Thursday, August 19, 2010

A note re: my newspaper columns...

Please note that Hump Day and Social Media Matters are taking a break from the Moncton Times & Transcript until after the New Brunswick provincial election on September 27th. They will return after that.

Coping with the shame of an office supplies fetish

I have a dirty little secret. A filthy, disgusting, perverted secret that this time of year just makes worse. When the back-to-school sales are in full swing like they are now, I tingle inside.

No, it's not because I want to go back to school. It's not because I enjoy seeing frustrated parents fighting with their children over which backpack to buy ("Sweetie, do you want Barbie or My Little Pony?"). It's because of another horrendous secret.

You see, I have a major fetish... for office supplies. Some people drink. Some do drugs. Some cruise the streets looking for illicit love. Me, on the other hand, I stroll the aisles of office supplies stores sniffing paper, touching file folders and staring in wonderment at the incredible variety of sticky notes, paper clips and paper shredders.

It's a problem I've had for some time, now, and with the advent of office supplies box stores, I am one happy - and constantly tingling - camper.

I love buying the most obscure office gadgets. That certain space-age paper clip they used on the space shuttle. The pen that writes while being held upside down. The paper manufactured using 50-per-cent recycled yak hooves. The binders with more pockets than you can shake a stick at.

Oh, I tell ya, there's no bigger joy than walking down the aisles of an office supplies store for that strange little gadget. You know, the one that's going to change... my... life! (Read it slowly for emphasis.) The one that's going to get me organized once and for all. The one that's going to make me more efficient. The one that's going to make me more productive and profitable in my work.

Let's just say that when I walk into an office supplies store, my heart starts to flutter. My pupils dilate. I get flushed. I start to tremble. Oh, the smells. Oh, the sights. Oh, the 300 different kinds of pencils and erasers! It's a writer's dream.

In fact, entering an office supplies store is right up there with the smell of walking into a liquor store. The smell of paper and ink is pretty much the same as the aroma of boxes of beer. Luckily, I don't really care if I ever drink another bottle of beer, but the thought of never shopping for "just the right pen" again breaks my twisted little heart.

I have a million pens at home and about as many highlighters that pretty much go unused. Then, there are the dozen kinds of paper clips and every filing system known to modern man. And the dozens of little plastic bins full of tiny office gadgets such as staple removers, push pins, erasers and correction tape.

And if you ever see me walking around an office supplies store with white stuff around my nose, don't worry - it's not cocaine. It's old-fashioned correction fluid, which to me smells only one step below Thanksgiving dinner. And the perfect chaser for correction fluid is, of course, black marker. No, not the watered-down unscented modern namby-pamby stuff. I mean the old-fashioned toxic ones of yesteryear that gave you brain damage after one sniff. You know, the good stuff. Take the cap off and stink up the entire room. Hmmmm... I can hear my brain cells coughing pitifully already.

I also try to sneak in sniffs of every different scented candle in stores, especially high-end card shops. They always have the best scents, but I'm pretty sure they have an office full of people who just throw darts at a board filled with the names of plants, seasons, spices and herbs to come up with their latest concoctions because they get weirder every time I check them out. "Summer tulip cinnamon sage"... or "winter rose mint marjoram." I swear, they must laugh their heads off coming up with new scents because some of the new ones are pretty far stretches of the mind.

I think everyone with an office supplies fetish like me truly believes that the next thing they buy is going to save their life. It's like people who buy books and don't read them. (Raises own hand on that one!) And people who buy every kitchen gadget known to man because, again, their life will be so much better. (Again, hand in the air.)

Maybe I should be on that A&E show called Intervention. I'd be the one sitting on the sofa with all my friends and family around me crying and reading letters about how my addiction has adversely affected their lives. I'd have one white nostril from sniffing correction fluid and one black nostril from sniffing black marker. I'd have bandages on my fingers from the paper cuts received from secretly fondling file folders. I'd have paper clips pierced through my earlobes... not to mention a package of photocopy paper shoved down my pants.

The show's narrator would tell about me hitting bottom when store staff found me rolling around naked in a pile of a new shipment of extra-fine-point ballpoint pens. They'd interview one squeaky-voiced teenage clerk who can't stop crying. "We asked him to put his clothes back on because he was scaring the children." Yeah, maybe you did, kid, but Big Bertha on cash seven asked for my telephone number, so there!

My home office is stocked to the brim with enough office supplies to run the Pentagon for a year. This isn't exactly a good strategy on my part because when you overstock you don't shop as often. Darn it! Didn't think that one through, did I?

Regardless, I'll stick with my relatively harmless fetish and plan on marrying Big Bertha from cash seven. I may not love her romantically just yet, but her in-store discount really revs my engines.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

This week's Hump Day column...

... is about my unhealthy fetish for office supplies. (And, you know, the more people I tell about it, the more people I find who have the same obsession!)

Check out today's column in the editorial section of the Moncton Times & Transcript. It will also be posted online here today.

If it's Wednesday, it's Hump Day!

Monday, August 16, 2010

Remembering Elvis Presley (1935-1977)

The infamous National Enquirer cover following Elvis Presley's death. I remember buying this issue. I wish I still had it. It would be worth a small fortune!

One of my favourite Elvis songs: Suspicious Minds...

Death news...

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Terrifying hostage-taking in Lakeside Estates near Moncton this morning

Video courtesy of Newschaser. Click here for his other videos.

Not sure if the spectators screaming "Shoot him!" while he had a knife at her throat was the smartest thing.

Bonne fĂȘte des Acadiens ! / Happy Acadian Day!