Joint Custody: A misplaced stash of marijuana and a complex father

A repost in honour of Father’s Say.

Dr. StrangeJob went to high school in the mid-seventies. Coincidently, that was the same time that marijuana became the recreational drug of choice for many in his age group. To suggest that the Doctor was a pothead would be a tenuous overstatement, but he does concede there were a number of purple haze high-school daze not totally accounted for. Yes, he inhaled.

Arriving home from school one day, he was confronted by his mother in an extreme state of agitation, waving a baggie of pot that she found in the laundry basket. To be fair, she may have been quite calm at the time. To be honest, since the Doctor was slightly buzzed, what he saw was more like the Tasmanian devil on crack gesticulating a baggie full of weed and pointing accusatorily.

He told her that it was not his pot, but to no avail. They decided to wait until his father arrived home from work to continue the conversation, but she assured the Doctor that there would be hell to pay.

The Doctor’s father was a welder at the local steel plant. He put in a fair day’s work for a fair day’s pay, so he was both tired and startled when met at the door by his wife still waving the baggie of marijuana. His father was always quick on his feet, but the side-glance he gave to his son was most telling. Two things became abundantly clear: First, it was the father’s weed that was found in the laundry. Second, the father was about to be in bigger shit with his wife than his son could ever possibly be with his mother. The look on his face said it all, but what happened next surprised father, mother, and son.

The young Doctor, in an Oscar worthy performance, admitted the pot was his and took full responsibility for his actions. The father, in another Oscar worthy performance, provided a sternly worded sermon on the ills of drug use whilst handing out punishment that appeased his wife, but not overly chastised the son.

The father took the son aside a few days later and provided him with a learning script that he follows to this day: If you are being thrown out of town, then get in front and make it look like a parade in your honor. The Doctor was grounded for two weeks. The father, on the other hand, had to flush his weed down the toilet.

Happy Father’s Day. I am not sure where you are, but here’s hoping that you are happy and high.

Watch my standup version of this routine from 2016.

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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

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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

Dr. StrangeJob

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

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Dr. StrangJob @ the movies

I was having a friendly chitchat with my neighbour when he unexpectedly changed topics stating, “I hate to change the subject but –.”  Uh oh was my initial thought, making a mental note that my cats have recently started spending more time outside and less time in their litter boxes. I prepared myself for a discussion on cat shit when my neighbour continued, “I saw you in that video about the homeless guy.  Great song, great video.”  Well, that was a surprise.

The music video A Brand New Day” is from local singer/songwriter Sheldon O’Neill and directed by Kenn Crawford. The tune is from Sheldon’s forthcoming album.

I also had a blink and you will miss me walk-on role in an earlier video by Kenn Crawford playing an Alzheimer’s patient. The short film The Battle Within is a touching film about the ravages of Alzheimer’s Disease.

The shoot for The Battle Within took place at a local senior’s health care complex and one of the actors recently confessed they assumed I was a resident of the complex at the time of the filming. I started to worry about being typecast and decided to discuss my concerns with Kenn. I was assured that I was not being typecast but rather that I just look the part. Not sure what my next video role will be, but I am guessing it will not be a romantic lead.

Check out Kenn’s other films and videos.

Dr. StrangeJob

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Ode to D.J. and the drunk tank – it’s still about black and white

That police man said, “Mister Cool, if you ain’t drunk, then you’re a fool.”
I said, “If that’s against the law, then tell me why I never saw a man locked in that jail of yours who wasn’t just as lowdown poor as me?” – Kris Kristofferson

Listening to The Best of all Possible Worlds by Kris Kristofferson always reminds me of an old friend and the night we received free lodgings courtesy of the local police constabulary. Although we were both in an illegal state of mind at the time, I believe it was the song, actually me paraphrasing the song to a police officer, that resulted in our overnight stay in the drunk tank.

D.J. and I were having a few at his place and ran out of mix and munchies. We should have called it a night, but we foolheartedly decided to take our last drinks, plus a few doobies, for a walk to the corner store for pop and snacks. On route, we stopped at a nearby park for a break but stayed until we finished our drinks and joints. At that point, we decided to call it a night and head back to his place to crash.

When we left the park, we were met by two police cars with blaring sirens and flashing lights. Apparently, the police had been watching us and had decided that the two puny long-haired kids having a toke in the park were being a menace to society. Fortunately, being the conscientious young men we were at the time, we had carefully placed our empty bottles in a garbage bin and had also ensured that any remnants of marijuana were in us rather than on us. As a result, the ensuing police search found nothing that could be construed as evidence of juvenile delinquency.

We almost talked ourselves out of the situation, but then I decided to do my worst ever Kristofferson imitation by asking if they had anything better to do than pick on a couple of hippie kids having a bit of fun. That was when someone turned out the lights, and we wound up in jail to spend the night.

But this post is not about youthful discretions or lost glory days. This post is about prejudice, inequality, discrimination, and profiling. It’s also about the sad realisation that our societal prejudices of yesteryear are still with us today.

