March 30, 2009

AIG, DeSantis and Taibbi

When I first read this in the NYT last week, my first thought was that it was a joke. A former AIG vice president, Jake DeSantis, sent his resignation to AIG president Edward Liddy. And here is the resignation letter. It's what you'd expect. If you're only going to click on one my links today, wait a second.

I'm tired of being awestruck by the stupidity of rich people to grasp we are never, ever going to feel sorry for them. Ain't gonna happen, especially as long as they continue to be so out of touch with the real world. I'm sick of articles about people having to fire their nannies and gardeners and dog-walkers, and consider selling off the place in the Hamptons. I feel much more sympathy for the nannies and gardeners and the dog-walkers. Though I confess - I never really got the dog-walking thing. You get a dog, walk the dog. You can't walk the dog, get a cat.

Anyway. I digress, as usual. This DeSantis letter was something you'd pick up with tweezers and a noseplug. Whine, whine, whine...I'll give you the Coles Notes version: blah, blah, blah, wasn't my fault, blah, I didn't see anything, blah, blah, I still deserve my bonus, blah, I work hard, blah, blah, poor me, blah,....and on.

I tossed it onto the burn pile I keep in my brain. Until I saw this. Mark Taibbi of Rolling Stone hands the guy his ass on a platter. It has swearing - but if you read nothing else this week, read this. We can't change what's happened, but we can read Taibbi's response and warm our hands on the fire of his outrage.

Awesome stuff.

March 27, 2009

Today's Best Video

Oh, geez, this is beyond cute.

In the U.K., a couple of cops came across a duck crossing the road at 1:30 in the morning. Unfortunately, her chicks disappeared down a grate before they made it across. After the first one went, the rest followed. Put the sound on, it'll break your heart.

The cops scoop them out - watch this. Darling.

The ducklings are darling. I'm not calling you darling.

The Devil at 37,000 Feet

I meant to link this earlier. I've been hounding everyone I know to read it.

From Vanity Fair a couple of months ago, it's one of the best pieces of reporting I've read. William Langeweische is outstanding, regardless of topic, but this one is spellbinding.

Back in September, 2006, two planes collided over the Amazon. Langeweische dissects the experience moment by moment. With the all the current airplane mishaps and collisions that seem to be haunting our news, how this crash happened is incredible.

I Have To Go For Groceries...

...but here's some reading about the world's most haunted places. I'd hear the White House was haunted by several ghosts, but I didn't know the most popular one was Abraham Lincoln. Maybe Obama is getting his messages direct.

If I didn't have enough of my Dad still keeping us company around this house, I'd want to go to every one of them. Well, I still do, actually.

March 26, 2009

On The Line - CTS 2pm.

Polygamy, feminism and surrogacy.

Well, I'm up close and personal with one of those things, anyway...

Join me with host Christine Williamson today. Live call in, if you lot can get past the screeners.

March 25, 2009


Oh. If this doesn't make you a little misty, there's something wrong with you.

I love hearing stories about the kindness that exists out there - we only hear the bad stuff, it seems.


Oh, my. I know some mighty-righties that are going to get very upset with this news piece. Doesn't China know that gerbils begin at conception?

When I was a kid, we had a couple of gerbils. They were pretty cute, until they bit you. Or escaped from their cage and hid behind the piano. They're probably still there.

I Will Never Complain About My Sons Again

"It was there for a whole year before his parents found out"

Click here

March 23, 2009

A Brief History of a Chrysler

While I am occasionally guilty of dredging up ancient car histories from my childhood, they are no different from anyone else who has had a car for more than a year or two. Here, via Jalopnik, is the funniest Craigslist car ad, ever. I'm quoting it for lazy people, but you can click on this link for pics to go with it...bonus points if you pictured Jim and Dwight at the Jell-o part....

