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Steve Bartlett: Things that make you go …

Things that make you go ARGH.
Things that make you go ARGH.

As if Mondays didn’t already suck, this morning, I’m here screaming for your attention.

Steve Bartlett: The Deep End

But please don’t move to the next story just yet.

I’ve got something to say.

It’s not profound or profane, it’s … “ARGH!”

They say to write what you know, but because my mother (and maybe yours) will read this, I really shouldn’t do that.

So I’m going to write about argh.

These days, I know the term well.

Don’t know about you, but at this point of winter, when spring is so close yet so far away, more things than normal make me throw my hands up and yell argh — unfiltered and out of the blue.

You should have seen the looks I got when it happened at Sobeys.

Donald Trump, of course, is making me go argh. He gets away with erratic behaviour and spinning the truth, even though his actions and words impact the stock markets and world peace. Me, I catch heat on days when I spend too much at Tim’s or don’t return an email from HR, which I believe is actually short for HorroR.

A nagging, dry, body spasm-inducing cough is also making me say argh, and blah, and olyk, and all sorts of four-letter words. I’ve been barking like a small, yappy terrier named Beth for five weeks. My kids are asking to feed me treats and if I can sleep on the foot of their bed. A friend is even calling me “Steve Barkalot.” It’s the name I now intend to use on my 2016 tax return.

I uttered a big argh last week after a seven-year-old bowler in Newfoundland and Labrador lost a gold medal for wearing the wrong-coloured pants. The organizers had a decision to make and they put the ball in the gutter. Who knew about bowling’s fascist fashion forces? (Quick, say those last three words five times, as fast as possible.)

I’m relieved society in general is a little more accepting than bowling when it comes to clothing standards, because if things were taken from me for wearing the wrong-coloured pants, I wouldn’t own a single thing.

It hasn’t been all argh lately though.

Lots of things are making me go “HAR” too, like a recent incident involving my seven-year-old son.

He brings more energy than a Red Bull delivery truck from the second his eyes open until the moment they close.

That’s presented some minor challenges in class, as sitting still and staying quiet require a serious effort.

His school has this great rewards system, where teachers give students “gotchas” — colourful, business-sized cards — if they catch a kid behaving well.

My boy recently earned his first. The conversation when I arrived home from work went something like this:

Son: “Dad, I got a gotcha today!”

Me (ecstatic): “Wow. I’m so proud. Show it to me.”

Son: “I can’t. I don’t have it anymore.”

Me (a little anxious): “Ahhh … why?”

Son: “I sold it for $1.20 so I could buy hot chocolate at the stadium canteen.”


Steve Bartlett is an editor with TC Media. He dives into the Deep End every Monday to escape reality and HR. Reach him at

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