its a thing with stuff in it

December 18th, 2008

not so smart

Critics are to writers not as doctors are to patients but as bearded ladies are to trapeze artists - another, sadder act in the same big show.

Adam Gopnik

PERSIFLAGE is updated on Thursdays.


For sale: 16 empty ketchup bottles. Believed to contain warm air. $32. Will consider trading for a couple of well trained Samoyeds. Box 19.
Will trade my ovensized winter mitts for a first class ticket to Aruba. Box 2.
Inexpensive winter vacations are now available through Larry's Discount Travel. We have timeshares available in Sudbury and White River. Contact us for details. Box 11.

Tips For Winter Living
Number Four:

Winter can be a season of sadness for many. Research has shown that light can counteract the effects of depression. Try shining a flashlight in your eyes when you are feeling low.



Comments? Questions? Vitriol? Flattery?

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Errata In the classified advertisement featured above "ovensized" should read "oven-sized".

Calling All Cretins

You may be quietly thinking to yourself (or perhaps you're vocalizing it) "How come there's so many cretins? And why are they all over the TV?"

If you are one of those questioning and disturbed few who worries about such things, then let me say this about that:

There have always been cretins. It appears, sadly, that there will always be cretins. This is a fact of life.

Certain neanderthals, millenia ago, sat on the stoops of their caves and rolled their eyes at the behaviour and/or gruntings of some of their fellow neanderthals.

Toga-wearing Romans slapped their broad foreheads with open palms at the ill-formed Latin sentences of their dimmer contubernales.

Renaissance men and women snorted derisively at their tights-wearing countrymen who could only manage one or two simultaneous tasks with any sort of aplomb.

Queen Anne period chocolate houses abounded with sighing coffee drinkers worn out by the silly conversations at the adjoining tables.

It was ever thus, as we like to say. Cretins are an unavoidable fact of life. But when exactly did we decide that it was time to start seeking out their opinions?

If you are at all like me, and let's hope for your sake that you are not, then you have spent the majority of your time attempting to stear clear of this particular class of folks.

You don't spend time on the bus on Sundays, you don't eat in mall food courts, you shun large-scale sporting events and get-togethers that feature free or even extraordinarily cheap beer or if you do go, you drink as quickly as possible and then stumble or crawl out of there before things get out of control.

But lately I've noticed that the opinions of this mass of dim-witted louts are actually being sought out.

Turn on your TV (not right now wait till you're finished reading this) and if you happen upon any form of "news" program you will see some attempt to gauge the opinion of the "common man".
Web polls, man-on-the-street interviews, phone-in shows, all of these are clearly attempts to find out what the average slack-jawed dullard has to say (or grunt) about whatever is going on in the world.
Opinions that used to be reserved for the bar, the bus stop or the line at the lottery kiosk are now sought out, recorded and broadcast over the airwaves.

We here at PERSIFLAGE want to know - Why is that? If you have an opinion on why the media is concerned to know what idiots think then please write in with your response? We're dying to know what you think.

Hugh Briss


One Week to Go

This time of year can be very stressful what with all the wassailing and shopping and what not. We here present a day by day account of one average person's struggle to make it through a week of pre-Christmas.

Friday  First of a series of office Christmas events. Out for drinks at 3 in the afternoon. Ended up singing carols on the bus. Not sure what happened to everyone else. Or my pants for that matter.

Saturday  Egawd. Still no sign of my pants. Made a pair out of wrapping paper in order to go to the mall and look for Uncle Cedric's present as it must be in the mail TODAY! Got him a moustache cup. Will be quite useful if he ever grows a moustache. Suppose he could use Aunt Mary's. Hers looks detachable.

Sunday  Special Christmas service at the Church with my family. Odd as I always assumed we were Jewish. Guess that expalins the crucifix in the kitchen though.

Monday  More workplace festivities. A Christmas lunch. Speeches and egg nog. I spoke on behalf of the IT department. Everyone seemed to like my imitation of the Department Head. Easy to do as I am he. Thought I might have overstepped the bounds of good taste by putting my hands on the ass of a co-worker. No harm done though as he turned out to be the waiter.

Tuesday  Last minute shopping for the wife and kiddies. They are so hard to buy for at that age (she is 43). Settled on a rather strange looking hat that could be either a stoat or a weasel. Not sure what to feed it. The kids got mittens with little DVD players sewn into them. Not very warm but entertaining as heck.

Wednesday  A quiet glass of mulled wine in the evening with the Mrs. and our neighbours Becky and Roy. They have matching sweaters with reindeer on them. The wife and I wore our elf costumes. Lost one of my ears on the stumble home. Spent the night in Emerg only to learn it was one of the felt elf ears (totally fake). A bit of a relief but embarassing all the same.


Christmas Party