"I believe the car originally belonged to my Aunt Betsy, who was born in Wisconsin in 1931, and later migrated to California in 1954, while engaged to my Uncle Talbert.
She had a Tabby cat named Blinky, who died in the spring of 57. Blinky had 6 kittens in 1955, all of whom she regrettably gave away at a fair in Modesto. The cats where never seen or heard from again. Betsy left Modesto in 1963, approximately at the time she allegedly helped purchase the car for her lover, Benson, whom Talbert was unaware of. Unbeknownst to Betsy at that period, a second Tabby cat, also named Blinky, gave birth to 8 kittens, who had made a home in the Chrysler, while it was parked in the garage of Bensons home, hidden from Uncle Talbert. Talbert took ill in 1966, quite suspiciously I was informed, and he later expired from the odd illness in 1967. Meanwhile the Chryslers interior had been moderately tattered from the matured cats, 3 of whom had made the car their permanent home.
Betsy and Benson seperated ways in 1971, and Betsy took the Chrysler, and the two remaining cats, Philby and Jessup, with her to Berkeley. It was then that Betsy unfortunately became addicted to pain-killers, and the Chrysler
was parked in a storage facility in Oakland for several years. Although Philby loyally stayed with Betsy, Jessup disappeared. Philby passed away in 1984, and Betsy was devastated.
For reasons unknown, Betsy became obsessed with the 2 barrel carburetor of the Chrysler, and took it off the engine, and carried in her purse for the next 12 years. She eerily named the carburetor Jessup, after her beloved missing cat, and she was finally admitted to a rehabilitation center in 1996. The Chrysler was removed from storage in Oakland, and later transported to Talberts sisters home in Richmond. While packing Betsys household items for storage, her
nephew, Melvin, found the beloved carburetor in the refrigerator of Betsys home, and he had the carburetor rebuilt. It had been placed inside a plastic bowl, and submersed in a green gelatin.
Melvin applied for lien-custody of the Chrysler in 1998, and was denied the lien by the Department of Motor Vehicles.
At that point, the distressed nephew abandoned the efforts to claim the Chrysler, and the car remained in the garage in Richmond, until Talberts sister died in 2004. For some odd reason, Talberts sister had willed the Chrysler to the deceased cat, and the car was restored to Betsys ownership once again in 2006, as the ownershp had been declared invalid.
Betsy died in Dec. 2008, and at that time the car was given to Melvin, as he had wished, and Melvin then traded the car to me, in exchange for a 50/unit of 1/2 inch 4 ft by 8 ft cdx exterior grade roof plywood sheathing.

I certainly hope that clears up the confusion."

March 21, 2009

Canadian Content? No Problem.

So everyone is constantly ragging on Canadian television shows. And rightfully so, in some cases - there are some horrid shows that scream 'low rent' and make me wince. Remember a million years ago, when Canada had its own game shows? If you were home sick, you could watch someone win a yacht on The Price is Right, or crazy people careening a grocery cart around for 60 seconds, all to win the grand prize of hams and Pillsbury rolls. Yeah, twenty bucks worth of groceries made for some riveting TV. You had to go on the American show to win the car; the Canadian one would give you the Turtle car wax.

Well, I do not know what the complaining is about now. I've discovered two of the coolest shows around, and they're both Canadian. Roz made me watch Mantracker. It is awesome. This guy, Terry Grant, gets to track people down. They're on foot, he's on a horse. It's fun. And you sit there yelling at the TV all the things the trackees are doing wrong. Because it must be so easy to be lost in the wilderness for 36 hours being chased by a guy on a horse. I so want to go on this show, and not just because I think Mantracker is hot. Roz knew I'd think that; so did the Poor Sod, who just shakes his head.

The other show? Survivorman. Another Canadian. They dump this poor bugger (Les Stroud) off in the middle of nowhere for a week at a time, and he has to figure out how to survive and get out. Last night? Way north in Ontario, in winter. No food, no matches, nothing. And of course, I sat there yelling at the TV all the things he should be doing. But I admit, he's pretty smart. In fact, if I'm stranded in the middle of nowhere, I think the only thing I would need would be Survivorman.

These are classed as 'reality' TV, but they're so much cooler than the usual crap. In fact, the Poor Sod suggested a new format for all the other shows: they should take the same ten people, and make them do Survivor, then American Idol, then the Dancing Show, then the Rehab Show, then the Stupid Trump Show, then one of the Chef Shows, the Amazing Race show, I'd like Mantracker to catch them all next, then they'll probably need to do the Rehab again.

