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Brad Flory

Brad Flory might be called an Everyman, if it weren’t so insulting to every other man. He is more accurately called a mustard-stained buffoon with no sense of style or rhythm, but with a profound appreciation for the absurdity of the world around him.

Flory was born in Owosso, Michigan and has lived all his life in that mitten-shaped state. As a teenager, he was torn by conflicting desires to pursue a career in either journalism or electrical engineering. That’s like a person climbing into his car without being sure whether he wants to drive to Dairy Queen or Mexico. Flory chose Dairy Queen and launched a 30-year career writing for obscure newspapers.

At Central Michigan University, he learned to write news and tap kegs. That’s also where he met his wife, who is mother of their two children.

Over three decades, Flory covered all varieties of hard and soft news for community newspapers, always retaining the good sense to avoid ambition for advancement into newspaper management. Editors asked him to write an opinion column starting in 1999, and he soon fell into the once-familiar journalistic mold of the fat guy who enjoys local hot dogs and complains about City Hall.

His favorite subjects to write about are the confusion and absurdity of everyday life, such as the time he wore bungee cords for suspenders.

Readers and co-workers noticed Flory consistently wears plaid shirts, an observation that developed into what marketing experts call “a thing”.

The man in plaid

Flory has a website called Life in Plaid, and a Life in Plaid page on Facebook. Neither site has gone viral or even fungal.

“Wait a minute!” you might say. “This is a Canadian site. What does this ass know about Canada?”

Flory knows substandard knock-offs of the hot dogs he enjoys at home are called “Michigans” in Quebec. He knows Prince Edward Island is famous for potatoes and Anne of Green Gables. He knows Brantford, Ontario, is the car-theft capital of the universe. He knows New Brunswick has freaky-big tides and Nova Scotia has outstanding fish and chips. He knows Toronto was more fun before it got so damned expensive. He knows poutine is worth eating. Finally, he knows beer and trains are superior in Canada.

All that knowledge is important, except the Anne of Green Gables thing.

Besides, he also knows confusion and absurdity cross borders without any exchange rate.

Editor’s Note: More insights on what makes humour columnist Brad Flory tick can be gleaned from our July 2013 posting in Notes From The Editor.

Veteran journalist Brad Flory gives a first-person account of losing his job at a daily newspaper, part of the massive corporate cutbacks convulsing the media industry throughout North America and beyond. Summoned to a meeting with the “boss”, the staff had a premonition of bad news when the public address system announced that doors to the building had been locked and the phones cut to prevent outside distractions. With his unique sense of humour, Flory explains how opportunity knocked on that dark day.

['A gift of laughter and a sense the world is mad': See July 23, 2013 Notes From The Editor.]
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