Benard Mendelman

Write Where I Belong

Bernard Mendelman grew up on St. Urbain Street, attended Baron Byng High School, saw the Royals play baseball at Delorimier Downs and still loves to talk about it with wit and humour.

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Making fun of the Nazis has become fair game. Bugs Bunny, Charlie Chaplin, The Three Stooges, and The Marx Brothers have all used them for the sake of comedy and satire. None have done so as frequently or successfully as Mel Brooks in The Producers with Springtime for Hitler. Not only was hi…

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On September 21, I was saddened and shocked to be informed that Dr. Neil Trister had suddenly passed away. He was 74 years old and had been my family doctor for over 45 years, going back to almost the beginning of his practice. My last appointment with Neil — we always called each other by o…

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“They” say that whenever you open your cell phone, companies listen to you and track your whereabouts. “They” also say that Alexa, the voice assistant embedded in smart speakers from Amazon, listens to you all the time. Stupid me for believing that these devices were made for my ears only.

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I complete my breakfast every morning with a slice of toast and a cup of tea. For the toast I use challah or rye bread. Usually I’ll just put margarine on the toast but sometimes I’ll add a slice of cheese on top of it. On occasion I’ll schmeer the toast with cream cheese and add a couple of…

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Pot thoughts: Cannabis for Canadians is the rallying call from our hip Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. Toking and vaping is now legal. Like beer, poutine, hockey and the Toronto Raptors, pot has become part of our Canadian national identity. A lot of Canadians have struck it rich by investing…

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There was a time when I trusted the news reported in the press, on the radio and on TV. This is no longer the case as there is so much fake news out there, a lot of it culled through the internet. When I now I write a column I check out all my facts on at least two news sources that are cons…

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I seldom eat red meat anymore, but I do enjoy eating a burger every once in a while. Not well done, but medium with a little bit of the juicy redness still oozing out of the meat. When questioned by the server what I would like on my burger, I would then tell them to add lettuce, tomato, oni…

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There’s a lot of fake news on the Internet concerning my health. Following are some health myths that many have told me that they believe to be true but really aren’t.

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On the third Monday of February, Family Day is celebrated in British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Ontario and New Brunswick. It’s Louis Riel Day in Manitoba and Islanders Day in P.E.I. In the United States its President’s Day, a federal holiday. But in Quebec, it’s just another Monday. P…

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So far this year you’ve been keeping your New Year resolutions. Most nights you’re getting 7 to 8 hours of sleep. You’ve been going to the gym and doing your workouts regularly. You’ve been eating your required servings of fruits and vegetables every day. At the bakery you skipped the chocol…

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While only between 10 and 15 per cent of the global population identifies as being left-handed, a much larger percentage of famous world leaders, artists, actors, musicians and athletes — past and present — fall into that category.

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Romaine lettuce is being pulled off the shelves across North America because of E.coli contamination. Health authorities in the U.S. and Canada have issued warnings that this type of lettuce has been blamed for sickening people. The Centers for Disease Control are advising us not only to thr…

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Homes throughout Montreal will soon be decorated for Halloween, each trying to outdo each other for the occasion. Black and orange wreaths will be on front doors; Jack-o’-lanterns will light up porches along with scary silhouettes, scarecrows and witches on broomsticks swaying on the lawns. …

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Fifty years later, on August 16, Elvis Presley’s fabulous 1968 TV concert was presented at selected theatres. A new generation was able to watch The King dressed in all his splendour performing some of his best hits, including Heartbreak Hotel and Love Me Tender. Elvis went out on that stage…

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Driving along Guelph Ave. in Côte Saint-Luc, I was ticketed for not making a complete stop at a stop sign at the corner of Einstein Ave. A cop was lurking on Einstein besides the synagogue. Before flagging me down, he stopped the car in front of me. I had already come to a stop and then as I…

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Canada now has a website where you can correspond and connect with convicted murderers. Both men and women are on the website. Each convict profile has a description paragraph written by the inmate themselves as well as a mini-bio that tells you who they are, where they are serving time, wha…

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With all the sad “breaking news” I’ve seen so far this year, I’m looking forward to what should be a pleasant diversion on May 19 when Prince Harry ties the knot with U.S. actress Meghan Markle. I’m betting it will be a joyous wedding ceremony watched by millions across the world. I wouldn’t…

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Before the arrival of Passover, as is the custom of members of my faith, we removed all the bread products from our home. We thoroughly washed all our dishes, plates, and cutlery and table clothes and put them out of sight, replacing them with the special ones for the holiday. We did our spr…

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Ruth Wilensky passed away last week at the age of 99. Until she was 95, Ruth stood behind the counter of the light lunch restaurant preparing and serving Wilensky’s Specials, the salami and baloney concoction grilled on a kaiser roll that was conceived by her late husband, Moe. Ruth was as c…

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This past Sunday, March 11 we moved our clocks ahead one hour as we switched to Daylight Saving Time. The sun now sets an hour later.

