Archive for October, 2008

A fab spoonerism

This one was quoted by the estimable Warren Clements in his Wordplay column in the Globe. It concerned the importance of Brangelina’s double-barrelled surname in avoiding the very unfortunate spoonerism that would result if their offspring, Shilo, were to drop the Jolie from her name and call herself Shilo Pitt.


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Yesterday, when the sky was falling, again, the US economy was tanking ever faster, Stephane Dion was still making completely incomprehensible announcements and the world as we know it appeared to be coming horribly to grief, I was startled out of my bleak world view by a news item splashed across my Rogers email home page.

It was brief and starkly rendered, yet overpoweringly banal. Could this be, as the great statesman Bob Geldoff himself once mournfully intoned, all there is? I looked again, to make sure I wasn’t dreaming, and there it was, underneath such piffling headlines as ‘Inquiry report slams child forensic pathology’, ‘Russia to use force against Somali pirates’ and ‘Indian temple stampede death toll rises to 194.’

The piece de resistance, brought to us by the great news empire of Yahoo, was:  ‘Leonardo DiCaprio says he’s not ready to start a family.’

Say it isn’t so, Leo. Did your prolonged exposure to My Heart Will Go On on the deck of the Titanic fry your brain, wherever it happens to be located? Would this intelligence affect the McCain campaign or salvage the remnants of Wall Street’s infamous brand of capitalism? Could Stephen Harper somehow apply it to underscore his commitment to ‘family values’? And does anyone care-are-are, as the Cranberries sang in Ode to my Family?

You are already 34 years old, no longer an adolescent even in our infantile culture, and let me assure you, nobody is ever actually ready to start a family. This is because it is a lot more difficult than Brad, Angelina and all the petits Jolie-Pitts make it seem on  account of their access to a phalanx of nannies, cooks, personal trainers and stylists, not to mention an African country they can temporarily annex for a birthing photo op.

The thing is, Leo, if you decide to become a daddy, your job is far easier than that of your partner and you get nine months’ holiday once you’ve completed phase one.  After that, all you have to do is hold your spawn in a pretty pose for People, before giving him/her back to the lackey responsible for icky things like diaper changes and the chipping away of teething biscuit residue from high chairs and French-polished tables.

In my opinion you’re as ready as you’ll ever be. After all, what the great unwashed needs now is more celebrity offspring to ease the pain of losing their shirts, homes and hopes for the future to the greed of speculators and wrinkly old white guys fervently opposed, at least until very recently, to any suggestion of market regulation.

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