Message in a Bottle: Project C’est Something Nice Continues…

Ladies and gentlemen, Mirinov’s nose has been at it again.  I have not yet updated the Project C’est Something NIce main page, but do yourself a favour and click through to learn the secret truth underlying the Canadiens’ offensive strategy.

Thanks everybody for all your submissions – I think we’ve got to be getting close to 40 jokes or so now.  Please keep ’em coming.   I didn’t have much time to put into teh Intarwebs today, but this is my latest contribution to the list:

Educational opportunities abound: the moral of the Montreal Canadiens’ story is that having too many Molsons may make you small, soft and unable to score.

Was that a dick joke?  I think it was!

Oh, and I thought of this one too:

Sponsorship dollars roll in as Gomez, Cammalleri and Gionta appear in ad campaign for world famous software manufacturer.  Slogan:  “We are Microsoft.”

Update:  Monday July 13, 2009: Just phoned in by friend of the blog the Paris Goose:

Canadiens become official hockey team of the Walt Disney company;  extensive retrofit of the “It’s a Small World” ride expected to include animated puppets wearing Brian Gionta jerseys.

I Feel Like Sally Struthers…

…only instead of dollars, I’m begging for jokes. Oh, and I’m not trying to feed starving African children, I’m trying to ensure that we take the piss out of Habs fans.  This shouldn’t be hard;  it’s not like Gainey hasn’t given us material to work with.

Here’s where we’re at: 1/3 of the way there. Thirty four bits have been submitted.  I can’t say “34 jokes”, because each one is, uh, “special”.  You know, unique like a snowflake or a learning disabled child.

If you would permit me a couple of observations at this point:

  1. I want to party with kidkawartha.  Dude is nitroglycerin in a jar, man;  crazy and scattered in a way that makes me feel naughty.  Don’t go changin’ etc. etc. kid;   and thanks for the multiple submissions.  You are a man of great compassion.
  2. Mirinov’s Nose.  Read the submission (it’s comment #14 on this page).  Defying convention, it refuses classification.  I can’t decide whether it is the punk rock or experimental jazz of Habs jokes.  I know that I liked it immediately, which suggests to me it’s more Social Distortion than John Zorn.  You decide.
  3. Not to denigrate any of the fine work submitted to date, but I feel as though we’re still striving to hit our stride on these.  Consider the first 33 submissions akin to the pre-season and a Wednesday night in October against Atlanta; we played hard and all, but the competitive juices just weren’t flowing at maximum capacity.  Well now it’s metaphorical November, bucko, and we all know what that means:  time to bring your “a” game.  I want all of you who previously offered submissions to review the tape, look at what you did right and take note of what you did wrong;  then I want you to get out on that (still further extended) metaphorical ice and take your best shot.  Or two.  Or 66.  At the Habs.  Those of you who didn’t even show up to play?  Get out there and show me what you can do.
  4. I know it’s summer holidays ‘n all, but can somebody put the bat signal up for Godd Till and Kim Jorn, late of the Cox Bloc?  First, everybody knows those boys can bring the sass, and sass is what this project is all about.  Second, I feel like – karmically – they kind of owe it to the universe to participate in this exercise on account of this abomination, which (much like porn) makes Baby Jesus Cry.  Contact Godd or Kim and tell them about the Project.  Tell them the cool kids are doin’ it;  they’ll get on board – just like teaching kids to smoke at daycare.
  5. Chemmy.  Vitriol + ridicule + hatred of the Habs.   This is right up your alley, brother.   I need more than one goal out of you if we’re going to win this thing.

Once again:  your mission, should you choose to accept it (and you should choose to accept it):  offer up something “positive” we can say about the Canadiens’ upcoming season.  Leave your japes in the comments below.

Also – I’m collating all the submissions to date on to a single page – there should be a link to a “Project C’est Something Nice” page at the top left corner of your browser, near the links for home and aboot.  You can click on the link at the top of the site’s homepage at any time to get to the complete list of well-wishery.

Lastly, I offer up my eighth submission to the project:

Exclusive, Unique Marketing Opportunity: the Habs can become the only NHL team to offer actual size Bobblehead Dolls.

