Hey, check it out.  The Dorval Maxi grocery store on Montreal’s West Island is having a sale.  Was $3.49.  Now $4.69!

This would be hilarious if not for the fact that the item on sale is bottled water and said sale just happens to coincide with a boil water advisory that has affected much of Montreal’s West Island for two days now.

Seriously.  I have no problem with law of supply and demand and certainly wouldn’t expect the Dorval Maxi store to be giving the water away to those in need – but, hell, they shouldn’t be jacking up the price and taking advantage of people’s in distress.

I’m a firm believer in what comes around goes around.  The money the Dorval Maxi store makes off desperate people today will be more than offset by customers who will no doubt take their business elsewhere in the future.

So, tell me if this sounds familiar:

It’s future Earth.  On the heels of a failed rebellion, the planet’s totalitarian authority responds by instituting an annual event – a contest in which young people are chosen by lottery and forced to take part in a kill or be killed, winner take all competition. The media coverage of the event is frenzied.  Each participant is given a backpack holding a random weapon, anything from a bow and arrow to a gun.  An older participant, a veteran and survivor of a previous tournament, takes a younger player under their wing.  As the tournament progresses, kill counts are announced by the authorities.

It’s a brutal scenario but, at the heart of the story is a couple who fall in love and, working together, succeed in surviving the ordeal by turning the table on the game’s authorities.

Sound familiar?  It should.  It’s one of my favorite movies – a Japanese film called Battle Royale that came out in 2000, based on a 1999 novel by author Koshun Takami.  It spawned two manga adaptations, a soundtrack, and sequel called Battle Royale II: Requiem.

Why?  What did you think I was talking about?  Ooooh, yeah.  That also happens to be the eerily familiar premise to the hugely popular The Hunger Games, a novel by Suzanne Collins.  Haven’t read the book but similarities give me pause.  Anyone here familiar with both and care to weigh in with their take?

The gang’s coming over for football tomorrow and so, today, Akemi and I spent the afternoon preparing.  Honestly, what’s the first food item you think of when someone says “football”.

Of course!  Truffles!

We made an assortment including milk chocolate-eggnog liqueur with pistachio, Guinness dark with cocoa powder, gianduja with marscapone, and dark chocolate with cane sugar rum and almond.  Will report back on the winner tomorrow when —

My Snow Monkeys, currently in second place in the R.I.P. Stargate Fantate Football League, try to improve their record to a gaudy 5-1!


45 thoughts on “October 15, 2011: Dorval’s Maxi store – always looking out for their customers! Stop me if this sounds familiar! Go Snow Monkeys!

  1. Eh, sorry but truly there isn’t much new under the sun. Not surprised that any novels share many strong similarities. All I care about is how the person handles it. Science fiction– cowboys in space. Though I have to admit that the “people in live games pitted in to-the-death” contests… well really, hello? Gladiators. Nothing new. But also nothing I care to read or see. Been there and done that to death.
    LOL, I glanced and thought “meatballs!” Okay normally truffles would be more desirable but I went to a memorial for a friend’s dad (loved his dad, good guy 🙁 ) and true to southern tradition, enough food and variety to explode from and I think I might. I was home by 6 pm and I still feel like I am going to explode.

  2. Ive been lurking here for months, first time posting. To answer you does it sound familliar? Hell yeah.
    Remember in the 98 ice storm? How candles went to 3 or 4 for a dollar to 5 dollar A PIECE…. yeah.. they will exploit and milk it for all its worth.

  3. Just a quickie!

    1. Send ME some truffles!

    2. The Ren Faire was great!

    3. I bought stuff I shouldn’t have, like an ‘ancient’ jade cicada netsuke (I don’t believe for one minute it was old, or jade, but it WAS cheap, like me! 😀 )

    4. I bought other stuff I shouldn’t have, like a boar’s tooth and some smaller teeth to make a necklace, and a silver gecko (the Geico kind) ring, and a real skunk’s skull.

    5. Why did I buy a skunk’s skull? Well, firstly, it was cleaned by those flesh eating beetles, which in and of itself makes it way cool. Secondly, I like skunks, though I prefer them alive. And thirdly, I thought it would be a nice addition to my mini desktop cabinet of curiosities.

