Mailbag: Luge etiquette, Helena’s rear end, Jaffer’s comeback

If the throne is a-oscillatin’, don’t come a-legislatin’

Welcome to the Tuesday Mailbag on Wednesday that’s actually on Friday. The queries below were actually submitted by actual readers. And remember – there are no stupid questions, unless you’re asking whether John Baird has an inside voice.


Dear Scott:

Helena Guergis claimed she worked her ass off on PEI somewhere. What has become of it? I thought I may have seen it being used as a bicycle stand in front of a Summerside Cows ice cream store. – Dot

Dot –

Brace yourself. Unlike that of Sidney Crosby’s missing equipment, this story does not have a happy ending. Half of the ass wound up in Patrice Bergeron’s hockey bag and has been recovered (it was mistaken for a helmet). But the other half is on its way to Russia, where it will be mounted and displayed in the International Hall of Political Body Parts, alongside the worked-off nuts of Leonid Brezhnev and the in-over-his-head of Jimmy Carter. If there’s any good news in this tragic tale, it’s that Guergis should be able to get by with just the one cheek since so much of what she does is half-assed anyway.


Dear Scott:

If you were to compete in two-man luge or ice dancing in the next Winter Olympics, who, among the many politicians on Parliament Hill, would you select? In the spirit of gender neutrality, thou dost can choose man or woman. – anon001

anon001 –

I can’t very well pick a man, though, can I? Not now. Not since you opened the door to allowing me to choose a woman. If I go ahead now and pick a man to lie atop me on the luge – our firm, athletic bodies separated by only the thinnest of space-age fibers, the contours of his muscular back pressing hard against my nether region – my choice will be imbued with all sorts of homoerotic subtext. And in the luge community, that’s one of the worst subtexts you can be imbued with. (In fact, it ranks No. 2, just behind the subtext of incontinence.)

A question of my own, if I may: Does the guy on the bottom of the two-man luge ever get, you know… aroused? Given the bumps, the abrupt turns, the Barry White music playing in their helmets, it would only be natural, right? I mean, sure, you’re traveling down a perilous icy slope at speeds approaching 150 km/h, so you’ve got to maintain your focus. But guys have become aroused under more extreme and challenging circumstances, such as skydiving or dating a Kardashian. Would arousal be considered completely natural or a potential dealbreaker in a luge partnership? Does the guy on the bottom get a freebie? An erection mulligan? Or is it one and done? These are the kinds of things I should have asked at the Olympics.

To answer your question: Bev Oda. She seems fearless and I’m pretty sure she’d accept any offer that would get her even a couple thousand metres away from Helena Guergis and Lisa Raitt.


Dear Scott:

I was recently arrested for driving while impaired. I need some legal advice. Well more precisely, I had a kilo of Peruvian pinkflake in the passenger seat, and had an empty bottle of Jack Daniels at my feet. Plus, there was a half a joint in the ashtray. I was driving the wrong way down a one-way street at twice the posted speed limit. Okay, it was mostly on sidewalk. Anywhoo, here is my question: Is it too late to marry a cabinet minister? – MaggiesFarmboy

MaggiesFarmboy –

That was you? You destroyed my fruit stand! That’s the 37th time my fruit stand has been destroyed by a car racing along the sidewalk. I’m beginning to think it was a mistake to set up my fruit stand on the same block where Lindsay Lohan lives and Bruce Willis shoots his cop movies.


Dear Scott:

I’ve heard that seal meat tastes like chicken. Is that true? – LynnTO

LynnTO –

It tastes exactly like chicken – a live chicken that’s trying to get out of your mouth.

Back when I was an actual reporter that didn’t write primarily about luge boners, I traveled a fair bit in Canada’s North for The Globe and Mail. I had the opportunity to try a variety of “country” foods, as they’re known. And it was there I came up with my revolutionary theory that the taste of many of the foods of the North can best be likened to that of school supplies:

Muskox – Has the same texture and consistency as a sheet of graph paper.

Seal – Like chewing on a Laurentien pencil crayon (Poppy Red).

Whale – Tastes like the eraser on the end of a No. 2 pencil.

