ATEST Ottawa legend concerns an executive of a manufacturing company who finds himself doubling in brass as an official of the Wartime Prices and Trade Board. When his business was confronted with a minor problem having to do with price ceilings he dictated to his secretary in his own office a
letter addressed to himself at WPTB outlining the difficulty and asking for a ruling. Next morning he received the letter in his governmental bureau, gave the matter his careful consideration, then dictated a reply to himself authorizing an eminently just decision. On the day following, back at his business desk, he was delighted to receive—and so promptly, too—the government’s solution of his difficulty.
While they wait to give Herr Hitler’s mobsters a warm reception in England, men of the Canadian Army are having fun with a neat bit of whimsey built around a purely imaginary invasion. An officer, scanning the horizon through field glasses at an advanced observation post, is supposed to start suddenly and bark an order to a Signals Corps soldier at his side. “Take a message. Enemy force in large numbers off coast at ten thousand yards range. Light and heavy naval units, approximately ten thousand barges in tow supported by troop carriers, dive bombers and fighters in large numbers. Visibility good, wind southwest by west, light sea running. Gentle breeze. Got that?” “Yessir.” “Sure you’ve got it?” “Quite sure, sir.” “Very good. Transmit.”
Then says the signaller into the field telephone: “That you, Alf?” “Yus, whaddya want?” “You can ring the ruddy bells, Alf. The blighters are ’ere.”
It must have been a thoroughly embittered misogamist in the employ of the Toronto Globe and Mail who caused that newspaper to state in a report of a Seaforth, Ont., wedding that “. . . the guests were received by the bride’s mother and the bother of the groom.”
Ambitious young people of Sydney, N.S., were heartened then puzzled by an advertisement in their Post-Record calling for “. . .two salesmen or salesgirls for selling in city and surrounding towns. Selling experience essential but not necessary.” Come, come. Can’t you make up your mind?
All sorts of queer things keep right on happening in Air Raid Precaution circles. During a Halifax blackout, one brilliantly lighted building glowed treacherously against the background of the darkened city. Two members of the Women’s Division of the R.C.A.F. tried to do something about it. An Air Raid Warden halted them at the door. “You can’t interrupt them in there now,” he said. “This is blackout headquarters.”
Something like eighty men and women attended an A.R.P. meeting in the village of Swansea, Ont. When the session ended the chairman called for a
volunteer pianist to play the national anthem. In all the audience just one man was found who knew how to get “God Save the King” out of the piano. He was Ernst Vierkotter, famed long-distance swimmer, now a Canadian, but born in Germany.
Ponce de Léon looked in the wrong direction for his fountain of youth, we are assured by a downeast agent who insists that Prince Edward Island is the place where people live for ever—well, live a long time, anyway. In support of his claim our man submits the cases of a Mr. Bernard of Hunter River, who was more than 106 years old at his death; Mary McSwain of Lome Valley, 104 years and eight months; Kate Smith, also of Lome Valley, 103 years; and William Barrett, who died at 102. All these centenarians have passed on during the last decade. The list of their surviving contemporaries includes the names of Leo McAuley, 97; Mrs. John Stevenson, 93; Mr. and Mrs. Samuel Clow, 89 and 91 respectively; John Scott and John Murray, both 89; and Mrs. James MacAdam, who at 88 is practically a juvenile in this company.
It must be those potatoes.
One of our operatives living in Chelsea, Que., bought a used car from an attache of the Japanese Legation at Ottawa, shortly before the Japs decided it would be a good idea to stab at Pearl Harbor. Going through the trunk the new owner discovered license plates for five successive years— 1936 to 1941—and a length of still serviceable rubber hose. We are sure that Mr. Shizuo Kanaya will not be delighted to learn that those handy bits of scrap have been turned over to salvage, will in due course become a part of Canada’s war effort directed against Japan and her Axis pals.
In the light of the experience an Abernethy, Sask., merchant enjoyed with a bemused farmer who wandered into his store, you may discard all absent-minded professor gags from now on. “What do you suppose it was I was supposed to take home?” the customer asked. “Search me,” said the storekeeper. “Why don’t you call up your wife and find out?” For several minutes the man tried to reach his home by telephone, then: “Gosh!” he said. “I forgot. I brought the missus to town with me.”
Students of Bedford Road Collegiate, Saskatoon, were grimly warned in a school bulletin that: “Rubbers and other articles are being brought to the office from the basement every day after school. Owners may have same by applying at office and paying charges. Otherwise they will be turned in to sabotage.”
Looks like Fifth Column work. Send for the Mounties.
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