About Dr. StrangeJob

If you want to know what happens when the Peter Principle collides with Kurt Vonnegut and Stanley Kubrick then you found the right place.

Lore of the Ring – A StrangeJob Christmas Past, Present & Future

Christmas Past: It was one of those family Christmas holidays, the kind that makes you no longer care about family Christmas holidays. Traditionally, my role was to set up the artificial tree and string the lights. My mother would then organise a tree-decorating party complete with family, friends, bells, tinsel, angel hair and Christmas cheer. At the end of the holidays, my mother would remove the decorations, and I would store the tree for the next year.

It was a particularly frantic Christmas holiday: my parents were not getting along, the alcohol consumption meter was on overload, and bickering, pestering, and petty rivalries were in full swing. Each family crisis was supplanted by the next in a nightmare of unseasonable behavior. What is it about Christmas that brings out the worst in some people? 

There was no tree-decorating party that year; my mother decorated the tree by herself. I could have helped, but I was too busy living in my own little world and it hadn’t occurred to me that I was the only family available that year to help with the decorations. I was glad when the holidays were finally over, and I could fulfill my responsibilities by packing the tree away for the next year. 

It was a fitting end, I suppose, to the Christmas of little cheer when I lost my prized Tiger’s Eye ring. As a crystal, a Tiger’s Eye promotes harmony and balance while releasing anxiety and fear. So much for that theory, I thought, as I searched the house from top to bottom for my missing ring. I was glad the holidays were over. 

Things settled down by the next Christmas. There was a spirit of reconciliation in the air, and I was looking forward to that year’s celebrations. The previous year’s despair gave way to a glimmer of hope. With guarded optimism, I set about unpacking the family Christmas tree when I heard a “clunk” as something dropped to the floor – it was the Tiger’s Eye ring that I had lost the year before. The ring must have been caught on a branch when I was packing the tree. Perhaps it was a good sign of things to come. That Christmas was a good one, and as Christmas holidays go, it was certainly better than the few that preceded it.

Unfortunately, Christmas is but once a year. Alas, my parents eventually separated, siblings divorced, friendships weaned, and I managed to lose the Tiger’s Eye ring yet again.

Christmas Present and Future: I stopped decorating for the holidays many years ago. Other than a wedding band, I also stopped wearing rings, but for some reason, this year, I decided to go on a hunt for my missing Tiger’s Eye. I didn’t find it, but I did find four other misplaced rings: a birthstone, a graduation ring, a pinky-ring with a black stone of unknown origin, and a cubic zirconia diamond that belonged to my father. But no Tiger’s Eye. Perhaps my Tiger’s Eye is lost forever, or perhaps it is still waiting to be found. 

Whether it is nostalgia, a sense of loss, or just the aging process, but for some reason I find myself reflecting on my role of Christmas past, along with the memory of family and friends no longer with us. Not all memories are positive, but then again, there were some happy family times along the way. Maybe next year I will dig out the box of Christmas decorations that have been stored for many years. You never know what I might find, perhaps my Tiger’s Eye ring or possibly the lost spirit of a pleasant Christmas past.

Dr. StrangeJob

Find Dr. StrangeJob on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/drstrangejob
Follow Dr. StrangeJob on Twitter at https://twitter.com/drstrangejob
Learn more about Dr. StrangeJob at www.drstrangejob.ca

The Rose – Post-Production

The Rose is in post-production. I am not sure what post-production means other than it has something to do with ADR, rendering, Foley, color correction, musical score, and special effects. As producer, I signed off on the director’s rough cut, knowing it was best to leave those pieces in the hands of experts who know what they’re doing. Besides, the rough-cut was so beyond my wildest expectations that I didn’t want to mess with the momentum.

Writing and acting in The Rose has been a real insight into the world of no-budget/low-budget film making. The role of the director is obviously key to the process, and Kenn Crawford’s initial involvement is best described in his aptly titled, A Glace Bay Filmmaker and a Sydney Satirist walk into a restaurant. I must confess, however, that from the moment I sent him the script, the plan was always to have him direct.

The production phase of The Rose was not without problems, but, ironically, the worst day of production turned out to be the best thing that could have happened to the film. The worst day was the first official day of filming. Anything that could go wrong did go wrong: scheduling issues, technical glitches, makeup malfunctions, and curious bystanders repeatedly walking into frame. In fact, if not for bad luck, we would have had no luck at all.

Then we ran out of time. We were filming a crucial outdoor scene at a local park. We had arrived on set later than planned, it was colder than forecast, and the wind turned into a gale. The high winds blew props around and muddled the audio. Midway through the scene a key player announced they had to leave within an hour. Not that it mattered at that point because we were running out of daylight anyway. It turns out, the first day of shooting was also the first day of daylight savings time. The day seemed a write-off.

This was where the rubber hit the road. We had two options: 1) use the remaining time to get as many shots as possible and hope we had enough film or 2) call it a day and reschedule. We knew we had lost the day’s audio and would require another session with the actors to record the dialogue. It was also mid-November, so we could not count on the weather cooperating for a rescheduled outdoor shoot. The director suggested that even if we continued, we might not have enough footage to complete the story or, even worse, we wouldn’t have a final product of which we would be proud.