Now. What ten people would you watch put through all this, one show after another?
I would be entertained by the following: Joanna Lumley, William Shatner, Matt Lucas, Angelina Jolie, Naveen Andrews, Chelsea Handler, Conan O'Brien, whatever kid is currently playing Annie on Broadway, Gene Hackman and my friend Tonia Cowan. She's one of the coolest people I know. Even though she's at the G&M now. But I know she and Joanna and Chelsea would be fun. In fact, let's make it 11 - I want to go too.

Gimme your lists.....alive, dead, cartoon...somebody claim Homer Simpson....

March 19, 2009

More Fun

For those of you who live to annoy your loved ones, here's a thinker from my favourite science guy, John Tierney at the NYT.

Three wise men are told to stand in a straight line, one in front of the other. A hat is put on each of their heads. They are told that each of these hats was selected from a group of five hats: two black hats and three white hats. The first man, standing at the front of the line, can't see either of the men behind him or their hats. The second man, in the middle, can see only the first man and his hat. The last man, at the rear, can see both other men and their hats.

None of the men can see the hat on his own head. They are asked to deduce its color. Some time goes by as the wise men ponder the puzzle in silence. Finally the first one, at the front of the line, makes an announcement: "My hat is white."

He is correct. How did he come to this conclusion?

You can scout the answer in the comments here...but give yourself a minute. Everything you need is there.

March 17, 2009

Live@5:30 Tuesday

Oi. Is it ever okay for a mother to try to secure a 'sexual experience' for her son, even if he has Down Syndrome and she thinks she's helping?

Uh, no.

Join us at CHCH, Live@5:30, repeat at 11:30...

March 16, 2009

One on Every Block

I probably read too many British crime novels, but I love this story that is baffling police in the small English town of Highbridge.

Apparently, some amateur sleuth is tipping off police to all sorts of wrong-doings, from drug arrests to people not paying their licence fees to TV cable thieves.

The tips arrive in the mail, plain black on white, and have led to all sorts of arrests.

They are wondering if it's a retired cop, or crime novel enthusiast (here's where I wildly wave my hand around like a loser).

See, my father was this guy. He prowled around at all hours, his childhood farmboy hours latching onto 24 years of shift work, which eventually teamed up with his insomnia. Nobody in this court could move without my father knowing what was up. One time, he snuck up on a couple who were sitting in a parked car on the street. He rapped on the driver's window, scaring the crap out of them. In his defence, it was the ungodly hour of 11pm. How dare they?

He knew what people put out for garbage. Hell, he would help himself to stuff that was still 'perfectly good'. My mother would weep. I will give him this, however: he never checked out people's expired licence plates, and he wouldn't have known an illegal satellite dish if it hit him in the head.

As for the person in Highbridge, intent on protecting her (I'm thinking nosy old woman here - forgive my sexism) neighbours?

I'm thinking they probably all want to stone her to death.

March 13, 2009

Monument Valley & John Ford

Great piece from Buzz Bissinger in Vanity Fair on John Ford, who directed some of the best films that forever changed the way the world saw westerns.

Monument Valley on the Utah/Arizona border, was an untamed frontier until Harry Goulding, together with his wife 'Mike' brought it to the attention of Hollywood. The piece traces Goulding's recognition of the value of his adopted home both geographically, and as a way to bring much needed employment to the native Navajos. The authenticity they brought to the shoot had its own moments; at one point, with no time for a rehearsal, 400 Navahos were to attack a wagon train while on horseback. As their leader approached the wagons and saw the rifle-bearing white men, he continued on through the cameras, all 400 of his men behind him.

Asked later what he had been doing, the Navajo leader explained that he was "going home to get his own rifle so it would be a fair fight".

The Goulding's essentially had the only settled place in the vast area, and their homestead served as a home base for Ford as he made classics like Stagecoach. Later, parts of such movies as 2001: A Space Odyssey, Back to the Future III and Forrest Gump would be filmed here. But this haunting, desolate area would give its biggest cinematic gift to the western.

