Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Good-bye, Norman Bates.

What’s that expression?  ‘Like rat’s from a sinking ship’?



Now,  I’m certainly no political junkie,  since I find that the more I read about the goings on at either Queen’s Park or Ottawa,  the grumpier I get.  I’m already pretty grumpy.  No assistance required.

Oh,  and I didn’t coin the moniker, “Norman Bates” either,  but there is a similarity.



And truth be told,  years ago when he first got elected (not Norman….Dalton)  I actually thought maybe things were going to work out.  But then I started to feel like poor Janet.



OK fine,  I’m getting carried away here.


I only wonder though, what’s the deal?  Unless a politician resigns as a result of a serious medical issue,  I tend to look on any sudden resignation with just a touch of suspicion.  The icing on the cake,  is that Mr. McGuinty has prorogued the legislature at Queen’s Park.

For those of you unfamiliar with the way things go on in my home province of Ontario, (Canada,  hello?)  the seat of parliament for the province is in Toronto,  otherwise known as the Legislative Assembly of Ontario.   We tend to just refer to it as Queen's Park for short.   You can sniff out some of the details by clicking on those links.  Fill yer boots.


I’m sure it will all come out eventually,  but there were a couple issues that have been gnawing away at the opposition in recent weeks, (well,  months?)  and with everything being put on hold,  we don’t get to find out any more juicy tidbits for quite some time.   Gee, that’s convenient.

Our Federal Fearless Fool   er,  Leader,  The Right Honourable (*pfft!*)  Stephen Harper did something similar a few years back.  Well,  actually three times.  The example of 2008 is most notable.   The thing is,  to “prorogue” parliament is something that can be done in the normal course of events, but is heaps different than a “recess”,  which is just a break in the proceedings.  Parliament normally takes a recess over the summer months,  or during that very long period over Christmas and beyond when nobody shows up at the legislature to do a darned thing.   To “prorogue” means to start fresh,  but without having to get everyone re-elected.  I think I got that right.  That’s my blindingly simplistic take on it anyway.  Pretty handy though, huh?


Of course,  there’s been an ongoing snit between our Provincial government and a whole bunch of public sector workers,  so now that the legislature has been prorogued,  we’re not going to find any answers to a couple questions that have been floating around lately,  like,  “How does a government take away the bargaining rights of an employee group and get away with it?”   I think there’s a law suit in the wings,  if I’m not mistaken.  So that’s put on hold too?

It’s easy peasy to make an escape goat of a highly visible employee group when the opposition is rooting around in other areas where you just might have wasted a ton of taxpayer's dough.

And before you start to get up on your high horse,  it’s a slippery slope.   It’s pretty far fetched to think that things would regress to a situation where all Teachers each day will fill lamps, clean chimneys., (interesting list of duties and obligations of teachers from the last century.  Recommended reading.) But, it was these kinds of conditions placed on that particular group,  way back when, that started the whole union movement in the first place.   If you treat people like cr*p,  eventually something’s gotta give.


It’s going to get interesting,  to say the least.

Feel free to talk amongst yourself.




There was a question yesterday from Janna (or it might have been Mike,  but I doubt it) from waaaay over on the other side of the planet, about the term “tickety-boo” that I used.  

Oh dear.

My lovely wife (um, Travelling Companion) used to take exception to that phrase,  and that was mostly because (as best as I recall) I had used it in a mocking kind of way once upon a time,  since it was a phrase that was overused by a boss that I had many, many years ago.  I try not to utter those words aloud if I can help it.  For my own good.


In terms of its meaning, I suppose it’s up there with “peachy keen”  or some such superlative,  indicating when things are going well,  or just,  I don’t know,  “tickety-boo”?   I think there’s some sort of onomatopoeic quality of that expression as well,  in a similar way that a well running model “T” would sound.  

Say it,  tickety-boo,  tickety-boo,  tickety-boo.   See?

There’s even an Urban Dictionary Definition, if you want to be fussy.  


I don’t remember at what point Travelling Companion would have met this former boss,  but she didn’t particularly care for the guy. Unfortunately for me, I had to tolerate him.  

This was back in the days when I worked for an outfit called “Mother’s Restaurants”.  




They’re no longer around as a corporate entity,  and were partly a victim of overindulgence and high interest rates of the late 80s.    I got out before they collapsed.  I think it was one fine day when our pay suddenly came from a different bank,  that I realised something was not quite right.  That’s another story.

Long before I ever jumped ship however (I think we have a theme going here) there was a period of time there,  when this former boss decided to buy a little house about two blocks away from one of the restaurants where I was the “First Assistant Manager”.   Big whoop.  Just meant I had to do the schedules is all.  

