One of my all-time favourite novels is Catch 22 by joseph Heller. The reason I’m so fond of it is that I am accustomed to working for or with government at one level or the other. One of the things I recognize about this activity is that while one works for or with government, government usually works against you. If one reads Catch 22, one can be forearmed for any enemy onslaught.

Be prepared that’s one of my mottos.

If you can’t be fit you can at least be funny is my other motto.

Every Sunday morning I teach a STEP aerobics class at Kerrisdale Community Centre. Every second or third week, I incorporate a pattern in the class I call Hungry Joe’s Cat. For those who don’t like to read about patterns, do the dishes or something for the next few lines. It goes like this:

  • Two turnsteps from the right
  • One Z Step
  • Knee- up straddle moving back
  • Knee-up Straddle climb on top
  • Lunge Right Left
  • Then repeat the whole business FACING THE BACK WALL

I like this pattern because it draws all the introverts in the back row out of their comfort zones, as they are now at the head of the class whether they want to be there or not.

I didn’t realize this, but a few pf my participants had a Hungry Joe’s Cat seminar during the week. They showed each other the pattern, then assigned one person to Google the derivation of the name.

On Sunday, I was treated to the results of the research. “Did you know that Hungry Joe’s Cat was a character in Catch 22?” said Cheryl. “I wonder why they called that pattern that you do Hungry Joe’s Cat?

“Who are they?” I asked.

“Whoever named it.” She said.

“That would be me.” I said. “Instructors often name their own patterns.”

“You mean you made that up?”

“No, Joseph Heller did. He wrote the book. I just moved it to my step class.”

She seemed puzzled.

As I told Cheryl, Hungry Joe was a fighter pilot in the book. He had a cat that either used to sleep on his face to smother him, or he dreamed that it slept on his face to smother him. Either way he didn’t get any sleep and developed a frenzy when he went on a mission.

“What’s that got to do with the pattern?” she asked.

“You can never be sure that you’re going to get it right,” I said. “Especially when you’re teaching it.”

Mike Broderick , a one- time archaeologist, is a Vocational Rehabilitation Counsellor with the Fraser Health Authority in Port Coquitlam where he helps people with mental health disabilities find and keep full or part time employment .

He WAS the Employment Specialist for the Neil Squire Society in Burnaby where he found employment for people with physical disabilities, A Supported Employment Coordinator at THEO BC (now the Open Door Group), and a case manager at Community Fisheries Development Centre where he helped people move from the fishing industry to something else because there, “Aint no fish.” This means he is VERY familiar with how a modern day resume should look.

He is an active ambassador with the Vancouver Board of Trade and a member of the Labour Task Force of the Burnaby Board of Trade He does some work as a field Archaeologist, is a fitness instructor and frequent contributor of fitness humour articles to Alive Magazine. He is always saying, “If you can’t be fit, you can at least be funny.”

He lives in Port Coquitlam with his spouse Cecelia. You can reach him at home at or at 604-464-4105. If you’re looking for a career change, he is the Spin Doctor and can give you a resume makeover at competitive rates.


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