What not to say to Sears employees

A little advice on what not to say to Sears Canada employees when you visit the death throes sales of the old girl over the coming weeks. Do not ask them if they’ve been screwed in their pensions. They will only tell you that they’ll be fine, thank you. Will your purchase be on debit?…

The tipping point on tipping. What’s yours?

Australians aren’t automatic tippers. I was reminded of this while enroute to Australia earlier in the summer when I shared a cab with a couple heading home to Brisbane. “I’ll get it,” said the man as the cab pulled up to the international terminal. The fare was about 15 times the cost had we taken…

Soccer and the meaning of life

Stoke City just scored a goal. I know because, despite being several rooms away, I can hear MrWI64’s excited roar of ‘Yes! Yes! Yes!’ His fist will be pumping the air and he will be awash in excited emotion. What with it feeling like the End of Days with hurricanes chewing up the south and…

On mothers before they were mothers

The family story of my parents’ beginnings goes like this: Family: So, Mom, how did you meet Dad? Mom: Through his cousin. She was my friend and introduced me to your dad. Family: Where did you go on your first date? Mom: Camping. Family: Camping?! Mom (patiently): Yes. Family (hesitantly): Did you share a tent?…

On Don, Donna and Democracy

Twenty years ago, I briefly worked with Donna who was in the process of transitioning from Don. That she was in progress was evident. She was tall, about 6’2”, and her hands were large. She had a strong masculine face framed by long, carefully styled hair. She wore a skirt to the office, a pretty…

The squatter in my life

Ever since he declared his candidacy to seek the Republican nomination two years ago, Donald Trump has been like an unwelcome, nonpaying guest in my life. Now, since that disbelieving evening back in November, he has become the squatter from hell. He is everywhere. He populates and soils my Facebook and Twitter feed. He’s in…

Oscar and Christie: the reluctant apologists

My missive on the nature and sincerity of apologies ran in the April 14 issue of the Times Colonist   When I was eight, I stuck a burr in Susan Rush’s hair. If you’ve never met a burr, trust me when I say, you don’t want one near your hair. The only escape involves scissors or…