My new book “Midlife Solo” is now available.

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of Julia Child and Justin Bieber

I watched a Helen Keller “water” moment yesterday … My daughter had important business so we met downtown and she handed her son in his stroller off to me. Instead of walking to my house, which is not baby-proofed and thus open to complete destruction, I took him to the Y. Heaven, for us both. We played first in the babysitting room, full of toys. There were two babies there, 3 and 5 months old, which fascinated him – he kept going over for another look. It seems beyond belief that only a few months ago, he too was a helpless infant flailing about in a car-seat. And now here’s a sturdy young man wobbling on two feet, gazing with curiosity at those strange little moon creatures.

We went upstairs where the kindergym was set up, mats for climbing and tumbling and hula hoops. And then they opened up the storeroom and took out balls, 20 balls of different sizes, and scattered them across the flood. Eli’s jaw dropped. “BAW!” he said joyfully, pointing. “Baw!” And off he staggered to round them up. Those millions of synapses firing to produce his first word – as thrilling for his glamma as for him.

Two treats today: one this wonderful video of Julia Child as a rapper. Sublime. Made me hungry.

And two, this hilarious piece by Canadian New Yorker writer, Bruce McCall. No ribaldry here!

MAY 31, 2013


The Governor General’s Medium-High Court of Pretty Obvious Anti-Canadian Behavior has found the teen pop idol Justin Bieber guilty on all counts of more than just casually damaging the reputation of his native country by willfully and repeatedly acting in a manner sure to make people think he isn’t even Canadian at all but maybe American.
In a stirring summary, the Queen’s Chief Complainer described Master Bieber’s activities since leaving his Stratford, Ontario, home for the world stage five years ago as “a headlong dive into a lifestyle that has turned a normal Canadian lad into a smart aleck who thinks it’s ‘fun’ to make money, stay in four-star hotels, and ride around in big limousines. He probably doesn’t even keep a piggy bank in his bedroom for a rainy day. Though, of course, I could be all wet and would be glad to be corrected, because, after all, fair’s fair.”
A jury of the most ordinary Canadians available deliberated between the first and second periods of a nationally televised playoff edition of “Hockey Night,” and rendered their unanimous verdict well before the action on the ice restarted. The foreman did add that he “sure hoped this decision wouldn’t cause anybody any trouble.”
The nineteen-year-old international music phenomenon was found guilty of six offenses against Canadian behavioral norms—actions that probably would not even be noticed if he were American:
  • Allowing himself to be photographed nude from the waist up, in clear defiance of the 1905 Flannel and Wool and Earmuff Act banning any immodest public depiction of the Canadian body.
  • Arriving two hours late for a recent U.K. concert performance, in so doing violating the Canadian Punctuality Code, which confirms anyone who is more than five minutes late for any public appearance as rude, selfish, not very nice, and undoing just about everything for which the late, great Lester B. Pearson stood. Although putting it this way might be seen by some as verging on the “semi-hysterical,” so apologies in advance if it seems so.
  • Gross negligence in his informal role as a goodwill ambassador representing Canada and all Canadians in a foreign country, thereby staining a national reputation so carefully cultivated over time by Mr. Paul Anka, the late Lord Beaverbrook, the Canadian women’s national curling team, and others. Is this overreaction? Canadians are invited to comment.
  • Recently being ejected, with his entourage, from a London night club. Master Bieber was convicted on four additional charges resulting from this breech of Canadian good manners: Master Bieber, the Court ruled, “almost pretty surely knew, or at least we think so,” that it is, one, an offense against the Canadian Way for a Canadian to frequent night clubs; two, to do so way past a decent bedtime; three, to have an entourage; and, four, to make loud noises while probably engaging in ribaldry. Ribaldry was outlawed in Canada in 1956, after the comic team of Wayne and Shuster told a marginally tasteless joke, concerning a naked Doukhobor, on TV.
  • Leaving his pet Capuchin monkey behind in Germany after recently visiting that country for a concert performance, then failing to retrieve the animal before the government of Germany’s thirty-day deadline. This violates (a) the Canadian Cruelty to Soft-Bodied Dependent Creatures Act, (b) the Canadian-German Simian and Marsupial Affairs Protocol of 1954, (c) the Governor General of Canada’s (1919) etiquette guidelines for dealing with a foreign government, and (d) Article XII of the Medicine Hat Summit, i.e. Putting the Welfare of Others Before Oneself. Is this a case of “throwing the book” at the defendant? The Court is willing to tone down its criticisms if enough people think so.
  • Finally, Master Bieber was found guilty on the most important charge of all: thinking he is so hot. Cited as evidence were his blatant modishness, as exemplified by a pompadour hair style; his eagerness to give autographs; an annual income greater than the annual earnings of the Musical Ride of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police; consorting with flashy female persons without introducing them to his family; and lastly—and most inflammatory to all Canadians—showing off and liking it.
Canadians convicted of thinking they are so hot are barred from taking advantage of special sales events at Canadian Tire, purchasing more than two dozen Tim Hortons donuts at a time, and entering any Canadian Legion hall on a Friday night.
Master Bieber, who was not in court due to a reported body-waxing mishap in Los Angeles, was tried in absentia. If apprehended on Canadian territory, he faces an immediate good spanking and either four hundred hours of community service in Sudbury, Ontario; forty-eight hours of partying with Toronto Mayor Rob Ford; or watching fifty National Film Board documentaries with titles featuring the words “Inuit,” “Wheat,” “Louis Riel,” or “Niagara Falls” twice.



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About Beth

I began keeping a journal at the age of nine. Nearly fifty years later, I started this online journal, sharing reflections, reviews, updates, and the occasional secret.

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