Mailbag: Criticism, Dilton Doiley, Serbian testicles

Welcome to the Mailbag, where I never said which Wednesday, did I? And just like that I’m ahead of deadline. Your move, expectations.

(Sorry for the delay in getting the Mailbag up but I was wasting time yesterday on TVTattle.com when I saw the headline about the stars of Big Bang Theory now earning $350,000 per episode. What happened after that is still a blur – I think I passed out. Granted, $350,000 a week is just threesome money for Charlie Sheen, but I guess it kind of shocked me that you can earn that much for portraying an unappealing, humourless nerd. I mean, the guy from Weezer does it for free.)

The following questions were actually submitted by actual readers. And remember – there’s no such thing as a stupid question, unless you’re asking it of Kory Teneycke, who’s not taking your questions, stupid media people who are all stupid!


Dear Scott:

I wonder, if Stevie was able to transport himself into the body of Jesus, much as if it were some sort of political vacuum, what kinds of wacky things would he do in the hoods of OG Israel back in the day? What would he use his awesome powers for? Whom would he smite? Who would be smoten through his smotifying powers? What miracles would he work? What paradoxical parables would prudently pass from his piehole? – Jason G.

Jason G. –

One of the more highly contentious aspects of religion and human belief in an omnipotent being is that – hey, wait a minute. Hold on just one second.

/ narrows eyes suspiciously

I see what you’re doing, Jason. You’re trying to get me to reference God again. And then you’ll just step back and watch the hordes of faithful damn me for all eternity for my alleged blasphemy.

I give the religious enthusiasts a lot of credit: They’re good at what they do. They bring it hard. They don’t hold back when they feel as though their belief system has been challenged. They don’t waste time reading closely to see if the intended point actually had anything to do with God. They just embrace the spirit of love and understanding set out for them in the ancient texts – and rip the alleged heathen a new bumhole.

A couple days back, I received the following email from my father:

Sewer rat, moron, yellow journalist, sacrilegious and sanctimonious fool, lefty koolaid drinker, Scat F@@*chuck, dickhead, Dickhead (a capital D for emphasis I suppose), as fuct as he is funny, married to Reid? loathsome…not bad for a simple paragraph of writing Scott.


So the enthusiasts of religion are committed, and I honestly respect them for it. I admire those with passion. But I’ve got to be honest: they’re not, from my experience, the most easy-to-enrage segment of our society. They’re just not. I’ve been writing for a long time now, on a wide array of topics, and I can tell you beyond any shred of doubt that – if hostility in comments and email correspondence are any gauge – there is a subject that people are even more touchy about than religion.

You can be critical of a man’s god, and the man will be angry and he will be spiteful and he will lash out. But criticize a man’s favourite TV show and he will be pissed.

I was the National Post TV critic for a couple years. I received threats. I received emails with some of the most creative and disturbing combinations of profanity not already invented by David Mamet. I had people wish death upon my children. I kid you not: I once had a woman vow to hunt me down and inflict severe physical harm upon my “gonads” for daring to accuse the first season of 24 of possessing small gaps in narrative logic.  How dare you criticize Mr. Jack Bauer, you four-eyed abortion! HIS IS THE CAUSE OF OUR FREEDOM!!


Dear Scott:

I fear you may have misunderestimated how provocative other blog posts could be (God? When was HE last in the top ten of anything?).

To wit: Betty or Veronica? Feel free to get the ball rolling on that one. — madeyoulook

madeyoulook –

Frankly I’ve always been more of a Midge man.

Don’t even try to tell me she wouldn’t do things. She would do things. Crazy, two-dimensional things.

/ drifts off into pleasant animated fantasy until caught in janitor’s closet by Mr. Weatherbee

I know what you’re thinking – Moose. Moose is the jealous type. He flies off in a rage when Reggie so much as glances at Midge, let alone asks her to accompany him to the Chocklit Shoppe. What kind of hope could I ever have of getting with Midge?

My answer: Murder. Kill Moose and frame that patsy Dilton Doiley. My God! Moose died from poison. But who here at Riverdale High could have the ability to blend such complex chemi— Doooooileeeeeey!

There, there Midge. Let me console you and your half shirt. There, there.


Dear Scott:

At editorial meetings, how often does Wells pitch an “All Jazz” edition of Maclean’s, and how difficult is it for the rest of you to stifle your laughter when he does?

Not that I have anything against jazz music of course, but, well you know… — MaggiesFarmboy

MaggiesFarmboy —

You want to know something? I’ve never been to a Maclean’s editorial meeting. In fact, I’ve never actually set foot in the Maclean’s offices in Toronto. Why? Because I’m a vampire and no one has invited me in.  Curse you, ancient rules that impede my pursuit of sustenance!

/ feasts on blood of helpless chipmunk

Personally, I’d love to see an all-jazz issue of Maclean’s. Then I could write my column “jazz-style” (ie. hammering randomly on keyboard and pretending the result is both artistic and enjoyable). Yes, yes – that’s what I do most weeks, but this time it would fit in thematically.

– By the way, I have been once or twice to the Maclean’s bureau across from Parliament Hill. Geddes, Petrou, Wells, Wherry: It’s like an episode of Mad Men, but with less style and more tangents.