This was the pivotal moment in the development of the final version of The Rose. As the producer, I may have had the final call on what option to take, but it was the director’s answer that informed the decision. We decided to reschedule the shoot and move the action indoors. As a result, we had to rework the script for an inside shoot. This required an extra scene for context and a retooling of the opening scene, both of which added additional breadth and depth to the main characters. The end result is something I am already proud of, and that is before all the fancy post-production.

Stay tuned for exciting news on the Cape Breton premiere of The Rose in January 2018.

Read pre-production notes here.

Dr. StrangeJob

Find Dr. StrangeJob on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/drstrangejob
Follow Dr. StrangeJob on Twitter at https://twitter.com/drstrangejob
Learn more about Dr. StrangeJob at www.drstrangejob.ca

One Gaffe at a Time – Step 6

Step 6: Were entirely ready to remove all defective characters in our way.

Incompetence Anonymous (IA) Step 6 is often misquoted at traditional recovery meetings as a Freudian slip by nervous newcomers. AA’s Step 6, Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character, is sandwiched between admitting the exact nature of our wrongs and asking our higher power to remove our shortcomings. In IA, however, Step 6 is preceded by criticisms from a condescending boss and foreshadows an office reorganisation without you in it.

As discussed in brown-nose nose-diving effect, incompetent bureaucrats and sociopathic bosses tend to hire less competent underlings or employees they can fully control. Unfortunately, if you do not fit their mold of minion, then you need to be dispatched. For them, an intervention is nothing more than removing a name from an organisation chart. If you have ever found yourself on the wrong side of a burnt bridge after an office restructuring, then you know exactly what I mean.

Speaking of constructive dismissal, let’s not confuse an incompetent supervisor with someone who is just being an arsehole. It is no secret that many incompetent bureaucrats suffer from the dual affliction of incompetence and arseholism. Arseholism, as you may be aware, is an extreme personality disorder associated with many incompetent bureaucrats. Anecdotal evidence suggests a correlation between incompetence and arseholism, but further study is required to determine the exact link. Suffice it to say, that where there is one, then the other is likely to surface.

If an incompetent arsehole suddenly becomes competent, then they may no longer be incompetent, but they are still an arsehole. Not to worry, IA saw that one coming. IA’s holistic approach to recovery developed a range of IA support groups, and Incompetents Arsehole Anonymous (IAA) was developed for this particular situation. IAA is proving popular with existing members working in the political arena and is expected to become the flagship program for IA.

To be honest, I must admit that I have worked for many competent bosses, and most of them did not suffer from arseholisn. I have been fortunate in that way. That said, the few arseholic bosses that I have worked for were also stellar candidates for IA. I guess it’s a chicken verses the egg scenario. I have met many accountants, for example, and most of them are a tad anal. Does becoming an accountant make one anal or do anal personalities gravitate towards careers in accounting?  Same thing about incompetence and arseholism.

My theory is that any incompetent hired under the brown-nose nose-diving effect is an arseholic in the making. That may be a moot point if you are sitting one rung below an incompetent arseholic on the corporate ladder. Unfortunately, the only way to survive this situation is to duck and cover. If you do not follow your supervisors every directive, then you may find yourself out of a job. There may be no “I” in team, but from their perspective, unless you do their exact bidding there is no “U” in team either. In corporate environments, they call that downsizing, in IA we call it brownsizing. Believe me; I have been there.

Dr. StrangeJob

Future columns will discuss my continued journey through the IA recovery process. Until then, feel free to view the inaugural IA meeting, learn about Incompetents Anonymous, read the Audacity Prayer and 12+1 Steps, or become familiar with IA’s additional support groups.

Find Dr StrangeJob on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/drstrangejob
Follow Dr StrangeJob on Twitter at https://twitter.com/drstrangejob
Learn more about Dr StrangeJob at www.drstrangejob.ca

The Rose – Pre-Production

Sometime between The Dearth of Dr. StrangeJob and Dr. StrangeJob: Borin’ Again!, the good Doctor managed to write a short-film screenplay entitled The Rose. Currently, in pre-production, the film is a sci-fi/drama about a senior (Elder) traveling 40 years back in time to meet his younger self (Junior) during a pivotal moment in their life. The film will be directed by Kenn Crawford and produced by yours truly.

I wrote the screenplay with an eye to direct and did not have myself in mind for the role of Elder, but the character began to speak through me as he was being developed on the page. Truth be told, the character of Junior also hit pretty close to home. Growing up in an alcoholic home prone to violence can drive a young man to extremes. Life can be daunting for an adolescent that is alone, lost, bullied, and experimenting with things they should not be experimenting with.

Elder and Junior are one in the same, but the struggles of Junior are similar to what many Cape Breton adolescents deal with on a daily basis. The Rose is both a “message” film and a cautionary tale on accountability for future consequences of current actions.

