Wednesday, April 18, 2012

This is the Beginning - February 9th, 1970

My friend who lives in Calgary likes to rummage through second hand stores.  He tells me that with all of the oil money floating around you can't believe the stuff that people are getting rid of.  He swears he found a full set of turquoise Le Creuset cookware the week after the Fraser Institute published a study linking pastel kitchen colours to an increased risk of homosexuality.

A few weeks after the above-mentioned incident, the Calgary Herald called out the Apple board of directors as a group of communist sympathizers and he went back in search of some cheap electronics.  Well, here's where the story gets a bit crazy.  I realize that this is going to seem fantastical and unbelievable.  I did not believe him myself and made him send me actual pictures of the object.  I've spent the last few weeks in deep analysis.  I've checked the facts.  I've made phone calls, checked yearbooks and had handwriting analysis done.  I'm baffled and awed by our good fortune, but it appears that my friend has found, buried at the bottom of a box full of signed copies of Going Rogue, the childhood diary of one Stephen J. Harper, the 22nd Prime Minister of Canada.

Like I said.  You're doubting this.  You're thinking there is no possible way that something like this could exist, let alone be found floating around in a Calgary Sally-Ann.  But I assure you.  This is real.  And my friend and I are going to share this diary with you, one posting at a time.

Feb 9th, 1970

Dear Diary:

Today begins what is my (hopefully) short experimentation with writing in a diary.  I can’t see how this can possibly help anything, but Edna insists that it will go a long way towards helping us in our sessions.  I still cannot believe that I must see Edna once per week.  I am spending far less time in the back of the library and I’ve stopped “loitering” on the side of the pitch during the girl’s soccer practice.  I really do not see what remains that anybody has to complain about.  Regardless, I will do everything that is asked of me in hopes of ending this charade.  If that includes writing in a diary, then I will write in a diary.

The tedium and monotony of school is getting to be too much.  Mrs. Sharples spent the majority of class today talking about the upcoming implementation of the metric system.  We’re going to have to re-learn everything and it seems quite pointless.  I’m quite happy weighing 120 pounds, not 54.4 kilograms.  My walk to school is precisely ¾’s of 1 mile, not 1.2 km.  I sincerely distrust anything created by the French.  The other Neanderthals appear to be swallowing this tripe whole.  Kenny Spencer even suggested that this was going to make math easier.  Then he sneezed all over the front of his shirt so I think that the nefarious implications of his proclamation were lost in the laughter.  I asked Father again if he could please register me for private school.  The public education system leaves much to be desired.

Speaking of Father, I was dragged to the garage today after school.  The car was in for servicing and I had to meet him so that he could drive me to my piano lesson.  I started to question the mechanic on what he was doing to the car and he spoke to me at great length about brake pads.  Apparently the secret to good brake pads is lots of asbestos.  I’m not sure what asbestos is, but the mechanic assures me that it is necessary for good braking.  I will have to do some further research and figure out if he has taken father for an unnecessary seventy-five cents.  This “asbestos” sounds entirely made up.  You cannot trust a man that makes a living wallowing in grease and oil.


Valentine's Day - February 17th, 1970

February 17th, 1970

Dear Diary:

The Government announced today that they are banning phosphates from laundry detergent.  This is outrageous!  We have a we have a a duty to use as many phosphates as humanly possible.  Don’t they know where phosphates come from?  They come from phosphorous.  Don’t they know where phosphorous comes from?  It comes from the ground.  Don’t they know where stuff from the ground comes from?  It comes from God.  If God put phosphorous in the ground then gosh darn it, we’re meant to use phosphorous.   Who cares if algae takes over?  If god wants algae to take over, algae is going to take over!  This is an unacceptable intrusion on my rights as a Canadian citizen.

In preparation, Father and I went down to Sears today and bought 200 pounds of phosphate intensive laundry detergent.  I will ask Mrs. Sharples tomorrow about the possibility of manufacturing our own phosphates as a class project.  I would be much more comfortable if I knew that we would be able to re-phosphate the de-phosphated laundry detergent of the future.

It was Saint Valentine’s Day on Saturday.  We did not have class so I went by Suzie Carmichael’s house to drop off her Valentine.  It had a picture of a monkey on it and the monkey was saying “I’m Wild For You!”  This was not quite the sentiment I was hoping to express but it was the only card available that did not contain a bad pun.  On the inside I wrote “Forever Yours.  Stephen.”  I hid in the bushes for a while, then I stuffed it underneath the doormat, rang the doorbell and ran as fast as I could down the street.  Suzie didn’t make eye contact with me all day today, so I think she must have received it.  I am still awaiting her reply.


Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Asbestos - February 23rd, 1970

February 23rd, 1970

Dear Diary:

It has taken quite a bit of work, but I have managed to track down an excellent book dedicated to the study of asbestos.  I owe Father’s mechanic a debt of gratitude for introducing me to such a miracle substance.  It truly is wonderful.  Dear diary, did you know that asbestos is basically fireproof?  That it stops electricity dead in its tracks?  And, that it is affordable?  Holy kittens is it ever affordable!  The only weakness I can see is that the source of this holy miracle resides deep in the heart of Quebec.  Hopefully the lord blesses us with a further bounty of Asbestos closer to home.   People really need to hear about this Asbestos.  I set up an information booth at school today and was handing out leaflets to interested students.  I was only able to give away three of them, and one of those was to Jorge, the exchange student from Bolivia who does not speak English, but I think that I made a large impact on the other two students.  Tomorrow I will start a petition and insist that all floor coverings and walls throughout the school contain an adequate amount of Asbestos.

Mrs. Sharples has refused my request to manufacture phosphates as a class project.  I am a bit worried about what I will do in the future for laundry detergent.


Added April 22nd, 2012

Monday, April 16, 2012

Languages - March 2nd, 1970

March 2nd, 1970

Dear Diary,

I knew that a French-Canadian Prime Minister would be bad news for normal Canadians.  Do you have any idea what he did today?  He named a "Commissioner of Official Languages of Canada".  And he tells everybody that his job is to "uphold French and English language rights in all federal institutions under the 1969 Official Languages Act."  All of our signs are already in English so somehow I don't think he will be spending much time defending my rights as an English speaking Canadian. 

I asked Mrs. Sharples if I could speak in class to raise the alarm about this declaration of war on true Canadians.  She would not allow it and instead spoke at length to the class about our "proud French-Canadian heritage".  I forgot that she had grown up in Montreal.  To add insult to injury she forced us to sing nothing but French songs in music class to end the day.  I made up my own non french lyrics and sang them as loudly as I could.  Kenny Spencer joined in and I realized that my protest had sunk to a level at which I wasn't comfortable.  I lectured him on the importance of respecting our teachers and our education and switched over to the proper lyrics.  After class he threw my notebook into the garbage and then pushed me in head first when I attempted to fish it out.  I went home covered in peanut butter.  Father will still not consider sending me to private school.

It has been more than a week, but my Asbestos information drive/petition is not doing very well.  I have still only given away the three information leaflets.  Jorge, the Bolivian Exchange Student is the only person to have signed my petition.  I will give this a few more days and then approach the Principal with my petition.


Added April 29, 2012

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Bad News for Canada. Good News for Asbestos - March 5th, 1970

March 5th, 1970

Dear Diary,

It is bad enough that that the Canadian Government is constantly telling us what to do (I'm still quite upset about the upcoming ban on phosphates).  Today, a new standard of government intrusion has been created.  Today the Nuclear Non Proliferation Treaty went into effect.  Do you realize that as a signatory, Canada can never possess nuclear weapons?  We have allowed a group of nuclear-weapon toting bullies to force us into a position where we can never join their exclusive little club.  Imagine if I was to go around the school forcing people to sign a piece of paper that said they would never be able to join my chess club?  They would laugh in my face and refuse to sign.  It is a dark day for Canada and there is only one person to blame: Pierre Elliot Trudeau.  Now Canada will never rise to its rightful place in this world.  He has sold out our future for his present gain.  I hope that this unrepentant bachelor eventually meets a lovely woman and they undergo a passionate and robust round of dating before marrying and birthing numerous children so that one day those children can face off against a trained fighter who will then beat those same children senseless.  Only then will he understand the future pain that he has inflicted on myself and the unborn generations of Canadians to come.  Canada has been banished to the remedial class of nations today.  I don't know what else to say.

However, it is not all bad.  I have great news about asbestos today.  I still only had one other signature on my asbestos petition (Pedro, the Bolivian exchange student).  So, I spent hours last night faking signatures.  I had several different colours of pens.  I wrote left handed and right handed.  I wrote upside down and sideways.  I got my petition up to a respectable number - Five thousand, one hundred and thirteen signatures.  It was exhausting.

I waited outside the Principal's office for an hour-and-a-half after school.  I could see that he was simply reading the newspaper, but his secretary insisted he was busy.  He finally saw me and I presented my petition.  He leafed through it for a minute or two and then, bless his heart, told me the good news.  The school is rich with asbestos!  Flooring.  Drywall.  Ceiling tiles.  Piping insulation.  Heck, even our desks!  All filled with asbestos.  I feel much safer already.  Next, I will work on father to get more asbestos into our house.  I've heard good things about these lead-based paints as well.


