Overture

Overture

Anthony Wilson-Smith June 5 2000
Overture

Overture

Anthony Wilson-Smith June 5 2000

Overture

‘Ma’am, your Herb Strewer is here’

Anthony Wilson-Smith

Shanda Deziel

@macleans.ca

Prince Charles recently revived a 500-year-old tradition by appointing 20-year-old Catrin Finch Harpist to the Prince of Wales (benefits include a salary of $5,600 and a gold brooch). That has created interest in some of Great Britain’s other ancient titles. Here are some other unusual positions from Keepers of the Kingdom by Alastair Bruce (McArthur & Co., $60):

• Queen’s Remembrancer: Before computers and Palm personal organizers, King Henry created the office in 1154 “to put the Lord Treasurer and the Barons of the Court of Exchequer in remembrance of such things as were to be called upon and dealt with for the benefit of the Crown.” Each year, the Queen’s Remembrancer collects two knives, six horseshoes and 61 nails for two properties rented to the City of London: one in 1211 and the other in 1235. The remembrancer has a “day job” that is more onerous—he’s a judge.

• Queen’s Champion, Lord of the Manor of Scrivelsby: The title and lands were given to Robert Marmion by William the Conqueror just after the Batde of Hastings in 1066. One

term of ownership is that at every coronation, the title holder does combat with any challenger for the throne. Marmion’s Her Majesty’s Remembrancer: abo a judge descendants have never

been called on to fight: instead of riding in armour at coronations, they carry the banner of England.

• Herb Strewer: The first tide holder was Bridget Rumny, paid $53 per year in 1660 to place mint, lavender and other fragrant herbs wherever the monarch travelled in an effort, before the age of proper sanitation, to disguise unpleasant aromas. The title fell into abeyance after Anne Fellowes carried out her duties at the 1821 coronation of George IV, but the Fellowes family still claims the position in the name of the senior unmarried daughter of the family.

Patricia Treble

Overbites

“Good salads are symbolic of our overall attention to detail.”

-Queen’s Universit; ness school dean Margot Northey reacts to news her university offers best on-campus meals of any international business school

“Viagra is not an aphrodisiac and has no effect on the libido. It should only be used by people with erectile dysfunction.”

-Don Sancton, spokesman for Pfizer Canada, which manufactures Viagra, warns against youth mixing it with illicit drugs

“Womens sexual difficulties are rather different from mens, even though that’s not been all that clear in the literature to date.” -Vancouver researcher Dr. Rosemary Basson explains why Viagra doesn’t work as well for women as for men

Over and Under Achievers

Songs in the key of strife

Special music theme: ABBA again!!

Who's Tory Now?

Day-dream Believer!!

^ Tories, Canadian Alliance:

Too busy battling over use of word “conservative” to go after real enemy—the Libs. More proof of your mother’s wisdom: two wrongs don’t make a right.

^ Stockwell Day: Is told by

owners of song I Can See Clearly Now—with tag line “bright, sunshiny day”—to stop using it as campaign

theme. Good news:

DayTripper or Yester-YDzy still available.

^ Polyester: ’70s revival nearcomplete as musical based on ABBA opens in T.O. to SRO. Next: CBC airs retro footage of Peter Mansbridge with hair!!

Q/ Teens: Study shows they’re turning off TV in favour of Web-surfing. Couch potatoes of world, take back the night!!

jy Gordon Giffin: American ambassador to Ottawa suggests new destination for Jean Chrétien and Team Canada business lineup: the U.S. South. Because Florida really needs more visiting Canadians.

Overview

The all-new Cpl. ‘ZZ Top’

The Royal Canadian Regiment of the Canadian Forces has always been a bit unlike other military units: for starters, members are allowed to sport beards. But when a photo of Cpl. Brandon Massey of the Assault Pioneer Platoon of the 1st Battalion, on peacekeeping duty in Mitrovica, Kosovo, ran in many newsMassey then papers last February, he looked a bit too (right); and much like a member of the rock group nQW. $mooth ZZ Top for the liking of his superiors. As a result, they said he could keep the beard—but ordered an immediate trim to the prescribed length of one inch. Said Lt.-Col. Rejean Duchesneau, a military spokesman: “We weren’t picking on the RCR.” But rules are rules, even for a pace-setting battle unit.

Derek Chezzi

Gender Bender 101

Life in an ‘Ovary Tower’

They call it the “Ovary Tower.” At Toronto’s York University, five of eight senior positions are held by women, including the presidency and three vice-presidents’ posts.That is in stark contrast to the male-dominated regimes at most Canadian universities. “It’s a bit of a historical accident, having this

many women at the top,” says president Lorna Marsden, insisting: “We picked the best people.” Marsden, onetime president of the National Action Committee on the Status of Women, says York reflects the concept of equality upon which NAC was built. And she jokingly cites an added benefit: “We don’t have to discuss sports all the time.”

Shanda Deziel

Overheard

Expos: steal home?

While the Montreal Expos enjoy an impressive season onfield, there are questions—again—whether they will stay in the city. In a meeting to take place this week, the team’s partnership committee, led by New York Citybased Jeffrey Loria, was first supposed to discuss groundbreaking dates for a new stadium. But such plans will likely be postponed, and speculation is rife that Loria, who has feuded with partners almost from the day he bought into the Expos last December, wants to buy dissenters out and move the team. Attendance is near bottom among major-

league teams, and Loria recently said, sarcastically, that he feels he knows most fans since there are so few of them. Games are available only on French-language radio or the Internet, the media are suspicious of Lorias motives, and partners have not completed a $ 150-million recapitalization plan.

Among signs of discord: minority part• ner Jean Coutu refused to have his picture taken with other partners, including Loria, on opening day, and Loria passed on a black-tie fund-raiser honouring Jacques Ménard and Stephen Bronfman, co-chairmen of the partners’ committee. (He cited family reasons for his absence.) Ménard, who brought Loria in as a lastminute saviour, is keeping quiet publicly, but has told friends he is among those fed up with Lorias behaviour.

Trend Watch

It was only a matter of time before young musicians uncovered the Golden Ages— and Agers—of Canadian music. After years of “sampling” (recycling) grooves from the the likes of Stevie Wonder and Otis Redding, pop and rap artists are now turning to Canuck icons like the Guess Who and Gordon Lightfoot for material. Some examples:

• In 1998, Stars on 54 sped up Lightfoofs 1970 classic If You Could Read My Mind for the 54 sound track, and created one of the decade’s only disco hits.

• In 1998, Toronto rapper Maestro Fresh-Wes staged a comeback by shortening his name to Maestro and hitting the charts with Stick to Your Vision, a rap cover of the Guess Who’s 1969 song These Eyes.

• Last month, North Carolina rapper Elwood released his first single, Sundown, using the chorus from Lightfoot’s 1974 hit of the same name. Elwood, recognizing the generational limitations of his fan base, acknowledged: “Most people who hear it don’t even know it’s a cover.”