Jan 28

SIGN OF OUR TIMES

I’m not getting into any political swamp; or telling politicians how to behave. They should instinctively know when the ground shakes beneath them: seek higher ground.

We’re talking about signs, outdoor mostly, that are meant to improve our way of life. Provinces are good at posting them, so too municipalities. Ontario is a good example, they’re everywhere.

If I’ve mentioned this one before, it’s worth repeating. Someone asked when I came back to Toronto area, after living in Montréal for five years, what the major difference was between Ontario and Québec.

Take a swimming as a good example in Ontario, I said.  Be it municipal or one, say, in a hotel. The province has strict rules for those with public pools. It’s sign language. DON’T DIVE, DON’T RUN AROUND THE POOL. NO DRINKING BY THE POOL. You get my drift. Take the one sign at a hotel pool in Québec. CHAMPAGNE HALF PRICE.

We drive to Timmins to visit Rosanne’s family from time to time. Once past North Bay – we’re halfway – the inane signs begin appearing by the provincial roadside. I might not be writing them down verbatim, but close to it. SPEED KILLS. MAKE SURE YOU HAVE ROOM TO PASS. Or this: DON’T DRIVE WHILE SLEEPY.

Next time I will get out my notebook and write down every one. And report back to you.

Author’s comment: None of these compare with what’s going on in a small plaza in Woodbridge. There’s a pharmacy, a really good Italian restaurant despite being called the Ice Cream Patio; an All-You-Can Eat Sushi. And the usual Tim Hortons, a new Denny’s, a pharmacy, and a convenience store among others.

The plaza is a zoo each weekend. Cars taking up every inch of pavement. People all over the place talking; probably drinking. Whoever owns the plaza must’ve disliked the atmosphere, the noise. Disliked it enough to put up signs nailed to lampposts: NO LOITERING. NO TRESPASSING. NO LAWN CHAIRS. NO IDLING. NO HOOKAS SMOKING.

And these, if you missed those: NO LOAFING. NO SKATEBOARDING. NO ROLLERBLADING. And finally, if you didn’t get the message: VIOLATORS WILL BE PROSECUTED.

Posted on January 28th, 2018 by Clarke