The BruserFactory

Normal  Is Relative

Plastic target.

Fifty points for his stomach. Only thirty points for his balls? And this is equal to his head. This speaks to me.

My employee. Hinting at the problem.

My wife. Hinting at the problem.

Cell phone case. 1989. Made it myself.

Form fitting. Leather lined.

I'm Just Sayin'

There was an 'X' taped to the floor in front of the cash at the local convenience store. I'm not falling for that. I've watched enough Bugs Bunny shows to know how that turns out.

If I'm ever in a coma attached to a life support machine, turn it off. Then turn it back on. See if that helps.

I've become a social vegan. I avoid meet.

"Choking on your own vomit." And who else's vomit might you be choking on?

It's all relative. When I die and submit my life's achievements for assessment I want an autopsy. I want them to open up my head and hopefully it will look like my lungs probably look like and say, 'Holy shit. Ya, but he did it with this.'

I'm so horny I get an erection when the weatherman on the radio talks about the wind blowing in Regina.

Conversations which have occurred at one time or another: 1) One voyageur to another: "Boy, this is a big lake. What should we call it?" 2) "Hey, did you see that bug just flutter by?  What should we call it?"   "I'm not sure. Let me think about it.  I'll get yack to bou."

I spotted an albino dalmation. It was the least I could do. (stolen joke)

It was so windy yesterday on the way to work, for every one step forward I was blown back two steps. I never would have made it except I gave up and went home. (stolen from George Burns)

Somebody asked me how long I have been married. I told them thirty years plus five years wind chill factor so it feels like 35 years. (stolen joke)

I’m just sayin'...

Oh my God. I’m watching the first hockey game of the season. There is a time out. The goalie has blue tape on the butt end of his stick. Regulations indicate that this tape must be white. So they are putting white tape on top of the blue tape. Blue tape is not allowed. No sir. But you can fight. Got it.

Autocorrect on my phone. I type one bloody letter and already it wants to offer suggestions. How the hell does it think it knows what I want to say after one letter?!  It reminds me of a story I once heard about Frank Shuster who lived in Toronto in his later years. He was on his way out one day and his son stopped him. “You can’t go out like that. Your hat is all crooked.” Frank responded by telling him, “You don’t know where I’m going!”

Can we please agree universally on which way to twist a bloody twist tie to secure a hose or a pair of scissors to its host cardboard backing? Or at least not twist it thirty two times so that I don’t invest myself for sixteen twists only to find I’m twisting it the wrong way?

My son is upstairs singing. I think. He’s yelling. He sounds angry. I don’t hear any specific musical notes. Still. Could go either way.

Two stadiums. Side by side. One big event at each stadium. In one stadium there’s a world series baseball game. In the other it’s a major tennis match. One zeppelin filming overhead. They’re saving costs. In the world series game they are paused because they are reviewing videotape of a ball hit up the third baseline. They’re not sure if it landed in foul territory. The video is not clear. I think it was filmed in Beta. At the tennis match, a serve hit with a peak velocity of 135 mph or 216 kmh is questioned after it was called out. The eye in the sky technology is called into play and about thirty seconds later it is confirmed that the serve was, in fact, in. Further, zooming in on the digitized image of the ball imprint on the line shows that it was in by only three millimetres. Seriously? These stadiums need to get together like peanut butter bumping into chocolate.

I enjoyed the olympics. You get dulled by the greatness though. I think it needs to be put into perspective. Like how would I do on the luge against these guys? I mean is there really that large a competitive pool that the worst guy isn’t just a little better than I would be, screaming perhaps at similar loudness levels as we hang on for dear life down the run? That’s what they should have done before the real athletes at the olympics. The first one down the hill should have been ... Bob. Yes, Bob. The guy in your grocery store who is shopping and wearing sandals. In winter. The guy wearing pyjamas that you hope to God is making a fashion statement and not just sporting the same pj’s he wore last night to bed.

