Tag Archives: humour

The Times They Are A- Changin’

Bob Dylan crowed the lyrics of his rally call: ‘The Times They Are A-Changin’ (1963) to a generation of angst-filled youth, disillusioned dreamers, and nouveau radicals, all thirsty for wise words, guidance, and affirmation that their deep, unexpressed feelings WERE true and that their world (ie, parents, government…’the establishment’) must change…and that they were the ones to change it….”if your time to you is worth savin’, then you’d better start swimmin’ or you’ll sink like a stone, for the times they are a-changin’…”.
It’s remarkable how songs and their lyrics stick in your head. I don’t think a Bob Dylan ear-worm is necessarily a bad thing, (unless the harmonica solos refuse to end, then you may have a problem). This Dylan classic came back to me recently and has been stuck on repeat ever since. I tend to make associations with song lyrics at least 100 times a day. Here’s how THIS one got in my head:
Someone very near and dear to me, applied to enter a program called ‘Women Unlimited’ offered through the Nova Scotia Community College. It is geared for women who want to explore non-traditional occupations and trades. My friend, having been laid-off her job as a junior metrologist (equipment calibrator) last fall, was hopeful that the Women Unlimited program would provide exposure to ideas, contacts and resources and eventually lead to gainful employment. As my friend was leaving the interview at NSCC, the interviewer remarked cautiously, “I notice that you are person from a minority group”. My friend, puzzled, turned around and asked, “Because I’m short?” (she’s all of 4′ 10″). The woman struggled to find words…”No, the rainbow on your back pack indicates to me that you might be a…homosexual…(rushing to continue)…I have gay friends…normally, I would use the word Queer when talking to them…” My friend interrupted, “But you have to be Politically Correct”. Relieved, the interviewer replied, “Yes, EXTREMELY, but I thought you should know that by self-identifying as a member of a ‘minority group’ for this program, your chances are significantly increased”. My friend grinned and remarked, “The Times They Are A-Changin’…” or something to that effect…or maybe I just put Dylan’s words into her mouth ’cause they felt so good to me (REALLY GOOD) and I love any excuse to make a pop culture reference.

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Hey! Wise Advice for My Butthead Neighbour

I am so irritated I could spit. I wish I was the kinda gal who could chill when people are behaving like total a-holes. It’s one thing if smokers want to kill themselves, go around smelling like ashtrays, become a burden on the health care system which our tax dollars are paying for, make their children sick, loose productivity at work because they are outside caging a smoke…wait, that’s more than one thing…the point is, I only believe minimally in smokers rights, because when their addiction impacts ME and invades my personal space, I have to draw the line! The butthead who recently moved in next door (anorexic-looking twit with a 8-4 job, a stupid boyfriend who makes her squeak when they’re having sex, and a cat that I feel VERY sorry for), might be very quiet tenant (except maybe for all the knocking on her door by people using a ‘secret code’ on the door seven thousand times a night, golly gee, is she selling drugs too?!), but it turns out the common wall we share, transmits her cigarette smoke. Great. I pay an obscene amount of rent money for my haven, my oasis, my mecca of personal space…and I am forced to suck up the result of HER addiction. Hey Butthead! Capital District Health Authority is giving FREE smoking cessation aids if you join their program. Com’n babe. You can do it! Quit killing yourself and that stupid cat of yours, and most of all, stop irritating ME...and then maybe I won’t be so inclined to use all of the 200 watts of speaker power (‘Van Morrison Live’ tonight) to blast out my frustration. The fact that my window must be open during a wacky March blizzard, just so that I don’t croak, seems a little silly. Sigh. Maybe I wouldn’t have felt so touchy about the smoking thing tonight, but this morning, I walked by a Metro Transit bus shelter (ironically, it was outside the hospital), and a bunch of QEII hospital employees were using it as a smoking hut. Very nice. Where are you HRM by law enforcement officers?! You guys just blew a $350.00 fine TIMES at least three or four buttheads! If you added up all the potential butthead infractions and collected the fines, maybe we could afford to run this city efficiently. OK, Now I need to put on some music again…let’s see…I really like that John Mayer CD…

