Monday, March 31, 2008

Tonight at the ALTdotCOMedy Lounge

Hey Toronto-area Llunch Counter customers. Come on out tonight to the Rivoli at 332-334 Queen St. W (at Spadina) for the ALTdotCOMedy Lounge where I will be telling 5-7 minutes of jokes for your listening pleasure. You can watch too, but that is much less pleasurable.

It is going to be a very very funny show tonight. Check out this line-up:

Hosted by : Debra DiGiovanni, from Last Comic Standing, CBC Radio 2 and Much Music's Video on Trial
Aaron Berg - very funny Yuk Yuk's headliner
Dylan Gott - one of the funniest up-and-coming comics in Toronto
Bobby Mair - ditto, but I would also go so far as to say that when Bobby has a really really good set, he one of the funniest comics you'll see anywhere, pro or amateur. Watch for Bobby because he is going to be a comedy star one day for sure.
Makesi Arthur - also hilarious, lots of smart humour.
Mark Forward - You know the Canadian Tire commercial where the guy's wife is talking to him and he is only half-listening as he shines up his barbecue, and she says "are you even listening?" and he says "what's that barbecue?" That's Mark Forward.
Jonny Harris - Hi. Lar. Ious. As seen on TV Comedy festivals

And more, including ME.

So, come on out. Show starts at 9PM.

See you at the Rivoli.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Nice Shoes, Wanna... Give them back?

I've mentioned a few times that I started riding the bus to work now that I am no longer a stay-at-home dad. It's usually ok. But there were a lot of snow storms when I first I started back to work. Those days suck for bus riders. One of them was especially bad for me.

I decided that the weather was bad enough that I would risk looking completely stupid and wear my winter boots with my suit and carry shoes in a plastic bag to protect them from the elements. I changed footwear when I got to work and again back into my boots when I left at the end of the day. Everything was going fine up to now. Then, when I went to get off the first bus to transfer to another, I left the bag of shoes behind. I realized it just after the bus went out of sight over a hill. Agh!

After I cursed at myself for a while, I calmed down and said "no big deal. Someone will turn them in and I'll go downtown to the TTC lost and found and collect them." Good plan. Only it didn't work out. Nobody turned them in. They're gone for good.

So, if you take the bus in Scarborough, and notice someone checking out everyone's footwear, that will be me. And you'd better not be wearing my shoes, because I will fight you for them.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Sucker for an accent

I recently read a blog in which the writer complained that people in Toronto (where I live) are much less polite than people in London, England (where I used to live for a couple of years). I don't necessarily believe that in general, but I do believe it about the homeless in London. They are so polite, it's impossible to not give them money, cigarettes, food, whatever they want.

There was one guy who begged near my work. He got me every time. I would be on my way to the corner shop to get a Lion bar and he would stop me and say "Sorry sir, but could you perhaps spare 30 p so a gent could get a hot cut of tea?" I was like "Of course I could. A gent should be able to have a hot cup of tea. It's only right." I usually gave him a couple of pounds, so he could have a crumpet with his tea, at which point he would say "Awright! Cheers, mate! Fanks fer that! Now oi've got enough to get a fuckin' real drink," and he would follow me into the shop and buy a can of Foster's. This happened almost every day. And I didn't mind that he lied to me, or that he spent his tea money on beer. I minded that I kept believing him.

I don't know if Torontonians are more or less polite than Londoners. But this one certainly is dumber.

Friday, March 28, 2008


Dear Toronto District School Board and Toronto Catholic District School Board,

I wish to request that you add a class to your cirriculum called "Why you should take your big fucking backpack off when you get on the bus."

The textbook could have chapters titled "Hey you little fucker, when you turned around in font of my seat, you hit me in the face with that big fucking backpack" or "You take up as much space as a grotesquely obese person with that backpack on."

Trust me, as a new transit rider, I can testify to the fact that Toronto students need this class.

I would be happy to teach the class, because I am all about doing what's right for our children. And not getting a big fucking backpack jammed into my gut seven times a day.



Thursday, March 27, 2008

Can you read me now?

For a while, there was an ad at the bus shelter where I transfer on my way to work each day that was about illiteracy. It was paid for by the City, and it had all kinds of information for illiterate people, and a number to call for help. Seriously.