The soccer goalie. I feel so bad for him. Essentially he does nothing, hoping nobody is going to get close enough to kick the ball at the barn door he has been hired to protect. God, please just give him a stick or something. Something so he has a chance to bat away the ball that is always going to be beyond his reach. Or at least something he can poke people with to make their job a little bit more difficult. Just FYI, a hockey goalie in front of his net covers approximately half to three quarters of the mouth of the net. This compares to the soccer goalie who covers approximately 1/52,000th of the area he has to protect.

I would like to know what the statute of limitations is on the word ‘concentrated’. Laundry detergent. It used to come in great big boxes but then one year in the not so recent past, they shrunk in size. The boxes became about half the regular size in addition to the large boxes which were still available. ‘Concentrated’, the smaller boxes proclaimed. You don’t need as much because it’s concentrated. You only need two thirds the amount you used to use and that’s why the box is half the size it used to be, of course at the same price as the original. The marketing genius who did the math on that one got a great bonus and is now living somewhere in Florida. . Now, I don’t even know if you can still get the larger ‘unconcentrated’ boxes. Some boxes are large but they still say ‘concentrated’ on them. My question is, how long do they have to keep declaring that they are concentrated before they become the standard? Concentrated relative to what? Relative to the old concentration which you can no longer get? It’s like Coke and Coke Classic. The marketing genius that suggested the Coke formula needed modification which resulted in a drastic drop in sales had to sell his house in Florida (to some guy who worked for a laundry detergent company). I think New Coke came and left in about 1988, twenty years ago. How long will Coke have to be called Coke Classic to ensure everybody knows that really means ‘the original Coke formula before we messed it up’? I guess it’ll be a long time, or forever. There’s got to be a statute of limitations on those things. I went into a hospital washroom the other day and saw on the soap dispenser, instructions which asked you to only use one ‘pump’ because the soap was concentrated. Again, relative to what? I guess that’s just polite to put it that way, but if it were my hospital the sign would have simply said, ‘Expensive soap. Don’t waste it. If you do, we won’t be able to afford to make your medication’.

Things I Feel I Can Teach

1) How to pay more for your automobile repairs than anybody else with the identical vehicle getting the same work done somewhere else.

I’m in a Zellers store and I’m on a mission. My bathroom is downstairs in my house and I’m the only one that uses and cleans it. There’s a shower stall in it; one that you can’t bend over in if you’re over four feet tall. I keep one of those scratchy pads on the floor so I can wash the floor with my feet while I’m taking a shower. I can’t really keep up with the mildew but at least I’m only taking one step backwards for every two forward. Oh. And I smoke. But only in that little bathroom in which you can touch any two walls with outstretched arms. There’s a fan. I have to replace it once a year. O.K. What am I shopping for? One bad ass cleaner. If that was on one of the bottles, I would have bought it. ‘Oh. Here’s what I’m looking for. One Bad Ass Bathroom Cleaner. Spray and run. $7.99'. But no. Just like shampoo, there’s interpretation to be done. There was one complete isle full of bottles to sort through and find the most appropriate for my needs. I was looking for CLR and I found it, but it was 8.99 and I didn’t really want to pay that much. That stuff is pretty good though. It makes some nasty fumes when you use it in an enclosed space. Still though, 8.99. The next one I found proclaimed dual orange power. First of all, yes, I know there’s citric acid in an orange and that might offer some cleaning powers. Ooooooooo. Scary. I was here to take advantage of the most advanced alchemy available to modern mankind and the best they could offer me was dual orange power. Oranges I have at home. I’ll bet you this stuff certainly isn’t in the home bomb maker’s cookbook. And to cover up that it’s just an orange with which you’re scrubbing your bathroom, they tell you with hide in plain sight marketing genius that it has dual orange power. Great. I’m scrubbing with two oranges or concentrated oranges or maybe a lemon and an orange. I may as well use the one called ‘spit and shine.’ Then there was one called Ka Boom. So far it had potential. The bottle was slightly larger than the rest and it boasted it’s 35% greater size. But then it was 35% more expensive than the other ones. Sneaky. Then there was Tilex at 3.99 per bottle. That one appealed to my economic sense (any less than that and I would have excluded it of course because less than 3.99 means there were no scientists to pay for the research that went into it) but then I noticed there were two types to choose from. Both bottles were identical except for a line at the bottom of each. One said ‘Aggressively attacks soap scum. The other said it aggressively attacks mildew.’ I liked the ‘aggressive’ part, but then I couldn’t decide with which foe I was dealing. Could they not have made one variety that aggressively attacked mildew and soap scum? I guess those chemicals can't be combined. And, I had to decide with which foe it was I was prepared to confess to the checkout girl I had a problem; rampant soap scum or rampant mildew. Sometimes I let the public decide. There were clearly less bottles of the soap scum attacker than there were of the mildew attacker. Most people chose to admit they had a soap scum problem. Still, I felt my problem was more demanding than simple soap scum and also I felt the general public didn’t have the same assessment tools as I for choosing such an obviously complicated product, so I leaned towards the mildew attacker or kept it in mind while I looked at more options. The next one that caught my eye was called Scrub Free. That’s what I’m looking for. Something I can spray and then get the hell out of there while it does its job. But then it said to use ventilation because it could cause mild irritation. That concerned me. Another one said ‘Caution, may cause harmful gas if mixed with acid.’ and then there was the picture of the hand of bones to tell you it had corrosive properties. Now you’re talkin! The makers of that one were thinking about my bathroom when they created it. I wondered exactly what acid was lurking in my washroom that they were referring to but then, I didn’t really question it, knowing my bathroom. Oh hell, of course I took the CLR. When in doubt, get what you know works, pay the extra dollars and save yourself the second trip back to the store to get what you should have gotten in the first place.