It’s All About The Dog

Yesterday, I was trying to get into my cab at the local Sobey’s grocery store when a man called out, “Excuse me..” I thought I was blocking his path (it’s a narrow squeeze on the sidewalk by the store entrance). I hustled my heavy bag of groceries into the back seat Opal and myself into the front. Again, I hear, “Uhm, excuse me”. Now I am wondering if I dropped something. Or, maybe I’m supposed to recognize this guy’s voice and the body attached to it? No, none of these. He continued speaking to me through the open taxi window. “Is your dog from Ontario or the USA?” It suddenly became clear to me. This was a ‘Dog Stop’.

At the training centre of Canadian Guide Dogs for the Blind in Manotick, Ontario, one of the topics we covered in the ‘theory’ part of the training, was our responsibility as Guide dog handlers to maintain a positive attitude with the public who observe and question us as a guide dog team. I understood the rationale of educating people on guide dog etiquette and of being an exemplary representative of CGDB’s program. I did not have any idea how significant a part of my life this would become. People with pet dogs often comment that their dogs are a vehicle for social interaction, even a means of getting a date. But guide dog handlers? We are a curiosity that gives rise to an open invitation for interrogation, conversation and  commentary. Mostly, it’s all about the dog. The top questions? “How old is your dog?”, “What’s your dog’s name?”,”How long have you had your dog?”, ” Is it a female or male”, “Is that a Seeing Eye (NO!)/ Guide dog?”, “Is that a black lab?”  Top comments? “What a beautiful dog!”, “What a smart dog”, “I bet she’s your best friend”, “that’s a well-behaved dog” and so on. I am often approached by people who want to tell me about their dog, sometimes one that is ill or that just died. It seems people think I would ‘understand’ about the loss of their special friend, even though we have never met and are in a public place when they bare their souls.  I have had strangers (on buses, in malls etc) ask me if they can take our photo, though I suspect that I am often cropped out of these images. People who meet us, and do not see us for a year or more will often not remember my name. that’s understandable.  They might not remember MY name, but Opal’s? you bet!

The man standing outside my taxi went on, ” My wife raised puppies for Canine Vision….” I listen politely as the driver waits (meter running) for me to give him a destination.

Help Me! I’m Being Gassed!

People sometimes say that dogs smell bad. They even say I smell funky once in a while,  but no one has ever experienced a smell (BIG STINK) like I have. Lucy the cat  gasses me and mum whenever she poops in the litter box. It’s absolutely toxic! That feline is polluted. Mum sings “Smelly Cat” (from Phoebe Buffet’s rendition on Friends….the most current pop TV reference she can muster ’cause mum gave the TV away) and sounds like she MEANS it…like she shares my pain. Do you think Lucy ate a really old, dead gopher?  Are her insides rotting out?  Is she just doing it for attention? Or because she doesn’t get to go outside like me? Is she working on a secret weapon for a third world country that can’t afford a real bomb? If anyone knows why Lucy’s trips to the litter box smell so bad, please write to mum. She doesn’t want to get up in the middle of the night to scoop the box anymore.

Opal Wants to Join AA

That’s right.  I would like to join AA today. Nah, not the club for humans who drink too much and get silly, sick and sad….No, I would like to join AA, the GIRL, for a birthday celebration. She is the not-so-little girl who raised me as a puppy for Guiding Eyes For the Blind’s puppy raisers program in North Carolina. They traded me to Canadian Guide Dogs for the Blind in Ontario (like a pro baseball player) and I ended up with my mum in Halifax.

