Dancing For The Stamps

I found this unfinished Sketch-22 script while searching for something else. I entirely forgot this existed. I can’t even remember if we did anything with it. I doubt it. Anyway, it made me laugh, so I thought others might enjoy it.

Shot 1 – Tammy K Confessional

Tammy K: I’m totally stoked to get the Slow Dance!  I’m usually still hangin’ at the clubs when the lights come up, right, so I’ve had my share of slow dances.  Totally stoked!

Shot 2 – Boyd Confessional

Boyd: The ladies are always complimentin’ me or whatever on how good a slow dancer I am right, so yeah, I think this one’s in the bag.  And Tammy K never gets picked up at the bars before last call, so she’s always skankin’ around lookin’ for tail and slow dancin’ with whatever she can get.  So, yeah, she’s got slow dance experience.

Shot 3 – Wide Shot of Dance Studio

Boyd and Tammy K enter the studio and see their choreographer:  Ketchup.  Tammy K gets really excited.

shot 4 – Tammy K Confessional

Tammy K: Oh. My. God!.  Ketchup!!!  Can’t believe we got Ketchup as our choreographer for Slow Dance.  Friggin’ Ketchup’s a Slow Dance Legend!!

shot 5 – Boyd Confessional

Boyd: Do you have ANY idea how many chicks this dude’s nailed after slow dancin’ with them at Myrons?  Tons!  I’m gonna fuckin’ learn from a fuckin’ master!!

shot 6 – Dance Studio – Ketchup teaching Boyd the Slow Dance, with Tammy K

Ketchup: Boyd!  Ya gotta get your hands right up there in the crack of her ass!  It’s last dance!  Ya think yer gonna get this girl to bed just by holdin’ her hips?  Get in there and start rubbin her crack! Pretend like you’re kneading bread.

Boyd:  I don’t need any bread. I ain’t hungry.

shot 7 – Dance Studio – Ketchup teaching Tammy K the Slow Dance, with Boyd

Ketchup:  Whatcha doin’ Tammy K?  Are you a fucking nun?  Get that pussy grindin’ into his groin.  Your job through this whole slow dance is simple – get the dude hard!  Get the dude hard!  Get the dude hard!

shot 8 – Tammy K and Boyd Confessional

Tammy K: We’re gonna nail the slow dance!!

Boyd nods agreeingly

shot 9 – Dance Studio, different wide shot angle

Clips of Tyler and Tammy B rehearsing with You-Dit, a pale, thin, hard looking woman or man dressed in black tights, hair pulled back in a tight bun.  A task-master.

Over the clips above, we hear Tyler voice-over

Tyler voice-over: ‘Kay, like, I don’t usually go out on the dance floor for the uptempo songs or whatever right, ’cause like it’s fruity and what-not.  Still, I’m still here in the show, and the pay’s alright right…

shot 10 – Tyler Confessional (we pick him up during his speech)

Tyler: …and the ones who go all the way get full stamps for the year, so I guess it’d be cool to win or you know… And Tammy’s got most of the moves in this one, so it’s not too gay, right?  And, you know (holds up beer bottle) Alpine!

shot 11 – more clips of Tyler and Tammy B learning from You-Dit

Tammy B (voice-over): I was worried that Tyler’d screw me over royally in this one, ’cause like I know his brother Ted right and I know Ted’d punch the shit outta Tyler if Ted seen him dancin’ up-tempo or whatever…

shot 12 – Tammy B Confessional (we pick her up in the speech)

Tammy B: …Ted hates fags, right. Still though, it’s pretty sweet the effort Tyler put into the rehearsal..

Shot 13 – You-Dit watching Tammy B & Tyler (with beer and cigarette) dancing

Tammy B: …’specially when You-Dit or whatever’s-her-name is told him he could hold an Alpine and a smoke as props.  So, yeah, if we do good tonight, I’d pretty much fuck him I told him.

Flying Away Dead & Boobs

Dave Stewart and I come up with all sorts of strange, funny-to-us, oddball things. One such thing was the idea of an old vaudeville comedy act called Flying Away Dead and Boobs. FAD was one character, Boobs the other. I cannot remember how we came up with the names, but it is a terrible name for a comedy duo. That is why we liked it so much.

Anyway, away in the drawers of my brain they sat. One day, in 2003, while trying to come up with a sketch idea for Sketch-22, I thought of a gag along the lines of Abbott & Costello’s Who’s On First classic, only using the names of local politicians of the time. And who better to present such a vaudevillian treat but Flying Away Dead and Boobs.

I started to write it, got only so far, and gave up. It went unused, mercifully. Here, though, for your edification and bemusement, is the script as it lay.

Boobs:  Well, Flying Away Dead, here you are, over 90 years old.  Did you think you’d ever see 2003?

