When you wake up and read about Soviet scientists breeding amphibious chickens, the world tilts a bit sideways. “The chickens fearlessly leaped into pools and spent hours pecking grain underwater.” A research institute in Leningrad went a step further off the diving board by creating splish-splash-loving mice, rabbits, cats and monkeys. I thought the peak of grossness was finding a cloudy-eyed bloated frog in the pool filter–imagine chicken wings! This isn’t new news either—scuba mice and snorkeling cats were being trained 25 years ago, right around the time that I was learning the breaststroke. The chicken breast-stroke.
The Globe and Mail archives also reported on the flying monkeys of 50 years ago. Able and Baker, two space pioneering monkeys (I wonder if they had business cards, because that’s a cool handle), had flown to Washington under military escort “for medical examination and a news conference.” After their “1,700-mile-long trip over the Caribbean in the nose of a Jupiter ballistic missile,” Able and Baker seemed to be monkeying around. Going bananas, in fact.
Fast forward to August 18th, 2009, a la Time Traveler’s Wife, and the not-so-surprising news was that frost hit parts of central Alberta this past weekend. I bet a lot of kids still on summer holidays felt shafted when dad told them to go shovel the pool off, while the rest of Canada, sleeveless below the 49th parallel, were sucking on the thick malty-wonder of a Wendy’s Frosty.
And as the summer days begin to die, the media is stuck to Michael Jackson like a mess of thirsty leeches. He will finally be buried at a Los Angeles cemetery on August 29th, his 51st birthday. Finally, an example of having your cake, but not being able to eat it too. I will have to pull out my faux red leather Thriller jacket (circa age 10) for the occasion as a tribute to Michael’s moonwalk into Forever Ever Land.
If the King of Pop (King of Coke?) is lucky, Tito and Janet will put a bid in on the tomb over Marilyn Munroe which is up for grabs. To help pay off her mortgage, Elsie Poncher put the penthouse tomb on eBay. The location is Westwood Village Memorial Park, and according to the advertisement: “Here is a once in a lifetime and into eternity opportunity to spend your eternal days directly above Marilyn Munroe.”
Most shocking is that Elsie’s dearly beloved but dearly departed hubby, Richard Poncher, is currently occupying the spot. He is apparently looking face down on Marilyn which must be creeping her right out. I think she might be singing, “Where have you gone, Joe Dimaggio?”
Poncher was an entrepreneur who bought the tombs off DiMaggio when Norma Jean and Joe were heading for Splitsville in1954. Joe never remarried and had roses delivered to her grave for over 20 years. According to Wikipedia (taken with a grain of salt) DiMaggio is interred at Holy Cross Cemetery in Colma, California (Section 1, Row 11, Area 6/7 for the ghost chasers). And once again he loses his love, this time to the highest bug-eyed bidder.
As for Elsie (the eBay grave robber, as like to call her), she is willing to move her husband’s remains over just a smidge in the crypt, to her intended resting place. Elsie has decided she’ll rest elsewhere, probably divided among her children in several tasteful urns displayed on fireplace mantles around the state. Bids opened at $500,000—and there’s no guarantee that Marilyn is wearing her flimsy-swishy skirt of The Seven Year Itch fame. Tomb raiders didn’t appear to care as the bids skyrocketed (like the flying monkeys Able and Baker) to an out-of-this-world amount of $2.5 million. If MJ were alive, I bet he’d have a glitter-gloved hovering over his Blackberry.
Elsie Poncher’s motives aren’t greedy. She just wants to pay off the $1.6 million mortgage on her Beverly Hills shack so her kids don’t have to worry about it. In fact, they can probably write a tell-all about the whole grave ordeal and have Elsie’s ashes dipped in gold. And fed to the amphibious chickens in the Hills pool so they can lay floating golden eggs. The Westwood Village cemetery is already home to Roy Orbison, Dean Martin, Truman Capote and Farrah Fawcett. (and Hugh Hefner already has dibs on the crypt beside Munroe). What a midnight tea party that crowd would make!
As I swallowed my last sips of milky tea, I read that 41-year-old Celine Dion is preggers again and is hoping that Rene Angelil’s 67-year-old heart will go on. With assistance from her fertility specialist S.W.A.T. team, the second baby should have the same hockey stick figure as mom Celine.
Equally compelling was the Facebook feeding frenzy about the Brit twit who was canned after posting this: “OMG I HATE MY JOB!! My boss is a total pervvy (sic) wanker always making me do sh*t stuff just to piss me off!! WANKER!” She was immediately fired by her boss and showed instant remorse. She regretted ever adding her boss as a friend on Facebook. Nice that she learned her lesson. Maybe she can create an offspring to the social networking whore Facebook called “Two-Faced Book,” for employees who are working for wankers, jilted lovers, general blabbermouths, etc.
What about the Abbotsford headlines you ask? There’s still no ceasefire on the blueberry cannon debate. Miserable neighbours who have been subjected to the propane blast of the cannons every 6 minutes (starting at 6:30 am) for three months are blue in the face. The Farm Industry Review Board has examined the issue and is requesting blasts be spaced out to every 15 minutes instead. Because that would be so much better.
The cannons are deployed to scare off birds, especially the bulimic starlings who can devour 50% of a crop. Which means 50% more purple bird shit on windshields in the surrounding area. A Trinity Western University pilot study reported that after a 15 day observation, the starlings became habituated to the sound of the cannons anyway, unlike the neighbours. Clearly, those who live near the blueberry farms in Abbotsford are not having a blast.
Kerry Proudfoot sent off her own cannon blast to the Abbotsford News in response to a pro-cannon, blueberry-hugging writer– “As for letter-writer Gertie Pool, we can only assume two things; a) she is deaf, and/or b) lives nowhere near a berry cannon. Then there is that small percentage of folks living outside of ‘cannon hell,’ who wouldn’t know a berry cannon if it came up and bit them. They do get fired up by the idea of farmers and their ‘right to farm’ when they have absolutely no idea what life is like for those caught in the crossfire. How dare you? You have no business speaking about something you know nothing about. Occasional inconvenience? If your sleeping patterns were altered adversely, you could no longer read a book quietly, put a child down for a nap or even keep windows open in the summer, and the torment had been going on for years, I believe you might have a problem with it, too. I think here in the heart of blueberry country, Ms. Pool, some might consider you to be the “smug armchair opponent.” What about our right to a peaceful, normal life?”
The common thread seems to be the desire for a peaceful, normal life—for Norma Jean, Michael Jackson, Able and Baker, the bitching (now unemployed) employee, for Celine and the amphibious Soviet chickens who would rather cross the road than do laps in the pool for soggy corn.
And that’s not new news at all.