Jan 1981 Sense and Nonsense
A brand new year stretches before us. Many of us are gazing at our calendars with a touch of trepidation. What lies in store for Canadians in the year 1981? It is time for a certain dull, everyday housewife to crawl into her broom closet and undergo a mind-dazzling metamorphous! She emerges wearing a striped tea-towel turban, curtain-ring earrings and a gaudy housecoat. She is Madame Reaughxyz – Super Psychic – Knows All! Tells All! and her kitchen is open for business.
ENTER FIRST CUSTOMER: Madame Reaughxyz, my first question is: Will Prime Minister [Pierre]Trudeau be successful in his constitutional repatriation with an amending formula?
MADAME R: Yass. If he uses zee proper formula he vill probably be successful.
CUSTOMER : I, like so many Canadians, do not understand exactly what the Amending Formula clause entails. Can you explain?
MADAME (gazes at an upside-down sugar bowl which doubles as her crystal ball): Vell, it is very simple. Let me shee… hm… Preparation H for thees and Rolaids for that… Eureka, I have it! Castor oil!
CUSTOMER: Castor oil? You mean the constitutional repatriation issue can be solved with castor oil? What kind of nonsense is that?
MADAME: Repatriation..? Vat is that? I vas sure you said Trudeau’s problem vith his constitution vas zee constipation!
CUSTOMER: Vell, I mean well! I shall try to speak more clearly. Does your sugar bowl have any predictions concerning our floating dollar and the escalating interest rates?
MADAME: Yass. Zee floating dollar vill continue to float or else learn to svim. Zee escalating interest rates vill take the elevator maybe… Or else valk zee stairs.
CUSTOMER: What? Oh, I see… The sugar bowl is trying to be funny. I suppose it is smirking at the thought of the western provinces separating from the rest of Canada?
MADAME: Zee sugar bowl says, “No vay!” It says zee Prime minister and zee Premier of Alberta have vun thing in common. Pierre is zee French name for Peter. If ve separate ve vould be just exchanging vun pumpkin eater for another!
CUSTOMER : Tell me Madame, why do you use the same old, cracked sugar bowl year after year for your predictions?
MADAME: Because I do not get zee new one for Christmas. Year after year I tell my husband, “Dear, I vould like zee new sugar bowl under zee tree.” You know what he gives me this year? A fir coat!!
CUSTOMER: Why are you complaining? Most women would love to receive a fur coat for Christmas!
MADAME: Yass, but zee branches tickle and after avhile zee needles fall off..
CUSTOMER: Oh, another joke… Now I know where the sugar bowl gets its sense of humor. Madame, I give up! Next year I’ll buy my own sugar bowl.
MADAME: Good. I vill sell you this vun. It’s vell broke in, has fairly clean habits and a shense of humour…
CUSTOMER: No vay! How much do I owe you, Madame, for your so-called psychic predictions?
MADAME: Five dollars. Put it in zee creamer jug… and if you should change your mind, remember it and zee sugar bowl are zee matched set… I vill throw it in for free.