Tuesday, 17 February 2009


There are a lot of misconceptions out there, but every now and then they (yes, I am talking about them) get it right. I am back from a few days in beautiful downtown Winnipeg and do you know what? It's cold there. Yep. When they call it Winterpeg, they are dead on. Smart people, they are. You know that crisp frozen feeling on the inside of your nose, when simple breathing becomes an adventure? In Toronto that feeling means it's freakishly stay-inside-and-moan cold. In Winnipeg it just means it's December -- and you'd better get used to your nose feeling like that because the weather won't break until March or April. Throughout my five-day tour I watched locals trundle along the sidewalks without concern, while I shivered like a collection of castanets. Let's stop there, I'd say. Or there. Not because I wanted a coffee or pair of jeans, or because my vacuum cleaner needed repairing, but because the stores were open and warm. After the first day I got used to being the pathetic sniveller from Ontario. In fact, I began introducing myself that way -- So you're Jill? And Steve? Great to meet you guys. Yeah, I'm the pathetic sniveller from Ontario.
The other noticeable feature of outdoor life in Winnipeg is the potholes. I have driven down rough roads in my time, but not like the streets of Winnipeg. Some mighty fancy driving is called for. The problem is that these holes are surrounded by snow and ice mountains, so you are either skidding up and around, or inching down and around -- or heading into the oncoming lanes where there is a good chance that you will meet the back end of a pothole going the other way. And the size of the holes! Yeesh, if those are potholes, then until now I have only known egg-cup holes.
Why don't you fix the roads? I asked often. My question was greeted with shrugs and headshakes.
The Mayor is ... well ...
An idiot? A jerk? I finished.
But surely that can't be the only reason why the surfaces are so bad. I mean, our mayor does not wear Albert Eintstein's thinking cap, either. Few mayors do. It is generally agreed -- by them -- that Winnipeg is cold and mayors are jerks. But what's with the potholes?


Marilyn said...

Maybe they have creatures that live beneath
the snow and eat the road all winter.

Richard Scrimger said...

Strange winter pavement-eaters? Could be. I wonder what they'd say about them? RS

SplitRail said...

I love it when you teeter on the precipice of political commentary.

Anonymous said...

Ooh, like on Blood Beach? Careful, they proliferate once blown to bits.

I understand your frustration (was that you caught on airport security cams muttering, I want my Jet Pack?)

Catapult then? But that may cause a greater crater.


Richard Scrimger said...

I have little politics -- or let's say little time for politicians. But that's mostly envy: I wish I was able to use the public trough to feather my own nest. As it is I am stuck mixing metaphors for a living, and relying on tips. RS