15 So Far: Project “C’est Something Nice Continues”

Project “C’est Something Nice” continues, and you folk are starting to get the hang of this;  there are some heart-warming sentiments being expressed.   Remember, we’re shooting for a hundred burns rays of sunshine to send to our rivals.  As of right now, we Leaf fans have been able to identify 15 positive things to say about the upcoming Montreal Canadiens’ season.

But Habs fans need more love.  Oh yes, yes.  Much more.  Get out your virtual poison pens, people, and leave us a couple more zingers condolence messages in the comments below, won’t you?

Again, in the spirit of things, I offer my third contribution to the collection.  Here it is:

Montreal Canadiens expected to receive numerous Oscar nominations for upcoming documentary feature film starring GM Bob Gainey:  “Honey, I Shrunk the Habs.”

honey i shrunk the habs
My God, I'm a Genius With the 'Shops. No?

Update, Friday morning: That’s it, you folks are getting the hang of it, keep ’em coming.  Tell your friends too!  Here’s my fourth contribution to the project:

Canadiens’ travel/accomodation costs expected to significantly decline as Gomez, Cammalleri and Gionta room together on the road:  Mikey in the bottom bunk, Scotty on the top, Brian in a dresser drawer.

Project “C’est Something Nice”: Talking to Habs Fans

There has been much joy and mirth not only in these virtual parts but also elsewhere in the Barilkosphere of late.  Brian Burke’s succesful efforts to assemble a Brobdingnagian blueline and to complement it with a Colossus in the crease have been largely responsible for the festive atmosphere in Leafdom.

But it has to be said that it is not just the Leafs’ good fortunes that have sparked the positive mojo; also playing a role in Leaf fans’ gleeful anticipation of the coming season are the disasters-in-waiting being presided over by Messrs. Murray and Gainey in Ottawa and Montreal respectively.   It cannot be denied that a healthy dose of schadenfreude in relation to our divisional rivals’ struggles is spicing the Blue and White soup of excitement just so, turning this particular dish into a gourmet delicacy upon which the faithful are gratefully gorging themselves.

I can’t help but think that we owe our friends in Montreal and Ottawa a debt of gratitude for the enjoyment we’ve received from this most delicious and nourishing meal (trust me, I’m going somewhere with this).  Accordingly, I have a proposal, set out in more detail at the end of this post, for a way in which we might show our appreciation for our rivals’ hospitality.

But first, a little refresher on the facts.

Gator 6685
Even this guy is crying tears for the Habs. Yes, I know it's a gator but I don't have a picture of a crocodile. Sue me.

The Senators contributed the first ingredient or two to our delicious repast, first with Dany Heatley’s ridiculous team-chemistry destroying trade demand (followed up expertly by his refusal to waive his no-trade clause upon the conclusion of a trade agreement with Edmonton).  Next came that delightfully flavourful moment at the draft, thankfully captured for posterity by TSN cameras and microphones, during which our angry Irish overlord produced, with the unwitting assistance of the beleagured Murray, the most astonishingly public gobsmacking in recorded history.  Just a few days ago, Murray put the cherry on top of his part of this concoction, signing the chronically apathetic Alexei Kovalev to a contract so unbelievably lucrative that I originally assumed that the financial figures must have been reported for some reason in pesos.

These events, though, have in truth paled in significance when compared to the struggles of one Robert “Bob” Gainey, the manager of generalities in Montreal.  On the heels of the “centennial” season that wasn’t, the laughable drive for 25 that ended up as a bug to the Bruins’ windshield and widespread public dissatisfaction with the Habs players (I’m looking at you, Carey Price) and management, Gainey gave Leaf fans another gift or two.  In the early hours of free agency, Leafs fans were like disappointed children on Christmas morning (having opened a box containing Colton Orr when the Sedins had been expressly requisitioned of Santa Claus) but Gainey gave us something to focus on and deride:  his trade for the enormous contract of a tiny underachieving centreman: Scott Gomez.  The trade made no sense, even to Leaf fans, who are especially adept at attempting to piece together the demented and alleged logic underpinning the roster moves of our own organization;  why would the Habs take on a massive salary, give up their best young prospect and get back so (literally) little player for their troubles?  Just as the startled laughter began to fade over this move, along came the punch line:  Gainey apparently designed and built a nuclear powered money-throwing machine that he immediately deployed to assist him in propelling currency at both Mike Cammalleri and Brian Gionta, which currency the two gnome-like wingers quickly stuffed into their tiny pockets.