    6. Saw the Scottish pipe and drum group, Albannach. As some may remember, one of their members – Jamesie – was stabbed by a drunk fan back in the spring. Thankfully, he healed up nicely and was back in fine form. However, he wasn’t the one who caught my eye this time. Aya, their bodhran player, has somehow transformed overnight into the sexiest guy in the band. What a lovely smile! Hopefully will have pictures in a day or two.

    7. I really need to be in bed. 😛 Nites, Joey!


  4. Hey Joe, just finished watching Iron Chef America. Why haven’t they had you on the show as a guess judge?

  5. It’s official 12:09 a.m. here in Texas, so let me be the first to wish you a very HAPPY BIRTHDAY.

    Wow. That is very similar to The Hunger Games. Except the main character is faking her love during the Games, but the young man genuinely loves her. She loves a boy named Gale at home in her district. I’ve already glanced at the end of book 3 (yes I’m one of THOSE people), so I won’t spoil it. But if your movie involves a love triangle and a rebellion against the Capitol who makes them play these horrible games, then you have an identical rip-off.

    But I’ll still continue to read it. 🙂

    Thanks for the wishes of sympathy. Saturday was my friend’s funeral. My speech went last and I got a lot of laughs from the group and my husband said the pastor was laughing quite a bit. The pastor told me later I gave him a run for his money (and said I wasn’t kidding when I said I was comfortable with public speaking). I’m glad. I hope that when I die as many people who came to her funeral will come to my memorial service (which will be presented on live stream internet and will definitely have some sort of tweet-up). LOL. The hardest part was watching the casket being lowered into the earth. Never been to a graveside service like that before. Cremate me as quickly as possible, mix my ashes with concrete and throw me in the ocean to be part of some new coral reef; very “green.” I really would not mind being granted immortality. But I’d want to look like I did in my 20’s. Still so much I wish I could do in this lifetime.

    @maggymayday I think we are all getting dental problems from all those delicious sweets Joe is eating for us. I hope that works out well. My dentist has sent me several postcards and called me. I was due to have a cavity or two filled (very small) right after my American Idol finale trip. I had planned to make an appointment in July when that spider-bite thing happened, then in August, but then the “whatever-happened-to-me” infection in the same site occurred, then the hospitalization in August/September, then my lack of stamina and sure enough it is time for my cleaning again and I still have not had the cavity filled. But now I’m waiting because I may have a $800 dental bill to pay for Patrick (I’ve appealed the claim to the insurance company); he needed anesthesia because of his autism and they’ve never rejected it before. Then I saw that I may owe the hospital $5,000, which I don’t have. I couldn’t justify $400 to get my cavities filled, but I know if I leave it too long, it will just get worse. Frustrating.

  6. I noticed someone stated its your birthday, so I hope the snow monkeys dominate on this very special of days for you! While I have read the Hunger Games, I can’t say that I’ve seen the anime you mentioned. After I check it out I’ll compare and contrast for you. In the mean time might I suggest another anime to enjoy during your down time? It’s a wonderful movie that came out in 2007 called Vexille. It deals with a future Japan, isolationism, and advanced robotics. Let me know what you think!


    And, Don’t bitch, You’re *still* YOUNGER than ME!!

  8. Have a very happy birthday Joe! Looks like a great day with friends, food, and football. Those truffles sound amazing, once again.

    @PBMom, that sucks about those dental bills. I hope it all works out okay.

  9. I guess those people in that store need learn what a sale means. O_o

    Wow! Your Snow Monkeys are 5-1? Sounds like they’re having an excellent season! 🙂 I just wish my Giants would shape up.

  10. HAPPY BIRTHDAY JOE!!!!!!!! the snow monkeys must win in celebration of this event. Put some candles in those truffles and oh yeah maybe not if they roll around too much. Its the thought that counts. Since no address to send anything to (yet), guess I will hold on to that (choc,,i mean,…) stuf til another occasion. Enjoy the day and good luck to the monkeys.

  11. Dorval’s Maxi store are heroes! They are putting a damper on hoarding so there is a better chance of there being enough for everyone and they’re taking a hit in publicity as those who don’t understand take umbrage about it.

    Those other stores who know they’ll get good publicity for holding their prices steady, even dropping them — they are taking advantage of whoever might go without because others hoarded when they didn’t need to. Screw you, late shoppers, we wanted to get our store on the news for dropping prices during a shortage, go lick a puddle.