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I am an optimist about this year, hoping from all the bad news and sad news last year, we will get glad news and 2018 will turn out to be a doggone good year. That’s because the Chinese New Year that begins on February 16 and continues to March 2 is The Year of the Dog. Every year is named f…

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For many years Sarah Katz and Marie Cyr lived next door to each other in the Snowdon area of Montreal. They were married for over 60 years when both of their husbands passed away last winter. As their children had all moved out, the two widows in their early 80s found their homes too big and…

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In my first column of 2017, I set down the rules that apply if I invite you out to lunch. I said, “Politics is off the board. I don’t care what The Donald tweeted today. Don’t tell me you feel sorry for Hillary. Let her look after her foundation and spend time with her grandchildren. Don’t t…

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Toy fad crazes come and go. The newest toy that every kid must have is Fingerlings. When slipped onto a child’s finger, this battery-operated toy monkey with touch sensors reacts to their tap, sound or motions with blinks, movements and heart-warming babbling. Blow a kiss at an interactive F…

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I received an email recently that was sent to members of the media from Mrs. Claus informing us that her husband, Santa, is planning to retire. Spending the last three weeks at the mall, listening to children’s gift wishes has drained all his energy. Thankfully, he no longer had to write out…

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Tuesday, at sundown, I began celebrating the eight-day festival of Chanukah. Most of my non-Jewish friends who wish me a happy Chanukah are confused by the word because of the many ways it’s spelled – Chanuka, Chanukka, Channukah, Hanukah, Hannuka and Hannukka. It’s also difficult to pronoun…

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The Grey Cup game played on Sunday, Nov. 26 in our nation’s capital during a blinding snowstorm was one of most exciting ever. Naturally, I was rooting for the Toronto Argonauts to beat the Calgary Stampeders because of their new head coach, Marc Trestman. He was instrumental in bringing two…

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There was a time when dining out at restaurant for me meant eating lots of red meat. A medium rare rib steak with a baked potato or a slab of rare roast beef and Yorkshire pudding was what made my mouth water. But that was long ago. On special occasions I would indulge and eat at Moishes or …

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For its first production of the new season, the Segal Centre recently ended a twice-extended run of The Hockey Sweater. With original book and lyrics by Emil Sher and music and lyrics by Jonathan Monro, the show was put on in partnership with the city’s 375th anniversary celebrations. The tw…

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Seventy-year-old Larry David was a struggling stand-up comedian until he got his big break in 1988 when he co-created the hit TV comedy Seinfeld. He has since received millions of dollars from that show’s syndication revenues. David then went on in the year 2000 to create and star in Curb Yo…

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As I have since the day I became eligible, I went to the ballot box to cast my vote last week. I consider being allowed to vote is a privilege of living in a democratic society, but I must admit I find the process stressful.

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Montreal would like more of the names of its rues, public spaces, parks and municipal buildings to reflect the contributions made by women to the city’s history. The city created a name bank last year on the occasion of International Women’s Day to help come up with the names of 375 prominen…

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Significantly, October 12, on Simchas Torah, a holiday that marks the end of the cycle of Torah readings and the beginning of a new cycle, I lost a lifelong friend when Yudke Grossman passed away. We grew up as youngsters on St. Urbain Street near Laurier Avenue, living next door to each oth…

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The other day while watching TV in my den, I thought it would be nice to have a nosh, so I went into the kitchen to make myself a cup of tea and get some chocolate chip cookies. By the time I got to the kitchen, I forgot what I came there for, but as soon as I returned to the den I had total…

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During Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur I made my customary trips to Synagogue when I encountered lots of folks that I hadn’t seen in a while. How did I greet them? Did I handshake, hug or kiss them? It’s a dilemma that I have to deal with at any social event that I attend.

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First thing that I do everyday when I open my computer I’ll check my bank account and my credit cards to see what charges have been posted and to make sure that I authorized all of them. On occasion, I’ve had amounts charged to my bank account that weren’t mine. However, I’ve never received …

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Who would have thought that Hillary Clinton is a big fan of mystery novels? One of her favourite authors is Louise Penny. She devours the author’s thrillers about Chief Inspector Armand Gamache of the Sûreté du Québec. Perhaps this is why she so readily accepted Penny’s invitation this summe…

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Some local upscale restaurants make a big deal about cheese plates. After you’ve finished your main course and before your dessert they’ll suggest that you try theirs. Most of the cheeses on the plate usually come from artisan and farmstead cheesemakers in Quebec where cheesemaking began in …

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I play this game with myself every week as I’m sure almost everyone who drives a vehicle does. It’s trying to guess on what day the price of gas is going to go up. Prices are usually at their lowest on Monday, and then I have to figure out if they are going to go any lower until the inevitab…

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If Queen Elizabeth II thought 1992 was bad, this year, which still has four more months left, is an annus even more horribilis. Terrorist attacks took place in Stockholm, Paris, Manchester, and in London, culminating with the recent tragic attack in Barcelona. Plus, the vile shouting march o…

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Walking downtown one afternoon last week I couldn’t help noticing that Montrealers have a tattoo obsession. Tattoos can be seen in all shapes and all colours, on people of all shapes and all colours. In the winter most of them were hidden unless they were inked on faces or necks, but with th…

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On Monday morning, August 21, a total solar eclipse of the sun will take place in parts of the US. Anyone within the path will witness one of nature’s most awe-inspiring sights. This path, where the moon will completely cover the sun, will stretch from Lincoln Beach, Oregon to Charleston, So…

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In an April column, I mentioned that I have become the designated household super market shopper. Since accepting that job, I’ve discovered that supermarket shopping these days is not for the faint of heart. Too many choices; too many competing prices; and too many strange people. That’s why…

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Eh! Do you remember Bob and Doug McKenzie? They were a pair of fictional Canadian brothers, portrayed by Rick Moranis and Dave Thomas, who hosted an SCTV sketch comedy segment called Great White North, which later moved to CBC Television in 1980. They quaffed Canadian beer and often talked a…

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During the current play at the Segal Centre, What’s in a Name, a father-to-be and his wife are invited to dinner by his sister and her husband. They’re also joined by a childhood friend. The meal is lovingly prepared and the wine carefully selected. The friends are anticipating the usual hum…

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During the month of May in a Kansas City movie theatre a clean-cut man sat down next to a woman and child, pulled down his pants and started playing with himself. Last December, Ben Hellwarth, a journalist at the Huffington Post, reported that at the midnight opening of the new Star Wars mov…