COLUMN

The search for intelligent life

Allan Fotheringham November 21 1994
COLUMN

The search for intelligent life

Allan Fotheringham November 21 1994

The search for intelligent life

ALLAN FOTHERINGHAM

Zowie, Dr. Foth, it is perfectly pleasing to peruse your perplexed puss while perambulating past the perimeters of your principality.

Elucidate, in precise terms, the phantasmagorical exactitude of your cranial cavities.

Well, gee, I can’t seem to get a grip on all these athletes out on strike.

The working class must have its say. The capitalists once put children in the mines. Now they oppress the proletariat by insisting that each outfielder can wear only three diamond studs in an earlobe during games that go past the ninth inning. One must stand up for one’s rights. We can’t have this form of degradation.

But who are these capitalists?

Generally, they are overgrown boys who wouldn’t know a blue line from the infield-fly rule.

How did they get to become owners?

In almost all cases, when they didn’t inherit the loot from daddy, by making millions in funeral parlors, liposuction, dog food or phoney stock in non-existent copper mines.

Well, why are they in sport?

Because superannuated boy children love toys. Because they have never grown up, they like to show off. Buying baseball and hockey teams, and moving them from city to city like in a monopoly game, is supposed to impress their peers. They’re essentially nuts.

You sound rather impatient on this topic. Explain, please, the American midterm election results.

There’s very little to explain. The screwballs have taken over. It’s simply a matter of arithmetic.

How might that be?

Listen, in any barroom argument among three drinkers, one of the three is bound to be out to lunch. Think of your three closest friends. One of them is usually one sandwich short of a picnic.

What’s that got to do with the United States?

Just over one-third of all eligible voters— 39 per cent—cast ballots, the lowest turnout in what is laughingly called the civilized world. That one-third is like the screwball in

the bar, or your third, slightly ditzoid friend.

You’re saying... ?

Yes, only the fanatics got to the polling booth. That’s why Sonny Bono, the wellknown brain surgeon, is now a member of the House of Representatives and 91-yearold Strom Thurmond, who believes the earth is flat, is now in charge of American defence policy. He’s going to bring back the musket.

Is Canadian politics any more logical?

Of course. The proof is right before us.

Where might that be?

In Quebec, of course, the home of the famed Gallic logic. The cruel hatchet of Paul Martin has fallen on the small military college in the unknown town of Saint-Jean. The Parti Québécois government, which wants to separate from Canada, now insists that Ottawa keep the college open.

Why would that be?

Well, as far as we can figure, it would use federal dollars to train a military force that the Parazoids, if they could win a separation referendum, could use to issue parking tickets and raid bingo parlors, as all modern armies are trained to do.

Speaking of that, good doctor, do you think Jolly Jacques will actually hold a referendum in 1995?

There is about as much chance of that happening as the Royal Canadian Legion coming to its senses in its goofy ban on headdresses in its suds parlors (unless of course you happen to be in Calgary at Stampede time with your Stetson).

You seem in a testy mood this week....

Not at all. It’s simply so invigorating to be a Canadian when Team Canada (missing one wheel) is slurping up the wonton soup on its Slow Human Rights Boat to China.

Silent Jean Chrétien, the Calvin Coolidge of the Rideau, apparently mumbled Tiananmen Square so softly that not even the deaf translator assigned to him caught it.

Any further words of wisdom?

Of course. We would suggest that the short little chap from New York who runs the National Hockey League and can’t be bothered about how to pronounce the name of the Vancouver Canucks, be assigned to a task more worthy of his talents.

And that being?

How to figure out how to get Sikhs and Jews into the Legion beer sessions.

Could you tell me why there is so little news coming out of Ottawa?

Certainly. None of this would have happened if Preston Manning was still alive.

Do you know whatever happened to the Parson?

My theory is that the improved wardrobe he bought with the secret allowance the Reformists gave him went to the wrong dry cleaners.

What do you mean by that?

I think they went for a cheapo outfit and they shrank his pants so much that his voice went up three octaves and the party went down the same amount in the polls.

This is a serious problem.

It certainly is. I think they should give him Marlon Brando’s leftover trousers. Either that, or make him listen to some tapes of Sheila Copps’s old shrieking sessions.

Yeah?

John Crosbie has a collection at home, we understand.

Wow, Dr. Foth, you certainly know how to fuzzify the muddification.

My pleasure.