Friday, March 02, 2007

Slurpee Town

The weather is big news in Toronto today. We had snowstorm with thunder, which is just weird. Now it’s raining buckets. So we get snow banks with rivers running through them. What tyres do you choose for slurpee weather?

Plus, there’s a gas shortage; many stations have a $20 fill limit. $20 worth of gas won’t go far for commuters today.

People back home roll their eyes when we start freaking out about the weather out here. Even Rick Mercer had a go in a spot called Special Report: Snow in Toronto (Week of February 20th). I know, I know, why don’t we call in the army? Ha, ha.

However, I’ve come to appreciate what bad weather can do to a city stuffed to the gills with 5.9 million people. This isn’t about the inconvenience of shoveling your walk or throwing your truck into 4X4. Most people in this city commute and traffic is horribly congested on a good day. So a day like today is about sitting in traffic for four hours with millions of other people just trying to get to work. Or, standing in a slushbank while bus after bus drives by, too full to pick you up. The whole city grinds so easily to a halt, like a massive domino effect.

This kind of vulnerability is new to me. I can handle weather, but this isn't really about the weather. It's about the sheer mass of people, mashed to a halt by one road accident or bit of snow. It's claustrophobic, sometimes. And yet, people are mostly sweet and patient. My neighbour shovelled the sidewalk three times last night just so people walking home from work wouldn't have to struggle.

Toronto Fire just said not to walk outside because you could get electrocuted by power lines hidden in the slush. Nice.

* * *
TREV: so a branch took down the power line over the street next to the pizza place on our corner. Yellow caution tape all around, idiots still walking their children underneath it.
WORKING: Oh for gawd's sake.
TREV: paging dr. darwin.

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Anonymous James ~ 9:06 AM

Who the hell do you think you are using the British spelling of 'tyres?' You've been watching too much you-know-what!  

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