Sex in a Smart car

May 2, 2016 / 6:00 am
The other day Castanet News ran a item with the headline ‘Smart cars, amorous drivers’. My car, as it happens, is Smart as all get out. Far too excited by the headline to waste time reading the story, I rushed off to see the world afresh, with the new understanding...

Missing boat

Apr 19, 2016 / 7:00 am
Photo: - William White Photo: - William White Photo: - Gair White Photo: - Cornelia White Photo: - William White Photo: - Cornelia White Photo: - William White Photo: - William White Photo: - William White Photo: - William White Somewhere out there is a boat called the Och Aye. She’s...

The art of kitsch

Apr 6, 2016 / 5:40 am
Wide awake at 4 am, searching for an idea for today’s column. Nothing came . . . nothing came. . . . Then I saw something delightfully kitsch - I’m not going to say what - but it reminded me of a point in my life when I had a small collection of kitsch. It was lovely. The star...

Squarely pegged

Mar 22, 2016 / 4:17 pm
Once upon a time, many years and miles ago, a square peg went forth into the round hole world to see what all the fuss was about. Life in the round hole world went well enough, as round pegs tend to be interested, at least at first, by the oddballs among them. For his own peace of mind, though,...

Had enough? Move south

Mar 8, 2016 / 9:02 pm
Hold on, do you hear that? Listen. . . . Photo: Jo Slade Look! Look!! Chemtrails! That's Clinton's doin'. Photo: Jo Slade Damn her. Photo: Jo Slade Just ruining the damn country. Photo: Jo Slade Goin' to hell in a damn hand...

War of the words

Feb 23, 2016 / 7:00 am
The following message has been making the rounds on facebook: Photo: Facebook viral craziness The message managed to stir up a drama-infused grammatical storm. Here is a brief excerpt of the ensuing vitriol: __________ dear capital letters, while we always value your hard...

Ultimate online IQ test

Feb 9, 2016 / 7:49 pm
It saddens me to say this, but there are suspicious people in the world who doubt the value and solid empirical scientific evidence behind online IQ tests. I, err, I mean the suspicious people, dismiss these tests as nothing more than a sleazy tactic to go viral on facebook by offering soaring...

Must-read survival tips

Jan 26, 2016 / 7:45 am
This past weekend, an unexpected blizzard containing wind and snow and traffic jams swept through several eastern US states. The entire world was surprised and saddened that such a bad thing could happen. That it could snow was surprising enough, but to the horror of all, there was wind,...

Snow shocks locals

Jan 12, 2016 / 12:16 pm
Recent snowfalls have brought shock and disbelief to Okanagan residents. “It was just snowing and snowing, snowing like crazy!” reported one concerned citizen. Some locals say that snow should be expected in winter, as it happens every year in the Okanagan. Irate Kelowna driver...

De-snark, refuel, snark

Dec 30, 2015 / 11:53 am
In which you will discover my resolutions for 2016, a review of 2015, some predictions for 2016, and, finally, a bit of wistful thinking. My 2016 social media resolutions 1. Will stop being snarky on facebook. 2. Will feel terrible after immediately breaking the first resolution. 3. ...

Bad brain

Dec 15, 2015 / 6:00 am
Your brain has a secret sense of humour. It is one reserved for laughing at you. Yes, your brain thinks you are a poor sap, and it is almost always bored with you, because you never give it anything much to do. Asking it to think about Facebook updates and responses to updates is not very...

Jim is epic

Dec 1, 2015 / 6:00 am
Oh yes. He’s epic, alright. Epic at snoring, that is. “You’re delusional,” he told me when I gently (haha) pointed out the problem. “I know I don’t snore, nobody has ever accused me of that.” Now, I’m not entirely sure who else would be privvy...

Seems legit

Nov 17, 2015 / 6:00 am
I’ve been getting a lot of great email these days. It’s as though I’ve signed up to some awesome all-inclusive mail delivery service that has a sole purpose of keeping me happy and well-informed. Don’t recall signing up for such a thing, but clearly they’ve found me....

Remember, honourably

Nov 8, 2015 / 6:47 am
With each year, Remembrance Day grows more angst-ridden and superficial, with too much focus on the banal online messages and too little on simple silence for contemplation. Consider something different this year. Honour the war dead with your willingness to learn, and to teach. Educate...

