Ricky Blue's Other Life
Ricky Blue
Ricky Blue
is a Montreal-based humorist, singer, and writer. He and partner George Bowser are the famous Bowser and Blue comedy act. Here's his bio from their Bowser and Blue website.

Ricky Blue was born in Liverpool, England, but raised in Maine, New Jersey, and Toronto. He has an MA in English from Concordia University. He has been involved in bands and media music in Montreal for over twenty years. In 1981 he won an international 'Clio' award for excellence in advertising.

He once appeared on television naked.

His life had no real meaning, however, until he began to play with Bowser and Blue. Rick plays guitar, mandolin, and harmonica, and sings in a rather pleasant baritone when George will let him.

His columns are archived here

Posted 11.21.02


Sympathy for Scrooge

I never give advice - and even if I did, my only advice would be: Don't ever give or accept advice.

But if I did make an exception, this would be it: As soon as you have read this column, put this newspaper down. Leave your house and go directly to the mall. Do your Christmas shopping now! Don't think twice. Don't look back.

Is it too early to Christmas shop? No. This is the right time to shop. The panic has not yet completely taken hold. I know it because there was still a parking space in front of Future Shop. Although I did find that things were beginning to get nasty at Toys R Us. Harried women with lists were pushing me out of the way with their shopping carts. One said: "Oh sorry. I didn't see you there." So I said: "That is because I'm a middle-aged man. Middle-aged men are invisible. We have no function, so we are invisible. But we can see each other."

There is no way I can get this yearly chore done quickly. And I know that every hour I spend doing it is an hour I am are not working to make all the money that it costs to do all the shopping which keeps me from working to make the money I need to pay for all the shopping.

And what really complicates it is that I can't take the kids and just buy what they want. I have to resort to subterfuge. I have to sneak out to go shopping without them. Which means once again that I have to shop when I really should be working because that is the only non-kid time I have left in my life. Unless I count the time when I am supposed to be sleeping. But the stores are not open then.

And in order to know what they want I have to take them around the stores and let them see what is available. But I can't buy it there and then. I have to take them home empty-handed and sneak back at some other time.

All I can really do is try to get through it as best as I can. I have to force myself to suspend all my normal disbelief for the sake of the spirit of it all, but at the same time cover my butt by making elaborate preparations for the arduous ordeal ahead.

Perhaps this all sounds a bit jaded. Perhaps I am not exuding the requisite Christmas joy.

But as I get older I find I am becoming more and more sympathetic to Scrooge. Some readers out there will agree with me. But there are others who don't like hearing this tone. They think it is a kind of sacrilege.

A couple of years ago, a man came up to me in a hockey arena to criticize me for writing an article about Santa Claus.

He felt that I was being too candid. That children would read my column and have their beliefs shattered. I said that I was sure that children do not read the newspaper. Most college students don't even read the newspaper.

He said his kid did. I congratulated him and told him that he should be grateful because he had a very special child. Possibly a genius. Certainly - if the kid reads my column.