The Phantom Creeps

The Phantom Covid Briefing Bingo

Welcome back, kittens. Welcome to another episode of 2020. We’re here to cover Justin Trudeau’s Covid-19 briefing today, and to respond to the demand of literally none of your requests for a Seventh Generation Bingo Card. Play one or play them all; it’s 2020 and nothing matters anymore.

…and the long awaited Seventh Generation Card. Enjoy.

Holy crap, Alberta has an almost 10% Positive rate! Alberta is fucked. Tent field hospitals and trench graves lie in their future.

Here’s our video for today:

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau addresses Canadians from outside his home in Ottawa on the federal government’s response to the ongoing COVID-19 (coronavirus disease) pandemic.

Fewer than 650 views. Canada is clearly not in ANY MOOD for another Covid-19 briefing. But here we are, kittens. We happy few are one in our esoteric taste in edutainment in 2020.

Mark “Outdoors” and “Mask” and “Back at Rideau Hall” and wow, nobody, NOBODY had “purple shirt” on their bingo cards, not even the 7th generation. Oh, and “Vaccine” and “begins in English”.

Purple shirt. We are in the Purple Shirt era, kittens. This pandemic has gotten to all of us.


Had a long convo with the late, immortal Jamie Lee Hamilton about the relationship between sex work and violence. Not got time to recap it right now, but it’s long and complicated.

“Long term care homes” and “thanks the military” squares in play.

Of course, you have your “Seasonal porchscaping” square and “Facial hair” as well.

This is what’s at stake.

This is why we all need to do our part.

Now is not the time to blame one another or point fingers.

Now is the time for us to keep working together.

Justin Trudeau

Actually I know some small business owners who are lazy asses, but let’s go with your model. It’s cheerier. And mark your “Finds new way to give Canadians money.”

New catchphrase for the next briefing bingo card:

There’s your “Shout out to religious holiday” square. My French is so advanced I now recognize the word for “Christmas.” YUP. I’m Just That Good.

Sounds like domestic violence is the theme of the week at the federal government level. Inneresting.

Wait, what? I got all excited that a journalism student called in, but they asked the old “boil water advisories on reservations” question, which Trudeau has answered a thousand times at least. He gives the same answer as always.

And our new square on the 7th Generation card: “Christmas specifically mentioned” and also mark your “Two Michaels” square and “Fails to translate answer into other official language” for previous question.

Oh, you can mark your new “I make a coffee and forget it in the kitchen” square. I’ve gotta have a square for “Literally repeats the answer he gave” because that’s what he did in response to the question about India.

“Every step of the way” mark it twice.

And we’re all done!

These things are getting shorter and shorter. Wonder if we’ll go back to once a week. Time is a circle. It’s March 267th, 2020.

Linus and Jean Cocteau are the Absurdists We Need Now

Also, did you see that moment early on where he looked down behind the podium and was annoyed by something? Mark your “Trudeau looks cross for a reason apparently unrelated to the briefing” square. What the HELL was down there? Intern? Pocket wolverine? Unruly sock? Guesses in the comments section, please.

Now we’re really done.

Ah yes, not quite. Just like with the virus. First, here is the official text of Trudeau’s remarks. Secondly, let’s talk about the movie.

Our film today is the immortal The Phantom Creeps, which is possibly the most ridiculous of Bela Lugosi films, even counting Plan 9 from Outer Space. So ridiculous that when MST3K did it, they almost didn’t have to add anything. Because while, yes, the Phantom does indeed creep, it does so clumsily, hilariously, while looking like a wind up novelty spider. Not even vaguely phantom-like. But it’s perfect, because this pandemic is not even vaguely emergency-like, at least on the surface. It’s the slowest-moving zombie movie of all time.

Here’s MST3K’s take on The Phantom Creeps.

Meanwhile in the US (and parts of Canada that haven’t been paying attention):

Plan #Covid19 from Outer Space. Briefing Bingo. Oh, like YOU’re not half-assing it these days.

We are later-calling the COVID briefing bingo for today, for lo, we were still asleep when the briefing itself happened. If someone wants to pay us The Big Bucks (like, any. Any bucks. We’re not proud) we’ll be happy to not sleep through two different alarms. One is using the royal “we” of course. We have no idea why. One has no idea why. One and we blame the multiple alarms.


We or I am of the mind or minds that we or I or all of us have run out of Paul Naschy werewolf movies and rather than re-use the titles of the many ones which have been re-titled, we are moving on to Bela Lugosi movies, several of which ALSO boast multiple titles. Movie laundering: it’s just like money laundering only you only make 4%, not 30%. Bela was hot.

