Backpacks Briefcases and Buses

STM_Back

The other day I found myself on a crowded city bus. It was mid-afternoon and many of my fellow commuters were college or university students. At one point the bus became so cramped that the driver had to insist on those carrying/wearing backpacks to remove them. Put them on the floor between your feet. Don’t take up two places.

This got me to thinking how things change. My memory can be vague at times, but when I was in grade school I recall the common means of toting your books was a school bag. It was probably part of the backpack family as it was worn on one’s back via straps over each shoulder. By high school these bookbags were passé and it was bare hands used to carry books.

School Walk

When you got to college or university it was a very serious matter, school bags were for children. The university student of my day carried his or her things in a briefcase. Backpacks were strictly for travel purposes. No one ever had to accuse another of taking up two places on the bus or Metro while carrying a briefcase.

Then again it was probably also true that the buses were more packed in those days as, unlike the current trend, no self-respecting student of higher education would have arrived on campus on a skateboard. This purported entrance to adulthood called for the retirement of childhood toys.

9e732a316285beb81c819451af9c8691-world-crafts-ciabatta

How times have changed indeed!

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+

 

Advertisements

Popcorn and Dental Implants

Implant

I broke a tooth. I’m not a happy camper. It’s not the pain, the tooth was filled long ago and the nerve had lost most sensation. It’s the annoyance and of course, the financial pain is another thing altogether. Over this, I am fretting plenty.

Evidently, most dental insurance plans do not cover implants. It seems for insurance companies the way to go is root canal followed by a cap.

Two dentists, one at an emergency clinic and my long-time dentist, have confirmed that the only solution is to extract the tooth, put in an implant then a crown. Oh, joy. We are now getting into the thousands of dollars over a period of time. Evidently, most dental insurance plans do not cover implants. It seems for insurance companies the way to go is root canal followed by a cap. Something both dentists assured me would eventually break and the implant procedure would have to be undertaken. A waste of time, discomfort, and money.

But I may have an angle on this. At some point most weekday afternoons I used to drop by a nice Irish pub for a beer. A few weeks ago that pub was gutted by a large fire. Since then the regular patrons have been roaming the downtown core like nomads in the desert seeking a new temporary home.

But I could not be at my regular pub, so I figure my broken tooth is, therefore, a direct result of the fire and should, therefore, be covered by the original pub’s insurance. 

One such place offers many of the comforts of home, several items on our checklist: decent beer at a decent price, a few televisions for sports fans, and friendly bartenders. It also makes popcorn available at happy hour. It was on an Old Maid, a non-popped kernel of corn, that I crunched my tooth. The way I see it, had I been at my usual pub, which did not offer popcorn, I would not have been able to break my tooth on the kernel. But I could not be at my regular pub, so I figure my broken tooth is, therefore, a direct result of the fire and should, therefore, be covered by the original pub’s insurance. Seems simple to me.

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+

Who vs Whom on Campus

Gazoo_Front

On the front page of today’s Montreal Gazette there is an article about yesterday’s protest at McGill University. Concordia and McGill students decried the schools’ administrations lack of action on sexual misconduct accusations. Clearly an issue of great importance.

But let me disrupt your thoughts on these allegations for a moment and turn to another important issue; grammar. The photograph above accompanied the front page story. What caught my eye was the poster asking “Who are you protecting”.  Aside from the lack of a question mark, I wonder if “Whom are you protecting?” would have been a better choice.

In the 1950s Johnny Carson hosted a game show called Who Do You Trust which is often cited not just for Johnny’s witty retorts, but for the grammar question.

Now, I am far from a grammar expert, but the folks at Grammar Matters provide this explanation:

Rewrite a simple sentence, using he or him in place of who or whom, and rephrasing the sentence appropriately. For instance, “Who do you trust?” may not sound wrong to you. But “Do you trust he?” certainly does. You can see that it would be “Do you trust him?” so you know it should be “Whom do you trust?”

