Friday, September 29, 2006

My Fair Domi

Rumors abound that former Toronto Maple Leafs bad boy Tie Domi and star Liberal Belinda Stronach are romantically involved. However, the following leaked transcript of a recent phone conversation between the two suggests that the rumors are baseless and that everything between the two is aboveboard and all business:

Tie: Hey, Belinda. Wassup?
Belinda: Tie, it’s great to hear from you in a professional, purely platonic way.
Tie: Yeah, whatever.
Belinda: No, look Tie, if we’re going to do this it has to be aboveboard. We don’t want to give people the wrong idea.
Tie: Whatever you say, babe.
Belinda: Now that’s what I’m talking about. People are going to get the wrong idea. Remember? You’re supposed to be my political consultant. OK?
Tie: Oh yeah. I can do that.
Belinda: So when I ask you "What do I have to do to win the Liberal leadership contest?", you say what?
Tie: Ah.....take the man into the boards?
Belinda: No, no, no. You advise me that I should tell Canadian voters that I am pleased to work with whoever is chosen leader and that I am just happy to do my part to rebuilt the Liberal Party of Canada. Now what if someone asks you what advice you’ve given me about switching parties?
Tie: That you shouldn’t do it? That you should dance with the one that brung you?
Belinda: Tie, Tie, Tie. You’re supposed to say that if you find that you are philosophically incompatible with a particular party’s platform that you should follow your conscience and seek out a position where you can do the most good.
Tie: Dammnit! I knew that one. You’re not going to punish me and make me go shopping again are you?
Belinda: Not right now. We don’t have time. Look, maybe we should make things a little easier and play off your strengths. Like when they ask you how you see my career unfolding, you could use some hockey terminology.
Tie: OK, I think I’ve got it now. Belinda didn’t join the Liberal Party to become an enforcer so it’s not fair that she should be penalized so often. She’s a great stickhandler and she’s got some great moves. So if the Liberals are smart, they’ll put her on the front line. Give her a couple of good wingers and she can really score.
Belinda: By God, I think he’s got it!
Tie: Thanks, doll. Gotta go. TSN says it’s going to take awhile to do my makeup. (click)
Belinda: Sigh. Oh well, we obviously still have some work to do. (click)

Monday, September 25, 2006

Next Desk, Please

This is another excerpt from my book "My Friend W" published by Arriviste Press and available at selected Chapters stores and on-line through Chapters and Amazon. This piece originally appeared on the Op-Ed page of The New York Times:

THE NEW YORK TIMES - May 23, 2002
"Next Desk, Please"

OTTAWA — President Bush has come under critical fire because he supposedly received a warning of possible Al Qaeda attacks last August. The White House is deflecting the criticism as best it can, but the president is still feeling the heat. I think I can help. As a 20-year veteran of government bureaucracy, I suggest the following tried and true approaches, sure to work as well in Washington as they do in Ottawa:

1. Check your calendar. Sometimes you find that you were away from the office or on vacation when the problem arose. No one can fault you if you weren't there.

2. Point to your predecessor. This works especially well if you've only had your job for a short while. Check old memos and see if the last guy already ignored the same problem.

3. Find your own exculpatory memo. You know, the one that might say something like "In response to your memo, I recommend strong immediate action." If you can't find one anywhere, write it now!

4. Blame somebody else. If there's a subordinate (a general manager, say, or a vice president) who does all the real work, get him to take the fall.

5. Describe yourself as a big picture kind of guy. Explain that you're not a detail person. You can't be expected to read everything in lengthy two- or three-page memos, especially the stuff at the end.

6. Think outside the box. For example, might this have first come up the day the server was down?

7. Deny receipt. Unless your initials are on the memo, it's pretty hard to prove it ever made it to your desk.

8. When all else fails, rely on that old chestnut: "Hindsight is 20-20." It may be just a simple tautology, but it always seems to work.

