reporter's name Augustine Paglia was a merger of
This was another article that poked fun at the shoddy treatment women received at the hands of the church and society at large.
The bit about the young woman shouting "it's my body it's my choice" was a nod to a skit from our radio show days. We had a reoccurring character called "Metric Dog". Metric Dog was a little white dog from a planet orbiting Sirius (the dog star, ha ha). He was also a super hero, sent to earth to protect Canada from economic and cultural absorption by the USA. The premise was Canada was all but part of America save for the fact Canadians used the metric system. The metric system, we reasoned, was really the last bastion of Canadian culture. Each episode some sinister Yankee plot was being hatched to take over Canada. Mere moments before the 51st star was to be added to Old Glory, one of the Yankee plotters foolishly made a passing reference to inches or pounds or miles instead of the equivalent metric unit! Well, holy Christ! The imperially imperiled Canadians could then call out "Metric Dog help me!" and the canine super hero would appear. With a ferocious bark, he would chase off the invading Americans. Canada, yet again, would be saved. The skit would end with the Canadians saying "Thanks Metric Dog!"
Only one skit ever deviated from this formula. Somehow the abortion issue put Canadian sovereignty at risk. Pro Choice and Pro Life forces were lined up on opposite ends of a Megiddo-like field outside of Canada's supreme court. What no one knew, save for the listener and narrator, each side was being equally funded by a shadowy American force. This final, Ragnorakian battle would leave Canada open to invasion. Metric Dog appeared at the last minute and kept the factions apart. Near the end of the skit someone asked Metric Dog which side of the abortion issue he was on. Metric Dog responded with a bark. The skit ended by fading down on one voice saying "see he said life begins at conception!" and another voice countering "no he said it's my body it's my choice..."
Yeah the article was written by Gates Wozniak. No long-winded explanation needed there.
Windsor depended greatly on auto manufacturing for jobs. During economic downturns, Windsor went right into the toilet. There was always talk about a need to diversify the economy but like the weather, no one ever really did much about it. At some point, Windsoradians were agog that IBM Canada was thinking of opening a warehouse in Windsor. With its proximity to Detroit and the whole NAFTA thing kicking in, it made sense. This article was a parody of that. It was also a parody of the lousy summer jobs the auto factories offered students. Many students got "TPT" work. TPT stood for Temporary Part Time. Hourly wages of $18 were inconceivably high to students used to $5-an-hour fast food jobs. Unfortunately working conditions during Windsor's hot humid summers in un-airconditioned factories were unbearable. However unbearable the working conditions, many students continued on with The Big Three after getting their university degree. The high wages were like trying to convince teenage crack dealers they should give up $5,000-a-week tax free jobs to take $2.55 an hour jobs at Burger King. Not many people in Windsor with a BA in English immediately step into a $55,000 a year job with 4 weeks vacation and a gold-plated health/pension plan. TPTs kept chasing the dragon.
The buggy whip is a classic example from economics of a product or industry that is necessarily doomed. Your factory might make the cheapest and highest quality buggy whips in the land but even that won't ultimately save you against the march of progress.
Company to develop useless parkland, bring prosperity to city's downtown
The article was written by Doch R T Charlemady. This was in reference to Windsor's two primary developers: Docherty and Charles Mady. Charles Mady was frequently referred to in The Windsor Star as "Windsor's Developer King". In our radio show days, we used to draw a parallel between Charles Mady and Charlemagne (aka Charles the Great, aka the first Holy Roman Emperor). Our fake news bits always used to refer to Developer King Charles Mady as "Charlemady". Mother fuck, we were clever bastards.
Windsor is, for the most part, a gritty industrial town. Displaying rare wisdom, city fathers realized private water front development could get out hand, denying citizens one of the few enjoyable sights to be found in their city: the broad, fast flowing Detroit river, the massive and colorful Great Lakes freighters that plied its waters, the shimmering towers of Detroit's skyline, and the drunkenly piloted powerboats filled with even drunker coeds flashing their lovely boobies. Windsor politicians would be damned if they were going to let condo and hotel developers wall off these sights. With a couple exceptions (namely Hiram-Walkers and a dreadful hotel that mercifully burned to the ground several years ago), the full length of Windsor's water front is parkland. These parks are filled with wonderful gardens and benches that face Motown, allowing Windsor denizens a chance to sit and contemplate why anyone would choose to live in Detroit.
One of the no-waterfront-development exceptions was an unsightly rail yard right at the foot of Windsor's downtown. In other words, there was a filthy, loud, smelly, oily, rust-filled industrial site smack dab on the single most valuable plot of land in Windsor! Rail traffic moved between Windsor and Detroit at these yards. Boxcars were actually loaded onto a barge and floated across the river. One of Windsor's goals was to get someone in an upper tier of government to secure access to a underground rail tunnel. With a rail tunnel in operation, the water front rail yard/barge system could be dismantled. If this abomination wasn't bad enough, the heavily traveled road system along the water front narrowed from four lanes to two at a rail overpass called the Peabody bridge. (It probably was not, as the article alludes to, designed by a Finnegan Peabody at the turn of the century.) People tended to hit the Peabody bridge at a high rate of speed, ignoring the 30 km/h "suggested serving" signs. The bridge required not only rapid deceleration but a very sharp left turn (or right turn if you were hitting the bridge from the other direction). In winter when this sucker iced up, it was the scene of many horrible, grisly head-on collisions. To make matters far worse, the bridge was getting old and crumbling. The bridge could not be torn down and replaced until the rail tracks underneath were removed. The rail tracks could not be removed until the waterfront rail yard was removed. The rail yard could not be removed until the federal government and the Canadian National railroad negotiated some complicated international agreement with the American federal government.
The gentle reader will be glad to know that this was all eventually worked out.
A couple of the ads contained in the paper are actual ads from the turn of the century. Kevin's capable wife Martina dug them up. The one with the Pope slurping back Bovril and seemingly pronouncing it on par with his own theologically authority (Mathew 23:9 "Upon this cube-shaped soup stock I will build my church.") was an actual ad from a hundred years ago. Boy, people think advertising has sunk to new lows today when they digitally resurrect John Wayne to sell Preparation H.
This issue also got the production Manager The Legendary Kevin Johnson in trouble with the financial wizards running the Student Media Corporation (the paper's titular owner). One of Kevin's jobs was to sell ads. To make sure he wasn't pocketing money, the Student Media Corporation would verify that they had a contract for each ad published. Made sense. After The Border City Lance was published Kevin received a call from a rather upset woman named Debbie at the Student Media Corporation. Debbie wondered why Kevin failed to turn in at least four contracts for ads this week.
"What do you mean Debbie? I turned in all the contract."
"No, Kevin, I count at least four ads I don't have contracts for."
"Could you let me know what page these are on?"
She directed him to The Border City Lance pages.
"Debbie, you know those are fake ads for our parody issue?"
"I mean if you're not Catholic I should not assume you'd know who the current pope is but come on, Debbie, you're aware Oscar Wilde died a hundred years ago?"
"Oh god. I'm so embarrassed!"
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