So, “who are you protecting” becomes “are you protecting he?”Nope, that’s not it. “Are you protecting him?” makes a better sentence, which means whom is the way to go. As a graduate of McGill I can only hope the holder of the poster is a Concordia student!

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+

 

ERs: Hurry Up and Wait

Waiting

Dario Ayala / Montreal Gazette

When I think of hospital emergency rooms I imagine a hive of activity, doctors, nurses, orderlies rushing about in orchestrated madness. Ambulances pulling up with patients requiring immediate medical attention. The triage process assigns a level of urgency to patients as they arrive. This will dictate when you are seen by a doctor.

Last Thursday the homecare doctor came to visit my eighty-nine-year-old mother. She wanted her to have some tests and x-rays done. She filled out the appropriate forms, gave them to me and told me to take my mother to the emergency room the next day.

“Is this a dire situation?” I asked her.

She said it was not, but that we really should get these things done.

So we arrived at the Montreal General Hospital emergency room on Friday morning at about ten o’clock. The room was already a going concern with broken bones, chest pains, and numerous other afflictions. After triage during which the nurse told my mother she was “…going to be with us for a while” we took our place in the waiting room.

And wait we did.

news_of_day_17__480w

At about three-thirty Friday afternoon my mother was seen by the doctor who arranged for the tests and imaging to be done. By 5:15 we were done and the waiting for results process began. It had been a long day, and it was only made longer when the emergency area was placed on lockdown pending the arrival of two shooting victims via ambulance. Police and masked medical staff were everywhere.

Finally, around six-thirty we were on our way with a prescription in hand.  The experience having been a drain on my mother, to say nothing of myself.

What got me annoyed was that people often complain about emergency services; they are understaffed and overworked, there are not enough resources, and too many people clog up the system with non-emergencies. With this last point, I am in total agreement.

I felt we were seeking advice and diagnoses that were more suitable to a clinic than a hospital emergency room. I understand the lengthy wait; the neediest cases get priority, that is the essence of an emergency room. I don’t think ERs should be used as clinics.

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 Arrogance of “Because I can”

Because

The concept of entitlement is often attributed to millennials, those folks born around the turn of the millennium. Of course, they did not create the idea, it existed long before they did. I recall that when I was in my teens there was a man who lived on our street. He had a dog. In fact, he was one of a growing number of dog owners in our community. So popular were these pets that after numerous complaints the city followed the lead of several other towns and passed a “stoop and scoop” law. Dog walkers were required to pick up after their furry friends or face a fine.

When the latter pointed out that the man was breaking the law by not picking up after his dog he looked straight at his accuser and said, “That law is not for me”

The man I am referring to became notorious for ignoring the new bylaw. On one occasion I was close enough to overhear a confrontation between this man and a fellow dog walker. When the latter pointed out that the man was breaking the law by not picking up after his dog he looked straight at his accuser and said, “That law is not for me”. Evidently, this man felt he was entitled to leave his dog’s feces wherever he chose. Laws were not enacted for everybody, he believed others should conform to the bylaw, but not him.

Some years later I witnessed another expression of entitlement while going to the supermarket. I was just about to go in when I heard a cacophony of car horns and hollering coming from behind me. Turning around I could see that a woman had made a left-hand turn from the right lane and pulled into the parking lot. In so doing she not only crossed a double solid yellow line clearly painted on the street, but also completely ignored the queue of law-abiding drivers waiting politely to enter the parking lot.

Unfortunately for her, a police officer happened to see the whole thing and in an effort to restore peace he approached her. He explained that not only had she broken the law by crossing the double yellow line, but had cut into the line of cars waiting to park. She replied to him by saying simply, “But I have to get into the parking lot”. Apparently, she felt entitled to get to her destination regardless of the highway code or other shoppers. She was quite taken aback that the cop did not see things exactly the same way.