FAD: Two thousand and three what?


Boobs: So, Flying Away Dead, I hear you got a job in the government and you’re responsible for the daily waste watch disposal at the provincial legislature.

FAD: That’s right, Boobs.

Boobs: And somehow you managed to get some big wigs to help you sort out all the garbage at province house.

FAD: Oh, yes. Lotsa big wigs.  Lawyers and politicians.  Even the Premier of the province is gonna help.

Boobs: Really.  Well, I’d like to know more about who’s gonna sort your garbage.  For instance, who’s gonna be responsible for putting the waste in the black containers?

FAD: Binns.

Boobs: Oh, is that what you call them black containers?  Bins?

FAD: That’s right.

Boobs: So, who’s gonna be responsible for the waste bins?

FAD: Yes, totally responsible.

Boobs: Who’s gonna be totally responsible?

FAD: For the waste? Binns.

Boobs: Yeah, for them.

FAD: He sure will.

Boobs: Who will?

FAD: Binns.

Boobs: Yeah, that’s what I want to know.  What’s the name of the guy who’s taking the waste out to the black containers?

FAD: Binns.

Boobs:  Sorry…to the bins.  What’s his name?

FAD:  The name of the guy taking the garbage to the waste?  Binns.

Boobs:  And what would his name be?

FAD:  I just told you.

Boobs: No you didn’t.

FAD:  I did.  But I’ll tell you one more time…and I’ll speak slowly…This is the name… of the guy…taking the garbage… to the waste…Binns.

(pause as Boobs waits…finally:)

Boobs: What is the name of the guy taking the garbage to the waste?

FAD:  Binns.

Boobs:  Yes, the name of the guy taking the garbage to the waste bins.

FAD:  Now you got it!

Boobs:  I do?


Boobs:  Let’s say it’s Friday and everybody’s eatin’ fish.  Now, after the garbage is collected, somebody takes the unused fish out to the black waste container.

FAD:  Oh no, fish’d be compost.  That’s Scales.

Boobs: Scales is compost?

FAD:  He sure is.  Does a good job of it too.

Boobs:  Who does a good job of what now?

FAD:  Scales.

Boobs: Who does a good job of fish scales?

FAD:  Best I’ve ever seen!

Boobs: Let me get this straight.  Scales goes to the compost?

FAD:  Everyday.

Boobs:  Everyday?  What if there’s no fish that day?

FAD:  Scales will still go.

Boobs: To the compost bins?

FAD:  No, Binns for waste.

Boobs:  So scales to the waste bins?

FAD: That’s right.

Boobs:  Scales goes to waste?

FAD:  Scales to compost.

Boobs:  Even if there’s no fish that day?

FAD: Regardless.

I’ll Give You Five Dollars To Stop Playing

All morning long, I’d been looking forward to going outside for lunch on this beautiful end-of-summer day, getting a slice of pizza (from Jack’s), taking it to the Confederation Centre concrete lawn, sitting down and eating it.  I was looking forward to listening to my iPod, sitting and eating a slice of pizza, and watching the people walk by.
It was all ruined by a bagpiper.  Yep.  I got my slice, went to the Confed Centre, sat down, all the while listening to various songs on the iPod.  Then the bagpiper started.  Or, more likely, continued. And wouldn’t stop.
Let me tell you right now that I enjoy a good bagpiping.  In its proper circumstance, there’s nothing more lovely than a piper piping.  Okay, well not “lovely”.  How about stirring?  I’m of Scottish heritage and have a special place in my heart for the pipes (not so much with haggis), in its place. There’s nothing more stirring (yeah, “stirring” works) than a piper leading a regiment of Scottish Highlander soldiers off to battle, for instance.  Or the image of a loan piper, kilted the whole nine yards, playing out in the glade on a misty, foggy morning.  It’ll get me every time.  Or, at least, once in a while.
But when I hear the pipes in unexpected and unwanted places, such as by the round benches in front of the Confed Centre on Queen Street, in the middle of a work day, I don’t long for the hearth and heather.  I long for a poisoned dart.  The problem with the pipes is that the sound travels so far.  You can be hundreds of yards away, and the sound still pierces your ears like a banshee’s scream pierces the night.  Like the news of Jon Bonet’s not-murderer’s capture, there’s no escaping.  Especially when the piper isn’t very good, as this guy was (or is it “wasn’t”?).  It sounded like he was hitting random notes.  Random high-squawking notes of no particular melody.  And of no particular rhythm.  And it travelled all over the community, on the wings of the fresh late-summer breeze.  Ugh.  Not even Rob Zombie’s Dragula through the headphones could dilute the noise.
Go ahead and busk.  Just use an acoustic guitar is all I ask. Or juggling pins, if you must.  Or get white-faced and mime (can’t believe I’m longing for the silent busking of that mime guy!!) and get caught in an invisible box (outside the box – see previous post).  Just do something that limits your range of influence.  Don’t go and spoil the whole neighbourhood.
So, anyway, thanks, bagpiper.  Thanks for ruining my anticipated lunch hour.

