Week 2 vs Week 22

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Week 2: Anxiously refreshing social media to hear the latest updates on the Coronavirus pandemic.
Week 22: Anxiously refreshing social media to hear the latest stupid thing Madonna said.

Week 2: Beginning to master Zoom to facilitate work meetings with colleagues.
Week 22: Drumming up the nerve to say something about colleague’s atrocious home décor.

Week 2: Daughter stoically braving separation from boyfriend like she’s in a romantic movie where lovers are tragically kept apart during wartime.
Week 22: Daughter now in a committed relationship with a body pillow attached to a Javex bottle with Harry Styles’ face on it.

Week 2: Daily briefings by government leaders are informative and reassuring.
Week 22: Daily briefings consist of Today’s Best Pet Videos.

Week 2: Explaining to children that, sorry, it’s not your fault the government has banned public gatherings, it’s just the way it is.
Week 22: Explaining to children that, sorry, it’s not your fault the government has banned loud open-mouth chewing, it’s just the way it is.

Week 2: When working from home, it’s important to replicate as much as possible your workplace routine.
Week 22: What are pants?

Week 2: Watching investments in oil and gas going down, down down.
Week 22: Watching investments in hand cream and sanitizer going up, up, up.

Week 2: “I’ve never truly suffered hardship in my lifetime, so really I see this is an opportunity for emotional growth.”

Week 2: Difficult though it may be, this crisis is bringing the family closer together.
Week 22: Family members have established independent territorial governments in separate rooms, with the kitchen as neutral territory and frequent, bloody skirmishes in the bathroom.

Week 2: Unable to stop touching face.
Week 22: Still unable to stop touching face.

Week 2: Taking advantage of down time to learn a new instrument, take up painting, maybe write that novel you’ve always had in the back of your mind.
Week 22: Have memorized word-for-word the entire second season of “The Office.”

Week 2: Lying awake at night worrying about the virus, your job, the economy.
Week 22: Napping is now your full time job.

Week 2: Investing in surgical masks to protect against Coronavirus.
Week 22: Investing in earplugs to protect against losing one’s mind in this godforsaken house!

Week 2: Finding creative ways to stay social by getting together with friends online.
Week 22: Finding creative ways to earn an income by selling your kidney online.

Week 2: Improvising a makeshift home gym, because it’s important to stay fit during this indefinite period of isolation.
Week 22: Improvising an elaborate pulley/conveyor system from the kitchen to the sofa, because those bags of Doritos aren’t going to deliver themselves.

Week 2: Recognizing that, as part of the greater good, we may have to sacrifice certain civil liberties in order to combat the threat of this deadly virus.
Week 22: Supreme Leader Donald Trump dissolves Congress and replaces it with an “advisory board” consisting of Ivanka, Jared and the cast of “Big Brother 22.”

Week 2: “I’m growing out my beard!”
Week 22: Divorce papers arrive in the mail.

Week 2: Singing “So Long, Marianne” from apartment balconies.
Week 22: Sending semaphore signals from apartment balconies.

Week 2: Avoiding physical contact with neighbours and joking about it.
Week 22: Avoiding eye contact with neighbours since The Leaf Blower Incident.

Week 2: Expressing disdain for people who violate social distancing guidelines for their own selfish fulfilment.
Week 22: Going to a crowded beach because you’ve really, really earned this.

Week 2: Stocking up on non-perishable staples like dried beans.
Week 22: Still haven’t cooked a single meal using dried beans.

Week 2: Expressing gratitude for universal health care.
Week 22: Putting finishing touches on comprehensive 617-page proposal for universal health cat.

Week 2: Convincing senior parents to heed government warnings and just stay home.
Week 22: Convincing senior parents to heed government warnings and just stay home.

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Social Distancing Notes: Excerpts from Your Local Weekly

Mr. and Mrs. Harold Hurlburl received a visit from their son, Mr. Edgar Hurlburl, of Montreal, this Saturday past. Mrs. Hurlburl served her famous shrimp pinwheels, which Mr. Hurlburl made a game of lobbing through the partially opened driver-side window of Edgar’s new Ford Taurus, inside of which he sat for the duration of the visit. A good time was had by all.


