Monday 23 December 2019

It's a Wanda Full Life - A Dog River Christmas Story

This year's Christmas parody is based on  "It's A Wonderful Life" starring James Stewart and Donna Reed and directed by Frank Capra. So if you haven't seen it already you better go watch it quick otherwise you will be a bit lost!

George Bailey has been replaced by Wanda Dollard
Mary Hatch has been replaced by Hank Yarbo
Clarence the Angel has been replaced by Davis Quinton
Mr. Gower is replaced by Lacey Burrows

Most of the other characters (and plot) have been cut out due to length issues (aka me being lazy)

Friday 20 December 2019

With a Little Help From Friends Christmas Special - Vela Update 2020

You know I like to crack wise at the beginning of all my posts right? I'll throw in a few goofy gags to make you either a) spit your hot beverage through your nasal cavities or b) roll your eyeballs - possibly, if I have done my job properly, roll them both in opposite directions to each other. However, when I write these little posts pointing you in the direction of charities and good causes that are in some way linked to Corner Gas, I feel a bit bad doing it.

Monday 16 December 2019

The Jackass-Cast - Christmas Special

This is it folks. There have been some mammoth battles fought by mighty armies through out history. However, only now has there been such a hard fought contest to find out who is the biggest Corner Gas Fan in the world!

Friday 6 December 2019

Santa's Little Helper - Christmas Gift Ideas For The Corner Gas Super Fan

Every year it get's harder and harder to think of a unique Christmas gift for all your loved ones. Because of this the Christmas season can become extremely stressful when suddenly inspiration leaves you and even with Amazon Prime there is no way anything you order is going to arrive in time to save you from a dirty look by the missus over the Turkey and/or the Vegitarian/Vegan alternative of such (Corner Gas Fan Corner: Covering All Bases). 

Sunday 1 December 2019

The 100% Officially Unofficial Corner Gas Advent Calendar 2019


Do you see what I did there? I cleverly mashed up this month's theme of Christmas with a well known and popular element of a Corner Gas episode! I know! Genius, right! It's only taken me three years of my traditional month of Christmas posts to think of it...but genius non the less!!

Yes folks, it is that time of year again. Trimming the tree, Turkey with all the trimmings and trimming Grans old lady beard so she doesn't get hairs in the sprouts.

Thursday 21 November 2019

The Corner Gas Episode Guides - Revisited: The Reboot

We are all aware of the current blot on the entertainment landscape commonly known as a reboot. There is such a lack of inspiration in Hollywood and the likes that it feels like all we get fed, for better or worse, is remakes and re-imaginings of all the old classics that we loved when we were younger.

Wednesday 6 November 2019

Cooking with Gas (or Electric) - Finding Nanaimo

As we know Corner Gas is a Canadian classic, so here at Fan Corner I like to bring you other great Canadian institutions that should not be missed. This week I would like to introduce the world to the Nanaimo Bar! Let's start with a little background before we get to the nuts and bolts of it...or the nuts and chocolate which would be more accurate.

Sunday 3 November 2019

Not A Lot Goin' On - Corner Gas News - October 2019

It funny where inspiration comes from. I sit here trying to think of a way to start a post and find myself staring into the sky looking to the heavens for a little nugget of gold to wake up my synapses and get the old imagination up out of its bed and doing a thousand reps before a quick jog to the gym.

Then nothing comes and so I go with the first unrelated thing that comes to mind and worry about making it relevant later

I enjoy watching the trails that airplanes leave in the sky. When I see one trail being closely followed by another I wonder if the second plane has a wife chasing her pilot husband in the one ahead because he left his lunch on the kitchen counter again. She is leaning out of the cockpit window, waving a thing wrapped in tin foil at the 747 in front of her, shouting "Steve, it's Marge!! Pull over....PULL OVER!!!"

Sunday 13 October 2019

The Jackass-Cast - Episode 8 - A Lovely Chat with Fred Ewanuick

Here is another astounding episode of The Jackass-Cast for you folks!! This time I talk to the always funny, always charming Fred Ewanuick aka Hank Yarbo.

We have a right giggle discussing everything from Cats, to Dan for Mayor, Corner Gas Animated Season 3 to Hockey!

Speaking of Hockey, we also have a special guest appearance from the one and only Kirk Lemur!

As always the show is available on Spotify and whole bunch of other platforms or you can click on the picture below for a direct downloadable link!


