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Olympic Mailbag: Dale Begg-Smith, Barenaked Ladies, Andrew Coyne’s secret identity

Also: Avatar and the Sow Cow Ka-Pow


 

Welcome to the first Mailbag from the Winter Olympics, where every time a cowbell rings, an angel gets a migraine. (And cowbells ring a lot here – sorry, heaven.)

The following queries were actually submitted by actual readers. Remember – there are no stupid questions, unless you’re asking whether Mother Nature hates Canadians.

•••

Dear Scott:

I feel that I am not showing my “Spirit” nearly enough to suit these Olympic games. Do you have any tips, or possibly incomprehensible drunken phrases I may shout to better show this “Spirit?” – redzimmer

redzimmer –

Relax – there is no “right” way to show your spirit, unless you’re the hot girl sitting across from me right now at the Whistler Starbucks, in which case: toplessness.

[Waiting… waiting… and… nope, guess not.]

Anyway, redzimmer, there are a variety of techniques you can use to communicate your national spirit:

1. Wear a patriotic outfit. Dress in red. Throw on a T-shirt with a maple leaf. Top that with a Canada hoodie. Douse yourself in donut glaze and roll around in a vat of coconut. Congratulations, you’re a human Timbit. To be any more Canadian, you’d have to be consumed by an ineffectual, appointed Senator, which, FYI, you just were. (Don’t look for teeth marks – Mike Duffy doesn’t bother to chew them.)

2. Shout “Wooooo!” indiscriminately while walking down the street. Seems to work for 98% of male Whistler residents aged 15 to 24.

3. Hobble a German. They’re ahead of us in the medal standings and we’re not going to catch them by not cruelly wounding their top athletes. All you need is a strong piece of rope, a sledgehammer and a deep, abiding love of Canada and medium-security prison.

•••

Dear Scott:

Is there any truth to the rumour that Kirstey Alley will be competing in some of the ladies’ speed skating events? – Kevin

Kevin –

I can see how you’d come to that conclusion, Kevin, but no – that was just a shot of the new Zamboni they’d ordered in. (Way of telling them apart: Kirstie Alley’s exhaust in on the right, not the left.)

•••

Dear Scott:

My identical twin recently passed away. He was part of the top secret Own the Podium 2012 Avatar program. Because we share identical DNA, the government is asking me to take over my brother’s Avatar and begin training to compete in the decathlon. I’m interested but only if they let me also compete in the synchronized swimming event and convince Emmanuelle Chriqui to be my swim partner. How much bargaining power do I really have here? – Jim K.

Jim

You are not in Kansas any more, Jim – you’re in Pandora! Pandora, Quebec, that is. You see, a significant investment of federal stimulus dollars was required to build the Canadian avatar program, and the PMO decided to direct that money to swing ridings likely to be influenced by blind federal largesse. This also explains why your avatar looks like Maxime Bernier. And why it keeps scoping out those blue chicks.

Where was I? Right. Pandora.

Jim, your brother wasn’t being trained for anything as insignificant as a decathlon. We have an indigenous population of humanoids called Liberals, and they are very hard to kill (although, weirdly, they’re pretty good at killing themselves). Point being: I want you to learn these savages from the inside, Jim. I want you to gain their trust. I need to know how to force their cooperation or hammer them hard if they won’t. Also, if you could get me Ken Dryden’s autograph, that would be great.

I take care of my own, son. You get me what I need, I make sure that when you rotate home you get your legs back, your real legs. Oh, those are your real legs? How about a Senate appointment then?

•••

Dear Scott:

Dale Begg-Smith clearly needs a nickname. I’ve narrowed it down to either Douche-Begg or Colostomy Begg (okay I stole that one from someone else, but moving on). Which one should I choose, or is there another witty play on words I’m missing? – WDM

WDM –

It would be difficult to top Douche-Begg – but permit me to suggest a slight alteration: it’s important that we call him Douche-Begg Smith. There are, you would have to agree, a lot of Douche-Beggs in the world – this narrows it down to the specific Douche-Begg to which we are referring: that being Douche-Begg Smith. “Hey, look, it’s that tedious, frowny guy, Douche-Begg Smith.” (I cite this just as one example of how you might use his nickname, that nickname being Douche-Begg Smith.)

At this point, you’re probably beginning to wonder if, in constantly mentioning the term Douche-Begg, I am doing so – referencing the expression Douche-Begg, I mean – simply for the childish thrill of repeatedly using the expression Douche-Begg (as in famed Olympian Douche-Begg Smith). Let me assure you: nothing could be further from the Douche-Begg truth.

P.S. Douche-Begg.

•••

Dear Scott:

Any idea what’s gotten into Coyne? I depend on him to reaffirm my feelings of shame and inadequacy as a citizen of our democracy. And he gives me this? – Sean

Sean –

Andrew is… complicated. The Coyne we all know has a formidable intellect, a way with words and a pathological aversion to the top two buttons on his dress shirts. But beneath that tweed exterior beats a heart studded with sequins. He was born to skate! Lo, the strictures of political punditry are such that he has been denied his passion – kept from tenderly holding a woman at centre ice, denied the opportunity to share that knowing smile of trust and passion, to jump and twirl until they are fused as one, a single smoldering being gliding weightlessly atop the ice, their bodies entangled in a throbbing, pulsating – Jesus, I think I just turned myself on.

Anyway, long story short, Coyne and Johnny Weir? Same guy.