The Lucky Dozen Club met at the home of Mrs. Vera Scott for a card party on Wednesday, with Mrs. Vera Scott in attendance. Mrs. Vera Scott read the minutes of the last gathering, approved by Mrs. Vera Scott. Mrs. Vera Scott then poured the tea. The hours passed quickly but pleasantly as Mrs. Vera Scott sat down to several rounds of solitaire. Mrs. Vera Scott was declared the winner of two of the twelve games played, as is custom for the club. To bring a delightful evening to a close, Mrs. Vera Scott served a delicious lunch, receiving a hearty hand-clap for her efforts. The Club will meet next week at the home of Mrs. Vera Scott.


On March 10, a bridal shower was held to honor Miss Hayley Beezneck, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Sherman Beezneck, in the parking lot of the Dairy Queen at Exit 17, with many friends and relatives in attendance at safe distance.

The guest of honour was seated on a lawn chair decorated with white and gold streamers and situated in the middle of the lot. Many prettily wrapped and ribboned packages were then conveyed to Hayley from the guests standing along the perimeters. This was done using a skateboard loaned by Hayley’s older sister, Miss Samantha “Plaidy” Beezneck, who was in attendance with her longtime roommate, Miss Cameron Doxin.

Mrs. Beezneck made a list of the gifts as they were passed around to be admired after being wiped down with Purell. Hayley wore a lavender tie-shoulder mid-apron dress with matching surgical mask and gloves.


Miss Beryl Whirlsley was the guest outside the home of Mr. and Mrs. Newman Frond on Saturday. After yelling pleasantries to each other through the Fronds’ screened-in porch, Mr. Frond presented a slide show of their recent Caribbean cruise. Staring through the plate-glass window from the lawn, Miss Whirlsley heartily enjoyed the many, many images of the inside of the Fronds’ shipboard cabin, where they spent the majority of their voyage in quarantine.


On Friday evening, another pleasant supper was held at the WOOF Hall with many dishes shared among about thirty members followed by sugar on snow for desert, which proved to be a messy and sticky affair!

After the dishes were cleared, the members enjoyed some entertaining games, including passing a balloon using only one’s face, blindfold pattycake and good old-fashioned bobbing for apples. A Chinese auction was organized to close the evening but was cancelled after certain members took exception to the name of the auction and expressed fear that it might contain the virus.


Mr. Derrick Potsbalm recently returned from his Italian vacation to his winter residence on Pastene Avenue, where he is currently being shunned.


Recent visitors to the home of Mr. and Mrs. Wm. Hosnick were a UPS courier, the oil delivery guy and a boy from down the street who spent two minutes petting the Hosnick’s Manx cat, Stubby.


Daughters Makzine, 7, and Terrrrry, 11, as well as son Dawnold, 13, gathered at the home of their parents, Mr. and Mrs. Wallace Derpshnick, while their schools closed for an indefinite period.

Mrs. Derpshnick served refreshments at 10 am and then again at 11 am, 1:15 pm and 3:45 pm, in addition to a nutritious luncheon, which was half-eaten and later devoured by the family dog, Baxxxter. Mrs. Derpshnick then organized a rousing game of Uno, with equal parts merriment and acrimony. Maaxine later offered a detailed report of every episode of “Paw Patrol” she had ever seen, while Mrs. Derpshnick wondered where the hell Mr. Derpshnick was hiding.

The gathering indulged in many lively debates before Mrs. Derpshnick put forward a motion that she be allowed half a damn hour to herself so she could finish an arts funding proposal, even though the public arts as we know it are likely dead. This was followed by a round of Rhetorical Questions, including “How long is this going to last?” and “Can’t you children shut up for five minutes?”

The afternoon concluded with many members tragically dying of boredom and Mr. Derpshnick finally emerging to throw a frozen pizza in the oven. An enchanting day came to an end at 7 o’clock when bedtime was declared for all.


