Tag Archives: toronto

Happiness is a Cheap Drink (uh oh, she’s getting politically fiesty again!)

Dear Mayor Ford,

I am writing to request a repeal of the law against explicit “Happy Hours” in Toronto (Ye olde coverage from CBC).  I understand that this was a provincial ruling, but it would really be a boon if we could get this repealed on a municipal level.  This law was instated the year of my birth, 1984, and frankly due to it I feel I have been living nothing but a half life.  While I understand that drink deals do in fact exist, I think we really need to go whole hog again! Signs on blackboards advertising deals!  No minimum price for beverages!  Unadulterated Happy Hours for all (all that are 19+ of course)!  And frankly I can’t think of a better way to spend that $60/year you saved us all on that wacky VRT!

I recently came home from New York, the city where every hour is happy hour, and it makes me sad – not happy – that in the city I love to call home there is no such thing.  Surely we can spare one hour a day for happiness?  Especially in the current political climate, I’m fairly certain everyone legally entitled to a drink could use one: A celebratory bottle of Dom for those who support what’s happening, and several shots of tequila for those who recently lost their bike lane, or are about to lose their jobs with the city.  In fact, I think the handing out of pink slips, followed with a consolatory “it’s ok, at least it’s happy hour” would really gloss over the whole new found financial instability of those made redundant.

Come to think of it, reinstating Happy Hour will truly be needed if your proposed cuts to the Toronto Fire Department go through.  It will be more than necessary to up Toronto’s wetness factor if you do indeed pull the 22 trucks (300 firefighters) you propose.  Increased wetness means less fires right? I mean fires start due to excessive drought, right? Failing that logic, I know I’ll need a few cheap drinks after my apartment burns to the ground because there aren’t enough firemen in the city.  I’ll also need more cheap drinks purely because there will be less firemen in the city – amiright?

Speaking of 911, I’m impressed you urged the public to cry emergency when they see graffiti in action!  That is customer service for you!  I for one know that the system is often clogged, having been put on hold once after witnessing a shooting.  So it only makes sense to give the public something to do while waiting: Happy Hour.  See some graffiti, a robbery in progress, murder, maybe the corner store is out of ice cubes, no worries, have a sidecar while you wait to speak to a 911 agent.

My campaign for Happy Hour happily coincides with the release of your KPMG report on city services.  From what I read there’s tonnes of savings to be had, that will be made all the better with the reimplementation of Happy Hour.  Lack of fluoride making people ugly due to bad teeth?  Have another drink and look again!  Unruly city parks due to cuts in upkeep?  Have another drink and the brambles won’t hurt so much, have two more drinks and you might see the flowers again!  Cuts to recycling programmes?  Great!  Because everyone will be drinking in bars again there will be no need to recycle clunky wine and vodka bottles at home.  Less street cleaners and snow plows?  I call the result “urban jungle”, kinda like that fun kid zone at Ontario Place, but with more garbage in the summer, and huge hurdles of snow in the winter.  It’ll be like being on Gladiators 24/7.

Basically, Mayor Ford, we all need more happiness in our lives, and I think the easiest way to get more of that in this city is to bring back Happy Hour.  Fascists and Pinkos alike can finally unite over a finely crafted, briefly discounted beer.  Further your legacy; swap out all that gravy for a little more hootch!

Sincerely yours with hopeful anticipation,

Maggie

I’m pretty excited to see what kind of canned response I get.

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Please, Dudley, don’t destroy my broomstick!

So, as a concerned citizen of Toronto I decided to write Rob Ford a letter. He apparently answers phone calls, I’d like to test out if he can string a few coherent sentences together in writing. I’ll keep you posted.

What follows, however, is an edit of my letter. And by “edit” I mean I got a little Harry-Potter-themed-happy with the find and replace function in Word. I haven’t corrected any of the grammatical errors that have happened due to word swaps in some vague attempt for authenticity.Or laziness.

For your literary pleasure, I present to you Rob Ford as Dudley Dursley in “Harry Potter and the Cursed Floo Network”:

Dear Dudley Dursley,

I am writing to you as a Dumbledore citizen, crackpayer, and lover of my broomstick. And in that vein I am begging you to cease all attempts to scrap Hogwarts Broomstick. Not only would it be exceptionally detrimental to this wonderful broomstick we both live in, but it would be directly against your main campaign promise of “stopping the gravy train”.