Friday, September 22, 2006

See You In Syria

Apparently the slipups in the Maher Arar case weren’t the only errors made by the RCMP. Check out these excerpts from some recently leaked Mountie files:

Drumheller, Alberta - December 15, 2003

Suspect A.H. was driving well below the posted speed limit. When pulled over, suspect claimed he had forty frozen turkeys in his trunk and was concerned that his car was overloaded. A.H. taken to Drumheller station where he was booked and held on suspicion of unlicensed sale of poultry. Suspect subsequently transferred to Syria for further interrogation.

Churchill, Manitoba - May 2, 2002

Suspect M.J. was spotted discarding an empty Tim Horton’s coffee cup on the sidewalk. When approached by the officer, he claimed everyone disposed of their coffee cups this way and questioned if he was being singled out because of his ethnicity. Suspect taken to regional detention centre and booked on suspicion of littering. Suspect subsequently transferred to Syria for further interrogation.

Dartmouth, Nova Scotia - August 23, 2004

Suspect S.F. was spotted playing basketball after midnight at a local schoolyard. When questioned about this, suspect invoked his Charter right to play basketball anywhere at any time. Mr. F. booked on suspicion of loitering and taken to local jail. Suspect subsequently transferred to Syria for further interrogation.

New Westminister, British Columbia - February 11, 2005

Suspect L.C. stopped by officer for panhandling at corner of 10th Avenue and 32nd Street. Suspect became belligerent and repeatedly asserted his right to ask strangers for money. Mr. C. taken into custody and spent the night at the New Westminister lockup. Suspect subsequently transferred to Syria for further interrogation.

Ottawa, Ontario - July 14, 2006

Suspect F.D. interviewed by RCMP regarding contract obtained from Canada’s New Government despite his previous political ties. Mr. D. taken into custody and questioned about possible conflict of interest. Held temporarily and then released on his own recognizance. Suspect subsequently appointed Canada’s Integrity Commissioner.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

New National Mottoes

When it comes to national mottos, it’s time for a change. Some are old. Some are boring. And some are even in Latin. Let’s start fresh with new ones:

Afghanistan: Rocks ‘R Us
Algeria: Sand ‘R Us
Andorra: Where ‘R Us?
Argentina: Please cry for us
Australia: Oz rules!
Austria: We’re not saying Hitler was right......
Belgium: Pardon our Flems
Brazil: Life’s a beach and then you die
Canada: Sorry, eh?
Chile: The anorexic state
China: We deliver
Cuba: Give us a break; he’s almost dead
Cyprus: We’re Greekish
Czech Republic: No more Slovaks
France: Surrender with honor
Germany: We knew nothing
Greece: It’s all Greek to us, too
Iceland: Can you spell Reykjavik?
India: Who’s counting?
Iraq: Arabs ‘R Us
Ireland: Catholics ‘R Us
Israel: Jews ‘R Us
Italy: We’re on your side
Jamaica: We always inhale
Japan: We’re not that sorry
Jordan: We’re not Palestine
Korea (North): We’re the bad Korea
Korea (South): We’re the good Korea
Kuwait: Southeast Iraq
Libya: Home of Qadhafi Duck
Luxembourg: You can’t get here from there
Mexico: Seriously, don’t dink the water
Netherlands: Dikes ‘ R Us
New Zealand: Where the hell’s Zealand?
Norway: Fjord you!
Pakistan: We’re everyone’s ally
Panama: A man, a plan, a canal, Panama
Poland: The original Polish joke
Portugal: Spain’s canker sore
Russia: We coulda been a contender
Saudi Arabia: Mind your own business
Sweden: Cradle to grave
Syria: Just grave
Togo: We’re not Tonga
Tonga: We’re not Togo
Trinidad and Tobago: We’re neither Tonga nor Togo
Turkey: Asia Minor my ass!
United Kingdom: Royal Disneyland
United States: You’re either with us or against us
Vietnam: We’re against you

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

George W. Bush, Wikipedian

Because of vandalism, editing of the Wikipedia entry for George W. Bush by anonymous or newly registered users has been disabled. Rumor has it that President Bush has been a registered user for some time now which may explain the current version of his entry on the on-line, open source encyclopedia:

GEORGE WALKER BUSH, born July 6, 1946, is the 43rd and current President of the United States, inaugurated on January 20, 2001 (In your face, Al Gore!). He was reelected in 2004 (Take that, John Kerry) and is currently serving his second and final term. (He could easily win a third term except for that 22nd Amendment business.) A Republican, he belongs to one of the most politically influential American families, being the son of former President George H. W. Bush (who only served one term) and elder brother of Jeb Bush, the present Governor of Florida (who has never, ever been President).

