Mailbag: Jason Spezza, Tony Clement and why William Shatner can suck it

Scott Feschuk elaborates on his campaign for Governor General

Welcome to the Mailbag, where I recently received a nice piece of fan mail that made flattering remarks and then concluded with this: “Wonderful job Scott, and it’s great to see that the proverbial apple doesn’t fall far from the tree – I also enjoy the superb sportswriting of your son Dave in the Toronto Star.”

Thank you very much, “fan.” Thanks for making me feel approximately 150 years old. Dave Feschuk is not my son. Dave Feschuk is my brother and he is FOUR YEARS YOUNGER THAN ME. If I didn’t have to tie this onion around my belt, it being the style at the time, I’d have half a mind to march over there and teach you a lesson right after Wheel of Fortune ends and I take an excessive amount of time to sift through my change purse at the checkout while thinking that Rex Murphy makes a good point.

The following queries were actually submitted by actual readers. And remember – there are no stupid questions, unless you’re asking whether it’s possible that Jaroslav Halek is not a witch.


Dear Scott:

For the fifth spring in a row, I wonder why we call grass seed …. grass seed. My question to you Feschuk is: wouldn’t there be more truth in advertising if we called it bird seed and not grass seed like suppliers seem to do? – bergkamp

bergkamp –

I’m not sure I understand this question. Do the birds eat the grass seed? Is the scattering of grass seed a futile endeavour? Is that what you’re saying? I’m not much of a backyarder. We had a bunch of people over recently and the extent of my “landscaping” consisted of taking a large flower pot and placing it strategically over the gaping hole in our rotting deck. Your move, tetanus.

Truth be told, I was pretty happy with myself. I may have even theatrically wiped my hands with satisfaction. No one will ever know the splintery horrors that lurk beneath you, ceramic pot! Beer me.

Sure, the lawn was still patchy and brown, the flower beds were still crammed with dead leaves, part of the fence was falling down and there was a tire fire burning out of control in one corner – but that goddamn hole in the goddamn deck was now somewhat less likely to claim a child’s life. Look for me on the cover of next month’s Lawsuit Avoidance Gardening where I’ll show you a number of mulches that work better than shards of broken glass.

Recently, we’ve had a couple of companies in to see if they have any ideas that might make our backyard give off slightly less of a “post-apocalyptic” vibe. One of the companies drew up their design on blueprint paper. BLUEPRINT PAPER IS THE BEST! We can’t afford the project but now I can pretend to be a master jewel thief plotting my next ingenious larceny. In through the chimney, suction cup my way along the ceiling, to the vault! Meet your worst enemy, motion detectors.


Dear Scott:

I’ve been listening to this Tony Clement fellow of late. He seems to have a sense of humour. How did Stephen Harper miss this critical flaw and allow him to be appointed to his Cabinet? – WDM


Let’s give the Prime Minister some credit, okay? I’m no fan, but in all honesty Stephen Harper has appointed to cabinet an array of people with a wide range of characteristics and personalities. It’s not just sycophants and brownnosers. There are also asskissers, bootlickers, toadies, flunkies, even a few lackies…. I guess what I’m saying is that the federal cabinet truly spans the gamut from stooge to suckup.

Even among this diverse company, Clement qualifies as an outlier. Those who follow the Industry Minister on Twitter recognize that he’s a witty guy who has hip tastes in music and, unlike many of his colleagues, wouldn’t squeal and leap up on a stool if he happened upon a gay. He appears to have opinions about things and junk and even his very own personality. This makes him fun, likeable… and utterly, utterly doomed.

Just wait til Harper gets wind of this. Just wait til he is made aware of this Twitter thing, or this social media thing, or this Internet thing, or this personal computer thing, or this “people continue to exist as living creatures when they are out of his sightlines” thing. Dude is going to flip out.


