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Wake Me When It's Over

by Stephen Lautens


February 11, 2000

Lately the news makes me wonder whether someone is switching my morning paper for one of those gag newspapers you get at the Exhibition.

You know ­ the one with your picture in a barrel going over Niagara Falls and a headline declaring you the World's Greatest Sex Machine.

But it's not the newspapers - it's the news that's getting weirder.

James Doohan - Star Trek's Scotty - has fathered a child at 79. The Enterprise may have some rust on it, but apparently the dilithium crystals can still produce warp drive.

Everyone by now knows that Pam Barrett - Alberta's NDP Leader - made the front pages last week after having a spiritual experience under a dentist's anesthetic. After coming to, she said that she knew she had to "find another path". Typical of the NDP, she had no idea what that meant or how to get there.

I would have thought that the NDP would be used to this kind of thing by now - pretty much every election is a near-death experience for them.

None of which takes away from the fact that Barrett is respected as a compassionate woman and good parliamentarian - but stop posing for those Joan of Arc photos. If it was me, I'd pack my Shroud of Turin beach towel and head south.

Ben Johnson is in Libya working as personal trainer to the son of leader Moammar Gadhafi. It's nice to see he's finally getting the respect he deserves as a professional athlete.

In Boulder Colorado the city council has passed an ordinance that requires residents to pick a sex and not change it more than three times every year and a half.

Personally, I have enough trouble picking out what clothes to wear in the morning without going through my wife's closet, even if it does double my choices.

Everyone has got their knickers in a twist over Austria's new government that includes Joerg Haider's right wing Freedom Party. How dare Austria democratically elect someone we don't like? That's not what democracy is about, is it?

Our Governor General in the newly nicotine free Rideau Hall gave the Austrian Ambassador a lecture on human rights. It isn't much, but Austria is now considering a strudel embargo and recalling Arnold Schwartzenegger's accent in retaliation.

And the War Museum in Ottawa started an unholy fuss about whether they should sell Hitler's car that sits in their collection. It might be worth $20 million, and the museum could use the cash.

Jack Granatstein, a respected historian who runs the museum, worries about two things. First, he worries that people looking at the big black Mercedes will think that "Hitler must have been a real cool guy to have such a sharp car."

Right. History would be so much easier to understand if only the good guys drove cool cars and people like Hitler drove around in Dodge Darts or Chevy Vegas.

Granatstein is also worried that if they sell Hitler's car, neo-Nazis would buy it. Then they could use it for propaganda trips to the Wendy's drive-thru. Like those shaved-headed morons could scrape together $20 million and figure out how a computer works long enough to make a bid on Ebay. Puh-lease.

Unless of course there's a certain Austrian politician who needs something to drive a transgendered Ben Johnson to Scotty junior's christening.


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