After completing the script, I became less concerned with directing and more interested in playing the role of Elder. I did not want to act and first-time direct, so I sent the script to Kenn Crawford for advice. I had worked with Kenn on a few of his projects and knew that he only directed his own stories, so I felt comfortable asking him for advice. As the old saying goes, he had no skin in the game.

The initial story was structured more as a play than as a script for film. However, it takes a filmmaker’s eye to translate what is on paper to what can be accurately portrayed on celluloid. After a few lengthy discussions, some suggested script changes, and a sincere offer to help, I asked Kenn to direct. Well, maybe I should say coerced, but I think we both realised that The Rose was a story worth telling and worth telling well. As a result, The Rose will be the first film directed by Kenn Crawford that he has not written.

To date, the most challenging pre-production exercise was finding a realistic prop revolver. Sadly, it appears easier to obtain a real gun with real ammunition than it is to find an authentic looking prop. That in itself, is a cautionary tale of the world we currently live.

Filming is planned for November.

More to come …

Dr. StrangeJob

Find Dr. StrangeJob on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/drstrangejob
Follow Dr. StrangeJob on Twitter at https://twitter.com/drstrangejob
Learn more about Dr. StrangeJob at www.drstrangejob.ca

Dr. StrangeJob: Borin’ Again!

Ok, I admit it, it was a poorly executed gag. My last post, The Dearth of Dr. StrangeJob, was the prelude for a joke with the punchline “Dr. StrangeJob: Borin’Again!”. Initially, I had no setup for the joke, all I had was the tagline. I just thought the phrase “Dr. StrangeJob: Borin’ Again!” would be a funny blog title. But a punchline requires an effective setup. That’s when I decided to write a faux obituary. If I was going to be borin’ again, an obvious pun on born again, then I needed something to be born again from.

I posted the fake obituary and purposely went dark for two weeks. The silence was meant to be part of the joke. Some readers assumed the obituary was my way of saying that Dr. StrangeJob was to be no more. I received emails and posts of condolences over the demise of Dr. StrangeJob, but not a single FREE T-shirt in the lot. As for my two-week self-mourning period, I don’t think anyone actually noticed that I had gone.

I did, however, get scolded for misspelling death as dearth and angels as angles. I guess I was too obscure again. The irony of my worst joke ever debacle is that I had also overlooked the need for content to include with this punchline blog. Oops!

So, here’s another confession. Although born of bureaucratic frustration, Dr. StrangeJob: Or How I Learned to Stop Raging and Embrace the Bull, was conceived as a social media training vehicle for another project. Dr. StrangeJob was a short-term learning exercise in branding that I would apply to a consulting business that I had been developing.

But something interesting happened in the theatre of life. Kurt Vonnegut once quipped that we are what we pretend to be, so we must be careful about what we pretend to be. I now understand what he meant by that statement. Recently, I wrote a short screenplay that I will be discussing in a future blog. The film centers around a senior man who travels 40 years back in time to meet his younger self during a pivotal moment in his life. The scene is not autobiographical, but writing it required that I put myself back into my mindset at the age of 20. It was an enlightening experience.

Upon reflection, I realized that I was in the midst of a transformational experience. Perhaps it was the ageing process, the catharsis of writing, or the act of removing myself from a potentially toxic work environment, but I believe I am gradually returning to a truer self. An earlier self that had been diverted in the theatre of life while pretending to be a systems analyst, educator, and manager.

Maybe I have been born again. On the other hand, perhaps I’m just being boin’ again.

Dr. StrangeJob

Find Dr. StrangeJob on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/drstrangejob
Follow Dr. StrangeJob on Twitter at https://twitter.com/drstrangejob
Learn more about Dr. StrangeJob at www.drstrangejob.ca

The Dearth of Dr. StrangeJob (2015-2017)

After a long and courageous battle with incompetents, Dr. StrangeJob succumbed to the view that nepotism, cronyism, treachery, and incompetence will always overcome decency, humility, honesty, and competence. He has been passed over and is now living with the angles.

Dr. StrangeJob forced himself on the world on February 27, 2015 with the following simple but pathetic prophetic tweet: This is what happens when the Peter Principle collides with Kurt Vonnegut and Stanley Kubrick. Since that humble beginning, he unleashed a wrath of blogs, tweets, and Facebook comments the likes of which the world has never seen. In fact, at last count, very few have seen. To be honest, without the prudent use of the “refresh” key, even fewer have actually seen.

In search of a home with transparency, he found little solace in a city of opacity. In life, he sought to bring light to the dearth of competence in local politics. In passing, he hopes to safeguard his legacy in the annals of the literary world, rather than becoming a mere footnote in the anals of satirical literature.

In recovery, he fought against incompetence but had to do it stunned.

As a recovering incompetent, he lived his life one gaffe at a time, cherishing the comfort and support received from fellow travesties in Incompetents Anonymous, the world’s first 12+1 self-help group. Throughout life, he sought through pen and mediation to thwart those that ruled through fear and intimidation. In passing, he hopes the heroes he leaves behind will continue to shed light on inequality by continuing to fight the good fight.

