Our dirt bikes bring all the boys to the yard. Damn right, they're better than yours.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Old Ottawa South: where any retard can put out a newspaper

Ottawa has more community papers than any city in the world. It's a fact, proven by a study I recently conducted that involved me living here for three months and noticing a lot of different community papers. None, however, can come close to this little beaut: it's called the O.S.C.A.R., which wittily abbreviates "Ottawa South Community Association Review" and, well, I'll let you judge for yourself:

Yes, that's right. "Old Ottawa South, where wishes do come true." And what was that wish? Well, according to the accompanying article, they wanted sidewalks. And, goddammit, they weren't going to rest until they had those sidewalks. And you know what? THEIR WISH CAME TRUE. Apparently, that wish also involved unhappy children in creepy hats who are clearly overdressed for the weather. Here's a closer view of the before and after pictures, so you can truly appreciate the joy the residents of Old Ottawa South must be feeling today. (Except that kid. That little bastard is clearly taking those sidewalks for granted):

Friday, December 01, 2006

Better red (or pink) than dead

Today, in Oceantown, the citizens' lungs re-pinken; their blood pressures drop; while their livers continue the gentle swelling they've enjoyed for ages.
For the first time since fire was invented, I can walk into a bar, drink my face off, and not hack from the toxic grey haze that fills in the little spaces within my lungs.
That's right. I've had gills installed, and I'll just keep my head in the toilet all night.
No, dummy. They've made smoking in all public spaces illegal here in Nova Scotia. Bars, buildings, even outdoor patios will be stink-free. Anyone smoking within 4 metres of an air intake will get a ticket. Anyone smoking inside will be tazered.
No longer will shit-exhaling companions in drinking establishments foul the air with their rot-mouthed smoke breath. And the age of coming home smelling like an ashtray has finally closed. Only the stink of spilled alcohol will sully this sometime-reporter's typically odorous person.
Sure, the gutters on the streets of Oceantown will soon be completely filled with cigarette butts, and the waterfront, one of the few outdoor public places you can smoke, will look like a filter-tipped hepatitis snowstorm, but so long as I wear shoes and keep my mouth off the ground (generally a good idea anyway), I'll be stink-free (at least from outside sources), cough-free (except for colds my junior-high-school-teaching cousin brings home from work), and hangover-free (except, of course, when I drink too much).
To say goodye, I went out with four smoker friends yesterday night for a final puff indoors. About 10 years ago, someone or other passed a law that said smoking could only happen in little closed-off rooms within the bars. The cigarette companies paid to build them, and smoking continued. The doors to these rooms typically stayed open. Bars were still smoky. I still got lung-hangovers from being in them. But yesterday was the last day of that. As we discussed how much we'd take in return for cutting our own hands off, or what price we'd accept in return for killing our beloved pets, darts (hah) of smoke shot into my eyes and throat for the last time. Perpetual pinkeye cursed my lovely visage for the last time. And sudden asthmatic bursts of choking struck me with premature nostalga.
I'm going to put out a line of little felt black lungs to commemorate this date. December 1, 2006: the day I started going home smelling sweet as a rose who forgot his deodorant.
Unfortunately, I'm going to miss all my friends.
They're just going to stay home and smoke.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

You, Me and the D

“That guy is fat. This rocks! I’m fat!” And with that, the dude sitting behind us at tonight’s Tenacious D show explained in the most succinct way possible just why the two dumpy guys hammering away at guitars on stage were able to fill a good chunk of a large arena at rock star prices (over $60 per ticket after Ticketbastard’s ass-raping surcharges). It’s not because one of them, Jack Black (a.k.a. “JB” and “Jables”) is a Hollywood star, their albums are hilarious skit-laden odes to capital-R ROCK at its most hedonistic and self-obsessed, or that the act comes wrapped in a Kevin Smith-flavoured foul-mouthed, pot-smoking, pop-culture referencing package.
Rather, it’s what’s embodied by fat guy Kyle Gass (a.k.a. “KG” and “Kage”), the other member of “The D” – a very round, bald 40-something-year-old guy wearing white socks with flip-flops, whose punch-line look provides the counter-point to the catchy, monster riffage (and I can’t think of a more perfect word than “riffage”) rattling out of his acoustic.
Y’see actors Johnny Depp and Keanu Reeves had (have?) bands that toured, but they played clubs; Weird Al just released his highest debuting spoof album ever, and has 25 years of material to draw upon, but doesn’t get these kind of crowds, and Spinal Tap also had their own movie (two, in fact), but they never drew this large a throng on their own. The celebrity, the comedy, the vertical integration – all of these things help, but in the end Tenacious D says they’re gonna rock, and then they rock. The songs are outrageous but also very catchy and tightly executed. In other words, the duo isn’t simply playing fucking rock songs about rocking – they’re playing fucking rock songs about rocking… that fucking rock.
The result is a stadium full of people singing along to “Tribute,” holding up lighters for “Wonder Boy” and “Fuck Her Gently” and watching fans in the front rows strike up a mosh pit for “Master Exploder,” then later throw socks onstage in deference to “Rock Your Socks.”
Tonight, The D rocked our socks off, rocked the house, rocked out and indulged in all sorts of other rock clichés, but indulged in them well. JB and KG overcame ridiculous ticket prices, some rather lame gags involving a buddy (“Lee,” who they sung the song of the same name about) coming over to their apartment and accidentally electrocuting them, and their own near-novelty-act nature.
The show followed a loose narrative where, after said electrocution, they duo goes to hell, where they form a band with Colonel Sanders, Charlie Chaplin and Satan’s son, who happens to look exactly like Jesus but can play a mean guitar. They eventually challenge Satan himself to a rock-off in order to win back their lives and souls. Oh yeah, and at one point a dude in a magic mushroom costume dances around stage while the band sings about Sasquatch – content from Tenacious D: The Pick of Destiny. In true rock show fashion, this caused just one of many pot clouds to erupt in the Ricoh Coliseum.
After the show, we checked out the reasonably-priced merch. I was tempted by a blue hoodie with a sports logo on the front for the “Cleveland Steamers” and a “Tenacious 666” on the back, but Alana reminded me of my raging hoodie surplus, so I went with a gray long-sleeve. Luckily, they had the only size that’s long enough for my arms: XXL. In fact, the only size they had left of anything at that point was XXL, which was probably just perfect for that guy who was sitting behind us.
The D rocks, Ticketmaster sucks, and this is just a tribute – ya gotta believe me…