See Steve Tassie headline Stand-Up(stairs) at the Black Swan

The wheels are in motion. The venue has been booked, the acts are lining up. The laughter will be epic. Lesbian dream sequence possible, but not guaranteed.

On the bill so far: Queen of Quirky Canadian comedy, Nikki Payne, Steve "the only guy to beat Steve Tassie in the Funniest Person with a Day Job Competition" Scholtz, Video on Trial's Nick Beaton and your host Todd van Allen! With headliner, yours truly, Steve Tassie.

Stand-Up(stairs) @ the Black Swan is coming.
Monday, March 14th @ 10pm
The Black Swan Pub
154 Danforth Ave Toronto (at Broadview Station)

On Being a House Guest

Is it cool to masturbate if you're a house guest? When you're a guest in a hotel, it's practically encouraged. I mean they SELL you porn. It's like the hotel is saying "We know you're going to touch yourself, so we're going to make some money off you, perv."

But when you're a house guest, it's different... or is it? Now don't get me wrong, I'm not talking about spraying your love juices all over the place settings at dinner. I'm talking about after everyone's gone to sleep, quietly, discreetly whipping up a batch of baby batter. Is that cool? One the one hand, I can see your host thinking "C'mon, you were here for twenty hours. You can't keep it in your pants for less than a day?" But on the other hand, it's kind of rude NOT to masturbate.

Now hear me out. First of all, 99% of all hosts are going to say "Make yourself at home," right? They MUST know that's what you do at home. Secondly, you're tossing and turning on an uncomfortable couch or an unfamiliar guest bed, having the worst sleep of your life. If tossing one off is the difference between a content, well rested you at the breakfast table and the bitchy, baggy-eyed monster you're going to be after three hours of sleep, don't you kind of OWE it to your hosts to go all Divinyls after lights out?

Setting the bar for success a little low...

I was just watching a commercial for some cereal company or another, and it depicts a mad playing hide and seek with his son and while he's hiding behind the couch, eating a handful of shreddios or whatever. I see this and I get thinking "he is doing this WAY wrong. He is a terrible father." Seriously. Not only is he teaching his kid the wrong rules for hide and seek, but he is giving his son a tremendously inflated sense of his own skills. That kid is in for a rude awakening when he grows up. It's not like that promotion at work is going to be hiding in the corner, crunching cereal loud enough to hear all the way from the mail room.

New Blog

As some of you know, I've recently started a new live journal for the side of me who is a teacher. It's called "Mr. Tassie's Class and it covers tips and lessons on how to use the English language better. The focus is on written communication, but much of the information presented will apply to oral as well.

If you're interested, it's at http://mistertassie.livejournal.com/

Time & Punishment

A Texas father, whose teen daughter violated curfew and threw an unauthorized party, decided to punish her by offering 30 hours of her services as a baby sitter for free to neighbourhood families. He said he wanted to teach her a lesson and help people out.
Kudos for the "help thy neighbour" approach to child discipline, but what parent is going to entrust their child to the enforced care of an unwilling teenager... who has a proven track record of irresponsible behaviour.

Isn't that like sentencing a car thief to volunteer as a valet parking attendant.

Fun with spell check. It doesn't think that "proven" is an acceptable adjective, but it thinks "pr oven" is a suitable replacement. I'm not sure what a public relations oven is. Is that when you bake cookies right before the real estate agent shows your house to buyers?

Mystery gum? Wait, what?

I just watched an ad for stryde "mystery" gum. Forget the fact that guys riding ostriches break through your walls and beat you up if you talk about their gum, I don't want gum that I have to figure out. Flavours should not be a mystery. Nobody should have to pop a piece of gum in their mouth and think "is that berry...mint...wait, that's feet, isn't it. I'm chewing feet. Mint strawberry feet."

What? NO! I'll admit there are areas in the human condition that require a certain amount of doubt and uncertainty, but GUM IS NOT ONE OF THEM!


It's kind of neat that there are "talking" birds in the world. Some species can mimic any sound they hear... so why is it that everybody who gets a parrot teaches it the same damn phrases?

who's a pretty boy
and polly want a cracker

If I had a parot, I'd have some fun with it. First off, I'd start by teaching it "Holy crap! A talking bird!"
Then I'd teach it these phrases:

I think I have avian flu cough cough.
I don't actually speak. I have just learned to mimic sounds in my environment. Including this explanatory sentence.

And finally, I'd teach it the Star Trek fight music.

That would be the coolest bird in the universe.

P.S. Spell check doesn't really know what to do with "Braaaaaaaaaaaaains!". It thinks that perhaps I'd like to teach my parrot to say "Bavarians!" Come to think of it, I would!

Occupational hazard

I think it's interesting that whenever I tell someone I'm a comedian, odds are the first thing they say is "Tell me a joke." I imagine doctors get a similar sort of thing, but not too many jobs get that treatment.
"Oh, you're a pilot? Would you mind taking me over there?"
"Oh, you're a carpenter? Make me a coffee table."
When I tell people I'm an English teacher nobody ever says "What's a past participle?" or "What's The Old Man and the Sea all about, anyway?"
And yet it's always "Hey, funny man, tell me a joke."
I have a joke that I tell to those people. It's not mine, but they aren't paying me to do my job, so why should they get the goods?
"What's the difference between Sarah Palin's mouth and her vagina? Not everything that comes out of her vagina is retarded."
That pretty much shuts them up.

TRON Legacy

So TRON Legacy is coming out soon. "Legacy" is the studio's way of saying "Even we think 28 years is kinda long to wait for a sequel." I mean, come on, it only took World War II 20 years to get the green light!

Personally, I'm excited for it. Not because the original was actually all that great, I just saw it at a formative time in my life. I was ten and there were only two words that any ten year old in 1982 cared about: light cycle. I'm closing in on 40 years old now and every time I get on my bike there's still a 50/50 chance that I'll pretend manhole covers and other assorted road obstructions are "light walls" that I have to avoid. And after all these years, cabbies still drive their light cycles like total douche bags.

P.S. Spell check doesn't think "cabbies" is the plural of cabby, but it thinks maybe I meant to say scabies. Or possibly rabbis.

Not Cathy!

Cathy Guisewite, the artist behind the syndicated newspaper strip "Cathy" is calling it quits.
I think I speak for most people when I say "What, somebody actually writes that?"
She was recently quoted in an interview as saying that her "creative biological clock" was urging her to try something else.

Miss Guisewite, I hate to break it to you, but after 30 years of strips about a heroine who eats chocolate, bitches about bathing suit season and says "ack", you don't have a creative biological clock. What you have could barely be called a sundial.

And so another bastion of comic innovation comes to an end... at least we still have Beetle Bailey.

P.S. more spell check fun: It reallyt doesn't like "Guisewite". I can't tell which is my favourite suggestion: gauziest, gooiest or Quixote.