“Twenty years ago we had Johnny Cash, Bob Hope and Steve Jobs. Now we have no Cash, no Hope and no Jobs. Please don’t let Kevin Bacon die” — Bill Murray

You ever hear something and then think, “Geez, maybe I do that?” I heard a guy last week talking about how people use the word “literally.” He said that most people use in the exact opposite way that it’s intended to be used. One explanation I found was that the adverb literally means “actually,” and we use it when we want others to know we’re serious, not exaggerating or being metaphorical. So, there you have it. Why then, do we say things like, “It was so funny that I literally soiled my pants?” That is, unless you actually did and then, you’ve used the term correctly, and that means you really should stay away from the funny stuff.

I noticed a particularly interesting news story out of all places, Ottawa last week and for once, it wasn’t anything political. It seems the Ottawa school board is kicking the idea around of being more inclusive and allowing kids who flunk out to still take part in the graduation ceremonies. I may be all alone on this one, but if I were one of the kids, I don’t think I’d want to do it. I get that kids flunk out for different reasons and some actually don’t show up and do the work. Look, I wasn’t a scholar by any means, and from all accounts, the term, “could do better,” was created for people like me. I don’t think all cases are the same, but handing out diplomas like participation medals may not be the way to go. Maybe I’m nobody to be commenting on these types of things, given I’m probably one of the kids who give answers to math questions that are totally off the wall. How do you change centimetres to metres? Of course, you just, “take out the centi.” Gimme some harder next time!

These are the same kind of answers that people like Larry the Cable guy uses. I heard him reading some fan mail and one letter that stuck out was from a little girl whose mom’s employer was handing out $100 rewards for any great cost-cutting measures. She asked Larry for some advice and he said, “Tell the company to lower its reward to $50.” That’s what I’m talking about!

I’m a bit of a sports fan, but I do have my limits. I tend to lean toward hockey and baseball more than the rest of them. I can watch football or curling, but it seems there has to be something important on the line in order to grab my attention. Playoff games are the big draw. The one sport that I don’t think I’ve ever watched is mixed martial arts.

There needs to be substantial stuff going on in order for me to watch. I think that if they brought in a couple roommates quarreling over who ate a whole tub of ice cream, I could get behind that. Drive around in the major cities and get a couple combatants going at it outside of a bar, and put them in the octagon. “Here boys, we got a two-four in the van, let’s go to the arena and get this stuff settled. Ain’t nobody got time for people giving you funny looks.” I think that if the promoters attended some court proceedings and brought in some husband beaters, that might be worthwhile watching as well. I’m sorry, but to just be beating the tar out of somebody to collect a big paycheque, that just doesn’t do it for me. I want to see people that are madder than a beaver with a toothache.

Mark Taylor