consistently intermittently amusing or intermittently consistently amusing or something    



Sand is also a good place on which to write, "I love you," as it would be difficult to get into court after several years have passed.

Robert Benchley


For sale: used Toyota Corolla. Well actually it is just a picture of a Toyota Corolla but I have used it. 4$ OBO. Box 11.
Wanted: the name of any aged cheese that goes well with Diet Pepsi and yet is not pretentious or showy. Box 2098.
I am traveling to the Orient next year and I was wondering what it is called now? Box 2.
For rent: smallish 12 bedroom apartment in downtown Toronto (right near that big building with all the windows). Heat, water, electricity, teaspoons and mice (computer) not included. $765.31/ week. Box 1.
Slamboni's, a new hockey/wrestling themed diner is opening in downtown Winnipeg near the MTS Centre and we are hiring for all positions. If you want to work in a fun atmosphere (78 percent nitrogen) and make a lot of tips you should apply. Box 2001.
Puppies! now that I have your attention... I'm going to squander it.
Willing to trade: my small collection of stamps (I have one) for the use of your email address for one full hour. Box 3113.



In the Bleak Mid-Winter

Six More Weeks to Go?

I have "successfully" managed to make it through a fairly large, or largish, number of winters out here on the cold open prairies and I have learned by the bitter experience of it that sometime around now one tends to get rather sick of the whole business.

It is not so much the individual face-bitingly cold days that one minds so much (although they are seldom a source of great joy) but it is their steady and ineluctable accumulation into a dreary collection of weeks and months. It is the day after dayness of the thing that begins to rankle. It is like an open mic poetry night. After a time one finds oneself thinking "okay, this needs to stop - now."

But one cannot, unless he or she is possessed of somewhat greater resources than I am, just get up and walk out, leaving Jack Frost to ramble on in that unrelenting monotone of his. It is not possible to get any kind of a break from it. At least not without jetting away somewhere considerably farther south and so, for those of us who lack the means for such a getaway to sunnier climes, it is largely a matter of endurance.

One must simply put one's head down and soldier on through these bleak dark and stupidly cold months. There is nothing for it. And I hate to break it to you but merely wishing it were over will do nothing to hasten winter's demise or, indeed, hurry up the always tardy arrival of spring.

It is my opinion that we spend entirely too much time in this part of the world heeding, or pretending to heed, the prognostications of rodents. Since when, will you please tell me, did we not have six more weeks of winter after February the 2nd? Anyone up for a trip to the beach on March 17th? I thought not. St. Patrick's plans you can't break? You can drink at the beach you know.

I'm sorry. This unending cold and dark has made me a touch tetchy. I did not mean to imply that the Irish were all drunks. I only meant to imply that people who celebrate St. Patrick's Day are.

This raises the question of drinking to deal with the winter blues. I used to know a guy who believed that by staying drunk from the middle of November til the end of March he could pretty effectively avoid the unpleasantness of winter. It was his version of hibernation.

Whatever may be the merits of this plan as a coping mechanism I should say that I did not notice that this individual sobered up much in the spring. It may be that his theory was merely a rationalisation that covered him for half the year. I don't remember but it is entirely possible that he had some other stated reason for his drunkenness during the spring, summer and fall.

Nope. I think the only thing to do is wait. Wait for spring and the warm weather. But as Tom Petty has taught us - the waiting is the hardest part. Oh well. Good luck and I will see you in the spring.

Hugh Briss

The Safety Knight

Once upon a time there was a knight named Eremund who was very concerned with safety.

Sir Eremund rode his trusty steed, Benfold, seeking out situations that he perceived as being unsafe and nipping them in the bud. He would follow up these uninvited interventions with the dispensing of general and specific advice concerning safety issues.

Over the years the knight traveled quite widely. As he was very vehement and persistent in imparting his little tidbits about accident prevention it was not long before people began to prepare themselves in anticipation of his arrival.

At first they just ceased the more egregious of their unsafe activities but soon it got so that even before the locals got the slightest whiff of Benfold and Eremund's approach they had descended from the very top, non-step steps of their ladders, pulled their butter knives from their toasters and completely desisted from all their running on highly polished floors in their sock feet.

As a result of the people's attempts to avoid the hectoring admonitions of Sir Eremund, the accident rates in the many hamlets and villages that were regularly frequented by the diligent cavalier plummeted.

Of course, once Benfold trotted out of town with his heavily armoured safety conscious cargo aboard, the rate soared right back up to its regular levels again. And because Eremund and Benfold's visits were more or less random and therefore difficult to predict, they really played havoc with the actuarial tables.

It is for this reason that so many people believe that it was the insurance companies who got together and hired the dragon that slew the careful knight and his steady and stalwart steed.

I am inclined to believe this accounting of things as well.

E. Watermuldar