Jan 18

I was idly "scratching my nose" and scanning the news on my iPhone today in the eerie early morning calm that occasionally exists at my house, in that brief span between my awakening and four children racing to get ready for school.

One of the casualties of the smartphone era is the historic male achievement of skillfully cleaning one’s schnozz while simultaneously re-adjusting one’s - er - pockets, surely one of the seminal triumphs of billions of years of steady evolutionary revision.  Sadly, most of us can’t manage those two critical tasks and interact with our crackphones all at the same time.

We occupy the crass side of the gender equation, undoubtedly.  For those of you who hold Donald Trump to be exemplar extraordinaire of this very sort of thing, I invite you to take a few moments to consider Scott van Wynsberghe’s startling review in Friday's National Post of former President Lyndon “The Lord of Lewdness”  Johnson’s spectacularly inappropriate behavior during his Oval Office tenure.  “All the way with LBJ” was rather more than a campaign slogan, it seems - Donald by comparison seems a jewel of decorum and restraint. Read the rest of this entry »

Jan 18

Wrinkling my nose against the acrid smell of sweat clinging to his hockey uniform, I carefully probed the teenager's impressively swollen wrist.  I sent him off to the radiology department with his grandmother and turned my attention immediately to another patient in the endless emergency queue, completely forgetting to send a digital requisition for the needed X-rays.

The radiology technician, attempting to correct my omission, asked grandma which doctor had attended her grandson.  “I can’t remember,” she said, “But it was the short, handsome, Latino man.”

One out of three isn’t bad, I suppose:  I’m a card-carrying member of the pocket-doctor set, indisputably small.

Her generous assessment of my wrinkly mug as “handsome” was proof only that she had to be legally blind, surely beset by the densest of cataracts.  My vacation-acquired tan penetrated her milky lenses just enough for her to kindly bestow me with Brazilian or Puerto Rican heritage.

Ironically, though my roots are thoroughly Dutch, I'm endowed with the mercurial temper for which Latinos are famous (a most ignorant stereotype, let me hasten to stress, before level-headed Latin Americans launch irritable volleys of protest in my direction). Read the rest of this entry »

Jan 18

I squinted through the windshield last week at a howling Calgary snowstorm as I crawled along an icy highway, my trusty Suburban locked in 4-wheel drive and defroster set to full-throttle.  A giant roadside sign demanded my attention, glowing in orange admonition: “Caution:  Winter Driving Conditions”.

A helpful tip, that.  Let no one accuse “His Purpleship” the Mayor of leaving a taxpayer’s dime unspent in the care of his subjects.

We are easily fooled, after all.

Modern humans are either the capstone to billions of years of evolutionary improvement or the divine creation of an all-powerful God.

You choose.

But no matter which theory you favour, we are undeniably invested with astounding powers of intellect and reason, endowed with mental capacities light-years beyond those of all other species combined. Read the rest of this entry »