A fine story, followed by a fine mess
There are two sections to this week’s offering and while seemingly disparate, there is a connection. A rather tenuous one, yes, but a connection. The one section is a fine story; the other is a fine mess.
I once saw Bruce McCulloch live in a club in Toronto, this before his Kids in the Hall days, and he started out not so good. The joint was packed and while I don’t recall the material I do recall he was lousy, and it got very quiet. He gave the crowd an excuse: “I’m a props comic,” he told us. “But I left my props on the subway.”
It went on, his being bad, and then he got good. Like really good. He had great material, great timing, he was really funny. Everyone was laughing. A guy I knew, Jerry Schaefer, was hosting that show and later asked McCulloch what happened up there. Jerry knew McCulloch to be good, he’d seen him before, and couldn’t figure out why the first 15 or so minutes were so flat-out bad.
“I wanted to see how quiet I could get the room,” McCulloch told him. “To see how bad things could get and how long I could take being up there like that before trying to turn it around.”
That, of course, took chutzpah. Guts, fortitude, moxie, whatever you call it. Could you do that? I don’t think I could. No. I couldn’t. It’s surely a reason Bruce McCulloch became so funny and successful. Whether it’s something we should all aspire to, to test ourselves so brazenly like that, I can’t say.
It’s the stuff of champions though, I will say that.
Now, for whatever reason, the above story came to mind when I considered writing about the loading of the 7:30 a.m. ferry. Yes, that. I expect what links the two is this: we should not wait to see how bad it can get in Snug Cove at 7:30 a.m. on weekdays during the school year before we finally turn it around.
I’ve gotten an eyeful of it this school year. When they are running late – they are often running late - I give the Lovely Monster and the Boy a ride down and it’s been a real eye opener. Sure, now and again I’ve caught the 7:30 a.m. myself during a weekday in the school year, but the occasional foray onto that sailing didn’t give me the full picture.
And the full picture is this: chaos.
There are cars unloading from the ferry followed by others loading, cars turning to drop people off and then get outta there, cars picking people up, cars looking to park, three school buses and the regular buses dropping passengers off and turning around to pick others up. There are also dozens of rushing students, many in a daze from a lack of sleep, scads of adults (occasionally with small kids) and even bike riders. I don’t want to overstate it but it can get so chaotic there’s an element of danger and it could lead to an accident, an issue that’s been brought up many times before. It seems to be getting more congested and a couple of weeks ago, I was told someone called in the RCMP to harness a particularly crazy morning, though I’m told that the call went in too late for them to arrive in time to help.
Do I have a solution? No, not really. I’m more a criticize-guy, not so much a solution-guy. My solution would be for the muni to pay me 50 bucks each weekday morning to take this bullhorn they got down at the USSC Marina – being civic minded, I’m confident Dorothy and Rondy would lend it - and marshal the proceedings. They might not have that in their budget though.
But if not that, then something else. Because, like Bruce McCulloch eventually did, it is surely time for us to decide that it needs to be turned around and collectively get around to doing just that.
A tenuous connection, the one a fine story, the other a fine mess.