I recently discovered that Kristofferson had been asked to change the words of his song when it was recorded in 1969. The verse, I never saw a man locked in that jail of yours who wasn’t just as lowdown poor as me, was originally written as I never saw a man locked in that jail of yours who wasn’t neither black or poor as me. That was then, and this is now: The poor are getting poorer and non-whites are being carded, hated, and misunderstood. In 1969, Kristofferson was talking about the prejudices of the time. In 2017, we continue down the road of hate.

I may have lost touch with my friend D.J. and my days of youthful discretion are only distant memories, but the lyrics of Kristofferson’s song still hold true. We are not where we should be, but I am still dreaming for the best of all possible worlds.

March 21, 2017
International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination

Dr. StrangeJob

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Dr. StrangeJob enters the terrible twos

Happy Birthday to me! 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. It’s birthday number two, and a chance to review last year and take a glimpse forward to next.

Although I survived my first-year birthday celebrations, this last year was a bit of a hit and miss. My Anonymous Goes to the Legion video was a Facebook success, accumulating 17.3 thousand views, but managed a measly 480 views on YouTube.  Although the Doctor is slowly building a Facebook presence with over 31 thousand likes, he has only 69 followers on Twitter. Hurray for Facebook, not so much for Twitter or YouTube. Perhaps I shouldn’t’ have called Twitter followers Twittlers or YouTube users YukTubbies.

My attempt at stand-up was simultaneously well documented and rarely viewed on the Dr. StrangeJob YouTube channel. Although presented with a Like Award for opines on workplace culture, corporate accountability, and municipal politics from, I was subsequently censored by that site for using the term bullshit in one of my posts. Not to be daunted, Dr. StrangeJob started writing a satirical political column for the Cape Breton Spectator, until I lost my political chops when blocked from running in the local municipal election.

Maybe next year will be better, or will it become a case of the terrible twos?  If I learned anything from year one, it is that failure is always an option. Now that I know what doesn’t work, I will search out new venues in which to mess up even further. As my Father would say, “If you’re being thrown out of town, then get in front and make it look like a parade in your honour.”  With that in mind, watch for the Doctor’s new mini-panel webcomic, Annals of IA, which will chronicle the trials and tribulations of a local chapter of Incompetents Anonymous. Also, coming very soon is the first in a series of short stories that follow the antics of the Cape Breton Liberation Army – Intelligence and Competence Squad (CBLA-InCompts). The first chapter of CBLA-InCompts is going to raise a bit of a stink.

Dr. StrangeJob

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StrangeJoberisms: Volume 2

I’ve always been crazy but its kept me from going insane, so it came as no surprise when my physician told me that I was ill and my condition was not tweetable. Cure thyself I proclaimed and set forth to quibble in tweetable quips of 140 characters or less that I affectionally call StrangeJoberisms.

Following the success of StrangeJoberisms: The Unlimited Birthday Edition, I proudly present Volume 2.

StrangeJoberisms: Volume 2

If your latest managerial solution is to “think outside the box”, then you’re still in it.

Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar (Sigmund Freud), and sometimes a person is just a dick (Dr. StrangeJob).

If all else fails, then try non-violent civil disobedience. Shame can be a powerful motivator.

Do we distrust career politicians because of ignorance or apathy? Or is it because we don’t know and don’t care.

If it is true that those that can’t do are teachers, then does it follow that those that never did are professors?

People who say “good things come in small packages” are usually men with small penises.

Warning! Chance of incompetence increases with increased exposure to idiocy.

Opening your mouth to change a foot is not a great feat, especially if you forgot to remove your other foot first.

Life is unfair when bad things happen to good people, especially when there are so many assholes around to choose from.

Dr. StrangeJob

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A Dr StrangeJob Pair-a-ball(s) & Trump

Parables and fables are stories that serve to illustrate a moral or ethical lesson. Welcome to Dr Strangejob’s Pair-a-ball(s), the Doctor’s new series of life lessons learned in the trenches of bureaucratic befuddlement. For your viewing pleasure, below find a reasonable facsimile of a pair of the Doctor’s balls gifted to him back in his university days. I would often take my balls to meetings, just to show those in attendance that I actually had a pair. Otherwise, my steel cast balls served as paperweights on my office desk, providing a visual cue for students that the Doctor was, all in all, not just another dick in the hall. holding-ball2a

Unfortunately, I learned the hard way that standing up for what one believes rarely works unless your beliefs happen to coincide with the gestalt of the current work environment. Otherwise, you are branded an agitator or chastised for not being a team player. Too bad, because those doing the branding are usually just bullies dressed up in business suits.

My favourite fable as a child was Aesop’s The Ass in the Lion’s Skin. The fable tells the story of an ass that stumbled upon a lion’s skin left out to dry by hunters. The ass decided to wear the skin to the local village in an attempt to instil fear in the community. The ploy worked, at least until the ass decided to roar at the crowd, at which point the citizens recognised the ass’s bray and realised that what they thought was a formidable beast was only an ass dressed up in lion’s clothing. The moral of Aesop’s fable is that fine clothes can disguise, but silly words will eventually disclose the fool inside. Sound familiar?

