Tuesday, March 10, 2009

the white man also doesn't care about the environment

This morning at Tim Horton's there was a weird thuggy-looking guy in front of me in line who (a) told the woman in front of us, waiting for her coffee, about his idea for a porn franchise featuring Wonder Woman and the Incredible Hulk (tagline: "Don't make me angry") and then (b) told the woman working at T-Ho's that we were in our current state because of "the white man" (he himself was pretty white) and then added, "It's because we've lost the faith. Everyone but me." She gave him his coffee and said, "Have a nice day, sweetie!" with the kind of relentless customer-service optimism that you do not see at the big-city Tim Hortonses, only in the suburbs.

Then he got into his Hummer (!) and drove away.

Maybe I was just having a philosophical morning, but I was thinking about how tiring it would be to believe that everyone around you had lost the faith, that you alone were responsible for upholding humanity's value. But on the other hand, no one who drives a Hummer can really be feeling responsible for much.

These days it's still bone-chillingly cold, and the amount of time we spend talking about the weather has increased exponentially as March wears on with no signs of tiring. If you were to graph Edmontonians' interest in the weather, it would look like this:

Around December/January, no one is surprised by the cold, because it seems natural, and plus we haven't seen the sun in weeks and we're busy being sick and depressed. But by the time March rolls around we're starting to feel entitled to some nice weather, and the -33 business seems particularly cruel.

So after I left Tim Horton's I trekked across the barren parking lot, and I felt like an Arctic explorer, except not in a fun way. I felt isolated, and also like I might get scurvy. It doesn't help that the traffic lights at this one particular intersection are really pedestrian-unfriendly and often take several cycles to actually give you a walk light, so you feel like you'll likely be stranded out there forever, a lone cold explorer on a little traffic island, blinded by snow--and then some weird dude will tell you not to lose faith, and then run over you with his Hummer.

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