So I’m not Rand or McNally

Posted on December 8, 2009


When visiting St. Catharines, be sure to visit the scenic Falls and Skylon Tower.

It seems I made a couple of mistakes in my last post. Most of these were the result of four glasses of wine and include a new spelling for “thinking” in which the semi-colon plays an important role.

The major mistake, however, had nothing to do with alcohol and can be blamed entirely on my well-deserved reputation as someone with little or no clue of where he is at any given moment.

It turns out I wasn’t in St. Catharines, as I so confidently stated.

I was in Niagara Falls.

So maybe there were some clues that I missed — but I just thought the constant sound of rushing water was the shower of a hygiene-obsessed neighbour.

Okay, I made that up. We weren’t close enough to the Falls to hear or see them, but when we went out to dinner on Sunday night I couldn’t help noticing that in the three-block walk to Swiss Chalet we passed by three sexy lingerie shops and half a dozen motels.

And when I was outside having a cigarette, I saw a tower that looked exactly like the Skylon Tower in Niagara Falls and wondered why St. Catharines would build something so derivative.

Yes, in retrospect there were a few hints I should have picked up on — but what can I say? All I really knew was that I wasn’t in Toronto: and when I’m not in Toronto, my actual location is pretty much irrelevant.

We’d gone to St. Catharines (actually Niagara Falls) for a couple of reasons. One, of course, was a final get-together with our friend, Joe, who is leaving for California next week. Another was so that I could teach him a few things about the computer. He’s okay at sending e-mails and stuff, but needed some guidance on more complicated operations.

We stayed overnight on Saturday, sitting up until late drinking wine, talking about the past, and watching the Beatles documentary. (Did anyone else notice how much they aged over eight years? They start out as little more than teenagers, and by 1970 they’re looking like men in their thirties.) The next day, Sunday, Joe and I worked on the computer while my wife went out to do some shopping.

The plan was to return to Toronto that night because I had an early class on Monday, but by the time my wife came back, we’d missed the last reasonable bus out of town and the next one would get us home well after midnight. So we stayed another night, and got up at 4:00 in the morning so I could get to class by eight.

I made it, but I think we got about nine hours sleep over the entire weekend.

Anyhow, I’m back in Toronto, thank God, and the universe is back to normal.

I do think the city could do with a few more sexy lingerie shops, though.