Thursday 3 October 2019

Not A Lot Goin' On - Corner Gas Breaking News Special !

I know when the Corner Gas world has suddenly been hit with excitement when my phone suddenly starts shaking violently and bounces it's way across the table with the sudden urgency of a bunny rabbit who has found the last carrot in the field.

Well today was no exception!  I was chasing my iPhone around the room as Instagram, Facebook, You Tube, Twitter and the likes lit up with very fantastic news from Camp Corner Gas.

I will hand you over to my Canadian correspondent for all of the details. Brent - over to you -

Finally!! Corner Gas Animated available in the states!! In fact the whole CGU (Corner Gas Universe - I'm coining that here folks, Marvel be damned!) The original series, Movie and Animated all on one handy service.

I know what you are thinking "What in the blue blazes does blue blazes mean? And what in Tarnation is IMDb TV? Whilst we are at it where is Tarnation and why is everything confusing put in it?"

Fear not young reader, here is all the details you need to know on the service that we can all pretend I wrote and didn't cut and paste in any way shape or form!

Amazon owned free streaming service IMDb Freedive is getting a new name, more content and, soon, is expanding to Europe, the company announced this morning. Originally launched in January, the service will now be known as IMDb TV — a name that’s a bit more catchy, but doesn’t convey the fact that the service includes both movies and TV shows.
It’s also not an alternative to live TV streaming services like Sling TV, YouTube TV or Hulu with Live TV, for example, despite what the name may imply.
Instead, IMDb is most similar to something like Vudu’s Movies on Us or Roku’s free streaming hub, The Roku Channel, as it offers a selection of ad-supported free streaming content, too.
IMDb hasn’t confirmed how many titles are in its collection, but says the content selection has now been tripled thanks to new deals with Warner Bros., Sony Pictures Entertainment and MGM Studios. This brings movies like Captain Fantastic and La La Land (July 1) to the service — the latter, marking the first time the Academy Award-winner has been made available to an ad-supported streaming service.
In addition, IMDb is getting TV shows like Fringe, Kitchen Nightmares, Duck Dynasty and The Bachelor, plus movies like Drive, Donnie Darko, Monster, Dances with Wolves and, starting July 1, Sense and Sensibility, Draft Day and A Knight’s Tale.
The newly rebranded service will also arrive in Europe later this year, but no exact launch date is being offered at this time.
“With IMDb TV, viewers have discovered TV the way it ought to be – a free collection of premium TV shows and movies available anytime,” said Mark Eamer, vice president of IMDb TV, in a statement. “We deliver a top quality discovery experience that makes it easy to be entertained. With more titles than ever before coming to IMDb TV and our upcoming European expansion later this year, we’re excited for customers to tune in and enjoy all that IMDb TV has to offer, all at no cost,” he said.
Though IMDb operates independently from parent company Amazon, the service benefits from tight integration with Amazon’s line of Fire TV media player devices, which have more than 34 million active users. In turn, Amazon Fire TV now has its own built-in free streaming content to rival The Roku Channel, which ships on Roku’s media players and Roku OS-powered TVs.
Both Amazon and Roku are battling for users and to become the top media player in terms of market share. Amazon announced its 34 million actives for Fire TV in May, which topped Roku’s 29.1 million active “accounts” reported in Q1. Roku tried to explain that this didn’t mean Amazon led, because a Roku account could support several household members — but that’s true for Amazon Fire TV “users,” too.
“Our Fire TV customers are always looking for compelling content at a great value. In fact, usage of free, ad-supported apps has increased by over 300 percent in the last year,” said Marc Whitten, vice president of Fire TV, in a statement. “IMDb TV brings some of the best free content into the living room and we’re excited that our U.S. customers now have access to even more free TV shows and movies through the app and that customers in Europe can soon enjoy this great service on the biggest screen in their home,” he added.
IMDb TV is today available in the U.S. as a free channel within the Amazon Prime Video app and on Fire TV in the “Your Apps &  Channels” row. The service can also be launched through an Alexa Voice Remote or a paired Echo device by saying, “Alexa, go to IMDb TV.”
So there you have it, everything you need to know. Obviously with Corner Gas already streaming on Amazon Prime around the world most of us could have guessed that this would have happened to Corner Gas Animated. The fact that they have chosen to put the show straight onto a new service shows the power of the show and the fact that the powers that be at Amazon feel that is a brand that can help them bring an audience to their new concern. 
I can also feel my inbox filling up with emails with "Well that's ok for the U.S. but what about *insert your country here*. Well we can take from the above that IMDb TV will be reaching Europe very soon (it's not available at time of writing - I just checked) which could well mean that Corner Gas Animated will come along with it. I don't know this to be fact but if I can get it confirmed I will share the details with you all straight away, cos' I am nice like that. 
Now, again don't hold me to this, remember off the back of this information don't be to surprised if Brent doesn't announce a U.S. stand up tour very soon. He has mentioned in various Q&A's that when CGA hits other parts of the world he may well tour to support it! 
Anyways, my phone didn't stop buzzing once this big chunk o' info hit the Interweb. Without giving us time to draw breath from the first bombshell. BANG!!

