Church & Carlton – S1, E7 – Honky The Christmas Goose

A dramatic reading of last year’s Christmas post, “Honky The Christmas Goose” tells the story of my favourite piece of Leafs esoterica. You can hear the original song here.

My Patreon has already helped me to buy a nice pair of snow boots (Thanks!), so from here on out, it will mostly be funding my research trips to the Toronto Archives and the Toronto Reference Library (subway fare, printing costs, caffeine, etc…). If you’d like to donate, you can do so here.

Happy Holidays to you and yours.

-E.C.

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CHURCH & CARLTON – S1, E2 – The Flying Fathers

flyingfathers

Tonight’s episode focuses on the uniquely Canadian intersection of hockey and faith through the story of Fr. Les Costello, the promising young Maple Leaf who gave up a  hockey career to become a wildly unconventional Catholic priest.

On the subject of Irish Catholicism,  I’m loath to ask for money, but if you want to give me tremendous pangs of Catholic guilt, you can support me on Patreon.

  • E.C.

Church & Carlton – S1, E1 – Christie Pits

fonds 1266, Globe and Mail fonds

Well, folks, I did it. It’s not exactly Serial but I have here for your enjoyment the very first episode of the Church & Carlton podcast. In light of recent events, I think it’s especially prescient.

If people want to hear more, I’m aiming to release new episodes every other Tuesday. After I put a few of these out there, I’ll put up a Patreon to tide me over until I can get that sweet, sweet Squarespace money. In the meantime, you can get updates on Facebook here.

Tonight’s episode features an infamous baseball game that would change Toronto forever and calls into question some of the stories we like to tell ourselves about our city.

Enjoy.

– E.C.

Local Jeffs Confused By Response To Kevin Pillar Slur

Jeff Ferguson, 45, expresses confusion after LGBT Blue Jays fans tweeted their disappointment in Kevin Pillar for using a homophobic slur.

TORONTO – A contingent of confused local men named Jeff took to the streets last night to protest the reverse-homophobic treatment of Blue Jays’ CF Kevin Pillar at the hands of some special snowflakes on Twitter. Pillar, who was caught on camera uttering a homophobic slur during Wednesday’s game against the Atlanta Braves, has become an unlikely rallying point for Jeffs who would otherwise be slightly uncomfortable around Jewish people.

“I personally don’t see an issue with saying that word in a moment of frustration,” said Jeff Anderson, 45. “I called the office copy machine a f****t just last week.”

“The trouble is that this generation is too sensitive,” his friend Jeff Benson, 45, added. “When I was young, we got offended by important things like Janet Jackson’s right nipple and songs that might subconsciously remind people of 9/11. Nowadays, kids want you to apologize every time you say something demeaning and offensive to vulnerable minorities. I mean, am I gonna get thrown in a concentration camp next time I make fun of a cab driver’s accent?”

Jeff Carson, 45, choked back tears as he rallied the crowd with a powerful speech about diversity and inclusion in baseball. “Jackie Robinson didn’t become the first black guy to pull himself up by his bootstraps and make it to the big leagues just so we could discriminate against heterosexuals and I think Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. would agree with me!”

“It’s outrageous,” said Jeff Davidson, 45, when confronted with accusations of homophobia among the protesters. “How could I be homophobic when I took my wife Suzanne to see that Michael Bublé at the Living Arts Centre?” When informed that Bublé is, in fact, straight, Davidson mumbled “Coulda fooled me,” and looked down at his Dockers slip-on loafers.

The protest ended in chaos as former Walrus editor Jonathan Kay sat cross-legged in the middle of the intersection, doused himself with gasoline, and lit a match to protest this shocking act of cultural Marxism. “Such a tragedy,” said Jeff Ericsson, 45. “This is the saddest thing to happen since that George Michael guy died of…I don’t know. AIDS, probably.”

Joe Bowen Bingo

Leafs play-by-play announcer Joe Bowen calls his 3000th Leaf game tonight. In light of this astonishing achievement in masochism, I have decided to honour one of the most prolific and influential sportscasters in hockey history with the best game I could hastily make in Microsoft Word.

Crank up your AM radio, crack open a beer, and play along as the great Joe Bowen and his stalwart sidekick Jim Ralph call the game like a hoser Timon and Pumbaa.

bowen1.jpg

 

Mumps 2: The ReMumpening

The Vancouver Canucks have mumps.

Mumps, a nasty little virus that causes hilarious yet painful swelling of the salivary glands, is highly contagious. Transferred through saliva, it is currently laying waste to Toronto’s bar scene. The NHL had its first mumps outbreak in 2014 – you may remember this iconic image:

Of course it happened to Sid. Of course it did. 

The outbreak passed, teams gave out booster shots, and everyone promptly forgot that dozens of professional athletes had the mumps. But now the virus is back to terrorize the hapless Canucks, leaving us all with the question: What caused the Great ReMumpening?

Several theories have been floated, ranging from the mundane (sharing water bottles) to the disgusting (saliva spray during checking) to the tragically improbable (hot player-on-player action.) But the fact remains that this is a group of health-conscious adult men in peak physical fitness. What are they doing with a 19th century children’s disease?

The answer may be surprisingly simple. Before 1996, the prevailing wisdom in Canada was that we only needed to be inoculated against mumps once. Now, the recommendation is that children need to get the mumps vaccine twice. This means that Canadians born  between 1970 and 1992 are still susceptible to mumps even though they  received their childhood vaccination. The NHL is mostly comprised of Canadians born between 1970 and 1992. If they’re anything like every other Canadian Millennial, their parents lost their yellow immunization card circa 1998. Like all those poor saps who got infected on West Queen West last week, they probably didn’t know that they were supposed to get inoculated twice and have now passed on Canada’s most unfortunate export since Justin Bieber to their international teammates.

The Canucks aren’t exactly playoff-bound this year, but if the outbreak spreads, other Western Conference teams could find themselves incapacitated at a crucial point in the season. The Canucks play the San Jose Sharks tomorrow night. Brent Burns was born in Barrie in 1985.

I hope he’s had his booster shot.