If you're a Ford fan (and even if you're not; his imprint has been left on so many directors, you're probably watching more of his influence than you know), the parallels between the man and Monument Valley are notable. "Ford...edited in his head as he shot to further reduce the ability of producers and editors to screw with his films." The director who couldn't be controlled, in the land that couldn't be controlled.

March 12, 2009

March 12, 2000

Miss you, Mom.


How The Otter Half Lives

Okay, this is just whimsy, but I love otters and this is a story and pic of one that was rescued. The pic is too cute.

The otters are my favourites at the Toronto Zoo. While I suppose I could get philosophical about zoos, which are mean in general, after reading The Life of Pi, I suppose I can be convinced that some creatures are okay in them.

Anyhoo. The very best time to visit the Toronto Zoo is in winter, which I guess I should have mentioned a few months ago. But it's very quiet, very cold and the animals are different. Some you don't see (obviously) but others are in their element. I don't like crowds, so the animals that come out in the cold, quiet times are my compatriots.

Oh, and we have otters at the cottage. But they're not handily contained and you have to be quick to see them. But, check out the pic. I want one.

March 11, 2009

Lincoln Watch

For Civil War buffs (that would be me), this is pretty cool.

A rumour has long circulated that there was a secret engraving inside the pocket watch that Lincoln used every day. Smithsonian curators finally opened it, and guess what? Not just a rumour!

Watchmaker Jonathon Dillon was working on the watch when the first shot was fired, and he made note of the historic moment by engraving the date - April 13, 1861 - and his take on the emotional events inside. Read them at the link above.

Dillon told his sons, who passed it down as family lore, but it was never authenticated until now. Which means you all should pay closer attention to grandpa when he gets to yarnin'....

Damn Cute

Every morning a squirrel hops up into my kitchen window and looks at me. He's doing it right now. He and his little buddies know I toss out crusts and stale bread, and after taking their career counseling courses have become proactive. They don't wait; they ask.

But this morning, Little Squirrel is sitting there enjoying a marvelous piece of French toast. Now, you may ask yourself, did he bring this delicacy over from another yard? Why, no he did not. I actually made the boys French toast this morning.

I make great French toast. I use real bread that you have to saw off a loaf. I don't make bacon or anything else with it (I mean, be real. It's a Wednesday morning, and the brats got French toast for breakfast), but all in all, it was a better morning than usual around here.

The only problem was that some plain bread got chucked out for the squirrels as well, and they're fighting over who gets the French toast. Actually, my regular little guy just hopped up and said he'd like more coffee, if I'm coming by with the pot.

Have Some Fun...

Aw, it's a miserable day out with this.

Birthday Calculator

The best part? See who shares your birthday ('fess up in the comments). I'm totally jazzed to share mine with Joan of Arc and Kahlil Gibran, though they left out Tom Mix. See, this is good news for me. A warrior, a mystic poet and a cowboy. I'm all set.

Oh wait. I left one out.

I also share a birthday with Rowan Atkinson. Yeah, the guy who plays Mr. Bean.


March 6, 2009


I do not like bumper stickers. I don't like the little advertising brackets that dealerships put around licence plates. And I most surely do not like when people 'decorate' their vehicles with bows and wreaths and antlers - a car is not a gift nor a tree nor a poodle. Get a grip.

I really don't like that fish sign. We saw one the other day on a Prius. Ari asked what it meant. I said it means Jesus drives a Prius. I mean, you're already in a Prius. How much more good do you have to proclaim yourself to be?

Actually, I don't even equate that fishy sign with goodness. Just an unnecessary demonstration of something I didn't especially need to know. I will admit to getting a chuckle the first time I saw the word 'Darwin' inside the little fishy. Take that, Intelligent Designers. And you just know they picked that term themselves. Like the Smart Food Popcorn people chose their own name too. And trust me: there is nothing remotely smart about that popcorn. It's good, mind you, but not remotely smart. They have taken every good molecule that popcorn may possess as it leaves the ground, and they coat it in two pounds of fake cheesy goodness and salt, and put it into bags that jump into my grocery cart unbidden. And then I must eat it.