In typical Incompetents Anonymous fashion, no arrangements were made for his passing. As in life, in passing he raised just enough stink to force authorities to address the issue. In life, he often found himself on the wrong side of a burnt bridge, and so, in passing, he has also been burnt. A special thank you goes to the kind folks at “Garbage Haul and Burn” for their expeditated service.

He leaves behind friends in the IA Fellowship, enemies in local politics, and survivors in spirit in CBLA-InComps. A celebration of his strife may take place for those touched by his satirical pen, but he expects no societies of social justice to be created in his name.

Like his social media sites, there will be no visitations. In lieu of donations, feel free to send free t-shirts here, Facebook likes here, or Twitter followers here. Online condolences may be made at www.drstrangejob.ca.

Dr. StrangeJob

In the name of the blog, of the Twitterverse, and of the worldly web. – Blessing of Dr. StrangeJob

Find Dr. StrangeJob on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/drstrangejob
Follow Dr. StrangeJob on Twitter at https://twitter.com/drstrangejob
Learn more about Dr. StrangeJob at www.drstrangejob.ca

THEY vs THEM – InComps Episode 6

Dr StrangeJob worries about his little brother Psycho Sam. Sam has not been heard from since he begrudgingly agreed to a date with Ms Lied-Toomey two weeks ago. To make matters worse, Ms Lied-Toomey does not answer the Doctor’s text messages and all attempts to contact her at work receive “Out of Office” replies. Apparently, Ms Lied-Toomey called in sick the morning after her date with Sam, and nobody has heard from her since either.

A tired and troubled Dr StrangeJob attempts to relax on his front porch listening to Matt Minglewood and falls asleep, dreaming of superheroes…

What if InComps became a superhero group charged with thwarting evil wrongdoers of Cape Breton? Who would they be?

That’s easy. Capers always end their grumblings by asking for the same group of heroes to come to their aid. Eavesdrop in any Cape Breton tavern or coffee shop and you will hear the same response to any problem:

Unemployment – they need to do something about it.

Health care – they need to fix it.

Poverty – they need to help.

Crooked politicians – they need to deal with them.

Any other problem – they need to address it.

So, it’s obvious that the superhero group are THEY (The Heroes Everyone Yearns), but who exactly are THEY? They are an elite subgroup of InComps members who use their special powers to thwart evil. Their special powers, however, are not unearthly superpowers, but powers based on individual characteristics.

Zippy, for example, becomes Flash, with his ability to temporarily blind villains using his high-intensity camera flash. Miss Mackie is The Eye, with power to freeze politicians in mid-lie, forcing them to tell the truth with The Look she developed over a 50-year teaching career. Grant, a newer InComps member, is a blacksmith and iron worker who serves as the group’s Ironman. Sir Joe Spam-Alot is the Real TweetHeart and continues to get the word out in 140 characters or less, continues to get the word out in 140 characters or less, continues to get the word out in 140 characters or less …

Doctor Spinolee, Riddler, annihilates bureaucratic policy through logical inquisition. Andre, The Green Thumb, beats swords into plowshares for green spaces. In other cases, the hero’s name is self-explanatory: Madi (Shit Disturber) and Dan (Bullshitter) are collectively known as the InComp-poops. Wayne, another new member, is the Libel-Libertarian, he has survived death and is willing to follow suit in support of the cause.

All superheroes oppose a supervillain group. Again, listening to tidbits of Timbit-fueled Caper conversation we glean the name of the true villains of Cape Breton:

It was them.

It’s them damn politicians.

Oh, them again.

Them dirty little buggers.

Them’s to blame.

So, it’s clear that our villains are THEM (The Hateful Elite Mongers), but who exactly are THEM? Well, we all know who they are, don’t we?

We are THEY, THEY have seen the enemy, and the enemy is THEM.


This episode has gone more off kilter than Mr. Robot’s Season 2 Episode 6 sitcom parody or that insane musical episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. I mean, come on, a superhero group! Has Dr StrangeJob run out of story ideas or has InComps lost their way?

Besides, Cape Breton already has a set of superheroes fighting for truth, equality, and transparency: Mary Campbell and  The Cape Breton Spectator fight for transparency; Madonna Doucette makes us proud; and the Three Wise Women of Council keep a watchful eye on the CBRM Mayor and Administration. These are only a few examples of the many workers, volunteers, neighbours, and dedicated grassroot organizers standing up for Cape Breton justice.

Stand up. Stand up for justice and break the tyrant’s hand…” sings Ken C., breaking into song at the mere mention of the Mayor, forcing StrangeJob to relive the events of KaleFest 2017 and Psycho Sam: A Flash in the Cam.

“No, No, not the kilt, not the kilt,” mutters Dr StrangeJob, startled from his dream state as Officer Richard (Dick) Less pulls into the driveway.

“Not you again,” says StrangeJob. “What are you going to arrest me for this time?”