I’m mostly joshing, of course. Many of the dishes were delicious, and I’ve never come close to finding char that tastes as good or beer that costs as much and therefore tastes as good as it did up there.


Dear Scott:

If you were to help Rahim Jaffer stage a political comeback, how would you do it? – Tceh

What would the first line of an apology speech for Rahim be if written by Feschuk.Reid? – Patchouli

Tceh and Patchouli –

There’s very little art to a political comeback. It’s all science: admission, followed by apology, followed by positive actions, followed by relapsing into old behaviour but being smart enough not to get caught this time. Sunrise, sunset.

But it’s hard to come up with a precise plan for Rahim without knowing what he is thinking. Despite what happened in court, would he admit to using cocaine or would he deny it?  Does he have a drug or drinking problem? Does he need help? Has he received it? Does he have enough money to pay me with a certified cheque? Most important of all: certified cheque.

In terms of an apology speech, I think it would be a mistake – given the timing relative to Tiger Woods’ sorry performance – to ignore the most logical, disarming and effective opening lines:

  • “I’m not going to hug my Mom at the end, so if that’s why you’re here, you’d might as well leave.”
  • “I am here this morning to announce my conversion to Buddhism.”

That kind of thing.

Get a small laugh, set a tone and move on. Frankly, it would suit Jaffer’s personality. And it would remind people that, in the pantheon of misdeeds for which public personalities have had to grovel for forgiveness, Rahim’s transgressions rate somewhere below the pinnacle.

So he could do that or he could fight crime at night and slowly win the gratitude of a fearful, troubled society. Either way.


Dear Scott:

I see on the interwebs that yet another celebrity sex tape has been released. Do you or any of your fellow bloggers on this site have any similar plans? – Kevin

Kevin –

I invite you to visit the Maclean’s After Dark website, where those video debates between Wells and Coyne include a separate feed with footage from the waist down.


Dear Scott:

Watching the evening news coverage of the Speech from the Throne I found myself wondering how many couples have messed around on that throne over the years. But my question is about Baconnaise. How can something so awesome and delicious gross out my fiancé so much? And does this have wider reaching implications in terms of our future together? – Dan

Dan –

You’re right to wonder about the throne: making sweet, sweet love atop upon the soft, scarlet velour is the vice-regal equivalent of joining the mile-high club. Ned Franks won’t tell you this but I will: pretty much every GG has done it.

The tradition is believed to have begun with Henry Charles Keith Petty-Fitzmaurice, the 5th Marquess of Lansdowne, who pioneered the custom of delivering the Speech from the Throne while trouserless, a tradition that continues to this day in John Baird’s imagination. It is Petty-Fitzmaurice who popularized the stately rhyme that remains in use even now among Governors-General: If the throne is a-oscillatin’, don’t come a-legislatin’.

Victor Christian William Cavendish, 9th Duke of Devonshire, held an even greater fondness for the scarlet chair. It got to the point that he could achieve satisfaction only while sitting upon it, a fact that came to distress the nation’s political classes and, moreso, its upholsterers.

Vincent Massey? Three times in one night.

More recently, Adrienne Clarkson and John Ralston Saul gave it a go, but Saul’s foreplay consisted of a four-hour lecture on the rational but anti-democratic structures of corporatism, so that kind of killed the mood. (And the text of it? Worst Penthouse Forum letter ever.)

To answer your actual question: Baconnaise is an issue only because you’re not yet married. She’s your fiancé, and therefore still judging you against the absurd ideal of the Perfect Man. Once you’re actually hitched, she’ll forget all about the “little things” that bother her about you (ie. your fondness for Baconnaise) and instead focus on the “many other, much larger things” that bother her about you (ie. everything you think or say).


Dear Scott:

I have a koan for you: Are there any conservatives in the Conservative party? I was flabbergasted by Cons and how the could possibly believe altering national anthem would be minor initiative to distract people from other policies. – jolyon

jolyon –

Thanks for the koan. It’s the first I’ve had to ponder since the paradoxical riddle of Jim Flaherty’s rising and falling hairdo.