A sign somebody in your family is not the most patient person in the world; the microwave has been used and there’s one second left on the timer. Test your patience: When your heel and your toe get stuck at the bottom of your pajama leg, how hard to you push before you give up and start again?

Espanola. First, I apologize to all of those people living in Espanola who may take offense to what I am about to say about their town. Second, I apologize to all those people who live in Espanola who have no choice but to live there. That’s gotta be tough. If you’ve ever driven past an active paper mill, you’ll know where I’m headed here. I’d rather live beside an active volcano than an active paper mill. I remember growing up about 50 km away and being told that the strange smell that wafted through the air was Espanola. They never said ‘It’s a paper mill in Espanola. They always just said it’s Espanola.’ I spent the first sixteen years of my life thinking ‘Espanola’ was just a synonym for ‘bad ass smell’. Once a week I drive past this town and once a week it gets me. I’ll be driving along, breathing normally and minding my own oxygen. Then all of a sudden I’ll think ‘Gees. Oh! Geeees! What the hell did I eat to make my fart smell like that?! I don’t even remember farting but - oh gees! It’s still there! And then I crack the window to let some air circulate and then oh! Geeeeeees! It’s worse! How the hell - oh. It’s that damn paper mill again!’ And then I change my mental smell template from ‘all things that smell like ass and likely are ass’ to ‘things that smell like processed wood’ and the smell makes immediate sense. I didn’t actually eat any rodents recently to make my farts smell like that. It’s such a fine line that I can flip that mental template back and forth: sniff – ass; sniff – paper mill; ass – paper mill; ass – paper mill. It’s all in the perspective and what you’re thinking. (it's all relative). I can’t imagine living there. Walking up the street, you bump into somebody in front of the bakery. “Hi George. Isn’t that smell great?” “Hi Frank. Yes. I just love the smell of baking bread.” “Of course that’s to say, after you subtract out the ass smell that’s on top of it!’ “Yes. Of course. Remove that ass smell and boy, that bread sure does smell good.’ “Sure does. Love that smell. Well, have a great day!” All these little towns have a slogan or motto on their ‘welcome’ sign on the road on the way in. Like, ‘Home of the first female mayor in Canada.’ or ‘Birthplace of Gordon Lightfoot’. Great for tourism I suppose. I’ve got a suggestion for the mayor of Espanola. Your’s should be ‘Think wood, not ass!’ Priceless.

