Gets a Little Bolder 

December 2nd, 2010

You know, Count Basie wasn't a count.

Declan Patrick McManus

He said, "Bill, I think I'll call you Count Basie from now on. Is that all right with you?" I thought he was kidding, shrugged my shoulders and replied,"OK".

William James Basie


For sale: Nixon masks. Julie and Pat. $4 ea. Box 178.
Willing to trade my original cast recording of the musical "Mister Monkey Takes a Holiday" featuring the hit song "My Tail Is Caught in the Over-head Compartment, Again" for any original cast recording that doesn't scuk. Box 33.
For sale: David portrait of Marat in the bath before Charlotte Corday's visit. Looks like he is rinsing the conditioner out of his hair. $15000 OBO. Box 1793.
Hunting for Christmas gifts? Why not consider using our ammunition? We're Larry's House of Bullets. Now with two locations on Regent Avenue.
The City of Winnipeg and the Manitoba Liquor Commission will be hosting a free conference on wine coolers on Monday, December 6th at the Convention Centre. The conference will focus on the changing role of wine coolers in city administration.
For rent: used Hockney equipment. Glass panels, paints, polaroid snaps, diving board and Paintbox. Weekly rates only. Box 19.
Don't forget that December 5th is National Eat Some Snow Day. Get out there and chow down! And need we say it? Avoid the yellow.

The Mystery of the Lost Lenore

Listen to Part Eighty-Four

Click on the picture. (2:56)

Or start from the beginning.



Tips For Christmas

Number One:
If it really is the thought that counts, why not save money this Christmas by just thinking of great gifts?

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Memories of My Childhood

The other day as I was sitting in my orgone accumulator skimming over some of the more salacious passages in the Malleus Maleficarum, I found my mind wandering back to the heady days of my youth.

I was an odd little chappy with a set of concerns that were peculiar to me but like most children I went through a period of fascination with the human body. Generally my own (which was ready to hand, so to speak, and relatively normal) but I also felt a need to experience the naked charms of the female form.

I still remember playing doctor with the little girl who lived next door (perhaps before people start writing in I should say that we were the same age at the time - 6). Oh what fun we had! What lessons learned! Unfortunately all good things come to an end and when her parents discovered what we had been up to in her garage, it signaled the beginning of a dry spell for me which would last, approximately, thirteen years.

The next time I found myself in the position to explore the nude female form in the full (and much more interesting) three dimensions I had no need of the doctor pretense. I merely put on my chaps and cowboy hat and that was enough to convince the lonely, shy, but curious, school marm to disrobe.

Unfortunately it was at this very moment that her roommate returned. At least I had been laboring (it wasn't really work)under the impression that he was her roommate. In fact, 'husband' is probably a more accurate term (I guess there had been, at one point, an exchange of rings and some sort of public ceremony). It's amazing how fast you can run in chaps. There's really no binding at all.

But I don't want to talk about all that. I want to talk about my childhood which was, despite my many personal oddities (mentioned above but not really listed - so don't scroll back up there for a look, you're bound to be disappointed - and yes, you could be more disappointed), a fairly typical one.

That is to say, I went to school, rode a bike, played with my friends, ate candy and watched TV. Of course, in those days there were only the two channels on the television and one of them was in some kind of foreign language (Swiss?) so there really wasn't a lot to watch. Consequently we spent a lot of time playing "outside" (that was the terminology we used - "Do you want to go outside?" we would say or our mothers would say "Why the hell don't you go outside?").

In the summer months our play consisted of running around shrieking and throwing rocks and handfuls of mud at one another (the big danger was getting a mouthful of mud if you happened to mistime your shrieks). In the winter we would stumble around groaning under the weight of our parkas and hurling ice chunks.

But my favorite time of year was fall when we hucked leaves. There were far fewer injuries in the fall and everything was so colorful (although I have to admit I still get misty eyed when I see little flecks of fresh blood sprinkled on new snow - my eyes positively fill up if it's my own).

Those were simpler times. Today kids have to pull out their joysticks while staring at flickering images on a computer screen in order to have a few laughs. When's the last time you saw a group of gleeful young boys setting their G.I.Joes ablaze to the accompaniment of playful (or is that painful?) screaming? And how long has it been since you heard the rhythmic patter of little runnered feet fleeing the scene after a brick has flown through your front window? No wonder we have a problem with childhood obesity, kids just don't run from the cops anymore.

