Your house is on fire? Paul Calandra is here to 'help'

Harper’s sidekick gets him through the Senate scandal with folksy tales from home

Photo illustration by Sarah MacKinnon

FAQs about your new toaster, as written by Paul Calandra, the Prime Minister’s parliamentary secretary and deflector-in-chief during the Senate scandal.

Why does my toaster chime?

I’ve already answered that question.

Why doesn’t my toast lever stay down?

My father owned a pizza shop. He worked 18 hours a day. He was not the kind of man to cry for help with his lever problems. He would not have said, “Oh, someone please assist me in determining how to keep this toaster lever down.” What he would have said was, “Smarten up, lever.”

What if only one heating element is working?

My father had a pizza delivery man. That man’s name was Eugene. When not doing deliveries, I suppose Eugene could have held down the toaster lever manually.

How do I determine which heating level to use?

This is very, very clear: Bread is made from wheat, which is a cereal grain. It is also the leading source of vegetable protein in human food. Did you know certain forms of wheat contain as many as three sets of paired chromosomes? We are all lucky to have wheat.

When toasting one slice of bread, which slot does it go in?

I have two daughters, a seven-year-old and a five-year-old. Two beautiful girls, Natalie and Olivia. Sometimes they make toast. But sometimes their mother makes toast for them. So now you have your answer.

How does the “frozen” feature of my toaster work?

Let us congratulate the refrigerator. The refrigerator keeps various items cold. Could it keep things warm? It probably could, but it chooses not to because it is a reliable appliance, which has won many awards.

Where can I order parts for my toaster?

I heard a song the other day on the radio. It was the one that goes, “Ba ba ba-BAHHHH, bum bum bum.” You know the one I mean? No, not that one.

What if my toast is toasted unevenly?

Let me ask you a question: What about the kitchen clock? Seventeen years ago, upon this counter, a glass of milk was spilled. The clock stood idly by. The clock did nothing to prevent the spill. The clock did nothing to remedy the spill. The real question you should be asking is: Does the clock regret its inaction? Yes or no?

What if my bagel will not fit in the toaster?

I read your question with interest.

How long is the warranty on my toaster?

Here is yet another question that brings down the value of this FAQ. I am sure the kitchen clock just wishes I would occupy myself with answering a question like this!

Why does the red light on my toaster remain on?

Why not ask your stupid question of the blender? The blender sits on the counter, shiny and pretty. But does the blender make toast? No, it doesn’t. Mostly, it just makes a loud noise that frightens my two daughters: Natalie, who is beautiful, and Olivia, who is also beautiful.

How do I clean the crumbs from my toaster?

My beautiful daughters! Their beautiful ears assaulted by the blender! And you ask about crumbs! These are not the priorities of right-thinking Canadians.

Why doesn’t my toast come out the way I expect it?

I am glad you asked this question. I have been very, extremely clear about this: Justin Trudeau wants to turn our children into potheads. Even our beautiful children, such as my daughters!

Should I be concerned that my toaster suddenly seems very hot?

As I’ve said many times before, a nickel to an artichoke is like trousers to an elevator. Thank goodness you have purchased a strong, stable appliance, which has won many awards. This is the best toaster in the world.

Fire is shooting up from my toaster. What should I do?

My two beautiful daughters made me a kitty-cat from pipe cleaners. Its eyes are googly.

What is the most effective way to extinguish flames from the sleeve of a housecoat?

Wow, you’re really getting vociferous about this whole “being on fire” situation. I think we have touched a nerve with respect to the blender issue. Maybe your friends, the blender and the kitchen clock, can address your question about sleeves? I answer questions only about your new toaster.

Follow Scott Feschuk on Twitter @scottfeschuk

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