Then this landed on Verite Films Facebook page -

CTV Comedy Network has renewed Corner Gas Animated for a third season. There will be 11 episodes going to air in 2020 featuring the beloved ensemble cast starring Brent Butt, Gabrielle Miller, Eric Peterson, Fred Ewanuick, Lorne Cardinal, Tara Spencer-Nairn, Nancy Robertson, and Corrine Koslo. #cornergas #ctvcomedychannel 

Now, eagle eared regular listeners to my Jackass-Cast podcast may have guessed this announcement was coming. There have been clues dropped by my guests here and there (one in fact I had to mask the info with a bit of subtle slo-mo playback just in case what was said was secret...also I thought it was pretty funny). I do have some other info but I will save that for another day #spoilers. 

So there we have it folks what a day to be a Corner Gas fan. Come back for more info which will be posted as soon as I have it. Don't forget to leave comments below, let us all know how excited you are for these amazing announcements.

Also for more day to day fun and info go to Facebook and join my page @cornergasfan

Anyway, must dash, I need to catch my phone which is currently bouncing it's way down the high street!

Saturday 7 September 2019

The Jackass-Cast - A Lovely Chat with Lorne Cardinal, Tara Spencer-Nairn and Eric Peterson

Here we go again. What with all this chatting with celebs I have been doing recently I reckon I am in good standing for a late night chat show. Move over Corden, Fallon begone.....Conan who? One day folks! However, until that fateful day when I make a hostile takeover of the airwaves like a milkman annexing the south of England to secure larger sales of full fat milk, here we have the latest episode of the Jackass-Cast. Bringing you all sorts of fun from Lorne Cardinal, Tara Spencer-Nairn and Eric Peterson!

I know what your thinking. Does Eric say it? Maybe. You'll just have to click on the link below for a downloadable link to the episode and have a jolly good listen to find out.

Sunday 25 August 2019

The Jackass-Cast - Episode 6 - A Lovely Chat with Lorne Cardinal

This Podcasting mularky seems to be taking over this site! I will write an actual article one of these days. However, when you have such amazing guests to talk to such as LORNE CARDINAL!!! Well, why wouldn't I bring you a little chat for your lugs to eat up for their aural dinner!

So, as normal, the recording is available everywhere except sucky iTunes (they don't really suck, I just haven't had time to sort out a few technical troubles to get the show up with them). If you can't wait to surf over to Spotify and the likes, click on the image below and a downloadable link will appear as if by magic!

This is a first part of a two part epic! Enjoy!

Sunday 11 August 2019

The Jackass-Cast - Episode 5 - A Lovely Chat with Liam McKinnon

We are off six degrees from Dog River again! This episode I talk to an actual fellow Brit! Liam McKinnon of and The Steven Page Trio. We talk music, getting barenaked, fandom, beer, Odds, Craig Northey and Eggs

Click on the picture below for a downloadable file. The episode is also available on all podcasting platforms except iTunes because they are a bunch of awkward so and so's over there and can just about go and take a long walk into some sort of internet based river off a short micro-processed pier!

Monday 22 July 2019

Not A Lot Goin' On - Corner Gas News Special Update!

You are in a brightly lit room. All you have with you is a back pack, filled with barely enough provisions for the day, a loin cloth and dirty big broad sword. You are surrounded by Orcs, Hobbits and various half man, half horse beasts from Hades. What does this all mean? One of two things. Either you are Conan the Barbarian or you are at one of the hundreds of conventions that take place around the world in the summer season. I am going to put all my money on the latter option but if you do happen to be Conan please could you contact me and let me know which dry cleaners you use. As we all know it is very hard to find such a service that uses the correct amount of starch on a loin cloth. I had a terrible time when I last sent mine to the cleaners and then wore it the next time I walked to the shops. Oooh, the chaffing!