The grocery store. I’ve got a problem with the grocery store (actually many). Well, look. I spend about $200.00 a week at my grocery store. If there were any other store at which I was dropping $200.00 every week I would expect I’d either be getting the service of my life, or sex. Specifically, I don’t like it when the cashier at my grocery store makes a mistake which requires she back track to correct the error but then takes out her frustration on me by contributing curtly to the remaining portion of our interaction. Like it was my fault or like I’m being resented for being a part of her now slightly worse day. The only way she will feel better is if the rectification of the problem requires you to step over to the customer service counter and wait there for an indefinite period of time.

Rainchecks. If you read the small print on the back of every raincheck it says: “Go away. Stop bothering us. We don’t have any more T-bone steaks and no we’re not sorry we only ordered three after advertising they would be on sale this week for $1.99 per pound. Come back after this piece of paper has been left in your pants pocket through one complete wash and dry cycle so that we can tell you we can’t honour it any longer because we can’t read it. No, it’s not a coincidence that the butcher department ran out of steaks at the same time. He takes pride in how he cuts his steaks and he doesn’t want you to have them at such a low price. He’s put aside some crappy ones, but please don’t let on that you know he didn’t cut them. He likes to think he’s still doing you a favour. Please come back anytime within the next six days (including the two we’re not open) to redeem your raincheck. If at that time we still do not have any steaks available, you may or may not be able to acquire an extension. It depends on who you ask. Just hang out at the customer service counter until every lottery and ‘peel to win’ ticket has been purchased by every man, woman and child over three feet tall who wants to go ahead of you. Thank you for shopping with us and have a good but not overly great day.

Drug stores. O.K. I do appreciate the help the pharmacist provides when I’m trying to decide which medication to buy. They are knowledgeable and although they try a bit too hard to flaunt what they know, they seem to mean well and they can be helpful. But pharmacists will at times ignore you completely, even if you’re lying in the cold medication isle trying to read the fine print on the Neo-Citran box, thankfully resting on the bottom shelf. Or else they’ll smother you, following you everywhere you go until you give in and ask questions for which you already know the answers. I feel I’m reasonably knowledgeable or at least I attended all of my highschool chemistry classes. A lot of times I just don’t wish to discuss the specific details of my ailment or the factors involved in the decision I’m trying to make. I’m looking at ingredients. By now I’m aware of a few of the side effects from experience. Cold medication. I take my cold medication rather seriously. Pseudoephedrine or ephedrine or antihistamine of any type. It stays in my body at effectual levels for 48 hours after I take it. How am I that in touch with my body to know this? Well, any of those ingredients will make me completely impotent for two days. I don’t think that happens to everybody. But I’m not all that motivated to share this information with the pharmacist so that he might search the consensus in his experience and let me know what happens to the other shmuks that have shared the same information. What? This brand of medication won’t make me drowsy? I’ll show you drowsy. Looky here in my overcoat and tell me if you see drowsy. Do ya see little Sammy here? Do ya see how he’s lookin a bit dejected? A bit down and out? Drowsy. I’ll show you drowsy. Anyway. I think as I enter the store they should have somebody at the door. When I go in, if I say “acetylsalicylic acid” fast five times they should give me a blue card which makes the pharmacist back off five steps when I show it to him. Or her.

Soldering guns. I have one of those. Nice red one. Gets real hot. Not like the one my father had when I was growing up. The light would come on in two degrees of brightness but it didn’t heat up all the time and when it did there was only one degree of heat. Warm. Whenever I tried to fire it up I would just hold onto the tip and then let go real fast if and when it started to go. But my little red one heats up all the time and it gets really hot. That’s not the problem. The problem is I have used this thing dozens of times as an adult and dozens of times growing up. Soldering flux? Yes, I’ve got lots of that. But I don’t think once any two intended items were ever fused together by this device. Dozens of attempts though. Dozens of times the simple solution to a problem was ‘I know, I’ll just solder it together!’ Not once do I remember ever saying ‘There. I hope that holds for a while.’ Granted, I have requested some difficult things of the utensil but I’ve also given it every opportunity to stick something together. Nothing. I still use it but mostly as an emergency flashlight.

I should have just...

