Mailbag: Dudus Coke, the Lost finale, Stephen Harper’s Near Death Experience - Macleans.ca

Mailbag: Dudus Coke, the Lost finale, Stephen Harper’s Near Death Experience

Plus: a rant against the World Cup

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Welcome to the Mailbag, where I’ve got no time for an introduction because I have to fix a speech for a client, find my kid’s jock so he can play baseball tonight and write a statement announcing the retirement from acting of Kim Cattrall’s vagina at the age of 103.

The following queries were actually submitted by actual readers. And remember: there are no stupid questions, unless you’re asking whether I ruined my chances with Kim Cattrall just there.

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Dear Scott:

Has there ever, in the long and colourful history of drug lords, been a better drug lord name then Dudus Coke? – Jeff B

Jeff B –

Well, Billy-Bong McCrackenhorse comes immediately to mind, right? That guy had a pretty colourful name. In fact, now that I think about it, all the McCrackenhorses sounded fairly “drug lordy”… Billy-Bong, Spliff, Mary-Jane and C.J. (Nose) Candy III.

Who else? Um… Bob and Dave Heroin. They lived over near the tracks. Sold cocaine (confusing). Oh – Bathtub Crank MacBenzidrine. Blunt Norm. Whack E. Tabaccy. Steve Methylenedioxymethamphetamine (of the Coney Island Methylenedioxymethamphetamines). The list is surprisingly long.

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Dear Scott:

Imagine you are on an airplane with Stephen Harper and Michael Ignatieff, the plane is going down, there are only two parachutes, you have one, who gets the other one? – Fred

Fred –

It’s fun to ponder the circumstances under which this flight could be taking place. Are the three of us up there to skydive? If so, someone really pooped the bed on the whole “counting the parachutes” phase of pre-boarding responsibilities. [Glares at Ignatieff.] Or is the planet collapsing like in 2012 and we just made it to the airport in the nick of time despite the disintegrating roadways and lack of thematic nuance? If so, I’m going back for Amanda Peet. I don’t care about the risks. She’s pretty.

Anyhoo, the answer is that I’d give a parachute to each of them. One to Harper. One to Ignatieff. I’d give them the parachutes and I’d help push them out of the plane. Why? Put it this way: If we’d been flying for even half an hour, I’m pretty sure I’d be aching for nine or 10 seconds of me time, followed by a fiery, merciful end.

Besides – you have to look ahead in these kinds of situations. Surviving a plane crash sounds all fine and dandy, but what if you wind up stranded in the unforgiving jungle with Stephen Harper? Let’s be honest: that dude would be thinking cannibalism 20 minutes after his feet hit the ground. I wouldn’t be able to go to sleep because he’d be sitting there picturing me as a juicy T-bone steak like in cartoons and Andy Dick’s fantasies about Justin Bieber. Plane-crash death beats Harper-boiling-me-in-huge-cauldron death any day.

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Dear Scott:

The World Cup is coming up. Which team should I pretend to have an affinity for when dealing with colleagues-who-somehow-care-about-soccer? – Toby

Toby –

Oh, those guys are the worst, aren’t they? Soccer fans. Jesus. They make indie-rock hipsters seem tolerable by comparison. What is the deal with soccer anyway? If you’re going to bore me to death, at least have the decency to type it up and call it Ulysses.

None of that sport makes any sense to me. A penalty kick is a sure goal, right? A sure goal! How can you routinely give away a free goal in a sport where games often end 1-0? (And stop saying the word “nil,” North America soccer fans. It’s a freaking zero. Call it “zero” or “nothing” or “zip” or “the number that equals my odds of getting this sports bar to turn one of its TV to soccer during the hockey playoffs.”)

And all the diving and fake injuries. How do soccer fans endure this bullshit? Steve Nash gets bashed in the face and cannot see out of one eye and he comes back to play basketball. Meanwhile, some Euro-douche trips over his own shoes, lands softly on the grass and suddenly they’re bringing out the stretcher like he’s been gunned down storming an enemy trench. Five seconds later, Floppy McFakingit is miraculous healed and back on the pitch. That anyone tolerates this is stupid x 1037.

Do you recall when David Beckham came to play in Los Angeles? God, that was great. The owner of the L.A. Galaxy agreed to pay Beckham $250-million (or approximately $41.6-million per ab), predicting the English footballer “will have a greater impact on soccer in America than any athlete has ever had on a sport globally.” And today, some three years later, Americans still prefer watching hillbillies drive around in circles. Remembering dumb things is fun!