If you haven't been lucky enough to attend such an event, let me; as a seasoned professional convention goer of many years, fill you in on all the excitement that goes on.

Conventions can take many forms and cover varied subjects of interest. If you are into  Hot Air Balloon Skeet Shooting ("Pull!" **BANG** **BANG** "Why did you fire twice?" "I didn't"  **Balloon plummets**), Frog Maintenance or Close Harmony Flatulence there will be a convention for you somewhere.

It is a lovely time for all involved. You can meet like minded people and make new friends. There are often stalls selling items related to your chosen hobby. There will be demonstrations, Q and A sessions and competitions. If reading is your thing, at the nearest book fair maybe you will find that rare first edition of "Sherlock Holmes and the Mystery of the Missing Manuscript". A book so rare even the story is missing from the pages. Some say that the relatively unknown masterpiece was put together last minute by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Arthur (or Artie D to his friends) who, when facing missing yet another deadline, handed in a blank note pad to his publisher. When told that the story was "a little light on detail, plot and character development" he merely replied the whole thing was stolen by Moriarty.

Now the majority of conventions cater for those of us who enjoy their pop culture. One of the most popular elements of a movie and television convention is Cosplay. The word Cosplay is coined from the original Greek. Cos meaning "to dress up" and Play meaning "in Spandex so close fitting that passers by can tell what religion you are". Many people enjoy spending hours and hours putting together costumes of intricate detail so they can attend conventions looking like screen accurate versions of their favourite characters. Here are some of the best examples to be found around the net.

Now, I know what you are thinking. You are thinking, "I could probably get away with eating the beans in the fridge, what's a day or two on the sell by date?". You may also be thinking "Why would I attend a convention if there are marauding half horse, half human beasts from Hades or whatever it was you called them at the beginning of this post that doesn't seem to be wanting to get to the point any time soon". Ah, well fear not young traveler, the point is coming soon enough. Also my horsey description was merely a little joke of the humorous variety. The closest you will get to such beasts is these guys.

Conventions have born no end of specialist groups of avid followers of pop culture, one of which are The Bronies. These are male men of various ages who are just peachy keen on My Little Pony toys and cartoons. Yes, you heard me right. That cute set of plastic gee gees that most thought were the exclusive domain of pre-school females has been hijacked by an ever growing group of gentlemen who may very well need medicating before being released into public.

However, the number one draw of visiting a comicon is the opportunity to meet the stars of the big and little screen. Hold tight folks, here comes the point of my post

Exciting news dropped last week that the majority of the cast of Corner Gas Animated will be attending their very first convention. Those of you lucky enough to be in or around Toronto on August 25th have the chance to meet Brent Butt, Nancy Robertson, Eric Peterson, Lorne Cardinal, Tara Spencer-Nairn and Corrine Koslo! Unfortunately, due to prior commitments Fred Ewanuick and Gabrielle Miller can not attend the event.

Canada Fan Expo takes place from August 22nd to August 25th 2019 at The Metro Toronto Convention Centre. The cast are appearing on 25th only, billed as a special appearance. There are no details as yet what they will be up to whilst at the show. No doubt signing autographs will be their main activity of the day. Generally autographs at conventions will come with a price tag, however Corner Gas signatures have yet to be given a value by the organizers. Usually at these events photos for signing are made available as part of the cost of your autograph but you will be allowed to bring your own items to have signed if you have something special you would like to get squiggly ink on.

Also no news on possible Q&A sessions and photo opportunities with the cast. As soon as the information is made available I will update this post so keep checking back.

You can check out all the information, buy tickets and see who all the other great guests are here

Excited yet! No sleep for you until the end of August, right? Now, I know I have made fun of conventions above but I have found them to be a truly a great place to spend the day. Being a that I have flown the geeky flag all my life it is lovely to have a place to go and spend time with people who are like minded. It's fun for all the family and there is always something to see and do.

I am trying desperately to be there myself. If I manage it and you see me walking about looking all English and stuff please do come and say hello. I will be happy to sign anything you put in front of me, including elderly relatives. I will be Cosplaying, dressed up as the Camel from Ishtar.

