Thursday, May 21, 2020

Postcards From the Pandemic

Tourism in the pandemic leaves much to be desired. Forget flights or trains. All destinations are local. There is much to witness from your window or balcony. Birdsong. The moon. A cloud. Maple blossoms (which you’ve never noticed before) are striking. Sunset is must-see.
     Venturing further afield, find somewhere you can walk without breaking the two metre protocol. Forget dining out. If there is any good in this, it’s that you can’t stage a food-porn photo of your restaurant meal. The new normal is you, all alone, sightseeing in your mask. Post that to social media and wait for Likes.

Saturday, May 2, 2020

Home Delivery in the Time of Cholera

Towards the end of my career with the Toronto Star, and with a young entrepreneur’s eye to scoring a few more tips from that year’s final collection, a fifteen-year-old me bought a bunch of Christmas stickers to stick on my copies of the Saturday paper.
     Okay, so that didn’t work.
     But I’ve learned a lot in the last four decades, and since they have yet to come up with festive pandemic stickers, I decided to create some myself for my current route, not for the money this time, just for something to let folks know I was thinking of them.

Thursday, April 30, 2020

Pandemic Togetherness

There are no clubs or cozy cafés, no pints on tap, no films downtown, so at exactly 7:30 we stand on the sidewalk, appropriately distanced of course, and launch into cacophonous tribute with our pots and pans as a between-calls ambulance cruises slowly past and replies with a siren WHOOP and lights, and we bang our cookware harder, hearts bursting, who doesn’t love a parade, grinning like idiots and telling the kids, you’ll remember this—then we all peaceably disperse, thankful for our responders and our fellow citizens and the relative sanity of our politicians, and knowing we are #StrongerTogether.

Photo by Ron Thompson, April 2020

Thursday, February 13, 2020

One Adult, Please.

Please tell me there’s a decent action-adventure playing downtown tonight, without a stupid romance crammed in, because that’s really the movie I’d like to see . . . alone this time; or even a drama, where the first girl to get the obvious close-up doesn’t automatically go on to become the love interest; or one where so much is happening in the hero’s life that he doesn’t even need a girlfriend; because, you know what, most of us never do get to meet our obvious girl, or worse, the one you thought was your obvious girl doesn’t find you the least bit appealing.

Image from The Summer of ’42, obviously.

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