Bela could Get It.

So today’s briefing bingo is named after the officially Worst Movie of All Time, Plan 9 from Outer Space. That’s NUMERAL nine. Because we fancy like that.

Here are our cards. Mark one or mark them all. Nothing matters anymore.

And our CPAC video. Do we think they’ll ever reply to our message? No, kittens. No, we do not. But it’s okay. We’ve still got our poetry.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau addresses Canadians from outside his home in Ottawa on the federal government’s response to the ongoing COVID-19 (coronavirus disease) pandemic.

Man, even the CPAC captioning team is half-assing it these days.

Shall we begin? Let us begin.

Mark your “Rideau Hall” and “Holiday decorations” squares right off the top. “Outdoors” too. Plus “Starts more than ten minutes late.” Justin Trudeau was waiting for me. How courteous.

And here he comes with his coat open so we can mark the “Blue Suit” square and put to rest the mystery of whether or not he wears a suit jacket under the coat (I wouldn’t; but then, I have No Standards Literally No Standards Now).

Oh. My. God. AGAIN with the brown shoes with a blue suit. Must my mother rise from the grave to correct this heinous offence? Because frankly I would not put it past her.

No mask, but you can still mark your “Facial Hair” square, same as every briefing since the year dot. “Begins in English” is active. “PPE”, “rapid testing”, “Vaccine”, and “Can see your breath” squares active now.

Honestly, if Trudeau is using mascara I WANT THAT BRAND. Prolly it’s just “being related to his mother.”

Okay, there we have “throat malfunction.” Get that man swabbed STAT! And he’s reiterating that O’Toole was lying (Tick the “Shades The Tories” square) about Canada’s place in the lineup for the vaccine.

I’m thinking I should make a square for “That right eyebrow has its sad little eyebrow island sitting away from the rest of its brothers. Should I?

“Eight out of every ten dollars spent in Canada to fight Covid-19 has been spent by the Canadian government.” The federal government. Go back to your “Shades the provinces” square and mark the HELL out of it.

There’s your “Thanks to the military” for helping in long term care.

Now we are on to the questions. Trudeau looks briefly disapproving of whatever his left hand is doing there, but we are far too refined to ask any questions about that. I guess that’s your “Drama happening off-camera” square, so mark it.

Oh. My. GOD. Kittens. His gloves match his shoes, which is to say that they clash with is suit and my mother is even yet MOAR likely to rise from her grave and haunt him for it. I mean, gotta luv good deerskin but not with light blue.

Oh hello moderator why are you not yelling at him to give the translations? Moderator, your yelling is your entire raison d’etre in 2020. Do Not Shy Away.

Transfer payments under question, not quite under the “stupid gotcha question.” Okay, and at some point the sign language interpreters swapped out, although I didn’t notice exactly where. So mark that square.

And yet again, a kickass response, but not translated to English and my translating translation abilities are limited to “moderator do your job.” Good lord, thank god I’m not even considering “Canadians” as a square on the drinking game, because nobody would make it through the first ten minutes. And there’s your “every step of the way.”

There’s your “Drinks water” square for probably the last time. Because this time next week it’ll be ice. OOooh, there’s your “Shades Harper” and “Shades Tories” squares.

Yanno, we could avoid consumer debt at 19% if you’d reinstate anti-usery laws that banned interest above 16%.

Okay, and we are all done. Honestly I don’t get why he doesn’t do these in jeans. The overcoat is posh enough.

Meanwhile, in the US:

The Covid-19 Briefing Bingo’s Revenge

Today’s briefing bingo, which is really yesterday’s briefing and today’s possible bingo, is brought to you by the Paul Naschy movie The Mummy’s Revenge. Why ask why? It’s 2020 and nothing makes sense anymore.

More and more I believe when I’m dreaming is when I am most awake

Here’s our video of the briefing, which took place as we mentioned, yesterday. I was busy having a life, okay? It was quite a refreshing change, and I’m sure I was deeply missed by all briefing participants. Would a retweet KILL YA?

But I’m over that.

Here’s our CPAC video:

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau addresses Canadians from outside his home in Ottawa to provide an update on the federal government’s response to the ongoing COVID-19 (coronavirus disease) pandemic. He announces that Major-General Dany Fortin will lead the federal government’s vaccine distribution team. The prime minister also comments on his conversations with premiers regarding the COVID-19 vaccine rollout. He says, if everything goes well, most Canadians will be vaccinated by September 2021. The previous day, public health officials said they were expecting to be able to vaccinate three million people by March 2021. Trudeau also announces $542 million funding to help First Nations, Inuit and Métis communities and groups establish their own child and family services systems.