Early Life

Born in New Haven, Connecticut, Bush moved to Texas when he was two years old. (That means I’m 98 per cent Texan. I’m not an Easterner. Heck, I can’t even find Connecticut on a map.) Bush attended Yale University. (That was all my parents’ idea. If it had been up to me, I would have gone to the University of Texas. Go Longhorns!) Bush earned an MBA at Harvard and then was an unsuccessful entrepreneur in the oil industry. (Unsuccessful? That’s not fair. You drill a hole and if you’re lucky you strike oil. I might have been unlucky but I sure as hell wasn’t unsuccessful.) Bush went on to purchase a share in the Texas Rangers and eventually netted a $15 million profit from his $800,000 investment. (See? I told you I was a successful ontrapanewer.)

Political Career

After serving as Governor of Texas, George W. Bush ran for the presidential nomination of the Republican Party. In a hotly contested election in 2000, he defeated the Democratic candidate Al Gore after the Supreme Court decided against a recount in Florida. (Thank you Bill Rehnquist and a big shout out to Tony Scalia, too.) In his first term, Bush instituted massive tax cuts for the rich (hey, you have to be paying taxes to get a tax cut), restricted research funding for embryonic stem cells (whoa, whoa, wait a minute; I allowed funding for 21 lines) and invaded Iraq on the basis that there were weapons of mass destruction that were never found (hey, we all thought they were there and anyway, we had to start spreading democracy somewhere, right?) Despite a lacklustre performance and an ongoing war, Bush was able to win reelection in 2004 by defeating John Kerry. (You gotta hand it to old Turd Blossom, don’t you? I mean if Karl hadn’t come up with that Swift Boat stuff, I’d be back on my ranch in Crawford cutting brush and clipping coupons.)

Historical Standing

George W. Bush has been the subject of extensive criticism and his recent approval ratings have been some of the lowest in history. (Oh, boo hoo. Who cares? My friends got their tax cuts. The drug companies got a great deal on that prescription drug plan. And Dick Cheney says things at Halliburton have never been better.) The remaining years of his presidency will likely be assessed on the basis of his foreign policy decisions. (Damn straight! Watch out Iran; here comes the bomb.)

Friday, September 15, 2006

O Canadarm

A Short History of Canada’s Most Famous Citizen: The Canadarm

The Canadarm debuts as the universe’s most famous arm when it makes its inaugural flight on the space shuttle Columbia.

The bigger, better, longer Canadarm2 is installed on the International Space Station.

Twin Canadarms on the Space Station are the undisputed stars of NASA’s space program, at least according to most Canadians.

Canadarm sent to Afghanistan. After surviving Taliban firefight, reaches over Pakistani border and grabs Osama bin Laden. Becomes first foreign robotic device to be awarded the U. S. Presidential Medal of Freedom.

Prime Minister Harper appoints one of the twin Canadarms to Cabinet as Minister of Robotics.

Canadarm stars in its first feature-length Canadian film. Wins Genies for best special effects and best supporting actor.

Canadarm saves Vancouver Winter Olympics by serving as emergency ski lift when over-budget Games fail to come up with necessary facilities. Honored by being chosen the flag bearer for closing ceremonies.

Three Canadarms singlehandedly complete construction of the Space Station.

The original Canadarm is inducted into the Order of Canada. Attends gala ceremony at Government House and pins medal on self.

Canada’s flag changed from red maple leaf to red Canadarm to honor country’s most famous citizen.

Fleet of Canadarms triples Canada’s softwood lumber production. U. S. accepts increase in cheap lumber imports rather than risk invasion by country’s new Canadarmed Forces.

The original Canadarm runs for leadership of the Liberal Party but then selflessly withdraws to head up Royal Commission on Robotic Technology.

Canadian pride reaches new zenith as team of Canadarms wins World Jai-Alai Championships.

