STARK RAVING RED—Warranted for four reasons

In the bathtub this morning: the most massive silverfish ever witnessed at LBHQ.

Only slightly larger than this morning's silverfish. More cuddly? Only Stephen Harper knows.

A well-known screenwriting technique for making a character more likable is “SAVE THE CAT.” Early in the story, the character rescues something—maybe a cat. Maybe Stephen Harper rescued this cat from a tailings pond. Maybe?

I wanted to put it in a cat carrier and send it to Stephen Harper as a pet, but instead my mother took a shower with it. So immense and robust was the silverfish, she reported, that it would not be nudged by mere water down the drain. Instead it filibustered by the hole until she aimed the showerhead right at it.

Now, ordinarily I would prefer not to have a play-by-play of any of my mother’s nude activities. But I like to monitor our silverfish situation—for a while, you may recall, I thought Fluffy Bear was summoning the creatures from some nearby Hell Mouth. He seemed to be marshalling them for some sort of arthropodic assault, an insect-amplified grief cry for our deceased Granny, whose bear he was before he came to live with us.

But then my dad sprinkled some white powder (instructing me not to even think about snorting it) around the baseboards, and the silverfish disappeared. For the most part. Those that survived his poisoning emerged larger, stronger, and more apt to wrestle you in the shower.

I think you’ll agree, my fellow inebriates, that the foregoing ramble warrants wine on at least four counts:

  • Encountering a silverfish the size of a cat is traumatic.
  • The mere notion of my mother in the shower is doubly so.
  • Should Fluffy choose to summon armies of silverfish again, they will be formidable.
  • Stephen Harper is still the prime minister of Canada.

stark raving red with LBKnowing that Stephen Harper probably wouldn’t think to reward us with, say, a bottle from the cellar at 24 Sussex Drive, I don’t feel so bad about failing to wrangle him a creepy new pet. Nor do I feel bad about busting the screwtop off a bottle of STARK RAVING RED. A big, jammy blend of Tannat, Zinfandel, Merlot, Cabernet, and Petit Syrah, STARK RAVING RED is gonzo with plums and cherries, filling the mouth with sweet, somewhat cloyingly boozy fruit. It’s not disciplined in the least, MFI, it’s in-your-face, as bold as a silverfish on steroids, but without scales or antennae. I liked it even though there wasn’t a chance of taming it, decanter or not.

Would I send a bottle to Stephen Harper? Not on your life. He probably drinks $100 wine every night. Nope…if I ever send him anything, it’ll be a cat-sized silverfish, and he can stroke it.

stephen harper with silverfish copy

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CANTERBURY DARK MILD—A gateway to dark beer (but not crack)

My Fellow Inebriates,

I love Wikipedia, and here’s why. Click now before it gets edited! If you missed it, here it is: Wikipedia’s list of Toronto mayors, the last being the notorious Rob Ford.

Rob Ford mayor copy

There’s nothing more democratic than Wikipedia. And for that, it deserves a toast. If you don’t have some crack on hand, grab a can of CANTERBURY DARK MILD from Pacific Western Brewing Company. It’s dirt-cheap (for Canada), copper-colored with tan foam lacing, a malty, earthy aroma, and a strong caramel note. The sort of beer you can pound by the dozen, CANTERBURY is certainly too sweet and possibly a little too metallic, but it does the job when you need to get loaded for just a few bucks. Perfect for people and bears who don’t prefer lager, CANTERBURY is eminently drinkable and packs a reasonable 5.3% alcohol.

Carterbury-950x420

CANTERBURY may even serve as a gateway beer for MOLSON CANADIAN enthusiasts looking to level up. It’s mild and friendly enough to pique drinkers’ curiosity about other yummy dark beers, most of which are, quite honestly, better. There’s a lot to be said for gateway substances, as Rob Ford might well agree.

Deputy PM? Consider this my application…

My Fellow Inebriates,

I was prepared to be outraged when my mother casually mentioned that Canada doesn’t currently have a deputy prime minister. The subject came up because Miss P had come home from Grade 2 enthusing about Alberta (Oil! Dinosaur bones!) and asking when we could go there. Prime Minister Stephen Harper is from there and has made a career of exploiting that province’s oil reserves, ripping up boreal forest with abandon and draining rivers to supply an unsustainably water-intensive dirty-oil industry that’s quickly rendering much of Alberta more like a Martian landscape than the pristine Canadian wilderness where fur traders and settlers once tromped. O Canada.

Stephen Harper with a kitten

Just the mention of Alberta was enough to get us hatin’ on the Harper Government.* Only the beady-eyed Harper, who has kiboshed no less than 3,000 environmental impact assessments, loosened regulations to allow corporate food producers to conduct their own safety inspections, fired a whistleblower for reporting weaknesses in the Chalk River nuclear facility, refused to sign a UN declaration citing water as a human right, cut science funding, issued generous tax cuts to frackers, repeatedly attempted to institute comprehensive Internet surveillance, and removed historical pictures of past prime ministers from the House of Commons and instead festooned it with at least 25 pictures of himself, could be such a colossal dickhead as to fly without a deputy, right?

stephen harper with a bear

When you walk in the door, all you see are pictures of Stephen Harper … I’d say between every window, in every available space of the wall, at eye level, every available space has a photo of Stephen Harper … You’ve got photos of Stephen Harper, but not of previous prime ministers … Photos of Stephen Harper in different costumes, in different settings, dressed as a fireman, in Hudson Bay looking for polar bears, meeting the Dalai Lama, even the portrait of the Queen had to have Stephen Harper, but in a candid, behind her. — Elizabeth May, Green Party of Canada

So when Mum said we had no deputy prime minister, I thought WTF? and looked it up, only to discover my outrage wasn’t legitimate. Turns out the position is fairly modern (1977), fairly nebulous and often ceremonial. Unlike the American Vice President, the Canadian Deputy Prime Minister does not expect to ascend to leadership in the event of the PM’s untimely death. In fact, only one deputy prime minister, Jean Chretien, has ever gone on to become prime minister.

Harper is all about letting the fox mind the henhouse.

Harper is all about letting the fox mind the henhouse.

Still, the Deputy Prime Minister’s does have the job of answering policy questions during Question Period. But Stephen Harper isn’t big on his government answering questions. Still… You’d think he’d at least install some toothless moppet to sit in Parliament and nod its head.

And once again I found myself writing a political letter….

letter to Stephen Harper

Dear Prime Minister Harper,

I just noticed today that you don’t have a deputy prime minister. While I understand you probably wouldn’t want some outspoken, informed person at Question Period, perhaps you could use a head-nodding imbecile such as myself.

I could even help out with duties such as watering your plants or stroking your cat (that’s not a metaphor). Let me know, dude.

stephen harper with wormy thing

I don’t know, my fellow inebriates… Will another of my political rants go into the cyber void?

 

 *Only a total dickhead with dictatorial aims would actually rechristen “the Canadian Government” officially with his own surname.