THE NUTSHELL: Bush, Bettman, Flutie, and Popsicle Sticks

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


  • If this Winnipeg deal ever gets done, I’ve some ideas as to how Gary Bettman should make his grand re-entrance to Winnipeg. If he wants to keep it simple, may I suggest he just step onto the escalator at the airport and, as he descends, spread his arms wide and bellow “I’m back, baby! Miss me?” Parachuting in to Portage and Main would be way cool, but would come with the possible hazard of the good folk of Winnipeg converging and beating the living hell out of him for taking their team away in the first place. Best to keep one’s distance. So, being carried to the dais at the media conference, in a giant egg, and bursting forth in latex would seem to be the ticket. It would prove he’s hip with the pop culture of the day, and also keep him protected from the masses for as long as possible.

  • While watching Hockey Night in Canada, I heard the comment that Wayne Gretzky was one of the best ever at dumping the puck in. High praise, indeed. Got me to thinking: What other superstars were really good at mundane sports chores? For my money, nobody in the history of baseball issued an intentional walk better than Nolan Ryan. I’ve never seen a quarterback take a knee like Doug Flutie. I know, I know, Joe Montana was really good at it, too. I just think Flutie was a little better. No argument about this one: No racer ever followed a pace car like Mario Andretti.


  • Just another reason to bemoan the passing of Donald Trump’s presidential ambition: Trump/Busey would have been one hell of a ticket. Had they actually won, Gary Busey would have become probably the 2nd craziest Vice President in U.S. history, right behind Dick Cheney.
  • The NDP trotted out its “shadow cabinet” this week. Or, as the Tories call it, “cute.” Leader Jack Layton has vowed that his team will not heckle government speakers. But, I didn’t hear him rule out dressing in orange spandex bodysuits and dancing up on them.

  • Bob Rae accepted the job of Interim Liberal Leader. He was, at a caucus meeting, asked  if he had any skeletons in his closet. He joked: “I said I don’t have any skeletons in my cupboard; they’re in my living room.” Actually, there are skeletons littering most ridings across Canada, all wearing “Ignatieff 2011” buttons.


  • So long, Oprah. Your extended goodbye was so long. So… so… long.
  • There’s the growing notion that China’s factories are feeling the energy squeeze and that some of them are becoming too expensive to run. Global Sticks, manufacturer of wooden popsicle sticks, is relocating from China, to Thunder Bay.I just hope they’re not ever bought out by one of those fancy-dan composite popsicle stick manufacturers. Call me old school, but I like my popsicles on good ol’ sticks of wood, not those crappy, new-fangled carbon fibre deals. Sure, they’re lighter and make it easier to lift a popsicle to your mouth, but they shatter too easily when you try to bust your popsicle in half on the counter. Not to mention that $49.95 seems a little steep for a popsicle.

    A worker at Harpo Productions cat naps on some of the materials used to build Oprah’s self-indulgence.
  • Porter Airlines can dress up their little raccoon mascot all they want. It’s just like a defence attorney getting his client a haircut and new suit before trial. Because, no matter how often I see their commercial with that respectable, well-behaved raccoon walking through the terminal in a suit and tie and carrying a briefcase, I know – I KNOW- that little felon dumped my green bin all over my front yard before the airport limo came by to pick him up.
  • Bob Dylan turned 70 this week. Apparently, friends took him to Dairy Queen to celebrate with an ice cream cake. It was there that Dylan told the young woman behind the counter: “Ya gotta soft-serve somebody.”



People in Toronto won’t cheer for the Vancouver Canucks because the west dumps on Toronto all the time. Because of this, people in Vancouver will dump on Toronto. Because of that, people in Toronto won’t root for the Canucks. Because of that… (cue Elton john singing “Circle of Life.”)


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