Harper’s Island



I don’t watch much television lately: I only have one channel. Two if you count Radio-Canada, but I don’t since I only understand roughly 38% of what I hear on there and, luckily, my cognitive functions only respect the majority vote. So I watch Global, but let me be perfectly clear about this: I find their prime-time programming trite and boring, their everything-else programming to be garbage and, worse yet, their “local” news to be staffed with what appear to be Albertans, with their tacky Texas-lite fashion sense and honking, adenoidal accents. Plus, I can’t stand having to see Kevin Newman’s face every fifteen minutes. Peter Mansbridge, now that’s where it’s at (unless you happen to be Wendy Mesley). I never thought I’d miss the oft overwhelming smugness of the Mansbridge in full effect as much as I do — those dulcet tones breaking the news of horrible events, always delivered in the manner best suited to the material, always softening the blow with a certain je-ne-sais-baldness. But most of all, I miss the way he drawls out Geeeoooorrrgge Strombo’s name in that half-mocking, half-affectionate, all-hilarious nightly outro on the National. Say what you want about the Mansbridge, but these are all qualities sorely lacking in Kevin “Receding Hair Line” Newman. I’m sorry, but if you’re going to gain any respect in the world of primetime network journalism, you have to commit, son. None of this half-assed shit. Bald thyself now!

But where was I?

Global sucks, right, and I probably shouldn’t kick them while they’re down but I can’t help it. You see, they have a show called Harper’s Island. I’ve never watched this show, have absolutely (overused word? I think so) no idea what it’s about, nor any desire to change this. The thing is, I’ve gone about inventing my own story for Harper’s Island. It’s quite simple and it can play out in my head whenever I want, no mere slave to network programming, no more suckling at the teet of sponsors. Here’s the premise: Steve Harper, the casual, fictional version of Prime Minister Stephen Harper, owns an island. How? Well, he’s an economist. Those guys know shit about eekanahmix. Do you know how much money someone like that makes? I have no idea, but this one makes enough to own an island. It’s not a huge island, per se, but it’s big enough to make quite the entertaining spectacle of watching a bookish, socially awkward man hunt (mostly) innocent people with a high-powered rifle and anything else at his disposal. Ten lucky contestants – each week! Steve likes to keep busy, but it’s no walk in the park. For one, the island is haunted by the ghost of Chuck Cadman, who works to thwart Steve’s every move by appearing to the prey, warning them every time the soft blue menace settles in for a headshot. Then there’s the kidney stones: every time Steve makes a kill, he is bent double by crippling abdominal pain, leaving him prone to attack. Well, prone-er. Most of the contestants are invalids, former shut-ins and bad children. That’s right, KIDS! And you better smarten up or you’ll be making a trip to Uncle Steve’s island. Not that you won’t have a fighting chance. In the name of fair play, the prey are, shall we say, riled up a bit prior to their release into the wild. Get their blood pumping, a warm-up. A frenzy! The invalids are withheld their emotional and physical validation. The RC shut-ins are ruthlessly denied Mass For Shut-Ins while the non-RC shut-ins, who aren’t really bothered by this, are slapped around by hired goons. And the kids? Well, they get a glucose-fructose iv and a headfull of Sunset Yellow FCF. Then, just as the melee is reaching it’s violent apex, the doors are thrown open to the outside and everyone stops dead for exactly one second, a siren sounds, causing the havoc to resume, and four mounted RCMP in full regalia arrive to herd the prey into the forest with aid of sharpened-pool-cue lances. No tasers here, bro.

Then the fun begins.

Steve, a true connoisseur of the hunt, does not go for any Cheney-style turkey shoots. Granted, there’s always those four or five confused prey who end up milling around outside the compound walls after the Mounties leave — usually Maritimers looking for hand-outs, or at least that’s what Steve tells himself so he can sleep at night. They’re the first to go, plucked off one by one. Sometimes he does it from inside the compound, sniping from the roof under cover of dark with the aid of an infrared scope. Sometimes he lets Jason Kenney do it. Other times, when feeling like more of a man of the people, Steve’ll go outside and get up close and personal with a gold-plated Desert Eagle and a claw hammer. After that it’s into the woods, Steve’s very own Forest of Arden, but with a lot more killing and a lot less courtly love. This is no comedy of manners, people — this is a bloodbath! Harp — that’s what his friends call him, well, they’re actually the editorial staff of the National Post, but that’s the closest thing he has to friends — stalks his prey like a red-eyed beast whose blood runs Tory blue, like your mother’s horny, alcoholic divorcee friend stalks fresh meat at the local country bar on any given Wednesday through Saturday night. Like someone who really likes killing things and, boy, does he get some killing done. Even when the specter of Cadman shows up, Steve just throws an envelope of cash in his general direction, tells the ghost to eff off and continues on his way, shrugging through the flora and fauna, brushing burdocks from his sweater. Headshot here, child dashed on the rocks Piggie-style there. Then it’s back to the compound for milk, egg salad sandwiches and bible study.

Now that’s what I call TV!

You can have your Big Brother, your Deal or No Deal, or any other number of shows designed for halfwits. Me? I’ll take Harper’s Island. There are no winners, no losers and no annoying douchebag hosts. Nor is there any Mansbridge.

But I can deal with that. I can deal with that for Uncle Steve.


2 Responses to “Harper’s Island”

  1. 1 Dave

    just pointing out the use of the word “ass”. As you already know…. its ARSE. I know, I need a hobby. Apart from that (and not really getting the localisations) another fueled and enjoyable piece.

  2. 2 arsebundren

    Dave! You’re back! Yeah, yeah, I know… arse not ass, but we all slip up sometimes.

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