Office of Toronto City Councillor McConnell
Attn: Councillor McConnell
Hey, Pam-pam! What’s shakin’, baby? Seems like it’s been ages since we chatted, huh? Come to think of it, I don’t think we ever chatted. We’ve never met, as a matter of fact. But with this new scrutiny about the plane trip you took this summer, I wanted to reach out and let you know you have supporters out there. At least one. Here.
In returning from Florida to put in your vote on this summer’s garbage strike, you helped to break the impasse put in place by the very people now pointing their fingers your way. I’m not sure that $1,100 was the cheapest flight you could’ve found, but compared to the waste and mismanagement proffered by the rest of Toronto Council, this is a pittance. If I contributed to your flight from my own exorbitant taxes, I want you to know that I’m not sore about it. Probably cost me, like, a hundredth of a penny. You’re welcome.
Besides, if you were required return to Toronto to do your job during that special emergency vote, it would have been negligent if you didn’t try to get back quickly. I wouldn’t take any flak from anyone over this if I were you. Show ‘em a letter from your satisfied constituent if they think you’re pulling a fast one on them.
Basically, Pammers, don’t let them get you down. You’re doing your job, and you’re doing it well; the other councillors are just jealous. One day they’ll be in jail for whatever illicit underage sexual relationships they’re engaged in (aren’t they screwing the innocent?), and you and I will laugh about it over a couple of cold ones.
To the cyclists of Toronto,
Okay, I admit it, I feel for you. A bit.
When cops start blocking bike lanes to stop off for lunch, that’s a little much. I think everyone’s in agreement that this is just not right. If it’s a fine for the officer, so be it. If there’s an additional reprimand, I don’t think it would be out of place. After all, if the police are going to be enforcing something, they should be following it, otherwise John Q. Lawman won’t be getting much respect around here.
Your beef with many car drivers is a perfectly valid one and this is a fine example. The problem I’m seeing is that there’s a whole lotta antagonism between both sides and no one is making any progress. I see you screaming at cars, many of whom have just made innocent mistakes, sometimes just to vent, sometimes for very good reason indeed. I see them shaking their fists back, neck veins so strained that a pinprick would just instantly fill the inside of the car with red. Woh-oh-oh-hoaw there! Just hang on a second, therre, Nelly. Is it getting hot out here? Let’s just take a deep breath.
I’ve been on both sides of that glass. There are most certainly jerk-hole drivers, and without a doubt jerk-hole cyclists. Jerk-hole pedestrians too. The conclusion I’ve come to is that I’m not going to depend on anyone out there, especially not the jerk-holes, to prevent my death. Besides, there’s plenty of opportunity for death at the hands of other types of drivers: tired, distracted, drunk, high, having a cardiac arrest, having a stroke, having a mechanical failure, etc.
So, you can point at the motorists all you want, but the onus is on you to take responsibility for your own actions first. It’s tempting to just say fuck it when your life is threatened so often, but I urge you to stick it out. Obey the rules of the road to the best of your ability. At the same time, you should expect no less from your fellow travellers. And now you also have a much stronger moral position from which to cuss people off. You can flip them a most righteous bird.
Or you also try talking to people. If they’re parked in the bike lane, why not give them the benefit of the doubt? Maybe they really don’t know what the lane is for. You’ve got tourists and other out-of-towners driving around and the signage around the city’s already pretty crazy. I drove downtown for years and still managed to do lots of inadvertently illegal stuff; rarely did I try to murder cyclists. The two aren’t related.
If I could leave you with one thing it would be this: imagine the surprised driver who, after dangerously cutting you off, finds himself having a friendly and relaxed conversation with you (instead of the usual scream) who explains why that maneuver back there really wasn’t such a good idea. Now you’re not just another jerk-hole cyclist, you’re a human being who’s just trying to get through the day. Just like the driver. Queue rapport! And … action!
Shift that paradigm, as we used to say in the nineties. Oh, and Pam McConnell’s on your side; let that lofty perspective keep you afloat.
I’m still convinced that the cyclist who died hanging off the side of Michael Bryant’s car was being a jerk, but he was just one individual with a mess of personal problems. If he’s going to be the poster boy for something, let it be the end of an era.
To the former From the desk of Patrick,
Awww crap. Sorry, pal. I thought I was using a copy, I swear, if I knew I was changing the original, I never would’ve done it!
I didn’t have the heart to try to re-write you. Also, I don’t have an idea what you were about. Something regarding sweaters? *sigh*
You’re up in post heaven now with all the other posts that get deleted by naive blog owners (when will they learn?!)
I hope you had a good life here, brief as it was. Your candle blew out long before your legend ever did. Sir Elton John.