Tuesday, February 22, 2005

peter sellers is rolling in his grave

They're back...after a long absence, everyone's favourite annoying moving company is telemarketing its heart out. Yes folks, Boris, Janos and the gang are back looking for your business. There were two messages on the phone from the master of lousy accents tonight. What can you expect if they tap into your phone?

* They now represent a nameless moving company. Nary a mention of Best Price or Athletic Movers, just a van and expert staff.

* Janos' accent has mutated into the world's worst Dr. Strangelove imitation. His message was so bizarre, I've saved it for future transcription. He'll even move your aquarium, the one with fish in it!

I'm curious if Jean-Pierre, Reggie, Tugboat Bill and others are also out there drumming up business for the now-anonymous company. Leave your message at the tone. - JB

Monday, February 21, 2005

the ever-constant unpredictability of border guards

Adventures in crossing the Niagara River...

Headed down to Buffalo on Saturday for my usual border run. It was an uneventful drive until I pulled out my wallet at a red light just before the Rainbow Bridge. Birth certificate - check. Driver's license...hello, driver's license?

It dawned on me that I'd driven around for three weeks without my license, ever since I put it in my other wallet for Raquel's birthday (didn't want to bring along the full beast that night). Cue a couple of minutes of self-directed anger. I drove around downtown Niagara Falls, dithering over heading back to TO or taking a chance with the soulless Niagara River border guards.

What did I have to lose? I put the birth certificate back in my wallet and headed onto the bridge. Pulled up to the inspection booth, pulled out my birth certificate and half-feigned a panic attack. I got lucky, as the guard suggested every possible card I could own that might have photo ID on it, down to Costco memberships. No luck. She let me go, with a gentle reminder about future plans by Homeland Security.

I immediately ran to Old Country Buffet to relax my nerves.

It was a typical shopping day for me in Buffalo/Niag. The only unusual move I made was to finally explore the infamous Love Canal site. All that remained were empty snow-covered streets that reminded me of the Brighton Beach section of Windsor (populated until the city bought residents out to push industrial expansion that hasn't occurred yet. However, it may now make the ideal location for a new border crossing). I wished I'd brought a camera along.

On the way back, I was pulled over by Canadian Customs to pay duty for the first time in years. Rule of thumb for avoiding duty - don't pick a booth manned by fresh-faced youngsters. I took my bills inside the customs station. An official looked over them, puzzled by why I'd gone to so many grocery stores. They also seemed overly curious about the type of books I was bringing back (for the record: The Friendly Shakespeare, The Rough Guide to Montreal, a Route 66 guide and a retrospective on Peanuts). After several more minutes of scrutiny, I was free to go without having to pay anything.

Border guards - an unpredictable breed. - JB

Thursday, February 10, 2005

the warehouse cares about your personal environment

Recently, the Warehouse has received an avalanche of calls from customers concerned that their personal enviroments don't have the right scent. They've heard about Shania Twain's Scentstories fragrence discs and wanted to know if we were going to marry the magical worlds of music and air freshen...er...environmental aids to provide solace from the hustle and bustle of daily life.

The Warehouse contacted one of our valued vendors with suggestions for extensions of this line, which we know our customers will appreciate. After extensive market research and many long days journeys into night, we have come up with our premiere selection:

It's a new disc theme that plays five amazing scents reminiscent of the old man bar or cheap greasy spoon in your town. Transform any environment into one dripping with character, smoky haze and that distinctive barroom stench.

Also on the drawing board:

We're looking for the next teen bimbette singing/acting/skankola sensation to use for a new disc theme that plays five amazing scents reminiscent of an industrious plastics factory. Smell the moulds being pressed to turn out wave after wave of carefully pre-manufactured acts.

It's a new disc theme that plays five amazing scents reminiscent of...ok, we just needed another posthumous Tupac product to push.

We've also suggested that new Scentstories be produced for specific
classic rock albums, starting with this one...

It's a new disc theme that plays five amazing scents reminiscent of this classic 60s album. Savour the smells of Heinz Baked Beans after they sat exposed in a bathtub all day, the long-lasting protection of Odorono, etc.

Watch for these products! - JB

Sunday, February 06, 2005

everybody was kung-fu birthday fighting (though the kids weren't fast as lightning and it wasn't a little bit frightening)

The parade of friends' birthdays continued this week when we caught Kung Fu Fridays at the Royal Theatre.

The chop-socky fun began with a couple of trailers. Hero Among Heroes looked like a hoot fest, complete with actors wearing ridiculously false buck-toothed choppers. The evening's raffle came next. We loudly oohed when the first number was read off, but awwed when nobody came close to winning any prize (the British flick about sumo housewives sounded neat).

The feature was presentation was The Golden Mask, which seems to be easier to find info about on the net under the name Golden Killah (here's a review from Kung Fu Cinema).

The copy shown had the most unintelligble subtitles I've ever seen. Syntax and spelling were clumsy at best. The audience hooted and hollered at the homoerotic subtext running through the titles. They also left many plot points up to the imagination - if you weren't paying close attention, you might have thought it was a tale of the battle for a department store (the old geezer who Golden Mask wanted to kill ran a "store", though it appeared to be either a home or palace). We were spared the "ha, ha, ha...now you die!" school of dubbing. Audience enthusiasm dimmed as the film wore on.