Submit your questions for the Monday Mailbag…


… in the comments below.

I’ve already received one marriage proposal in the Mailbag, raising the total number of marriage proposals I’ve received over the course of my career to – let me add it up – one and a half. (Three years ago, a woman at McDonald’s asked me if I wanted fries with that, but she said it in a pretty sultry voice – so I could tell what she was REALLY asking.)

Actually, 1.5 proposals is not an accurate tally. Several ladies, some of them not even fictional, requested my hand in marriage when I served as Blog Boy for the Liberal party during the 2006 election. You can imagine my dismay when, after we lost, I saw several of my “devoted” admirers making time with my arch-rival, the victorious Conservative Spin-o-Matic 3000 Blogging Supercomputer and Waffle Iron. Damn you, Bloggie!!

Anyhoo, in keeping with this theme, next week’s Mailbag shall be devoted to questions of a personal nature. Need help with a relationship? Need help getting out of your relationship? Need help getting the other person in your relationship out of your relationship? I’m here to help. Or you can pose a question on behalf of a friend, acquaintance or hilariously inept celebrity or political figure.

(In answer to the relationship question now forming in your head, Liberal Party of Canada: What you do is you tell this Stephane fellow you need him to move out pronto – and take all his Allman Brothers albums and moisturizers with him. But you can’t be without a boyfriend now – and there’s no time to choose among your trio of suitors, dammit! – so you need to call up an old flame for a quick six-month fling at 24 Sussex. Hello, Paul Martin – how’d you like to be Prime Minister of my heart again?)

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Submit your questions for the Monday Mailbag…

  1. Good to see the supercomputer reference. It had been weeks (days?) without any mentions of robots/super intelligent computers or Charlie Sheen. I’m turning the personal question back on you. Why do you pick on Charlie Sheen so much? Easy target for sure, but why that vapid celebrity in particular? Secret longing to have been a Bud Fox/Master of the Universe? Do you subconsciously yearn for the day when Charlie Sheen-like robots are available to the public? Please elaborate.

  2. Scott… whatever happened to my psychic hairdresser? Remember her… it was a big story there for awhile and then… nothing. Is she still giving me fashion advice and pasting down my cow lick?

    Stephen Harper
    Prime Minister (for now anyways) of Canada

  3. That’s just the question I need answered: “Need help getting the other person in your relationship out of your relationship?'”

    I’ve tried dropping hints at her, nothing. For her last birthday I got her a set of luggage, but no reaction, nada.

  4. Please elucidate further your reference to the Allman Brothers …. particularly the Warren Haynes/Derek Trucks version, who were neither Allmans nor Brothers.

  5. Dear Scott,

    Recently, I’ve been contemplating forming a ménage à trois with two other men, let’s call them Jack and Gilles. The only problem is that Jack has a visceral loathing for my extended family, and Gilles thinks I “sold out” to the Man years ago. Also he’s an ex-Maoist. And also my best friends have sworn to destroy me. Question: if we do go through with it, what calibre of semi-automatic pistol should I carry around with me at all times?


    “Stéphane,” Ottawa

  6. Dear Scott (“Advice to the Underpantlorn”):

    Recently I gave an ultimatum to my wife that she must choose between me and her other two lovers that she’s been seeing on the side (let’s call them “Pauline” and “Mario”). I told her she had until December 8th to decide. Right now it looks like she’s going to choose me, but if she picks Pauline or Mario instead, I’m thinking of moving back to Ottawa and trying to replace Stephane as a suitor for my old love, who left me in 1993 for Kim Campbell. If she’d picked me instead of Kim I could’ve been her main man, but instead she had a fling with Kim and then ended up in the arms of that Chretien guy. Do you think she’d take me back if I went back to Ottawa?

    Jean Charest
    Quebec City

  7. With all those dudes getting all uptight in Mumbai, what’s their deal? I mean, what motivates that kind of wackiness? Did their dads not love them enough? Is there no radical Muslim equivalent to Scott Feschuk?

    Optional: name your radical Muslim doppelganger and answer in the style of his persona.

  8. I should add: personally I would pick Scayat bin Fesmohammed al-Chuk al-Maccccccchleanohan.

  9. Sisyphus

    Please elucidate further your reference to the Allman Brothers …. particularly the Warren Haynes/Derek Trucks version, who were neither Allmans nor Brothers.

    That reminds me of Linda Richman.

    The Holy Roman Empire was neither holy nor Roman nor an empire. Discuss.”

    “The radical reconstruction of the South after the Civil War was neither radical nor a reconstruction. Discuss.”

    Also Scott, I’m still thinking of a way to set you up like last time. I will respond in due course. Feel free to occupy the edge of your seat in the meantime.

  10. If you won’t accept my marriage proposal, which Canadian political leader or witty-blogger should I ask next?

  11. I’d like to know your views about the relationship between legislation and policy, specifically as it relates to justice.

    Why is it policy dictates, for example, taking a man to an overcrowded gaol instead of taking a woman to an overcrowded shelter in a domestic case – both institutions receive public funding, but one escalates family conflict which tends to stem from money issues. Moreover, if the police do not actually believe the allegations of the spouse claiming domestic abuse and are willing to say that in person and on paper, why does policy supersede law, and law supersede the charter rights of an accused
    What becomes of a society in which the justice system is run by a monopoly (LSUC for example); a system in which life altering allegations are made and equal judgements with far reaching consequences are dispensed by those who claim to be too pressed for time to have examined evidence in detail, indeed at all.