“I am not here for you,” says Officer Dick Less. “Ms Lied-Toomey asked me to drop by with Sam’s laundry and pick up his mail.”

“What!” exclaims StrangeJob. “We have been worried sick about him, and you show up to collect his mail. Where is he?”

“I am not at liberty to say,” says Dick Less, handing a laundry sack to StrangeJob. “But he was smiling the last time I saw him, which reminds me, where can I pick up his asthma medications?” 

Dr StrangeJob accepts the laundry, opens the front door and shouts, “Hey Ma, that psycho son of yours has fallen in love again, and Dick Less wants his mail.”

“Stop picking on your little brother,” replies Miss Mackie. “It’s not his fault that the girls you fancy fall for him instead.”

Meanwhile, Alan “Fritz” Smithee, reviewing footage from the hidden camera attached to Psycho Sam’s kilt, contemplates his next film project.

… end of InComps Volume 1


Competence is our final frontier. Join the farce and support the journey of the CBLA-InComps. Their mission: to expel incompetence, to seek out the competent, and to boldly go where Caper heroes have gone before. We are legion. We know who you are. We are going to the Legion.


Find Dr StrangeJob on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/drstrangejob
Follow Dr StrangeJob on Twitter at https://twitter.com/drstrangejob
Learn more about Dr StrangeJob at www.drstrangejob.ca

Psycho Sam: A Flash in the Cam – InComps Episode 5

“Thanks for travelling all the way to Donkin Donuts for today’s special meeting,” says Dr StrangeJob. “I’m on recon for our pending mission on unsafe mining conditions, so I thought a field trip would lighten the group’s mood and get us out of the pits.”

“Well next time, count me out,” grumps Miss Mackie. “Police pulled me over on the way and gave me 39 safety citations for the car.”

“Are you still driving that old Ford Pinto?” asks StrangeJob. “Didn’t those cars have a problem with exploding fuel tanks?

“You got a car that blows up!” exclaims Psycho Sam. “Cool, can I get a drive home with you?”

“Don’t be silly,” replies Miss Mackie. “Who in their right mind would put themselves in an exploding chamber without proper safety protection?”

“What did they cite you for?” asks Madi.

“Minor things,” says Mackie, “no emergency brake, leaking radiator, no seatbelts, missing spare tire, lost documentation, and a few other safety issues that didn’t stop me from getting here.”

“So, you are driving an unsafe vehicle, a potential health hazard for passengers!” quips Zippy.

“Well, when you say it like that, yes,” replies Mackie, “but that didn’t stop you from hitching a free ride.”

“You’re lucky they didn’t revoke your permit,” says Madi.

“Permit?  inquires Mackie. “That’s just government cover your ass paperwork. Besides I drive too fast to get rear ended anyway.”

“Let’s get back on topic,” says StrangeJob. “Today’s special meeting was called to present the inaugural InComps Member of the Year Award. I am proud to present the award to my little brother, Psycho Sam.”

“Psycho Sam?” questions Zippy.

“I didn’t apply for any award,” says Psycho Sam.

“NEPOTISM!” exclaims Madi. “What was the selection process for this award?”

“Was seniority counted as a factor in the selection process?” asks Miss Mackie.

“Didn’t you get Dan’s memo?” StrangeJob asks, bewildered. “I had Dan send the group a note highlighting the seriousness of Psycho Sam’s next mission. The award is an incentive to encourage Sam to accept the mission.”

“Well, we all received a stupid PowerPoint attachment from Dan,” snarks Madi, “but nobody pays attention to his boring PowerPoints. Next, you will be giving him the communicator of the year award. Hell, you might as well just pat yourself on the back.”

“Ok, it’s fess up time,” says StrangeJob, deciding to come clean with the group. “We weren’t arrested at KaleFest 2017 only because I made a deal with Ms Lied-Toomey. CBRM will not pursue charges against Andre Le Pouce Vert, and have also agreed to return the thumb drive I left at City Hall.”

“What’s our side of the deal?” asks Madi.

“Well, that’s where Psycho Sam comes in,” explains StrangeJob. “It appears that Ms. Lied-Toomey, a huge Outlander fan, was impressed with the security footage of Psycho Sam at KaleFest 2017.  All she wants in return is a date with Sam.”

“I don’t do dates!” exclaims Psycho Sam.

“I’ll do it if he doesn’t,” interjects Zippy.

“Sorry Zippy, Ms. Lied-Toomey was clear that she wants Sam, I mean she really, really wants Sam!” says StrangeJob.

“Does anyone have a picture of Ms. Lied-Toomey?” asks Psycho Sam.

“You can’t just send him on a date without any support,” says Madi.

“Well, I thought of that,” says StrangeJob. “I discussed training options with a teacher who recommended an online place called Duck University. Duck U has a certificate in Lifestyle Coaching that might be helpful.”

“Duck U?” asks Miss Mackie. “Is that the place selling bird courses on DVD for teachers to upgrade their licence? I don’t want anything to do with that outfit.”

