Thursday, September 06, 2007

An essay on hacksaws, blowtorches and angle grinders and their superiority to RPGs.

Some of you might have managed to make out the true story of what happened the other week with my car which resulted in me driving around with ducktaped lisence plates until last Saturday.

As I see it there are benefits to being in Canada with a problem like this. I recounted the story to the church in Smith Falls (about an hour south of Ottawa) last Saturday carefully leaving out the mention of guns and ninjas for the sake of some of the weak hearted elderly members. After delivering some orotory genius mostly stolen from my dad I entered the masses hoping to discuss the topic of the sermon.

It's a silly thing to do I know, it rarely happens and when it does you realise that the person you're discussing it with either wasn't listening or somehow managed to relate it to their pet dog. Regardless I went with this small hope given that we were planning to do some door-to-door ministry and I wanted to get some volunteers. I got three volunteers, the first had a hacksaw with which they were confident they could get the rusted bolts off my car.

I knew they couldn't, it had already been tried and had only resulted in much cursing (of the Christian nature of course things like "Nghhh!!!" and "Raghh Fffffff... friggin' frig frig frig bolts ffffuu... ragh!") Regardless I then turned down this offer. Then there was the guy in a cowboy hat, he appears on occasion at church with one of the most amazingly thick Fu Manchu moustache. He happened to have a blowtorch in the back of his SUV.

This was turned down for a number of reasons: 1) It's a blowtorch. 2) He's was wearing a cowboy hat. 3) His moustache looked mighty flammable. 4) I'm incredibly messy and clumsy at everything I do, that includes refuelling the car - in this case I connected the dots...

I didn't get another offer till I went to my elders house for lunch, dinner, and chilling by a lake (he lives on a lake - the picture is from the just outside his house, they're some stairs leading down to it on the right; it's very cool and I'm incredibly jealous.)

After having to retell my humiliation to those there (including Tom who is a police helicopter pilot who goes around looking for marjuana plantations.) I got my final offer from the elder (John) - an angle grinder (the angle grinder's not called John the elder is, though the grinder might be called John; I forgot to ask.) I accepted this offer given that he also had bolts to refix the plates and so I now have my plates beautifully bolted into the car with only minor body damage.

It is important in the conclusion of an essay to summarise one's arguement and explain the ramblings. The hacksaw was superior tot he RPG predominantly because the officer wasn't holding the RPG properly, firstly he was holding it in one hand, and was consequently not properly braced, secondly the RPG in questions was clearly second rate, looking awfully like a flimsy pen-knife with a screwdriver attachement. The blowtorch was superior because blowtorches are cool and make fire, now RPG's are very cool and make bigger fire but I refer the last part of the hacksaw arguement to augment this case. In conclusion this author argues the angle-grinders are the coolest because they come served with delicious salmon, a lake, good company and actually worked.


Friday, August 31, 2007


I was supposed to be starting some door-to-door ministry Sunday just gone, and I was also giving sermons on both the Saturday and the Sunday. So, having wrestled vainly with my malfunctioning computer, I departed on the Sunday with three half-printed sermons (all different sermons) and some misprinted tracts and questionairres. The church I was speaking at was over an hour away and I had had about 3-4 hours sleep max the night before so it took me about ten minutes to realise I was driving the wrong direction in my recently purchased car.

The story you are about to hear may include some Hollywood dramatisation, as such any reference to guns, explosions and ninja grandmothers should be thoroughly disregarded.

I sped up, intent on reaching the next intersection, turning round and coming back. It was at this time that I saw the flashing. To clarify, the flashing I mention here has nothing to do with trenchcoats, in fact such flashers fear this flashing. It was the blue and red kind. The kind of flashing that makes a patriotic American, Englishman, Frenchman or half-Scot half-Canadian man's blood start to pump faster.

Instinct had made me pull-over, the desire to obey the law of the land, blend with these alien people had become strong. But I had alot to lose here, people were counting on me... good people... Christian people. I glanced in the rearview mirror, my hand shivering over the ignition. The colonial magistrate had exited his cruiser, his hand resting lightly on his hip, his pistol loose and in it's holster. I glanced back at the dashboard clock, time was counting down. My eye's flickered nervously from the mirror to my Bible resting on the seat beside me, my foot rested lightly on the gas pedal. The officer was at my window, the moment of opportunity was gone.

His revolver tapped lightly on my window, I pressed the button to roll it down... nothing happened... The officer stepped back bracing his desert eagle .50 in both hands, shouting rough demands.

I turned the ignition.

The car burst to life, engine revving, music blaring... now window would roll down. I looked down the top of the barrel of his shotgun, no hint of fear in my eyes.

"Officer...?" My voice was calm, like a leaf on the wind.

"Sir, I pulled you over for speeding, you were doing 77 in a 50 zone." His tone spoke volumes, polite and unassuming, he was going to play with me.