While not being responsible for creating the notion, they have coined the phrase that best sums up entitlement. I refer to none other than the ubiquitous “Because I can”

I have written before about what many people call the millennials’ sense of entitlement. While not being responsible for creating the notion, they have coined the phrase that best sums up entitlement. I refer to none other than the ubiquitous “Because I can”. When I first heard this phrase I figured it was to be taken along the lines of mountaineer George Mallory’s statement that he climbed Mount Everest “Because it was there”. But I now understand it to mean that if I can do it, I am entitled to do it.

The Uber ride-sharing phenomenon illustrates precisely the problem with Because I can. I have a car, I can drive, there are people looking for rides, therefore I can offer to charge them a fee to drive them to their destination. The fact that in Montreal a system of taxis already exists, one that trained drivers pay significant sums to be permitted to drive others about is totally ignored by Uber drivers. Rules? Regulations? By-laws? Lineups? Not for me because I can.

What makes my blood churn, why I find the phrase abhorrent is the attitude it projects: pure arrogance.

Now the folks at Diet Coke have taken the catchphrase and turned it into a rebranding slogan. But I don’t have to buy the product, I might just opt to buy Pepsi. Why? Yep, because I can.

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+

Wake For a Pub; Godspeed Irish Embassy

Pub_before_After

I went to a wake last night. it wasn’t my intention, nor was it a typical wake. A traditional Irish wake takes place before a funeral – in the wake of the death  – and is an opportunity for mourners to reflect on the life of the departed. Once they were held in the home of the deceased with the body present. But with modern funeral homes, the ‘wake’ is more often called a reception and is held at the parlour after the ceremony. Take a room full of tired, emotional people, throw in some music and a significant amount of alcohol and frankly anything is possible.

What made last night’s wake unique was that while the departed rested across the road, its heart was present at the wake.

Needless to say, the deceased cannot attend the wake. Like funerals, wakes are for the living. What made last night’s wake unique was that while the departed rested across the road, its heart was present at the wake. You see the commiserating, the wake, was not for a person, but for a pub. The true soul of the pub, the staff, had gathered to share thoughts and comfort one another in the wake of a terrible occurrence.

With the five-alarm fire early on Saturday morning at the Irish Embassy Pub, Montréal’s rich history of Irish and English pubs is currently down one member. The building now a shambles of charred lumber and flooded rooms. The acrid odor of century-old burnt wood permeates the downtown air for blocks.

Yet another reason this was not your typical wake is that there was hope of a return.

Yet another reason this was not your typical wake is that there was hope of a return. The fire was contained to the upper floor. The actual pub only suffered smoke and water damage, albeit severe, giving one the thought that maybe, just maybe, like Phoenix the Embassy will soon rise from the ashes.

The building that was ravaged by flames was merely the bricks and mortar housing of the pub. The heart and soul of it are the staff members, many of whom gathered, along with several regular patrons, at another popular Irish pub. (I would be remiss if I did not mention that in a demonstration of class and I believe genuine empathy, Hurley’s Irish Pub made the displaced Embassy staff more than welcome for the evening.)

Tears were shed and hugs abounded, but all were quick to heave a sigh of relief that thankfully no one had been injured or worse. Bricks and mortar can be fixed.

Emotions ran high among the bartenders, wait staff, bussers and managers who gravitated to Hurley’s. The fire a bitter pill to swallow. Tears were shed and hugs abounded, but all were quick to heave a sigh of relief that thankfully no one had been injured or worse. Bricks and mortar can be fixed.

I’ve spent many a pleasant hour at the Irish Embassy. I’ve come to know many members of staff, management, and ownership. I consider several to be my friends.  It pains me to see them so touched by the fire. Perhaps it’s the upcoming Easter holiday but I also believe that these people are sincere in their vow to resurrect the pub. They are off to a good start by keeping the heart beating.

Godspeed.

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+

Is It Safe To Come Out Now?

Embassy16

Is it safe now? Can I come out from under the bed and get back to doing my usual things? Can I stop playing invisible?Is the mayhem that is St. Patrick’s Day weekend in Montreal finally over? It’s been a few days, but I want to be certain. There are two days a year that I would just as soon hide from than join in, they are New Year’s Eve and St. Patrick’s Day.

