Steve Chatterton
Will Write for Food

No, You Turn!

May 6th, 2014 by Steve
Photo by Colin Broug

Photo by Colin Broug

When I was learning to drive in high school, my driving instructor asked me a riddle as we pulled up to an all-way stop: “Four drivers arrive at a four-way stop at the same time. Which one goes first?”

I suggested “age before beauty” as a possibility, but it didn’t get the laugh I hoped for. Sorting it out by order of height, whether tallest to shortest or vice versa, would be difficult with everyone in a seated position, and deciding it by a quick game of rock-paper-scissors would be problematic with four players who couldn’t hear each other well.

“The answer is,” said the clearly exasperated instructor, “the one on the right.”

“But every car is the one on the right in that scenario,” I protested.

“Now we’re getting somewhere,” he replied, giving me the distinct feeling weren’t going anywhere, as if we were actually going around in circles. To make matters worse, he refused to clarify further.

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Camp NaNoWriMo Aftermath

May 2nd, 2014 by Steve


Well, my first NaNoWriMo experience has come to an end, and I’m pretty happy with the results. I set myself a goal of writing 10,000 words in the month of April and I managed to pump out 11,265. Not too shabby. Here’s a quick run down of what I got out of the experience…

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All Hands on the Poop Deck

April 29th, 2014 by Steve

My son turned nine recently. He has the honour of sharing his birthday with people like Shemar Moore (Criminal Minds actor), George Takei (the original Mr. Sulu), Luther Vandross (singer), Andy Serkis (Gollum), Crispin Glover (creepy), Stephen Marley (musician/son of Bob), Ryan O’Neal (actor), and Tito Puente (musician/no relation to Bob).

I only mention this because I’m tired of everyone pointing out that he also shares a birthday with Hitler, and I’d like to downplay that association as much as I can. You wouldn’t believe how many times I’ve had people point it out to me. Congratulations, your child was born on the same day as one of the biggest monsters in human history! is not exactly something parents want to hear.

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On Bird Brains, Etc.

April 24th, 2014 by Steve
Ruby-crowned Kinglet

Ruby-crowned Kinglet – Photo by Me!

English speakers don’t often ascribe intelligence to birds, quite likely for good reason. A cursory examination of bird-related figures of speech shows we call the dim-witted among us “bird brained,” sometimes dismissing them as “silly geese.” The long-extinct dodo is now synonymous with stupidity, and we safely assume that crows fly in straight lines because that’s all their little brains can comprehend. Rumour-mongers questioned about their sources often say “a little bird told me,” and the resulting lies they spread don’t remotely advance our appreciation of avian brainpower.

A bird in the hand (even a lame duck that’s no longer a spring chicken) is worth two in the bush, which you can kill with a single stone if you’re lucky; they’re so feeble-minded they likely won’t see it coming.

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All Together in the Altogether

April 17th, 2014 by Steve

While browsing The Oxford Dictionary of Idioms today (I’m a bit of a word geek, for those of you not keeping score at home), I came across this entry:

In the ALTOGETHER: without any clothes on; naked.

Then I remembered what cheeky wordsmiths The Beatles were and wondered if there might be a second meaning to the song All Together Now. Were they encouraging us to sing along or strip down to our birthday suits en masse? I defer to Paul’s request to take his “friend to bed” for my interpretation today.

It also gives me second thoughts about Hammy Hamster’s friend Altogether Morris.

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