  12. Every once in a while, special people are put on this earth. People with deep passion and immense love for others. People with hearts much greater than average, and today, one of them would like to wish you a happy birthday.

    Happy Birthday, Joe! 😉

  13. Happy Birthday!

    I can’t believe this Dorval store’s sign. I’m too a firm believer in what comes around goes around.
    I watched Battle Royale a few years ago. It was pretty violent but I like it because it was original.
    Truffles for football, really! I only make truffles for Christmas.

  14. Oh Joe, I can’t believe I missed your birthday! I was at a workshop all day and just fell into bed without reading the blog last night – bad of me, I know. I hope that it was a joyous one. As Ganymede says – you’re STILL younger than me. By a significant amount, unfortunately.

    As for supply and demand, we’re not talking about a case of perfect competition where the market price should change daily in response to external factors. Pure greed. Ugh.

    The truffles look terrific. My youngest daughter usually makes them for Christmas, with plenty of Kahluha for me. Go Snow Monkeys!

  15. Happy Birthday Joe!

    I have to admit I haven’t seen Battle Royal or the book you mentioned. The first thing that came to mind for me was that you were talking about a twist on the old 1976 Logan’s Run movie. …I’m seriously dating myself here! LOL!

    Maj. C

  16. Happy Birthday, Joe!

    Watched <b?Battle Royale and the sequel and enjoyed them. I’ve heard of Hunger Games, but never read them, so I can’t comment.

    <b?@das: Pictures, please!

  17. It seems to me that a story is more about the execution than the idea itself. You could give twenty writers the same premise and end up with twenty stories, most of which will be very different from each other, and a handful of which might each be excellent. That’s one thing I learned from fanfic. You could have a group of writers all using the same characters and basic story setup and world, then give them a ‘challenge’: a pairing and basic AU storyline within the given world, and you could end up with fifty or more distinct stories. Sure, there’ll be some recurring themes and similar events through many of them, and some of the stories won’t be very good, but if you’re someone who enjoys those characters, that world, and that premise, you could very well sit there enjoying twenty different riffs on the same story. Even if a story is inspired by something already in existence (and not taking into account that it’s most likely just a coincidence that they’re so similar), the new story doesn’t lessen the old story and generally doesn’t take sales from the old story. Suspiciously close storylines to already-existing stories certainly doesn’t stop things like Avatar and The Mentalist from getting made and appreciated. Not to mention the fact that in cases like the one you’re talking about, the audiences for the two stories probably don’t overlap that much, so the people who would have otherwise missed out on the story premise in the first story get to enjoy it by it being done in the second story.

  18. Happy Birthday, Joe! Yesterday was my husband’s birthday, we had a nice breakfast and he had to go to work. Headed to Yuma with steel. I hope yours has been much better than that! (Friday night celebration supper was frozen fish fillets and canned peas. Weep for us.)

    I’m eyeing my Pinnacle cake vodka, wondering if it would make tasty truffles.

    PBMom, ouch. Those bills make it all so much more insulting, yes? I’m lucky, hubby is retired Navy, so our insurance is decent. Moreso for medical than dental, but still, I seethe every time I see people swamped with medical bills. So unfair!
    As for cavities, I had tons as a kid and young adult. Years ago I swapped from Crest to Colgate… and the cavities are nearly non-existent. I have no idea if this is useful to you or not, but Colgate rocks my chompers!

    Is Douchebag Maxi something like Wal-Mart? I sure am glad we keep water on hand in the pantry!

    1. @maggiemayday My hospitalization was over $60,000, not including the doctors charges, radiology charges, pathology charges, etc. It sucks that I still have to pay $5000 but I cannot imagine what people do without health care at all. As far as my teeth, I’ve got cavities because my nephrologist is making me take two things orally (a liquid) that make my pH become more acidic and I do wash my mouth out with water afterwards, but I guess I’m not swishing enough; and it’s not doing great things to the enamel of my teeth, so the dentist has been on a strong fluoride rinse after I brush. And I think one of the cavities (like I said very small–almost didn’t pick them up on the x-ray), is in an area of a very, very old filling. But like I said, if you don’t take care of those really smaller things, they don’t get any better, and in fact, a LOT worse. Don’t know what I’m going to do about the hospital bill, but I hate the idea of putting it on a credit card that will charge me 15% interest. Will see about a payment plan with the hospital (but I bet they charge interest, too).

