Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Who's on first?

I recently posted* an article I thought was particularly hilarious about an entire generation of people who think it’s acceptable to spew forth the contents of their day via facebook or twitter. The article in question was especially good at making fun of people who choose to emote hither and yon, including all 300 of their closest internet ‘friends’ and followers in their relationship. The author of this article (really an excerpt from her new book) went on to admit that it would be creepy and weird to forbid your partner to have an internet existence, so you might as well join up and start monitoring their every cyber-movement.

It was all very tongue-in-cheek, of course. There’s obviously no way you can stop people from exercising their right to online stupidity (see my previous posts regarding the failure to write properly). If they want to tell a public forum about their date, their sex life, or their breakup, it’s up to them… and the rest of us can either ignore it, or roll our eyes and judge, judge, judge (no bonus points for guessing which camp I’m in). It was a funny, light-hearted, witty, sarcastic, well-written excerpt.

Apparently, though, one of the comments described it as ‘bitter’, or rather the author was described as ‘bitter’. I can only presume this was because she was a woman who dared to use her rapier wit to skewer something that hit close to home. Aside from the fact that the article didn’t read at all that way, I’m left to wonder why funny men who are bold writers are described as ‘hilarious’ while their female counterparts are described as ‘bitter’? Example: I love libraries, but the great American writer Kurt Vonnegut once wrote that anyone who doesn’t buy a book is a twit. Now, I find that funny, and it’s obvious he’s poking fun because he’s a writer and wants people to buy books. The statement is made tongue-in-cheek, but you wouldn’t hear anyone describe the late Kurt Vonnegut as a ‘bitter’ WWII vetran.

But on the off chance that it’s not about marginalising women (childlessfree = bitter, single = bitter, funny and smart = bitter), I will jump on the interwebs bandwagon and, like, totally share one of the most, like, amazeballs moments of my marriage.

Michael (watching clips on his computer): “Does the noise bother you?”

Me: “No, it’s fine.”

Michael: “Okay, just checking.”

ZOMG, don’t you, like, totally feel the soulmate connection? Now everyone can be part of our love from reading this mundane conversation!

And Speaking of Conversations:

The following was a conversation I had last week with a fab individual who isn’t familiar with some of the more outrageous place names in Canada.

Him: “I just had a conversation with a girl from Nemo.”

Me: “Nemo? Like the fish movie?”

Him: “Yes, Nemo. On Vancouver Island. Do you know it?”

Me: “Nope. Oh, wait, do you mean Nanaimo?”

Him: “Yes, that’s it. Naimo.”

Me: “ No. Nanaimo.”

Him: “Nonanaimo?”

Who’s on first? Nanaimo is.

*Edit: When I say 'post', I don't mean on this blog. I mean on facebook... gah, I'm as guilty as all the rest!

Friday, July 8, 2011

I'm a Londoner - get out of my way!

The summer has caused the city to swell with tourists. It’s not hard to see why. After all, London is a pretty neat city. I don’t recall there being so many the year I was here as a student, perhaps because my hours were flexible and I never had anywhere I really needed to be, but boy do I notice them now. I notice them during my morning commute, I notice them during my evening commute, and I can’t fail to notice anything but throngs of foreigners on the weekend.

Don’t get me wrong, I appreciate all the money being pumped into the city. I love that people come from all over the world to see it, prompting the creation of numerous special events that I too may enjoy. The fact that London draws such a crowd means that it’s a city worth visiting. If it didn’t attract tourists, then it would probably be a boring place no one would visit: somewhere dull and flavourless. You know, somewhere ‘white bread-ish’ like Mississauga, Ontario, or all those states in the middle of the USA (I mean, come on! nobody goes to Ohio unless they have to).

But the fact that I’m pretty sure our population has just doubled in the last week means that I spend a lot of time getting annoyed. It’s not that I’m deliberately mean, it’s just that I have a schedule. I have places to be, and things to do, because I am very busy and important. And if you insist on taking up the entire sidewalk while trying to figure out that your map is upside down, I will force you to move out of my way. I have pointy elbows and I am not afraid to use them.

I also take a kind of perverse pleasure in cutting people off and jumping the queue when they’re not looking. Also, sometimes I look like I’m pressing the ‘door open’ button of the lift, when really I’m pressing the ‘door close’ button. Then I make sure to give them a sympathetic ‘sorry you didn’t make it’ look as the doors close before they can dive in. And then I may or may not cackle gleefully… I’ll leave that to your imagination.

Unfortunately, I’m married to a man with a conscience who forces me to be a nice person once in a while. Also, my parents raised me to have manners, so occasionally I do help people out when I have the time. I figure it balances my karma and makes up for all the times I’ve sighed and loudly proclaimed ‘keep moving, please!’ when faced with people who don’t understand that one side of the escalator is for standing, and the other for moving. And that’s just it, isn’t it? They don’t have a clue, and I, as a fellow traveller ought to be more patient and understanding, but I’m in a hurry and exasperation takes over.

My fellow commuters know where I’m coming from. They would surely have empathized with me as I stood in the queue for bison burgers on Canada Day. I was about to develop an eye twitch. The Canadian in front of me was content to create a large gap in the queue, letting everyone pass through, just to be nice. I would have barged in front of him if I hadn’t been prevented from doing so by my husband’s strong grip on my arm (how does he always know my evil plan?). Standing in that line, muttering about how spineless nice my countrymen were, I felt the exact opposite of homesick. What can I say? I’ve turned into a Londoner… so please do me a favour and get out of my way.