If you read this blog with any regularity you know that I am fond of bars. Except when they are chock-full of amateur drinkers hell-bent on ingesting as much alcohol as possible in the name of an Irish saint. The saying that everyone is Irish on St. Patrick’s Day sure does apply when it comes to imbibing.

Except when they are chock-full of amateur drinkers hell-bent on ingesting as much alcohol as possible in the name of an Irish saint.

Most days I drop by a particular bar late in the afternoon for a few cold beers, a chuckle or two and a bit of conversation. On her way from work my wife picks me up and we go home for dinner. The bar is an Irish themed place that, as you can imagine, draws an exceptional number of people come St. Patrick’s Day.

The good folks at Guinness provide bars that sell their beers with a wide variety of decorations; banners, posters, plastic glasses, coasters and even T-shirts. So every March my usual watering hole undergoes a physical transformation. That’s not a big deal. Even the constant Irish music during the lead up to parade I can take for a week or so. The increased prices are all just common business practice as anyone who has ever bought an airline ticket during high-season understands. It’s all about supply and demand.

maxresdefault-11-755x390

No, the problem as is so often the case is the people. On the Sunday of the parade arrive in droves. Some before the parade, some after. A line soon forms outside, regardless of weather conditions. Should they be lucky enough to get in, they belly-up to the bar – all bar stools have long since been removed to allow more traffic – and order drinks that are served in plastic cups. For these drinks, they pay an inflated price in cash – no credit or debit cards on this day. No running of tabs either; payment is due upon receipt of drink.

It’s crowded, dancing is not a good idea, but tell that to the 250-pound guy wearing a long green wig and Guinness T-shirt over green jeans.

Ditties that are commonly called Irish drinking songs are played by various bands throughout the day often invoking those well into their cups to dance. It’s crowded, dancing is not a good idea, but tell that to the 250-pound guy wearing a long green wig and Guinness T-shirt over green jeans.

Many folks traditionally take off the Monday after the parade, so even though it’s a Sunday, the day and night are long allowing for maximal revelry. I feel sorry for these people who will pay the real price in the morning. I feel even sorrier for the staff who have to wade through this green sea of humanity with drinks and food. 

But now most of the decorations are gone, the bar stools are back, glass has replaced plastic for holding drinks while plastic has replaced cash when paying. Phew … only another 363 days to go until St. Patrick’s Day 2019!

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+

Valérie Plante: Not Your Typical Mayor

valerie-plante

When Montrealers elected Valérie Plante as our first female mayor last November there was much excitement. Not just because of her gender, but because she was a new voice. Her predecessor, Denis Coderre, had ruled in a very heavy-handed manner. Making many decisions that would come back to sting him and ultimately lead to his downfall, including the FormulaE race debacle.

Unfortunately for Mayor Coderre the race proved to be a flop and the city took a bath. Even with the fee, Plante was lauded for scrapping the project as promised.

Life was good for Ms. Plante in the immediate aftermath of the election. She canceled the remaining FormulaE races that Coderre had agreed to, which was a campaign promise she made. Of course, there will be a cancellation fee that some estimates put it in the millions of dollars, but Mayor Plante is not worried: “What we know is that whatever the cost to cancel the race, I believe it’s worth it, because at this point, it doesn’t pay off.”

This event was intended to bring spectators to the city, something along the lines of the annual Formula1 race that pumps millions of dollars into the city’s economy each June. Unfortunately for Mayor Coderre the race proved to be a flop and the city took a bath. Even with the fee, Plante was lauded for scrapping the project as promised.

She did not fare quite as well however when she increased taxes beyond the cost of living, which she promised not to do. But she is hardly the first and will no doubt not be the last politician to fiddle and fudge when it comes to taxes.

If she gets her way one of four main east-west conduits in the downtown core will be reduced to one (yep one) lane for traffic while the sidewalks will be doubled in width. 