We had such a great time together when I was a puppy. You slept on the floor next to my crate, played the violin for me with your brother, took me to church (I was a Mormon then, but mum says we are UU’s now…I don’t care ’cause church is fun). There is confusion about whether I am the puppy who barked while you sang in church, or if it was Lacy, the dog you also raised, the one who grew up to become a famous arson detective dog in Ohio. I don’t remember, but somehow, I think it was probably Lacy…I was the one who ate the cushions on the couch and pooped at the mall once (I don’t EVER do that anymore), remember AA?  They say that I was the one that made you come out of your shell. I don’t remember you having a shell…some sweatshirts and other normal clothes yeah, but no shell. I just remember that we were very happy together, and that after I showed up at your house, you weren’t shy at all anymore about talking to people, especially about dogs.  Dogs, dogs, dogs! That’s all you still talk about. I approve! Happy Birthday, my friend.

“In Dog We Trust”

I hear that Americans have the words, “In God We Trust” etched onto their coins.  We Canadians have no such thing on ours though I see great potential for something similar on a coin here. Perhaps when the Canadian Mint decides we need more change and creates a five dollar coin to add to the  ‘Toonies’ and ‘Loonies’ that we already schlep around, we could  have a contest to come up with a clever design.  I’ll be the first to enter.  Of course, as a Unitarian I would not choose a motto for the coin that made  reference to any one god.  I don’t think those words would fly with Canadians in general. However, we ARE big dog lovers here in the Great White North. Here’s what I picture:First, an octagonal coin, smaller and lighter than a ‘toonie’ or ‘loonie’ ( If we don’t go with something lighter, people are going to start tipping over from excessive weight in their handbags or pants pockets with all that change. At the very least, the need for  pocket protectors will create an entire cottage industry). Monarchists will demand that the Queen ‘s image be on one side. I’m not entirely OK with that, so here’s my compromise;  The Queen yes, but in a casual pose with a dog , maybe seen frolicking across the grounds at Windsor castle or somewhere, (but not with one of those damn Corgies of hers!  No! Let’s give her ….a Siberian Husky! …or a Great Dane!…or a Labrador Retriever….or a mutt–a  ‘Heinz 57’, as my dad once called my treasured  childhood dog,  ‘Sandy’
.  And then, etched around the happy queen and canine, the words; “In Dog We Trust”.  Or we could scrap the idea of using the queen altogether and  go with an engraved Guide dog and handler in action….with those same words. I couldn’t think of anything more appropriate. Hey, they made a Guide dog stamp this year, so maybe there’s hope for my idea yet. Has anyone noticed that god spelled backwards, spells….

Big Al To The Rescue!!!!

Big Al  (AKA ‘Aluion’) is reportedly heading for Canada today. Upon learning about the plight of Blend (Blind) Canadians as they face an inaccessible voting non-machine on Tuesday, Big Al, a resident of Alabama,  boarded a Greyhound bus bound for Nova Scotia at 4 am this morning.  There was some confusion at the bus depot in Mobile, as Big Al dumped a 63- pound  sackful of Canadian coins onto the ticket agent’s counter to pay for his fare. Further disruption  occurred when bus terminal Security spotted him donning an outfit that included hockey equipment and pieces of a 17th century suit of armour.  He claimed that he needed to feel safe and to protect himself while riding the Greyhound, saying, “I can’t be losing my head on this trip”.

Wise Advice summoned Big Al to the Great White North, upon learning that his expertise might bolster the cause of the blind (blend) {See recent comments from Aluion} and lend support to her plan to ‘make a point’ when casting her ballot tomorrow. Big Al has been known to write clever comments and insults on doors in public spaces…in Braille. “He kinda scares me”, said Wise Advice of the southern guru, “Definitely a smart guy, but he must be crazy from listening to several synthesised speech voices on various computers simultaneously”. When asked about her plan to bring public  attention to the inaccessibility of the Canadian Election, WIse Advice said, “Look, I can’t do this alone. If Big Al can fake a Canadian accent, we’ll get him one of those spare ballots floating around to do whatever he chooses with”.