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Old as dirt. Twice as gritty.

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: ...

Seasoned hello

Nov 17, 2014 / 5:00 am

Oh no. Remembrance Day has passed and that can mean only one awful thing: It’s time for The Annual Bombardment of Everything Christmas. Ahem, including, of course, this column. It happens that I have a long list of peeves about Christmas. The (Many Many)...


Nov 3, 2014 / 5:00 am

In theory when you take a break from work you return feeling fresh and eager. You fully intend to stop being a slacker. However, ‘theory’ is just another word for ‘yeah right’, because you will soon find that your brain has come to a complete standstill from too many...

Finding a way home

Sep 22, 2014 / 5:00 am

What is home? Ask a hundred people and you’ll get a hundred different answers, but what they’ll have in common is this: all want to be there. This story is about a human who spent his life searching for a home. This story could be about anyone: You, someone you know,...


Sep 8, 2014 / 5:00 am

Hard to choose a topic this week. Teachers or ice buckets? Strikes or causes? Something that drives me crazy or something that drives me insane? It was a tough call. However, the BCTF strike is at the peak of passion as I type this on September 3, and some crazy hopeful part of me feels that...

He walks on water

Aug 25, 2014 / 5:00 am

The other day I was searching for songs to play on my guitar, and came across an old favourite called ‘He Walks On Water’: It’s sappy - yeah. It’s country - yeah. It’s . . . oh who cares, I like it. I used...


Aug 11, 2014 / 6:00 am

There was a time many years ago when I was willing to go shopping. ‘Willing’ meant I’d go if nothing could stop it from happening, and the willingness came dressed in whines, “Okay, okay, I’ll go, maybe, sure, I guess so, as long as we stop for coffee and goodies every...

I'm sick

Jul 28, 2014 / 5:00 am

The other day I took a life-changing test on facebook. Oh come on, stop dissing facebook tests, how else would I know what kind of appliance I am (blender) or what kind of car I am (Volvo station wagon)? At any rate, this particular test was ‘Guess Who I Am’, and it...

Baby, you're so hot

Jul 10, 2014 / 5:00 am

There shouldn’t be a need to write this particular column, yet for some insane reason there is, because no matter how many times the message is put out there, people are still leaving their babies and dogs in enclosed cars on hot days. The disturbing part is that despite the intense...

The day I shamed B.C.

Jun 30, 2014 / 5:00 am

I have a confession to make. Several years ago, my daughter and I were on a summer road trip traveling across the Canadian prairies. In Saskatchewan we had to take a detour because of road construction, and we managed - don’t laugh - to get lost. Yes, in Saskatchewan. We were on a...

Run-on, little sentence, run on

Jun 16, 2014 / 5:00 am

I have recently rediscovered my fondness for the run-on sentence, it is something that I’ve neglected for many years now, years that were, truth be told, in rather dire need of the occasional run-on sentence, a situation forcing me think how very odd that I, personally, have neglected...

Fanatic dog owners

Jun 2, 2014 / 5:00 am

The Fanatic Dog Owner, a subspecies of Pet Owner, is a growing branch of pet ownership that is daily reaching new levels of of frenzied emotions, enabled by kinship with fellow Fanatic Dog Owners, and fueled by online social media. To be clear, I am not referring to the standard and...

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.

This column: 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 the column, 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 presents its columns "as is" and does not warrant the contents.

New feature For more stories from Jo, please visit the Old as Dirt. Twice as Gritty. archive


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