02 November 2011

I’m as serious as a poutine shortage in Chicoutimi during a curling bonspiel.

I know, I moan a lot about the dearth of curling on television in the United States.  That, however, is not what I am referencing here today. In fact, quite the opposite.

“I’m as serious as a poutine shortage in Chicoutimi during a curling bonspiel.”
Dateline: October 31, 2011. The show: How I Met Your Mother.  Those who are familiar with the show will know that it is centered around a group of five friends in New York City.  One of these friends, Robin Scherbatsky, is Canadian.  This particular aspect of her character is a running joke throughout the show.  In particular, Doogie Howser Barney Stinson is one who makes fun of her Canadian heritage.

On the October 31, 2011 episode, titled "The Slutty Pumpkin Returns", it is discovered that Barney's grandmother is from.... Manitoba (gasp!). Needless to say, this sparks a rapid-fire bunch of references to Canadian things. I mean, normally, Robin does make a lot of Canadian references that her friends don't get (but I do!), but this was a lot, even for her.

About halfway through the episode, Robin let this zinger fly:
“I’m as serious as a poutine shortage in Chicoutimi during a curling bonspiel.”
Let me repeat that, so you get it.
“I’m as serious as a poutine shortage in Chicoutimi during a curling bonspiel.”
Did you get all that?  Let's put aside the curling reference for a minute - oh, don't worry, we'll get back to it.  There were THREE Canadian references of varying obscurity in less than two seconds.  Land speed record.  And, for those who are not aware, Chicoutimi is a small city in northern Quebec.  With a fairly significant curling club.

Poutine will rate its own blog post, but for those who are unaware, it is Canadian health food.  And by health food, I mean it is French fries and cheese curds covered in gravy.  Aside: I've never actually had poutine.

If you didn't get the curling reference in the quote, then I suggest you go back and read all the other posts in my blog.  Don't worry.  We'll wait.

I was very excited that a hit television show in the United States was making such a bold curling reference.  Really, the only other show in the United States that dared to mention curling was actually a Canadian show being replayed late night on Chicago superstation WGN.  Ah, how I miss Corner Gas.

Yes, that is Randy Ferbey, friends! My curling fan readers will get the reference.  For those who don't, Mr. Ferbey is a sales rep for Asham Curling Supplies.  Oh, he is also a six time Brier champion - his first was in Chicoutimi in 1988! - winning the world championship four times.  He's quite a good curler, to say the least.

On further investigation, however, I made an exciting discovery!  This isn't the first time How I Met Your Mother has mentioned curling!  In fact, it is no less than the third episode in which curling has been mentioned.  One time, mentioned in this Curling News blog entry, complete with interview, occurred in the episode entitled "Duel Citizenship" during season 5.  You'll see the brooms and stones at the approximate 2 minute point.

Why this particular women's curling team is keeping stones scattered all over their hotel room, I don't know.

The next reference is from the Season 6 episode, entitled "Glitter".  In this episode, it is discovered that Robin, already known to be a teen star from Canada who went by the stage name of Robin Sparkles..... You know what.  Let me allow the Wikipedia article to say it better:
"(Robin) Sparkles also appeared on the Canadian educational children's show Space Teens with Thicke where two teen girls traveling through space in a curling stone–shaped spaceship "solve mysteries using math" featuring the song “Two Beavers Are Better Than One” further parodying Canadians"
Robin got her own Wikipedia article.  Who knew?

I'll be watching for the next curling reference on American television. This many references on one popular television show is an excellent sign that curling is becoming more mainstream and more accepted here.  I'd like to take at least some credit for it..... but I won't.  Not today. 

01 November 2011


I've had a twinge of pain behind my left knee for about a month now.  Not too serious - I was taking it easy on it as much as I could.  It did make it rather difficult to run, but it had been improving.