Ottawa Sun

August 17, 2001

McRae's World

EARL McRAE -- Ottawa Sun

To: Alana Kainz. From: Earl McRae.

Dear Ms. Kainz. I am hereby applying for the babysitting job. I see you pay $2,500 a month. I'm willing to accept it.

As I figure it, that works out to $1,250 for each of your two kids.

Or about $42 a day each kid.

That, of course, is based on them being babysat every single day of the month, including weekends.

I'm willing to concede, although I don't know, that there must be days of the month when they are not being babysat, except by you, their mother, at no fee charged to yourself.

That is why I really like that $2,500 a month you've been paying for babysitting.

Why, that's considerably more than the bank gets from me every month in mortgage payments, and that's for my whole house.

They must be some precious babies.

Or, alternatively, some holy terrors.

What I need to know is this: The $2,500 -- is that for 24 hours every day of the month, or just, say, eight hours each day? Or is it just for a few hours each evening of the month?

On the assumption that there are days and nights of the month when you, yourself, are doing the in-house babysitting, is the $2,500 a flat fee just for my babysitting alone, or, out of that, will I be expected to pay for the chauffeured limousine from my house to your house?

On the assumption that I will be a live-in babysitter on duty 24 hours around the clock, is the $2,500 a flat-fee for my babysitting alone, or, out of that, will I be expected to pay rent for my wing of the house, plus pay for the catered meals flown in from Maxim's in Paris?

Tuck me in

Will there be a butler to tuck me into bed at night -- one ear open for the kids, of course -- and will I be expected to pay him a tucking fee out of my $2,500?

If I am expected to be babysitting 24 hours a day every month, I also hope the laundry costs of my satin bed sheets will not be taken out of my $2,500.

And I sure hope, too, that I won't have to pay out of my $2,500 the cost of the platinum baby soothers, diamond-encrusted rattles, and silk diapers.

Nor would I want to have to pay out of my $2,500 the cost of the oats for the kids' horses, or the cost of gasoline for their mini-Porsches, should they be riding and driving them around the house.

I've noticed in your divorce action against Mr. Michael Potter that you are asking $400 a month for hairdressing. I, too, have hair that enjoys being dressed, but I hope you don't expect me to pay for my hair's dressing out of my $2,500.

While it's true $400 would get me 29 haircuts from my barber Emilio at Pinecrest Men's Hair Stylists, it would also translate into him cutting my hair every day of the month rather than the two and a half years the 29 haircuts now cover.

Hair raising

I don't know how many hairdressings $400 a month is for you, but if I ever gave Emilio $400 a month to dress my hair, he'd think I expected him to dress it in lingerie from Victoria's Secret.

Anyway, getting back to my babysitting job application.

For $2,500 a month, I won't disappoint. If there are diapers involved, I am very good. If there are pins involved, I do not prick. I do diapers afflicted by both No. 1 and No. 2. My nose is clothes-pin free. I handle gently and I powder liberally. Babies being diapered by me coo with satisfaction and beg for more.

If there is burping involved, I am an expert. I can bring up a burp within 10 seconds without breaking the child's spine. It's my secret hand-rubbing motion between the shoulder blades; I do not bean-bag wallop.

If there is middle-of-the-night crying involved, I am the best. I can shut up a bawling baby within five seconds through singing songs from my Elvis For Lovers album, plus my special motion whereby I gently swing the baby back and forth upside down while holding it by its feet.

Please get back to me, Ms. Kainz; I am ready, willing, and able to serve. Oh, forgot. My signing bonus. Mail my million dollar cheque to the Sun. A mere pittance, I'm sure.

McRae can be reached at (613) 739-5133, ext. 469 or emailed at
Letters to the editor should be sent to

Copyright© 2001, Canoe Limited Partnership.