One moose face, two puppets, and league of morons.

The doctor has just told me that I have pustules in my throat. This is disturbing. While it does explain my current inability to speak at anything louder than a faint whisper, the very fact that I have “puss” anywhere in my body has left me feeling rather discomfited. And oddly curious. I’d like to see these “pustules” for myself. Thanks to my shallow pallet and rather moose-like tongue, however, this is not possible.

moose tongue

Which leads to a question that I have always wanted to ask the masses, but have not had the opportunity to do so. When you close your mouth, does your tongue fit snugly inside with the bottom and roof of your mouth touching it OR does your tongue have plenty of breathing space–room to move around?

And do you say “Bert and Ernie” or “Ernie and Bert?”

And can you properly pronounce “Nuclear?”

Inquiring minds–or at least those with nothing better to ponder–want to know.

1) It would seem that there are two types of people in the world. The first camp–and, in my opinion, the more normal of the two–would include people who look upon the above moose photo and think “Hey it’s a moose with a big tongue. He’s kind of cute” or something along those lines. The second camp–the one that makes me sleep with one eye open– looks at it and thinks “that’s one tasty looking moose face.”

Yup. There are weirdos amongst us who think that a moose face is something to be eaten. ACK! According to Four Pounds Flour, Moose Face, known in the culinary world as Moose Mouffle consists of the “fibrous flesh of the cheek and the gelatinous prehensile upper lip.” First of all, lips should not be gelatinous. Nor should they be eaten. Apparently, even the moose face-munching crowd do have their limits, announcing that the cartilaginous nasal septum is not to be eaten. Of course. Lips, yes. Nose, no.

2) While Starsky & Hutch, Cagney & Lacy, and Lilo & Stitch had a consistent billing order, Bert and Ernie or Ernie and Bert do not. So it doesn’t really matter which way you say it. The Muppet Wiki’s “Bert and Ernie” VS “Ernie and Bert” cites book, album, and video titles using both combinations. But for me, Bert will always come first.

3) American politicians are not exactly noted for their mastery of the English language. Can anyone spell potato? It turns out that tuber vegetables aren’t the only thing that can stump a public official. Jimmy Carter, George W. Bush, Bill Clinton, Walter Mondale, and Dwight D. Eisenhower are all guilty of publicly mispronouncing the seemingly simple word “nuclear.” Why they insist on saying “nucular” is unclear…or “uncular.” Perhaps Homer Simpson does have what it takes to run the nation.

Well, I am going to bid you adieu and go off to nurse my pustules.

No caption required.

No caption required.

Photo credits: Moose Tongue (

Giant Sweat Socks, Donuts With Feet, and A Puss Explosion

I confess that I never really grew up.  And I am not referring to my lack of stature.  I achieved exactly five feet in this department, much to my relief.  The thought of having to say that I am four foot anything would have been too much to bear.  (Sorry.  I momentarily had to consider the use of “bear” vs. “bare,” which is not good being that I am an English teacher.  Then I remembered that “Bare With Me” equates to an invitation to get naked.  Good thing I got that straight.  Stupid language.)  Now, where was I?  Oh, yeah.  My lack of height.

While, I never grew up in the physical sense, I failed to do so in the mental sense as well.  At the age of 45, I still love anything with eyes.  Well, not clowns.  Or dolls.  Or, Heaven forbid, clown dolls.  But most things with eyes amuse me immensely.

Poop.  Not cute.  Poop with eyes.  Adorable.

Poop. Not cute. Poop with eyes. Adorable.

I still love Bert and Ernie–although I am partial to Bert.  He’s the only man I know that can pull off lime green pants and a uni-brow.  I am a huge fan of Wage the Ugly Doll (um.  Hence my Gravatar and blog design).  And I collect vintage Pop Culture icons–you know, things like Grimace, Cornelius Rooster, old Snoopys, the Dough Boy.  But my real weakness is puppets.  I have a plethora of puppets.

My childhood (and current) dream was (and is) to be a puppeteer on any Jim Henson Production.  I’m not fussy.  Any one of his puppets will do.  Except maybe Miss Piggy.  She bugs me.  She looks like Nikki Newman on The Young and the Restless.  She bugs me too.

Nikki NewmanMiss Piggy (2)

Beeker would be good.  Or Grover.   And, of course, Bert or Ernie.  Not Elmo.  I’d like to step on his throat.

I finally got the damn thing to shut up.

I finally got the damn thing to shut up.

Makes me feel guilty stepping on my socks.

Makes me feel guilty stepping on my socks.