Speaking about President-elect Donald Trump, I wonder if Aesop’s fable can be applied to the recent U.S. election. If we were to replace the ass in the original fable with Trump, then once Trump starts pontificating the world should quickly learn that he is just an ass in disguise. In the original fable, the ass was beaten with a stick by his owner for spreading fear throughout the community. Director Michael Moore argues that satire is the best way to beat Donald Trump. In my version of Aesop’s fable, satire would triumph over Trump who would be beaten with shtick.

Anyway, the moral of this Dr StrangeJob Pair-a-ball is that a person can have balls without being a dick, but a person who is a dick is still a dick whether or not they have any balls.

Dr. StrangeJob

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We can do worse – and have! Dr. StrangeJob for Mayor of CBRM

Dr. StrangeJob considers himself to be CBRM’s most viable “alternate” mayoralty candidate. An award winning blogger, Pier reviewed journalist, and stated savior of the Cape Breton economy, Dr. StrangeJob is committed to making Cape Breton great again.

Dr. StrangeJob decided to run after a late-night in camera session with his dedicated follower. His three-point platform speaks to his commitment to become Cape Breton’s first non-political politician.

  1. Dr. StrangeJob is not, nor ever plans to be, a career politician. In other words – he is not out for himself.
  2. Dr. StrangeJob is not, nor never has been, a career politician’s flunky. In other words – he is his own person.
  3. Dr. StrangeJob is not currently on pension. In other words – he does not require a freebee pension top-off.

Dr. StrangeJob came forward as a candidate because he is fed up with the “total lack of transparency, potential misuse of tax funds, and apparent disregard for taxpayers of CBRM by CBRM Council”.

His campaign will focus on transparency, honesty, and a guaranteed absence of bullish type rhetoric.

His Platform

If Dr. StrangeJob were elected Mayor of CBRM, then his NUMBER ONE priority would be the elimination of child poverty. Unfortunately, money does not grow on trees, so funding required to eliminate poverty would need to be reallocated from other resources. Here are a few suggestions.

  1. Upon starting office, I would evaluate the management contracts, responsibilities, and buy-out clauses on all managerial new-hires that did not follow proper protocol or due diligence. This will result in the strategic realignment of willing participants to refocus their efforts on the poverty file. Otherwise, all future savings realized through buy-out clauses would be redirected to the poverty file.
  2. The “Sustainability Grants” program would be re-structured to ensure that only non-profit organizations receive grants. In addition, the new procedures would introduce a yearly “grant theme” to focus applications and selection criteria. The first annual theme will be “Poverty Elimination”.
  3. The 140/weekly travel budget allotment will be updated to require appropriate receipts/documentation. All monies allocated to the travel budget not claimed will be reallocated to the poverty file.
  4. All things Port File – Refer to Item 1

Presto – no more child poverty in CBRM

Read more about the Dr. StrangeJob campaign at The Cape Breton Spectator.

Dr. StrangeJob

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This is a non-paid, non-political advertisement. Copyright April 1, 2016

Port 74 and CBRM whiners


Did you partake in 74 in the 70’s? 74 was an inexpensive port wine very popular with financially challenged high school students. It was cheap, but it got the job done. Another favourite was the cost-effective jug of Golden Glow apple cider. We would chip in on a bottle of Golden Glow and use the dregs to fill the bottom of our water pipe. If we were on a spending spree, then we would splurge on a bottle of Cracklin Rose. A bottle of Cracklin Rose was considered classy because it had a non-screw-off cap. Legend has it that Neil Diamond’s Cracklin Rosie was not a love song but inspired by a bunch of winos drinking the bubbly around a campfire. Those were the days of wine and roses.

Drinking cheap wine was not without complications. If you gave a novice a few slugs of cheap port, then they would follow you anywhere or do just about anything you asked. This, of course, was a good thing if you happened to be the one controlling the port. If on the other hand, you were the one getting fed the cheap port,then all you ended up getting was screwed (non-figuratively of course).

My mind is a bit fussy when it comes to the 70’s, but I believe the euphemism “getting caught with your pants down” represents what those in control of the port managed to do to those they coerced into feeding off the buzz of the port. Coincidently, this was at the same time we were introduced to “non-disclosure agreements”.  I would love to tell you the truth behind some of the stories of the day, but I am sworn to secrecy. You will just need to take my word for it, but believe me when I say that I have your best interests at heart. Now take another drink from my glass, bend over and brace yourself.

Fast forward to present day Cape Breton. Unfortunately, we are still being force fed cheep cheep port files. Yes, it’s the latest buzz, but secrecy and non-disclosure agreements continue to keep us in the dark. If you want to be a member of the CBRM team, then you need to drink the port. Otherwise, you are branded as a whiner taking a cheap shot from the cheap seats.

It appears that the only thing that has changed in CBRM since the 70’s are the names of the people in control of the port file.  At least with Cape Breton’s new coal mine, we know there is a shaft involved.

If you want more buzz on all things current in the Cape Breton Regional Municipality, then check out The Cape Breton Spectator.

Dr. StrangeJob

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