Have you ever heard somebody say, ‘So, whose bright idea was that, anyway?’


I’m convinced that I have good solutions to most of our society’s annoying or serious conundrums. (I wrote this post just so I could say conundrum.) Here are my responses to some of the most pressing issues facing us today.


Problem: Food sizing.

It is true, you know… donuts are smaller, burgers are smaller and yes, Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups are smaller than they used to be. This extends to our grocery aisles where packaging and servings are downsized while prices remain the same (I’m talking to you, Captain Crunch).

Of course foods that cost less to provide, like french fries and pop, are notoriously easy to get in a size HUGE. ‘Would you like to upsize to a pail of fries and a barrel of Coke for 69 cents?’

But have you ever had an offer to upsize to a large, gourmet cheeseburger or chocolate milk for 69 cents? No, I didn’t think so.

Solution: Eat in real restaurants.

Cheryl and I were on the road last week and stopped at a McDonalds drive-through to grab some breakfast. Two tiny breakfast combos cost over $22. I say go to a family-owned greasy spoon and get a real meal for the same amount of money.

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Problem: Tim Hortons coffee is now officially crap.

I keep telling myself, Well, just try it one more time. It can’t be that bad. And then it is. The final straw was last fall at the ONroute stop along eastbound highway 401, near Bowmanville. I literally could not drink it. Literally.

Solution: Starbucks and local coffee roasters.

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Problem: Simple names no more.

Was her name Erin? Nope. Was it Errin? Nope. Was it Airin? Nope. No, this girl had to slowly spell her name for the person manning the keyboard: ‘Aeirynn. A-e-i-r-y-n-n. Aeirynn.’

Her parent’s first gift to their daughter was a one-time-only alternate spelling of what used to be a simple name.

Aye theenke yoo cann ceee wy itz uh probblumn.

I mean, won’t Honestii and Petyr and Cynndeigh and even Bryenn have enough problems in life without having to spell their names, letter by letter, to literally everyone they meet? And having it double confirmed by whomever they spell it to? And how about the people waiting in line behind Lynnda while she spells things out for that person behind the Service Canada counter?

I remember back in the good old days when kids weren’t too good to be Mike or Sally, and even Barb would get no more complicated than Barbara.

Solution: Just call every person you meet Bob or Ann.

Depending on their sex, those names should take care of pretty much everybody. You’ll never have to remember any other names and never have to ask for another spelling. They may not like it but imagine how much better your world will be if you only have to deal with Bobs and Anns.

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Problem: Church names.

Speaking of names, do churches really think their names mean anything to anybody except themselves?

Here are some selected church names from a cursory internet search: Faith Miracle, True Jesus, Catch the Fire, Victory Centre, Exaltation of the Holy Cross, House of Prayer Outreach, International House of Prayer, Jubilee, Oasis of Hope, St James-Bond (wait, what?), Apostles Revelation Society-Society for the Living, Christ Embassy, World Impact and … it just rolls off the tongue … Freedom Chapel Word Faith & Deliverance Bible Church. I guess they pretty much do everything.

Solution: Call every church by the name of the neighbourhood it serves, like ‘Elmwood Church’. If Elmwood has more than one church then go by seniority: Elmwood 1, Elmwood 2, etc. For variety perhaps simple words like community or family or christian would be nice additions. Then just stop.

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Problem: Daylight Savings Time.

I’m totally confused; my whole day has been a mess because my instincts tell me it’s a different time than it really is. There is no reason to continue our numbing pattern of clock changing in the spring and autumn. Anyway, according to my friend Mike, changing our clocks doesn’t actually change how long the sun stays up (he must be some kind of scientist or something).

Solution: Just personally carry on with Standard Time as if nothing has changed and when people complain to you, just look at them with crazy eyes and whisper irritably, ‘Are you serious? Only God can change time.’ (See? Told you I had solutions.)

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Problem: Lawyers in politics.

Before running for office, most MPs were business people or political/government employees but 11% are lawyers. In the United States, 41% of the Congress are lawyers.

Lawyers are notoriously inclined toward manipulating words, over-billing, arguing about everything and generally making life untenable for human beings. That’s why they get into politics.

They are the worst people to have clogging up government.

Solution: Replace all lawyers in politics with farmers.

You can’t argue this one. Start a grass-roots movement to remove all lawyers from public service and replace them with farmers. Or housewives. Maybe the occasional carpenter or food server for variety, but that’s all. No further explanation needed.

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Problem: Professional athletes.

Look, I’m a sports fan; have been since I can remember. In order: Bills, Leafs, Jays, ‘Cats, Raptors. Watch them on TV pretty faithfully.

But wait, this is crazy. Bryce Harper just signed a 13 year, $330,000,000 contract with the Phillies – more than $25,000,000 a year average – to achieve his stated goal of playing ball and having fun.

And wide-receiver Antonio Brown walked out on the Pittsburgh Steelers last season before their second-last game of the season, demanding a trade. This past weekend he got his wish and was traded to the Raiders after he further demanded and got a renegotiated contract.

Athletes are way over-valued for what they contribute to society. I should know, I am one… Athletics has become a preoccupation and a god for many of us and we are enabling their insanity while more important contributors to our culture are under appreciated.

Solution: Ignore them and they will eventually go away. Don’t go to the game, don’t watch TV and find something healthy to do with your extra energy and the extra money you save.

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Problem: Trump.

Solution: Ignore him. He will go away too.

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Problem: Advertising.

As you may know, ‘clinical’ testing means nothing – it is not a regulated word. So if you see a commercial stating that something has been ‘clinically tested’ it probably means one of their employees tried it once.

And if someone in a commercial wears a lab coat or a stethoscope around their neck that doesn’t make them a real doctor. And if everybody in the studio audience is flamboyantly excited about the product being sold in front of them, you know they’re getting paid to be there. And if every person who walks on stage gets healed, you know something is wrong.

Solution: Absolute, one hundred percent unconditional warranties that every product or service will perform exactly as advertised for a period of not less than two years or full, immediate refund.

All the lawyers previously employed in politics could enforce this, having had good previous experience with dishonesty and word crafting.

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Problem: Political campaigns.

Canada is bad enough but two years of presidential campaigning in the U.S. is mind-numbing. It seems that strategy, money and personality are the main requirements for victory. There are too many loopholes and hidden places for dark money to influence politicians.

Solution: Reign in Prime Ministerial and Presidential elections.

Elections should last no longer than one month. Limited, equal funding for each qualifying party. Leaders would present themselves and their opinions in 2 to 3 public, non-debate, television and social media broadcasts during the month leading up to the election.

Advertising would be limited to what each individual party stands for, not their opinion of their opponents, and in an equal number of media spots. No signs anywhere, ever. Party platforms posted at each voting station on Election Day.

Then vote for the ugliest one.


So, whose bright ideas were they, anyway?