“No, Duck U is the sister university of that one,” says StrangeJob. “Duck U has a co-op option, and I am arranging to have an intern from their Lifestyle Coach certificate do a work placement with Sam.”

“Can I get a copy of the DVDs?” asks Zippy.

“Let me get this straight,” says Madi. “You are getting a Duck U intern to help Psycho Sam with a date!”

“Duck University Intern?” puzzles Zippy. “Sam needs a DUI to go on a date?”

“And you question my driving!” says Miss Mackie. “I never had a DUI! The occasional glass of wine, but never a DUI.”

Psycho Sam, looking more panicked, shouts, “Maybe I don’t want to date Ms. Lied-Toomey!”

“Don’t worry Sam,” consoles Dr StrangeJob. “You know I wouldn’t ask you to do anything that I would not do myself. It’s just a date. The DUI will help, and Alan ‘Fritz’ Smithee said he would hook you up so we can communicate as necessary.”

“You mean I am going to be hot?” asks Psycho Sam.

“Well, Sam, that’s the general idea,” chuckles StrangeJob, “but just to be sure, I ordered the first two seasons of Outlander for you to binge watch as homework.”

Meanwhile, back in her Outlander décor bedroom, Ms. Lied-Toomey develops plans for a CBRM Outlander Theme Park. Situated in a refurbished P3 school, the Park will target cruise ship visitors while mining Federal and Provincial funds. It will be an easy sell. Early projections suggest the need for a third birth just for the additional cruise ship traffic, and, besides, it’s not like the Mayor has ever had trouble coercing Council into supporting an outlandish project.

“So, little brother, will you accept the date, or do I tell mom who really stole her kale?” asks StrangeJob.

… to be continued


Competence is our final frontier. Join the farce and support the journey of the CBLA-InComps. Their mission: to expel incompetence, to seek out the competent, and to boldly go where Caper heroes have gone before. We are legion. We know who you are. We are going to the Legion.


Find Dr StrangeJob on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/drstrangejob
Follow Dr StrangeJob on Twitter at https://twitter.com/drstrangejob
Learn more about Dr StrangeJob at www.drstrangejob.ca

Cape Breton Kale-Lee – InComps Episode 4

While Dr StrangeJob was discussing future InComps episodes with Madi, he received a text message from Andre Le Pouce Vert.

“Andre has about 30 kale-for-the-picking bins ready to go,” reports StrangeJob. “Looks like we’re ready to execute operation Let Them Eat Flowers.”

“No, we need to abort that mission,” says Madi. “Didn’t you hear? CBRM workers replaced the Mayor’s beautification flower-baskets with kale-for-the-picking bins all over town!”

“What?” blurts StrangeJob.

“Yeah, and their kale-for-the-picking bins look exactly like the prototype we put up in front of City Hall,” says Madi. “They even distributed the original flower baskets to local senior citizen complexes, just like we had planned.”

“I bet I know what happened,” chuckles StrangeJob. “At my meeting last week with Ms Lied-Toomey, I learned she obtained a leaked a copy of our Let Them Eat Flowers plans and forwarded the plans to the managerial brass at City Hall as a high priority item—I guess they took her literally and executed the plans for us.”

“Well, on to our next adventure then,” says Madi. “But I feel bad for Andre. He puts his heart into providing healthy food choices for folks, and now he has 30 bins of kale going to waste.”

“I have an idea,” says StrangeJob. “Let’s have a Kale-Lee!”

“Do you mean ceilidh?” asks Madi.

“No, not a ceilidh. I mean a good old fashion Cape Breton Kale-Lee,” says StrangeJob.  “You know, kind of like Sydney RibFest, but with kale instead of ribs. The vegans will love it.”

“Cool. And there’s a cruise ship in port this afternoon, so why don’t we set something up for later today?” says Madi.

“Ok, I’ll text Andre to deliver the kale to the Big Fiddle and buy us some time to organize an event,” says StrangeJob.

… three hours later

Andre had his kale-for-the-picking bins strategically arranged around the Big Fiddle with an hour to spare. Since that left ample time for a quick 5K run before KaleFest 2017, he started a warmup routine just as a Port Authority security guard approached him.

“Excuse me, sir, but what are you doing with all of that green stuff?” asks the guard pointing to the 30 kale-for-the-picking bins.

“Ils sont ici pour le Kale-Lee cet après-midi,” says Andre, continuing his warm up.

“Pardon?” asks the guard.

“Tu ne parle pas le français, n’est-ce pas?” says Andre, stepping up the pace of his stretches and jumping jacks.

The guard, showing obvious signs of distress as Andre accelerated his squats and flailing arm movements, asks, “Do you speak English?”

“Pardon, je ne parle pas l’anglais aujourd’hui,” teases Andre as he starts running on the spot.

The guard speaks slowly into his walkie-talkie, “Central, we have a problem! There is a wild and crazy dude down here speaking a foreign language. I’m backing off, call the police.”