I suspect that a sizeable portion of our societal problems spring from the fact that kids no longer cavort (and gambol) wildly out in the street. Far too many rules and regulations restrain them. Good God did any child of my generation even hear the words "organized playtime"? And if he or she did would they not immediately run screaming in the other direction?

And what's the deal with play dates? Can't they eat real ones? (Sorry that last was a bit lame.) You know, when I was a pup we careened down hills on splintery hunks of wood and rode rickety bikes out into heavy traffic without even so much protection as is customarily afforded by long pants. Nowadays a kid who wants to play a spirited game of jacks gets suited up like he's going to be battling oilfires with Red Adair!

I say it's high time kids started risking their precious little melons, never mind the occasional scraped knee or broken clavicle. We're raising a generation of sucks. I personally suffered an untold number of concussions as a child and it did me a world of good.

Some of my nastier scars now serve as little goads for some of my fonder childhood memories. I look down at the criss cross marks of some fairly inept stitching on my leg and think "I bet it was a fun day when I got that!" Sure, it's all a bit fuzzy now (my memory I mean, not the scar on my leg) but what the hell!

Some of my memories are still clear. Like the time I rammed the handlebars of my bike into my groin after riding off a footbridge on a dare. That's just the kind of reminiscence I'd like to share with my kids if I could have any. I tell you if I did they wouldn't be fat little sucky computer nerds!

Elrose Watermuldar

A few thoughts on adultery:

Many, or perhaps most, of us have been involved in serious long term relationships at one time or another in our lives and the great majority of those of us who have, have been, at least, tempted to stray from the path, as it were, and do a little horizontal breathing with someone other than the person with whom we are involved. Opinions vary on the seriousness of this.

Some people believe that monogamous relationships are foolish and run contrary to human nature, having become the norm only through intense pressure from the church and state. Well let me tell you I used to live on the corner of Church and State and nobody around there was what you'd want to call faithful.

Others believe that human beings are by nature monogamous, like geese and stoats and whatever other animals mate for life. These people are, statistically at least, as inclined to infidelity as the former group.

So what is one to make of this? Well I would suggest a sweater. If there's one thing that infidelity makes for it's snapping nice outfits. Think of it: dalliance as a scarf, peccadillo mitts, nooner pants. The possibilities, although not endless, are numerous.

So don't chastise yourself for your indiscretions turn them into fashion plusses. As long as your significant other doesn't see you out in your spectacular new duds it should all be okay. Or maybe not.

Hugh Briss

The Atheist

Walter was a devout atheist. That is to say, he was adamant in his disbelief in any sort of all powerful, all knowing, guiding presence in the universe, commonly known, in English, as God. This, as you can well imagine, was very upsetting to God.

Ever since Walter had been an adolescent (which was some time ago) he had not believed in God. And he had been pretty vocal about it. If you knew Walter for longer than a few hours then chances were good that you knew he was an atheist.

This bothered God. It bothered him more, of course, that Walter didn't believe in him but every once in a while he caught himself thinking "Couldn't he just keep it to himself?". He realised that this was a fairly small attitude for an omniscient creator of all living things but he couldn't help himself. It just bugged him.

God tried to let it go but he wasn't very successful. Sometimes he would just be sitting by himself watching a sparrow fall and suddenly he would think of Walter and he would be upset all over again. Finally it became obvious that no matter how hard he tried this feeling wasn't going to go away. God decided he had to convince Walter that he existed. The question was how.

God had been revealing himself to saints and madmen and the like for a long, long time but he hadn't done it in a while and although he had revealed himself to doubters on occasion in order to renew their faith, he couldn't remember ever having appeared to convince someone who thought he wasn't that he was. He wasn't sure how to go about it. He didn't want to screw it up.

God was worried that if he did something subtle like burning a bush or parting a sea Walter would just find some alternate explanation for the miracle and nothing would change. He knew he would find that personally upsetting. God also knew that revealing himself in his full glory to a mortal human being was dangerous. Their little brains just couldn't handle that sort of thing. It had a tendency to drive them mad. It was risky.

He knew he had no choice. If he was ever going to convince Walter of his existence it was the only way. He was just going to have to bite the bullet and do it. Let the chips fall where they may. So one morning just as Walter was waking up God did it. He appeared in his full omnipotent glory to Walter in his bedroom before Walter had even had his coffee.

Walter didn't go mad. Walter wasn't overwhelmed and he didn't feel the need to come up with an alternate explanation for the phenomenon. God was surprised but Walter just didn't care. In fact, he totally ignored God. He rubbed his eyes and then got up and went into the bathroom to empty his bladder.

God decided that Walter didn't exist.