I sometimes will ask questions that I already know the answers to or ponder hypothetical scenarios that I most likely know how the outcome is going to be. I don’t know why I do this. Maybe I’m hoping that I’m going to be wrong. Lately, many of my questions that don’t need answering have been about snow; generally people’s behaviour around the white fluffy stuff.
I can understand why people don’t like it. It’s wet and cold which can make people longing for the muggy, unbearable heat that stays around the city in July. It’s funny how the weather is. It’s almost like a long-lost relative; you remember the good times and miss them but when you finally see them after twenty years, you can’t stand to be with them for longer than a couple of minutes. Us Montrealers are generally the same; we hate the cold when it comes and long for it when it’s sticky hot.
That being said, we really take it up a notch when it comes to losing our marbles when the snow falls. As a city, we like to pride ourselves as being one of the toughest groups of people around and dealing with the winter better than anyone else. At least we don’t call in the army to shovel snow like Toronto did a couple of years back. Heck and gosh darn it, we survived the Ice Storm, crikey! We are tough and strong and other macho terms.
Of if that were only true. When it comes down to it, we are just as bad as everyone else and everyone excludes nobody. Drivers have no regard for anyone else on the road. It’s hard enough to drive with only one hand on the wheel and the other holding a coffee/cellphone/electric guitar but now it’s slippery and someone might cause an accident. Many drivers think it’s better to speed up and drive recklessly away because the less time spent on the road means the less of a chance of being in an accident.
So drivers get worse in the winter. Some people don’t know how to drive properly in the winter (or at all, for that matter) but the main reason for this is that they’re not paying attention. They’re not paying attention to the large snowbank they’re forcing other drivers into. They’re not paying attention to the red light they just burned. They’re definitely not paying attention to the the body they’re dragging after burning the red light.
Pedestrians are just as bad. Yes, people who are outside are less warm and comfortable than someone who is driving a car (which most likely has heat unless it’s a ‘85 Tercel or the latest Saturn economy line) but even pedestrians should at least be a little considerate when they walk through intersections without a care in the world. Yes, Montreal is probably the jaywalking capital of the world, but just after a major snowstorm, it doesn’t help matters when people are jumping into the middle of busy intersections especially when road clearing crews are trying to navigate the streets. Also, walking in the middle of the road doesn’t help either. That is why department stores sell boots.
I must admit that I’m surprised that the only people who seem to be unaffected by this stupidity powder is bus drivers. Sure their cousins, the train operators, may be suffering horribly at the moment but bus drivers are doing a great job as of late. Most of the buses I’ve been on have been driven by upbeat and seemingly motivated drivers. They’ve been quick to say hello and even crack a little joke about the snow as you board the bus. Many have been taking the extra couple of seconds to allow for people who are trying to navigate the snow to get to the bus instead of racing away as soon as it gets to the stop. The bus drivers are definitely the pride of Montreal at this moment as they’re one of the few groups of people that realize that winter is just a season like the other three crappy seasons. There’s no escaping horrible weather.
On a side note, the other day on my way home from McGill, the bus I was on was stuck on Peel (a one way street) in between Ste. Catherine and de Maisonneuve (two of downtown’s busiest streets). Cars were parked on both sides of the street diagonally because they couldn’t park properly due to the snow. It took the bus driver almost 10 minutes to get through the street. He had to keep opening the door to the bus and peeking out to make sure he wasn’t going to hit anything. He made it with a few centimetres to spare. Another point for the STM bus drivers and minus one for the car driver’s of the city.
Speaking of buses, Ottawa is finally getting bus service again after a month of a half without it. The striking workers voted for binding arbitration to end the deadlock between them and the city. At least Ottawa transit users can take solace in the fact that they have buses with air conditioning. This is in contrast to Montreal where our buses not only do not have A/C but it is apparently forbidden for the average transit user to not wear any time of deodorant during the hottest days of the summer.
Australia is on fire. I don’t think a marsupial joke would be appropriate at this time.
Apparently there was a big football game on yesterday but I don’t care and am not linking to it. American football is boring. Lose a down and then give me a call.