When MacKenzie King Fought The Martians

One more joy of getting old: sacroiliac joint injury. Owwww!

First, an announcement. My latest review is up on Skiffy.ca. This one is about the new fan-made Star Trek movie, Of Gods and Men.

Been a busy few days. First, two dudes came to see me in Ottawa. This guy and this guy:


Yes, he’s hanging upside down in my inversion table. See how much fun my world is? See, last week was Canada’s independence day, uncreatively called “Canada Day”. As the capital, Ottawa is under a fair bit of pressure to seem important on that holiday. Among our various activities, we made an impromptu visit to the official home of one of our earlier Prime Ministers, William Lyon MacKenzie King.

Now, I am a great fan of history. I can depress you with my somewhat encyclopaedic knowledge of ancient Greek, Roman and British history, and even with my knowledge of some particular bits of American and French history. But I shamefully confess to not knowing as much as I should about Canadian history.

See, French history is told as a series of revolutions and movements. British history is told in terms of the reigns of kings and queens. American history is told as a series of wars. Canadian history…. well, Canadian history is told as a series of Parliamentary Acts. Yes, you read that correctly. Our legacy (mostly) of peace and goodliving comes at the price of a truly boring history. I never got into it. This is not an excuse for this gap in my education, but merely an explanation.

So I was stunned to discover that Prime Minister King once singlehandedly fought back an invading army from Mars. How do I know? Here’s the proof, a device we found in King’s home. Clearly, it’s a Martian ray gun:


An exploration of his estate, which is now the official residence of the sitting Speaker of the House, reveals further subtle clues to our former PM’s alien-fighting past. I leave to you to visit and dig up those clues for yourself.

The day was tainted by the presence of that most loathesome of creeds, the in-character historical recreationist actor. Yep, they were there aplenty. One particular fellow was dressed in a striped waistcoat and solar topee, and leaned on an affected cane as he beamed a joyful and quasi-British-accented “Helloooo” to us as we passed. He was either impersonating MacKenzie King or was a paedophile on the prowl. Either way, I was sorely tempted to take him out at the knees.

We then walked to the nearby Champlain lookout in Gatineau Park, where a friendly sign showed us our location. Apparently, we were snugly in some woman’s ass:


That certainly explained the heat and foul odour of the place.

Now, do recall that this was Canada Day, a time when all of this nation’s institutions typically celebrate or at least acknowledge our history and legacy. It comes close to the 4th of July, when the Americans do the same. And they do it with style!

So why is that the Western Standard, Canada’s hyper-conservative online paper (and big time supporter –and seemingly vice versa– of our current right wing government) celebrated this week with not one, but nine articles on columnists’ reflections on American independence, and not a single such article about Canadian independence? Why doesn’t the Canadian Conservative party just rename itself the 51st American State party and be done with it?

Just saying.

The following weekend, I made it to Montreal for the jazz festival. My friends know that I’m not a particularly grand fan of jazz. But I am a seriously big fan of pretty French girls, and there were many of those around! Unfortunately, I am not a particularly big fan of Montreal drivers. I suspect that part of the Quebec driving test involves clinical proof that one is officially borderline mentally retarded. It’s the only explanation for some of the truly bizarre automotive expressions I observed and, sadly, experienced.

The best performances of the jazz festival were given by the various street circus folks. Here’s a blurry pic of one such troupe:


And here’s a pic of a woman at the information desk with her pet baby pigeon! I’d never seen a baby pigeon before. I didn’t even know pigeons had babies. I just assumed new pigeons were produced in a factory somewhere in New Mexico:


Okay, I just bought me a granadilla and will now attempt to ingest it. Wish me luck.