Sure, there are conservatives in the Conservative party. Lots of them. But once you get into government, actual policies and core beliefs become secondary to staying in power. You grow accustomed to the influence, the office, the attention, the staff, the money and the ability to freely deride one of the 10 provinces of our federation as a “shithole.” Sure it would be great to outlaw abortion and keep the gays down, but not as great as flying on the Challenger. That thing’s got drawers full of chocolate bars!

So in a minority government – when all that can be taken away from you at almost any moment – you do what you can, everything you can, to stay in power. You meet Jack Layton in a hotel room and give him a few billion dollars. You welcome Belinda Stronach into cabinet. You go crying to the Governor-General and beg her to shut down Parliament. And if someone somewhere tells you that fiddling with a couple words in the national anthem will get you the slightest bit of traction with the smallest percentage of women, you go ahead and do it. Change the national anthem? No problem. Change the national anthem to Waiting For a Girl Like You? No problem. Where’s my bounce, Mr. Ekos?


Dear Scott:

I’ve started tuning into CBC’s financial reporting, especially when Amanda Lang is on. My wife is starting to get suspicious. Any tips on how I can convince her that I am really, really interested in the banking regulation? – MaggiesFarmboy

MaggiesFarmboy –

Because Amanda Lang is kind of hot, right? I hear you. I work at home and went through a two-year phase where I couldn’t stop watching CNBC during the day. And let’s just say it wasn’t because I had a lot of money to invest. Or any money to invest. Or any money. My addiction got so bad that I almost learned what a debenture is. [Shivering at the memory.] So, so cold…

It’s easy to find attractive ladies on the television, but something magical happens when an attractive lady starts talking about money. Somehow her attractiveness is magnified. A seven becomes a nine, an eight becomes a 10. If the sums in question are large enough, a Louis Anderson can become a Louis-Dreyfus. There she is, a woman, standing there being one of the things you love most (women). And there she is, that woman, standing there talking about one of the other things you love most (money) that will help you get that first thing you loved most (women).

Anyway, here’s my suggestion for what to do: The next time your wife raises an eyebrow at your keen interest in a discussion of potash dividend yields on CBCNN, confess to being turned on by Lang’s bald, loud-mouthed co-host. Sure, it’ll be a little awkward around the house, what with the strange looks and the divorce and everything. But on the other hand, most motels now offer basic cable.


Dear Scott:

Last year I commented that I wished you’d quit with the Kirstie Alley jokes and you responded that as an actor making money out of her obesity, she was fair game. I accepted this as a reasonable response.

I understand that on March 21, A&E will launch a new reality show following Alley’s struggle to lose weight. Promo video link pasted in below — (warning: there’s a lot of finger-licking in it, if you know what I mean).

My question: will you liveblog the show premiere? I’ll watch it if you’ll liveblog it! – Patchouli

Patchouli –

Frankly, I was holding out for a reality program that features Kirstie Alley, Rosie O’Donnell, Charlie Sheen, Lindsay Lohan and the ghosts of Dom DeLuise and Bea Arthur. That way all my jokes could collide with one another, ripping apart the very fabric of time and saving us all from climactic episode in which Alley eats the other contestants.

Anyhoo, I watched the preview for Kirstie’s new show. I wasn’t all that interested – until they showed the lemurs and her other exotic pets. She seems to surround herself with a tremendous number of bizarre animals, which can only lead to episode where she tries to cajole Burger King into making Whoppers from her capybaras. So yes, I’m in. I can’t promise I’ll liveblog it, but I’m in.


Dear Scott:

Why aren’t there any female bloggers on Macleans anymore? Where did they all go? Surely not the House of Commons… – Guest From Venus

Guest From Venus –

No female bloggers? Obviously you have never seen Paul Wells throw a football.

Kidding. I’m kidding. (I’m not kidding.) It’s true we’re a tad male-heavy at since She Who Shall Not Be Named took sides against the family, broke our hearts and made us shoot Moe Greene in the eye. Kady was great not only because of the work she did and the writing she produced but because she used to bring in free cookies every day from her home in the Keebler tree. Wherry has picked up the slack on the cookie front, but the ones from Stornoway just aren’t as good.