Coronation Street Scene of the Week (May 8/11)

The Salesman

“Oh, what a tangled web we weave when first we practice to deceive!” John Stape would Windasses arrive at the store to see salesman Johnknow without having to google it that this famous line comes from Sir Walter Scott’s poem Marmiom. That’s because he’s an English teacher who loves his job. So much so that he’s woven himself a huge web of deceit. And he’s enjoying it.

I’m beginning to think what he really really wants to be is an actor. This week he had to pretend to be a furniture salesman in a store. But the real staff and customers didn’t know that he was just pretending. He was showing Windasses, John the salesman, customer and manager in sofa sectionsofas to the Windasses who believe him to be an employee of the store.

I don’t suppose it would have worked if he’d gone to the floor manager and said ‘look, would you mind if I pretend to work here?’ So he had to spin one story to the Windasses, one to another customer who asked him for assistance, and a third story to the manager. A lot of balls to juggle, but then balls don’t seem to be a problem for our John.

Teaching deception or practicing

John explains to managerSo I think I was wrong about John when I argued previously that he was simply someone who loved teaching. I now think he just loves the thrill of deception, and that could come from teaching or paving streets. Perhaps he is more like those people you hear about who practice medicine with no medical training or build bridges with no engineering background – just to see if they can get away with it.

Perhaps this started because of his love of teaching, but it’s moved way beyond that to deception for the sake of deceiving. Corrie Canuck posters are trying to diagnose John’s personality disorder. Tvor at Bluenose Corrie Blogger says “John’s turned into Ken Barlow on crack.” Ha!

Ches listening to John's explanationChesney seems to be the only one in the Battersby-Brown-Stape-Fishwick household with his head screwed on straight about this one. He summarized the situation very well: “you’re conning your employers, abusing people’s trust” to John. And to Fiz, “you’re a bigger idiot than I thought you were.”

Schmeichel watches the showEven Schmeichel seems to have decided that schmuck John can fend for himself. The jilted husband and ex-con who believes Stape is Fishwick is looking for vengeance. When he first came to the door, with only Chesney home, Schmeichel growled and buddy backed off. But when Mr. Ex-Con was in the house threatening John, Schmeichel just watched it all.

twins make soup tin pyramid in shopAnd in honour of today being Mother’s Day, I have to ask: what is Sunita doing? Why would she think for one second that taking those constantly wired kids to the shop was a reasonable thing to do? I’ve come to dread seeing those children on the screen.

TVP Pasta Sauce

TVP tomato sauce on spaghettiIf you’re vegetarian or not, TVP is your friend. ‘Textured Vegetable Protein’ is a soy product that looks like bacon bits or small cat kibble. You can buy it in most grocery stores. I found it in my local bulk store. It’s cheap and good.

Add boiling water to TVP

In case you get it without instructions, just add the same amount of boiling water to your amount of TVP and let it sit a couple minutes until the water is absorbed. That’s it cooked. For spaghetti sauce, just add the ‘cooked’ TVP to your tomato sauce and let it heat through. And you’re done.

TVP tomato sauce with grated cheeseYou can use Textured Vegetable Protein pretty much anywhere you’d use ground beef. I’ve never tried making meatloaf out of it, but you might be able to. Just make sure you use enough of a binding agent, like egg or gluten, to keep it loaf-like. It has no grease, of course, so you want to make sure it doesn’t just crumble. That’s why pasta sauces are so easy to make with it.

I made the tomato sauce pictured here using a half cup of TVP, half a jar of ready-made pasta sauce and about 2 cups of stewed fresh tomatoes. Add herbs as usual and that’s it. This has grated cheddar on top. You can also use parmesan of course. Or soy cheese if you want to keep it vegan.


Hats off (or on) to the past few days!

It’s been quite a four days – perhaps best summarized with The Hat.  Everybody’s had a go at this new game.

The Hat – the inspiration

Princess Beatrice and The Hat at the royal weddingFriday was the birth of The Hat. The day was a bank holiday in the UK so that everyone could watch The Royal Wedding.   Millions of us elsewhere also watched.  The Hat made its first appearance. On Princess Beatrice’s head, blocking the view for many.

Photoshopping The Hat

White House, with hats, from FacebookBut while we were watching the fairy tale wedding, in the White House other events were being watched.  Friday, so we learned, was also the culmination of 10 years of The Hunt for Osama bin Laden.  The Hat was there, helping.

Sunday, Celebrity Apprentice was pre-empted in the last few critical moments (would Nene pleasepleaseplease be fired?  No – she Star, Hope and Nene in the boardroomwasn’t, oh no!)  The Hat should have been there – this is its natural habitat.  Some of the outfits worn by these “celebrity” women would fit right in those worn by the Princesses Eugenie and Beatrice.

Donald Trump, with The Hat, from FacebookWhy did President Obama interrupt The Donald?  Osama bin Laden had Osama bin Laden, in The Hat, from Facebookbeen killed by US troops.  Before this news was made public, The Hat had already found its way to bin Laden’s head.

Monday, Canada’s election produced an odd result.  A Conservative majority with (for the first time ever) the NDP as official Opposition.  The Liberals and Michael Ignatieff, with The Hatthe Bloc were pretty much wiped off the political map.  Gilles Duceppe said his goodbyes to his party Monday evening, Michael Ignatieff waited until Tuesday morning.  The Hat talked him into it.

Brilliant Speed, with The HatAnd coming up on Saturday, hats will be big in Louisville.  It’s the 137th running of the Kentucky Derby.  Having tried my hand at photoshopping The Hat, I’m definitely rooting for Brilliant Speed. He very kindly loaned me his head. It looks quite nice on him. But it would make for serious wind resistance.

Patrick wins – no hat

Patrick Chan, doing victory lap at WorldsBack to last Friday, Patrick Chan won gold at the World Figure Skating Championships in Moscow.  Hurray Patrick, hurray Canada. (no hat)

The Hat on Princess Beatrice is an AP photo from Friday’s wedding.  The Hat on Michael Ignatieff was done by Jim Stewart.  The others of The Hat are from Facebook.  The photo of Patrick Chan is by AP and the boardroom photo of Team ASAP is from buddytv.

Coronation Street Scene of the Week (May 1/11)

The Wedding Planner

Mary telling Hayley nonono to small event roomMonday, Mary leaping at Hayley in the fancy hotel’s small event room when Hayley says she prefers it to the large ballroom. Hayley is especially pleased to see the steam train yard outside the window, remarking that Roy would like that. ‘Who cares?’ is Mary’s reaction.

“It’s your wedding day, not a trainspotters’ outing.” It’s your day, it doesn’t matter what he thinks, it’s about you, you, all about you. Your chance to shine, Mary tells Hayley it's your day, book the ballroomyour chance to be the princess, the fairy tale dress in the fairy tale ballroom. “The day you’ve thought of since you were a little —  since you were small.”

Even before her  ‘your day’ tirade, she had summarily dismissed the small room. Not the Cinderella ballroom, so not good enough. “Intimate is sales speak for you couldn’t swing a cat, but by the look of the décor they’ve had a damn good try at it.”  The poor hotel manager! He looks offended, but also terrified.

Run, Hayley!

Mary leads Hayley away from hotel managerMary is brilliant. It must have been hard for anyone on the set or near it to keep from laughing out loud during the taping. She is positively frightening. You knew, when Hayley agreed to look at Mary’s wedding planning book, that it was going to become hideous. Mary outdoes herself in this scene. Considering how scary Mary is at the best of times, that’s saying something. Run Hayley run!