Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween!

Have fun trick-or-treating!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Talking Halloween and other irritating stuff

Hump Day
By Brian Cormier
Moncton Times & Transcript
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
Editorial page

With Halloween just around the corner and my oft written about disdain for this most useless, violent and disturbing of holidays, this is going to be a column about other things that drive me nuts.

Now that I've pulled the bandage off, let's talk about Halloween first, of course. When did this turn into a holiday that practically rivals Christmas for all its decorations, parties and advertising? There are some houses in my neighbourhood that consider themselves to be the Taj Mahal of haunted houses. They're decked out in much black and orange, with lights, ghosts and other spooky accoutrements lining their yards.

I mean, what a bizarre thing to see. Can you imagine being an immigrant and showing up here at this time of the year? What must be going through the minds of newcomers? I'll be glad when Friday comes and goes. It always makes me nervous to get up the next morning to see what damage has been done (if any) around the neighbourhood. Luckily, the only things that normally happen are that a few unfortunate pumpkins get thrown to their deaths in the middle of the street.

At least that's better than trying to lob one through my bedroom window, which some prankster tried to do years ago. (That's why it drives me crazy when neighbours keep pumpkins on their steps. You might as well send a lamb wearing mint jelly perfume into a cage full of starving coyotes with a new dining room set.)

What's next on my whiney list this week? Oh yes. So help me, if one more person leaves another unsolicited advertisement under my windshield wiper, I'm going to flip. Flip, I tell ya! Well, I don't really know what "flip" would exactly look like. I don't think I'd take a shotgun to the place that left the ad, but I'd certainly arrive in a snit and throw the crumpled up paper right back at them. (Satan is shaking in his boots, I'm sure.)

Hey, that's a great idea. The next time a local establishment decides to invade the privacy of your automobile by leaving one of these ads under your windshield wiper blade, simply make it a point to take the piece of paper, tear it up into a million pieces, go right to the business that left it on your car, and drop the pieces of paper on their floor. "Here's your garbage back. You must have left it on my car by mistake."

That's exactly what I'm going to do next time. What annoys me is that you never notice it's there until you start the car then have to get out again and remove it. This happened to me on the weekend. So who lost? The environment . . . because most car owners simply threw the paper on the ground to leave it to blow around the parking lot. Not exactly good public relations, huh? "This litter sponsored by Joe's Laundry."

Now, please don't write to me and complain about this next pet peeve. I'm not saying they all do it, but if I see one more taxi driver breaking the traffic laws, I'm going to scream. I may have just been in the wrong place at the wrong time a few times recently, but stop signs aren't merely suggestions. It doesn't say, "Barely slow down". It says "Stop". And if there's an arrow on a sign with a huge red bar through it, it's telling you the turn is illegal. More tickets should be given out, for sure!

Sometimes I wish I were a police officer. The streets would be a much safer place, let me tell you, although I'd probably have taxi drivers throwing pumpkins at my windows on Halloween night.

And what's all the chatter lately about the dual licence plate system here? So what if your car needs a licence plate in front and in back? Is this the biggest thing you have to worry about? Seriously? If school bus drivers and the police want to keep front plates for identification and law enforcement reasons, then we should heed their advice.

If it were up to me, heck, I'd have licence plates on the roof, too, to help police helicopters identify and capture bad drivers. The bottom line is: I'm going to take the side of the police on this issue every time over some guy who is obsessed over his precious little car and the way it looks with two of those pesky licence plates. It's the most ridiculous waste of time to be arguing over this. Keep both sets of plates. If the police and bus drivers want them, that's good enough for me!

And what about those radio stations that air commercials containing sirens and car horns? Talk about distracting! If I hear a siren, I immediately look in my rear view mirror, slow down and pull over to the side of the road to let the ambulance, police cruiser or fire truck go by me. Fake sirens and horns are irresponsible.

What is it with women who like to wear shoes that make so much noise that dead people are digging themselves out of graveyards and showing up at pharmacies to buy earplugs? High-heeled shoes on hardwood can make more racket than a jackhammer. Sometimes it sounds like they have firecrackers embedded in their heels. "Bang! Bang! Bang! Bang!" No it's not hunting season. It's someone walking down the hall wearing heels tipped with nuclear bomb warheads.

Do us all a favour, girls, and glue some rubber tips to those shoes so that those poor dead people can go back to their peaceful dirt naps. Besides, they're scaring the pharmacy cashiers.

I'll try to revert to my lovable, affable, huggable (and certainly non-humble) self next week. Until then, I'll take a few naps and hope that I revert soon to my usual state of quasi-holiness you have come to expect.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Pets in Halloween costumes

(The bananas are my favourite.)

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

This week's Hump Day column...

... is about some of my pet peeves, including Halloween, license plates, noisy women's shoes and radio commercials.

Hump Day appears every Wednesday on the editorial page of the Moncton Times & Transcript. It is posted here on Thursdays.