The Nanny State

Oct 20, 2015 / 5:00 am
Social media has made a dramatic difference in the way we stay connected to the world around us. It allows us to keep our grubby little fingers on the pulse of current societal sentiment, and an hour doesn’t pass without checking that pulse. “Hmm, I wonder if everybody is still...

When you die, you're dead

Oct 6, 2015 / 5:00 am
If the title of this column makes you shrug because you think it makes pretty good sense, you are probably a card-carrying member of the State The Obvious Club. If the title makes you shriek and whack the person nearest you in frustration, you are correct. Like it or not, the world is full...

The Machine

Sep 21, 2015 / 5:00 am
Few know about this, but in a hidden room somewhere in Ottawa resides the The Machine. Our political leaders turn to The Machine for help with speeches and ‘image’, especially during elections. The Machine has a lot of settings, with something for everybody from the tentative but...

Election voting guide

Sep 7, 2015 / 6:00 am
Wrote this item in 2011 for the last election. Same scenario, different year, so here's a rerun for you. Here we are on the cusp of the federal election, and you are probably feeling pretty torn up inside, and are asking yourself, “Who should I vote for? What if I get it wrong?...

Exploding heads

Aug 24, 2015 / 5:00 am
Hello. My name is Jo Slade, and I am a catchphrase addict. It is a trait I inherited from my father. During the 70s, he would say things like, ‘sit on it, ya noid’ and ‘up your nose with a rubber hose’. He looked normal, but underneath lurked those crazy...

Princess Jim

Aug 10, 2015 / 5:00 am
For reasons I cannot begin to understand, I have a reputation in my family for being fussy. A fuss-pot. Difficult. Hard to please. A princess. Mind you, when I say ‘in my family’, I really just mean ‘Jim’. And he is wrong. And he is the pot calling the...

Lion-hearted you

Jul 31, 2015 / 12:00 am
Last year GoDaddy was forced to pull a Superbowl ad (the infamous puppy ad) because of angry people taking a stand. The ad showed a puppy falling off the back of a truck, becoming lost and afraid, then finding its way home only to be sold. There was so much indignation over this that the ad...

Said no one ever

Jul 27, 2015 / 5:00 am
One of the cool things to do these days is to stage your random sarcasm with ‘said no one ever’. “I would much rather have a glass of warm tap water than a icy cold locally made craft beer,” said no one ever. “If I win the lottery I am going to say...

The bubble burst

Jul 13, 2015 / 5:00 am
With all the news of wildfires, heat waves, financial collapse of an entire nation, a sinking dollar, and god knows what else, you may have missed the worst news of all: Bubble wrap has a new recipe, and soon it won’t go pop for you anymore. Pop. Pop. Pop. Yes that’s...

Hold on, are you sure?

Jun 29, 2015 / 5:00 am
STOP! What on earth are you doing, are you really sure you want to do that? Positive? Please wait, maybe give yourself some time to think about it, don’t be so hasty. Yes, this is the number one bane of all users: The message your computer worriedly throws onto your screen whenever you try...


Jun 15, 2015 / 5:00 am
After my peeve-filled column last week, a concerned reader wrote to me to ask, “Well then, what on earth do you curmudgeons LIKE?” I threw something at that person, but missed and therefore feel obligated to answer the question. Of course I like stuff. There are lots of...


Jun 1, 2015 / 5:00 am
The newest trend on Facebook is the nausea-inducing ‘happy’ news that everybody is supposed to share to counter the endless negative stuff. And I say, phooey to that. We curmudgeons will stick with what we know: The incessant peeve. It’s not easy being a...

Greenway wars

May 18, 2015 / 5:00 am
A treat - this week you get an entire column crammed into a video meme. Long live the Greenway, and all the combatants within.

A real mother of a day

May 9, 2015 / 5:00 am
Mother’s Day is such a nice sort of day, a lovely little Sunday in May, set aside for people to give their mums appropriate adoration, heartfelt appreciation, and material goods. Love, kindnesses, memories shared, laughter and smiles, oh what a nice day, what a dear sweet...

The letter

May 4, 2015 / 5:00 am
When you want to get a message to a friend or foe these days, you sure have lots of choices. However, today, being International Standard Letter vs Email Day, we will focus on standard letter vs email. I mean, I already know you’re just going to send the email, but a day may come when...