Then the Fun Train really got chugging along as the Leafs signed Mike Komisarek – a big part of the physical presence on the Montreal blueline – and  Gainey fired his riposte,  an overpayment for defenceman Jaroslav Spacek to the tune of $11.25 million.  It was as if the spirit of a drunken, brain-injured John Ferguson Jr. had inhabited Gainey’s body, and (predictably) had begun rampaging through the Habs’ organization like the Stay-Puff Marshmallow Man, with nary a Ghostbuster in sight.  Fans of the Blue and White couldn’t get enough of this poltergeist’s mischievous destruction.

Leaf fans have been wiping away tears of laughter ever since.  Sure, Mike Cammalleri is a talented player, and the Leafs even wanted to sign him up to the hometown squad, but Mike Cammalleri is no Steve Austin;  he just isn’t a Six Million Dollar Man.  Gionta and Gomez were/are also vastly overpaid, but more amusingly – I don’t know if you’ve noticed this – they’re all rather diminutive.   It occurred to Leaf Nation – and approximately 100% of the rest of humanity not pulling on the controls of the Hab machinery – that this might not be the best plan ever concocted for success in the National Hockey League.

Gentle reader, it’s a known fact that people can be cruel about such things.  I am saddened to report that some among the Leaf fans gathered at Pension Plan Puppets even succumbed to their lesser nature and fashioned a jest or two thousand premised upon the central organizing conceit that Montreal Canadiens forwards, this coming season, might be somewhat smaller than average.  I have even heard the occasional jape fashioned around the notion that Alexei Kovalev might not exhibit the sort of leadership that even, say for example, a fourth grade hall monitor might.  Shocking and misguided, I know.

Watching the whole series of events unfold in the Twitterverse, I’ve started to get the feeling that Habs fans were feeling a little down about the whole thing (side note: is there a collective term for Canadiens fans?  Is there a “Habs Nation” or are we just sticking with “that bunch of fickle pricks chanting `na na na na’ and singing fucking soccer songs”?  Yeah, I thought so.)  I started to wonder whether, in the spirit of good karma, we Leaf fans ought not to pitch in to cheer the fuckers up.  I got to thinking about the many ways that the Leafs’ free agent signings had improved the general welfare of the universe and it occurred to me that there MUST be something positive, from a wider societal perspective, to say about the Montreal transactions (we know they’re no damn good in terms of improving their chances of winning hockey games, that’s for sure).

As for Senators fans, well they’re a bit different.  The thing about the Sens fans is, bless their little hearts, they don’t understand how totally screwed their team is.  They have, to put it mildly, a problem.  I have a suggestion about how to help fix that for them (watch this space in the coming days), but – for now – the immediate concern is our depressed friends in the bleu, blanc et rouge chandails.

So here’s my proposal.

To thank the Montreal Canadiens and their fans for the part they played in cheering us Leaf fans up, I propose that we come up with a series of 100 simple statements (one for each year in this, the REAL centennial) about the state of the Canadiens’ franchise along the lines of a positive affirmation for our friends.  Each statement should delineate some beneficial feature of the Habs’ present predicament that represents a silver lining in the storm clouds gathering over the Bell Centre, along the lines of the model set out below.  Let’s collect a hundred such statements (remember, it’s their centennial), package them up with a nice bow, and send them off to our friends at Habs Eyes on the Prize with our compliments;  after all, they’ve been so supportive of us during the last few difficult years, I truly feel this is the absolute least we can do.

Here’s my first contribution to Project “C’est Something Nice!”:

In the future, the Montreal Canadiens will be leaders in the field of hockey equipment innovation and research: the Buster Brown shoe company, for example, will be retained to design and manufacture special “right-sized” skates for the Habs’ forwards.

Feel free to leave your own efforts in the comments below.  Let’s make this happen, Leaf fans – I know you have this kind of compassion in your souls.