But an odd notion has started to cross the minds of many Montrealers: based on some recent ideas and proposals, Mayor Valérie Plante seems to have something against downtown Montreal. A bit of an axe to grind for some reason. Not a typical position for a mayor.

Aside from acting in a Coderre-like manner by deciding unilaterally, i.e. without any public consultation, to stop through traffic over Mont-Royal, traffic that may well be on the way to downtown restaurants and bars, she now wants to revamp St. Catherine Street, one of the main commercial roads in the city, turning downtown into a mall.

parking-meter-e1389821657550

If she gets her way one of four main east-west conduits in the downtown core will be reduced to one (yep one) lane for traffic while the sidewalks will be doubled in width. The mayor has floated this trial balloon in the latest salvo against downtown. St. Catherine Street is already suffering, evident by the many empty storefronts that seem to appear every day. How can making it more difficult to get to these businesses possibly do anything but hurt them?

… that people who are paying for a vehicle are loath to pay again for public transit. If you make public transit free, then you may be talking.

The mayor claims public transit is the key. Get more folks on the buses and Metros. I agree that Montreal has a pretty good transit system, but I think I speak for many with whom I have brought up the topic when I say that people who are paying for a vehicle are loath to pay again for public transit. If you make public transit free, then you may be talking.

I use public transit because my wife takes the car to work. She could use the bus and subway, but it would take over 90 minutes each way. Not a feasible option. When we travel downtown we use the car; rather than paying for the numerous expenses and then leave it sitting at home only to pay bus fare, we drive.

Many frustrated potential patrons are forced to take their business out of the downtown area to the parking-friendly suburbs. 

I would humbly suggest to the mayor that an increased number of parking spots, even if metered, is the realistic way to go. Trying to find a spot on a Saturday evening so we can spend our hard-earned cash in a downtown restaurant has proven difficult, although several streets are for reasons not apparent deemed no parking while other have meters that are covered in red bags denoting no service. Many frustrated potential patrons are forced to take their business out of the downtown area to the parking-friendly suburbs. The pipe dream of public transit will only face the possibility of becoming real once the fare has been eradicated. No one wants to double dip – paying car fees and transit fares.

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+

Diabolical Kettle Packaging

Kettle

Packaging suggestion.

Yesterday my electric kettle done up and died, had the biscuit, bought the farm, went for the kippers. It was about ten years old so I really couldn’t get too cranky about it. I performed the appropriate solemn rite over the late kettle and turfed it into the garbage.

Sure enough there they were: silver kettles, black kettles, white kettles. A regular Smörgåsbord of kettles from which to choose.

As is my wont, I did a little research online and found a lovely assortment of electric kettles available at my local Canadian Tire store. Conveniently located in a nearby shopping centre to which I was planning on visiting anyway.

I arrived at Canadian Tire and, having used my morning’s research to its fullest capacity, I knew I needed to stroll over to aisle 11. Sure enough there they were: silver kettles, black kettles, white kettles. A regular Smörgåsbord of kettles from which to choose. I checked out a few then decided on a Sunbeam model that was very similar to the one that had gone kaput and was available for a decent price. So off I went to pay for my new kettle and continue with my other chores.

Upon arrival at home, I wanted to boil the kettle a few times to get the factory taste and gunk out. I opened the box and withdrew the kettle. I noticed that the contents of the box were packed in somewhat like a well-played game of Tetris. There was not a millimeter of extra space in that carton.

Evidently, I had purchased a ‘replacement’ kettle. Why did it not indicate that on the box?

I put the kettle aside and went in search of the power base. Only to be disappointed. No power base was present, no means of plugging the kettle into an electrical outlet existed. How could they have been so stupid, so dim-witted as to package a kettle without including the power base? Given the tight fit in the packing, this was clearly a box that was not meant to hold a power base. Evidently, I had purchased a ‘replacement’ kettle. Why did it not indicate that on the box?

