Day 3

10:48 am: I wake from what feels like the best sleep I’ve had in weeks. This is surprising. The room I’m in does not have blinds or drapes and the sun is blinding.

12:21 pm: Buy guitar strings. Then go to a thrift store. Find a copy of Pierre Berton’s The Joy of Writing. It’s so funny to see “joy” and “writing” in the same sentence. Berton wrote an average of 10,000 words a day while working for the Toronto Star.

1:25 pm: Read the Vatican backs The Blues Brothers as a Catholic film. Okay, sure Vatican.

2:51 pm: Inside Superstore. One of the ones with a gym, hair salon, bank, and a restaurant. Like a city unto its self. I try to imagine (as I walk past the live crabs and lobsters) the kind of person that would shop, work out and bank all at Superstore. I am unable to come up with a picture.

There is a grey blank where a character should be. See a clerk that looks like Henry Winkler. Jesus, where is the quinoa?

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Dear Hon. Health and Wellness of Alberta Minister Ron Liepert:

According to recent statistics, Health and Wellness is spending $13.2 billion in 2008-09, equalling about $3771 for every person in the province.

I’ve done some calculations and I believe I’ve come up with an actionable “Made-in Alberta” solution to our health care crisis that will both increase system accessibly and reduce patient wait times.

The best part: It only requires two elements, both inexpensive and efficient.

A basic 16 oz. claw hammer from Home Depot retails for $6.27, tax included. A burlap sack costs around $2, even less if you buy in bulk. Call it the “fourth way.”

One hammer and sack for each man, woman and child in Alberta would only require an expenditure of about a half a million dollars ($423,216 to be exact). Apparently the province currently spends $1.5 million on health care every hour.

Treatment by medical specialists could begin almost immediately as a patient was brought to the facility, which wouldn’t need to be a hospital anymore. A warehouse or vacant lot would suffice.

The massive savings could then be passed on to truly essential expenditures, like ministerial pay hikes.

Surely a number of Albertans will be dismayed by this startlingly innovative method of health care delivery. I believe a simple ad campaign would assuage their fears and misconceptions. I’d suggest a cheeky print-based campaign centred on the slogan: “Get in the sack with Alberta Health and Wellness.”

As evidenced by your deft handling of the recent super board imposition and the like, I believe you are the forward-thinking leader that can will implement an efficient governance structure for a flexible and responsive health system of the 21st century. A hammer and a burlap sack is that system.

Cheers,

Fergis T. McGillicuddy

Dear Fans of Reality Television

This three minute trailer features a close associate experiencing a “breakdown.” Hilarious.

If you happen to live in Alberta, you can watch the madness on Access. If you own a fancy schmancy digital set-up, you can watch on BookTelevision or CLT. Don’t ask me when. See for yourself.

You should watch. It is full of touching drama…and Red Bull consumption. It makes for good television.

Sincerely,

Fergis T. McGillicuddy

Dear 2007

Hey good lookin’,

It was funny of you to lock me up in a poorly-lit room and force me to sleep nearly 23 hours a day. I don’t hold it against you. There is nothing like ringing in a fresh year with a 16 day hibernation. When I woke up I recalled the start of 2006…apparently I made notes:

Annotated Predictions for 2006:

1. Sale of post-Apocalyptic goggles increases.

My sources tell me this is true. It makes sense…nobody wants to get Mad Max-sand in their eyes while they are trading handjobs for water.

2. George W. sprouts horns and a tail in front of the Washington press Corp. The White House turns red.

Well…George had a rough year. On Jan. 11, 2007 he said the best way to get troops out of Iraq was to order another 21,500 in to Iraq. The he sprouted horns and a tail and spat fireballs at the Washington journalists. However, that was in 2007…so it doesn’t count.

3. Another season of Survivor goes unnoticed.

Is Survivor even on television anymore?

4. Dr. Phil is charged with having sex with a goat.

Is Dr. Phil even on television anymore?

5. That goat is Michael Jackson.

What Dr. Phil and Michael Jackson do with each other under the influence of Pinot Noir and pretty sunsets is their business as far as the public is concerned.

6. China lands on the moon and immediately sets up the first sweatshop in space. It makes American flags.

Turns out the first sweatshop in space makes zero-gravity Mardi Gras beads.

7. I run as a Green party candidate in the next Canadian federal election. The next election will be called as soon as the results of the last election (Jan.23) are returned. I lose to a Conservative moose named Curtis Taxless.

So far—no election. Conservative moose have heavily fortified their interests during incumbency. My chances of election are bleak.

8. Google will start a micronation in the South Pacific. They threaten to remove their search engine from the web unless the UN recognizes their sovereignty. Google-opia is born as Kofi Annan is an avid gmail user.

Sadly YouTube got to it first. It’s pixelated and sort of boring to watch…unless a person is at work.

9. This is the best post of the year.

There were a couple good ones. I like the one about Finola Hackett. She’s spell-tastic.

10. A new style of hat is invented called the trout-stick.

I invented this. I wear it around the house. The prototype needs some work.

Sincerely,

Fergis T. McGillicuddy

Dear Edson, Alta.

Alberta is a big place. Big enough that greasy spoon diners can charge four dollars for a grilled cheese and place the bathroom soap in a yogurt container by the sink. Maybe Alberta is too big.

Up yours,

Fergis T. McGillicuddy