Added May 3, 2012

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Metrification - March 12th, 1970

March 12th, 1970 

Dear Diary:

I saw the most fascinating advertisement in the back of a magazine today.  For one American dollar (plus 25 cents in shipping and handling) I can receive a modern miracle of science:  X-Ray Specs.  I will be able to glance at my hand and "look right through the flesh and see the bones underneath" or "see the body underneath the clothes."  The possibilities of this technology are endless.  I have heard that asbestos is resistant to X-Rays, so I think that I will be able to re-purpose these glasses as a highly effective asbestos detector.  I have already put my order in the mail and am expecting my package in 4-6 weeks.  Hopefully, by early April I will be able to confirm that the school is indeed up to snuff with asbestos as well as help father plan for maximum strategic asbestos value in the house.

We had another lesson on the metric system today.  It took half an hour to teach the class that water will no longer freeze at 32 degrees Fahrenheit.  Water will now freeze at zero degrees Celsius.  Which is totally crazy.  Who will re-calibrate all of the thermometers?  How will we properly set the refrigerator temperature?  And, even crazier, water will no longer boil at an easy-to-remember 212 degrees Fahrenheit.  Water will now boil at 100 degrees Celsius.  Who died and made water the master of temperature?  This is not right.  I cannot even begin to speculate on what room temperature will become.  Luckily, I have one constant in my life: The Piano.  Not even the French can spoil the simple, majestic beauty of the twelve notes of the chromatic scale.


Added May 7, 2012

Friday, April 13, 2012

Bad Things Happen - March 18th, 1970

March 18th, 1970 

Dear Diary:

The worst possible thing has happened today.  US Postal Workers went on strike.  This means that I will not be receiving my X-Ray Spectacles within the allotted 4-to-6 week time frame.  It will take much longer.  I will not be able to execute my home asbestos installation project as quickly as possible.  It is completely unfair that a group of people could deprive me of my right to receive mail by going on strike.  What makes them think that they can do this?  I hope that somebody can step in and clean this situation up quickly and efficiently.  My safety depends on this.

I may have to get a new piano teacher.  Miss Beadle is forcing me to learn a bunch of modern "popular" music.  She has forced George Gershwin's "Rhapsody in Blue" upon me.  I can't imagine what she will have me learning next.  Jazz?  Rock and Roll?  This music has no place on a piano.


Added May 15, 2012

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Union Troubles - March 25th, 1970

March 25th, 1970

Dear Diary:

The US Postal strike is still going.  My X-Ray Spectacle situation does not look good.

I've looked in to these so-called "Unions", or "Labour Unions" as some people call them.  Did you know that any Union has a right to arbitrarily grind a business to a halt through a self-serving strike?  They can just call a vote, decide not to come in to work the next day and victimize business owners and the public.  It's unfair, undemocratic and unconscionable!  I'm surprised it is not Unconstitutional as well.

Luckily, one Richard M. Nixon is on the case.  He's talking about calling in the army to keep the Post Offices running.  What a visionary.  I wish that our country had this kind of leadership.  It is strong and decisive and I think things will work out well for the United States under this man.

I have started with inquiries at local business establishments as to whether or not they have workers that are members of Unions.  I am not certain what my best course of action will be, as boycotting these businesses with do nothing but further victimize the poor owners.  The problem goes much deeper than I had first expected.


Added May 22, 2012

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

The Maple Leafs - March 30th, 1970

March 30th, 1970

Dear Diary:

All anybody can talk about today is the Maple Leafs.  First off, why does everybody care so much about hockey?  Do they not understand that it is just a children’s game played by men?  A tool by which rich businessmen pry dollars away from starry-eyed working stiffs and that the government uses to stoke national pride and keep the citizens beer filled and oblivious? Who cares that the Maple Leafs did not make the playoffs?  This is a game of averages.  It has been only three years since Toronto triumphed and won this “Stanley Cup”.  Yes, six teams have been added, but the Maple Leafs still possess a one-in-twelve chance of victory.  Greater, even, as these new teams will bumble along with years of mediocrity.  Fear not minions, your hockey team will triumph again within a few years time.  It is inevitable.

US Postal workers are still on strike.  I still do not have my X-Ray Spectacles.  Unbelievable.


Added May 28, 2012

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Nixon and Smoking - April 1st, 1970

April 1st, 1970

Dear Diary,

Recently, I was confident that Richard M. Nixon was the man that was going to take this planet boldly into the future.  Today, I am not so sure.  Today, President Nixon signed away the rights of millions of Americans.  He has inserted the government into the personal lives of every American man, woman and child and I think the consequences on the USA and the rest of North American will be calamitous.  Today, President Nixon signed a law prohibiting the advertising of cigarettes on television.

