Wednesday, April 15, 2009
Free to Rant
It's that time of the month when nothing seems particularly funny to me (God, when will it end already!), so as I lay awake in bed at 4:00 am the only ideas coming to me for my blog today were negative, ranting type subjects. I laid there, silently spewing like Rick Mercer without the graffiti clad lane ways. (I do love his rant - it's the best part of the show). So - I'll share a few of my nocturnal rants with you today. Then, I'll head out to my garden to restore my chi. Rant # 1 - I live across the street from a lovely old historic building. It is set quite far back from the road, is pleasant to look at and has a parking lot that is empty most of the time because the old inn doesn't attract many visitors. It is occasionally used for Gardening Clubs or Vintage Jaguar Club meetings and such. We like it that way, as it keeps the traffic down and our guests can use the parking lot (great for parties). Over the years, there has been an issue from time to time with their garbage, in that they put it out, in bags, the night before pick-up and of course, it turns into a midnight rave for the local raccoon population. For whatever reason, the raccoons often prefer to haul their tasty treasures over to my driveway to dine, leaving the remaining peels and packaging behind for me to clean up (just like my family come to think of it). Anyway, after all the complaints from the neighbourhood, they finally installed a couple of those industrial sized, blue garbage bins to contain the messes left behind by those Hort Club Hannahs. Sounds great in theory, but for one tiny oversight. They placed the bins right next to the sidewalk. So now, we all gaze upon them every time we step out our front doors. This has to have been a mistake. Now, I have to start a letter writing, petition-signing campaign to have the damn things relocated closer to the building, and it just pisses me off. Rant #2 - I live on a corner. A fairly busy corner. There are two schools, a community centre and an arena all within walking distance of my corner. We have been campaigning for traffic calming (speed bumps) for the entire 12 years we have lived here. Not just us. Everyone on the street from Bloor to Dundas has signed a petition to have these installed. There have been heated community meetings, phone calls and letters to elected officials, traffic surveys, and still nothing changes. The following is a typical result. The other day, as I was trying to turn into my driveway, making a right hand turn, some raging, fist-shaking, tailgating, speeding man in a black SUV behind me nearly died. That's right. He nearly died when I stopped my car before the turn and got out and started walking over to him, pistol cocked (OK, I didn't have a gun - but wish I would have!) and asked him in a fairly high-pitched voice "Do you mind if I turn into my driveway, Mister?" Come to think of it, I may have used a different word for Mister, but he definitely knew who I was talking to. He then called me something unpleasant like - "you ignorant bitch". Yes, I believe that is what he called me. I returned to my car and very very slowly made my turn. He hesitated, glared at me and just as I thought he might step out of his car to take a lunge at me,( I was hoping), he floored it and sped to the stop sign 50 feet away. That's when I bid him farewell. I may have used some other two-word phrase that started with F, when I think about it. It's all so fuzzy in my mind now. Most of the road rage events on my street involve strangers. People I do not know. I try to avoid such confrontations, but for some reason, I just lost it with this guy last week. There is no other explanation. Unless, I use the PMS, peri-menopausal, middle-aged and now fearless, say whatever I feel like saying, whenever I feel like saying it freedom that comes with this stage in life, excuse. Whew - that was some sentence! I must admit, I am enjoying this new found fearlessness that possesses me now. The thought of how it will continue to evolve as time passes makes me positively giddy. One day I was driving up my street and an old man was parked in front of the high school and I watched him fling his empty cigarette package out his window onto the road. I screeched to a halt, rolled down my window and shouted over to him, "Just who do you think is going to pick that up?" He looked over at me and I watched with amazement as he sheepishly got out of his car and retrieved his garbage. Wow, I thought, this bold new me could change the world! Litterbugs beware! I was going to add rant #3, but even I am getting tired of listening to me complain. I'll save it for next month. I have a letter to write.