The Garden City Refugee

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On the Road – Jehovah’s Witnesses, Death-Defying Idiocy, Half-Winter and More

February 12, 2020

Highlights from an adventurous day trip to the Falls:

1. Within minutes of arriving at the Fairview Mall GO stop, I was accosted by a Jehovah’s Witness who, along with another woman, must have decided this was “Canvass the bus stop day.” Rather than get into a confrontation, I simply turned and walked away, which seemed to seriously irritate her. Surely I am not the first person to have blown her off.

1a. Loyal readers may recall the last time I was accosted by a Jehovah’s Witness was when I was walking through the streets of Gatineau in my last trip there.

1b. You have to wonder how much time they spend over at the Kingdom Hall planning which areas of the city to cover and who to send out on these fruitless missions.

2. Some guy named Antonio was kind enough to leave his Scotiabank RESP statement by the bus stop for all of us to see. And it’s always people like that who will cry the loudest when and if another organization plays fast and loose with his personal information.

3. Not that either driver I had was operating in an unsafe manner, but Metrolinx needs to seriously consider installing speed inhibitors on GO buses. When they say “GO,” they mean GO!

4. On the way to the Falls, rather than unload his remaining passengers at the bus terminal, the driver made a loop around and dropped us off in front of the train station across the street, much to the disgust of the guy seated across the aisle from me who was bellyaching and swearing all the way back to the terminal. He might have had a stronger point if he was disabled or in a wheelchair, but it was hardly a problem for either of us, especially given the nice weather.

5. Dear City of Niagara Falls: It was nice to see that fancy new display monitor in the bus terminal. I wish I had one like that. But don’t you think it’s time to fix the filter in the water fountain? It’s been over a full year now that it’s been out of commission.

6. Though I didn’t visit the Great State of New York on this trip, I noted the new American flag signage on the overhead displays at the U.S. Customs plaza at the Rainbow Bridge. Since the green signifies an open lane and the red indicates a closed lane, are the lanes with American flags for U.S. citizens only?

7. As opposed to pink or purple danger?

8. There are plenty of idiots in the world. And then there’s this dude, who climbed over the railing to pose for selfies while standing at the edge of the icy Niagara gorge. Since I didn’t see any first responders on the scene on my return trip, I have to presume he survived, but I dare say this isn’t the smartest thing he’s ever done.

9. Dear Niagara Parks: Windows 7 is past its end of life. Consider upgrading your systems. Yesterday. It’s not that Microsoft didn’t give you enough warning.

10. Are these clothes and shoes for when we only get half a winter?

11. If you’re bored and you know it, draw some graffiti . . .

12. As I stopped to snap a shot of this seagull, I couldn’t help but be reminded of my ninth-grade English teacher who had a mortal fear of seagulls. Eat your heart out.

13. Someone evidently didn’t get enough sleep last night . . .

14. The official bowling alley of the GTU (Greedy Teachers Union):

14a. A handful of GTU members were walking up and down Geneva Street near Fairview Mall, presumably still trying to garner public support for their ridiculous cause. Of the many cars that passed by, only one honked. No doubt many more passed by and waved using only one finger.

14b. Wouldn’t you just love to go to one of their demonstrations and shower them with bags full of Monopoly money?

15. Once again, you think they use enough salt in this part of the world?

16. Are they stigmatizing chickens by any chance?

17. On the return trip, the driver used her layover time to shell the many pistachios she had in a large plastic tub, stopping only to explain to a visitor from Germany how to use her Presto card.

17a. So someone from Germany can buy and use a Presto card, but only those who can prove their Quebec residency with photo ID can purchase a Multi card to use on the STO in Gatineau. Shrug.

18. When disembarking at Fairview Mall, the driver said, “Have a nice day, hon.” I’m not your honey, but it’s still better than the F-you treatment in the Old Country.

19. Give us this day our daily bread . . .

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