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Dazed and confused


So summer is winding down, and I believe the sun has finally cooked my brain.


I know I could write about a variety of recent electoral eruptions — a Conservative supporter who got a whole day’s fame for his astounding on-camera performance, a Liberal candidate doing the same and crashing in flames over past offensive social media comments, an NDP candidate rushed to hospital after overdosing on earnestness or piety (the NDP electoral party drugs of choice) — but instead, here’s a collection of smaller things I just don’t understand.
Tuesday, I got a letter from Canada Post. I’m one of many Canadians being converted to a community mailbox (for me, a walk past just one neighbour to the box), and Canada Post likes to keep me up to speed on the riveting process.
At the moment, there is only a concrete pad, so imagine my alarm about getting a letter emblazoned, “Important information about your community mailbox keys.” Had I lost them already? Had terrorists seized them as part of a nefarious plot? (No, wait, the Tories would have warned me about that.)
I supposed I should have realized it wasn’t as important as it claimed, especially because it was addressed to “Mail Recipient.”
Inside? The important message: “Your keys will be delivered to your home. You don’t need to do anything to request them.” So, an important update about not doing anything at all. My favourite part? The keys will arrive in a closely defined 26-day window. And Canada Post wonders why usage is falling? It needs four weeks to deliver something it is sending itself?
But onwards.
I go to a gym on those infrequent days when guilt overtakes me. (As opposed to those guiltless days when I eat unhealthy food instead.) The gym is in a shopping mall with a massive parking lot. On weekend mornings, when the lot is empty, cars and trucks park as close to the door as possible — so close, in fact, that every weekend, there are vehicles illegally parked all over the no-parking hash-marks. So let me get this straight: you’re willing to get up early on the weekend and head to the gym to drink protein concoctions that smell absolutely vile, and crush brutal amounts of weights, but you won’t walk even 10 extra feet from the abundant legal parking spaces? Heaven forbid you might get tired on your way to exercising.
Next, the infernal machine. It’s giving me a complex. I can’t count the number of times I’ve stepped into the washroom at work, only to have the little box high on the wall decide that now is the opportune time for it to breathe out a fine mist of some laboratory’s approximation of overriding olfactory pleasantness.
It emits its chemical wonderfulness with a soft, declining sigh, the sort of sound a long-suffering spouse might make as you reach into the top cupboard in the kitchen for the nacho chip bag. (“I’m not going to say I’m disappointed with you, but I am.”)
Why do we need battery-operated (or plug-in) machines that puff out little chemical packets of scent? This isn’t the 17th century, when you needed a scent-laden handkerchief under your nose to provide even a moment’s respite from the open sewers in the streets.
And don’t get me started on scented garbage bags. You now have a hard time buying kitchen garbage bags that aren’t laced with smell-blockers — I can’t even find plain bags anymore. Here’s a simple fact: garbage smells like garbage.
Always has, always will. There’s only so much lipstick you can put on that particular pig.
On Sunday, driving the highway, I passed a dirt road in the middle of nowhere. Sitting on the shoulder of that dirt road was a shirtless man in his 20s or so, his head quite literally in his hands.
I feel your pain, buddy. I feel your pain.

Russell Wangersky is TC Media’s Atlantic
regional columnist. He can be reached at russell.wangersky@tc.tc, or stop by his house, where he’s impatiently waiting for a mailbox key and
probably yelling at kids to get off his lawn
Twitter: @Wangersky.


I know I could write about a variety of recent electoral eruptions — a Conservative supporter who got a whole day’s fame for his astounding on-camera performance, a Liberal candidate doing the same and crashing in flames over past offensive social media comments, an NDP candidate rushed to hospital after overdosing on earnestness or piety (the NDP electoral party drugs of choice) — but instead, here’s a collection of smaller things I just don’t understand.
Tuesday, I got a letter from Canada Post. I’m one of many Canadians being converted to a community mailbox (for me, a walk past just one neighbour to the box), and Canada Post likes to keep me up to speed on the riveting process.
At the moment, there is only a concrete pad, so imagine my alarm about getting a letter emblazoned, “Important information about your community mailbox keys.” Had I lost them already? Had terrorists seized them as part of a nefarious plot? (No, wait, the Tories would have warned me about that.)
I supposed I should have realized it wasn’t as important as it claimed, especially because it was addressed to “Mail Recipient.”
Inside? The important message: “Your keys will be delivered to your home. You don’t need to do anything to request them.” So, an important update about not doing anything at all. My favourite part? The keys will arrive in a closely defined 26-day window. And Canada Post wonders why usage is falling? It needs four weeks to deliver something it is sending itself?
But onwards.
I go to a gym on those infrequent days when guilt overtakes me. (As opposed to those guiltless days when I eat unhealthy food instead.) The gym is in a shopping mall with a massive parking lot. On weekend mornings, when the lot is empty, cars and trucks park as close to the door as possible — so close, in fact, that every weekend, there are vehicles illegally parked all over the no-parking hash-marks. So let me get this straight: you’re willing to get up early on the weekend and head to the gym to drink protein concoctions that smell absolutely vile, and crush brutal amounts of weights, but you won’t walk even 10 extra feet from the abundant legal parking spaces? Heaven forbid you might get tired on your way to exercising.
Next, the infernal machine. It’s giving me a complex. I can’t count the number of times I’ve stepped into the washroom at work, only to have the little box high on the wall decide that now is the opportune time for it to breathe out a fine mist of some laboratory’s approximation of overriding olfactory pleasantness.
It emits its chemical wonderfulness with a soft, declining sigh, the sort of sound a long-suffering spouse might make as you reach into the top cupboard in the kitchen for the nacho chip bag. (“I’m not going to say I’m disappointed with you, but I am.”)
Why do we need battery-operated (or plug-in) machines that puff out little chemical packets of scent? This isn’t the 17th century, when you needed a scent-laden handkerchief under your nose to provide even a moment’s respite from the open sewers in the streets.
And don’t get me started on scented garbage bags. You now have a hard time buying kitchen garbage bags that aren’t laced with smell-blockers — I can’t even find plain bags anymore. Here’s a simple fact: garbage smells like garbage.
Always has, always will. There’s only so much lipstick you can put on that particular pig.
On Sunday, driving the highway, I passed a dirt road in the middle of nowhere. Sitting on the shoulder of that dirt road was a shirtless man in his 20s or so, his head quite literally in his hands.
I feel your pain, buddy. I feel your pain.

Russell Wangersky is TC Media’s Atlantic
regional columnist. He can be reached at russell.wangersky@tc.tc, or stop by his house, where he’s impatiently waiting for a mailbox key and
probably yelling at kids to get off his lawn
Twitter: @Wangersky.

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