Thursday, 26 January 2012


I was debating whether to "weigh in" on Member of Parliament Peter Goldring's statement (finally!) regarding his failure to provide a breath sample at a Checkstop in December 2011, or to instead blather on about the bulk food selection at Safeway. So I'm going to talk a little about both. Because nothing goes better with an alcoholic MP in denial than large quantities of low-quality, toothsome, desiccated foodstuffs. Seriously!

Peter Goldring, according to Wikipedia, which doesn't lie as we all know, was born in Toronto on December 12, 1944. "Who cares?" you might ask. "What does this have to do with the fact that he refused to provide a breath sample in the early morning (12:30 A.M.) of December 4, 2011, during a routine roadside spot-check program to curb impaired driving?" The answer is: "Absolutely nothing. Less than nothing. It has negative integer to do with it." It should be noted, however, that Toronto is chock-full of terrible sports teams, poor infrastructure and traffic, and over-valued real estate. Take what you will from that. Also, as far as Goldring's birthday goes, there are many renowned people born on December 12: Edvard Munch (Scream!), Bob Barker (animal rights activist and toaster-lover!), and...Mayim Bialyk!! Blossom and Peter Goldring have the same birthday!! That has to mean something. Like, I have too much time on my hands to look this stuff up.

More about his birthday: astrologically speaking, Goldring is a Sagittarius. That means it's scientifically proven (TM) that he belongs to a group of people who are "drawn toward travel and philosophy...enjoy social contacts, meeting new people and exploring other cultures. They are said to be highly intelligent, broad-visioned, tolerant in their views, mainly concerned with the 'big picture' but with little patience for the details...Sagittarians are also known to be phenomenal lovers and terrific in bed. They are also known to build long lasting and meaningful relationships, however the natural urge to travel sometimes leads them from one mate to another. They often have three pulsating heads and speak in a series of clicks and grunts. They favour canaries and acorns as snacks and often leave the stove on by mistake after cooking a meal which occasionally leads to a smoky domicile." Okay, I made up those last two sentences. But the rest of it is incontrovertible FACT!! He's smart (despite refusing a breathalyzer or seeking legal counsel prior to doing so), tolerant (despite his erroneous diatribe against Louis Riel a few years ago), and good in bed (despite...uh...okay, I have no evidence to the contrary. We'll just assume that he's a paragon of tantric carnal pleasure.) 'Nuff said.

Anyhoo, Goldring was a military police ossifer for the RCAF from 1962 to 1965, so obviously he knows a thing or two when it comes to those annoying things called "laws" that impede his ability to have a bloody drink whenever he blooming well pleases, thank you very much, never mind the safety of everyone else on the road. More importantly, given his policing experience, he knows how to break those same civil liberty-stripping, emasculating edicts without getting caught. Well...clearly, he WAS caught, so one wonders what he learned during his time throwing infantrymen in prison and confiscating their contraband. Besides how to piss off the people actually brave enough to serve in a soldierly capacity.

Then he went on to be a six-time (!) Member of Parliament, under the Reform Party, then the Canadian Alliance, and now the PCs. His main legacy, besides going down in history as the "Man Who Only Drank One Beer But Was Too Foolish and Proud To Prove It", was to visit Turks and Caicos a number of years ago to suss out the possibility of Canadian annexation. Seemed like a good idea at the time...

Now, Goldring was asked to provide a breath sample December 4, 2011 while driving home from his annual constituency fundraising dinner at the Ukrainian Youth Association. It was a routine stop, from what the media reports, although the police must have had some cause to ask for a breath sample. Goldring refused and was charged with refusing to provide a breath sample. On Wednesday, January 25, 2012, he finally broke his silence and offered a panoply of very convincing excuses. He only had one beer! Mothers Against Drunk Driving says I can have one or two drinks with dinner! I get my wife to drive me if I'm going on the reek!

Which changes nada. I was once told the only reason to NOT have a prostate exam is if one doesn't have an anus. Well, similar to that analogy, the only reason to NOT blow when the police tell you to is if you don't have lungs. Goldring has amply demonstrated he possesses that particular anatomical feature through his bellyaching, deflecting, and verbal why did he not blow? His reasons, he states, will come out at trial.

It matters not to me what party this man is from. Having said that, is it mere coincidence that Goldring and Rahim Jaffer--arrested September 11, 2009, charged with impaired driving (having blown over 0.08) and cocaine possession after being pulled over for driving faster than 90 km/h in a 50 km/h zone; subsequently let off with a careless driving conviction--are from the same party? You know, the tough-on-crime, let's-spend-billions-of-dollars-to-build-new-prisons-to-lock-up-the-drug-addicts-and-homeless-and-mentally-ill party? Ya, that one. The Conservative party. Anyway, ya, it's probably just coincidence. And it will only be coincidence when Goldring gets off with a slap on the wrist like his buddy Rahim.

In the meantime, though, he's making a spectacle of himself, decrying how "terrible" things have been for him, lamenting how his reputation and career have been damaged. Despite his military policing experience which should have granted him some knowledge about the rule of law; despite the fact he's a veteran PC Member of Parliament who should know how to conduct himself at public functions by not drinking and driving; regardless of the fact that he is a MAN, presumably with testicles, which should bestow upon him the fortitude to own up to his mistakes and rectify them; despite all of these facts, he continues to draw attention, scrutiny, and disdain upon himself through his hypocrisy and denial of responsibility.

Which brings me to the difficulty I had finding the bulk foods section in my neighbourhood Safeway. I walked back and forth, glancing down numerous aisles, trying to track down the promised comestibles with which I'd garnish my dinner salad. I began to despair.

"Nuts!" I exclaimed vexedly.

An elderly woman pushing a shopping cart full of cat food looked at me, alarmed.

"No, really," I sheepishly elaborated, "I'm looking for nuts. The eaty kind."

Thinking that I was in fact what I was looking for, the bemused septagenarian swiftly (as much as her aging frame permitted) exited the aisle. I continued to search, trying to avert my eyes from the tempting labels of impulse-buys-in-the-making. No, I don't want macaroni and cheese flavoured sports drink! Spare me your delicious rose water-scented petroleum whipped product! BEGONE, SOY BEAN PERSONAL LUBRICANT!!

Clutching my basket to my chest, frantically trying to escape the Sirens' pervasive calls to consumerism, I finally found what I was looking for. Before me was the mother lode of inexpensive and not-so-tantalizing sundry victuals, lovingly incubated inside an array of transparent plastic bins. Mmmm...banana chips! Which, I must say, never really tasted like bananas. And were more like "bricks" than "chips". Behold, gummy worms! Which taste the same as the gummy soothers. Blue whales, which don't taste like anything. Chocolate-covered almonds; really "bland, brown semi-solid"-covered "bland crunchy bit".

No matter! I gathered my coveted cashews and walnuts. Trying to boost my...uh...vitamin something and something oil. And to add a bit of texture to my delicious salad.

Satisfied with my findings, I closed the bags with those white twisty ties they give you at the store. I wrote the corresponding bin number on the white twisty tie and went to the check out with the rest of my purchase.

"Did you find everything you were looking for?" asked the helpful, overworked and underpaid clerk.

"Why, yes! Yes, I did, thank you for asking," I replied, beaming.

That's right: I had finally found at Safeway, after several minutes of fervent examination, frustration, and consternation, what had only taken a few seconds of cursory glancing through the Edmonton Journal's front page: nuts, and plenty of them.

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