Awkward Subway Meeting

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I may have inadvertently become part of the #metoo movement last week. Imagine this: Friday morning rush-hour, I entered the Metro station as I do most mornings and checked to see if the train was in the station. No train, no need to run. As I was going down the stairs to the platform I heard the train arrive and picked up my pace.

She came around the corner in one direction while I did so in the opposite direction. We avoided a total wipe-out collision by a nano-second.

At the bottom of the stairs, I saw the train, doors open and passengers getting off and on. It was very crowded, I picked a door to run to and off I went. As I made my way to the end of the concrete wall and onto the platform I was met by a woman who was running in the opposite direction, I suspect to catch a bus at ground level.

She came around the corner in one direction while I did so in the opposite direction. We avoided a total wipe-out collision by a nano-second. Both of us reacted reflexively and pivoted, thereby reducing any contact to a small sideswipe. She went on her way, and I got on my train.

However, in the course of our run-in, as I was unexpectedly confronted by a person coming around the corner at high-speed, and not knowing if I was about to collide with a college coed or a college linebacker, I naturally put up my hands in a defensive position.

Wouldn’t you know it? My hands were at breast height. Her breast, not mine. I got a left hand full of boob.

Wouldn’t you know it? My hands were at breast height. Her breast, not mine. I got a left hand full of boob.

There have been many jokes about gropers claiming the victim placed whatever part of her anatomy in their hand, but in this case the whole thing was unintended. I know I am not a manslammer. She made nothing of it, but it stuck with me all day. Would she have confronted me if she was not in a hurry? Would we both, in true Canadian fashion, have apologized? I know it was accidental, but it made me wonder just how many times women are grabbed and “bumped” in fully planned incidents.

Frankly, I would not know the woman if I saw her again, given the brisk nature of our encounter. But if by some chance she reads this I hope she understands the complete lack of intention on my part.

DCMontreal – Deegan Charles Stubbs – is a Montreal writer born and raised who likes to establish balance and juxtapositions; a bit of this and a bit of that, a dash of Yin and a soupçon of Yang, some Peaks and an occasional Frean and maybe a bit of a sting in the tail! Please follow DCMontreal on Twitter and on Facebook, and add him on Google+

An open letter to the overseers of the English language

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An open letter to the keeper(s) of the English language:

It has often been stated that languages are living, breathing things, they are constantly evolving and changing to accommodate current trends and needs. One needs only to consider the numerous additions to the English language that arose from increasing computer and particularly Internet usage; reboot, blog and, of course, sexting to mention just a few.

You have been charged with, and have accepted, the task of overseeing and directing the development of the English language as it stretches and flexes to keep up.

I thought that if you accept the ever-changing nature of language you should look back at some existing words and adapt them.

For instance, considering what it does, a holster should really be a holdster; and given where they are, rafters would more appropriately be called roofters.

While you’re at it, please do something about raise and raze; engineers and construction companies can raise a building to scrape the sky, then years later a demolition crew can raze it to the ground. Was there no imagination used at all, couldn’t you have come up with a different sounding word for one of them? Homophones with diametrically opposed meanings – not your best moment.

If your criterion for acceptance as a new word is the number of people saying it I fear you will soon  be adding Old-Timers Disease for Alzheimer’s as more and more  people erroneously use that term; I trust you won’t succumb, but then you did accept fax for facsimile, much to the chagrin of English purists everywhere no doubt.

However, I hear many folks saying didn’t with two beats – DIDINT. Completely missing the point of the contraction.

And why don’t we look at some of the current pronunciations? When did you agree that the emphasis should be on the second syllable in the word student so that it tends to pronounced stu-DANT today?

Contractions such as didn’t are supposed to be used to ease the flow of the language from two beats – did not – to one, didn’t.  This holds true for shouldn’t, couldn’t, wouldn’t, well I could go on, but I will not – or won’t.

I know you are probably very busy with all the political campaign gibberish currently, but maybe in late November you’ll have a chance to consider my requests, and by then I suspect I’ll have more for you.