Anyway,  Mother’s was known for having these specials on the first three days of the work week.  Monday night was “Father’s night”.  (Eight slice three item pizza for $3.49! Can you believe it?)  Tuesday night was “Kid’s night”,  and I don’t for the life of me remember what Wednesday night was.  Something to do with spaghetti?   Doesn’t matter.  On Tuesday nights we had one of those large popcorn makers that was like a big glass box from which you’d scoop out your buttered popcorn.  The kids who came in with their parents were quite welcome to go and help themselves,  and for the most part,  did a reasonable job of scooping up a small bag full of popcorn.    Some would end up on the floor.  That’s what brooms are for.   No biggie.

Except,  my dear beloved former boss, (who shall remain nameless,  and to this day has no idea how much I hated the guy)  would stagger in most evenings to “check up on things”.  I didn’t really give a rat’s tiny behind,  and he could check up on me all he wanted to.   The only thing was,  he’d usually be quite inebriated at the time.    When I say “stagger”?   Um ya, not kidding.

Well, here’s the thing.  He and his wife had had a bit of a nasty divorce (hence the move on his part)  and I just figured there wasn’t too much I could do about the whole situation.  I never met her to congratulate her on her decision either, by the way.

The even more aggravating thing about him showing up three sheets to the wind was,  I didn’t really particularly care for him getting all mouthy with the kids who were helping themselves to the popcorn in the lobby.   I mean,  if anybody’s kid or kids started to act up on my watch, I had no problems dealing with it.   A manager can indeed kick you and your annoying little spawn out of a restaurant.  But the whole idea was,  it was “Kid’s Night”.  So they make a little mess?   Big deal.  There was no running around,  or any other breach of protocol.   Not my protocol anyway.   No telling what the drunk guy was thinking. This went on for a while.  Not too much I could do about it. 

It just so happened though,  that New Year’s Eve was a bit of a big deal when it came to all the Mother’s Restaurants.   First of all,  just about everyone worked.  Even our day manager,  who otherwise was notorious for skating on out of there before the dinner hour.   You’d have all your delivery cars on the road,  and would have perhaps rented four or five more cars from the local car rental outlet.  Good luck if you didn’t get those cars reserved in plenty of time too.  

The whole place would just be hopping on into the wee hours.    Stores would be calling each other with their sales figures on an hourly basis,  as well as letting each other know when one or more of the big bosses would be stopping by for a visit.  It was a New Year’s Eve tradition. This wasn’t the local drunk supervisor dude,  but rather someone like Grey Sisson,  who was one of three owners of the whole kit and caboodle.

So,  in spite of it being crazy busy,  but since there are indeed enough people to do the job,  even the lowly assistant managers got to sit down with the guy and shoot the breeze for a bit.   And so the question was asked,  just how were things going in terms of having the supervisor living a couple blocks away?  That seemed like a bit of an odd question.  I think I might have said something?   I also think it was a fishing expedition,  as there had been some other rumblings that had made their way to Head Office.   So what I may have said was more of a confirmation than anything else.  I don’t recall what I said, but *to the best of my recollection*,  I don’t think it was positive.  I know,  I’m a rat-fink.  But he asked,  I didn’t volunteer. 

Oh, and by the way, if you want your minions to say good things about you, don’t show up drunk.   Simple,  really.


Well, not too surprisingly,  it was only a few months later that a huge inventory discovery was made at a restaurant in which drunk supervisor dude was the major shareholder.   He was out.  See,  if you say you have,  oh I don’t know,  $3000 of inventory on hand at the end of a month,  and an inspection reveals that you’ve only got about a couple hundred bucks worth of cheese?   That’s never good.   I think the term under the Criminal Code of Canada is something like,  “Conspiracy to commit fraud”?    Something like that.   I guess you could call it “fudging the figures” or “cooking the books”.   Same difference.  He quit.   Or he was told to.

I think we all did a little dance.


So ya,  I try not to say “tickety-boo”  too often, or out loud for that matter,  since it was one of drunk supervisor dude’s pet sayings.    We just leave that one alone.


Speaking of alone…

Travelling Companion will be coming back from Switzerland tonight at 9:45.   Supposedly there was some dinner or other that she was invited to attend,  but she’s not staying the extra day.  She’s ‘hobbed’ with those ‘knobs’ quite enough.   She never was much of a one for the political brown nosing kind of thing,  and has no desire to hang around with “the boys”.  


Hopefully the weather is just a wee bit better between now and her arrival.  It has rained all night here,  and at times the wind has been quite gusty as well.  Doesn’t exactly make for the best flying conditions.  Along with “tickety-boo”,  it’s something else I try not to mention.


Keep your powder dry.


Thanks for looking in.




  1. Good summary of the Norman Bates (ha, ha) situation. There's definitely more to this story I'd bet. Probably just as scary as Psycho!

    Tickety-boo - hadn't heard that saying in a long time but it's an old fave.

  2. Yep remember Mother's Restaurants from those days. And can relate to annoying managers that really seem to get to you.

  3. It is sure hard to figure out how you feel about politicians from this entry:)


Well, I've been getting too many spam comments showing up. Just a drag, so we'll go another route and hope that helps. So, we won't be hearing anything more from Mr. Nony Moose.
I guess I'll just have to do without that Gucci purse.