Hey Clive, Can We Come Play on Your Boat?

Dear Clive Palmer,Good day, sir. I hope this letter finds you in good health. My name is Mike Ryan and I’m writing to you on behalf of my band, The Town Heroes. We’re a 2-piece rock and often roll band from the small Island of Cape Breton (home of Giant MacAskill, Paul’s Pizza Burgers, etc...). You may recognize Bruce Gillis (drummer of band) from his MVP performance in the coveted Whycocomagh Oilers Novice B hockey tournament in 1994. As our favourite Australian multi-billionaire, it has come to our attention that you will be partaking in the building of THE TITANIC 2. While some may see this venture as unnecessary, as boastful and excessive frivolous splurging to showcase one man’s limitless amount of money and thirst for notoriety, we believe this to be a wonderful idea. There are a lot of things that this world needs, and a massive boat EXACTLY the same as one that existed already is certainly one of them. And, if it has any correlation to the movie Titanic 2, this will be a smashing success. We’re incredibly excited to see this hulking mass of steel and vanity come to life and have, what we believe to be, a wonderful proposition for you. We’ve played shows all across the globe and believe that we, The Town Heroes, would be an excellent fit as the band to perform on the maiden voyage of THE TITANTIC 2. There are a host of good reasons why we are the band for this. Here are a few:

1) 100% of the boats we’ve played on in the past have NOT sunk. We’ve played on boats all across the planet, from Nova Scotia to Europe. To paraphrase the captain of the MS Heidi in Hamburg, Germany: “In addition to being the most handsome and talented band this earth has thus far seen, The Town Heroes have an innate ability to keep ships afloat. While their music poured from the stern of my ship, I took my hands of the steering wheel and let their sounds guide my boat through the rough waters of the Hamburg harbour. It was almost divine, almost otherworldly... as though the boat lifted above the water, all worries dissolved and we floated in peaceful harmony to safety” ... or something like that. I don’t know if it’s just our good luck, our buoyant personalities, or the fact that the salt water of the Atlantic runs thick through our blood, but, if you are concerned about this big chunk of junk following the fate of its predecessor, then hire us cats and this most certainly won’t happen.

2) There are only two of us in the band and our combined weight is significantly less than that of an orchestra. Hiring us allows you to bring on more wealthy/attractive people. If you hire an 8 piece orchestra like the original Titanic, that’s 6 attractive/wealthy people who don’t get to be on the boat. By doing that, you might miss out on the opportunity to have people like Selena Gomez, Iron Man 2, Frankie MacDonald, or even Emilio Estevez aboard. What’s a trip on a giant ship without Emilio Estevez enthralling the other passengers with stories of outlandish behind the scenes antics from the much celebrated Mighty Ducks trilogy? By hiring us instead of those schmarmy 8 orchestra clowns, you could fit all 5 members of the Pussycat Dolls plus Gary Busey, or Shakira and the entire starting lineup for the Chicago Bulls 1998 Championship team, or, what would probably be the best option, Chris Brown and a tank full of hungry man eating sharks that frown upon both shitty R&B and abusive pansies. Don’t be a fool, Clive. Do what has to be done.

3) We currently reside in Halifax, Nova Scotia which is the resting place for many of the deceased from the crash of the original Titanic. Approximately ten years ago, while stumbling drunkenly through a graveyard, I accidentally tripped and spilled a very small portion of my Colt-45 onto a headstone. I felt awful! Upon further investigation, it turned out that it was the grave site of an individual who perished in the 1912 Titanic crash! What are the chances? By accidentally spilling cheap malt liquor (predominately reserved for hobos and the ghettos of America) on their final resting place, I feel as though I may have disturbed their spirit. I believe I should have the opportunity to appease said spirit by properly pouring a legitimate 40oz. (absolutely any type of liquor other than Colt-45) off the bow of the ship and into the Atlantic Ocean, the waters that took their life – both commemorating their passing and honouring their life. That and every time I see a Halifax hipster dressed in “turn of the century early 1900’s garb”, I think it might be a vengeful ghost coming back to get even. I don’t like that feeling. Please make it stop, Clive, please.