Transhit Schedule

I’ve been at my new job now for about a week and a half and it’s going very well, thank you for asking.
Fortunately, there hasn’t been that awkward Getting To Know Everyone’s Names / Getting To Know Your Duties thing that people suffer through on new jobs.  That’s because I already knew practically everybody in the office, and I’m doing the same job that I did at my last position.  So that’s good.

I’ve been having a bit of trouble with the Transit system, though.  I’m finally starting to come around to the idea that the transit bus picks me up an hour and 15 minutes before I’m supposed to be at work (it takes me 15 minutes to drive to work by car).  I don’t like it, but I guess I have to accept it.  And I’m beginning to tolerate the idea of being in town 40 minutes before I need to be at work.
There are worse things, I suppose, than having to spend 40 minutes drinking coffee and reading the paper before work.
However, I’m having trouble accepting the wonky transit schedule for my return trip home after work.  I’ve only tried it once, and that on the second day they implemented their new schedule, but that experience was so disheartening that I don’t know when I’ll want to take the bus back home again. 
I pick up the bus almost directly after work, and right outside the building in which I work.  So that’s good.  And the bus speeds its way out to the Charlottetown Mall in about 10 minutes.  That’s good, too.  However, with their new schedule, I now have a 20 minute wait at the Mall before the bus I transfer to shows up to take me the 5 minutes farther away out of town to my final stop.  For some reason, I find this 20 minute wait intolerable and unacceptable

The day that I took the bus, there was confusion and rain, too, to further frustrate me.  I got on the “University Avenue-Ch’town Mall” bus at 5:09 as it’s scheduled.  It was pouring rain.  When the bus gets to the Mall, the driver asks/ demands of me if I realize this is as far as he goes.  It was the second day of the new schedule.  With the previous schedule, the same bus would take me all the way to my stop.  So, since I didn’t know I’d have to transfer, since it was in no way indicated on the new schedule hand-out, I said “No.  This bus doesn’t go to Winsloe?” 
The driver seemed to get kind of perturbed, as if I was upsetting his day, and with a huffy attitude told me that he didn’t think there was any bus going out to Winsloe.  I showed him the schedule that shows a bus leaving the Mall to Winsloe at 5:45 (in 20 minutes time).  After some perturbed CB communications with someone else, he tells me that it looks like I’d have to wait for Bus Four.  He didn’t know, though, where in the parking lot it would stop, because the CB communication wasn’t crisp and clear, and they couldn’t make each other out.  All the while, the driver seemed like I was putting him out by wondering if I’d be able to get a bus to take me home.  In the rain.

Finally, he thinks he’s sorted it out, but I’m skeptical that it is.  So I leave the bus and walk into the mall and shortly thereafter, after talking myself into being pissed off, in the rain, I phone my wife to drive the 5 minutes into the mall to pick me up. 
In the meantime, 15 minutes later a bus drives by.  It has no number on it to clearly tell if it’s Number Four.  It stops way up at the other end of the mall.  Another person, and her 4 or 5 year old, who were in the same boat as me (going to Winsloe) were waiting with me.  She asked me if I thought the bus that just drove by was the one we were supposed to get on.  I told her I didn’t know, and that I was now getting picked up.  She, and her son, then trudged up the sidewalk, in the pouring rain, to see if the bus that stopped so far away was the one she was supposed to get on.  My wife picked me up, and as we drove by the bus, she still hadn’t made her way to it. 
I have no idea if that was the proper bus, but I suspect it wasn’t.

So, yeah, that experience totally turned me off of taking the bus home after work.  In the morning, it takes the bus 30 minutes to go from my stop to my downtown destination.  I don’t think it should take another full 30 extra minutes to get me back home in the evening. 
That’s just poor scheduling.


Bird Flu, Achoo!

Wow, so the Bird Flu hits PEI.
This comment from Dr. Lamont Sweet (and he really is!) leaves me with many questions:

Sweet urged anyone who has been in contact with poultry in the last
week who is experiencing flu-like symptoms to see their physician.

The first of which is this:  What if you were using a condom?  And what if you’re 75% sure the sniffling is from the cocaine?  I guess, too, I’d need a general definition of “poultry”.
Aw, I guess it’s best not to worry at this point.

