2016-08-12 Fri


Two items occupied my attention yesterday – the current hoo-hah over the guy who was turfed off a flight because his Wheelchair was too Wide, or too Heavy, or something; and my anticipated packing for my trip to France.

I travel light – a Small Orange Shoulder-Bag is all, holding an extra pair of pants, four shirts, four briefs, four pairs of socks, and a small netbook. Of course, by the time I get to my seat there is no room left in the Overhead Bins which are crammed to the gills with Wheel-on Suitcases, fur coats (In September? In Paris?) and that half of the household you just can’t travel without.

One pays extra if one has Extra Check-in Luggage, and one pays by the pound because, of course, to an Airline, Passengers and their Luggage are just so much mass to be ferried from one airline gate to another.

I have no problem with airlines charging extra fees for that extra suitcase.

I rather wish that they would give me a Rebate for NOT taking a large suitcase with me.

I wonder, too, how long it will be before airlines start Charging Passengers by Weight.

I don’t endorse the practice, you understand, but if weight (and hence fuel) is such an issue, why am I (165 lbs and a small shoulder-bag) not charged significantly less than Mr or Ms beach-ball at 300+ lbs each and two large checked-in suitcases?


So this morning it was Eastward-Ho! And off by foot to NoFrills on Parliament Street. I walked there in the early morning, with two bags because I had planned to stock up big on fruits and vegetables and get the streetcar back.

I save about $12 by shopping at No-Frills instead of Loblaw’s, so after using a $2 senior’s ticket home, I’m still $10 ahead of the game.

Comes the streetcar. Crammed to the gills. I board, drop my ticket in the box and collect my transfer, and make my way down the aisle.

Which means I have to push, shove, shoulder, bulldoze and behave like an American Footballer to make my way to the back of the streetcar.

Every Streetcar and Every Bus always has at least one empty seat right at the back, and the day is already hot, and I have two bags, and so I say “Excuse me!” and “I’m trying to get to the back of the streetcar”.

The problem is, of course, the Toronto Transit Commission’s new policy of putting a dab of super-glue on each transfer and insisting that every rider take a transfer. The dab of super-glue gets transferred to the rider’s palm, with the inevitable consequence that a rider is permanently attached to the first vertical or horizontal railing they grab hold of.

It’s true!

I swear to God! (as the teenage girls shriek every third sentence)

Passengers board streetcars, grab the first pole they see, and refuse to let go for the entire trip, which means that as people vacate seats in the rear of the vehicle, no-one else can get to them.

Except me. Five foot six, tenacious, determined, and armed with only $36-worth of solid vegetables and fruit (and a 1½ lb can of pulped tomatoes for difficult passengers) I bump and grind my way past twenty people and finally pop out of the crowd and into the seat, dead centre in the back.

Of course I collect a few snide comments on my way from front to rear, but they run off me like all comments from the Great Unwashed Public.

When we reach Bay Street I rise, sling one bag over my shoulder, and start wading back through the crowd to reach the rear doors, prompting one passenger to utter yet another deprecation about thoughtless people (me) which was, I thought, completely unjustified.

I think a lot.

In particular I think that if I had to push past you TWICE, then clearly your journey was of longer duration than mine, and so YOU should have been the one who made their way to the back seat, leaving the shorter-term rider, me, to adopt a position closer to the rear doors.

I’m just sayin’