Update, Thursday July 9 8:30 p.m.: Well, folks, we’ve only managed to gather together an even dozen zingers so far.  Quite frankly, that’s a Kovalev-ian effort, dammit.  We are far, far…erm….”short” of our goal of a century of zingers soothing mottos to package up for the burning cop car/broken windows at the depanneur set.  I know there are some of you who have more love to give.  Maybe you’re uncertain whether your first attempt at soothing the Gallic pain will hit the mark;  no problem, leave a couple of attempts in the comments below.  Let’s work this bee-yatch up, yo.

My second contribution to the project:

Corporate cash cow: sales of official Montreal Canadiens “game-used booster chairs” expected to skyrocket in 2009 – 2010 season.

Passive Aggressive Sign Language

Brantford Rona is No More_8531
Rona, as it used to was.

Not far from the friendly confines of Juniorvania, there used to be a Rona store.  Careful and attentive readers may remember this store making a cameo appearance in a home improvement saga related to the making of shelves from last year. I think I went in to that store the day I was looking for the melamine to finish up that shelving project and on two other occasions, both of which were on the same day:  it was the day I purchased some scrap cedar to make the rails on the side of our compost heap and the risers for the grass stairs that run alongside the largest of our gardens in the back.

Three visits on two days in the course of about fifteen months;  not very many visits at all, compared to the time Spouse and I have spent in the Lowe’s and even (shudder) Home Depot in that same time period, though both stores are much further away.  I guess if I was in to augury as it relates to home improvement centres, I would have given the matter some serious consideration and I would have likely come to the obvious conclusion (after ripping apart and examining the entrails of a shop vac and a mitre box) that the fact that I didn’t throw a lot of business the way of a store that was essentially in my backyard probably didn’t bode well for the survival of the place.

A couple of weeks ago, on one of our drives by the Rona, we noticed that it had indeed gone out of business.  Here’s a picture of the message left for the citizens of Brantford by the folks at the recently demised Rona:

Passive Aggressive Sign_8527
We didn't have a middle finger graphic, or we woulda posted THAT.

Closed. Thanks, Brantford! Way to go, citizens of the telephone city! If you heartless bastards could have found it in your cold, cold hearts to simply purchase a couple more board feet of pressure-treated lumber; if you could have managed to squeeze a single snow shovel into your annual basket of consumer good purchases; if you could have maybe managed to buy your paper towels here instead of at the 7-Eleven, you ridiculous hammerheads, we might not be boarding up the windows right now. Terrific. Thanks a fucking million!

I think that’s what the sign says. Maybe it’s just me.

Class Act Cervidae

In an effort to pay the bills around here, Heroes in Rehab: the blog has decided to run the occasional advertisement.   Management has resolved to ensure that the commercial content is tasteful, minimally intrusive and discreet.  In addition, we are determined to endorse only those products and services that we here at HiR:tb can in good conscience recommend because we find ourselves using and enjoying them on a regular basis.  Keeping that in mind, may I present a message from one of our esteemed sponsors:

Oh, deer...

And now with the mercantile niceties behind us, the staff ’round here will presently return you to your regularly scheduled half-baked analysis, tangential musings and baldfaced lies, mixed of course with a liberal dose of poopy jokes.  Now with 15% more deer porn!   I think we all knew it would come to something like this on this site eventually.

Primer for Young Leaf Fans

Chapter One

Look at the men.  They are wearing blue and white.  Why are the men wearing Blue and White?  They are Toronto Maple Leafs hockey players.   They are teammates playing a hockey game.  They wear blue and white shirts.  They wear blue and white pants.  The blue and white shirts and pants are called uniforms.  Why do the Maple Leafs hockey players wear uniforms?  If they did not wear uniforms, they could not be sure that the player they are passing the puck to is on the other team.

leaf primer
TML for Kids

Look at the men’s feet.  The men are wearing funny shoes.  The funny shoes are called skates.  Why are the Toronto Maple Leafs hockey players wearing skates?   Judging by the way the Toronto Maple Leafs are playing against the Florida Panthers, no one is really quite sure.

Look at the man at the end of the rink.  He is wearing lots of extra padding.  Who is the man wearing lots of extra padding?  His name is Vesa Toskala, and he is the Toronto Maple Leafs’ goalie.   What is a goalie?  A goalie stands in the way when men from the other team shoot the puck.   A goalie stops the puck and makes a save. Doesn’t that sound scary?  Let’s watch Vesa Toskala.  See the man with the puck?  Shoot, man, shoot!   Okay, that one went in the net.  It is not a save.  Let’s watch again.  See the man with the puck?  Shoot, man, shoot!.   Hmmm, I’m sure Vesa Toskala will stand in the way of one of these shots soon.  Maybe we should come back later.