Dear Scott:

Am I only person who finds the ‘hunky’ teacher on Glee to be unattractive and annoying? – coachZ

coachZ –

As guys go, I think he’s slightly better looking than that mouthy male gym teacher they always show in the promos.

By the way, I don’t actually watch Glee. In fact, there isn’t a single Fox show I feel compelled to PVR any more. Now that I think of it, I’m down to three shows overall that I refuse to miss: Lost, 30 Rock and Modern Family. That’s all. I’ll sometimes still watch House in the hopes of catching the episode where Wilson and House finally do it. But that’s pretty much it. Tried Flash Forward, got bored. Tried V, got boreder. With Lost about to end, I’d like to add one more newish show to the rotation – any suggestions?


Dear Scott:

Looking for a fourth for our tee time on Friday. You in? – Jason Spezza

Jason –

Fine, but you are buying the pitcher of beer afterward, Jason. I know you bought it last time and that time before that. But on neither occasion was it my fault that you passed the pitcher directly to another foursome.


Dear Scott:

Any suggestions for the “Name Jason Spezza’s Spawn” contest that is current running “on another network”? – Loves.Babies

Loves.Babies –

It took some Googling, but I assume you are referring to the Great Jason/Jennifer Spezza Baby-Naming Contest concocted by Earl McRae of the Ottawa Sun. Savvy idea – getting the readers to do all the work for you. Once, back when I was TV critic at the National Post, I ran a Best Show on TV competition. For weeks, I just cut and paste readers’ email entries into my column while devoting the rest of my working day to reading the classics and learning Italian. True story.*

I haven’t actually seen any of the entries. I assume they fall into two main categories: Awesome J. Spezza (submitted by fans of the Ottawa Senators centreman) and Spazzy McDicknuts Spezza (submitted by me).

I think we can all agree that the strategic thing for the Spezzas to do would be to name their child Lou. Works for a boy. Works for a girl. And then when people boo Spezza for crossing his own blueline, kneeling down on the ice, taking out a pair of scissors, cutting and taping some gift-wrap around the puck and sending it off gently toward an opposition forward, his wife can convince herself the crowd is paying loving tribute to their child.

* Right up to the part about me knowing how to read.


Dear Scott:

How’s your campaign to be the next governor-general coming along? – A_logician

A_logician –

I’m not going to lie: I entered the race feeling pretty confident. Yes, the fact that I don’t speak French was always going to be an obstacle, as were all those outstanding warrants and swastika tattoos. On the other hand, I do look striking in medals and I am the only candidate who already has his own throne. Advantage: Feschuk.

Or so I thought, anyway. Turns out Shatner has been a far more formidable opponent than I imagined. Star Trek. Boston Legal. American Psycho II: All American Girl (shut up – it does too exist). The Practice. Those All-Bran commercials where he talks about how great it is to go poop. (And who could argue? – pooping beats exploding, hands down.) William Shatner has a huge public profile. He’s beloved by millions. And if I read the on-screen chemistry correctly, he banged Heather Locklear during the second season of T.J. Hooker. How am I supposed to compete with that?

I’ll tell you how – with slogans. Slogans can do anything. A slogan can make a soulless multinational corporation seem cuddlier than a bunny stuffed inside a koala. And a slogan can help ensure that the Harper government doesn’t look past me to choose for Governor-General someone who is bilingual or dignified or interesting.

Scott Feschuk: He Won’t Use His Ceremonial Position as Commander-in-Chief For His Own Nefarious Gains So Far as You Know.

P.S. I was glancing at the Governor-General’s page on Wikipedia. Check out how her name is formally rendered there:

Michaëlle Jean

CC, CMM, COM, CD, BA MA Mont, LLD(hc) Alb, LLD(hc) Man, LLD(hc) Osg, DLitt(hc) McGill, DLitt(hc) Mon, DA(hc) Ott, DIR(hc) Perugia, DUniv(hc) Lav, FRCPSC(hon)

Introduce that at a party, commodore.

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