Moving right is spring! How fabulous was it to see all the kids walking home, remembering in exquisite detail how wonderful the first warm day felt? Dunno if it'll last, but loved the sneak peek. And it's nice to have a headline that doesn't want to make me poke my eyes out.

I know when the seasons are turning because the Kleenex boxes change. Right now, the one on my counter has little penguins in igloos on it. In a month, I will only be able to find ones with flowers. I like the penguins, so I will stock up.

There is some piping up in other quarters because I wrote about Coronation Street. Hmph. People watch that show - really. And as another poster noted, if it wasn't for me noting that a girl character on NCIS has the best butt on TV, he never would have found that show. I am enlightening the masses. I'm practically a public service. Except for the service part.

I have totally sworn off all property/fix up shows. First, I hated that idiots were showing the appalling job they were doing in order to flip a house ("Hi, I'm Fred Fraud, I've never handled a tool in my life, I plan on gutting the kitchen, tearing down three walls, putting in pocket doors, building an en suite and a new deck with hot tub. I have a budget of 14 dollars and my grandfather's retired one- eyed friend Gus will be helping me") that some poor sap, I guess, ends up buying. They should not be encouraged. Of course now, not so much flippin' going on.

There is a heinous one on now - I've only seen 5 minutes, turned it off - where people are bused around to bid on houses that have been foreclosed on. These were some body's homes, people - have you no shame? Of course they don't. Without shame, you don't have a show.

Of course, that pretty much guts the entire TLC genre. I can't bring myself to watch any of those loathsome parents who breed like flies and pimp out their children. Can none of these jackasses Google 'Dionne quintuplets' ferchristsakes? I mean, I have a whole family's worth of dysfunction in my home, but do you see me making a living off it week after week?

Oh well, I'm off to start dinner. I'm actually cooking tonight. Gonna roast sweet potatoes, garlic, potatoes, zucchini, and squash. The Poor Sod can spark up the barbie (no, he's not lighting a doll on fire) and the kids can be shocked and awed that dinner isn't cut into 12 slices.

13 Mysteries

These are mysterious scientific things. It's a list. They are interesting to ponder.

I like science things very much. I was never much good at any of it in school - I made my lab partner dissect the pig lungs and the rat that was all yellowed from sitting in a bucket of formaldehyde - but I was endlessly curious about most of it. To this day, I am quite astute at screeching out "what is a double helix?" or "what is the uvula?" at Jeopardy as we watch. For anyone who cares, the uvula is that little bit that hangs at the back of your throat. The Poor Sod said "I though it was called a little punching bag." Which makes me the science genius around here.

Anyway, 13 things to think about, from Timesonline. Some of them are so big they make my head explode, but some are manageable.

Corn The Second

See below for Part One.

Ever been cajoled into a blind date with the promise that she has a great personality? That would be Fiz. She looks like her name - all red squiggly hair and electric eye shadow, she has a heart of gold and teeth in different time zones. She speaks as if she has a mouthful of marbles, but you have to love her. She tries to take care of her little brother Chesney, the smartest person on the show, and his dog Shmichael. We are talking a Great Dane. In row houses 4 feet wide.

Actually, in the opening credits, Coronation Street looks like a Lego village. They don't show all the kee-bab wrappers that are probably blowing around. And everyone has nice cars, though in real life they would actually drive Mr. Bean cars. Actually, they would not drive cars, because they do not need to go anywhere. It is steps from each house, to the 4 restaurants, the 3 shops and the Rovers pub. They could even wear their slippers. Do not believe everything you see on TV.

They've introduced a new character lately, Becky. I remember her name because she wears a necklace with 'Becky' on it. She's the kind of girl who could sleep with the same guy for 300 consecutive nights, and still know in her heart she's just had 300 one night stands. She wears earrings as big as hula hoops, drinks straight from the bottle, has sex and asks questions later, and would flirt with a postbox. Gotta love Becky.