See the man at the bench?  His name is Ron and he is a hockey coach.  He is the coach of the Toronto maple Leafs.  Coach, Ron, coach!  What does a coach do?  When the players on the team make a mistake, the hockey coach must fix it. The hockey coach must tell the players what they did wrong.  He must teach them never to do that again.  Doesn’t that sound interesting?  Would you like to talk to Coach Ron?   That would be fun,  but Coach Ron is a VERY busy man.

Look at Vesa Toskala again.  See the man with the puck?  Shoot, man, shoot!  Well, that was not a save either.   Let’s watch one more time.  See the man with the puck?  Shoot, man, shoot!  No, still not a save.  Yes, I know, I said that Vesa Toskala is a goalie.  I know I said that a goalie makes a save.   But Vesa Toskala has not made a save.  How do I know he’s a goalie?  He has a very nice mask.

See the man scowling?  His name is Brian.  Scowl, Brian, scowl.  Brian is the General Manager of  the Toronto Maple Leafs.  What is a General Manager?  The General Manager’s job is to make the team better.  The General Manager’s job is to make the team win.  Do you hear Brian talking?  Brian says bad words.  Brian says filthy words that you must never repeat.  Brian is angry.  Why is Brian angry?  Why is Brian scowling?  Why does Brian say bad words?

Wouldn’t you?

We’re Ready Now, Santa!

Did you know that Santa has some helper elves in Florida?  And did you know that Santa’s sun-worshipping assistants are in charge of ensuring that all power yard equipment is properly prepared to celebrate the Yuletide festivities?

It’s true.

On Saturday the 13th, Spouse and I hosted the office Christmas party.  What preceded the party, of course, was a massive clean-up/decorating binge to get the entire nation of Juniorvania ship-shape and ready for its most extensive influx of visitors in recorded history.  Some consternation briefly ensued while Spouse and I debated the most appropriate means of providing a suitable repository for the cold refreshing BEvERageS accompanying our guests to the party.  I am no engineer, but if I do say so myself, I think I resolved that little dilemma with some flair (not to mention ten bags of ice and a couple of strands of lights) in the following manner:

XMAS Tractor IMG_5327

Trailer of bounty IMG_5335

Somehow, word of this festive little piece of power equipment seems to have made it to Santa’s southern associates. Apparently, St. Nick himself was impressed by the tractor’s display of holiday verve, but saddened to learn that the little implement lacked one crucial piece of Christmas gear; he put his Floridian designates on the case and voilà, the tractor is ready to receive Santa’s bounty on the Big Night.

Please Santa Put Oil in My Sock IMG_5530

Friday Night Blowout: Old Guy Style

Snow-mageddon“, the snowstorm of the year, has come and gone as promised.  Mother Nature behaved quite civilly, for an old lady throwing a meterological shit fit.  ‘Round these parts (he said, hitching his overalls up by the straps with both thumbs) the storm began at a reasonable hour – sometime around 7 or 8 o’clock in the morning, and really didn’t gather IMG_5413ferocity until after Spouse and I had safely arrived at work.  The teeth of the storm were mostly bared during the meaty portion of the work day – a frosty, face-full-of-cold-razor-blades undoubted inconvenience while walking around downtown Hamilton, but really nothing more.  At around 4 o’clock, as promised (such genteel behaviour!) and in plenty of time for us to journey home in the daylight, the storminess of the storm fizzled and we set out on our journey home.

The roads were snow-covered and generally somewhat slippery, but more than passable.  I think we may actually be in a better position than many folks, living in our current location, because we generally only have to travel over main roads to arrive at our destination – main roads that get prompt and careful attention from the plowing crews.  I suspect that folks who live in subdivisions and down residential sidestreets were having to negotiate thoroughfares that were much more generously covered with snow than we did.  We really didn’t reach any significant obstacle at all, until…

…we reached the driveway.

