THE NUTSHELL: Harper And Ford In A New Boy Band? Clinton Cashes, Indy Crashes And “Owling” Takes Over From “Planking”

A weekly feature, with a collection of random thoughts on random things.

I rarely ride my bike. Should do it more often. So, this week, I pedaled it over to a friend’s place. In order to offset the possibly harmful effects of the exercise, on the way back, I pulled into KFC. Because I saw a sign for the “Double Down.” Bill Hayes and I had talked a wee bit about it on this week’s podcast (hear it here).  We also discussed the pulled pork parfait. Which is a real thing. And sounds like a good idea to me. The Double Down ought to be called the Double Back. Because it felt like my stomach was going to insist on a u-turn. I’m not saying there’s too much salt in that thing, but, if you tossed a Double Down into Lake Ontario, pretty sure you could then float on your back all the way to Rochester. Look. I like KFC. I’ve fond memories of being a kid and my parents ordering up the do it yourself buffet. Chicken, fries, gravy, macaroni salad and Grecian bread. Still have the old jingle rolling around in my noggin. But the Double Down (another name might be the “We Double Dare You To Try And Keep It Down”) is an experience I won’t have again. Put it this way: Woodstock was great and all, but you needed to stay away from the brown acid. Speaking of acid, I need to stop writing for a second so I can go pop another Zantac.


  • The Blue Jays traded Juan Rivera to the Los Angeles Dodgers for a player to be named later or cash considerations. Uh, cash considerations? From the bankruptcy-protected Dodgers? I think it’ll unfold this way: The Dodgers will consider giving the Jays cash. Their lawyers will consider that hilarious and tell them they don’t have any.

    The player to be named later? Maybe he'd offer Bautista a little protection in the batting order.

  • Plaxico Burress is targeting the Jets,Texans and Eagles as teams he’d like to play with. Of course, with his aim, he could wind up anywhere, really.
  • The Honda Indy, run through the streets of Toronto last weekend, was filled with crash after crash after crash. Dan Aykroyd was the Grand Marshal, so I guess it’s only fitting that everybody drove like it was dark and they were wearing sunglasses.
  • Why do punters run around in the end zone when conceding a safety even when their team is BEHIND? Isn’t that like detouring into a construction zone when you’re already late picking up your kid at daycare?




  • While playing cowboy at the Calgary Stampede, Prime Minister Harper also found time to pal around with Hollywood’s traditional cowboy foe. While visiting the Blood Tribe Of Alberta (I’d originally thought this was a nickname for the Conservative Party) he was made an honourary chief. His name: “Chief Speaker.”  No politician should be named anything other than “Chief Talking Point.” I don’t know about you, but seeing the Prime Minister in a head dress and knowing full well his prodigious musical chops, I think he’d be an excellent member of a Canadian version of The Village People.

    "Am I delighted to be here? And how."

    Where Rob Ford might fit in, I haven’t quite figured out yet. Can he sing? We know he can dance. Proved it at the launch for the festival formerly known as Caribana. (Scroll down the page in that link a bit to see the video) The mayor danced with some fully costumed flamboyant revellers. Kinda like the Pride Parade. Bet he’s sorry he missed that now. At any rate, if he joins the Canadian version of Village People, we can rewrite the lyrics to their signature hit “YMCA” for him. “It’s fun to REE-move the Jaaaar-vis bike lanes, it’s fun to REE-move the – uh, Jaaarvis bike lay-anes….” I grant you, forming a letter “B” with your body wouldn’t be easy.

  • Apparently, Bill Clinton has made just under 76 million dollars, in speaking fees alone, since leaving the White House 10 years ago. Maybe he ought to be named Chief Speaker. Clinton charges an average of $181,000.00 per speech. More, I’m told, if you want him to do his dead-on impression of Hillary. The magic tricks he does for free because, you know, chicks dig it.


  • Tom Hanks met the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge earlier this week. Hope that, when he shook his hand, Hanks bellowed: “WILLIAAAAAAAM!”
  • Conrad Black has been ordered back to prison by September 6th. Well, at least he’ll still be able to march in the Labour Day Parade.
  • They ran with the bulls in Pamplona, Spain, again. Kids’ play. Because, in Denia, Spain, they have a little thing known as diving with the bulls. Yes. When you run with bulls, they can merely trample or gore you to death. Diving bulls can trample, gore OR drown you. That’s a man’s game.

    "Owling." Where's a rampaging bull when you really need one?

  • Apparently, “planking” is over. It’s so 2011. Or, so earlier 2011. It’s being replaced with – wait for it – “owling.” People crouch on things, or perch, like an owl. then snap a picture and send it to everybody and hilarity ensues. No thanks. No planking, no owling. I’ll wait for something really cool, like “raccooning,” where people take pictures of their buddies eating out of somebody’s green bin at 3 in the morning.
  • A guy tried to sue the CBC and Dragons’ Den because some of the Dragons were mean to him.  They didn’t like his idea and spurned him gruffly, with one of the Dragons, Jim Treliving (Boston Pizza) telling him he was “blowing air up a dead horse’s ass.” (Another possible photo alternative to planking) I love how, in the Globe and Mail story I’ve linked to, that line is followed by “He did not receive the investment he sought.” Right. Because Jim sells pizza. But if he ever does get into the business of blowing air up dead horses’ asses, I like the guy’s chances of a triumphant return to The Den.


Headline: “Toronto Overtakes Vancouver As Canada’s Most Expensive City.” I think Vancouver was slowed by bridge traffic.

[box border=”full”]To see a previous THE NUTSHELL, click here.[/box]


[box border=”full”]To hear this week’s podcast, “THE GIST OF IT,” click here. [/box]