And here are our bingo cards. Yes, I need to Get On that seventh generation card, but at this point I figure we have until at least June, so there’s no particular rush.

And all the previous bingo episodes are on the Briefing Bingo Category page. Which might as well just be the main blog page, because I’m putting nothing much else here these days.

This is the only year in recent history when the question “What’s new?” qualifies as trolling.

To begin, we have “Begins in English” and “Facial Hair” and “Back at Rideau Hall” and “Outerwear”. Methinks those suit colour squares are going to go unchecked until, say, March or April. I bet he’s cheating and not even wearing the jacket under that coat, as would we in his place.

“We are in some of the toughest days of this pandemic and we are going to have to hold on tight.”

Somebody took care of the scuff marks on the door, I notice. Doggy scuff marks or human scuff marks? Enquiring minds want to know, because it’s 2020 and we’re desperate for entertainment of any sort. Anyway, they’re gone.

Now we’ve got “Rapid tests” and “PPE” as Trudeau rattles off some figures about how much of this stuff the government is sending out. And yes, new record high infection rates in several provinces, which is just like a daily thing now. Or rather, twice-weekly, as we only get the briefings on Tuesday and Friday. I might as well set my calendar reminders permanently at this point.

Oh, and one for Wednesday too!

Trudeau is now “pushing responsibility to provinces” so mark that one off. He’s laying out just how the federal government is stepping up and, by implication, challenging the provinces to step up and use their budgets and their borrowing power to help their citizens.

Actually looks more like a couple hundred to me.

And mark your “Vaccine” square. And “Team Canada” and “App.” There are 5.5 million people using it and 31.38 smartphone owners in the country, so there is still a long way to go.

On the Seventh Generation square I should definitely have a square for “The Roommate breathes loudly through his nose to indicate disapproval of the fact that he has lost control of the remote control.” But that virtually guarantees I’ll have moved out by the time I post it.

Oooh, motivation!

He’s not finding a new way to give Canadians money, he’s just running down all the ways he’s already given Canadians money.

There is “We have your back.” And I totally have to put that on the Seventh Generation card before it goes stale. Remember “From Coast to Coast to Coast?” Once that got on a card it was never seen again. I’m more influential than I thought, clearly!

I don’t know my own strength!

That sounds like “Donc” to me, so mark that one. And he’s alternating between “flattening” and “bending” the dreaded Curve. Neither of those are squares yet, but we got “every step of the way” so mark that. Repeatedly. And I note that I’ve got the same square for “Briefing ends abruptly” twice on the Sixth Generation square.

And definitely “Thanks the Armed Forces” square is in action. And “Gesticulates” too. And now either the Prime Minister is warming up or Ottawa is cooling off, because you can mark your “Can see your breath” square. Well, that was gesticulation to a positively aerobic extent, let’s give it its due.

And there goes the moderator yelling at him to do it again, in French. Unilingual countries’ leaders have it way easier comparatively speaking. They don’t need to hire people to yell at them; their people will do it for free!

There’s your “Sign language interpreters swapped out” square, mark it. Not even 30 minutes into the actual briefing, inneresting.

And mark the “Drinks water” square and “Twinkleface.” If I were Justin Trudeau I would not be twinkling at the CBC, but it’s his call. And it does in fact look like he’s wearing a suit jacket underneath that coat, either pale blue or grey. We’ll see what colour the trousers are when he goes back inside.

Oho, plot twist! They are black! Surely Justin Trudeau would not wear a pale grey or blue suit jacket with black suit trousers (even if he would put brown shoes with a grey or blue suit, which is, again, JUST MORALLY WRONG). So, again, we are unable to tell you which if any suit colour square to mark off.

And that’s a wrap. No mask this time, I note. Not that it’s really necessary for a man to go from his front door to a podium and back.

See you Tuesday unless something happens. Or nothing happens. It’s 2020: anything or nothing could happen at any moment!

The Covid Briefing Bingo vs the Vampire Woman

Welcome back, kittens. Seems like we’re here every Tuesday these days, “here” being both online and at Rideau Cottage, the substantial, foursquare, and quite un-cottage-like brick home in which the Prime Minister and his family live. He’s working from home during this, the Second of the Waves, which is why we’re here, and I can’t find myself annoyed by it. God knows, I love to see a man in good outerwear.