Governor General opens first Canadarm University where young robots can study to become full-fledged Canadarms.

First Canadarm apointed to the Senate.

Canadarm-equipped goaltender helps Leafs win first Stanley Cup since 1967. Robotic goalie signed to 15-year contract for $67 million.

Canadarm robot army invades U. S. and annexes New England. All softwood lumber tariffs and restrictions repealed.

Canada defeated by army of nuclear-powered, butt-kicking Amerilegs thereby ending era of Canadarm supremacy.

Canadarms relegated to positions as coffee servers at Tim Hortons drive-thru windows. Canadians look for new national hero.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Plessy and Ferguson

The latest edition of CBS’s reality show "Survivor" will pit four racially segregated teams against one another: the Caucasians, the African-Americans, the Hispanics and the Asian-Americans. Some critics have decried the new show as an exercise in racism. But if it’s a ratings hit, look for the early release of these other racially-segregated TV offerings currently in production:

Plessy and Ferguson
This updated version of "The Odd Couple" features oddball roommates Oscar Plessy and Felix Ferguson. Oscar’s a white slob whereas Felix is a black neat freak. Since Oscar owns the house, Jim has to play by his rules. Hilarity ensues when Oscar gets annoyed at Felix’s attempts to change those rules. In the pilot episode, Oscar enforces his new "separate but equal" doctrine and forces Felix to only use the bathroom in the basement.

Everybody Hates Daniel Lopez Jefferson Chan
Everybody’s least favorite mixed race child tries each week to find a new home with one of his relatives. Danny’s dad, Michael Chan, the product of a Caucasian-Asian coupling and his Afro-Hispanic mom, Rosita Jefferson, are divorced and neither wants to raise their multiracial son. Things go from bad to worse as each week Danny inadvertently manages to alienate another of his racially pure grandparents.

Who Klux Klan?
Quizmaster David Duke hosts this season’s newest quiz show featuring two white contestants trying to guess which one of three hooded, white-sheeted panellists is not Caucasian. By asking racially sensitive questions and taunting the panellists with racial epithets, contestants try to "out" the non-white and thereby qualify to compete in the Lightning Lynching Round.

The New NBA
One lucky network will win the rights to televise a completely restricted National Basketball Association. Four racially-divided, six-team divisions will allow roundball fans to cheer on their favorite race-based team. Look for a highly competitive brand of intra-divisional basketball, at least until the playoffs start.

The New NHL
The four-division concept may have to be tweaked a bit when it comes to professional hockey. Current plans call for 23 teams of white players and one team comprising blacks, Asians and Latinos. To achieve more racial balance, the NHL may be asked to merge with the NFL, Major League Baseball or the downtown core of any major North American city.

Camp Treblinka
"Hogan’s Heros" meets "Animal House" in this hilarious new sitcom set in an inner city summer camp for kids. Viewers will enjoy New York City’s downtown interracial high jinks as Caucasians, African-Americans, Asians and Latinos battle it out to see who wins the right to beat up the Jews.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006


In a recent news conference, George W. Bush shocked everyone by admitting that the CIA has been operating secret prisons around the world. In a hurry to report this unbelievable news, most reporters rushed off and missed some additional surprising revelations from the President. However, a few seldom reliable sources did stay behind to report on Mr. Bush’s further shocking pronouncements.

"Yes, that’s right," said the President. "I think it’s time to reveal some other unexpected developments."

When asked to elaborate, Mr. Bush responded by stating: "For instance, hard as it may be to believe, it turns out there were no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq."

The handful of anonymous reporters were just recovering from that bombshell when the President went on to reveal that there was no connection between Saddam Hussein and al Qaeda.

"I know, I know," said Mr. Bush. "I was as flabbergasted as you. Who would have thought that a secular Sunni despot and a religious Shiite fanatic weren’t in cahoots?"

Before that bit of news could sink in, the remaining press corps was hit with another incredible revelation.

"We had no plan for Iraq," said the President. "I know that’s hard to believe but we didn’t. I think there was a plan at one time but apparently when Cheney passed it to Rumsfeld, Rummy misplaced it. At least that’s what Dick tells me."