It might as well have said "If you can't read this ad, please call the following number"

That's like speaking in sign language to a blind person. Or whispering to a deaf person. Or using words with more than two syllables to George Bush. It's a unique marketing strategy, to say the least.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Dear Telemarketers

Dear Telemarketers,

I used to defend you. When people would start bitching about telemarketers, I would say "they're just trying to make some money, just like the rest of us." I even was one of you, when I was a University student, and made fundraising calls for the alumni office.

I have changed my point of view when it comes to telemarketing. Not all telemarketing, but I have come to absolutely hate the growing percentage of companies that are using the latest in telemarketing technology.

I'm sure everyone has had the calls. They go like this:

-Your phone rings.
-You answer it, politely. "Hello?"
-Nothing happens.
-You try again. Still polite. "Hello? Anyone there?"
-Nobody there.
-You give it one last try, a little frustrated now. "Hello?! Is this some kind of joke?"
-There is a clicking sound, as the computer at the other end of the line transfers you to the next available agent.
-"Hello, may I speak with.... (pause as they wait for their computer screen to refresh and tell them who they have called)... Mr. L. ... um.... Rain?"

So, you called me, and you expect me to wait for you? My phone rings, and I have to wait for you to come to the phone? You value my business so much that you couldn't bother to have someone on the line until you are sure that I am going to answer?

Tell you what - next time don't bother to have someone on the line until you are sure you have an offer for me that doesn't suck. First you make me wait for you to come to the phone, then you offer me a credit card at 0.01% below the legal usury limit?

Calling my house and then not actually being there when I answer the phone is the telephone version of "Nickey Nickey Nine Doors". And the next time I get one of these calls, I'm going to react like I would if that's what it was. I'm going to shout "stop ringing my bell and running away, you pesky kids!"

I am going to tell my friends to do the same thing. And to tell their friends. It will become a movement. And I will be the leader of the movement. And maybe one day, all the telemarketing companies will be forced to go back to having someone on the line to offer barely legal credit cards to me as soon as I answer the phone. That's all I ask.



Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Dear Sirius

Dear Sirius Satelite Radio,

I enjoy your services while driving around in my car. I mostly listen to the comedy channels. Funny stuff.

But, sometimes, my kids are in the car with me. Then, I switch to your kids channel on 116.

I just wanted to let you know that we have about 6 CDs with kids music on them. You could borrow them if you want. Then your collection of kids music would be more than doubled!

Give me a call if you want to borrow our CDs.



Monday, March 24, 2008

Things that bother me, part 49

I have to get this off of my chest. It's old news, and I meant to write about it last summer, and didn't. Then I decided too much time had passed and it wouldn't be relevant anymore, so I decided not to post it. But it's been eating away at me and I can't resist posting it anymore.

Here's the thing. Last summer, Bell Canada had an ad stuck on the bus shelter across the road from my house. It had a picture of the Bell Canada spokesbeavers, looking at phonebooks. The caption said "From A to Z, the calls are free."

That's just silly. It looks like it should rhyme, but it doesn't. At least not in Canada. The only place in the world where that would rhyme is in the U.S.

The only way that could rhyme in any other country in the world would be to change it to "From A to Z, all the calls are Fred." And that would be really stupid.

So, is Bell Canada leading some secret campaign to change the last letter in the alphabet from the proper "zed" to the American "zee"? If so, why? What's in it for them?

I'm not waiting to find out. I switched my phone service from Bell Canada to protest their re-writing the alphabet. You should switch your phone too, before they start forcing us to spell things like "humor" and "neighbor" or, even worse, pronounce the thing on the top of our houses as "ruff"!

Don't say I didn't warn you when your kids come home from school with an F on their report cards because of bad behaviour behavior.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Canadian World Domination for a thousand

Several years ago, I was browsing the interwebnets and found a site called "Canadian World Domination." It was built as a project by a couple of University students in Kitchener, and was hilarious. The students, known on the site as General Claire and General Jenny, outlined their plans for taking over the world, Canadian-style. If you've ever been forwarded a "You know you're Canadian if..." e-mail, it started out on that site. It's gone now, probably shut down by the CIA or maybe even because the "Generals" grew tired of the game.

