What to do on Valentine’s Day?

I wrote this article as an assignment for a journalism class back in 2007. My teacher, however, was not impressed and he gave me a 3 out of 10. His hilarious comments are below the article.

This Valentines skip the cards and chocolate and go for a more wild experience. Here are some suggestions that are sure to liven up your life.

Hire an escort

Whatever your budget there’s probably a man or woman who will exchange their sexual services in exchange for money. Advertisements for escorts are published regularly in Vancouver’s newspapers. Whether you’re into erotic spas, lingerie, whipping, whipped cream or Asian magic fingers Vancouver’s sex workers have something that will fill the bill. Many sex-trade workers ply their trade independently while others work out of brothels, massage parlours and spas.

Tea in the park

Stanley Park might not be the only thing blown to pieces after you take your sweet heart for tea at the Stanley Park Pavilion. Save your roses and drink them in your tea as you enjoy organic rose bud tea in Royal Doulton china. Gaze in wonder at God’s wrath and contempt for our once majestic city park, recently thrashed by storms. In business for 96 years, the Stanley Park Pavilion offers an aura of tradition and refinement, ideal for the sophisticated romantic.


Unlock someone’s heart with a sweet melody at one of Vancouver’s gay bars. Wednesday, February 14, is karaoke night at the Dufferin and Numbers. The Dufferin, located at 900 Seymour St., is Vancouver’s oldest gay bar has the atmosphere and décor of an old legion hall in the midst of a recession. If you look sexy with a cigarette try the smoking room. It’s immediately behind the pee-stained curtain – just follow the acidic, smoky odour. If you’re looking for something a bit more upscale try Numbers, located in the heart of Vancouver’s gay village at 1042 Davie. The pub is divided into three floors with a bar on each one. So, if you don’t like listening to karaoke you can just make an exit to another area before returning to belt out your drunken rendition of “Believe”. The bathrooms here are both dirty and very cruisy. Bring your own toilet brush.

Get stoned

Work your six degrees and get yourself a gram or two of BC’s best export and head down to The New Amsterdam Café. Potheads and casual stoners smoke their bongs, joints and pipes in groovy harmony at this smoke-friendly establishment. If you’re into the image, but not the weed enjoy some herbal tea and hemp-related products with your cosmic sweetie. Located at 301 West Hastings in Vancouver.

Watch porn

If you want to get yourself or your lover fired up with a porno and your DVD player doesn’t work, no problem! Just throw on your best hooker boots or polyester pants and head on down to the Fox Cinemas located at 2321 Main St. in Vancouver. From 1984 until 2003 they played adult films on 35 mm film, the last such theatre in North America to do so. These days they play contemporary films from DVD. Although their films generally cater to men, women are also welcome. For show times call 604-874-3116

Get a sugar daddy

If the view of glass condos or rich people walking toy dogs makes you swoon then check out the Valentines Tea Dance at the Coal Harbour Community Centre on February 13. Tea and sweet treats will be served. If you play your cards right cakes and cookies won’t be the only sweet things you’ll be taking home. You might just land yourself a new sugar daddy, for Coal Harbour is one of the most affluent neighbourhoods in Vancouver. There are lots of rich, lonely old men in this culturally bankrupt area. The dance takes place from 1:00 p.m. until 4:00 p.m. so be unemployed or take a late lunch. Admission is $5 in advance or $6 at the door.

See a psychic

Sometimes the horoscopes are just too vague and a bit impersonal. If you want to know what your love life holds for you or if your lover is cheating on you then consider a trip to one of Vancouver’s many psychics. A half-assed Google search for “Vancouver psychics” brought up “The Faery Lady” a self-described seeress for healing with batchelor [sic] of science degree. Her website at www.faerylady.com gives a bit more information.

Support the suburbs

If you want that “country rebel” experience consider a bout of cow tipping. Cow tipping is the act (or art) of knocking a cow over onto its side. Some potential lovers might be impressed by your physical prowess and courage. Buy a case of Lucky beer, hop in the old ford and drive out to a place like Abbotsford or Port Coquitlam. Apparently there are a lot of cows out there. Although it might impress some, the animal rights community and the law frown upon cow tipping.

See a concert

Want something a little more sedate and comfortable? Try taking your lover to a beautiful evening of Nat King Cole songs as performed by Canadian jazz legend Denzal Sinclaire. His voice will be supported with a glorious 22-piece orchestra. This is even t is ideal for the older generation or those who like dating them. It might be a great place to bring your new Coal Harbour Sugar Daddy. The concert takes place on Wednesday, February 14 at 8:00 p.m. at the Centre, in Vancouver for Performing arts located at 777 Homer Street.

Get tested

There’s nothing sexier than a clean, safe partner. Do yourself and your sexual partner(s) a favour by getting tested for sexually transmitted infections such as HIV, Chlamydia, syphilis and gonorrhoea. There are many STI clinics in Vancouver including the one at 655 West 12th. You can make an appointment by calling 604-660-6161

Instructor’s comments

I got the impression from reading this that you didn’t really want to do the exercise.

Unfortunately in the newspaper business, you can’t just do the things you enjoy.

You were supposed to be writing a “top 10” list for the Georgia Straight, and I mentioned several times in class that you should consider your readership. Maybe what you wrote would work in Xtra West! as a column – but you weren’t asked to write a column for Xtra West! You were asked to come up with a genuine list that an ordinary Straight reader would find useful. Produce something like this for the editor and you’d be fired. Much of it is unusable and insults the readers’ intelligence (including mine). It does little for a newspaper’s credibility (with mainstream readers at least, and the Straight is a pretty mainstream newspaper now) or with the newspaper’s advertisers to suggest people break the law.

A few of your items were unusable, but for the others: while you might think it amusing to suggest people hire a hooker for Valentine’s Day, it isn’t realistic for 99 per cent of your readers.
Getting stoned isn’t really an option either (and not just because I’m an old fuddy-duddy who doesn’t do drugs. Going out and getting drunk wouldn’t be a reasonable item either.)

Finding a sugar daddy at lunchtime is a somewhat unrealistic Valentine’s Day exercise – and again, it doesn’t apply to the vast majority of your readers.

Why was your Google search for psychics “half-assed”? Visiting a psychic could have been a valid item, if you had written it in a more amusing way.

Cow tipping is just ridiculous.

And if you think some of your readers might have picked up a sexually transmitted disease, you shouldn’t be advising them to wait until Valentine’s Day to get tested. In any case, I doubt if the average Straight reader (or any reader for that matter) would consider visiting an STD clinic to be a great way to spend Valentine’s Day. Finally, according to the BC Centre for Disease Control, the clinic at 655 West 12th is an STD clinic, not an STI clinic.

I found this disappointing, unprofessional and immature. I expected better.

I am a resident of Burnaby, British Columbia, Canada who has blogged here for 20 years. I like to share my thoughts and feelings on my own online space. From 1998 until 2017 I worked as a journalist and I hope to use this website as an archive for all of my stories.

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