"Is that so?" My voice was smooth like well blended instant gravy.

"It is."

"I see."



"Lisence, registration and insurance please." The lawman gestured expectantly at my glove-compartment with his sub-machine gun.

"I only have my license..." My voice was gritty and gratting, like Horatio Kane having just arrived at a Crime Scene and put his sun-glasses to the corner of his mouth.

"I see."




The officer tipped the top of his hat with his M4, glanced around for possible threats then headed back to his cruiser. The minutes were like hours. I could see the time trickling away. The good people... Christian people, crying out in anguish in my absence. The officer returned to my vehicle, and rested the end of his sniper rifle on my wing mirror.

"This your vehicle?" I nodded at his question, it didn't deserve a spoken response. He nodded to himself before continuing, "How long you had it?"

"I registered it three days ago..." My voice was rough but forceful, like a gorilla choking on bamboo. The officer pointed with his flamethrower.

"Those your plates?" I thought about reaching for my Bible but knew I wouldn't make it before he had his gatling gun pelting round after round of cold hard lead into my body.

"No... I haven't had a chance to change them* since getting this car, they're rusted on." My voice was deep and rumbling, like a herd of howling wombats stampeding at dawn.

"I see."




"Driving with the wrong plates requires me to tow your vehicle and issue a five-thousand dollar fine, sir." He pursed his lips while I suffered a mild heart-attack. Then he wandered around to the front of the car and tapped at the plates. He took out his RPG and fired off a few rounds, the explosion killing a passing elderly female ninja... the plates however, didn't budge. He came back round to the front of the car. "Tell you what I'm going to do, I'm going to get you towed, but not to the pound. I'll get you towed back home where your car will stay until you get those plates sorted. Some sort of small nuclear device should do the trick, I'm raiding some terrorists with the lads later on this evening and I'll let you know if I get one. In the mean time though I have to give you your speeding ticket along with tickets for failing to surrender your insurance and registration documents..." The officer took a breath and levelled his plasma cannon at me along with a meaningful stare, "We clear?"

I woke up in the ER in time to ply off my plates with a hammer. Duck-tape on my new ones and give a 1 and a half hour late sermon. The End...

*License plates are assigned to the people not the cars in Canada...


Sunday, August 05, 2007


I want to say I've been busy, and use it as an excuse but apparently lying is bad. While I have been busy at times I have had ample opportunity to natter away to my adoring masses on this blog, however every time I've come to write something on here I've drawn a blank.

I've been helping out at a Youth camp for the past week, being a counselor for a dorm and helping with the canoing. Here I passed on my years of training in cynicism and motionlessness to the happy campers under my care.

It was a good camp, they kept the schedule light and flexible which took away alot of the stress I have had with other camps. The weather probably averaged around 35C most of the week yet somehow I managed to make it though without any sunburn (I would like to give my thanks to the person who invented "staying indoors" for this reason.)

In a stroke of genius I forgot to bring any footwear except the sandals I wore on the way there. One of these decided to rebel midway through the camp and had to be subdued with masking tape, thankfully the other learned from it's fallen comrade.

Here are some visual aids to this no doubt mesmerising story:

The Camp Weather Station:

Vital to any camp the Slave Shack can accomadate a minimum of 50 underfed slaves within it's walls:

One of the slaves injured themselves during the course of the camp, here he is on his way to be put down, for the sake of the environment his body will be recycled to fuel the boiler in the camp, the camp director and staff will have hot water for a few weeks now.

As many of you no doubt know slavery is a pretty controversial topic, especially in colonies like Canada. However I like to think that at the camp we were able to see past the propaganda, lies and bad press that slaves have received over the past few decades and embrace the slaves into our community without forcing them to conform and become free people like us.

Finally for good effect I leave you with a picture of a rebellious sandal, rightly subdued as it sits in awe of my presence. It dreams that one day it will unite all other sandals in a great rebellion against the human oppression, but for now it lies, masked and idle on my floor.


Tuesday, May 01, 2007


There have been some comments via email about the photo in my last post. The picture is not edited, it is the main parliament building here in Ottawa. I have no skill in editing photos, something that is close to being the unforgivable sin in the gospel according to blogging. But then again up until a few months ago I didn't have even have a digital (or non-digital for that matter) camera, accordingly I flaunt these blogging laws as heretical, to be burnt and destroyed.

Unfortunately the only way to burn and destroy the idea is to kill the people who have it, which at first only seems like a minor inconvenience until you consider that once the idea has been passed on to you, however much you might disagree with it the idea will continue to live on in your sub-conscious mind, festering like an open wound in a blocked garbage chute.

Work continues to take up nearly all my time, however I've successfully managed, with the aid of this post to avoid doing virtually any work today. I'm starting to develop a conscience on this matter however (I believe the scholars call this behavior a 'work ethic') and ended up doing at least some work even though I had planned this as a proper day off.