Both the Hagrid’s and Voldemort’s governments have promised Dumbledore money towards Hogwarts Broomstick, some of which we have already spent. I dislike the idea of throwing away years of research and promised horcruxes on a whim for a poorly thought out floo network to Godric’s Hollow. It is not fair, and it is not smart spending.

Ministry of Magic has committed $1-billion to the Sheppard project, and $4.3-billion for the Eglinton Crosstown. They have been more than clear that there will be no horcruxes for alternative projects. With that in mind, I’d like to ask you where do you expect to get horcruxes for the Godric’s Hollow floo network line? Or any other floo network line for that matter?

Dumbledore has already spent $137-million of these Voldemort’s horcruxes. If you scrap Hogwarts Broomstick, the Voldemort will not let that slide. We will have to pay that back. What a waste of crackpayer dollars that would be. On top of that we have signed a $770-million contract with Bombardier (for vehicles) and a $54-million contract with Lovat Inc (for tunneling equipment), there will inevitably be high penalties for breaking these deals. Once again, this is hugely wasteful and unnecessary spending.

I understand your lust for floo networks. I too would like better, more efficient Hogwarts. To see the mythical Downtown Relief Line is a dream of mine. But please consider adding these dreams atop Hogwarts Broomstick. Don’t tear down what we already have to build something entirely different, but instead continue building, and begin to build more. Especially as a significant amount of horcruxes has been secured for this project, whereas no amount horcruxes has been secured for your proposed project.

Please, take care of my broomstick, and my crack dollars,

Harry Potter

Find and replace edits are as follows:

Dudley Dursley – Rob Ford

Dumbledore – Toronto

Crack – Tax

Hogwarts – Transit

Broomstick – City

Hagrid’s – Federal

Voldemart’s – Province and Provincial

Horcruxes – Funding

Godric’s Hollow – Scarborough

Floo network – Subway

Ministry of Magic – Ontario

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Postcards to Cute Toronto Boys

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Dear Streetcar Stop Boy,

I wanted to say “Hi!” or “You’re super cute!” But it was dark and raining, and I was riding my bike, trying not to die. Also, I am a wimp and would be way too embarrassed for such things. While sober. But you were waiting. Patiently. For the streetcar. In front of MissBehav’n. You looked at me, probably because of my ridiculous pink helmet. But I’ll take what I can get. Anyways, you are super cute. Tall. Stubbly. Dark messy hair. Slightly awkward. Super cutes. Just thought you should know.

Hope to see you again soon!

maggie xoxo

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I’m Going In For The Kill

It’s 12:14am on a Monday night. So obviously I’m awake, headphones plugged into my ibook, listening to music. I am at least lying in bed. I cannot tell you how excited I am for Saturday. All I want to do is dance.

I used to go out dancing every weekend. My sister and I would pretty up, drink up and then head down to the Velvet Underground every single Friday. It wasn’t a particularly good time in either of our lives when we started this tradition. She was miserable. I was more so. An understatement really. And this was the best kind of therapy. It started one Friday night in December 2005, after a Christmas party at the Rivioli, when Sarah and I moseyed on over to the Velvet. I remember her saying “I think you’ll like this place.” It was my Mecca. I had no idea. I had always loved to dance. But this night started it all. Hopped up on vodka cranberries, and music I actually loved, I would boogie the night away. A charmingly cute boy by the name of Stephen J Williams danced with his hands on my hips à la junior high to the White Stripes, and I was in heaven. Seriously. I invited him to Christmas Eve Chinese food, and he gave me the wrong phone number. On our way home we stumbled into a bartender who told me to never recycle men, and we bumped into a man from Florida. He makes movies. Ahem.

We made it to the Velvet almost every single Friday for the next six months. Every Monday morning my co-workers would wait with bated breath for a weekend recap. There was always a new story to be told after Friday night at the Velvet. While there were perks in the form of handsome young men, what I came back for week after week was the music and the dancing. Unfortunately things went slightly sour on the boy front, but I still clung to the Velvet. It was mine, I was not giving it up. It was sacred. So sacred in fact I refused to take a guy I was dating there because I didn’t think he deserved the experience. I was right.

