Odd Traffic Sign and Pride Week in Montreal

Willy-Nilly is defined as “random, without direction or planning”. I recently came upon a street sign that needed a bit of willy and perhaps a dash of nilly. Pictured above is the culprit. The upper sign clearly indicates that you cannot go straight; yet the lower sign informs motorists that they must keep right and go straight. Huh?

Fortunately this sign is not in a heavy traffic area, but nonetheless it could lead to significant confusion.

And ironically this go straight – can’t go straight conundrum came to my attention today, during Montreal’s Pride Week. With so many people wearing T-Shirts that say “I can’t even think straight” one can only imagine the turmoil this sign could bring to someone questioning their sexuality. Yikes!

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+

Sports Look Faster In Person – Usually

Ernesto Escobedo serves to Nikoloz Basilashvili

I am a fan of sports. But not being a fan of crowds I tend to limit myself to television coverage. Recently we were given a pair of “Prestige Passes” to attend the Rogers Cup ATP event in Montreal.

Settling in I was pleased that there were several empty seats to my right, affording me plenty of room and no claustrophobic feelings at all.

With a sunny day forecast, free parking provided and fifth-row seats how could I say no. So off we went to Parc Jarry in the city’s northern section, a place I had not been to since I worked on the Pope’s visit in 1984. The new tennis facility which integrates the original home of the Montreal Expos is lovely.

We took our seats in the fifth row to watch a match pitting American Ernesto Escobedo against Nikoloz Basilashvili of the Georgia. Settling in I was pleased that there were several empty seats to my right, affording me plenty of room and no claustrophobic feelings at all.

In person, one understands just how fast hockey players skate and shoot the puck. The speed of a fastball is clearly evident from box seats.

I have attended hockey games, football games, baseball games, Formula 1 races, even a few soccer matches.  What always strikes me, particularly in the case of F1 races, is how television coverage does not do justice to the speed of the event. In person, one understands just how fast hockey players skate and shoot the puck. The speed of a fastball is clearly evident from box seats. A football running-back’s dart down the field and the physical contact of the game are impressive, to say the least.

Then there is tennis.

This was my second professional tennis match. The first was many years ago and featured Gabriela Sabatini. On both occasions, I came away thinking how slow the game is in person. With the exception of the delivery of services, or serves, which are tremendously fast. Tennis looks better on TV to this armchair athlete.

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+

Sorry, But We Canadians Do Not Apologize Too Much

Originally published September 3, 2013

This post was linked to by CNN to explain the backhanded apologies of some Canadians!

Sorry, I didn’t realize you are a total arsehole unable to function in normal society

It is often said that we Canadians are polite to a fault.  As a Canadian I would suggest, but certainly not argue, that it is impossible to be overly polite. People point out that we say thank you too much, perhaps even when being given a traffic ticket. If someone gives you something you have two choices; you can say thanks, or no thanks. As the latter probably won’t work with most cops you’re left with the former. Thanks for the ticket. Just as an afterthought, when someone does say thanks, or thank you, it is customary to reply with “you’re welcome”, or “my pleasure”, or even “no problem”. It is never appropriate to reply with “sure” or “uh-huh”!

800px-Canada_flag_halifax_9_-04But maybe we are more often accused of being overly apologetic, so let me enlighten you as to the true nature of the Canadian apology. Saying sorry is often depicted as a national pastime in Canada: bacon, hockey and apologizing. However I think it would be of benefit to those who hold this opinion of Canadians as apologists to explain our apologies, because they can be very subtle in nature – often more empathetic than apologetic.

Let’s say a Canadian and a non-Canadian turn a corner and bump into each other on a sidewalk.

… because (Canadian apologies) can be very subtle in nature – often more empathetic than apologetic

The Canuck will probably be the first to say cheerily “Sorry about that” even though  both were equally at fault, or no fault existed. The other person may also apologize, just as cheerily, resulting in what is known as a civilized exchange. Then again he or she may seize upon the Canadian’s apology to feel superior and reply “You certainly should be sorry” or some other witty retort.

… don’t be fooled by our oft used  “sorry”, sometimes we’re actually expressing our sympathy for your shortcomings

In this case the subtlety of the sorry masks its true intent, which is along the lines of: “Sorry, I didn’t realize you are a total arsehole unable to function in normal society”. You see, the sorry in this case is more akin to the sorry expressed to someone recently bereaved; you weren’t responsible for the death of the loved one, but you “feel” sorry for their loss – you empathise with them. In our case you feel sorry for the cloddish boor for being a cloddish boor.