This law does not take effect until January 1st of 1971, so the cigarette companies have a few months to prepare.  But how are people to make informed decisions as to what cigarettes to buy?  Perhaps the cigarette companies will improve their magazine advertisements and provide more information as to the benefits of their specific brands.  It is unfair and unfortunate that such a clear and direct way of communicating with customers has been closed off by excessive government intervention.

I went to the Convenience Store after school today to buy some cigarettes.  As I suspected, there are seemingly hundreds of different brands.  I didn't know where to begin.  Imagine how difficult things will be for children of the future that will have even less knowledge than I have.  And worst of all, the proprietor refused to sell me the cigarettes as it could cause him to "lose his license".  I was forced to complete my first attempt at smoking by digging through an ashtray for a discarded cigarette.  I did not enjoy it.

US Postal workers are still on strike.  Can you believe they are allowed to do this?  There must be some law to force them back to work.  Needless to say, I still do not have my X-Ray Spectacles.  This is yet another failed test of Nixon leadership.


Added May 28, 2012

Monday, April 9, 2012

The Beatles - April 11th, 1970

April 11th, 1970 

Dear Diary, 

Suzie Carmichael was crying at school yesterday.  When I asked her what was wrong she said "They broke up.  The Beatles broke up."  I did not now what she was speaking of so I asked her what she meant.  "The Beatles!  The Fab Four!  They're breaking up." I was taken aback and her forceful tone added to my confusion."Mozart, Bach, Beethoven and Chopin?", I asked.  She stared at me like I was an imbecile and started to walk off.  I attempted to cover my faux pas with a playful chuckle.  I called her back and said "Oh!  The Beatles!  I love the Beatles.  That is too bad.  I am upset by their impending break-up as well."  She asked me what my favourite Beatles song was.  I panicked and told her "Peggy Sue".  She ran away crying.  I did not follow.
I do not understand this fascination with "popular" music.  There is absolutely no question that I would take a nice Sonata over a "rock" song, any day of the week.  Indeed, one more hippie band calling it quits is a reason to cheer.  In celebration, I spent an extra half hour doing scales and arpeggios on the piano tonight.  Proper technique and fingering is the foundation for truly great music, not long hair and shouting.

Israel bombed Egypt a few days ago.  A few extra people died, but good for them for taking the initiative to head off future threats.  This is strong leadership.  I must say that this Golda Meir fellow is a strong candidate to replace Mr. Nixon as my new favourite World Leader.

The Postal Strike finally ended last week.  My X-Ray Spectacles should be here any day! 


Added on May 31, 2012 

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Apollo 13 - April 14th, 1970

April 14th, 1970 

Dear Diary,

You know that I'm not one to get excited about space travel (too flashy), but I must say that this Apollo 13 accident really has moved me.  These brave men most likely will not see their way back to Earth.  And for what?  So that we can bring back a few more moon rocks?  This is such a waste of money and of human life.  This money and these lives could have been used for much better purposes.  Like mining asbestos.  Or stopping communism.

Regardless, I am so upset that I will not be able to practice the piano this evening.  I will work on a miniature shrine to celebrate these marvelous human beings instead.

Even worse, still no X-Ray Spectacles. 


Added on June 12, 2012

Saturday, April 7, 2012

The Best Day Ever - April 17th, 1970

April 17th, 1970

Dear Diary:

This is truly a day to remember.  Life is filled with so much turmoil and trouble, swirling around like an impossible vortex.  At any moment the unexpected can appear out of nowhere and cast doubt on the very essence of being.  And then...when it seems like it can't get any worse...everything turns around.  Yes Diary, my X-Ray Spectacles arrived today.  I am so excited I have not even had a chance to try them out yet.

As well, the Apollo 13 Lunar Module came back to Earth safely today.  Everybody was okay.


Added on June 20, 2012

Friday, April 6, 2012

Sadness - April 18th, 1970

April 18th, 1970

Dear Diary,

I will admit that I have never in my life felt so torn as I do at this moment.  My asbestos detection program is in tatters and I feel duped; The X-Rays spectacles do not have the ability to see through anything.  Not only will they not see the life-saving asbestos contained in the walls of the school, they won't even see through the walls in the first place!

And because of this I am torn.  I feel an incredible amount of rage towards Acme Products Incorporated of Springfield, Illinois.  I feel like they have taken advantage of my good will and have sent me a sub-standard product that does not work.  But deep down I know that this is my fault.  As a consumer it is my duty to research the product and make sure that the purchase is worthwhile.  I can't expect somebody to step in and protect me from my own ineptitude.  Who is going to do that for me?  The government?  Hardly.

So well done, Acme Products Incorporated.  Well done.  You have taught me a valuable lesson and I wish you the best in your future endeavours.  I tried to take the easy way out in my asbestos detection and I have been rightfully punished for my actions.


July 3, 2012