“That’s not my jam” Snapshots

Curtailed commentary on themes.



Print Edition: March 12, 2014

(Illustrations by Anthony Biondi)

Get your head in the game — No thanks! 

Please don’t revoke my Canadian citizenship for saying this — but I don’t get hockey.

I mean, I get the idea. A group of dudes skate around, someone smacks a puck into a net with a piece of wood, and bros all around the country drink beer and chest-bump as they watch the game unfold. Simple.

And boring. So, so boring.

It’s not that I haven’t tried watching hockey. I’ve had loving friends try to convert me to the cult of the Canucks. They invite me over on game night, press a cold Molson into my hand, sit me down in front of their big-screen TV, and point out all the players by name as they reverently explain each of the players’ life stories. But I still end up yawning.

How many times can a bunch of sweaty guys skate up and down an ice rink chasing a piece of rubber before you start to lose interest and wonder what’s playing on the History Channel?

For me, about 25 seconds.

I’m not hating on anyone. If you’re crazy about the Canucks, awesome! Have an extra beer for me. I’ll just be over here, catching up on Vikings — or anything, actually.

As long as it’s not hockey.


Goodbye high dive

I’ve always loved water. When I was a child my parents enrolled me in swimming lessons only to find out the instructor couldn’t keep me from entering the deep end.

Despite my affinity for water, nothing could get me on the high diving board. Nothing — except a doggy dare from my brother.

I accepted the dare to go on, but I didn’t agree to jump off. I climbed the ladder, walked out, and stood on the end for what felt like an eternity. Technically, I had completed the dare, but I had also managed to hold up an entire line of people due to my paralyzing fear of heights.

Parents and their kids gathered on the side of the pool to cheer me on, and a teenage lifeguard even said he’d buy me candy from the vendor if I’d jump.

“Do it for me,” he said, as a last ditch effort.

I ended up climbing back down. Sorry man — you weren’t worth it.


Yes, I’m sure

I get the most incredulous looks.

Usually it’s at restaurants, but occasionally it happens at a friends houses or even at my own place — and it’s almost always at mealtime.

People just can’t believe I don’t eat condiments. It’s not because of an allergy, or sensitivity, or some weird diet. I just think ketchup, mustard, salad dressing, most dips, and many spreads are gross. Yes, even mayonnaise. Especially mayonnaise.

I think I would probably prefer insects to mayonnaise, and I don’t think insects are all that appetizing either.

“No sauce, please,” I say every time I order a sandwich or salad.

“Are you sure?” is often the response, after a long pause. Yes, I’m sure. Why would I have asked for no sauce if I wanted sauce?

Often I get my meal with sauce anyway, and send it back, which is a huge pain for everyone involved.

“Can’t you just eat it anyway?”


Mayoral mailbag

Mayor Banman, I know it’s best journalistic practice to address questions in a formal face-to-face interview, but seeing how you’re doing such a good job talking to Abbotsford’s homeless people, I thought following your lead would be the respectful and obedient thing to do.

So, a few questions: did you really say in a recent talk at UFV, that “there is something inherently wrong that we cannot put someone away for their own good,” where “someone” refers to people who are homeless and/or mentally ill?

Do you realize you just became that guy  in class who speaks with great confidence but no understanding about a complicated issue he has no experience with?

Did you trip up in a bad quote, or do you actually believe this? Have you done any research, or are you just taking a guess at how mental illness works?

Rachel Aviv’s “God Knows Where I Am,” in The New Yorker’s May 30, 2011 issue, is a good place to start. There’s a copy in the UFV library, in case you’re interested.

But for now, as the kids say — who, by the way, know how to vote — that song you’re singing is definitely not my jam.


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