Sunday 7 July 2019

A Bunch of Comedians Walk into a Gas Station - The Writers of Corner Gas Animated

In previous posts I have mostly concentrated on the talented folk in front of the camera. David Storey, Craig Northey and Jesse Valanzuela obviously don't count...because they are not talented. Ha! Of course I jest, those three chaps could combine to make some sort of talent superhero group. The Troubadours! If you put the three of them on stage in a talent show, Simon Cowell would get so excited he would jump straight out of his mirkin and hand them over all the record contracts. No, I mean the three of them are behind the scenes peoples.

Sunday 23 June 2019

Corner Gas Fan Corner: Jackass-Cast - Episode 4 - Brent Butt

I had no intention of publishing another episode of The Jackass-Cast so quickly. However, when you get a chance to sit down with the boss himself, Mr Brent Butt how could I not bring our little natter to you as quickly as possible.

We discuss, Corner Gas Animated - Season 2, Special Guest Stars, Stand Up and fighting with a Sasquatch!

Click on the picture below for a downloadable link to the episode. You can also listen on Spotify. Google Podcasts, Stitcher, People Radio, Breaker and many others


Sunday 9 June 2019

Corner Gas Fan Corner: Jackass-Cast - Episode 3 - Monique Hurteau Part 2

Podcast month continues due to popular demand! Popular in as much as some people listened to the last two episodes which is a total of some more than I expected to listen!

This week I continue my chat with Monique Hurteau - creative force of nature (and Mrs. Davis Quinton). We discuss art, the artistic bent, supportive partners, the importance of inspiration and Monique's many projects. We also have a lot of laughs along the way.

Click on the image below and you will be sent to a downloadable link to the episode. It is also available on Spotify, Stitcher, Google Podcasts, Breaker, Radio Public and

During this weeks episode Monique talks about her important work for the Truth Sharing Podcasts which are inspired by the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls. If you would like to listen to these podcasts then I have included the link here

Sunday 2 June 2019

Corner Gas Fan Corner: Jackass-Cast - Episode 2 - Monique Hurteau Part 1

Now I know what you are thinking. Ian quite clearly said that the Jackass-Cast would probably only come out every other week or so depending on how often he has to chase his cat away from scratching up the furniture every day - which is pretty much a full time job I can tell you.

Well, this week I was lucky enough to have a lovely chat with Monique Hurteau and it was so much fun I couldn't wait to get it out to your awaiting lug 'oles.

Now technically this episode should come under my usual banner of Six Degrees of Dog River, reserved for those who technically only have a loose connection with the show. Monique is married to the always wonderful Lorne Cardinal, our very own Davis Quinton.

She is an exceptionally talented Artist, Writer, Director and Comedian. She is truly inspirational.

Have a listen to this first part of our chunterings, the second will be out next week. Click on the picture below for a downloadable link or listen at Spotify, Google Podcasts, Breaker, Radio Public and,  . iTunes and others to follow very soon!

Keep a lug 'ole open for a special cameo appearance from a voice you may well recognise!


Saturday 18 May 2019

Corner Gas Fan Corner: Jackass Cast - Episode 1 - Andrew Carr

Welcome to the first episode of CORNER GAS FAN CORNER: JACKASS CAST !!! (Insert large whooping round of applause and cheers here) Click on the picture below to go to a downloadable link to the show. 

In this episode I speak to Corner Gas  producer and writer and all round good egg 

We discuss Leo Awards, Writing Corner Gas and Corner Gas Animated, Stand Up Comedy, Writing Corner Gas : The Movie, Small Town Canada, Taking Bribes and Burying Bodies!!

Sunday 12 May 2019

For The Love of Hank

I may have said this before, I honestly can't remember, I am getting old and my memory isn't all that it used to be. Which is a silly thing to say, how can you measure how bad your memory has become if you can't remember how good your memory was in the first place? People say and do a lot of stupid things - especially me (please see the previous two years worth of posts for proof of this). Here is my favourite example of such. Here in Britland some people have a habit, when relating a previous conversation that they had within a conversation the a currently having, by saying 

"So I turned round and said to him..."