Not surprisingly, though, Canadian World Domination (CWD) quickly developed a following of hard-core fans, who posted regularly on the CWD message forum. I was one of them. It was my first internet forum addiction, preceeding even my on-again, off-again obsession with's GAB forum.

The people on the CWD forum were funny, smart and funny, so I enjoyed reading what they had to say and sharing my thoughts with them. We became a tight group for a while, and even got together a few times, mostly here in Toronto (with people coming from as far away as Maine, Texas, and of course, Michigan), but there were other get-togethers in other cities in Canada, the US and even in Europe.

One of the most dedicated followers of Generals Claire and Jenny was a librarian from Flint, Michigan named Janet. I have had the pleasure of meeting Janet a few times on her visits to Toronto and she is lovely. Funny, smart, nice, and a kick-ass cook.

Even though the Canadian World Domination site is long gone, some of us still keep in touch through e-mail. And if you follow my blog even semi-regularly, you have surely seen comments left by my CWD comrades. Especially Janet, who has probably been the most regular comment poster on Lloyd's Llunch Counter.

So, I am excited to watch Jeopardy tonight, when Janet will be a contestant! I will know someone on Jeopardy. It doesn't even matter how well she does, as long as she posts a comment on this particular blog entry after the show airs and lets us know if Alex smelled like caramel (which, for some reason is what I always imagine).

You should all watch tonight, because one day, when Generals Claire and Jenny do complete their Canadian World Domination mission, Janet will surely be given a very important post (probably "Ambassador to the Wizzarding World" as she's a big Potter fan, or maybe "Minister of Pies"). So you should really get a glimpse of this future political leader.

Good luck tonight Janet! (I know, the show was taped weeks ago so no amount of well-wishing from me will affect the outcome, but I still can't wait to see how it goes).

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Nice face, too bad about the...

There are loads of things that suck about taking the bus. Especially on cold days. The worst thing about taking the bus on a cold day is when you're sitting there, and a good-looking girl gets on, and you're checking her out as she walks to the back of the bus. Pretty face, great hair, big Angelina lips.... Then, she gets closer and you see the stream of snot coming out of her nose.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Coming Soon To A Store Near You

I'm going to be rich! I was throwing some frozen fries in the oven, and one of them had a potato sprout on it. I planted it, and soon I'll have a french fry tree! I'm going to put McCain an Cavendish out of business by cutting out the whole processing thing, and just grow frozen french fries. Jodi thinks the sprout will just rot in the pot I planted it in, but she won't be laughing when she's the wife of the french fry king.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Sister Squirrel

I hate that sometimes I blurt out things that sound funny in my head, and once they leave my lips, they just dound dumb. Everybody does this, but I do it to strangers, which makes it sound dumb and creepy.

One day last summer, I was in walking the dog in the park and a family came along on their bikes. It was a little boy, a little girl, their mother, and what I assume was a visitor from England. They were showing this lady around the neighbourhood, and the kids pointing out landmarks (that's the tree that we like to climb, that's a totem pole, that's where we have picnics sometimes, etc). She would ask them questions in her lovely Northern England accent.

Then, the little boy pointed to a squirrel and said "and that's a chick-munk." His mother corrected him and said "no, dear, that's a squirrel" and the visitor said "but what's a chick-munk?"

I was walking just past them at this point, and before I even realized I was speaking, I said "a nun."

I walked away, amused at myself, leaving them wondering what was wrong with me.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008


I like music. Right now, I have a favourite song. Would you like to hear about it? OK, I'll tell you. It's by an indy band from Charlottetown called Out from Under. This band is made up of:

- Jeff Stewart, a friend of mine with whom I went to cooking school, and who is the head chef at Charlottetown's Mavor's Lounge, in the Confederation Centre.
- A bunch of other guys I don't know.

Their MySpace page lists the following description of their sound:

Alt-Country goes skinny dipping in the Norththumberland Strait and comes back wet and cold with some crabs and a rubber boot, only to warm itself with a fire lit from drum sticks and setlists.