4) I’ve never seen the movie “Titanic”. That must mean something, right?

5) The Last time I was on a fishing boat, I threw a water balloon at NHL Hall of Fame defenseman, Al MacInnis. This was not a malicious act, but due to the fact that he threw one at me first. (Note: Port Hood boat parade, bring back the water balloons... they were awesome!) If THE TITANIC 2 is hi-jacked by Somalian pirates, you want someone with quick, reactionary instincts on board to fight back. While it was all fun and games with 7 time NHL Hardest Shot award winner Mr. MacInnis, at heart I remain true to my combative instincts and would gladly throw a water balloon or, if the situation required it, an explosive grenade at an attacking foe. Bruce is also very good with a .22 Rifle and has shot rabbits from moving cars on many, many occasions.

6) If you’re looking for a group of guys who have access to major celebrities to bring aboard, then boy, are we the guys for you! Harrison Ford once stepped on my cousins foot, he said “sorry, dear!”, I cooked a hamburger for Phillip Glass, Bruce’s mom plays crib with a guy in Blue Rodeo’s dad, JFK asked my grandmother out on a date but she said “no!” because he was a known womanizer and he’s dead now anyway so he probably wouldn’t be able to come on the boat unless you were looking for corpses. Are you looking for corpses?

These are just a few of the reasons why we should be the band to play on THE TITANIC 2’s maiden voyage. Please reply to this ASAP since we are booking our schedule and filling in the dates for the next little while. We don’t want to commit to a weekend at the Split Crow in Truro and have to turn down playing on THE TITANIC 2 because of it. And, just so you know, we’d certainly get dressed to the nines for this gig. My brother got married 2 years ago and bought me a snazzy shirt and tie I could wear. Bruce recently found a barely stained 3-piece suit at Value Village that he looks as handsome as Matlock in. So, there would obviously be no issues with our attire, other than maybe making some of the other guests feel under dressed.

Well good sir, it’s been a pleasure. Thank you for your time and consideration, Clive. We look forward to hearing from you and being a part of history. To end this, it seems fitting to leave you with another quote paraphrased from the captain of the MS Heidi: “Hearing Slag Heaps blasting on a boat in the open water is such a blissful and euphoric experience that it changes you significantly in ways that you never deemed fathomable; deep inside your core a fundamental altering takes place. From that day on you are totally awakened, each step is purposeful and poised, your thoughts are exactly as they should be, the question of what being human actually means is no longer a mystifying query but an accepted truth you now live with. It’s much like what meeting God on a good acid trip must be like, or drinking a pristine bottle of Sidney Crosby’s sweat – a glorious encounter with the omniscient. Well, driving boats is fun... but I should get back to land and eat some tasty sausage. There’s good sausage in Germany. Did you know that?”

Regards, The Town Heroes

A letter to (Good Friend) Jay-Z: Part 3

How’s she goin’ there, Jay buddy? Been a while, uh? She’s cold as a witch’s tit up here in Nova Scotia. Oil is a bastard these days, too. $900 bucks to fill the goddamn tank!!! You still on oil or did you switch to electric like you were sayin’ you were gonna? Not too much new here. We just got asked to play the gala stage at the ECMA’s. That should be a pretty slick time I’d say. Tickets are 60 bucks a pop though, so I’m not sure if many of the gang will be out or not. Don’t feel like you have to come, I know that it’s a good chunk of change and I don’t want anyone to feel obligated to be there. I think Eastlink is gonna be streaming it though. I’ll send you the link once I know what it is. You got any good shows comin’ up? Any new tunes on the go?

Did you see last week’s television episode of “The Walking Dead”? Oh boy she’s starting to heat up, wha? What do you think is gonna happen? I know neither of us read the graphic novels (LOL) so I suppose your guess is as good as mine! Raise the roof (place hands over head with palms facing upwards while continuously and enthusiastically moving your arms in a linear up and down motion that typically, and metaphorically, indicates good times and soulful expression)!