The path leading in to Juniorvania is about a hundred yards long, measured from the edge of the road on our northern border.  We need a path about nine feet wide to get the official Juniorvanian Transport vehicle up the drive.  The snow was about a foot deep.  By my calculations, assuming uniform distribution and depth of snow (an unwarranted assumption, especially at the roadside where the plows had wrought their special brand of hellish magic), 2700 cubic feet of snow needed to be moved.  It was a very physical and very intimdating demonstration of the last mile concept.

Maple Leafs Twenty Questions: Funsize Edition

All-time world champion non sequitur (in that, in addition to being unrelated to the topic, it “follows” nothing):  My Dad, who seems to be working hard to secure a position as worldwide press agent for HiR:tb, tells me that there’s an army of people out there reading the blog and enjoying what I write.  That’s terrific to hear – and I’d love it, if you’re one of those folks, if you’d leave a comment on the site so I can prove to my wife that all this time spent tippy-tapping away on the keyboard is worthwhile in somebody’s opinion.

PPP has sought some help answering a series of five questions directed his way by certain mischievous Oiler fans. Here are the five questions, with my proposed answers.

1. What is the consensus amongst Leaf fans about the Sundin situation?

Divided. Those who advocate staying the course worry that Sundin’s return would provide little benefit (as far as team success) and delay or derail entirely the development of young forwards gobbling up prime minutes in important situations. Those who don’t see the team obtaining a top five draft pick anyway want him back to teach the youngsters the way. Those who are cannibals think he looks delicious.

2. What is the worst deal in the past 5 years that the Leafs have done? What has been the best?

The worst on-ice deal has to be Red Light Raycroft. Colorado Avalanche fans (both of them) are by now learning that with “Razor” (cough) in net, the “scoring area” now includes all four corners of the rink, most washrooms on the mezzanine level of the arena, and a substantial portion of the state of Colorado. There are no guarantees that Tuuka Rask (who the Leafs traded to get Raycrap) will ever be Martin Brodeur v. 2.0, but that deal perfectly symbolizes the ineptness of the JFJ management regime: JFJ evidently failed to foresee that Ed Belfour would age, because he failed to have a suitable successor ready to take over from within the organization; he then badly overpaid for Raycrap (both by way of trade and by way of mammoth contract), a goalie whose “talent” he over-estimated; to fix his own mistakes in that regard, the Leafs were then required to trade for Vesa Toskala. The best deal may well be Cliff’s most recent Risebrough: a 2nd-rounder for Mikhail Grabovski.

3. How does it feel knowing that the last Stanley Cup that the Leafs won was when there were 6 teams in the league?

How did it feel when Chris Pronger and his wife basically hocked a loogie on the statue of Gretz out front of the Rexall Place/Skyreach Centre/Edmonton Coliseum/Northlands Coliseum? How did it feel when Roli the Goalie got steamrollered in Game 1 of the ‘06 Final, following which the Oil coughed up a three-goal lead and went on to lose the series in 7 games? That’s gotta hurt. Anyway, take those feelings, transplant them on a fan base that actually keeps coming to the games when the team doesn’t have a freakish run of success, and you get the idea. Laugh it up out there, Oiler fans – at least our team never lost the Cup to a bunch of itinerant hillbillies.

4. Rumor has it that Cliff Fletcher is 612 years old. Is this a concern for Leafs fans?

It is true that Cliff Fletcher is so old, he was once a contestant on a game show where the big prize was “fire”. Nevertheless, the front office is one place where the “wily veteran with a track record of success” is much preferred over the “promising but unproven talent”: see the entry in Failopedia for “Ferguson, John Jr.”. By the way, hope that Steve Tambellini thing works out for you guys. Really.

5. Do you hold out hope for Brian Burke coming to town?

I personally want Brian Burke to come town about as much as Kevin Lowe would like to carpool with the guy. Burke’s record – both as it relates to the draft and his ability to assemble a well-rounded team (or even one NHL calibre starting goalie) is doubtful, as I’m sure the seven time Stanley Cup Champion Vancouver Canucks would agree. His record with the Ducks raises questions about his ability to manage the cap, though Niedermayer and Selanne have to bear some of the blame for that. It would, however, be fun to watch Burkie berate the local mittenstringers like a drill sergeant with PMS on a daily basis. Put me down for “meh.”