Hello, friends. To do my small part to get you through these long days, I’m making a PDF version of my novel, A Hole in the Ground, available for free. Enjoy a comic tale of a local emergency while we get through this global one. 

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Rise of the Introverts

The world is quiet here.

And it came to pass that upon the world there befell a virus that caused a great cataclysm, with much gnashing of teeth, rending of garments and hoarding of toilet paper. And there were those who became sickened by the virus, though they knew it not, and on pleasure cruises they went, which is a bad idea at the best of times.

Thus did the virus spread by those who went about their business and social affairs, wantonly infecting their kinsmen and outlanders both, even unto those who donned the Face Masks of Protection, for they still could not help putting their fingers in their mouth, it was just their way.

In every city and in every hamlet the virus did spread, lo, as the cream cheese is spread upon the bagel, and anon the sickening was a blight over all the Earth, with great suffering and death abounding and the stock market going down the crapper. Continue reading

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Part of something bigger

Photo/Maxime Picard

My son James was front and centre in a news photo depicting the thrilling 73-72 RSEQ championship win by the Bishop’s University men’s basketball team on Saturday. In the shot, he’s not playing. Instead, he’s on the bench with his teammates as, out of frame, Joany Castor-Thedal’s three-point shot glides through the net with .8 seconds left on the clock.

Except he’s not on the bench; he’s mid-air, literally jumping for joy, letting out a howl, as are his teammates and the fans in the stands. The action was on the floor. The reaction was everywhere else.

(Bravo to photographer Maxime Picard for having the foresight to know where the emotion would be during this intense final moment.) Continue reading

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Shoe you, shoe me

“Rapper Travis Scott’s fans got goosebumps when word spread that he was collaborating with Nike on a new SB Dunk shoe. When the sneakers finally dropped in his online store Saturday, they quickly sold out.” — CNN Business, February 23

When I first spoke to the people at Nike about collaborating with them on a Ross Murray sneaker, they said, “Dude, your breath…”

After a mint and some serious reflection about eating Shawarma at lunch, I returned to Nike to continue my pitch. They were all ears, which is unusual for a company so focused on feet.

“When my fans hear that I’m putting out a new Nike shoe—”

“When we put out a new shoe, you mean,” said the Nike dudes, in unison, as Nike dudes do.

“Fine. When fans hear you’re putting out a new Ross Murray Nike shoe, I want the tiny muscles at the base of their follicles to contract and force their hairs erect!”

“Goosebumps,” they said.

“There’s no time to watch 90s children’s horror anthologies! We’ve got sneakers to make!” Continue reading

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How I killed disco

It is 1978 and I have entered Grade 7 at a regional high school that was famously  built facing backwards, a metaphor for many of the young minds that would pass through its halls. But this story is not about them. It’s about disco. And of course me.

In the senior high, they had dances. Junior high had socials. Dances were held in the gym, socials in the cafeteria. Why junior students were not considered gym-worthy is as great a mystery as how the school administrators could commit acts of low-level violence in the hallways with zero repercussions. But that’s a grudge for another time. Continue reading

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Power Wines for 2020

Like your fully functioning liver, the three-martini lunch is a thing of the past. But that doesn’t mean you can’t still ruthlessly administer alcohol to get ahead in business, close a professional deal or generally be a dick. One of the best options for alcohol-based manipulation is wine because that’s what this article is about.

So whether you’re charming with Chardonnay or muscling in with Muscadet, these five power wines will see you Riesling to the top to become chairman of the Bordeaux! And I’m tremendously sorry about that last sentence!

La Chat Pétillante 2018, France
With subtle notes of grapefruit, dandelion and former Blue Jays third baseman Rance Mulliniks, this sheepish sparkling white will announce to the world and most certainly the neighbours that you are a person who knows at all times where your keys are. Starting with a fresh nose unseen since actress Jennifer Grey’s plastic surgery, it finishes in a loud medley of show tunes that will create a viral video sensation if not quite nail the job interview. But which is more important, honestly? Serve with light appetizers and the hashtag #bestlife. Continue reading

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