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Sketch22 Wants YOU!!!! (to be an extra)

Hey, everyone.
Next Saturday morning, June 17th, at 9:30, Sketch22 is shooting a segment of video for this summer’s show.  We are hoping to get as many people as possible to come and be part of the shot.  Young or old, big or small, cool or nerdy, abled or disabled, male or female, catholic or (your religion), x or y… anyone or everyone.  We want you all.
If you are able to come to the Guild on Saturday June 17th, at 9:30, we would be so very happy to have you be part of the shot.  It should take an hour or so.  If you’re on the fence about whether or not you should bother, why not jump to the side of the fence that says “yeah, let’s do it.  It’ll be fun!”
Bring yourself, your friends, your family, your dog, cat, bird, grandmother, absolutely anyone who’d be willing to help us out.  Or, just come by yourself.  You will not be required to do anything any more difficult than make your way up the street, part of a great throng of people.

In order for the shot to be as totally cool and awesome as we hope, we need lots and lots of people in it.  The more people in it, the cooler and more awesome the shot will be.  If you don’t come, the shot will be just that less awesome.  We’d really appreciate it if you took time out of your weekend and helped us make this shot rock. 

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The One In Which Rob Gets A New Job

The ink is still wet on the contract that I signed.  The one that says I am now employed (well, I start in 10 days).
It’s been a long time coming.  Back in May of last year, when I was employed by MBS Radio, the CHTN portion of Magic 93/CFCY/CHTN was forced by the CRTC to go out on its own, and with it, a large portion of the staff went too.  What happened was CFCY and Magic 93 were MBS stations, and CHTN was a Newcap station.  Because of the small size of the market, it was deemed, a number of years ago, that it would be in the best interest of all to pool resources and building and office, and all work together.  Then, last year, the CRTC reversed that decision and said that CHTN would have to move into its own digs and operate as a separate company.  So, a bunch of people from the amalgamated MBS/Newcap group left with Newcap.

I wasn’t one of the lucky ones to leave and become part of the Newcap family of radio station employees.  I stayed at MBS and continued working for MBS, a company, shall we say, not known for its affection for its employees.  One of the people who did leave was the Creative Director. He and I comprised the Creative Department, and so when he left, I was on my own for a period of time, until such time a second writer was hired.  I had assumed the duties and responsibilities of the Creative Director, with the promise of compensatory financial remuneration shortly in the future.  In good faith, I waited for that remuneration.  It never came, but the promises kept coming, however each time they seemed to be more and more vague.  So, in July, fed up with doing more work for the same amount of pay, and with no other job or prospect awaiting me, I gave my notice that I would be leaving the company.  I was asked to stay on until September and help train the people who would be replacing me.  Since it was in my interest to get paid that extra month and a half, I agreed.
So, in September, I left for good.  I had a bit of money in my pocket from Sketch stuff, and a couple of pretty good paying freelance jobs that came up right after I left, so I wasn’t immediately concerned about money.  Too, I was fortunate to be eligible for EI, since they agreed that leaving the position was an option that I was more or less justified in taking.  So, while the money wasn’t flowing in, we were able to get by more or less.  As the months wore on into the new year, the “get by more or less” kind of swung to the “less” side of things.  Not a lot of prospects in terms of jobs, and the ones I applied for didn’t happen.
A couple of months ago, I was made aware that CHTN (Newcap) would be, sometime soon, hiring a bunch of new staff, and one of them was a second Creative Writer.  I pinned my hopes on getting that job.  It’s a job that I quite enjoy and one that I seem to perform well.
So, the anticipatory waiting began.  It seemed to take forever for the job to get posted.  First they had to wait (forever) to get CRTC approval on their switch from AM to FM.  That came (in February, I believe), along with the approval of adding a second FM station for Newcap.  Then came the wait for when the switch to FM would take place.  Maybe in May.  No, maybe in June.  July?  Probably July.
Finally, the job I was hoping for was posted.  I applied.  It took a couple of weeks for a response on my application.  In those couple of weeks, I had pretty much talked myself out of any chance to get the job.  I was feeling kind of low.  Like I said, I had kind of pinned my hopes on this job and the more I told myself I was a great candidate for it, the more the back of my mind told me I wouldn’t get it.  Finally, I was asked to come in for an interview.  It went okay.  Another 10 days of waiting.  Then, last night at 5:30, I was offered the job.  I was asked if I needed any time to think it over.  I said I’d been thinking it over for a number of months, and agreed to accept the offer.
So, today I went in and signed the contract.  I’ll be making a nice chunk of change more than I was at MBS.  From all accounts from my former MBS colleagues who made the move last year to Newcap, they are a fantastic company to work for.  Best of all, many of the people who moved from MBS last year were the people I most enjoyed working with at MBS.  So, I’ll be reunited with them all, and I won’t have to go through that awful “new guy” period where I’m learning names and protocols, etc.
So, I’m pretty pleased.  It’ll be great to work again with these people, and exciting to work at a radio station that, at this stage, really seems committed to giving PEI a couple of radio stations that will be fun to listen to.
Yay for me!