It certainly beats the sterile briefing room that we have had since the start of the summer. We may never see Seymour again, but we have seasonal porchscaping instead, and that’s what I call an upgrade!

Yes, I’m taking joy where ever I can find it these days. even in seasonal porchscaping. I ain’t proud.

And yes, we are still naming these posts after old Paul Naschy werewolf films, because it’s 2020 and the idea that things are supposed to make sense is just so 2018. Today’s film is La Noche de Walpurgis, which translates as Walpurgisnacht, but I’m betting you don’t speak German any better than you speak Spanish, so The Bloody Pit of Horror blog gives us a full run-down of all the other names by which this movie goes. You know it’s a totally crap movie when it has aliases. If I were to release this movie I’d do it under an assumed name too.

  • aka: Blood Moon
  • … aka: Night of the Vampire
  • … aka: Shadow of the Werewolf
  • … aka: Walpurgis Night
  • … aka: Walpurgis Night: Wolf vs. Vampire
  • … aka: Werewolf Shadow
  • … aka: Werewolf vs. Vampire Woman, The
  • … aka: Werewolf versus the Vampire Woman, The

We’re going with the last name, because, again, why the fuck not?

Linus’ story is not even the story you are reading right now


Here is your trailer, which is fun to watch while we’re all waiting for the briefing to start. And here is the full movie on YouTube, in case it’s really, really fucking late.

“Things happen that have never been seen by human beings,” so, basically #Peak2020. Perfect. “See it with someone you hate” oh man, ALL of the taglines from this movie work to sum up this year.

Now, to the cards. We’re overdue for the Seventh Generation card, and it’ll come one day, but that day is not this day. Sorry, kittens, you’ll just have to keep returning to the well. The blog. The RSS reader. The email subscription. I dunno, is the internet many places, or is it all one, and divisions purely arbitrary distinctions born of limited perspectives?

I am speaking, you understand, I am speaking only of the internet.

Oh, right, the cards:

And all the previous bingo episodes are on the Briefing Bingo Category page. Someday we’ll even create a Covid-19 Briefing Drinking Game but we’re in the middle of a sobriety pledge right now (day off to celebrate Freed Jeremy Hammond Day) so get back to us in January.

And here is our actual video for today, which 848 people are currently watching. And now, half an hour late, even us.

We’re jumping into the middle of the questions, but you can tick your “Donc” square at least.

so, yeah, I did that

Mark your “Starts more than ten minutes late” square. So it’s not just us.

Yes, mark your “New porchscaping” square. And I guess if we’re also doing squares that rarely/never change, might as well mark off the “Facial hair” square too. Will we see “cleanshaven” again? I wonder. “Back at Rideau Hall” is clearly in play (cottage/hall, whatever, it’s on the grounds of Rideau Hall). And “Holiday decorations” too, so seasonal porchscaping is a twofer!

Oh yes, mark your “Outdoors” square too. And “Outerwear” as is only right and proper. Rideau Cottage does NOT count as “on location.” Not after all these months. And finally at 23:25, Trudeau emerges from the house to begin the briefing. Mark your “Mask” square.

It was nice of him to wait for me, really it was. And I almost would have made it on time, if I had one of those coffee makers you could program. But I don’t, so I was in the kitchen brewing some Kickass blend. Priorities!

And yes, “Begins in English”. He usually only begins in French if the briefing is in Quebec.

Oh yay /sarcasm, new record daily highs of Covid-19 in multiple provinces. People, have you MET other people? Do you really like them that much, enough to potentially kill them? Even *I* would not go out and socialize with a group of people, and I HATE my roommate (I don’t, I just hate the fact that he lives here, in the house that he owns).

Now we have “Audio issues” and “Touches mic” and I should totally make a square for “Deja vu because we did this in the First Wave” for sending the military in to old folks’ homes.

Update on personal protective equipment, vaccines, and therapeutics: Since last week, we’ve sent more than 2.9 million pairs of nitrile gloves to the provinces and territories. We’ve also sent out 4.6 million rapid tests over the past few months – and millions more are coming.

We’ve received more than 24 million syringes and needles, which we’ll use when we have a vaccine. On that front, we heard promising news yesterday about AstraZeneca and Oxford University’s vaccine candidate. We already have an agreement for up to 20 million doses of it.

We’ve also signed an agreement for up to 26,000 doses of Eli Lilly’s therapeutic drug, and we have options for thousands more doses. This treatment was developed in partnership with Vancouver’s AbCellera Biologics, and is part of our support for researchers here at home.