No sooner had the remaining media digested that shocker than the President revealed the following stunner:

"Those tax cuts?" said Mr. Bush. "They primarily benefited rich folks. Honestly, I don’t know how that happened but it did. All I can say is ‘My bad’."

The handful of television and newspaper reporters left were still reeling from that piece of news when the President continued.

"I’ve just got one more thing to say," said Mr. Bush. "This one really dumbfounded me. It turns out that Dick Cheney’s been running the show all along. I thought I was but Dick now tells me I wasn’t at all."

It’s difficult to know if the nation can recover from this unforeseen series of astonishing revelations. No one knows who or what to believe anymore.

"I’m not saying that there’s no Santa Claus or Easter Bunny or Tooth Fairy," said President Bush. "But after today’s developments, in all honesty, I can no longer definitely say that there is either."

Monday, September 11, 2006

Canada's Anything But Liberal Government

Like the rebranding of Coca-Cola as New Coke, the Harper government is instructing some public servants to use the term "Canada's New Government" instead of the traditional "Government of Canada."
- The Ottawa Citizen - Sept. 6. 2006

A barely reliable anonymous source has leaked the following transcript of a conversation overheard last January in the offices of Right of Centre Communications Inc.:

"Well, it looks like the Conservatives are going to win and Steve has asked us to come up with a slogan for the government. Any thoughts?"

"Yes, we anticipated this result and we’ve been working on a few possibilities. Andrea, what did you come up with?"

"Our first thought was, hey, these guys are winning the election with a great communications strategy. They’ve got five points and they keep hammering them over and over again. So, how about ‘Canada’s Five-point Government’?"

"That’s OK but I’m not sure Steve is going to want to keep reminding Canadians about what he promised to do. And what if he ever comes up with a sixth point? Harry?"

"Well, we also thought about the makeup of the new government. Steve is from Alberta and Alberta wants in. So we figured why not call it ‘Alberta’s Canadian Government.’"

"Not bad but what about Quebec?"

"We could always translate it into French: Le gouvernment canadien d’Alberta."

"Nice but remember, Steve doesn’t win round two unless Quebec is front and centre."

"Le gouvernment canadien de Quebec?"

"Look, we’re playing with fire here. What have you got Ted?"

"Considering Steve’s political philosophy, I thought we might go with ‘Canada’s American Government’ or maybe even ‘Canada’s One-man Government’. You know, a kind of straight-shooting, truth-in-advertising kind of slogan."

"I appreciate your candor Ted, but neither of those is really going to fly. What if Steve OKs some giveaway softwood lumber agreement or agrees to send more troops to Afghanistan? No need to remind folks where his policies are coming from. Harry, any thoughts?"

"Yes, I think we can all agree that Steve is looking to reduce the involvement of the federal government and to solve the fiscal imbalance. That’s why I like ‘Canada’s Less-is-more Government.’ It says ‘neo-conservative’ with actually using the ‘N’ word."

"No, no, we’ve got to stay away from anything pointing to the Conservatives’ actual agenda. Remember, this is marketing. Keep it simple, vague and imprecise. Andrea, any more proposals?"

"Sure. We’ve got a bunch of ideas here. How about ‘Canada’s Silent Government’? Or ‘Canada’s Right Government’? Or ‘Not A Liberal Government’? "

"All good suggestions but I think we’re missing the point here. What do we do for our other clients when they’ve got a new product? ‘The car of the future’, ‘the latest in technology’, ‘new and improved’."

"That’s it! I’ve got it! Canada’s New Government!"

"Ted, you’re a genius. It’s short, it’s sweet and it promises lots without meaning anything at all. Andrea?"

"Canada’s New Government. I like it."

"OK, we’re done. But don’t forget that contract that just came in. We need a new slogan for Alberta."

"‘The Firewall Province’?"

‘’The One-party Province’?"

"‘The Fifty-first State’?"

"That’s a good start. Keep on working people and we’ll meet back here next week and do this again."