...licked all the stamps I had, slapped them on the little box, and thrown it into a mailbox. But nooooo. I go to the back of the drugstore where the mini post-office is hidden and find that everyone (the girl) is on their (her) break. The sign says "back in fifteen minutes." I'm holding my stamps - I'm looking at the box. There’s a ‘mail it here’ slot that I see my little box would just fit into. How much could it cost to mail this thing? Couldn't be more than about two fifty. I've got $3.01 in stamps. Should I just stick them all on and send it? If it's not enough, it comes back with a big stamp that says insufficient postage and they punish you by making you buy a whole new set of stamps. O.K. They do this because of the processing that the box went through before they found out there wasn't enough stamps on the thing. But how do I know where that occurred? Was it fifty feet from its destination? Did some mailman walk up to the door and kind of lift the little box up and down and think 'hey, I don't think there are enough stamps on this baby.' and then bring the box back to the shop where it gets sent back to me? Or worse, how do I know that somebody behind the counter of the mini post-office where I dropped the damn thing off didn't catch it right away and then reject it? Either way it hardly seems fair. But that sign. 'Back in fifteen minutes'. I need more information. Did they just put the sign out? Or did they put it out forteen minutes ago giving me just enough time to waste all my stamps? I make my decision. I'm going to wait out whatever time is left on their break and get them to weigh the little box. What shall I do in the next fifteen minutes or so.... I wander around the store - and I find a bin with a sign on it that says "Everything reduced to fifty cents for rapid sale." Hmmm. There's a cute little baseball cap that my son might like. But the price tag on the hat says $1.00. Would they charge me a dollar or fifty cents? When did they put this sign here? How rapid did they intend the sale to be? Did somebody just this morning decide to slash prices on the beanies, make the sign (it was hand written and clearly not commercially issued) and then not consider programming the cash registers or personally informing the cashiers about the rapid sale? Oh well - something to think about while I'm getting my package weighed. I wander back to the post office in about five minutes just in time to see all the personnel going back to work. Good. I've beaten the system. I step up to the counter and I ask her "Can you please weigh this and tell me how much it will cost to mail it?" (notice I did not say "Can you please weigh this and affix the appropriate postage?") I'm holding my stamps. I make sure she sees this. She weighs the package. Two dollars and eighty cents. Oh well, I saved myself twenty one cents. But then we make eye contact and there’s a strange, frozen expression on her face. It appears she has just pressed a secret alarm button under the counter by mistake and regrets that in any moment now, a S.W.A.T. team is going to enter the store looking for me. Then I realize that she must have seen my stamps too late to stop the little stamp sticker machine from producing a two dollar and eighty cent stamp. As far as I know, that’s just like printing currency. She probably can’t just throw it out because, well, what if somebody found it that didn’t pay for it? Or maybe the machine that prints the stickers keeps an internal record that is totalled at the end of the day and if the sum of the sticker values printed is more than the total shipping money she has collected, then she’s responsible for the difference like a pizza delivery person who drops one. I gaze at her with my mouth slightly open. I glance down at the stamps in my hand and then back up at her with a dumb ‘Stamps for you?’ expression on my face. Then I snap out of it and offer her the solution. "How about we'll just trade? I'll give you my $3.01 in stamps - you put the sticker on the little box and give me twenty one cents in stamps or change.” She smiles slightly and says ‘O.K.’ but her expression seems more to match a desire to reach under the counter for the alarm button again. She takes all my stamps. But then she starts licking them! (actually wetting them on that little ceramic rolling thing). I'm wondering what she's done to improve my perfect suggestion and so I watch her without saying anything, my mouth still a little open. She pounds them onto the little box with her chubby little fist, covering up the sticker and then looks up at me as though she's just finished applying decorative icing to a cake. She says "O.K. That's fine." And I just smile politely, waiting for my change of course. But then - oh no! - she's giving me the "That's fine" vacant but satisfied smile which means our interaction is over! What about my twenty one cents?!! I just smile back. "Oooo K. Thanks very much." I say, and I leave. I should have just stuck my stamps on the damn thing and shoved it into a mail box. Or even better - I should have put my address on it as its 'ship to:' and it's actual destination on it as its 'return to:' and then put just two stamps on it so I'd be certain it would get 'returned' to sender for 'insufficient postage'. Anyway, I've decided to go and get that baseball cap. How much was it again?