… one hour later

KaleFest 2017 was in full swing: Miss Mackie had just arrived with her industrial sized cooling fan to keep the kale from wilting, Madi’s “kale chewing” contest was a hit, tourists lined up at Zippy’s photo booth to pose with a kilted Psycho Sam, and Dr StrangeJob dropped off singer/songwriter Kenny C (not G) to perform a set of Cape Breton Protest Songs Volume 1 and Volume 2.

Kenny tunes up with a rousing chorus of, “Stand up. Stand up for justice and break the tyrant’s hand…”

“So, did Security give you any trouble setting up the kale?” StrangeJob asks Andre.

“No b’ye, I just spoke in French with my Quebec dialect and scared him off,” responds Andre. “I bought us some time, but I bet the cops will be here soon.”

“Hey, who are those two guys with the movie camera standing next to Zippy’s photo booth?” asks Madi.

“Oh, that’s Alan ‘Fritz’ Smithee and his sound guy Clappy from the CrapDance Channel,” says StrangeJob. “They’re doing a documentary on InComps.”

“Too bad they didn’t get you on film when we were stuck in the trunk of Miss MacKie’s car,” says Madi. “That was a crapdance moment if ever I saw one”.

Kenny, sings in the background, “Stand up. Stand up for justice and break the tyrant’s hand …”

“Hey, that guy is pretty good, but didn’t he sing that song already?” asks a tourist to one of Kenny’s fawning groupies.

“Well, like yeah, someone must have mentioned the Mayor’s name again,” replies the groupie. “I mean like, don’t you know that Kenny C always sings that song whenever he hears the Mayor’s name, Duh!”

… things continued well with KaleFest 2017, that is, until someone hit the fan.

Zippy was snapping photos of the kilted Psycho Sam posing with a family of international tourists when Miss Mackie plugged in her industrial sized cooling fan. The resulting image of Psycho Sam with kilt blown from under set a wave of shock and awe through KaleFest 2017.

At this exact moment Officer Richard “Dick” Less arrived to deal with the “wild and crazy dude” running around scaring the bejeezus out of tourists. “Dear God!” gasped Dick Less, as the image of Psycho Sam channeling Marylyn Monroe’s blowing white dress implanted permanently in his brain. Poor Dick Less, he never felt SO, So, so inadequate.

“Tell me we got that on film!” exclaims director Alan ‘Fritz’ Smithee to Clappy.“ I just got an idea for my next movie.”

“Can you tell me how to get to the Mayor’s office?” a stranger asks Kenny, who breaks into another chorus of, “Stand up. Stand up for justice and break the tyrant’s hand…”

Pandemonium ensued by the Big Fiddle: tourists ran around snapping photos; Kenny’s groupies swarmed Zippy’s photo booth; Miss Mackie fainted; Madi’s dog, Kali, charged Psycho Sam’s kilt, and Dr StrangeJob received an unexpected text message from Ms Lied-Toomey.

Apparently, Ms Lied-Toomey, a huge Outlander fan, had been monitoring KaleFest 2017 via the port security camera ever since the guard called about the “wild and crazy dude.” The vision of an up-kilted Psycho Sam was too much for her to handle. After repeated pause/play of security footage and a few deep breaths, Ms Lied-Toomey knew what had to be done and sent the following text to Dr StrangeJob.

“Can you hook me up with Psycho Sam?”

Dr StrangeJob was considering his response to Ms Lied-Toomey’s when Ken started his third encore.

“We went on a march to the government, so do whatever it takes. You gotta do whatever it takes. You gotta do whatever it takes…”

Inspired by Kenny’s song, Dr StrangeJob looked at his little brother Psycho Sam, smiled mischievously, and replied to Ms Lied-Toomey’s text.

… to be continued in Episode 5: Psycho Sam Takes One for the Team!


Competence is our final frontier. Join the farce and support the journey of the CBLA-InComps. Their mission: to expel incompetence, to seek out the competent, and to boldly go where Caper heroes have gone before. We are legion. We know who you are. We are going to the Legion.

Find Dr StrangeJob on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/drstrangejob
Follow Dr StrangeJob on Twitter at https://twitter.com/drstrangejob
Learn more about Dr StrangeJob at www.drstrangejob.ca

Cape Breton Post-Truth – InComps Episode 3

Dr StrangeJob, just escorted into the office of CBRM’s Secretary of Disinformation, plans to take full responsibility for the unscheduled sewage dump in Sydney Harbour and finally put that whole crappy episode behind him. Unfortunately, Ms Lied-Toomey has other plans.

“Thank you for coming to this meeting,” says Ms Lied-Toomey.

“Meeting! I wouldn’t call being arrested and dragged here by Dick Less a meeting,” retorts Dr StrangeJob.

“The Mayor is unaware of this session—oh wait, sorry—you’re talking about Officer Richard Less,” says Lied-Toomey.

“Aren’t you supposed to inform people of meeting dates and give some notice?” asks StrangeJob.

“This is not a public meeting. Consider it in-camera,” states Lied-Toomey.