1)  Let’s face it.  Sock puppets are awesome.  As long as the sock is clean and doesn’t smell like foot.  Or Parmesan.  I can never tell the two scents apart.  Gack.

This sock puppet is pretty darn cute.  It’s the eyes.  It’s always the eyes.  I am suddenly very aware of the fact that I am stepping on a pair of potential sock puppets right this minute.  Instead of entertaining smiling children, my socks are stuck clinging to my foot callouses.  Note to self: moisturize crunchy feet.   Poor socks.  Almost makes me want to take them off and give them a break.  Almost.  The cold hardwood floor stops me from actually doing it.  After all, they ARE socks.  They were born to be stepped on.

Anyway, I digress.  Back to my first fact of the day.  When it comes to sock puppets, I think bigger is better.  Imagine one that is 32 feet tall.  Imagine the eyes!

It turns out that a group in Rhode IslandProject Undercover, holds the Guinness World Record for the World’s Largest Sock and–you guessed it–it looms a whopping 32 feet in height.  Holy crap.  And they patterned it with a standard sock monkey puppet in mind.  Here’s the finished product…monster sock

big zit

2) My mind is a mysterious thing.  Puppets have led to socks which, then, led to feet.  Feet make me think of bunions (which, by the way, is one of the cutest words ever.  Calling someone a bunion sounds like a term affection, when really you are calling them a hideous foot growth).  Bunions made me ponder boils and corns.  Which, unfortunately led to me finding this.

Ack.  I must try to type without letting my eyes wonder over to this picture.  It’s like a car accident.  You don’t want to look at it, but you simply have to.  All I can imagine is the poor bugger who was around when it popped.

I don’t really know much about this photo other than the fact that it is simply labelled “the world’s biggest zit.”  How the hell do you get a zit the size of a red squirrel?  Seriously.  Does the guy live off a steady diet of Poutine and Deep Fried Mars Bars?  Perhaps, it’s from an ingrown hair.  But what the hell kind of hair would lead to a giant pustule like that?  The hair of a Wookiee?

Rumour has it that the largest zit was 78mm–about the size of a hockey puck.  I’d rather get hit in the head with the puck though.  Less messy.

3)  I have to erase the image of this massive sebaceous thing, so I have decided to share a few cute Canadian things with eyes.  I remember asking an American blogger if she had ever seen the Excel gum commercial with the walking donut and coffee cup.  Apparently, this is a “Canadian” thing, so I thought I’d share this–and a few other cute commercial icons–with my non-Canuck friends.

Here are the mascots for Excel (by Wrigley’s) gum.  Since this original commercial, a bulb of garlic has joined the gang.

 I am, however, still puzzled about the whole “donut breath” thing.  Does a donut really cause “breath?”  And, if it did, wouldn’t it be a good thing?

And here are the “timbits” of Tim Hortons’–otherwise known as donut holes.

And Frank & Gordon, the Bell Canada Beavers.    They seem to have been fired from Bell–maybe due to failed contract negotiations or a better offer elsewhere.

One of my all-time favourite pictures.  Bert and his dad.

One of my all-time favourite pictures. Bert and his dad.

Photo credits:  Nikki Newman ( Miss Piggy (, poop with eyes (, sock with eyes (, monster zit (,

A Lopped Off Tail, A Broken Beak, and a Whole Lotta Curds

Many years ago, when my parents were still dating, my father wrote love letters to my mom.  I know.  Cute.  Even cuter, he would always signed them with a hand-drawn ookpik by his name.  Ookpik?

As a kid, I always loved the seal-fur ookpik in my mother’s curio.  I know.  What the heck’s an ookpik?

And when I was eight years old, my dad bought me a royal blue, felt covered, ookpik that I fell in love with immediately and named it “Ernie.”  He was best friends with a little bear, “Herbert.”  Yes, I did watch a lot of Sesame Street.  And yes, Bert and Ernie were my favourites.  The budding young writer that I was, I instinctively knew that blatantly hijacking these Muppet monikers was wrong.  Herbert and Ernie were close–but not the same.  Anyway, back to my ookpik.  I quickly learned that running down the community ski hill behind our house with a bear in one hand and an ookpik in another was a danger-fraught activity.  One false step and I found myself tumbling down what felt like an endless mini-mountain.  I broke my pinky finger.  And my ookpik bent his beak.  Permanently.  I know, I know–what the hell is an ookpik, once and for all?

My fellow Canadians know.  Especially those born prior to the 1980s.  Those from outside the Great White North, however, likely don’t have a clue.  Perhaps, you have become frustrated and googled the word “ookpik.”   If you are my friend at, you are already “in” on the secret.