Sunday 28 April 2019

Not A Lot Goin' On - Corner Gas News, April 2019

You know how nice it is to have some time off work. Have a week, maybe two if you are lucky, so you can spend some quality time practicing your hobby of Underwater Origami. It's all well and lovely until you get back to your desk at the office to find that Trevor from accounts, who was supposed to cover for you phoned in sick as his Philtrum had swollen up, because of an allergic reaction to his Aunt's athletes foot powder, and made his mustache all wonky ("I can't come in today, my mustache is crooked") . So now you have to catch up with a work load impossibly large and you will have to work late and miss your pottery lesson - just as you were about to do a grading and get your black belt in Earthenware.

Monday 22 April 2019

Sunday 24 March 2019

By Popular Demand - Your 100 Greatest Corner Gas Moments - Pt 4

Welcome back!!! Here we are at Ilfracombe Village Hall and Lido where we are about to discover the final 25 most popular episodes and scenes from Corner Gas! It's been a long haul folks, I know. I have been standing at this podium for so long now I have become a listed monument. Now, I know some of you have been drinking rather a lot and at the end of the ceremony there may well be a bit of a rush for the toilets. Well this may be a good time to point out that after last weeks all you can eat chili and prune festival there has been a bit of a plumbing issue and the council have yet to release the requisition paperwork for a new plunger. Please flush gently people. Which is a nice segue into a word from our sponsors!

Sunday 17 March 2019

By Popular Demand - Your 100 Greatest Corner Gas Moments - Pt 3


Sunday 3 March 2019

By Popular Demand - Your 100 Greatest Corner Gas Moments - Pt 2

Welcome back to Ilfracombe Municiple Village Hall and Lido! We are here celebrating the 100 greatest Corner Gas moments as voted for by people all around the world who had nothing better to do! All the guests are re-seated now. I would like to confirm to you all that the fire has been put out. If next year the Academy could choose someone other than Bob to man the complementary BBQ. I have warned you before what happens before his medication kicks in. Right, with no further ado, no dilly dallying, let's get straight on with the count down after this message from our sponsor.

Sunday 24 February 2019

By Popular Demand - Your 100 Greatest Corner Gas Moments - Pt 1

Good evening. Ladies, Gentlemen, distinguished members of the Academy. We have gathered here at the Ilfracombe Municiple Villiage Hall and Lido to celebrate six seasons of classic Corner Gas moments. I must mention that I have been asked to make sure that our ceremony is finished by seven o'clock so the over 70's Freestyle Pole Dancing Team can get in the hall to start practice on time. I hear they have a real chance of winning the cup this year if Edith recovers from that terrible accident when her support tights got caught in that revolving door.

First a quick word from our sponsors.

Friday 8 February 2019

Not A Lot Goin' On - Breaking News Special Report

I think I may have psychic powers. If any secret governmental bodies would like to sign me up to an elite group of superheroes made of disparate, rag tag, mismatched supers who write blogs about popular regional comedy television series, please get in touch via the addresses on my contact page. We could be called The Nichemen!  I must get a costume sorted, which is the hardest part of being a superhero. Finding that much Spandex at a wholesale price isn't easy you know. Then you have the tricky decisions, like undies on the inside or undies on the outside. It's a sartorial nightmare I tell you!

Tuesday 29 January 2019

The Directors Cuts - David Storey and The Side Road Scholars - Made in Canada

Canadian Duty Free is awesome. Why? Because you can buy massive frozen Salmon. That's why. Of all the things to offer tourists exiting your country! Perhaps it's a common scenario -

"Hey Marge, I got a keyring with a Moose on it for Steve, A Moose shaped Peanut Allergy Tester for Cynthia and the Moose Hair Wig for Trevor. But darn it, if I didn't forget to purchase a 50 pound, vacuum sealed, frozen Salmon for Grandma. Where in the dickens will I find one of those here in departures?"

Sunday 20 January 2019

With a Little Help From Friends - Dog River Howlers

For sometime now I have been trying to think of ways to use this site to promote charitable foundations. It is actually harder than you would think. There are so many worthy causes that need our support. Then there is trying to come up with a way to raise peoples awareness of your chosen charity and finding a novel way to raise a few bucks to help out. I am never short of ideas, good or bad, so I have the last point well and truly covered and will share those plans with you all at a later date. However, choosing a cause still had me stumped until recently. In all my days I would have never have thought to look in the direction of the popular sport of Rugby.

