THE IMPORTANT THINGS IN LIFE. Wisdom gleaned from The Globe & Mail.
Eons ago, before we got our news online, when we still had to pick up the paper-paper from our doorstep, there was no escaping the bad news. You saw them at a glance on Page One: demonstrators being tear-gassed, missiles dropping on cities and killing civilians, tsunamis wreaking havoc, politicians lying through their teeth on the campaign trail. Day after day. On the front page. Thank God that era is over, and you can get your news online, where the logo of your favourite daily covers most of the home page. So as long as you don’t scroll down, you are safe and don’t have to look at gory pictures and appalling headlines or even at Petraeus’ follies which turn out to be less exciting than we thought. Alas, no Clintonesque goings-on below the desk. Just hundreds of emails, and nary a jpeg attachment of the general bare-chested or in his army-issue underwear. No, forget about what passes for news nowadays. Just click on the menu and go right to the stuff that really matters. Like, on November 16:
DO KIDS MAKE US HAPPY? ANSWER: YES (WE THINK). Now that’s the sort of magical thinking you need as you scrape crayon marks/poop/food fight remnants off the wall.
Or maybe go to: FOR A STRESS-FREE HOLIDAY, PACK A NANNY. Mind you, it’s a little pricey: $ 250/day for up to two children, plus travel expenses.
Maybe we’ll move on to November 17 and Dr. Sacks’ advice: IT’S OKAY TO HALLUCINATE. It’s an essential part of our human nature. Not to mention, much cheaper than reality. So, go ahead and hallucinate a travel nanny. No charge.
Meanwhile, being the careless type, I picked up the paper version of the Globe & Mail and couldn’t avoid seeing an article on AVOIDING HOME RENOVATION PITFALLS. The warning lights went on. Why get into that aggravating subject? Because I can’t pass up a special, and this article was marked SPECIAL. Oh, thanks for telling me: That’s just a fancy word for ADVERTISING. Still, there were some philosophical nuggets buried in the advertising muck. Indecision during the renovation process can lead to budget nightmares, says the MANAGING DIRECTOR OF REAL ESTATE SECURED LENDING AT SCOTIABANK. Wow! Is that a real job title or am I hallucinating?
But the section that truly takes the reality load off your shoulders is STYLE. Christmas is just around the corner, so read up on THE SECRET TO A WELL-STYLED HOLIDAY MANTEL. What you need here is good taste, right? Wrong. You need Mounted Antlers ($ 55) and a vintage white sleigh ($125). Don’t have that kind of money to spend on Christmas decorations? Move on to that all-important question: HOW TO PULL OFF HOUNDSTOOTH. No, we are not talking canine dentistry here. We are talking about the GROOVY PATTERN that looks good on Arab keffiyahs but somehow makes the rest of us look torn-to-pieces. So we’ll put that aside. In any case, I’m sure you agree that the paramount problem in your life are zits. The solution is simple, as it turns out. All you need is tomatoes. They contain a natural acne fighting antioxidant. That would be $ 1.50 for three nice Roma tomatoes, right? No, my friend, we aren’t talking about real tomatoes. That would be too cheap. You need to buy a ROLLERBALL thingy for 10.99. And another problem that spoils many a promising day in our lives: bangs that go frizzy on a rainy day. Now do not, I repeat DO NOT wait for sunshine, because that would cost you nothing whatsoever. No, apply FRIZZ FREE KERATIN SMOOTHING TREATMENT for 11.99. That’s cheaper than salon treatment, as the helpful columnist points out – that’s in case you were thinking of calling in sick and sneaking off to a salon for an instant fix.
Of course you can always do like Dr. Sacks, take a little amphetamine and hallucinate your bangs straight.