•••

Dear Scott:

How come they’ve managed to successfully combine marksmanship with skiing in order to create the biathlon, but so far have been unable to combine marksmanship with figure skating in order to create a sport that I would like to call, Sow Cow Ka-Pow? – Dan

Dan –

Think bigger, Dan. Bigger. I have long been on record as an enthusiastic advocate of supplementing a large number of existing sports with live ammunition. Why should biathletes and NBA players have all the fun? I think it’s beyond time that we took the expression “he shoots, he scores” far more literally. And just imagine how much more exciting baseball would be if the second baseman were armed: Seventh inning, 143rd game of the season, three and a half hours in. Man on first, a slow grounder to shortstop and the second baseman darts to his right and – bang! – shoots himself in the head from boredom. Top that, televised darts.

Which brings me to an unrelated and unsolicited mini-concert review: Along with a crowd that numbered in the vicinity of everyone, I took in the Barenaked Ladies show last night at the Village Square in Whistler.

I first met the band back in 1989 when it was duo, Ed and Steve, and they’d dress in black turtlenecks and do the rounds of university pubs singing the theme to The Love Boat, the Roadrunner-Coyote song and the whitest-ever version of Fight the Power. I followed them for a long while, lost interest a bit, but with Steve Page out I was curious to see how the band played as a foursome. Honest answer: it was weird. The band has split Page’s vocal duties four ways, which was probably a good idea, but several of the songs last night came off as sub-par karaoke. Keyboardist Kevin Hearn has an eccentric voice that I actually quite like, but having him fill Page’s role is like asking Jeff Tweedy to fill in for Robert Plant.

But that doesn’t mean we didn’t have a good time, because we did. Barenaked Ladies are good musicians but they’re borderline great entertainers: personable, enthusiastic and very, very funny. In an era in which most performers emit the same banter night after night, Barenaked Ladies still do the work of making each show its own, right down to Ed referencing a nearby restaurant’s sign touting “Home Cooking” (“Does that mean that if you don’t finish your meatloaf, your Mom comes in from the kitchen and cries?”) People sensed the Ladies were happy, and most people walked away feeling the same way. Then we went all went to restaurants, had to pay $15 for a glass of wine and were sad again.

•••

Dear Scott:

Although I enjoyed the opening ceremonies, I couldn’t help but notice that beloved cultural icon Pam Anderson was completely shut out of the celebration. I found the choice to exclude Pam quite puzzling. Is this not a time when we should be celebrating our aritsts, our thespians and our culture makers? What gives? – DirtyOldTown

DirtyOldTown –

I knew the Opening Ceremonies were missing a certain I don’t know what (in the spirit of the ceremonies, I’ve translated je ne sais quoi to English for you) but I wasn’t sure what it was until now: buxom ladies running along the beach in slow-motion. In fact, I’m pretty sure they didn’t have buxom ladies doing anything in slow-motion. VANOC, you’re dead to me now.

If nothing else, they should have had Pam Anderson on hand as a contingency to ensure that all four pillars shot right up.


 
Filed under:

Olympic Mailbag: Dale Begg-Smith, Barenaked Ladies, Andrew Coyne’s secret identity

  1. You lost to Reid in the NFL picks and you're questioning my manhood? Reid?!

    • Shouldn't you snap your fingers and turn away from me theatrically when you say that?

      • Relax. You're both very pretty.

      • Oh no you di'int!

  2. Trying to picture Coyne figure skating – even better Coyne and Wells competing in the pairs.

    • In Coyne's case it is not that much of a reach…. in an earlier article he admitted he picked a car better suited to a fugure skater than a hockey player.

  3. Scott, I can't believe you passed on the question about the pants on Norway's curling team. How often do you get the chance to work in a reference to Norwegian Wood?

    (P.S.: "Hobble a German" is a front runner for new band's name.)

  4. "Shout “Wooooo!” indiscriminately while walking down the street. Seems to work for 98% of male Whistler residents aged 15 to 24."

    I'm 26. It also seems to work for me. Also, a liberal amount of high-fives to strangers seems to be a good method.

  5. Scott, I think you have sorted through the woman's hockey issue as well. We can now follow the well established Douche-Begg Smith model by admitting a large number of women with Douchebaguette potential into our elite training program. We train them up to a near championship level, let them storm off to Paraguay in a huff and volia, Paraguay can have the silver in some future olympics.

  6. I'm far too late with my question so expect no response….but Scott were YOU the Biden-lover tagged by the RCMP at the last minute? And assuming not (hopefully), why is anyone a stalking vice -president Biden-lover? Given all the hotties of both sexes in Vancouver/Whistler, I'm very confused. Is that possibly the new definition of mentally deranged?

  7. If nothing else, they should have had Pam Anderson on hand as a contingency to ensure that all four pillars shot right up.

    With Canada's most pneumatic buxomest blonde on hand, wouldn't there be a danger of the pillars shooting up prematurely? Like during the barley dance or something? That could be awkward.

  8. As a (almost) completely unrelated sidenote, here is what a prominent online-only commentator from yesterday's Times of New York has to say about these horrible, terrible, poorly organized Olympics:

    http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/02/17/a

    And I'm with him.

  9. Couldn't agree with you more about BNL, Scott. You don't have to be a huge fan of their music to find their concerts and appearances always fun and entertaining. I saw Ed and Tyler MC a Cultural Olympiad comedy show with Sean Cullen, Shawn Majumder and Nikki Payne, a couple of weeks back, and they did a fantastic job.

  10. Ha – I enjoyed this. Good stuff from Feschuk and his contributors. Douche-Begg Smith! HA! Luv it.

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