Entertainment and Sports

I Know No Know

No one really knows what's in another's mind. Not even Dr. Phil or Tom Cruise.

By Kevin Somers
Published June 05, 2008

I know a guy who busks for a living. Busker Al has been playing in front of the liquor store at Barton and Gage in Hamilton for 10 years. He tells me people are more apt to toss change, so Al loves the Toonie and can't wait for the Fivie. No kidding.

I know a guy with drinking problem. That's bad, no doubt. However, I know a guy with a gambling problem, and that's worse. I know a guy, who knows a guy, who wears a diaper in casinos. They call it gaming, but there's noooooo way sitting in your own discharge is fun, which games are supposed to be. Know what I mean?

Contrary to conservative claims, there's no common sense in gambling. An alcoholic can drink $20 - $50 a day, but a gambler blows that in five seconds. It's not long until they've got no money at all and that's no fun; less fun if they've got no diapers left, either.

I don't know how, but Ontario suddenly resembles a poor man's Las Vegas. Yet, despite all the new and lucrative gambling-revenue the government enjoys, everything gets worse. I know a guy who says it's all organized crime. No one argues too strenuously.

No Doubt is the name of a band. Their lead singer, Gwen Stefani, went solo and released a single that went, "...I ain't no hollaback girl / I ain't no hollaback girl..." After hearing the song, Brian, the dry, pompous, talking dog from Family Guy, said, "I don't know what a hollaback girl is, but I want her dead."

No means no, but my kids think it means keep asking.

Any hockey fan, businessman, or dire idiot knows Southern Ontario should have another NHL team. Or, at least, a legitimate one. As I write this, the Leafs have no GM, no coach, and no players who could stand out in a Beer league, except Mats. There is no joy in Mudville.

I know a woman who, against all odds, got into med school at Mac. Way to go, Jen.

I know Ellen Cowie, a great, great painter.

John Lester of the Boston Red Socks recently threw a no-hitter. Two years ago, the 24 year old had to put his career on hold for cancer treatment. You never know what's coming.

No way, no how, nowhere did George Bush ever deserve to be president of anything more important than one floor of a frat house at an academy for rich idiots, like DICK Cheney.

No one really knows if there's life after death. Be it Atheist or Agnostic, Buddhist or Baptist, Catholic or Christian, Jehovah or Jesuit, Muslim or Mormon, Scientologist or Satanist, a firm, unshakeable belief is not really knowing; it's extreme hoping. I don't know much, but that much I know.

I know a guy who bought a Celine Dion CD. "No way!" you say. No, I swear it's true.

Speaking of freaky female crooners, they tried to make Amy Winehouse go to rehab, but she said, "No, no, no."

Don Rumsfeld said, "Reports that say that something hasn't happened are always interesting to me, because as we know, there are known knowns; there are things we know we know. We also know there are known unknowns; that is to say we know there are some things we do not know. But there are also unknown unknowns -- the ones we don't know we don't know." Like most pompous know-it-alls, Rummy doesn't know what he's talking about.

I know a guy who killed another guy I knew by stabbing him. It happened at my old job. From first hand experience, I know that mismanagement kills. Say no to bad bosses.

Say no to drugs. Say no to lots of stuff.

I know another guy who did time for robbing banks. Lord knows prison straightened him out. When I asked him if he'd do it again, without hesitation, he said, "No."

I know three guys who committed suicide. Like me, they are all raised in Ottawa's idyllic suburbs, where things looked perfect. I know things are rarely what they seem.

No one really knows what's in another's mind. Not even Dr. Phil or Tom Cruise.

I know a guy who is a total know-it-all. No matter what, he says, "Yeah, I know," even if I make something up or we're watching the news.

According to my old and worn thesaurus, perceive, cognize, and discern are synonyms for know. No1 is the chemistry symbol for the element nobelium. No. is a short form for number. No is a denial, a refusal, or a negative vote. When we lived in Japan we went to see Noh; traditional Japanese theatre: booorrrrrring. N.o. is cricket vernacular for not out. An unlawfully delivered cricket bowl is called a no-ball. My wife says I'm a no-hoper, whatever that means.

Random quotes, thoughts, and lyrics: You know I'm no good. How will I know? I want to know what love is. A censor is a man who knows more than he thinks you ought to. What I learned I no longer know; what I still know, I guessed. Do you know the way to San Jose? Know what I mean, Jellybean? That's no way to treat a lady. I remember, I remember Buffalo. I remember Hengelo. It would seem to me I remember every single f**%^!ing thing I know.

Kevin Somers is a Hamilton writer.

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