'Baby on Board' signs in cars and flammable (inflammable?) or explosive signs on the backs of trucks. First of all, what exactly do they mean? When I'm driving behind a car that has a baby on board sign (a sign that is actually made to resemble a traffic sign of some sort) am I supposed to make extra extra certain that I don't get involved in an accident with that car? Like if they didn't have that sign in the rear window, that would mean it would be O.K. to get into an accident with that car. Maybe they should have signs that read 'No baby or anyone important on board' so I can really narrow down with whom I'm supposed to have an accident! Oh, and I’ve seen you drive with those signs; I guess I’m also supposed to deduce the fact that because you are currently driving like a maniac, you don’t have ‘the’ baby in question currently ‘on board’ and for some reason, you feel free to drive like that while creating an automotive wake of sympathy because everyone around you doesn’t know that you don’t have the baby on board! And while we’re at it, am I supposed to be doing something special when I read on the back of a giant-cigarette-lighter-looking transport truck that the contents are extremely flamable? By instinct, because I've just been instructed, I back off about ten more feet from the fifty I was giving him, just to be cautious. If the truck blows up, is this going to save me? Or is it similar to the baby on board signs in that the truck is suggesting if I were to get into an accident, I should make sure it's with another vehicle because this one would be a really bad choice?

You know what I would prefer over having to add ten or fifteen percent to the posted speed limit to calculate the speed at which the police won’t bother me (depending on where you live and how lenient the police are in that area - that month - that week - or that day - or if they’re on their way to or from the doughnut shop)? I would prefer that they put the limit they actually expect you to drive on the bloody sign. I swear I wouldn't be upset if I got a ticket for doing 121 km/hr on the 401 highway if the speed limit were 120 km/hr. At least I would know. Anything is better than hitting the brake every time I see a vehicle that could possibly be a police car. Like an unmarked white Crown Victoria. Or a white Hydro van if you squint your eyes up real tiny. It only makes sense to me. You hate having to count on that friend who personally knows the policeman who unofficially tells you that they really do set their radar detectors fifteen percent above the limit. In my own case that particular friend is my mother. I tell you - it's embarrassing. Somebody asks me how I know the police have their radar set 15 percent above the speed limit and I tell them I know somebody who knows a policeman who told them. Then they ask who knows the policeman. Then I tell them it's my mother and we're back to square one.

But here’s a thought. Wouldn’t it be nice if those signs were there more to indicate some aspect of projected safety rather than legality? I think it's much more dangerous having to extrapolate the ‘actual’ speed limit. Off ramps for example. An off ramp that tells me to go 40 km/hr means I can usually count on doing a good 65 before the centripetal force tells me I'm pushing it. But this rule is even less precise than the 15% radar rule. I've been on a few off ramps that have said 35 km/hr and so I do the projected 55 only to have my wheels squeal the whole way around like I were in a Starsky and Hutch show or something. Shut up. I'm old. Can't they just tell me how fast I should really be going? I mean really. If I were to actually do 35 on a ramp, I’d get passed by the joggers. And the speed walkers. And the parents pushing the strollers. They know the physics, why not tell us the truth? Instead of some official conservative ‘Head of Driving’ calculating how fast we could safely round a corner and then subtracting some arbitrary amount and telling us what speed he feels is in our best interest to stay below, why not tell us the truth and tell us in no uncertain terms "It is unsafe to do more than 50 km/hr on this exit ramp - we tried it and slid off like we were in a Starsky and Hutch show." But nooooo. And if they're going to estimate how fast they think we should be going on off ramps, you'd think they might have the courtesy to be consistent! As it is, I have to be responsible for the geographical area in which I'm driving like for some reason it's safer to do 120 km/hr here than it is in other areas. Is this some kind of ploy to keep us on our toes? So on some of the ramps we'll almost zip off the other side and really learn our lesson?

