Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Canuck Avoids Depression Despite Men's Hockey Loss

VANCOUVER -- Harold Saber's father was a Mountie and his favorite band is The Tragically Hip. He has a maple leaf patch on his duffel and he can't understand why health care isn't a right even though he is considered a conservative.

Despite his bona fide Canadian roots, Saber was seen whistling on Tuesday, less than 48 hours after the Canadian men's hockey team lost to the United States, 5-3 in a stunning upset that, according to NBC, sunk the entire country into a deep depression.

When asked by NBC sportscaster Mary Carillo why he was able to maintain such a cheerful demeanor after the tragic loss, Saber, appeared surprised. "It's too bad, but it's just a game, eh?" he said.

"Just a game?" Carillo asked, incredulously. "But you're Canadian. It's hockey. Isn't your very sense of identity and self-esteen tied up in the fate of the team?"

"They've still got other games, and a shot at the gold," Saber replied with remarkable composure.

Saber's prediction proved accurate, as Canada was able to regroup with handy wins over Germany and Russia, respectively. Carillo spoke with Saber again on Thursday and questioned whether "he had just been in shock Tuesday and the enormity of Canada's loss had finally sunk in?"

But the plucky Canuck said he was far more emotionally invested in figure skater Joannie Rochette, who took to the ice Tuesday night just two days after her mother died of a heart attack.

Carillo remained skeptical. "If it's true that he really doesn't feel crushed by Canada's loss, he'd be well to keep it to himself, Bob," she reported. "Just like the Dutch speed skating fan that I saw the other day who was not wearing orange, or the Russian who was not upset over Plushenko's silver medal."

Although NBC would not confirm it, Carillo is reportedly working on a feature of Russian Olympians who were not plucked from small villages and sent to Moscow to train at age 8 and hadn't seen their parents -- who still toil in factories for 12 hours a day -- in seven years.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Washed Up Former Queen Bee Born Too Soon for Reality TV Craze

Alegra Jones nee Morrison stole her older sister's boyfriend at age 13, had surgery for a "deviated septum" a year later and watched Beverly Hills, 90210 religiously.

If she were 16 today instead of 36 she would probably be starring in her own reality television show. Instead, the UC Santa Cruz dropout lives in Newport Beach, Calif., and ferries her two daughters to figure skating lessons.

Growing up, Jones attended an exclusive Los Angeles private school, where she was the undisputed queen of the cool clique. She avoided expulsion after getting caught drinking vodka from her water bottle when her parents promised to pay for the new science wing. The "boyfriend" that she stole from her sister was the head of the French Department. Jones wistfully recalls receiving a BMW convertible when she turned 16 -- though it was confiscated for an afternoon after she broke her maid's nose for machine washing her favorite pair of stonewashed Glora Vanderbilt jeans.

"The Hilton, Lohan and Kardashian sisters had nothing on me and my sisters," said Jones. "My older sister had already had an annulment for her Vegas marriage by the time she was 17."

Today's female celebutantes have pet chihuahuas, DUIs, same-sex relationships, out-of-wedlock babies with rocker boyfriends, Kitson and Twitter accounts. Back then, they had pet ferrets, Virginia Slims, homophobia, abortions, Rodeo Drive and personal landlines.

After high school, Jones moved to New York to become a model after her father pulled some strings with a business associate. But her size six frame meant she was shunned by all the exclusive designers and was only offered a plus size contract, despite drastic abuse of diet drug Fen-phen.

"If I had just been born 15 or 20 years later I would be famous. I hooked up with a Xerox heir once, along with a Kennedy and Warren Beatty," Jones lamented. "Me and my friends were just as shallow as Nicole Richie and Paris Hilton on 'The Simple Life,' and 'Alegra' is as good a first name as 'Madonna.'"

After her modeling stint, Jones moved back to California and attended college for six months, but dropped out to try acting. After a promised "Save by the Bell" walk-on role failed to materialize, she assaulted her agent but avoided jail by checking into the Betty Ford Center.

Jones now lives in Newport Beach, a wealthy enclave of Orange County, and is married to a dentist. Fame remains elusive. She tried out for the "The Real Housewives of Orange County," a reality television show on Bravo, but was turned away despite her pearly white smile since "they only had room for one under-40 cast member." She never considered trying out for MTV's Real World back when it debuted because she considered it "too gritty."

"It broke my heart when I saw #TilaTequila was a trending topic on Twitter after Casey Johnson died," Jones said. "One of my best junior high school friends died from a horseback riding accident. My story would have been way more compelling than Tila's."

Still, there may be hope in the next generation. Jones says that her daughters show immense potential in the skating rink. "Their coach says that they could make the Olympics if they work hard," Jones says. "That would be so amazing. And when those cameras pan to me for a reaction shot I'm not going to blow it like Debbie Phelps by wearing hideous bold print sweaters from Chicos."