Dear Old As Dirt readers

Apr 20, 2015 / 5:00 am
The following letter has been provided by Dr. Fingelsnit of the world famous Fingelsnit Research and BioStuff Group, a renowned and highly questionable medical establishment that specializes in almost everything except maybe the kitchen sink. Please excuse Jo Slade’s...

Mmm, ala French

Apr 6, 2015 / 5:00 am
Ahhh, ohhhhh yes . . . yes, yes, yes. No wait, don’t hurry, be gentle. Press slooooowwwwwly, yeah like that. Mmm, nice, so smooth - press a little harder, now oh yeah, feel the resistance, feel the movement, enjoy the anticipation. You’re almost there, almost! ALMOST! OMG!!...

The perfect child

Mar 23, 2015 / 5:00 am
Once upon a time, in that alternate universe we generally call ‘the old days’, parents grabbed at any opportunity to show off the extraordinary beauty, exceptional intelligence, and remarkable artistic talent of their perfect children. They did this out of sincere pity for the...

Suck it up, buttercup

Mar 9, 2015 / 6:00 am
We suck up to people when we think it might help make life easier for us. Don’t deny it, everybody does it, it is human nature. You’re sitting vulnerable in a chair with a dentist hovering over you with assorted tools of torture, and you, like most people, have the good common sense...

Mandatory condolences

Feb 23, 2015 / 6:00 am
First it was mandatory birthday greetings on Facebook, the ‘surprise’ birthday-wishes schtick in which you get to show your utter amazement that so many people actually remembered your birthday despite that you put your birthday in your profile knowing full well that all your...


Feb 9, 2015 / 6:00 am
Oh sweet sleep. I love those slipping-down seconds when you feel yourself disappear into another world, your brain drifting away on the promise of a good dream. Then maybe you grind your teeth for a bit if you’re into that kind of thing, then it’s time to maybe snore and drive your mate...

Superlatively speaking

Jan 26, 2015 / 6:00 am
Our society has managed to fall (or dive) into a steamy vat of superlative muck in recent years, and it has changed the way that we communicate. I’m not sure what, if anything, is still said or written in a normal low-key way, even the extra-low-key Brits are losing their ‘keep...

El cheapo 2015 horoscope

Jan 12, 2015 / 5:00 am
Welcome to your brand new year, fresh out of the box and sparkly clean. A new year means there are fresh horoscopes baking. You already get a quality horoscope on Castanet from Heather Zais, but we’re not talking quality in this column. This is the low-end economy horoscope for cheap...

Haiku to you too

Dec 29, 2014 / 5:00 am
It is haiku season here on Old As Dirt. So, Happy Haiku to you, or to be more politically correct, Happy Really Short Poem to you. A haiku is a Japanese poem of seventeen syllables delivered in three lines of five, seven and five. I may not be Japanese, but by god I have lots of...

At a loss for jargon

Dec 15, 2014 / 5:00 am
I’m never at a loss for words, but once in a long while I’m at a loss for jargon. I’ll reach out to spew just the right jargonesque triteism, and so thoroughly miss the mark that the listener becomes emotionally agitated. If you think people cannot become emotionally...

Oh she did not

Dec 1, 2014 / 5:00 am
A couple of weeks ago, an article in Huff Post called ‘10 Things Your Mother Never Told You’ went semi-viral on facebook. I’m sharing. If I had to read it, so do you. It’s a rule: ...
About the Author

This bio was written by Jo Slade. As you can see she has written about herself in the third person. What normal person would do that? They just wouldn't. Who knows how many other persons might be involved in this thing, a second person? Another third? I worry about it. I - she - we - can't even keep it straight, this paragraph is a damn mess, there are persons all over the place. Round 'em up and shoot 'em. That's what I'd do, and by golly I think that's what Jo Slade would do as well.

Biographic nutshell: Jo has been messing around with words for a long time. Sometimes she'll just say words instead of writing them, it saves on paper.

The columns that appear here are of a highly serious and scholarly nature, therefore it is advised that you keep a dictionary and ponderous thoughts nearby.

If, after reading so many thought-provoking words, you find yourself tossing and turning at night, burning with the need to email me, just do it. I answer to [email protected]

The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.