Showing posts from April, 2007

On the Verge

On the Verge

I’m on the verge of cancelling my cable television—at least for a “summer hiatus” and not solely out of spite for the fact that Coronation Street has been usurped for the hockey playoffs.

What exactly is a verge? Something like a curb? But we use it as if it means an edge. So, my Webster’s says, a verge is: a rod, wand, or stick carried at the beginning of a procession. Nope. The edge, brink, or margin of something. OK. The line, border, boundary enclosing something, especially something inside the circle. OK.

This week on cable television CNN the big American story is “Shock Jock Don Imus Fired for Shocking Words”. A shock jock is by definition a disc jockey who tries to be edgy, to push the boundaries. But rather than pushing the boundaries of thought, they seem to make a virtue out of pushing the boundaries of taste. Like the attention-seeking neediness of an adolescent class clown, these guys (all right, there are a couple of gals in there too, like Dr. Lau…


JUNQUE—Creating a So-called Life

Good Friday, and I'm going to a friend's for supper. Yesterday was cheque day, so I permitted myself to cruise the secondhand stores again. This is a bit of discipline for me; I have no money, but years of habit mean I still crave “retail therapy” for fun and profit. So I limit my cravings to the secondhand (junque, thrift) stores and garage sales. It is a throwback to “hunting and gathering”, I am sure. If I had more productive hobbies, it would be something like gardening—growing flowers, producing vegetables. The lack of topsoil and the rocky creek bed that is my lot is my excuse. The last time I visited Winnipeg, my best friend Karen and I hit every junque store in the city. It was a great day. Even though we live 3000 kilometres apart, we still stay connected. The time she visited me here, last spring break, was one of the highlights of my life.

Junquing (as is antiquing) is also a form of treasure hunting, and today was a good day…