THE NUTSHELL: The NHL’s Trapezoids, McCallion’s Big Fish And Deep-Fried Everything At The Ex

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

Note: After this week, The Nutshell will revert to its older, historical name: The Royal Canadian Nutshell.


Mr. Bettman, tear down this line.

The NHL is trying out a few new wrinkles at its research and development camp, in Toronto. (Ain’t modern hockey grand? In the old days, if you uttered the words “research and development camp” to Eddie Shore he’d have “researched” your noggin by “developing” a right cross to your chin.) One of the possible changes they’re trying out is removing those ridiculous trapezoids in the corners, where no goalie is allowed to handle the puck. Goalies have been treated like wayward dogs who left the yard. Might as well have fitted them with those “invisible fence” collars to make sure they didn’t go get the puck in the corner. It was a silly rule when it was brought in, it’s a silly rule now. I’ve always thought punishing goalies who had good puck handling skills and took the time to hone them was a trifle idiotic. It’s like prohibiting good defensive pitchers from fielding the ball outside of the mound, or forbidding running backs from ever throwing a pass on an option. If you’ve got it, flaunt it, I say. Fun to watch a master at work, such as Martin Brodeur. Come to think of it, it’s just as much fun to watch the butchers try and do something with the disc, out in no-man’s land.


Ernie (Left) and Bert. If they were gay they would have left Sesame Street to live in Mr. Dress Up's Tickle Trunk.

I’ve been enjoying seeing Donald Trump hawking his mattresses on commercials for The Brick. The Trump home mattress collection is available. Was wondering: Are the mattresses stuffed with Donald’s hair? If so, that’s what I call luxury. Love for him to do a Willy Wonka kind of promotion, where he’d actually stuff one out of every 10,000 mattresses with cash. Or a golden ticket that earns the winner a visit to Gary Busey’s place for a day. It occurs to me that I may be mistaken about these commercials. They may actually be for “Donald Trump’s Matted Tresses.”

The good people at the Children’s Television Workshop found it necessary to step forward in the face of a social media onslaught (okay, Facebook page) that suggested Bert and Ernie come right out of the closet and get hitched. Love that they felt it necessary to reiterate that Bert and Ernie are, in fact, not actually living beings. This episode has been brought to you by the letters D, U and H.

Anybody else out there feeling they’re being strung along by George Stroumboulopoulos? He starts every show by saying “I’m your boyfriend….” That’s enough, Strombo. I mean, what are we? Commit to us, already. If you’re not ready to be our husband by now then I just don’t know what we’re doing here.

The Canadian National Exhibition opens up, today. Among the features they’re trumpeting this year — cholesterol. Plenty of it. You can get deep-fried peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, deep-fried Twinkies, deep-fried cola, deep-fried Nanaimo bars and, of course, deep-fried butter. My guess is that they’ve stopped trying to thrill you with attractions and rides. It’s just easier to raise your heart rate with a hamburger that features a bun made of Krispy Kreme donuts, instead. What kind of person would indulge in such gastrointestinal masochism? The kind who likes passing out while eating, I guess. A lot of people have bypassed the Ex in recent years. Seems the Ex is bent on forcing a lot of people to have bypasses instead.


Mayors Rob Ford and Hazel McCallion: If I were them I'd get that thing deep-fried, whole, at the CNE.

Mississauga Mayor Hazel McCallion gave Toronto Mayor Rob Ford a big, big fish. An 18 pound salmon that the 90 year old reportedly reeled in during a fishing derby on Lake Ontario. Well, that’s the story. Personally, I doubt she caught it with a pole. More like she stripped down to her skivvies, dove head first into the water, swam after the sucker, grabbed it with her bare hands and then proceeded to swing it over her head like an Olympic hammer thrower, and tossed it on to the deck. That’s more like Hazel. Not only did she catch it, she apparently packed it in ice and drove it to Toronto to personally present to Ford. It’s head will, undoubtedly, make its way onto the desk of the next councillor to question a policy decision.

Republican presidential candidate Michelle Bachmann wished Elvis Presley a happy birthday, this week. Problem was, she was a day early with the wishes. No, wait. Problem was, it was the anniversary of Elvis’ death (August 16th, 1977). Elvis was born January 8th, 1935. I’ll cut her some slack. She’s probably exhausted from a long summer revival tour with Fred Turner. Gosh, I still love “Takin’ Care Of Business.”

Ontario Progressive Conservative Leader Tim Hudak admitted to smoking marijuana while he was in university. Does this bother me? No. Do I wish he and every other politician would smoke pot now? A resounding yes. Maybe some of those hyper-partisan walls would fall and they could all actually chum together to do what’s best for the rest of us. In fact, let’s go a step or two further and pipe in smoke from a giant bong when the legislature is in session. Bet you Dalton McGuinty would be the first to wear his tie around his head like a bandana. Hudak could replace the Tories’ policy manual, “Changebook,” with “Highspace.”


Qantas Airlines is experiencing some turbulence over one of the in-flight movies they’ve been showing. It’s called “The Female Orgasm Explained.” I say what better place to learn about that than while travelling on an airline that’s served Down Under so well for so long.

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

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

One thought on “THE NUTSHELL: The NHL’s Trapezoids, McCallion’s Big Fish And Deep-Fried Everything At The Ex

  1. Just bought my eldest boy Matt a new bed – wish I’d known about the Donalds locks lottery – I’d have gone to the brick instead of Sahid’s Bargain mattresses…

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