How’s the wife these days anyway? I heard she put a new album out, she’s not easy. Who’s she getting for a radio tracker? We got Kim Sinclair to do our first single, New York City, and she got play all across the country. I guess Steven Bowers even heard it on the radio all the way out in Nanaimo, BC! If Beyonce’s still looking for someone, I definitely recommend Kim. She does a good job and it’s not too expensive, either. I suppose it all depends on funding though, eh? Did hers come through yet or is she still waiting to hear back? If she doesn’t get approved, talk to Bruce, he’s still got the DND job and a good limit on his credit card, he could probably spot a grand or two for a loan. Nothin’ worse than when you don’t get funding that you’re expecting. We got rejected for our last tour so we’re in the hole quite a bit now, actually. I think I might hafta get a job to stay afloat. It’s hard to find one here, though. I’ve already applied to a pile of different dishwashing jobs and haven’t heard a word back. I’ve got 99 problems and finding a flexible, low paying, entry level job with weekends off is certainly one of them.

What’s Blue Ivy now? 2? 3? If you guys ever just want a night to yourselves, I’m sure we can look after her. One of Bruce’s favourite movies is “3 Men and a Baby”, so he obviously knows a thing or two about kids. My favourite is “Gone Baby Gone”, but you shouldn’t have to worry about that ;) As long as she doesn’t shit her pants, we’ll be fine.

Did ya see the video that the ass-clown Kanye put out? He musta gotten into a good batch of whacky tobacky to whip that up. What a goddamn bozo. Kim’s got quite the set of hips on her though, if you know what I am saying ;) Although, your attractive statuesque fair skinned African American wife is way more attractive and statuesque than his attractive statuesque fair skinned African American wife. Do you hear me? You done pretty good for yourself there, buddy. Not too shabby for such an ugly looking bastard ;) JK (Just kidding)

You still thinkin’ about goin’ out west? My old man is just heading back and he might be able to get you a name hire. As long as you’re off the dope and can pass the piss test he’ll vouch for you. Don’t say you’re off it if you’re not, though. He’ll choke you to death if you get caught after him helping you. I’ve seen him crush a coffee mug in his bare hand so you probably don’t want those hands around your throat after you tarnish his name in the hierarchy of the Local 92.

Anyways ol’ buddy, I hope things are good with you, the woman and the little one. Oh yeah, I forgot. We finished up the video for “Berlin Wall”. I know that’s your favourite track on the record so I hope you like it.

Well, we’ll be talking. Keep the dream alive and sooner or later one of us is gonna break through. This industry is tough, but with all the work we’re putting in, one of us is due, right?

Here’s the new vid, Your good friend, Mike


Welcome to The Hand Dryer Olympics

Well, it’s that time of year again, folks: when we glue ourselves to the Tele, judges are paid off, medals are handed out, and eating tasty finger foods might as well be considered a new religion and Roast Chicken chips our new God. It’s the Olympics, my friends. And while Sid the Kid goes for Gold on the ice, there’s another very important battle that has been taking place every day for the last four years: the battle for the title of “MOST SUPREME HAND DRYER”. As qualified Olympic Hand Dryer Judges, we’ve traveled all over the world to obtain these results. Along the way, many a bathroom was used and many a hand dried. With our honest, unbiased and professional opinions, strap yourself in, let the debates and controversy begin, because here are the official Olympic results. Bronze: The Dyson Airblade The Dyson Airblade is a sleek, ergonomically designed new age competitor in the Hand Dryer world – the cool new kid on the block with tricks the old veterans can’t compete with. Props go out to the engineers and designers of TDA for its hip, modern design that’s as cool as a tasty cucumber that you took from your neighbor's garden while they were away on vacation. While fun to use and generally better than most other competitors, the desired end result of a Hand Dryer is to DRY YOUR HANDS EFFICIENTLY. It doesn’t matter how fancy schmancy futuristic it looks, if your hands aren’t dry when leaving the loo, you might as well live under water. Like a modern day hipster who intentionally tries to go against the mainstream to be different, The Dyson Airblade is kind of cool, but underneath all those layers of fancy apparel and hipsterdom, it’s just a regular Hand Dryer that’s the same as all the others, trying a little too hard and maybe a little bit afraid of what it actually is.

