Ways to cheer a cranky columnist

Bob Wakeham
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Given the fact that we’re in the midst of the annual dog days of slow summer news, especially of the political variety (our honourable members being busy selling themselves in their districts and paying extreme attention to their spending habits, reminded of the repercussions of playing loose with the rules by the seemingly steady paroles of their disgraced former colleagues), I’m relegated this week to an admittedly random potpourri of subjects.

So, with that defensive qualifier in place, let me just say that my life would be slightly better off if:  

• Ryan Snodden, CBC’s flashy weather guy, would never, ever again, under pain of being dispatched back to the mainland, talk of the need for “relief,” a cold snap, after a few consecutive days of real summer.

• Rogers Cable, a company with a licence to print money, the ability to grab a small fortune from thousands of Newfoundlanders every month (including me), could provide us with one day of television, just 24 hours, during which the audio and video are in synch, where there is no “lip flap,” as it’s usually called in the boob-tube medium.      

• Those two tiresome codgers in that Toronto Dominion ad that’s gotten more air time than even the test pattern Indian of 50 years ago fall victim to some sort of television trauma (it’s that unimaginative commercial in which the old-fashioned twosome — a poor man’s version of the Jack Lemmon and Walter Matthau characters of “Grumpy Old Men” — bug the bank employee about maintaining late hours).

• Something legit happens with the Lower Churchill contract instead of vacuous, garbage press releases like the one issued a couple of weeks back, ostensibly dealing with a schedule for the dream development. The release, a shameful political creation, was obviously designed to give the misleading impression that something was really happening on the Churchill deal. 

• Anyone using the word “Newfie” is forced to consume nothing but canned pea soup and caplin for a month.

• John Crosbie, at one of those tea and crumpets awards ceremonies, makes the most inappropriate comment ever made by a lieutenant governor (just for old time’s sake).

• Danny Williams steps down, not in disgrace (the bulk of Newfoundlanders still seem intent on giving him carte blanche to rule), but just for the fun of observing how the Tories would perform without King Daniel on the throne. Also, it would bring an even playing field to the historically entertaining game of politics in this neck of the woods — normally a journalist’s delight— that in recent years, with Dan the Man calling all the shots, has all too frequently had the excitement of mowing the lawn.

• Canadian news shows, including our own longtime supper

hour competitors, discontinue their American-style mandate that reporters’ mugs and tongues dominate the screen. There was a time when storytelling on television was actually left in the hands of those whose stories were being told (what a mind-blowing concept!).

• Ignoramuses who feel the compulsion to engage in a running dialogue during a movie at the Avalon Mall, heedless to the unambiguous warning at the start of the show about keeping your mouth shut, stay at home and talk their heads off while watching a rental.

• Anonymous commentary on the ubiquitous blogs of the world, and on television and radio feedback segments, and open-line shows, are barred for all time, and that people who have something to say have the gonads to identify themselves.                         

• Teachers, like my wife, are appreciated more for all the extraordinary hours and dedication they give to their students, and

are never mocked for having the “grandest of jobs, m’dear, off all summer, Christmas and Easter.” Good thing they have those breaks, if you ask me, or the Waterford Hospital would have been forced to add a special wing for teachers long ago.

• The Rangers win the Stanley Cup once more before I end up on a slab in Carnell’s basement; it wouldn’t hurt if the Jays won the World Series as well.

So there.

Bob Wakeham has spent more than 30 years as a journalist in Newfoundland and Labrador. He can be reached by e-mail at bwakeham@nl.rogers.com.

Organizations: CBC, Rogers Cable, Churchill Waterford Hospital

Geographic location: Newfoundland and Labrador

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