Friday, September 08, 2006

Revised School Supply List

With continuing budgetary cutbacks and ongoing salary restrictions in most school districts, don’t be surprised if your child’s recommended school supply list this year looks something like this:


School Supply List Ms. Lawrence’s Grade Six Class Revised version (Sept./06)

* $4 donation on the first day of school with your child
* Six different lined notebooks (no spiral notebooks, please!)
* A school bag / backpack
* A pencil case
* One packet of ground coffee (no decaf, please)
* Small cone coffee filters
* A geometry set
* A pair of scissors
* Ink cartridge (Epson 400 or generic equivalent, B&W or color is fine)
* Cell phone card (any denomination)
* One package of sharpened colored pencils
* $5 donation on the second day of school
* A 30 cm. ruler
* Valium or any member of the diazepam family
* Glue sticks
* Two blue or colored pens
* Acetaminophen
* Tums and/or Rolaids
* A $6 donation on the third day of school
* Loose-leaf, three hole-punched, lined paper as needed
* Godiva chocolates (semi-sweet acceptable; dark preferred)
* Ear plugs
* Sleep mask
* Water bottle with flip top
* Airline-sized liquor bottles for arts and crafts (full, if possible)
* HB pencils
* Restaurant gift certificate (for future field trips)
* White erasers
* A $7 donation on the fourth day of school (optional for parents not interested in As or Bs)
* Those really tasty little cookies with almond slices on top that you can only get at the expensive food shops in the mall
* Anything from Bonwit Teller (size 8 for dresses; 6 for shoes but don’t, I repeat, don’t send in any more black pumps)
* Earrings are nice (however, please respect our school’s allergy policy - i.e. - gold or gold-plated only)
* An $8 donation on the fifth day of school (for parents of potential college-bound students only)

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Let's Lead With Couric

Seldom reliable anonymous sources revealed the following overheard conversation in the CBS newsroom:

"OK, that wasn’t bad but we may have to rethink tonight’s lead."

"Yeah, you’re right. We finished fourth behind ABC, NBC and FOX. What happened?"

"Well, they went with Katie as their number one story. Everyone tuned in to get the news on our new anchor."

"Why didn’t we think of that? We had Couric right here. What would have been better than to have Katie lead with her own appointment? Katie?"

"I dunno, guys. I’d feel a bit uncomfortable reporting on my own position, especially as the lead."

"Fair enough. How about we put it as tomorrow night’s third story? That’s far enough down so we don’t look too self-centered but at the same time we give it some importance."

"No, no. Let’s put it as the human interest piece at the end of the newscast. What do you think, Katie?"

"I’m still not great with that. Maybe I could throw the story to Bob Shieffer and he could report on how happy he’s been to turn over the reins to me."

"Not a bad idea. But I’m not sure Bob is all that thrilled with passing the chair to you. How about we get Meredith Vieira to do the bit?"

"You mean ‘news item’, right?"

"Sure, sure, Katie. Whatever you say. We’ll get Meredith Vieira to do the news item."

"I like that but Meredith’s going to be with ‘The Today Show’ starting next week."

"That’s a news show, isn’t it?"

"Well, yeah, I guess you could say that."

"OK, let’s call Meredith and see if she’ll do the Katie item for tomorrow night’s broadcast."

"So, what else do we have for tomorrow?"

"Well, there’s Charlie Gibson’s anchor position at ABC being made permanent and NBC’s decision to go long term with Brian Williams and FOX’s search for a new big name to replace White House Press Secretary Tony Snow. And, oh yeah, more deaths in Iraq."

"OK, so we’re good to go for tomorrow night?"

"Yup, and let’s not forget our daily 9/11 tribute. Katie?"

"Sounds good to me. Thanks guys. You know, you were right. This is not much different from ‘The Today Show.’ Except there’s no window. Do you think maybe we could get a window?"

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Washington's P. S. 1600

September means it’s back to school for millions of students including those enrolled in Washington’s P. S. 1600 located on Pennsylvania Avenue. Those entering their sixth year of schooling can look forward to the following classes:

World History

For first time students, this course will serve as a helpful introduction to the history of different interesting areas of the world. This year, special attention will be given to Vietnam, Afghanistan and Iraq to illustrate how regional wars can be avoided. The midterm test will include essay questions on Iran and the Middle East. Students who fail to complete this course will be condemned to repeat it.