We just had one girl take off from the show, and I don't know if she's coming back. Her name is Violet, and she had a baby with the gay guy Sean. No, only because they were best friends - so they spent a few episodes running around with a turkey baster, then she ran away with this other guy and broke Sean's gay heart. I only remember her name at all because my mother's name was Iris. She told me she knew three sisters who were named Ivy, Violet and Daisy (or something botanical like that). The Brits are famous for flower names. Apparently, the first thing my grandmother saw after waking up after having my Mom was a bouquet of irises. My mother didn't like her name, but as she used to say, 'thank god they hadn't sent daffodils'.

It can be tough to sort out all the generations on this show. Because it's been on for so long, everyone is related somehow, or at least slept with each other at some point. Dreary Deidre has a daughter who is in jail for murdering a guy I quite liked. Her name is Tracy, and 3 different actresses have played the role. We had to go through months of Dreary moaning and sobbing over poor Tracy going to jail - which is totally where she belonged - nasty piece of work that one, she tried to use Brat David as an alibi by pretending to like him. He fell for her older woman charms, and ultimately ended up throwing his mother down the stairs. See what happens?

After the Tracy Murder saga, she evaporated from the show. Dreary doesn't even visit her in jail, though that's probably because she wouldn't recognize who was playing Tracy this week if she did. Tracy left behind a daughter she had with the horny pub owner Liz's son, Steve. Their daughter looks like a perfect little monkey. And I don't mean like 'oh, cheeky monkey!'. I mean, the kid looks like a monkey with pigtails.

Bonus points for most annoying character must go to Norris. He's this fussy old man who runs the variety store and hates all teenagers. His best friend is Rita, who has this impossible hair style. It's like all the older women know they better work the hair, because all the younger women are working their cleavage. Poor Liz tries to work both and it just scares me. Anyway, Rita and Norris are *obviously* just platonic friends, but at that age, they might just as well get married. I've heard old men are in such short supply they can have their pick - but poor Norris still can't get any.

I rather like the character of Eileen. She's rather dumpy and frumpy and she once tried to kidnap a baby, but all things considered, she one of the more stable people on the show.

The writers single out a couple of characters to make the story line around for weeks at a time. It can be really annoying, though I guess that's why it's a soap. Whoever is the Star du Jour gets to pull all these agonizing faces and overact all over the place, trying to wrestle the British Soap Award (or whatever they're called) from someone on Eastenders. I believe that is another soap opera.

The thing is, half way through the secret baby/undead father/hooker-turned-arsonist/clandestine affair/I'm really a transsexual story line, you just want to slap them all. They periodically bring in a fresh family, like a new stream of unrelated blood, but the last ones, who bought the kee-bab shop, all just looked like they needed a good scrubbing. The son lives in the backyard in a shed. Tells you everything, doesn't it? Actually, the fact the shed is the nicest abode on the block tells you even more.

True Corn fans have noted a black cat in the opening credits, walking across a brick wall. Well, The Poor Sod, aka Eagle Eye, would like to bring to your attention the fact that there are TWO cats on that wall. That's right - there is a smaller wall-coloured cat sitting ahead of the black one.

So there. Just when you thought you knew everything....

March 5, 2009

Coronation Street

That was your obvious warning. If you're not in the club, don't read any further.
Note: My sister Roz has been watching this tripe for 30 years or more. My mother did not watch it - she only indulged in nighttime soaps. The Poor Sod got hooked by watching it with Roz at the cottage, or on Sunday mornings when she was here. He finally swore off it a year ago...and I started watching. There are many who say it is the only reason the CBC is still in business. It is the world's oldest running soap opera - it started in 1960.

The great part of Corn Street is that it doesn't pretend to be anything but what it is: a goofy on-going saga about a whole bunch of people who for some reason all live together, work together, and go to a pub conveniently located on their street - In the real world, they would be called 'alcoholics'. But on my TV, they are called 'Streeters'.

Anyway. Some of the original cast are still on. Do not bother writing to correct me on tiny details - I've only been watching a year, and some parts I just make up as I go along. My favourite oldster is the one I call Polish Hip. She's the bitchy know-it-all who says she was so broke she had to go to Poland to get her hip replaced. Her name is Blanche. Blanche is a hoot.