Keep this in mind the next time a Canadian apologizes to you; don’t be fooled by our oft used  “sorry”, sometimes we’re actually expressing our sympathy for your shortcomings.

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+

State-Of-The-Art Construction Elevator

Recently while out for a stroll taking in some of Montreal’s 375th Anniversary festivities we came across a state-of-the-art construction elevator. Much like those pneumatic tubes once used in department stores to send cash to a main cashier, and still used in hospitals, this device gets workers from street level to upper parts of the project.

The elevator is not yet in common use, but as part of a display it had been erected to demonstrate the efficiency of modern technology. Being curious, and always looking to spice things up, I volunteered to give the lift a whirl. In no time at all I was being sucked up the red tube on my way to the top level, then as the pressure was eased back down I gently came.

What will they think of next?

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+

Millennials Lag Behind Hippies When It Comes To Concert Nudity

Warning: This Post Contains Non-Millennial Nudity

One often hears that millennials, those folks born around the turn of the millennium and in their late teens and twenties now, are more open to some of the things that we older people wrestle to grasp. Gender used to be a zero-sum game: male or female. Now it is a spectrum, a continuum, with transgender pronouns being bandied about in university lecture halls.

These open-minded people, children of the Internet, brought us sexting, Snapchat, and easy access to online pornography. Pretty liberal sorts aren’t they? Well, maybe not.  

This past weekend thousands of millennials descended upon Montreal for the annual Osheaga music extravaganza. Three full days with numerous acts, few of which I had ever heard of.

Every year this event has me thinking about the big festivals of the late sixties. The grand-daddy, Woodstock in 1969, is still the benchmark against which these events will be forever compared. Like Woodstock this year’s version of Osheaga had thousands of young people, hot weather, significant rainfall and, mud.

Woodstock 1969

Unlike Woodstock, if media coverage is to be believed, there was no nudity. I was too young to attend music festivals in the sixties, but the photos of the event, and many other similar festivals clearly indicate a penchant for attendees to get naked. Concert goers are shown ambling about starkers, or in various states of undress.

 

In July of 1972 to Rolling Stones played the Montreal Forum. It was a hot night both outside and inside the building. A photo on the front page of the next day’s Star newspaper showed a topless woman on a guy’s shoulders enjoying the show. Rumour has it that she kept a copy of the paper with her and bragged about her instant fame all over town.

Were there similar photos in today’s newspaper? Nope. The concert made the front page, but all are clad. C’mon millennials, what gives? Even as recently as 1985’s Live Aid concert in Philadelphia people got into the spirit and shed a garment or two.

Live Aid

Jeez, talk about a stuck-up generation!

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+

The Annual Visit of the Fruit Flies

With the high humidity and more than average rainfall recently, the annual visit of the fruit flies to Montreal is well underway. These tiny pests hang out in and around kitchen trash containers, drains and have a specific penchant for empty beer cans (evidently like me they are fond of Coors Light).

… note to entomologists: frankly if we are to maintain any degree of political correctness they should really be called gay flies

They don’t sting or bite or eat your fabrics, they just annoy. They get into drinks and food, where they die a happy death. They move about like a cloud then lite waiting for the next shift in air current. These fruit flies (note to entomologists: frankly if we are to maintain any degree of political correctness they should really be called gay flies) can drive a relatively sane person to distraction in no time.

Having tried numerous home remedies including vinegar and wine based traps, we decided to turn to technology and purchase a Fruit Fly Trap. I set it up last night, following the instructions to a T, placed the armed trap as suggested and went to bed.

Upon awakening this morning I made my way to the kitchen and sure enough, there were several flies on the counter in the vicinity of the trap. It was only when I approached the counter that I realized they were not dead but seemed to be laughing quite heartily. Once they noticed me they scooted off but I’m certain they found the trap to be some kind of joke.

I fear there is only one real solution to the fruit fly problem: October!

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+

Partner, Pardner and Pardoner

Back when western movies featured hard men and pretty lasses diction was none too important. John Wayne, the Duke himself, has been oft quoted mumbling something along the lines of “C’mon pardner” as he called his buddy to ride off into the sunset. Of course he was actually referring to his pal as his partner. But it sounded tougher to pronounce it pardner.

Today, with so many same-sex marriages and relationships, the term partner has taken on a whole different meaning. One I doubt John would have liked.

But fear not, the concept of a pardner still exists, in fact the White House is home to a man who has sought legal advice on the possibility of being able to pardon himself. I think that makes President Trump the Pardoner in Chief, but because he’s a tough guy I assume he’ll refer to himself as the Pardner in Chief!!

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+