But slowly and surely Sarah and I stopped going as frequently. Then Sarah stopped going altogether and I had trouble finding friends as enthusiastic about the venue as I was. And when I did manage to coerce someone to join me, it just wasn’t the same as it had been. So I went less and less. And then life got in the way as it often does. I guess.

Now, I am thrilled if I get to go out and dance once a month.

A couple months ago for my friend’s celebratory “You are the best jeweller EVER” night out we ended up at The Boat;  a dirty little bar in Kensington Market. It was their “Chronoloic” night. The DJ plays all the hits from the 1840’s up to today. And it was AMAZING. I danced and danced and then face planted it outside. Blood and scars aside, it was one of the best nights I had had in a loooooooong time.

This past weekend my fabulous roommate was kind enough to invite me to join her on a jaunt home to Halifax. It was funtimes indeed! Saturday night we went out to drink it up Halifax styles. We ended up at this terrible and fabulous club called The Palace. It’s skanky, sticky , skeezey and ladies get in for free. They handed us condoms upon entry. It was perfect. We were already quite drunk care of some tequila and liquid cocaine shots previously ingested. The music was a mash up of every kind of top 40’s song, all mixed and smooshed into one another. I threw my purse at one of Emma’s friends who was less inclined to dance, and skipped out on to the dance floor. And I danced. I danced and danced and danced. I was hot and sweaty and happy. I haven’t danced like that for ages. We danced to Journey and Lady GaGa and Michael Jackson. I just let everything go, and I danced. It was like the old days. Carefree and uninhibited. Pure bliss.

So as I lie here in bed, listening to all my favourite songs to dance to, reflecting on every single amazing night of dance and all my favourite dance partners, I am giddy. It’s Emma’s birthday this weekend, and it will no doubt be fabulous.

I plan on dancing like I have danced many times before.
And it will be awesome.

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An Open Letter to Toronto Bike Thieves: The Hat Trick

Dear Asshat,

I haven’t really thought much about you lately. It’s been most pleasant. I’m calm, peaceful even.

Zen.

I am writing to inform you that my bike is fixed. Finally. I thought you should know. I have a seat post, and it fits into that that sad stump you left exposed when you pilfered my seat all those weeks ago. It took many moons, and all my emotional strength to finally get a post that fits. But get one I did.

You will be happy to know that Duke’s was less than helpful. They “ordered” me a post and kept me in the lurch for three weeks waiting for it to come in. Then when I was tired of waiting I google-stalked and reverse 411’ed NORCO (they, for some strange reason, neglect to put their phone number on their website). As you may recall from my last letter, the charming gentleman who took my call informed me they have a shim that will solve all my woes. I just need a bike store to order it in for me! So I called Duke’s and they “cancelled” my previous seat post “order” to instead “order” me a shim. Another week goes by. I called Duke’s to check in on my shim “order”. Oddly enough it turns out that Duke’s never ordered or cancelled anything, except they did happily charge my credit card $10.00. Magic! They also, apparently, have a clip-board dedicated to me, no doubt strewn with doodles of a she-devil-banshee bitch. I’d like to frame it. Hang it above my fireplace. Show it off to my grand kids one day.

But, my good Asshat, when I called Duke’s for the final time, for the first time ever a lovely, helpful, positively cheerful girl answered my call. And she was kind enough to refund me the $10 and “cancel” my “order” that she said didn’t even exist. Fabulous. Thanks Duke’s! You guys are champs!

So I was back to square one, Asshat. But this time I was saddled with this sentence:

“Please order me the shim from NORCO that will take a 25’4 up to a 28’”.

My ruby red lips clicked out this sentence three times before, like Dorothy, I got exactly what I wanted. The kind soul at Bathurst Cycle (who I might add could do nothing for me five weeks ago) had a sudden revelation. Maybe it was my dejected posture, or my sad sigh as I turned to walk out of his shoppe, or maybe it really was divine intervention. But as I walked out towards the blazing sunlight he said “Miss! Wait! I have an idea!” A choir of angels began to sing as he tore two metal bits off a metal tube and crammed them on another metal tube. He handed me this crafted silver creation, charged me $20, and sent me on my merry way.

Goodbye yellow brick road.

Hello bicycle.

I can ride again, Asshat. And I can remove my seat, so you are less inclined to take it home with you. This whole debacle is finally over. For now. And I bought this T-Shirt to commemorate the whole experience. Sadly the man wearing the T-Shirt is not included, because he looks like he could maybe donkey punch you, real good.

