A Deadly Month

            Nine people I knew well have died this month, and there’s still almost a week to go.

Can It Be True?

            Another storm of controversy has pounded the Canada Revenue Agency, this time the auditor general’s damning report about the agency’s stunning incompetence and apparent duplicity in dealing with taxpayers’ telephone inquiries. It's inconceivable that the major broadcast bureaus haven’t invited the minister in charge, Diane Lebouthillier, to be interviewed; and I'm equally sure any other minister would have immediately called a press conference. Although the CRA issued a wholly inadequate written statement, once again Ms. Lebouthillier is nowhere to be seen or heard.

            Can the rumour that she can’t speak English possibly be true?

But Another Minister Impresses

            The auditor general’s report was also highly critical of the government’s Phoenix payroll fiasco. But in this case the minister in charge of the file, rookie Public Service and Procurement Minister, Carla Qualtrough, came through with flying colours.

            She was refreshingly impressive in meeting the issue head on and giving straight, articulate, credible answers without resorting to evasive, partisan talking points.

Justin Trudeau’s Burden

            Even though I try not to, every time I see our Prime Minister preening and mugging in still another selfie or photo bomb I’m reminded of the lyrics of Mac Davis’ novelty hit song “It’s Hard To Be Humble,” the chorus of which is:

 “Oh Lord it's hard to be humble
When you're perfect in every way
I can't wait to look in the mirror
Cause I get better looking each day
To know me is to love me
I must be a hell of a man

Oh Lord It's hard to be humble
But I'm doing the best that I can.”

Country Song Titles

            After I posted last week’s Musings containing a few more clever country song titles, my friend Paul Grady sent me one he wrote a few years ago titled “It’s My Story (And It’s Sticking To Me).” He also said he’s considering writing one called “Do You Think I’m Odd To Want To Get Even?”

            Paul’s outstanding song writing credits include Anne Murray’s “You Can’t Go Back,” “Uproar,” and “Another Pot O’Tea;” John Allan Cameron’s “Get There By Dawn;” and Bruce Murray’s “Belle Of The Ball.” I’ve heard Anne say more than once that “Pot O’Tea” is one of her all-time favourite songs.

Quality is Always Worth The Price

            I’ve told a version of this story before, but I think during this intense shopping period it’s worth repeating.

            A couple of months after I started working full time I thought I’d saved enough money to buy a new jacket, a couple of shirts, and a pair of slacks. I went into a store on Yonge St. in downtown Toronto and, carefully checking the price tags, picked out items that I had enough cash to buy.

            When I took them to a man I thought was a clerk, but who actually turned out to be the owner (a wonderful gentleman by the name of Max Gold), he asked me my name and where I worked. I told him and then he said, “Lyman, let me show you some other items I think would look better on you.”

             As he made his choices I kept a mental tally of the cost. When he was finished I said, “Mr. Gold, these are too expensive. They add up to three times the money I have.”  “That’s all right,” he responded, “make a payment now and drop in every payday and give me what you can afford until the total is paid off.”

             He went on to say, “Always remember, Lyman, that when you buy something cheap, you may feel good when you pay for it, but later you’ll be disappointed every time you use it. When you buy a quality article, you may have doubts when paying for it, but later you’ll be pleased every time you use it.”

             It should be no surprise that I continued to buy all my clothes at “Lynn-Gold Men’s Clothing” until Max retired and the store closed many years later.

Speaking Of Clothing

            During my executive coaching days one of the most common questions I was asked was what to wear on particular occasions. As being conspicuously over-dressed can be as embarrassing as being uncomfortably under-dressed, my advice was always to dress just a little bit better than you think the occasion calls for.