Thank you.

DCMontreal – Deegan Charles Stubbs – is a Montreal writer born and raised who likes to establish balance and juxtapositions; a bit of this and a bit of that, a dash of Yin and a soupçon of Yang, some Peaks and an occasional Frean and maybe a bit of a sting in the tail! Please follow DCMontreal on Twitter and on Facebook, and add him on Google+

Making the Canadian F1 Grand Prix More Montreal

Canadian F1 Grand Prix - Practice

Although the race is ten months off, work is now being carried out on the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve to bring it up to Formula 1 standards. The annual Canadian Grand Prix is an important Montreal event bringing tourists from around the world. Yes, it does tend to be loud, but the noise of the cars is often drowned out by the sound of cash registers.

…to suggest to the powers that be at F1 headquarters several small tweaks that would, I believe, go a long way to having the race reflect Montreal more accurately.

While making major alterations to the track and paddock, I thought it would be the ideal time to suggest to the powers that be at F1 headquarters several small tweaks that would, I believe, go a long way to having the race reflect Montreal more accurately.

I suggest that at various points during the race groups of cyclists be released onto the track. Going, of course, in the wrong direction and, as the drivers weave their way among them, the cyclists will be instructed to swear and make obscene gestures at them.

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In addition to flag-waving marshals, who will be clad in camo pants, F1 tracks also have safety signage indicating, for instance, the braking distance leading to a sharp turn. To make this a Montreal-like experience for the drivers, several of these signs should be located behind tree branches or overgrown hedges making them virtually impossible to see until passing them when it is too late.

As the Grand Prix is run on a Sunday, the teams should be presented with a list of those sections of the track that are closed for the weekend…detours will be indicated by Montreal’s ubiquitous orange cones.

Over the last few years, Montrealers have grown used to the late-weekly reports informing us which streets, highways or bridges will be closed for the weekend. As the Grand Prix is run on a Sunday, the teams should be presented with a list of those sections of the track that are closed for the weekend. Not to worry, detours will be indicated by Montreal’s ubiquitous orange cones.

Formula 1 pit-crews are famous for being able to change four tires and make minor repairs to the cars in the blink of an eye. They are going to need to be even faster. When cars enter the pit lane and arrive at the team garage where they would have once stopped if ever so briefly, they will find BIXI stands or several red-bagged parking meters illustrating that no one, not even the best race car drivers in the world, can find a parking spot in Montreal.

… they will find BIXI stands or several red-bagged parking meters illustrating that no one, not even the best race car drivers in the world, can find a parking spot in Montreal.

Lastly, as the race reaches the three-quarter point, some of the drivers may be getting hungry. This problem is solved by the arrival of several Montreal food trucks along the straightaway. Appropriate given F1 drivers are possibly the only people who can afford the prices charged by these mobile eateries.

DCMontreal – Deegan Charles Stubbs – is a Montreal writer born and raised who likes to establish balance and juxtapositions; a bit of this and a bit of that, a dash of Yin and a soupçon of Yang, some Peaks and an occasional Frean and maybe a bit of a sting in the tail! Please follow DCMontreal on Twitter and on Facebook, and add him on Google+

Odd Quebec Election Campaign Slogan

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The Quebec Liberal Party finds itself trailing in early election campaign polls. While other parties try to tap into the Liberal’s traditional Anglophone support, I suspect these attempts will fail. Yet I find the English version of the party’s slogan, “To make life easier for Quebecers” somewhat odd.

By all means make things better, stronger, healthier, wealthier, for Quebecers. But we really don’t require things to be easy.

I get the gist of it. Perhaps it’s just the translation from the French “Pour facilter la vie des Québécois” but the idea of making things easier sounds to me as if the party considers Quebecers to be a bunch of lazy simpletons who can’t handle difficult things.

By all means make things better, stronger, healthier, wealthier, for Quebecers. But we really don’t require things to be easy.

