Ross Murray's Border Report
Ross Murray
is a freelance writer living in Stanstead, Quebec. You can reach him at
Posted 08.24.10
Stanstead, Quebec


I get column questions

And it's time for some answers...

Dear Mr. Murray,
I just came into a significant amount of money following the death of an uncle who made his fortune in Faberge scrambled eggs. I'd like to start my own business. Do you have any suggestions?
Guy F.
Danville, QC

Dear Guy (or am I pronouncing that wrong?),
What you need to succeed in business is a unique idea, and it's well known that the very best ideas come to you in that fuzzy stage between sleep and wakefulness. These brainstorms -- or, as I like to call them, "dreamstorms" -- are your subconscious letting you know you're inherently brilliant, despite all evidence to the contrary.

One of my recent dreamstorms was to open an ice cream parlour called Emergency Scoop (Scoop d'Urgence). You know when you go for ice cream and you opt for a small cone instead of splurging the extra 75 cents for a medium? But then you get to the end of the cone and you realize you want just a bit more ice cream?

At this ice cream parlour, you'd simply cry out "Emergency scoop!" You might even push a button to set off an alarm or a flashing light, who knows. This would allow you to butt in line right away to get an extra scoop, BUT that extra scoop would now cost a dollar.

Of course, the thing with dreamstorms is that they seem less and less brilliant the longer you're awake, so don't go making any business deals before noon. You don't want to end up, say, sinking your savings into trying to produce a motion picture about giant mutant cello virtuosos terrorizing Seoul, trust me.

Dear Ross,
I read recently that a school board in Ontario is pulling the plug on wireless Internet in their schools because of fear of health hazards. Is Wi-Fi safe?
Maureen K.
Baldwin's Mills, QC

Dear Maureen,
First of all, we need to get every new technology into our schools as quickly as possible. What? Planning? Curriculum? Cost? Not important. Look: shiny computers!

Next, let's examine the complaint in Ontario. According to the report, parents say their children "aren't quite the same," that their grades have dropped a bit, they're not getting along with friend and they're misbehaving in class.

Could it be that THEY'RE KIDS? Volatile, unpredictable, hormone-harbouring kids going through rapid and weird changes? So they get dizzy and nauseous. Every kid does that. When I was in elementary school, kids throwing up was a daily routine. It's just what kids did. We had janitors posted outside every door with that weird green dustbane just in case.

If you're worried about radiation, stop giving your kids cell phones to press against their brains. Wi-Fi's fine. Dr. Joe Schwartz says so. He came to me in a dream.

What is the path to enlightenment?

Rory S.
Cookshire, QC

Dear Rory,
It's funny you should ask. I've recently embraced the teachings of Sri Lankan philosopher and chutney taster Dr. Deepdish Opera. The philosophies of Dr. Opera are complex, much like a chili-lime pickle, and require much training and all sixteen volumes of his self-help series, "Goodness, Are You Still Doing That?"

But at the heart of his philosophy is Open-Mouthism. The mouth, you see, is the source of all that is good: conversation, drink, air, chewing gum, chutney.

Moreover, the mouth itself, when so shaped, is a perfect circle -- "the 'O' that says 'Yo!'" as Doc Op so pithily puts it. (This also happens to be the slogan for Sri Lanka's favourite breakfast cereals, Yo-O's; lawsuit pending.)

Open-Mouthism recommends facing life with mouth wide open. Rush forth, mouth in an O, absorbing all the oxygen you can and scaring little children, thereby avoiding their germs and simultaneously flooding the brain with oxyhubbadubbas. The open mouth is also receptive to receiving chutneys, in particular, Doctah Deep's Delectable Dharma Dribble, only $4.99 a jar.

I can't say I've fully achieved enlightenment (I'm only at volume 11), but I can say that these days when someone calls me a mouth-breather, I take it as a compliment.

Ross Murray's collection of columns, ";You're Not Going to Eat That, Are You?&qiuot;, is now available at local bookstores and online at