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So, as I politely asked you in my first letter:  Please, stay the fuck away from my bike.

Kindest regards,

maggie

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An Open Letter to Toronto Bike Thieves

Dear Asshat,

This is the fourth time within the span of a year you have felt the need to fuck shit up.

Please cease and desist.

Last winter, you felt the need to remove my bike entirely. It was a shitty bike. You could not see the blue for all the rust. It was at least ten years old, but looked significantly older, and not in a cool vintage way. The gears didn’t work. The breaks didn’t work. The seat was most uncomfortable. It was the Courtney Love of bikes. The lock you broke to steal my bike was worth more than my bike. It did, however, have a an exquisite hippo bell.

Come spring I splurged and bought myself a new bike. It is by no means a “good bike”. It rolls, stops, changes gears and looks real pretty, but is vapid and fatuous. Riding it is like riding an elephant: Super-cool looking, but more work than other options.

By May, dear Asshat, you found the time to appropriate my rear light into your pocket. What you will do with that light I do not know. It doesn’t clip anywhere but the holder on my bike. Perhaps someone stole your light, and you are out for revenge? Perhaps you just like to hold it close and watch its pulsing red beams. Does it sooth you into sleep? Does it remind you of the flash of the police car lights that have no doubt picked you up in the past? I hope it does. I hope the warm red glow brings you saccharine dreams of honeysuckles and dulcimers.

Last week, I left my poor bike unused, locked on the street. I felt bad, but I could not ride due to a meeting my knee had with the pavement last Saturday. Every morning I’d walk by, giving my bike a reassuring pat on the seat, or straighten him up when he fell a little lopsided. But one evening on my way home, Asshat, my friend, you had left your mark. This time it looks as though you did a terrible parking job, swiping my bike and dragging it with your car. Alas! My Kyptonite lock! What will give first? Your car? My bike? The pole? My lock? I will never know, but I do know this: I parked facing north, with my chain in tact and my bike unscathed. Unfortunately upon my return from work, my bike was facing south, chain dangled limply on the sidewalk like the arm of a dead baby, and the entire right side of my bike scratched to shreds, similar to what I imagine Brad Pitt’s back to look like after a rough and ready tumble with Angie. Except, unlike Brad (or maybe exactly like Brad), my bike is less sexy now. Thanks Asshat. Nobody likes a prom queen with scars.

And now, when I think I’m in the clear, you strike again, Asshat. This morning I leave my apartment, and there my bike sits: Raped, naked, ashamed. You have gone too far this time. You have despoiled my bike by removing its seat. Its beautiful, cushy, saddle. The saddle that would bounce me like a kitten when I rolled over potholes and speed bumps. The Lazyboy of saddles. That saddle made my ass feel like the Princess when the jackass Prince finally removed the pea. That saddle, oh that saddle! Why did you take my saddle? Was it for your girlfriend? It has embroidered flowers on it, so I’d think it was a little too feminine for your macho charms. She’ll like it. It’s a great seat. Maybe she’ll finally ask you to move in with her, and out of your mommy’s basement. Now you can lay on your girlfriend’s couch all day playing Grand Theft Auto, wiping your orange stained cheesey fingers on her carpet, spilling Labatt 50 down your greasy undershirt. Days go by, you on the couch, your too-good-for-you girlfriend riding her shitty bike, with brand new cushy seat, to work so she can pay your bills. Until one day, you let her dog eat the chocolate McCain cake you pulled out of the freezer. The poor dog won’t stop barfing, and you’re too drunk to care. You just throw tea towels and t-shirts over the rancid vomit, and call your girlfriend. She speeds home, ass exceptionally comfortable despite her anxious mood, and finds you on the couch, beer in hand, piles of vomit surrounding her cherished dog, and a half eaten McCain cake that clearly has never seen a  fork or knife. She screams at you, throws the cake at your head, picks up her dog and takes the shivering, shaking pile of fur to the vet. You “man the fort”. She returns home without the dog, and finally, months too late, throws you and all your shit out in a fit of rage, tears streaming down her ashen cheeks.

So, you know what Asshat? I’m glad you stole my bike seat. Your girlfriend deserves it.

But in the future, stay the fuck away from my bike.

Faithfully yours,

maggie

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