All that said: Spain.

•••

Dear Scott:

I watched the very first episode of Lost, but nothing else. Having seen one episode, I decided that it wasn’t my cup of tea. Lately, I’ve been hearing a lot about that series, which seems to be utterly and intentionally confusing; I’ve also heard mention of the recent series finale, with some weird purgatory/church deal that doesn’t really wrap up all the loose ends in a satisfying way. All of which brings us to my question: Have I missed out? – CR

CR –

Listen: I enjoyed the series immensely and think it was wildly inventive and also had Kate in a bikini that time.  But this final season was (spoiler alert) shitballs. Maybe if Carlton Cuse and Damon Lindelof, the showrunners, spent a little less time appearing on talk shows and doing interviews and filming their own goddamn Internet series with Kermit the Goddamn Frog and spent a little more time coming up with a bunch of good shows and a finale that didn’t suck 38 kinds of hog, then maybe today I wouldn’t want to jab them in the eyes with shards of glass coated with the ebola virus.

I honestly believe that given the manpower, the technology and a delicious sandwich, I could reduce the 20ish hours of Season 6 to a thrilling four-hour mini-series that doesn’t make you yell at your TV: “Stop stalling, boxy!” But no. Somehow fitting it in between chats with Diane Sawyer and making their own lame videos with a Major League relief pitcher and the Goddamn Swedish Chef, Darlton strung together a series of episodes that went nowhere when they could have just built an enclosure on the island, placed Ben, Richard, Desmond, Widmore, Miles and others inside and nailed up a sign reading: Characters We No Longer Know What the %!@# to Do With.

That said, I did get kinda teary when Sawyer and Juliet touched each other by the vending machine. OH HOW HE LOVED HER!!

•••

Dear Scott:

Do you know what really bugs me. Can I tell you. Can I tell you what drive me nuts. Have you noticed that the new thing is to not put question marks at the end of questions. Isn’t it annoying as hell. What’s the deal with that anyway. Who started that. – Boogie

Boogie –

I don’t know? I don’t know who started it? I have no idea? who? started? it? but now I’m? stuck with this huge??? supply???? of question marks?? that I can’t?????????????????? get rid of?

Oh, wait. I’ll give them to Ken Dryden to use in his next speech. I think he’s close to running out. Actual Dryden speech excerpts: “How do we stay ahead? How do we keep what we’ve got? How do we keep from a low cost-low wage devastating race to the bottom?… What’s been happening up until now?  Where does it all seem to be going?… Is this what being a Prime Minister is about?  What Canada is about? Leadership is direction: the question is… where?”

•••

Dear Scott:

What’s the coolest thing that MPs have bought (sorry, ‘expensed’) with our tax cash that we will never know about? Something pedestrian like a hot tub? Or something exotic, like a Gurkha platoon (cleverly disguised as Mohawk Warriors) to guard the North Shahbucktoh Lieberal constituency office from terrorist attacks by those damn Freemasons? –Four Zero Mike Mike

Four Zero Mike Mike  –

Oh man, this just reminds me of the fact that I got to government too late. When I arrived in 2004, they’d just changed the rules so that staffers had to have their expenses posted on the Internet, which really cut into my fine dining and hotel pornos. I mean, Paul Martin had enough problems. He didn’t need Stephen Harper standing up in QP and leading with a question about the Belleville Ramada and multiple viewings of Edward Penishands. Although, in my defence… Belleville.

Anyway, it was a weird time. Nobody was going anywhere fancy to eat anymore. And then it started to get competitive. Senior staffers would actually aspire to file the lowest per-capita hospitality expenses. Yes, I had 26 deputy ministers in for an all-day policy implementation session and here is my receipt for all three of the Timbits. Your move, Murphy.

So I never heard of anything in the way of expense-padding. I did, however, get to witness in action a full-on kleptomaniac. That was a blast. He or she was a fairly senior public servant. He or she would sometimes travel with the Prime Minister. He or she would, upon landing at our destination aboard the Challenger, open the drawer that held all the chocolate bars, remove the drawer from the cabinet and POUR ALL THE CHOCOLATE BARS INTO HIS OR HER BAG. He or she would, upon traveling in foreign lands, return home with dozens and dozens of hotel shampoo bottles. He or she did, during one particularly long overseas trip, arrive back in Ottawa carrying at least 10 hotel umbrellas. Total cost to the taxpayer: the price of 1,000,000 Kit-Kats.