“You just can’t hold in-camera meetings willy-nilly without letting anyone know,” says StrangeJob.

“Well, actually, it is the prerogative of the head of the Department of Disinformation to decide when and where to hold such meetings,” claims Lied-Toomey.

“Doesn’t the Municipality Act prevent you from misinforming the public like that?” asks StrangeJob.

“You might be confusing my department with my sister’s department, the Department of Misinformation,” states Lied-Toomey.

“What?” says StrangeJob.

“To clarify: my sister, M.T. Promise, is head of the Department of Misinformation. The Department of Misinformation tracks down valuable misinformation that we at the Department of Disinformation vet and forward through appropriate channels,” says Lied-Toomey.

“So, the Department of Misinformation finds or creates lies, and the Department of Disinformation spreads them,” says StrangeJob, “so what did you drag me down here for?”

“I brought you in because there is something we want you to do for us,” explains Lied-Toomey. “We want you to stop taking responsibility for the unscheduled sewage release in Sydney Harbour.”

“But it was me, it was all my fault, and I want to be accountable for my actions,” pleads StrangeJob.

“Look, we know you did it. Not only do we have security footage, but we also have the thumb-drive you left behind,” says Lied-Toomey. “We just don’t want you raising any unnecessary stink around the Port file.”

“So, this is about me trying to take responsibility for the sewage dump at yesterday’s press conference?” suggests StrangeJob. “Well, perhaps the Mayor shouldn’t have had me thrown out of the conference!”

“Yesterday’s incident was bad timing. That snoop from the Spectator upset the Mayor by asking too many sensitive Port questions, and then you started in with your it was my fault bit,” says Lied-Toomey. “The Mayor gets a tad sensitive when challenged.”

“Well, that didn’t give him the right to tell her to go FOIP herself, or to have me forcibly removed,” says StrangeJob.

“Look, I just brought you in for a friendly chat with the hope that you would come on board, but that does not appear to be working. So, simply put, I insist that you keep the sewage episode to yourself,” says Lied-Toomey, “Else we will release what’s on your thumb drive and blame you for the leak.”

“Are you calling me a leaker? I am no leaker!” retorts StrangeJob. “Perhaps at my age I am a bit of a dribbler, but I am certainly no leaker!”

“Believe me, you don’t want the data on your thumb drive leaked,” says Lied-Toomey, “So let’s simplify matters. We issued a press release to the Caper Post-Truth and local radio outlets explaining that the pungent smell was from the landfill site and was caused by the unseasonably warm temperatures and an excess of compost at the dump.”

“Alternate facts are fabricated lies, and the only thing I smell here is bullshit,” snorts StrangeJob.  “I’m out of here!”

“We’re not done yet,” warns Lied-Toomey. “We know about your Let Them Eat Flowers plan, and that’s just not going to happen on my watch!”

“I have no idea what you are talking about,” states StrangeJob.

“We have a PowerPoint presentation that begs to differ,” replies Lied-Toomey, “and, in fact, we have already forwarded copies of those plans to all appropriate CBRM management as a high priority item.”

“Excuse me for a second. I just remembered something I forgot to do,” states Lied-Toomey, pressing the intercom button on her desk phone.

“Helen Waite, Special Communication Assistant to the Director of Disinformation, how may I help you?” answers the intercom.

“Helen, this is Betty, did you remember to disable the Mayor’s Twitter account?” asks Ms Lied-Toomey. “He has been emulating his hero Trump again, and we need to reign him in a bit.”

“I guess you would call that a downside of the Trump bump,” interjects StrangeJob sarcastically.

“Yes ma’am, and I have also been monitoring Council member feeds per your request.” says Helen.

“You’ve been monitoring the Councillors’ accounts?” queries StrangeJob.

“You were not supposed to hear that,” stammers Lied-Toomey. “Helen, please strike that last statement from the official minutes and have a non-disclosure agreement made up for Dr StrangeJob to sign on his way out.”

“I am not signing any confidentiality agreement with City Hall, and the next time you want to talk to me, send me a text,” says StrangeJob, getting up to leave.

“If that’s the way you want to play it, then to talk to me you will need to follow proper channels by going through Helen Waite,” states Lied-Toomey. “That’s our official procedure for communicating with CBRM taxpayers, so it should be good enough for you.”

Once outside, Dr StrangeJob puts on his headphones and whispers, “Hey Zippy, did you get all of that on tape?”

“Sure did, and it sounds like she took the bait,” says Zippy. “By the way, what’s on the thumb drive?”

“That’s a story for another day,” replies StrangeJob.

…. to be continued

InCompsLOGOCompetence is our final frontier. Join the farce and support the journey of the CBLA-InComps. Their mission: to expel incompetence, to seek out the competent, and to boldly go where Caper heroes have gone before. We are legion. We know who you are. We are going to the Legion.


Find Dr StrangeJob on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/drstrangejob
Follow Dr StrangeJob on Twitter at https://twitter.com/drstrangejob
Learn more about Dr StrangeJob at www.drstrangejob.ca