Wednesday, August 30, 2006

award-winning swears

Growing up in a very conservative home and community, being a father of four, former Sunday school teacher, four year bachelor degree holder from a major Canadian Bible College, and being a grade school classroom teacher, I am quite cognizant of foul language. But, and it's a really BIG BUT, there is nothing that soothes the soul like a really good swear. And not just any swear, oh no, I'm talking about a swear RANT.

Everyone has their heroes. Mine happens to be Chevy Chase. Now here is a man who has been given great lines, or has been given the creative license to "have at it", as they say, when it comes to improvisation. I don't know if he has been included in anything lately, but, what I am currently speaking of is his role in Fletch, and the various Vacation films.
This man is f*cking brilliant. He doesn't give a sh*t what anyone thinks.

A direct quote, from the first Fletch, which has stayed firmly in my memory, and tends to resurface during times of prolonged stress, is "Jesus H. Christ on a popsicle stick". I think the "H" stands for "Holy".

Now I know full well that my heritage disallows taking the Lord's name in vain, but what am I supposed to do? It just seems so shocking that it becomes bloody hilarious to hear someone so callous and unsacremental.

Other well known, and side-splitting examples of Chase rants are:

Clark W. Griswold
Where do you think you're going? Nobody's leaving. Nobody's walking out on this fun, old-fashioned family Christmas. No, no. We're all in this together. This is a full-blown, four-alarm holiday emergency here. We're gonna press on, and we're gonna have the hap, hap, happiest Christmas since Bing Crosby tap-danced with Danny fucking Kaye. And when Santa squeezes his fat white ass down that chimney tonight, he's gonna find the jolliest bunch of assholes this side of the nuthouse.
Listen to it here ( scroll down to, and click on, Christmas Vacation...and then nuthouse.wav )


Clark W. Griswold
Hey. If any of you are looking for any last-minute gift ideas for me, I have one. I'd like Frank Shirley, my boss, right here tonight. I want him brought from his happy holiday slumber over there on Melody Lane with all the other rich people and I want him brought right here, with a big ribbon on his head, and I want to look him straight in the eye and I want to tell him what a cheap, lying, no-good, rotten, four-flushing, low-life, snake-licking, dirt-eating, inbred, overstuffed, ignorant, blood-sucking, dog-kissing, brainless, dickless, hopeless, heartless, fat-ass, bug-eyed, stiff-legged, spotty-lipped, worm-headed sack of monkey shit he is. Hallelujah. Holy shit. Where's the Tylenol?
Listen to it here( scroll down to, and click on, Christmas Vacation...and then giftidea.wav )

Truthfully, what makes these last two so gosh darn funny is hearing them in the company of my brother-in-law Mel, rocking and shaking while he laughs. Priceless. Award-winning.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Stephen Fearing

Stephen Fearing is one of those artists that people hear at one point and remark on how good sounding he is; both his voice and his instrumentation. They promise themselves to check him out at a later point but then promptly forget to. This promise is only remembered upon hearing Fearing again. This is unfortunate for the career of Fearing who, by the excellent quality of his work, should be far more popular than he is. But I think that this is, perhaps, more telling of the music industry than of his craft.

I first hear Stephen's music at the Winnipeg Folk Festival back in the days when Joyce and I felt unencumbered enough to spend the long weekend sitting on tarps in the rain, eating bagels with cream cheese and cucumber slices, smoking American cigarettes, and bobbing our heads as we listed to some pretty amazing international folk music. I followed him around from stage to stage, trying to get as close to the front as possible to watch his hands. I would occasionally close my eyes to be haunted by his voice.

I heard him for the second time not long after when he opened for Bruce Cockburn. What a night that was. Two infectious artists in one night. It would be hard to choose who infected me more that evening. It was after this reminder that I was determined not to let his name slip from my memory.

Tonight I am listening, once again, to his fingers slide buttery over the strings and produce in me a feeling so strong that I want to call it holy. Set apart.

Some of you have had feelings similar to this.


I could sit and stare into a fire for hours. Then suddenly find, when I snap out of the trance, that my feet are covered in sunflower seed shells.

I've finally snapped out of my summer trance and made my way back to the classroom. I spent two hours today walking around and pretending to be busy, when all I was doing was moving piles around. Some were on my desk while others stayed at my feet, covering my sandles.

I returned home just in time for lunch and about seventy-five daycare kids crowded around the Dutch farmhouse table I crafted with frugal hands. I returned to the garage where there are also a few more piles to move around before the summer's over. I quickly fell into another trance.

I think I've been using too much WD-40 lately.