Well, here it is.  “Ookpik” is an Inuit word for “owl.”  In the 1960s and early 70s, they became all the rage up here–sort of morphing into a breed of owl of its very own.  The ookpik is usually wingless–it’s only features being eyes, a beak, and toes.

Here are some examples:

Unfortunately, when I was in highschool, an errant mouse ate a hole through Ernie.  Such is the life of a felt ookpik.  And, yes, I still miss him.

Now, back to these two adorable Sesame Street roommates.  When I was in high school, I decided to conduct a survey relating to their names (I’m a survey junkie).  And now, I am going to conduct it again.

1)  Japan’s strange inventions have often been featured in my blog, so I thought it only fair that I poke fun at the oddball ideas that have come to fruition thanks to Canadian minds.

One of the strangest, and perhaps, most lethal from a cardiologist’s point-of-view is Poutine (pronounced poo-tinn).  This dish originated in nearby Quebec, but is now sold at mainstream fast-food restaurants like Wendy’s and A&W throughout Canada.  But anyone who really knows Canada, knows that we LOVE our chip trucks.  And no one does better poutine than one of those.

Poutine is simply a pile of french fries covered (or rather smothered) in dark gravy and cheese curds.  Mm.  Cheese curds.  It is sinfully delicious, but will probably clog an artery or two.

If you think that’s weird.  There was a chip truck in Eastern Ontario that sold fries smothered in butter.  Greasy french fries with butter?  Really?

We Canucks are a hearty lot.  Or so we like to tell ourselves.  Maybe we’re just all nuts.  Here’s a typical chip truck, Canuck-style: 

2)  This is my all-time favourite Canadian treat.  First of all, it originates in my hometown, Ottawa.  All good things come from Ottawa.  Except politicians.

And, most importantly, they are delicious.  BeaverTails–not politicians.  No, we do not hunt down buck-toothed rodents and lop off their tails.  We are, in fact, quite kind to our beavers.  We even put them on our nickels.

The “BeaverTail” is a flattened lump of whole wheat dough, deep-fried, and smothered in various mouth-watering toppings.  The traditional one is covered in cinnamon and sugar.  If you add a twist of lemon, you have the Killaloe Sunrise.  But, for the true sweet-tooth, you can smother yours in chocolate hazelnut, maple butter, apples with cinnamon, banana chocolate, chocolate & vanilla, chocolate & peanut butter & Reese’s Pieces, or cream cheese with Skor pieces and chocolate drizzle.  Damn, now I’m hungry.  I think I’ll head down to the park and get me one of these.  Blogging is not good for the waistline.

Oh, yeah.  Did I mention that BeaverTails, just like Poutine, are sold in small chip-truck-sized, cabin-like buildings.  Here is a typical BeaverTail vendor:

So far we have learned that Canadians like strange-looking, furry owls; have a penchant for heart-stopping, curd-covered, deep-fried potatoes; and regularly nibble on cinnamon-covered beaver appendages.  Quite simply put, we make the Japanese look normal.  But wait.  I still haven’t reached number 3.  There’s always a number three.

3)  Americans love to make fun of us.  According to them, we talk funny.  Yes, according to the nation that produced the southern twang and drawl, the Boston accent, and whatever those people in the movie Fargo were speaking, WE talk funny.  So, here’s a tip for those who really want to mimic us well–here are some uniquely Canadian words.  Ours are the ones in BOLD print.

Eh?  Replaces “Huh?” or “Do you agree?”

Serviette= Napkin

Washroom= Bathroom

Pop=Soda.  We do say Club Soda and Cream Soda though.  Everything else is Pop.

Chocolate bar=Candy bar

Chesterfield=sofa or couch

Double Double=two creams, two sugars in coffee.

Pencil Crayon=coloured pencil


Rad=radiator.  We don’t say “rad” for radical.

Hydro=electrical service.  Paying our hydro bill is the same as paying the Power Company in the US.

Bachelor=small type of apartment.  “Bachelor for rent” does not cause confusion up here.

Garburator=garbage disposal.

Two-four=case of twenty-four beer.

Brown Bread=Whole Wheat Bread.

Kraft Dinner=Kraft Macaroni & Cheese

Homo Milk=Homogenized Milk


Go missing=disappear


Lineup=a line or queue.

Postal code=Zip code


Transport truck=tractor trailer

So, now you can speak Canadian.  Woo. Woo.

Photo Credits:  ookpiks: 1 (,  2 (, 3 (, 4 (,  5 (, 6 (, Bert & Ernie (,  Poutine (, Chip Truck (, Beavertail  ( BeaverTail Truck (,   eh (