Jack and Vera have been around forever, though Vera died awhile ago, right on camera. That's how bad she wanted off this soap. Now Jack is hanging around as his kids wait for him to die so they can have the house. Jack is the only person who doesn't seem to get this.

Another old guy, Fred, was the owner of the pub and the butcher shop. I read that when he told producers he wanted to cut his hours back, they just canned him outright. He said it was just too much screen time. I'm thinking, buddy, it's a pretend pub and butcher shop. You don't actually do any work. And the only people who get lots of screen time on this show are the young 'uns who'll pose in their undies.

A rotten little snot, David, is finally in jail for pushing his weird mother, Gail, down the stairs. I would have pushed her too, actually, but that's not the point. He's a prototypical spoiled brat. And his mother has no chin. I wouldn't say that in real life, but Gail is just such a weak-arse I can't help it. I figure when she's out looking for a chin, she might bump into Ken Barlow, out looking for a spine.

Ken is another original. He's kind of beige and boring. But his wife, Deidre (whom I call Dreary) is a whining pain. Truly. No redeeming qualities. No wonder Ken runs around looking for other old women.

The Poor Sod and I have an ongoing disagreement about Audrey's hair. He thinks it's a wig. She runs a hairdressing shop, and has the weirdest hair. When construction worker Jason smoked a bunch of bats out of a building, to anger Roy, who is already on the verge of tears just waking up each day, I really believed all the bats flew up into Audrey's hair, and they're still there. You'd never know.

Simpering little Maria works with Audrey. She got herself knocked up by Liam, who of course married her. Not believing her good fortune in landing a guy with all his teeth, she immediately set about driving him away. It worked. He landed in evil Carla's clutches - his very own sister-in-law. About the only thing they draw the line at in this show is brothers and sisters sleeping together. But if the ratings sag...

Carla is really hot. She rides a broom and is evil, but, she's hot, so all the guys want her. We know she's a serious business woman because they show her in her office once in a while and she wears over the knee leather boots, because everyone knows that is a very professional look. She dates a guy Tony, who speaks with such a thick Scot accent, I never know if he is saying "Carla, you know I love you" or "I have piece of moss caught in my tooth".

There's a couple called Sally and Kevin and their two daughters. Daughter One is Rosie the Tart, and the other one is an angel, so I forget her name. Sally is a whiner (come to think of it, most of the women on this show are kind of heinous...) and Kevin looks like a put-upon monkey living with all these women. Poor Kevin.

My favourite character is young Kirk's new girlfriend. Kirk is stone stupid. I love him. He's as dull as paste, and just so happy about it. He's landed himself a middle-aged nutter who can't shut up.

Speaking of middle-aged nutters, top points go to Liz, who now owns the pub. I don't know how they keep coming up with outfits for her. No matter what she wears, she looks like 30 pounds of cougar in a 10 pound lycra sack. One of the barmaids, Michelle is really pretty, and half her age. Christopher, my son, sometimes wanders in the room when they're taking advantage of Michelle's prettiness, and steering the camera down her shirt. He calls it Porn Street. Then they do it to Liz and he runs screaming from the room. Like he does if I wear a push-up bra. Some sights are not for young eyes.

There's a chick named Leanne who somehow was a prostitute last year, and now everyone's forgiven her and she's just a regular person again. I think they're just happy because now they can all go back to getting it for free.

If there's a character I'd like to push off a cliff, it's Claire. She's this snippy, sulky moron who believes she's waaaaaaaaay smarter than she actually is. Everyone knows a Claire. Everyone wants to push their Claire off a cliff, too. Knowing this show, someone will probably push Claire off a cliff during the next ratings sweeps.

There's a gay couple, who are the most normal ones on the show.

Everyone works in an underwear factory. And at the pub. In order to get all the characters in every scene, they make them have 3 jobs. They can also work at a place called a 'kee-bab' shop. That's how they pronounce it. These people eat horribly. And swill it all down with beer.

What's crazy is that in the real world, they'd be dropping dead of heart attacks. But because it's Coronation Street, they get shot and stabbed and drowned and run over. Nobody goes pretty on the Street.

I only watch because it's on after the news when I'm cleaning up after dinner.