This year students will study elementary finance and budgeting. They’ll explore the concepts of surpluses and deficits and discover how the former can quickly lead to the latter through the creative use of tax cuts, excess military spending and untendered contracts. Students will learn the magic of negative numbers as in 300 billion minus 800 billion equals minus 500 billion.

Health and Science

Students will explore the basics of life including the utility of embryonic stem cell research on samples that would otherwise be discarded. The Health section of the course will center on individual hygiene and how to obtain basic medical coverage. Examples include Medicare, Medicaid and membership in one of the three branches of the federal government.


Grammatical structure will be the centerpiece of this year’s course. Special emphasis will be placed on clear communication and avoidance of vague and misleading phrases (e.g. - the war on terror, compassionate conservatism, weapons of mass destruction). Students who want to get a head start on this year’s reading list can begin with "The Stranger" by Albert Camus. Advanced students may wish to try "Catch-22" by Joseph Heller or "Heart of Darkness" by Joseph Conrad.


Course not offered 2001-2009.

Phys. Ed.

This course offers an introduction to various Washington-based physical education pursuits including everything from jogging to brush clearing. If time permits, the syllabus will also include recreational cycling. However, given security concerns, some students may have to pursue their studies on a stationary bicycle where they will exert the same amount of energy without actually experiencing any forward progress.

Political Marketing

This is a course offered to those students looking towards an eventual career in the political arts. Under the tutelage of one of P. S. 1600's favorite teachers, Mr. Rove, students will learn the skills needed to demonize any political opponent. The course employs the case study method including "John McCain’s illegitimate child" and "Swift Boat Veterans for Truth."

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Who Did John Mark Karr Kill?

With the announcement from the Boulder County District Attorney’s office that John Mark Karr will not be charged with the murder of JonBenet Ramsey, it was assumed that this latest chapter of the ten-year old tragedy would be closed. But Mr. Karr has apparently refused to go quietly.

"OK," said Mr. Karr. "Maybe I didn’t murder the kid. I tend to get names mixed up. In actual fact, I killed Jon Bon Jovi."

"You can see how I could easily confuse those two names," said the diminutive Karr. "JonBenet, Jon Bon....they’re pretty close, you have to admit."

"Yeah, it was Jon Bon Jovi that I murdered," said Karr. "I’ve always loved him. It was an accident. I didn’t mean to do it."

When confronted with the fact that Jon Bon Jovi is still alive, Mr. Karr initially stuck to his story. But after repeated questioning, he conceded that he may have been premature with his latest murder confession.

"No, it wasn’t Jon Bon Jovi," said the pint-sized prevaricator. "Yes, it’s true. He’s still alive. And I didn’t love him. Truth be told, I never really cared for his music either. I find it a tad derivative."

On the verge of being released, John Mark Karr quickly confessed again, this time to the murder of Stephen Vincent Benét. According to Mr. Karr, he and the noted American poet had been lovers and he killed Mr.Benét in a lovers’ quarrel.

"He was always going on about his novels and his poems and his two goddam Pulitzer prizes," said Mr. Karr. "I just couldn’t take it any more. So I killed him."

When informed that Mr. Benét died in 1943, some 21 years prior to John Mark Karr’s birth, Mr. Karr initially suggested that he may have murdered him in a prior life. Eventually, however, he recanted.

"It was Ramsey Clark," said Mr. Karr. "Yeah, that’s who I killed. Ramsey Clark, LBJ’s Attorney General. He’s still alive? No, no, I meant Eric Benét, the singer. No wait, he’s alive, too, isn’t he? Wait, wait, I’ve got it. It was King Ramses I or was it Ramses II? Whoever it was, I loved them very much and it was an accident."

The Boulder County District Attorney’s office has reportedly relented and finally charged John Mark Karr with murder.

"We had to," said Boulder’s district attorney Mary Lacy. "It was the only way we could shut him up."

Mr. Karr is expected to be tried in the court of public opinion and serve a maximum sentence of approximately twenty minutes of fame.