Originally tweeted by Justin Trudeau (@JustinTrudeau) on November 24, 2020.

He’s doing his OWN summaries on Twitter? How did I not notice until now? Great, thanks, you do my work for me!

“Every step of the way” and “Finds a new way to give Canadians money” squares active for yet another new rent subsidy and wage subsidy. And “Second Wave”.

You can only mark “every step of the way” once per briefing, no matter if he says it a dozen times. Which we might see today.

“Rapid tests” square is active. Trudeau is specifically mentioning the amount of money the federal government is pouring into Alberta. Recent polls have his approval rate there at 55% while the CPC premier’s popularity is down around 30%, so this is perfect game theory in action.

Seriously, Trudeau needs an “every step of the way” intervention.

And there’s your “App” square, half an hour in. 5.4 million Canadians have downloaded it so far. Be like Sasha. Sasha was asymptomatic, but had the app, and got a notification he’d been exposed, so he went in and got tested, only to find it was positive. He’d never have known otherwise.

For once, they didn’t swap out the sign language interpreters. The mind! It fairly boggleth!

I think I need to add a square for microphone bobbling to the Seventh Generation Bingo Card. Which I’ll be making today and posting probably Friday, when there will almost certainly be another Covid-19 briefing.

Meanwhile, in New Brunswick, things are getting fraught.

Tick your “Donc” and “You can see your breath” squares. There are over 900 people watching the video of today’s covid-19 briefing. FINALLY it seems like people are catching on to these, and of course I miss half an hour of it.

And your “Vaccine” square too.

“No one place gets done with Covid-19 until all places are done with Covid-19.”

Interesting. 2800 watching the CTV live coverage of the briefing today, vs about 1000 watching CPAC. And 3200 watching the CBC version too. But then, we’ve always been outliers. still, this is the MOST popular briefing we’ve seen in terms of viewership. I wonder why.

Oh, who am I kidding? It’s clearly that they want to play Briefing Bingo. RIGHT? [hint: the correct answer is RIGHT!]

Shout-out to the moderator, who does not hesitate to yell at the Prime Minister “And again in the OTHER official language” or words to that effect. Can you imagine the job listing? “Must be willing to yell at Justin Trudeau repeatedly.” How did O’Toole not at least apply?

Tick your “Building back better” square, even if it did come from a mere reporter. Also your “Drinks water” square. That was the PM. No idea if the reporters are drinking, but if experience is any guide…well…have you MET one?

Tick your “Twinkleface” square. No idea why he’s twinkling at reporters, but he’s twinkling. Mark it.

Mark your “PPE” square. I wonder how long they’ll have a glass of water on the podium? Ottawa’s bloody cold. To keep it liquid through the winter, they’ll have to replace it with vodka or gin, and wouldn’t THAT be a fun briefing? I really do have to get working on that drinking game.

I need a square for “layered outerwear” because I can see a tie, shirt, fleece jacket, and wool coat. I need a “Five Eyes” square, clearly. Good to see some questions around that. And mark your “Two Michaels” square.

“Coercive Diplomacy” should be a square. So far it’s only been applied to China, but it could have applied to Twunt’s administration as well. And mark your “My aunt calls during the briefing” square. Four Fucking Times. That’s a new personal best.

And that’s a wrap.

Meanwhile, in the US:

The thing about creating an army of losers, aka the Twunt/Q strategy, is that they continue to lose.

But also:

Lifeline Tablets a lifeline for patients and their families

Hello, kittens. While we have your attention we’d like to draw your attention to a very helpful initiative posted over on OpCovid19: Lifeline Tablets.

In These Troubled Times™ when we cannot be together physically, it can be all too easy to forget about those who cannot connect with their friends, family, and loved ones online. We literally cannot see them. Lifeline tablets aims to bridge the digital divide for Covid-19 patients by supplying specially-configured tablets so that they can take their place on the Internet, the digital Agora of our time.

Lifeline Tablets exists to put mobile tablets in the hands of those who need them the most. And we’re starting with COVID-19 patients. For just under $100, we supply kits that include a pre-configured mobile tablet, hands free gooseneck stand, and headphones with mic. As a registered US nonprofit, donations to Lifeline Tablets are tax deductible.

We may not be able to give our loved ones a hug if they’re quarantined, but at least if they are able to get online, they do not ever have to be alone. Lifeline Tablets can help to make that happen. Head over to their website to check them out and donate, subscribe to their newsletter, share the link, and follow them on social media.