No photos today I'm afraid, I do have some but can't be bothered fishing out the cable to connect my camera to my computer, so next time... maybe...


Wednesday, April 18, 2007

It's a Frassled Life

I've had some complaints. It's a well known fact that lack of blogging is a sign of lack of love and is excusable only when love is being displayed elsewhere.

Well to reassure all you people who fear I've ceased loving them: not even 30 minutes ago I bought a percolator. This is an obvious sign of love to my flatmates who don't really like coffee. To further emphasize my love to them I've also made it easily accessible by placing it by my desk in my room.

I have no recent pictures to put up here because frankly Ottawa is pretty ugly in the spring time. The snow's melted leaving a very bleak, dead and waterlogged landscape. Instead I decided to include here a picture of Glasgow Uni with a Canadian flag:

Life has been pretty hectic, I need to write an article for a local Newspaper advertising our church and make it interesting (our Church is very interesting but I'm not sure why, it just is - like chipmunks.) I also have to write a biography for my Church site, so far all my attempts have been excessively flippant, cynical and verbose which as you all know is quite against my nature. As with all things I blame this on Andy Simpson and my new percolator.

I'm also giving a sermon this week and have to prepare the first proper study for Christianity Explored for the Sunday. Did it Sunday just gone and it seemed to go reasonably well, showed a clip from Talladega Nights (the Baby Jesus prayer) as an example of the preconceived images people have of Christ. At least three non-Christians (wait that's un-PC so: Seekers, Heretics, mundies, Earthlings, pick yer poison) in attendance along with quite a few members, not what it was designed for per se but doubtless still worthwhile.

The percolator was a bad idea, I've got a stomach ache, I'm having trouble blinking and my hands shaking. It occurs to me now that my tea is decaf and the coffee I bought for this isn't, which means having gone cold turkey on caffeine when I got to Canada I've just had 4 cups of intensely strong coffee... one more can't hurt though...


Sunday, March 11, 2007

Sugar Rush

I finally did it, I have done what no person has done before - I've made it further than any other settler. And I have proof! Here we have the remains of the last settlers to make it this far:

I moved into my room in the townhouse I'll be sharing with three other guys. So far eveything is good with two exceptions.

Firstly, I know what those settlers died of; a heart attack or kidney failure brought on be extreme cases of type 2 diabetes. From what I can tell everything here copious amounts of sugar. I got some "pure" orange juice, that along with a piece of cheese here makes me feel sick from the ensuing sugar rush (a sugar rush for me usually means feeling sleepy without being able to get to sleep.)

I've also started to suffer from dehydration as the flat members here have committed the most unforgivable of sins:

It took about two hours for me to start ransacking the kitchen for items of interest, my self-restraint up to this point had been incredible - I'd even properly unpacked. Entering the kitchen, as is often the case, was a pleasant experience. Birds started singing in the trees, somewhere a child was born, and in the distance children were playing happily on the highway. I started opening cupboards, sneering at my new house-mates noticeably grease free choice in foods and distinct lack of neeps.

I ate one hundred and eighty-six grapes (the six really small ones didn't count) and tested out the fabled Oreo and milk combination, however just to keep you on your toes they put salt in the Oreos instead of an extra serving of sugar. In the back of my mind, as I continued my innocent and idle filled activity, an anxiety was building. As I went from item to item and browsed my fantastic selection from the most expensive shop I had ever done the anxiety started to crescendo.

My eyes scanned every inch of the kitchen, my heart started to beat faster and faster. The birds turned out to be vultures and hadidas, the newborn babe a gross three eyed alien bent on world domination, the children on the highway... well their fate was inevitable really.

There was no kettle.

A brief, hope-dashing conversation with my landlord and house-mate Merlin confirmed this.

I cannot live in a tealess world... my project for tomorrow is clear.

A Tealess World:


Monday, March 05, 2007

In Loving Memory

Fraser Scott Henderson
Born 14th December 1983
Died 4th March 2007
"He thought God called him to Canada,

and God showed him otherwise."

Obituary: Fraser Scott Henderson (MA Hons)

The nation is in a state of shock today after Fraser Henderson, the hero of Brixton Valley died today. Fraser is succeeded by a black squirrel (picture below) found feeding near his crisp cold body. Commenting on his untimely and tragic death Prime Minister Stephen Harper had this to say:

"This has been a tremendous loss for Canada, but we must not just look to ourselves, the county's hearts and thoughts are with Fraser's family at the moment.

Though he was only with us for a short time we have no doubt of the contribution he would have given to this nation. It is with a heavy heart that I present this monument to his greatness. Just like him it shows potential, and just like all his hopes and good intentions have now melted away, so too shall this monument."

His death has sparked fierce debate as to whether tourists or immigrants should be allowed to enter within five hundred miles of Canada during winter. Canada would be the third country to bring in this rule after it came into effect in Russia just last year and Hiati followed suit just two months later.

Squirrel Henderson III