Dear Scott:

“TOURISM chiefs in Serbia are hoping their annual testicle cooking competition will do for the region what whisky did for Scotland ……. “The importance of a recognisable brand to sell a region cannot be underestimated,” festival organiser Ivo Mokovich said. “Look at how many people go to Scotland because of the whisky or how many people know Switzerland because of their cheese and chocolate.”

Feschuk: You are living in Paris and decide to take a weekend break to get away from it all. Do you choose:

a)Scotland – where you will have a weekend full of golf and whiskey, or

b)Serbia – where you will have a weekend full of dodging snipers and eat testicle pizza. – bergkamp

bergkamp –

I’d probably eat a ball. I’m assuming it’s an animal’s ball (the story is disconcertingly silent on this point) but beyond that niggling concern I don’t really see a problem with it.

I’m not saying I’d pick ball-eating over other pastimes such as “necking with Bailey from WKRP” or “not eating a ball.” But I’ve eaten pretty much every part of pretty much every animal you could possibly find on a menu. At some point, you’ve got to just commit and say, “I’ve eaten the cheek of a pig. I’ve eaten the heart of an elk. In Chicago a while back I’m pretty sure I ate ravioli stuffed with lamb’s brain. Therefore there is literally no part of a beast you can sauté that I will not be delighted to sample.” Excuse me, good sir: Could you please ask the sommelier what vintage goes best with pancreas?

Plus, let’s be honest: no one wants to hear about your weekend spent playing golf and drinking whisky in Scotland. That shit is boring. But my bullet-dodging, ball-eating adventures in Serbia? That, my friend, is an anecdote. Sorry, Braveheart, but those people around the watercooler are here to see me.


Dear Scott:

How hard is it to be a professional humourist when there’s so much amateur competition, and no federal subsidies (unless you’re an MP)? – A_logician

– How the hell would he know? He’s about as funny as a broken leg! – Gary

A_logician, Gary –

Thank you for the compliment, Gary! Broken legs have a cherished place in the comedy pantheon. It’s not like being compared to testicular impact or arse trauma – the highest of all comedy praise! – but I’ll take it.

Remember when Bart broke his leg on The Simpsons and imagined, Rear Window style, that Flanders has murdered his wife when, in fact, he’d only killed the Maude’s favourite ficus? Hilarious! Or when John Candy broke his leg in Summer Rental and that buxom lady took off her bikini top? Hilariarious! (Not an actual word but invented for emphasis.) Or when the tedious guy in The English Patient crashed his plane and broke every bone in his body and then the nurse sat there tending to his terrible, terrible burns? Very enjoyable because it meant the movie was almost over!


Dear Scott:

Where’s Garth Turner? – Patchouli

Patchouli –

Come on, now: Hop into bed, Patchouli. Snuggle up under those covers. Where’s your teddy bear? There he is. There’s teddy. Give him a hug. Give teddy a great big hug. Okay now, close your eyes, Patchouli. Close your eyes and go to sleep.

What’s that, Patchouli? You want to know where Garth Turner is.

Oh, Patchouli.

[Long pause.]

Garth Turner is everywhere, Patchouli. He’s all around us. He’s in the wind we feel on our faces. He’s in the green of the leaves and he’s in the blue of they sky. He’s that warm feeling we get when we pull into the driveway and see our home. He’s that throbbing sensation we feel in the back of our brain after we’ve been punched in the head by street toughs. He’s that sharp, tiny pebble that gets stuck under our toes when we’re wearing sandals. Goddamn that pebble. Man, that thing is a pain.

You can’t see him any more, Patchouli, but he’s always with us…

/ points to heart, voice cracking up

… in here.

He’s always with us in our hearts.

And also on the Internet, where he now bills himself as “Canada’s premier speaker on the economy, real estate and personal investment strategies.” Be sure to catch him this weekend at the Coast Capri Hotel in Kelowna!

Good night, Patchouli.


Dear Scott:

Is it ok to pee when taking a shower? – Peter Parker

Peter Parker –

Your question made me think of something. Remember that movie Defending Your Life – the one with Albert Brooks and Meryl Streep? Wasn’t there a scene where the recently deceased had to watch a video montage of their worst transgressions in life? Or did I make that up? Regardless – could you imagine that? Could you imagine anything worse? What could God’s bureaucrats come up with if they wanted to put together five minutes of the most horrible and nasty and depraved things you’ve ever done? (I think I just made Nick Nolte vow to live forever.)

I consider myself a pretty normal guy with no notable perversions to speak of apart from a fondness for hardcore possum sex (kidding — I just like to cuddle) and still I can think of no small number of episodes that, if replayed before my eyes, would make me turn away in shame. Maybe God would let your friends and family into the room to watch. Maybe He’d give you the ability to prevent one person in your life from seeing the video. Would you pick your spouse? Your mother? So difficult to choose!

Anyway, where was I going with this? Oh, right – peeing in the shower. I believe it’s poor form but I don’t feel strongly about it. Would you be embarrassed if that little vignette showed up on your “videotape” in Heaven. Probably not terribly embarrassed, especially if it meant there was no time left for all those scenes of you dry humping your sister’s Cabbage Patch Kid.

So I’ll approve, grudgingly. Peeing in the shower is okay in a pinch. But I hope we can we all agree – no pooping.

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