I have two of their CDs. One is called Live at Leo's and the other is called Unindustrious. It is on the latter that my current favourite song can be found. Track 9. The best song ever. Called Ecstasy Smile. I hope the guys in the band don't mind if I post the lyrics here, because I love them so (the lyrics, not the guys in the band. I just like them as friends)

Ecstacsy Smile, by J. Stewart:

When I first saw you I had had a few
I was sad and I was down
Then you rubbed my arm
And you brought me your charm

I was a little misplaced
Then you came to me with your grace
But I can't tell if you're for real
Or is that your ecstasy smile?

Ecstasy smile
Ecstasy smile
Is that you looking at me like that
Or is that your ecstasy smile?

I hiccup like a drunk
All my shit won't fit in my leaving trunk
So I'll park myself right here for awhile
And I'll gaze at your smile.

You're looking good to me now
And I'm hoping somehow
You've got enough smiles to get you through
The possibility of me and you

Ecstasy smile
Ecstasy smile
Is that you looking at me like that
Or is that your ecstasy smile?

When we hit last call
I'm like a horse in need of a stall
Won't you pick me up
Because I know you've still got a little bit of energy to burn

Won't you get me home
Get me alone
I'll take that little smile from your face
And turn it into permanent grace

Ecstasy smile
Ecstasy smile
Is that you looking at me like that
Or is that your ecstasy smile?

Sweet Ecstasy smile
Ecstasy smile
Is that you looking at me like that
Or is that your ecstasy smile?

Copyright ;© 2006, Out From Under

Awesome, huh? I can actualy picture Jeff checking a girl out in a bar and asking "do you think she likes me, or is she high?"

Check out the band's MySpace page here, and listen to more of their songs. Cut and Dried is another favourite of mine. And go here to purchase their CD. Do it!

By the way, you have my permission to make this your favourite song too. Don't say I never give you anything.

Shut that kid up!

My son, who turned 3 last month, has only recently gotten into watching TV. We didn't really turn it on for him very often, so he never really cared. But, as he's gotten older, he's become more and more interested in cartoons. He loves Little Bear, Franklin, The Backyardigans and, Diego.

Having watched all of these shows with him on several occasions, I have noticed one thing. I think someone who works on the Diego show needs to take that kid in to get his ears tested. I once knew a kid who shouted all the time, and her parents took her in to get little tube thingies in her ears and now her hearing is better and the shouting is gone. I assume Diego's shouting issue comes from a similar problem.

If someone doesn't take that kid in to get his ears checked soon, I'm calling child services. I mean it!

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Honour and Obay

Did you see the ad campaign that caused such a stir on the Toronto Transit Commission? The ads were for a medicine called "Obay". The slogans said things like "My daughter used to have a mind of her own. Not any more, thanks to Obay." and they included the tag "From the makers of WhyBecauseISaidSo". It was obviously a fake campaign and everyone was wondering what it was really about. The advertising company said that the real campaign would answer everyone's questions, but wouldn't give any hints.

I came up with some ideas. I was hoping the real thing would be an ad for Cadbury's and would say "There really isn't a drug that will make your kids obay you. So, buy their obedience with chocolate!"

Alternatively, the same idea would have worked for toys, ice cream, ipods, a trip to Disneyland or a car.

In the end, it was just an ad about letting kids make their own decisions about their futures, for Very disappointing. My ideas were better. Disney, are you listening?

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Lloyd Mad, Lloyd Smash

I like to do my bit for the environment when I can. I'm no major heavy-duty tree hugger, but I do pitch in, in my own way. I drive a car that's this big |----------| to reduce emmissions. I recycle. I am replacing all of the bulbs in my house with compact flourescents. And I buy local produce whenever possible. Local organic produce, if possible.

But what is the point in buying organic apples if I have to use heavy-duty earth-killing detergent to get the "ORGANIC" stickers off? What do they use to stick these things on with? Whatever it is, I guarantee it isn't organic. Nothing natural sticks that well. Not even (insert something from nature that sticks really well here).

So, I say, boycott the organic fruit farmers until they find a better way to mark their produce as organic. Maybe wrapped in plastic that has the word organic on it?

Maybe I'm not as good at this green stuff as I thought.