DCMontreal – Deegan Charles Stubbs – is a Montreal writer born and raised who likes to establish balance and juxtapositions; a bit of this and a bit of that, a dash of Yin and a soupçon of Yang, some Peaks and an occasional Frean and maybe a bit of a sting in the tail! Please follow DCMontreal on Twitter and on Facebook, and add him on Google+

Summer and Out-of-Town Drivers

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After a long hot summer with very few posts, I figure it’s time I got back to the keyboard. I’ll start with an observation that I made numerous times over the last few months.

This year with the Canadian dollar measuring up so poorly with the US greenback many Canadians opted to vacation north of the border; moving east and west instead of north and south. With Montreal’s busy festival season that runs from the Formula 1 Grand Prix in early June, through the Jazz Festival and Just For Laughs, I sensed an even greater number of tourists this year. Judging by accents and license plates, I suspect the statistics will show a pretty good year for tourism.

RightRedSpeaking of license plates, my non-scientific observation leads me to believe that cars with Ontario plates seem to carry the worst drivers. They stop anywhere anytime for absolutely no apparent reason, they seem to take little naps at red lights necessitating a polite toot on the horn, and they insist on turning right on red. There are two places in North America where you cannot legally turn right on red: Montreal and Manhattan. Even with several signs indicating that right on red is illegal, Ontario drivers still cause havoc by going through red lights.

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Yet another irksome driving habit. My wife and I went away for a weekend in Quebec’s Eastern Townships. On an average day, our destination would take about 90 minutes to reach. It took us the better part of three hours due to a major accident that closed the highway completely. As the photo above shows, no one was going anywhere fast. 

I understand that covering those ten feet is not going to really affect one’s arrival time, but it is psychologically essential to me that I feel I’m moving.

I’m not a good person in traffic. There comes a point when after inching forward only to stop again causes me to become enraged. My dear wife is quick to pick up on this, perhaps it’s me screaming MOOOVE that tips her off, so she soon slips on some Joe Cocker in an attempt to keep me from blowing a head pipe.

The car that we trailed for what felt like days (I must admit it was a local plate) was driven by a person who, when there was a gap between her car and the one in front, was in no hurry to move up. I understand that covering those ten feet is not going to really affect one’s arrival time, but it is psychologically essential to me that I feel I’m moving.

DRIVE THE CAR FOR CHRISSAKE!!!!

Nope. She’d coast along when she was good and ready. The rest of the weekend was very restful, once I got my blood pressure back to normal.

DCMontreal – Deegan Charles Stubbs – is a Montreal writer born and raised who likes to establish balance and juxtapositions; a bit of this and a bit of that, a dash of Yin and a soupçon of Yang, some Peaks and an occasional Frean and maybe a bit of a sting in the tail! Please follow DCMontreal on Twitter and on Facebook, and add him on Google+

War On Montreal Parking Spots

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If you have tried to find a parking spot in downtown Montreal lately you will understand my angst. So many places have been turned into Bixi bicycle stands or marked reserved due to evidently non-existent construction that driving around and around has become the norm.

During one such episode a few days ago, having spent forty-five minutes looking for a spot that was available, and finding three that looked fine, but were not accepting payment, I couldn’t help but imagine our anti-car Mayor Valerie Plante sporting one of the now ubiquitous red bags that cover far too many parking meters.

DCMontreal – Deegan Charles Stubbs – is a Montreal writer born and raised who likes to establish balance and juxtapositions; a bit of this and a bit of that, a dash of Yin and a soupçon of Yang, some Peaks and an occasional Frean and maybe a bit of a sting in the tail! Please follow DCMontreal on Twitter and on Facebook, and add him on Google+

 

Montreal’s Construction Cone Inuksuk

Inuksuk

According to the Canadian Encyclopedia: Inuksuk (also spelled inukshuk, plural inuksuit) is a figure made of piled stones or boulders constructed to communicate with humans throughout the Arctic. Traditionally constructed by the Inuit, inuksuit are integral to Inuit culture and are often intertwined with representations of Canada and the North.