Whilst the crowd is captivated by the on pitch action
Jeremy Staple-Gun feels he is safe to check his B.O. without
getting spotted
Just in case you are like me and are genetically predisposed to be more use sitting behind a desk typing than being on a sport based pitch, court or field here is a brief summary of how to play the game of Rugby -

Two opposing teams of large men or women huddle together in the middle of some mud. This is called a Scrum. They discuss their life choices and last nights television for a moment until someone blows a whistle which is the signal to start kicking each other in the shins. Eventually, someone in the scrum discovers there is a ball in amongst the mud and runs away with it. Everyone then chases that person and indiscriminately chooses members of the opposite team to mush into some sort of patty.

The player with the ball, or the "target" as he is known, has to move the ball as far forward as possible without being squished into molecules. He may be required to pass the ball to a team mate. He does this by throwing the ball backwards to where he has just come from. If you throw the ball forwards to where it actually needs to be you have to spend ten minutes of the game on the naughty step. If the ball manages to reach the correct end of the pitch this is called a "Try" which is short for "Try not to bleed on the grass thank you". The winner is the team with the most players with noses that do not look like a relief map of the Rockies.

The Basketball/Rugby mash up experiment was abandoned
as it was deemed far too silly
Maybe I shouldn't make fun of Rugby. My family, being Welsh in origin, are duty bound to follow the sport. My father and Uncle were both avid Rugby players in their youth. I was told many stories over the years of their antics on and off the pitch that often ended "...and then he relocated the bones himself". So many tales of seeming brutality that made me wonder if my two relatives had taken one too many blows to the noggin whilst playing. Which would explain quite a lot actually.

Obviously, I jest about the psychical aspect of the game, there is much more to it than just pulverising the person in front of you. I always asked my Dad if the on pitch intensity made for bad feelings between teams off of it as is often reported after a soccer match for example. Nothing like it, opposing sides were always very amiable and would enjoy each others company in the pub after a match. There was a sense of community and camaraderie which doesn't often pervade rivalries in other sports. There is no finer example of this than with The Dog River Howlers Rugby Club.

A few months ago I was lucky enough to spend the day with Lorne Cardinal and his wonderful wife Monique Herteau. Lorne gifted me a rather natty rugby shirt from The Dog River Howlers. He explained to me that it was a team set up, in the name of the fictional home town of our beloved Corner Gas friends, to support charities around the world. The team is made of of players, of which Lorne is the honorary Captain, from all over Canada and some from other parts of the world. They travel to different countries to play rugby and give something back to worthy causes in that country and their communities.

The team was founded in 2007 by Karl Fix and since has managed to raise over $1,000,000 to support Rugby and non Rugby related causes. Some of these include Canadian First Nations Education, Cuban Rugby and Orphanages, Prostate Cancer Support, Shelters for Abused Women and Children and many many more.

The Howlers mantra is "Rugby is more than a game, but a way of life". They carry the ethics and ideals of the game over to their ultimate aim, to help those in need and have a lot of fun a long the way. The efforts of Karl and his fellow Howlers are to be commended. The teams excellent website lists all the causes and individuals that have benefited from their work, and it is a long list. A remarkable feat by anyone's standards.

When the Howlers travel to parts far and wide the players fund everything themselves from planes tickets and accommodation to meals. The fact that every spare penny is given to charity there is even more meaning to all the effort these good people put in.

Everything that the Howlers stand for can be seen in the symbolism of their badge. The colours are red to represent the Canadian flag, Orange the colour of the prairie moon and black the prairie midnight sky. The moon is a symbol of life and the beauty of the prairies. The Coyote is a pack animal that hunts alone much like being a member of a rugby team. The grain elevator stands for the co-operative spirit shown by pioneers that helped them to survive in a hostile environment, it is the same spirit that is carried onto the rugby pitch.

 I feel that the Howlers are the perfect example of a charity that deserves support, especially from a community of Corner Gas fans such as ours. If you would like to learn more about the group and their activities or even show some support please visit their website here. I will report on any fixtures that the teams have coming up. I also intend to show support of my own in the near future details of which will be available in an up coming post.

So go get your boots on! Let's go help a good cause and squish someone into protons whilst doing it!

Sunday 13 January 2019

Not A Lot Goin' On - Corner Gas News January 2019

<a href="">Follow my blog with Bloglovin</a>

A fresh new year is upon us. A chance for a metaphorical new wardrobe. Time to throw away last seasons jacket of lethargy and head scarf of boredom and stride forward in the pantaloons of excitement tucked in the top of the walking boots of enthusiasm.