Monday, January 30, 2006

Breaking the Ice

The Conservatives won the 2006 federal election with a campaign motto of "Stand up for Canada." It didn't take long for the Americans to pick a fight with Prime Minister designate Stephen Harper, but thus far the Tory leader is standing his ground, albeit on very thin ice.

The USA and several other nations dispute Canada's sovereignty in Arctic waters. The debate resurfaced last week after the American ambassador to Canada reiterated his government's stance that they do not recognize Canada's claims over the Northwest Passage.

Although ambassador Wilkins suggests that his remarks were old news, he was clearly taken aback when Harper shrugged off his comments. "It is the Canadian people we get our mandate from, not the ambassador of the United States," Harper was quoted as saying.

An enraged Wilkins called Harper a "shit-disturbing right wing wannabe" and proceeded to sprout goat horns and a grotesque stump of a second head that bore a striking resemblance to Rick Moranis. The suddenly malformed Wilkins began to attack the room with white hot fireballs before vaporizing himself into an odious cloud of purple smoke.

Thankfully, there were no reported injuries after Wilkins' tirade. The American embassy would only say that the ambassador is now on temporary stress leave and is expected back in the office before the end of the week.

Wilkins, seen here conjuring a ball of
white flame, was really angry.
(CP Photo. Really.)

Friday, January 20, 2006

How the Pinch Saved Christmas (Part II of II)

The sunrise over the North Pole is truly a sight to behold. It speaks directly to the spirit, offering an effervescent promise of hope for a land of frozen despair. It warms even the smallest of snowflakes and seems to feed off the very rebirth it inspires. But this remains a cold, insidious and unforgiving place. Only at the onset of the gloaming do you realise that you should not have strayed so far from your home. The Arctic is not unlike Stephen Harper in this regard.

Even the hardiest of Canadians would find this too hostile a climate, but it seems to suit Santa Claus just fine. Now that he has some time off, we here at The Maple Lounge we able to secure an exclusive interview with the big man in order to discover which political party he was considering running for last month.

TML: "Hello Mr. Claus. Thanks for agreeing to our interview request."

Santa: "My pleasure. Care for another scotch?"

TML: "Certainly. So, how does Santa Claus choose a political party?"

Santa: "As you might expect, I made a list of names. A list spanning the entire political spectrum."

TML: "Just one list?"

Santa: "Just the one."

TML: "I always thought you made two separate lists, one for nice kids and another for the naughty ones."

Santa: "Usually I do. We're talking about politicians here. They're all on the naughty list. The trick is to choose the party with the fewest members on the wrong list."

TML: "And that party is?"

Santa: "Well, I reserve the right to change my mind, but ..."

TML: "Like Belinda Stronach?"

Mr. Claus bristled at the notion that he might run for one party just to get elected and then quickly hop into bed with whoever is willing to give him what he needs to advance his new career. "Hey look, I'm Santa. I'm not doing this because I need a job or just for attention," he said. Pressed for his opinion on the character of Ms. Stronach, Santa looked every bit the jolly old elf we all know, and would only place a finger aside his nose and chuckle "Ho! Ho! Ho!"

"Hell yeah, she's definitely on the naughty list," said a male voice from underneath the table, which turned out to be Peter MacKay. He emerged from his hiding spot and began lewdly gesturing with a swagger not seen in a Conservative MP for years. "Remember, he sees you when you're sleeping and knows when you're awake." (As Mr. Mackay pondered the implications of his last statement, he promptly fled to his family's farm in Nova Scotia to blubber awhile and regroup for the election on January 23rd.)

If one interruption during our exclusive interview wasn't enough, Rudolf then suddenly reared up as Stealth Ninja Agent Svend Robinson sprang out of Prancer's left ear and pinched St. Nick's ass.

"I didn't do it," came Svend's predictable denial, "but my actions notwithstanding, Claus, if you ever want a piece of the NDP caucus you know who to call." At first it seemed that Svend was trying to make a grandiose political statement in his own unique way, but that turned out not to be the case.

The brouhaha settled with only just enough time for the one final question we had come here to ask. Alas, Santa was already on the move.

He swore and he cursed as he flew out of sight, "Fuck, my wallet! Find that ass bandit! Tonight!"

This concludes the tale of how Santa's fledging political career came to an abrupt end, and how the pinch saved Christmas forever.

Hey, at least now we know which party he was running for!

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

How the Pinch Saved Christmas (Part I of II)

Riding a wave of anti-Liberal anger, the surging Tories in all likelihood are on their way to forming a majority government on January 23rd. They came racing out of the gate at the sound of the gun, yet most observers expected another photo finish on election day once Harper's campaign started to bleed momentum. The anticipated slowdown never materialised, and in fact the opposite has happened.

While the Conservative strategists appear to have been one step ahead of everyone else this time, The Maple Lounge has uncovered shocking evidence of just how different the election campaign could have been.

Stealth ninja agent Svend Robinson has obtained top secret documents confirming the rumour that Santa Claus had originally planned to cancel Christmas and run for office. As if an election campaign during the holiday season wasn't enough, Canadians should know just how close they came to getting political pamphlets in their stockings instead of sugarplums.

"Ludicrous, just ludicrous!" said the leader of the Green Party, whatever his name is. "All I can say is that he certainly wasn't running for us. Have you any idea how much methane those damn reindeer put out, eating those blasted carrots all night?"

So you won't find Santa's signature on the Kyoto protocol or in the Green Party's member list, but honestly even having Saint Nick as a star candidate couldn't buy the Green Party any attention. It does raise an interesting question, however. Which party is the best fit for the big man from the North Pole?

Clearly the NDP's close ties to organised labour preclude Santa joining their party, what with his monopoly over elf slave labour and all. We can't see his traditional red suit going over too well with even the most left-leaning of Tories, either.

"I'm sure we could have worked something out," said Stephen Harper while campaigning from inside a giant model of the human colon, "but he said that my ass wasn't big enough for the both of us." (Mr. Harper then began to jump around and clap his hands excitedly, claiming that he had actually said "butt" instead of "but" and this was a shining example of the newer, less angry, joke-telling Conservative leader.)

Jolly ol' Saint Nick's tendency to only work one day a year makes him a shoo-in for the Senate, but the fact that he showers people with presents to garner attention implies a natural fit for Paul Martin's crew.

There was only one way to be sure. The Maple Lounge arranged an interview with Santa Claus, and you can be sure that we grilled the big man with our own style of hard-hitting journalism.

In the second half of this story, to be published on Friday January 20th, we reveal how Santa's political aspirations shone briefly like the star over Bethlehem and subsequently winked out of existence like Blitzen's cousin Bob, who never even knew what a Via train was until the day it finally hit him.

Monday, January 09, 2006

Something Smelly this Way Comes

Contrary to a certain rumour making the rounds of the Canadian blogosphere, the not-so-shocking lack of updates here at The Maple Lounge is not because I'm running for the Doughnut party in the riding of Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump, but rather because I'm putting the finishing touches on my new book.

That's right people, the limited edition scratch 'n sniff version of Squeezers, Squeakers, Eggers and Stinkers: An Illustrated History of Farts in Canadian Political Campaigns (Volume II) will be available in a bookstore near you. As you might imagine, I've been very busy because the publisher wants to rush the book to print before the election on January 23rd. I hope the book gets more attention that this evening's leaders' debate, although honestly I think the advice in the first volume was largely ignored by the four major parties despite spending 10 weeks (and counting) on the Goose Bay Times bestseller list. Nevertheless, it still attracted more attention that the Green Party.