I'd like to feel safe and secure in my car when I drive and I think we need total honesty on both sides. When I was living in the United States I owned a radar detector because it was legal, but I felt really guilty about it. I mean what are they thinking anyway? The damn things cost about 30 bucks each so lets assume everybody has one (granted a few of them pick up beer store security systems and things like that but you get used to it). When I almost instantaneously drop from doing 50 miles/hr (it's in the States) to try and match the 35 miles/hr speed limit when I hear the bells and whistles going off in my car and I crawl past the police car with a great big grin and a happy wave, is that in itself my penalty? The penalty of first that instantaneous adrenaline rush that almost sends sparks of electricity out my forehead - and then the embarrassment of the 'I know that you know that I know that you know but I had to do it anyway' situation? In Canada you can't have a radar detector because they're illegal. Apparently (according to a close friend who will damn well remain nameless), not only is the fine for having one of those things in excess of $1000.00, but the police also have radar detector detectors so that they know before you know. On the highway in the States, having a radar detector was a very comfortable feeling. I mean I trusted my driving. I felt reasonably certain that the probability of my being in an accident was not significantly increased if I chose to drive 70 or even 75 miles/hr on a highway that didn’t have another car on it for fifty miles. To have that ‘look around the corner’ guilt feeling removed was a bonus that enhanced the experience.

But alas, in Canada the compromise for feeling guilt-free is taking a long time to get there. You either show your loyalty to the Institution and always drive 90 km/hr or you show your loyalty to your fellow Canadians and drive 120 km/hr. This is why nobody likes to be passed. Nobody likes to be thought of as a traitor or that they’re doing something wrong. But if you're passed it means you weren't driving as fast as - not just the person that passed you but as fast as every Canadian that person represents. When it's you that passes somebody doing the speed limit don’t you ever look over to the driver of the other car and give them the expression that says "You are not one of us. You are on the side of the government and all the people who put up these speed limit signs that we true Canadians detest. These signs require interpretation. Stand aside and let me show you what they intend." This is why people, not interested in passing anybody, speed up when they get to a passing lane. Even though they realize it bothers everybody, they still want to maintain that this is how fast they intend on driving and that they are really on the side of the driving Canadian and not the Institution. As though they're saying "Please, just give me another chance - I promise I'll drive this fast if you just don't pass me before this passing lane ends. I don't believe them anymore. Because they usually slow back down at the end of the passing lane and say 'Sucker!!' to themselves inside their car.

I like to think of myself as the fastest driver on the road. I would love to drive in a cross country race. But I don't take safety totally for granted. I only drive at a speed with which I feel comfortable. I remember hearing that from a driving instructor. Well I feel comfortable going fast. And if I had a car that would actually go fast I'm sure that I would drive very fast. I know that I am a true Canadian and not on the side of the institution because when somebody asks me how far it is from a certain place to another, I always answer them in units of time instead of distance. That is my ultimate goal. To actually arrive somewhere before I started. I'm constantly shaving seconds off the time it takes me to get from here to there - driving at the precise speed to ensure that I hit the maximum possible green lights through the city and driving the maximum speed at which I feel; a) is within my reaction time to let me respond no matter what the traffic demand; but more importantly; b) is at the upper end of (but not exceeding) the speed limit that I have been assured the policeman has programmed into his radar gun at the side of the road. Okay, thanks mom.

I wish it were easier to:

rip off a square of plastic cling wrap (I don’t think I’ve ever done that without swearing - also see for similar reference the utility of soldering guns), get a bar of soap out of its package without gouging my nails into it ending up with soap under all my nails, or the first kleenex out of a box without having to grab the first twenty, get anything out of any blister pack (Canadian Tire sells a great scissors-like device specifically made for removing things from blister packages but the price of admission ... it’s wrapped in a blister package), or the wrapping off a CD without using an exacto knife which isn’t always at hand, or a new VHS tape. I mean those things are way off. They’re not even close. That just tells me not a single person at those manufacturing plants has tried to open their own product. Thousands of workers at the Ivory Soap factory. Not one can get the soap out of the wrapper. I mean what do they shower with? If one of them tried to use one of the bazillion bars that they make per day you’d think they’d come back in the next morning and say, ‘Hey, you know what? I can’t get the wrapper off one of these here bars of soap! Maybe we should do something about that!”