Somewhat irked I called the number on the user manual. After the usual wait – I was so glad my call was important to them – I got a person on the line. I calmly went through the whole experience and she took the model number and asked me to wait for a moment. That was some 24-hours ago so I guess I’m technically still on hold with them, except for the fact that I hung up after several minutes, thinking I would have to return the kettle regardless of what she may tell me.

Why would they put the power source in the f*%#ing kettle but not mention it on the box,

I packed up my new kettle in the Tetris-like manner I had received it and, later in the afternoon made my way back to Canadian Tire. I approached the returns desk, plunked my bag on the counter with my receipt and Canadian Tire money and started to unpack things while explaining my gripe.

“I bought this here this morning but there is no power source,” I started but before I could finish the nice lady cut me off. She said knowingly “yes there is”.

I looked at her as she casually opened the box and removed two pieces of tape that were holding down the kettle lid and lo and behold there was the power base. Just like the neck and giblets in a frozen turkey, except the turkey packaging clearly indicates there are parts inside. I looked at her and asked if she had seen this before to which she rolled her eyes and said it happens all the time with this product.

Why would they put the power source in the f*%#ing kettle but not mention it on the box, (as I have suggested above) or in the user manual?

This packaging and lack of instruction is nothing short of diabolical. Thank you Sunbeam Canada for a fine kettle, but a really bad lack of communication!

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+

My Long-Time Neighbour Is Sick

1280px-bad_godesberg2c_fontanestrac39fe_2-4
By Karsten Ratzke – Own work, CC0,

For as long as I can remember we’ve had the same neighbour. We go back years, decades, indeed centuries. We live in what in the real estate world is known as a semi-detached. Which of course means it is also semi-attached; we share one very long partition, I am hesitant to call it a wall, given what my neighbour has in mind for the other side of his house.

Oh, sure we have the occasional spat, a little falling out. But when push comes to shove we have each other’s back. 

We are so very similar in many ways, and get along just fine for the most part. Oh, sure we have the occasional spat, a little falling out. But when push comes to shove we have each other’s back. For instance, my neighbour had an ungodly upset about 17 years ago when one of the central family members was struck down in an egregious act of violence. We did what we could to help the situation and felt our bond grow stronger as often happens in difficult times.

Our cultures are similar, sports, arts, entertainment are all on the same track. Not identical mind you, but shall I say variations on a theme. The way we run our household is, again, on the surface comparable, yet dig deeper and it is almost like night and day.

We often spend time in each other’s place; in fact, we are each other’s most frequent visitor. Over the years many members of my extended family have married into my neighbour’s clan, and vice versa.

There is something akin to a cancer that courses through my neighbour. Perhaps it has always been there, but since a new head of the household moved in over a year ago, the vile malignancy has surfaced.

All in all, we are a pretty close pair. Which is why I write this. You see it has occurred to me recently, after poring over the vivid assay results, that my neighbour is sick, undeniably very ill. There is something akin to a cancer that courses through my neighbour. Perhaps it has always been there, but since a new head of the household moved in over a year ago, the vile malignancy has surfaced. For the most part this sickness manifests itself in relatively small flare-ups, but once every so often, frankly way too often, a major outbreak erupts that knocks everyone for a loop. One such episode occurred last week.

My sadness over my neighbour’s sickness is compounded by a strong feeling of frustration. You see, the illness, hideous though it is, is absolutely curable. Other neighbours in our community have suffered from similar afflictions, and have taken appropriate actions to remedy the situation. But my semi-detached neighbour not only refuses to consider the cure but rather insists on confronting the disease by applying even more disease.

I would be lying if I did not admit to also having a selfish desire to see my neighbour well, and that is the concern that, like popular culture, the disease may spread to our house.

We have been good neighbours for so long that it pains me deeply to see this lovely big household  (mind you our house is bigger even if our family is smaller)  afflicted in such a destructive manner. I hope that before it is too late my next-door neighbour will realize that something must be done to eradicate this infirmity. In conclusion, I must come clean, I would be lying if I did not admit to also having a selfish desire to see my neighbour well, and that is the concern that, like popular culture, the disease may spread to our house.

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+