Sometimes I think about what bad people will be reincarnated as and it makes me feel better about the world. Like Donald Trump will be reincarnated as the athlete’s foot I once had. Everyone hates it but for some reason it is always there and won’t go away until you destroy it with chemicals*. I hope to be reincarnated as a common sparrow, or at least as one of those old railroad trolleys. When people think about those old trolleys, they are all “meh, I see why you’re here but probably something better and more efficient is out there but also you are very strong and have boyish good looks”. Stuart McLean will be reincarnated as the next generation of Barack Obamas because they are perfect in every way.


* There is a non-zero chance I will get arrested for writing this.


The bird.

Several weeks ago, I was walking home at night and almost stepped on a small bird that was hanging out on the sidewalk. I was both confused and intrigued. Why didn’t the bird run away from me as other people do? There is clearly something wrong with it.

The bird was sitting upright and was alive and chirpy but I don’t think that all the lights were on upstairs. Maybe it flew into a window? Maybe it is also doing a PhD and goes home every night, completely delirious and takes shots of vodka until the world seems better? I mean… I don’t do that…

Anyway, I left the bird on the sidewalk and ran home to get a shoebox. Returning to the bird, I picked it up and put it inside the shoebox with the intention of returning home and nursing it back to health. While I’d like to say that this was for purely unselfish reasons, I really just wanted to train it to bring my sweater to me in the morning, Sleeping Beauty style.

Let me tell you two things. One, the bird did not bring my sweater to me. Two, I need to wrap up this story because the grocery store near my house is closing soon. So I bring the bird home in the shoebox and put it in the corner of my room. I go to sleep thinking that I will take it to some park ranger or sell it to a wolf in the morning.

Alas. At 2 a.m. I am awoken by a bat from hell, speeding around my room and knocking over all of my economics textbooks I mean cool things that interesting people have. I grab my baseball bat, The Educator, and begin swinging wildly and knock over more… cool things that interesting people have… But when I realize that it is the bird, I try to guide it out of the apartment. You might be wondering why the bird was unable to fly 5 hours earlier but now was cruising like the Air Force One (is this a shoe? I’ve never understood American culture), but I don’t have a good answer. Eventually I was able to get the bird out of our apartment and into the apartment building hallway. The bird flew up the apartment building stairs and I tried to follow it for a while but got tired after climbing three steps.

And that’s the story of why there is a bird living (or.. maybe not living..) somewhere in my apartment building. Good night!

Some Thoughts on Lives Mattering.

All the time, I’m hearing people say: “Sure, Black Lives Matter, but really All Lives Matter! Let’s not discriminate!” (I also hear people say that only All Lives Matter which I suspect is really just code for “I’m very racist and should live on an island alone”).

Fellow white people: nobody is saying  or has ever said that your life is unimportant. This is demonstrated by the fact that we are in all the history books, we are not in danger when we come into contact with authorities, and the judicial system is probably going to be fair to us. You don’t need to shout that our lives matter because we have been absurdly aggressive about making them matter and making them matter more than other people’s.

There are groups of individuals for whom this is not true. Black people, for example. This is why we say that Black Lives Matter. It is not a threat. It is not divisive. It is simply saying “Hey, here are some people who matter and we are acting like they don’t. Maybe we should change that”. White person, we already know that your life matters so stop trying to be part of the tag line.

It’s like this. Say we go back to the time when women couldn’t vote. Then we have a rally that says women should be able to vote. Would you then be like “hmm.. I think these women are really saying that men shouldn’t have the right to vote, despite the fact that they are clearly just asking for their right to vote, so we should have a rally saying that men should still have the right to vote”. No because that’s stupid. If you would think that then may you be stung by a thousand bees.

For those of us white folk who say sure Black Lives Matter, but All Lives Matter, let’s be honest about what this is really saying: We feel very uncomfortable with (1) having to recognize that we are implicated in hundreds of years of racism, and (2) having to recognize that it is still happening today. The good news is that you can support the Black Lives Matter movement and rest assured that your life, and mine, will continue to matter. Our lives are irrelevant to this conversation except that we can use them to be allies.


Why do florists sell venus fly traps if they expect me not to put pocket lint in their little plant mouths? It’s like if a pet store had puppies and expected me not to roll them in maple syrup so that they smell like Canada. Or expected me not to open all the bird cages so that we’d know which ones are loyal.

Some world.


People say Canadians apologize too much. At first I thought U.S. Americans don’t apologize enough. Then I remembered the time a man tried to mug me at a bus stop and I apologized for having old gum wrappers in the bag he was trying to take. Then I apologized because I didn’t have any cash and my debit card didn’t work because I thought the strip on the back was one of those “scratch-n-save” things. Eventually I asked him for his phone number but he turned me down and left with my shoes.

They might be right.



I’m not sure why, but this picture perfectly captures how I’ve felt all day.


I think I’ve made my point.

Moving on, with dengue.

The creepiest thing about Facebook is how it knows exactly what I’m doing all the time. This is maybe because I google everything I’m about to do (“I am going to buy tortillas, google, see you later”), or because I send them postcards every day (“Hey facebook, going to buy tortillas today!”), but regardless, it is pretty damn creepy. Today it advertised a “how to get through a break-up” book at me which made me sad because it was like “we’re pretty sure this is your life always… or you might be interested in this book about rock formations. But the two probably go together”. Stupid facebook.

I looked at the book and it seemed terrible (the relationship one, not the rock one). It had all this advice like “exercise” and “find a new hobby”. This is nonsense. Having never had a successful relationship, I know what’s what when it comes to getting over someone. I have decided to share my wisdom in a *free* post. You’re welcome.


Step 1. Fly to India.
A particularly painful breakup once occurred about 3 weeks before I was scheduled to fly to India to do “research”. This was a secret blessing, but not because I met a bunch of new people and saw how big the world is and blah blah.

Step 2. Be jet-lagged and act weird and anti-social, maybe because of the break-up but maybe because you’re an economist, so that you aren’t invited to any social events.
This is important so that Step 3 can occur.

Step 3. Spend many evenings in your room that does not have any window screens. Do not sleep with a bed net.
You can spend these nights feeling sad and sorry for yourself if you’d like. If your window has screens, remove them.

Step 4. Get dengue fever. 
This is the turning point! By now you should no longer be thinking about your ex. You should be feeling sweaty and nauseous and you should be in the worst physical pain you’ve ever been in. Your only thoughts should be “I am probably going to die on this floor” and “I wish I had left my debt to my ex in my will” Congratulations – you are getting over him/her! If you are still thinking about your ex then you probably don’t have dengue.

Step 5. Go to the hospital and get better.
They will give you some drugs and I’m still not sure what they are for, but you should take them. This is because they will both keep you alive and they will make you delusional. Instead of wondering about your ex, you’re wondering where the hell am I and also why is that peg-legged spider playing cards with that giant toad? Why is that man poking my arm and could you please turn down the thunder on the second floor?

Step 6. Go back to your apartment and be super paranoid and start taking all of the anti-malarials you were given but didn’t take before.
This prolongs Step 5. If you got the cheap anti-malarials, you will be preoccupied with keeping the angry broomstick away from your passport and have no time to think about breakups.

Step 7. Fly back home.
Fly back to your friends and family who love you. Tell them about the broomstick and the toad and the thunder. They will probably still like you and these are the people you should surround yourself with. If they don’t like you then slip your leftover medication into their cereal*.



Edit: I have been told that this post is too personal and will make people uncomfortable and I’m unemployable. I knew all these things before.