Ross Murray's Border Report
Ross Murray
is a freelance writer living in Stanstead, Quebec. You can reach him at
Posted 03.20.11
Stanstead, Quebec


Ten things not about the snow

This column is not about snow. I think we're all pretty much snowed out. We're snowed out, snowed in, snowed up and down, and snowed under. Snow doubt about it. Or are we?

As much as we pretend to hate snow, we sure like to talk about it -- usually in the middle of the street with a snowplow bearing down on us. If I'm going to die a snow-related death, I don't want the last sentence I hear to be, "Had enough of the white stuff yet?"

Surely there are other things to talk about. Indeed there are. That's why as a public service, I've prepared ten conversation topics for your next stormy encounter.

  • Have you heard about people who fill those pre-paid envelopes that come with junk mail with other company's junk mail and send them back? Do you think the people whose job it is to open those envelopes become enraged when this happens, or do you think they don't give a rat's patootie what's inside, since they're paid no matter what the envelope contains? Don't you think the world would be a better place if, instead of sending back junk, people sent a note saying, "Good job opening those envelopes. Your work is important. Keep it up. Avoid those paper cuts"?

  • Charlie Sheen: Tell me why I should care. Actually, no, don't.

  • Remember when you thought pizza was the perfect food? Dairy, meat, vegetables, grain -- a pizza contains all the food groups.

    But one serving of McCain Multigrain Thin Crust 5 Cheese & Sausage Pizza contains 23 percent of your daily recommended sodium and 21 percent of saturated fats. One serving equals 1/5 of a pizza. But who can eat only 1/5 of a Thin Crust 5 Cheese & Sausage Pizza? Once you start eating Thin Crust 5 Cheese & Sausage Pizza, you can't stop. The same goes for checking food labels for sodium and fat content. Doesn't that make you sad? And a wee bit hungry?

  • The Prime Minister's Office has ordered that all government communications should no longer refer to the "Government of Canada" but to the "Harper Government." A cynical act of hubris, or a considerate reminder to Canadians come election time about who exactly to blame for the mess we're in? Discuss.

  • Are you like me in that when you hear mention of "Libya" you think of Groucho Marx singing "Lydia the Tattooed Lady"? And do you make up lyrics like this?

    Oh Libya, oh Libya
    What's happening in Libya
    Oh Libya is go-o-oing crazy
    The corrupted regime run by Muammar Gaddafi
    Whose ramblings and rants are both goofy and daffy
    Too bad he digs violence like children dig Raffi
    You just shake your he-e-ead at Libya!

    No? It's just me then? Well, then I guess this is what we'd refer to as an "awkward conversation."

  • When people mention the Conservative's in-and-out scandal, do you blush just a little? And the fact that the best Canada can muster in the way of political scandals are those involving obscure accounting rules, stationery and whether a minister added the word "not" to a memo -- doesn't that make you blush a little too, but this time in embarrassment?

  • Speaking of embarrassment: Michael Ignatieff.

  • I've got a suitcase packed and handy at all times so that I'm ready to run when it all goes down. You?

  • Now do you understand why I said we should have parked the car closer to the end of the driveway?

  • Given the current visibility, how long do you think it will take the driver of that snowplow bearing down on us to realize we're standing in the middle of the road?
Ross Murray's collection, You're Not Going to Eat That, Are You?, is available in Quebec in area book stores and through He can be reached at