the days when it was okay to work somebody over as I wish to rough up a suspect and am tiring of my current method. Box 335.
I will be traveling to Elmwood over the Christmas holidays and wish to find someone to share driving chores. If you are 5'7", overtly litigious and know all the lyrics to "Hit Me With Your Best Shot" do not respond to this. Box 227689.

Tips for Summer Living:

Tip #10:  Summer is a time for carefree living. Grab hold of life with both hands and jam it in your mouth without a thought for consequences!




Special Congratulations go out to Melanie-Ann Farberhar who turned a corner this week. Previously Melanie-Ann had only been able to drive in a straight line and if she had to go left or right had to get out of the car, and shove it in the appropriate direction. Way to go Melanie-Ann!
From All the Gang at Feedler's Chiropractic Centre on Marion. We'll miss you!

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The Big Empty Redux

This article originally ran in the old paper PERSIFLAGE about six years ago. It has now aged like a fine cheese (which explains that smell- no wait, that's your feet). With the addition of some material excised from the initial production and some updating of pop-cultural references, we are now able to present a kind of Director's Cut. Enjoy!

New Orleans has been known for many years now (I don't know how many so don't write in and ask I'm being deliberately vague here) as the Big Easy, presumably because it is fairly large (once again I don't have the precise figures before me so this is something else that you're going to have to sort out for yourself) and because the attitude there is what one might call "easy".

Okay, well if that's the case then Winnipeg seems to deserve the honorific epithet Big Empty (I would suggest Fair to Middlin' Empty but it just doesn't roll off the tongue in quite the same way). The reasons for this should be fairly obvious to anyone walking past what used to be storefronts downtown or who is out on the streets at any lateish hour.

What is the problem? Do not enough people go out? Is everybody happily ensconced in their respective living rooms settled down in front of yet another CSI spinoff or Law and Order. No. This is not the problem.

The problem is that there are just not enough people in this city. Now before you throw up your hands in despair (I know you. That's the kind of thing you're likely to do) you should ask yourself what can I do about this. Well, the answer, surprisingly, is plenty.

I know there's not much chance of your encouraging large numbers of people to migrate here in the next few months (especially since, as far as our winters are concerned, the cat is pretty much out of the bag not a wise move on the cat's part really, it's nice and warm in there) but it is possible to change the apparent population of the city. We can make it look fuller.

A lot of people own pets and some of them aren't much uglier than a lot of the folks currently out on our streets. Slap a pair of pants and a hat on your average cat and he/she could seamlessly bolster our legion of boulevardiers. It's not even necessary to teach them to walk upright (stick them outside the Woodbine or the Empire at two in the morning who's gonna notice?).

You monkey owners are going to have to provide the bodies using payphones, driving and doing all those other little tasks for which opposable thumbs have proved so useful. A Fisher-Price cell phone and a cheap suit are all that separates a chimp or spider monkey from the majority of gelati-walkers on Corydon.

But what about me, you non-animal lovers say, what can I do, Hugh? Well, pretty much everybody has some old clothes hanging around and something they could stuff them with. Add a balloon head (a very small investment) and you've got a new citizen. Stick some inline skates on your dummy or plonk it in a wagon and your mobility problem is solved. Drag your buddy around with you when you go out and you're doing your part. And besides, a lot of these Ray Bolgerites are going to be better conversationalists than the crowd you're currently running with.

So let's do it! We're only a couple thousand bodies short of being the Big Fully.

Hugh Briss

Book Review:

Why Roswell?
An Introduction to Astropsychology

In his new book Why Roswell? An Introduction to Astropsychology Ernst Gaumbal, Special Professor of Astropsychology and Speculative Polydactylism at the Saxe-Coburg Polytechnic University in Thuringia (Go Boars!) explores the basic principles underlying alien psychology.

In chapters such as the eponymous "Why Roswell?" and "Anal Probes: Science or Entertainment" Dr. Gaumbal reaches deep inside the alien brain to extract the meaty goo therein. Spreading his knowledge out in delicious chunks he shows us just how the little green fellers differ from your average guy on the bus.

If you've ever wondered about why space vehicles are saucer-shaped (it has to do with their mothers) or what's the deal with all the cattle mutilations (it's not what you'd think) then this is the book for you. If you haven't then it isn't. EW

Short Film Review:

The Saddest Muezzin in the World

Al Goh-Ritham's new film The Saddest Muezzin in the World is the tender tale of Ali, a muezzin who calls the faithful to prayers from a minaret in the High Arctic.
The intense loneliness of Ali is the central feature of the film. Those seeking the non-stop action of Goh-Ritham's earlier film Danger Chasing Killer Man will be disappointed.
It is a visually and aurally stunning piece of cinema, but at slightly less than four hours, a little long.

Guess That Sound Contest

PERSIFLAGE presents here an audio file of a mysterious sound. If you recognise it send an email to us with "I know what that is" in the subject line.
The names of submitters of correct answers will be placed in a drum which will then be used in a play exploring the life of the Little Drummer Boy after he played for Jesus.
We may also give you some sort of prize if anybody has anything suitable in their desk.

HERE IT IS:    What is it?

Public Service Announcement:

Avocados Approved As Hand Fruit

The Surgeon General of the United States along with the Head of the Food and Drug Administration announced this week that the Avocado, a strange greenish fruit, has now been approved for use outside of salads.
Herb Garmulthanger, a small man with strangely tight pants, who claimed to speak for the Avocado Industry (or possibly the Avocados themselves - I was way in the back), stated that today (not today but the day he said it) was a great day for Avocado lovers.
The Surgeon General, assuming the worst of Mr. Garmulthanger tried to make it clear that avocados were for eating "and nothing else dammit!"
A nice lunch followed.