Tag Archives: England

Toilet Door Guy

Above is a photo of Robin Metcalfe and I when we sailed to England on the Empress of England in November of 1968. (that’s me on the left, in the lighter jacket. I had just turned 18). It was a great trip and all that, we spent a good part of the winter there, but equally important is the fact that I worked for a year in a factory in Orillia assembling toilet doors with my old buddy Bruce Traviss, saving enough money for this trip.

Today, I’d like to explain how to assemble a toilet door.

These are the metal types, like below, which you’ve opened and closed all your life, and sometimes wrote graffiti on. We worked from 5 pm to 3 am, and we started by setting up one side of the door and spraying black glue all over the place. Then we stuck thick cardboard strips in it, put the other side on, inserted metal pieces along the sides to hold it all together, then sent it on a line to the paint room and started again. The quota was easily met every night and we had enough time to catch mice in a barrel, watch them run around for awhile, then let them go and assemble more doors. The job paid about $2.50 an hour and before I knew it, I had enough money for the trip to England!

Now every time you open or close a metal toilet door, you’ll know that inside is black glue and thick strips of cardboard. You’re welcome.

Guest Writer Phil Reports From China


Phil Wu is a Chinese fellow who grew up in Montreal but now lives in that hockey hotbed, China. That’s nice, but the problem with that is that Phil won’t be able to see his treasured Montreal Canadiens at the Bell Centre anymore.  I know the feeling. But I only live three thousand miles away. Phil lives about three million.

Phil reads this blog and comments often, and he has a real love and understanding of the Habs, and offers good insight about the team. And when I suggested he start up a team in China with red, white and blue uniforms, he said the players he’d recruit would only say “What’s a slapshot? Ice? What?”

I also said to Phil, why don’t you write something and I’ll post it on my site, and lo and behold, he’s done just that. So here’s Phil, reporting from China:

Habs in China?!

Hey, my name’s Phil and I lived in Montreal my whole life, but I recently moved to China for personal reasons. This is my post about international hockey play; or more specifically, the Montreal Canadiens and China.

In 2007, The NHL organized a game outside of North America: The LA Kings vs the Anaheim Ducks, in England.
So I was wondering what it would be like if the the 2009-2010 Montreal Canadiens would play in China, against a Chinese hockey team. But I suppose realistically this would never happen since the travel and time difference is too much trouble for the organizations and players.

The reason why I mention a Chinese hockey team is because the people here in China are much shorter than the people in North America. Which means faster players.

This would be a great sample for the 2009-2010 season on the Canadiens part since our beloved Habs are a much smaller team compared to their counterparts in the league, with the acquisitions of Mike Cammalleri, Scott Gomez and Brian Gionta, and we’ll have the smallest top line in the NHL. 

If the Bleu, Blanc, Rouge play against a undersized Chinese team, it will give us an idea of how the Habs will excel in the next season. It will tell us if size isn’t is as important as speed, and vice versa.

Todd Bertuzzi, Elmer Lach, And Some Guy From England

Now that pretty well every free agent has been signed by teams not named Montreal, including Todd Bertuzzi who is now a Calgary Flame, I guess the only players left for Bob Gainey are Teemu Selanne, Emile Bouchard, and Elmer Lach. Everyone else is gone.

 I suppose Bertuzzi, if he’s in the right frame of mind which remains to be seen, can be a real asset to a team because he’s huge and mean, with good hands. But when I heard he’d signed with Calgary, I admit I breathed a small sigh of relief that he didn’t end up a Hab.

 Bertuzzi, even before the Steve Moore incident, was known far and wide as a miserable type to the media and even to many of his own teammates. His best friend on the Canucks was Markus Naslund, and Naslund may have been his only friend. Yes, the grapevine extends to Powell River.

 I’m just not convinced he would’ve been a good Montreal Canadien. And not only on the ice. If he didn’t like interviews elsewhere, how would he have put up with the onslaught of reporters in Montreal?

 Not only that, a lot of women around Powell River thought he was a hot stud, which I never understood. I always thought of him as someone out of an Edgar Allan Poe novel.

 In other news:

 Philip Delves Broughton, writing for London’s Daily Mail newspaper, says British workers considering invitations to come to Canada to escape the UK rat race should think again.

Broughton says that while Britain’s national symbol is the lion and America’s is the eagle, Canada’s is the flat-tailed, slow-witted beaver.

And he also says that Britons shouldn’t think for one moment that watching Canadian hockey will distract them from our lousy climate.

“If you thought British sport was becoming crude and violent, try watching two teams of toothless brutes sliding around on ice and pausing every few minutes to beat the daylights out of each other,” he says.