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Clearly, some Montrealers were moved by the concept as evident from the construction cone Inuksuk in a lane off boul. St. Laurent!

DCMontreal – Deegan Charles Stubbs – is a Montreal writer born and raised who likes to establish balance and juxtapositions; a bit of this and a bit of that, a dash of Yin and a soupçon of Yang, some Peaks and an occasional Frean and maybe a bit of a sting in the tail! Please follow DCMontreal on Twitter and on Facebook, and add him on Google+

 

Civic Duty And Wasp Nest

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Every morning for more years than I care to think about I have gone for a job. It used to be a run, but these days jogging is more accurate a description. As a creature of habit, I take the same route every day. Part of my routine involves running around a small pond in a local park.

In truth, it is no longer a pond, but a water spray. It attracts many children during the hot weather. They run through the cool water and splash about. As the popular saying goes, what could go wrong?

As I was trotting around the other morning I ducked to avoid a low-hanging branch of a crabapple tree that extends over the walkway.  As I did so I could not help but notice a significantly sized wasp’s nest.

Good citizen that I am I brought this to the attention of a park employee. He asked if it was active or not. I told him I didn’t stick around long enough to ask. So we sauntered over to the tree and sure enough, there was plenty of activity going on. In and out as if they had a revolving door.

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The employee seemed almost pleased to have something different to do, to break the monotony as it were. “I’m going to get stung today, I just know it,” he grinned.

Having done my civic duty for the day, and no doubt saving countless children from agonizing wasp stings I continued on my way. Alas, I noticed that the nest is still there this morning and, still active. I guess these things take time. Perhaps looking for volunteers?

DCMontreal – Deegan Charles Stubbs – is a Montreal writer born and raised who likes to establish balance and juxtapositions; a bit of this and a bit of that, a dash of Yin and a soupçon of Yang, some Peaks and an occasional Frean and maybe a bit of a sting in the tail! Please follow DCMontreal on Twitter and on Facebook, and add him on Google+

 

Cool App

While the heat may have lessened for a few days, forecasters inform us that it will be back with a vengeance soon. But not to worry. I have perfected an app that will keep you cool wherever you may be. Just download and voila! portable cool.


Next on my list is a razor app!

DCMontreal – Deegan Charles Stubbs – is a Montreal writer born and raised who likes to establish balance and juxtapositions; a bit of this and a bit of that, a dash of Yin and a soupçon of Yang, some Peaks and an occasional Frean and maybe a bit of a sting in the tail! Please follow DCMontreal on Twitter and on Facebook, and add him on Google+

Craft Beer Is Everywhere

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The current trend in bars is the microbrewery. These places are all over Montreal serving beers other than those made by the big breweries. Craft beers have carved out a significant niche in the local pub business.

At one time the only beers available in most bars were those from Molson or Labatt. But more and more brewpubs, where they actually make their own beers, and craft beer bars are popping up.

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Brutopia Montreal

The first place I ever went to that brewed its own beer was a Trois Brasseurs in Montreal. Not your typical brewpub given there are stores around the world, but they do brew their own on the premises. The most recent place I dropped into is called Restaurant L’Artisanale just up the street from Trois Brasseurs. (The fact that the sign says ArtIsAnAle appealed greatly to both the beer and word lover in me.)

In all honesty, I’m probably not going to be a big customer at any of these pubs. I find that for the most part, the craft beers tend to be too heavy and high in alcohol content for my liking. Until someone brews a light lager with about 4% alcohol content I’ll just have to stick with my Coors Light. This no doubt makes me somewhat of a beer heathen, but I’ll just have to live with that. Except of course for the occasional Guinness.

DCMontreal – Deegan Charles Stubbs – is a Montreal writer born and raised who likes to establish balance and juxtapositions; a bit of this and a bit of that, a dash of Yin and a soupçon of Yang, some Peaks and an occasional Frean and maybe a bit of a sting in the tail! Please follow DCMontreal on Twitter and on Facebook, and add him on Google+