Welcome to the Tribe, Little Guy

Somebody at this Brantford Garden Centre has a brand new Leaf fan in the family.
Somebody has a brand new Leaf fan in the family.
Somebody at this Brantford Garden Centre has a brand new Leaf fan in the family (Click image for larger version).

I was rushing home from the office with a hot meal for a sickly Spouse (I cook only the best take out dishes), late for an appointment at the bank to clean up the latest of my absurd little financial disasters.

It was Tuesday night.  The Leafs were set to face off at 7:30 (ed. showing my age here) 7:00 that night against the Capitals, needing to claim all the points left on the table, and further needing the Sabres to go oh-fer, in order to have a shot at the playoffs.  On April 5th, with three games left on the schedule, the Leafs were – for a change – playing a game that mattered.

I was excited, I was tired, I was harried.  I was charging along possessed by that momentous urgency that develops, seemingly of its own accord, out of the need to get too many things done in too short a period of time.  In addition to my pending nutritional errand and the dollars and cents issues, my mind was idly grappling with any number of a series of problems I’ve been trying to solve in this enormous and rapidly approaching assignment at work.

As I sped along Park Rd. north of Brantford, having relegated tasks concerning the operation of a motor vehicle to the hypothalmus, I was jolted from my near automatic state by a glimpse – just out of the corner of my otherwise occupied eye, mind you – of the sign pictured at left.

The car charged further north along the road, and I found myself glancing in the rear view mirror trying to make sense of the incomplete image of the letters left in my mind.

“I’m sure,” I told myself, “that the sign contained a message addressed to Brian Burke.”  And I was pretty sure that part of the message was something to the effect that our “prayers have been answered.”  I had to fight the urge to turn the car around and go back for a second look.  “I am a grown up person,” I told myself, “late for a meeting and with a starving and sick wife at home.”   This last bit, staring at myself sternly in the rear-view mirror, as I very determinedly did not slow down.   Willing myself to let maturity prevail over juvenile excitement and curiosity.

I am as shocked as you are to report that my car did not slow down that night;  I really wasn’t sure I had that in me.

The following morning, however, it was amazing how easy it was to talk myself into the naturalness, the reasonableness – no, the necessity of taking a slightly adjusted path to work.  One that took me past the sign, with my cell phone camera armed and ready.

Of course, most anyone who’s reading this is well aware by now that the jerkstore Tampa Bay Lightning were unable to conquer the Sabres that night and the Maple Leaf playoff dream died with about two minutes remaining in the Leafs/Caps 3rd period.  The game was tied, the issue between those two teams not yet sorted, but the conclusion of another season foregone and unhappy.  Still, with the play of James Reimer leading the way, there is much to be hopeful about among Leafs fans.  It is possible to believe that the team may have turned a very important corner since the All-Star break.

We’re not in the playoffs again this year, but I am happy that this team has instilled in me a sort of hope and excitement that feels youthful.  My love for the team has been re-invigorated over the last two and a half months.  There is a freshness for me about the idea of being a Leafs fan again; I’d say I’m not alone, judging by the sign pictured above.

Passive Aggressive Sign Language

Brantford Rona is No More_8531
Rona, as it used to was.

Not far from the friendly confines of Juniorvania, there used to be a Rona store.  Careful and attentive readers may remember this store making a cameo appearance in a home improvement saga related to the making of shelves from last year. I think I went in to that store the day I was looking for the melamine to finish up that shelving project and on two other occasions, both of which were on the same day:  it was the day I purchased some scrap cedar to make the rails on the side of our compost heap and the risers for the grass stairs that run alongside the largest of our gardens in the back.

Three visits on two days in the course of about fifteen months;  not very many visits at all, compared to the time Spouse and I have spent in the Lowe’s and even (shudder) Home Depot in that same time period, though both stores are much further away.  I guess if I was in to augury as it relates to home improvement centres, I would have given the matter some serious consideration and I would have likely come to the obvious conclusion (after ripping apart and examining the entrails of a shop vac and a mitre box) that the fact that I didn’t throw a lot of business the way of a store that was essentially in my backyard probably didn’t bode well for the survival of the place.

A couple of weeks ago, on one of our drives by the Rona, we noticed that it had indeed gone out of business.  Here’s a picture of the message left for the citizens of Brantford by the folks at the recently demised Rona:

Passive Aggressive Sign_8527
We didn't have a middle finger graphic, or we woulda posted THAT.

Closed. Thanks, Brantford! Way to go, citizens of the telephone city! If you heartless bastards could have found it in your cold, cold hearts to simply purchase a couple more board feet of pressure-treated lumber; if you could have managed to squeeze a single snow shovel into your annual basket of consumer good purchases; if you could have maybe managed to buy your paper towels here instead of at the 7-Eleven, you ridiculous hammerheads, we might not be boarding up the windows right now. Terrific. Thanks a fucking million!

I think that’s what the sign says. Maybe it’s just me.

To Paris, for Hardware.

I know this is getting comical, but I just don’t have the time to post the Roughrider poetry contest winner tonight. With a little luck, an easterly crosswind and a downhill lie, I’ll get it posted tomorrow night.

In the meantime, I need to tell you about my trip to Paris today. Like most people, I went to Paris for hardware. In particular, I went to the Canadian Tire in Paris…

What’s that?

Oh. No, not that  Paris. Paris, Ontario. It’s really quite close by. You can also travel to Scotland and Dublin by car from here. It’s quite confusing.

Anyway, I brought my camera because Paris is actually quite charming, and I suspect quite photogenic; this gave me the perfect excuse to wander around and practise my newfound photography skillz while in the big city. On my trip there, I passed the following sign, which sign I have had to drive by every day for the last two weeks. Since my camera was in the car and on the seat next to me, I couldn’t resist clicking off a shot or two:

Now you would think that, being in the real estate business, a person might have occasion to come across the word “development” from time to time, and that – even if only by osmosis – a person might end up knowing how to spell it. At the very least, you would think that once you pounded in the stakes and nailed this puppy up, you might stand back, scratch your head a little and say, “Damn, something don’t seem right. Somebody get me a dictionary.” It’s kind of like being a baker and telling people you make “braid” for a living.

I am my father’s son. Like him, this butchering of the language grates on me and I can barely keep myself from crashing through the underbrush with a bucket of paint to start blotting out extraneous letters.

Maybe the Century 21 people are too busy being concerned about what the hell they’re going to call their company in 92 years when suddenly they (by virtue of their company’s name) are no longer the futuristic, robot-owning flying car pilots of the real-estate world and have become instead essentially Model-T enthusiasts with astonishingly ugly gold jackets. Deal with that developement!