    When it becomes unspoken policy to detain the accused because time in holding cuts the time given in sentencing, there is no motive to move a case forward, and there is a presumption of guilt which contravenes a basic charter right. The system is not only geared toward perpetuating the income of the monopoly (every time a case is put over, money changes hands, and interest on a retainer goes to legal aid – unless of course it’s paid in cash and potentially unreported by the recipient, a lawyer – and legal aid monies are paid only to the workers for the monopoly) but also geared toward a finding of guilty.
    A system geared toward a finding of guilty, does not even remotely reflect the spirit of the charter, which is about protecting the rights of the innocent.

    Granted the innocent used to be more readily identifiable – the poor, the young, the short, the bruised. But in a culture which hosts endless television showing obese people calling other obese people names like ‘Ho’ and receiving laughter and applause for that, histrionics and indeed out and out lying are being readily embraced by the marginal, and accepted by policy makers in order to increase the presence of each – the marginal are given a day in the limelight, and the policy makers get a bonus at performance review time for making new policy.

    Everyone is joyous, except the innocent.

    What if the innocent is a twenty year veteran of the military? Late thirties and forties are not an unusual time for marital conflict, affairs, the purchase of body enhancements and red sports cars in any household. But in the next few years we’re going to see many veterans return from war, as opposed to peace keeping, and this after unusually long periods away from family who are unlikely to accompany their spouses to places from which local citizens vie for escape. (Perhaps a complete change of populations – like an exchange program – would solve political, economic or philosophical conflicts? Or even two out of three?)

    Should standard policies apply to those who have been ‘shot at’ at the behest of complacent voters, political climbers, and economic profiteers? Should standard bail orders specifying no alcohol be summarily given to someone whose employment ethos has dictated a work hard play hard lifestyle, or is this similar to denying antidepressants to a depressed person or insulin to a diabetic? Think about that for a moment – we’re asking a soldier to remove himself from the bonding activities of his unit. I don’t believe that a bail order should include a sentence of death, particularly since a bail order arises simply from allegations.

    There appears to be a pattern of assigning blame for legal “clusterf–ks” to those who support an unjustly accused at enormous personal sacrifice through the lengthy process of exoneration. Witness the inquiry into the unjust detention of David Milgaard. His mother was cited as the primary reason for the failings of the justice system. To paraphrase, if she hadn’t stood up for his innocence, he would never have gone to gaol.

    Or look a recent judgement against John Clayton of Dorset ON in a sexual harassment case. He was the postmaster of a cottage community, as his family had been since the beginning of time. He hugged a returning cottager as he hugged, hand patted, welcomed, smiled at all returning cottagers. It was his habit to do so. This particular cottager made an accusation. The town was agog with disbelief and further devastated and horrified when the postmaster attempted to take his own life by driving off a cliff. (In an ironic twist, he was rescued from the burning vehicle by men serving community service sentences picking up roadway litter.) The entire town turned out for his trial, where he was sentenced to 20 days in gaol – I haven’t read the judgement, so this is only hearsay – to demonstrate that justice will not be swayed by public opinion. The postmaster’s career is ruined, his soul crushed to such a degree that he didn’t even bother to appeal, he is being sued by the victim for an enormous amount of money – and it’s since been learned that this is not the first time the victim has made such accusations about others. But the message is clear: An accused sustained through the legal process by those who believe in his innocence will go to gaol. Any support for an accused will queer the case. And yet, and yet… a self proclaimed victim has access to many forms of free support.

    Truly it is with some trepidation that I even raise the issue of policy v. legislation and its impact on access to justice, for fear you or Maclean’s, or even your friends and family suffer backlash next if you comment.

    I do love your column by the way. I especially like it when you address Canadian issues of import with your insight and humour. I don’t much care about the negative aspects of music and movie icons.

  12. More of a work relationship question for you. My boss keeps insisting that it’s inapropriate for me to call him a dumbass everytime he mentions what a smart economist Stephen Harper is. I on the other hand don’t believe it’s innapropriate because..well, that makes him a dumbass correct? Other than taping his mouth shut or hitting him over the head multiple times ( I believe he must have head previous brain injuries which lead to his current train of thought so I don’t think that would help) what can I do to help him see the error in his ways? Please keep in mind this man also keeps a picture of George W. Bush above the dining room table. I’ve tried to use other words instead of dumbass but apparently they are deemed offensive as well. I’m at my wits end.

  13. Scott, have you noticed that its gone strangely quiet since Elizabeth posted her thinly veiled marriage proposal? Are we all holding our breath til Wednesday when you respond? Despite the fact that you’re otherwise betrothed?

    Or should one assume that few of your enthusiasts actually have relationship problems? Surely not … surely more of us are in “situations” that need seeing to … by you.

    For example, myself … the only relationship I have at the moment is with my 14 year old son. It is not much of a relationship. Although I like him (a bit) he doesn’t seem to like me (at all). I think he’d like you and Elizabeth much more. Will you have him for the next week or two years? I’ll let you know when I want him back … three years max.

    • Scott, I apologize. Bonkers is right. I should have asked for your hand outright, but feared an outright refusal. Now the moment is lost!
      As for the son, either of us, together or separately, will be more than willing to take him for an hour maximum after he turns twenty-five and the teen fairy has returned his brain. (Hopefully the offer will be forgotten by then. Hopefully policy dictating to legislation and subverting our charter rights will also no longer be current.)

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