  19. A Very Happy Birthday Joseph!!! Whatcha get?? (besides a call from your mom, a homemade card from Akemi, and kisses from your dogs).

  20. PBMom, so sorry about the loss of your friend. Hope they figure out what happened to her. How wonderful to be able to speak in public *and* make people laugh when they most need to. It reminds me of the Mary Tyler Moore episode where she cracks up at a funeral where everyone is really subdued. Thank goodness for TVLand and re-runs. 🙂

    Deni, maggiemayday, and PBMom, you have my total sympathies Re: ordeals of the teeth! The tooth I lost recently had over the years had multiple restorations, a root canal, 2 crowns w/ prep for each one, etc. at more than $2,000. Hated to lose it, but it finally wore out. I have a sliding scale dentist for regular work, but needed to use an emergency oral surgery clinic recently. Are there options where you all live? I can tell you from unfortunate experience that it really does get worse the longer you wait. 🙁

    Ashleigh, it was great to see you again, and your baby doggie-let. How adorable!

    Joe, loved the food cart blog! It’s great to see everyone together. And…..

    Happy Birthday and Football Day!


  21. Happy birthday Joe!

    I’m watching the Ravens/Oilers game online (streaming through Sportsnet.ca via a wiziwig stream).

    Who have you got on the Snowmonkies from the Ravens?

  22. Hello Joe,

    Do you have Costco in BC? After Hurricane Irene, I went there and bought a 24 pack of 700 mL bottles of Poland Spring water for $5.50. It is a steal considering my local grocery store sells 6 packs for the same price.

    What did everyone think of the Giants game today?

    Also, belated birthday wishes for Rob.

    Best wishes,


  23. @ Bryan

    Watched the Giants. Was a nail-biter. My Giants make me crazy. They need the to beef up their defense. Their defense is kinda week. I was yelling at my TV. Love Bradshaw (44)! He’s AWESOME! Glad they beat the Bills! 🙂

  24. •*¨*•.¸¸.•*¨*• •*¨*•.¸¸.•*¨*• ★★
    ★★ •*¨*•.¸¸.•*¨*• •*¨*•.¸¸.•*¨*•

    Hope you had a wonderful day & Akemi & the guys spoiled you!

    I’m still working on your birthday present…yes I know I suck & I’ve had all year to work on it…but it’s gonna be good.

    Love, Chev

    •*¨*•.¸¸.•*¨*• •*¨*•.¸¸.•*¨*• ★★

  25. ‘Secondly, I like skunks, though I prefer them alive.’

    Dasndanger, for some reason this really tickled my funny bone! Would make a great T-shirt slogan: ‘I prefer my skunks alive…’
    Same as a recent comment about a Dr. Who episode by a poster on SFX magazine’s site:

    ‘Love is alright. But it doesn’t defeat killer robots.’

    Hope everthing works out for everyone who is having financial stress or other badness. My thoughts are with you. Life is crappy sometimes, yeah? Thank heavens for places like this blog, that are warm, kind, and funny. Not enough of that in the world.

  26. ‘Every once in a while, special people are put on this earth. People with deep passion and immense love for others. People with hearts much greater than average, and today, one of them would like to wish you a happy birthday.’

    Deni, this also made me grin! Cheers!

  27. Hey Mr M.

    I’ve seen and loved Battle Royale, and read and loved Hunger Games. Really I found very little in common beyond the initial premise of the fight to the death. There are soooooo many differences. The kids in BR didn’t know what was coming – the kids in HG were raised on it. Some even volunteered. The kids in BR weren’t fighting for their home towns, like in HG. HG is less violent, actually, and the future world far bleaker. Both are excellent.

  28. MissDee says:
    07:22pm September 24 2011

    ‘Love is alright. But lets stop pretending it’s the way to stop killer robots.’

    – This is the (partial) quote & poster I referenced above. I don’t know if it matters that my original post I didn’t have the person’s name & the exact wording, but I worry about these things. Seriously. It’ll be the death of me, one day.

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