Here, Bruce demonstrates the improper usage of The Dyson Airblade Young gentleman

Silver: The BluStorm Any time a Hand Dryer incorporates a blue laser into to it, it’s certainly cause for celebration. The BluStorm makes you feel like you’re traveling through space riding a bi-lingual unicorn, fighting the Rebel Alliance, pockets full of fuzzy peach candies, “We are the Champions” blasting in the Ipod, you just got back from the dentist without a cavity, there’s a laser party on your hands and everyone’s invited, especially Princess Leah, and you just won a decent amount of money at bingo and are thinking of possibly getting a new pack of socks. It basically makes you feel like Genghis Khan if he was a Jedi. The laser is pretty darn slick, there are no doubts about that, but, realistically, its function is irrelevant. When hot air is blowing out of a cylindrical vent and onto my hands, I don’t need a laser to point that out to me. Does BluStorm think that its users would not be able to locate the incredibly hot air directly in front of them without the help of a laser? Aside from the extravagant but unnecessary laser, The BluStorm is a very well rounded, durable machine with exceptional blow power. But, not the best.

"Bring me yer wet hands," said The Bluestorm in a thick Hand Dryer accent blustorm

Gold: The Xlerator Like Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir without the corrupt judging, The Xlerator reigns supreme. I remember being a young twentysomething, hands covered up to wazoo in pizza sauce, a full belly and strong desire to wipe my hands clean and look at the dessert menu to eat unnecessary sugars. Off in the distance I periodically heard what I assumed to be a large jet taking off. I thought nothing of it. I went to the bathroom to rid my hands of their tasty filth, and there it was: The Xlerator – glistening in the dim light of a shady bar like a freshly waxed convertible on a sunny day in Hollywood. The first thing I remember about it was the sound. That jet engine I periodically heard was The Xlerator. The power of that machine was astonishing. It was like a helicopter started up in both my ears, a tornado was spinning perpetually on my forehead, an earthquake coupled with a sea of raucous lawnmowers rattled my insides in the most pleasurable way possible. I put my hands under and experienced the Blow Power for the first time. It was spellbinding. It blew me so hard my hands were dry the day before. With a good Hand Dryer, I want the force of the air to move my skin, I want the flesh of my hands to dance, and (to make another Dance Pairs Figure Skating reference) to flow in the wind like the hair of that blonde headed little Elf-like American ice skating prince, Charlie White, during a sequence of hasty twizzles with his robotic wax figurine female partner, Merly Davis. That’s what The Xlerator did for me: my skin danced, my smile grew, and most importantly, my hands dried. That moment in the pizza shop some years ago was something I’ll never forget, one of the greatest moments of my life. No other Hand Dryer can compete with the significant Blow Power of The Xlerator, no other Hand Dryer will leave you as happy after only a short time of blowing. With no immediate competition in the foreseeable future, The Xlerator may just remain atop the world of Hand Dryer Olympics in a sea of treasury Gold for a long time. All we can do now is wait and see what the future brings us, and, if anything is certain in this crazy world of ours, it will be more flavours of pop and various juices. With these liquids, their consumption will create a need to urinate that will lead to bathroom usage, and ultimately (if they are good, decent and sanitary folk) the washing of hands. The more future pop and juice on the market, the more of a need for hands to be dried – basic supply and demand… obviously.

The best of the best. The Michael Jordan, the Wayne Gretzky and the Dolph Lundgren of Hand Dryers all wrapped into one xlerator

Congrats to all the medal winners, well deserved.

Also, we’re nominated for 3 ECMAs. One is for Fans Choice Video of the Year. Vote for us here: http://www.pei2014.ca/ecma/ecma_video Thanks so much, we love you all! Mike