Debussy at Midnight

Driving to Toronto is exciting enough when you're by yourself, but when you're with your two youngest siblings, who (when both confined in such a small space as a Volkswagon) are basically more like you than anyone else on the whole planet, things become so exciting, you wonder if you shouldn't be a little bit frightened (and your sentences grow to preposterous lengths.)


"Saskatchewan: It's Not Square, It's Quadrilateral."


"Manitoba: We're too tired to think of anything interesting to do."


"Ontario: ..."

My little (13 years) brother, for example, doesn't especially care for attention in the usual way: case in point, he prefers to make blank expressions in photographs. He doesn't especially like being in photographs. He loves taking photographs, especially when you've asked him to stop taking so many photographs... He knows exactly how to get on your nerves. He seems to feed on the response he gets. I'm not always like that, I don't think, but I certainly recognize it as a trait in my own personality. When my brother and I are together... Things go from "annoyingly repetitive" to "obnoxious" very quickly.

My (15 year-old) sister, on the other hand, is more thoughtful and creative. She comes up with inside jokes that no one outside of her circle of close friends/family would probably ever understand, and then watches with glee as her brothers pick up on it and transform it into something obnoxious. I could cite examples... but you wouldn't understand. (Ruth, if you're reading this: "if you can see Ceiling Wang, it's already too late.")

Thoughts about cross-country travel:
  • Diesel cars are wonderful, (thanks Dad, not a scratch, I promise!) but trying to find diesel in a small Ontario town at five minutes after ten in the evening is almost impossible.
  • Saskatchewan is only flat compared to the more interesting landscape of Western Ontario. Then again, the car's GPS navigation unit sent us on a dirt-road rally-course shortcut, and after that even BC mountain roads seem straight and level.
  • With satellite radio, the best thing to listen to at one in the morning after 30-some hours of driving is classic stand-up comedy. Mozart will put you to sleep. Debussy will put you to sleep. Metallica will put you to sleep. Indy Rock 'n Roll will put you to sleep. Bill Cosby? Impossible to sleep through. (Though, at that point, you should probably pull over for a while...)
  • No matter how bad rush-hour and construction are in your city, driving in Ontario is always worse. Toronto's freeways are like a deathrace (this afternoon someone in front of me decided to always use the opposite turn signal, just to throw me off...) and construction on Ontario highways never ends.
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2 comments:

rush said...

Looks like you're having a great trip. My question is, who is going to look back at this trip with the most fond memories... say 15 years from now?

Shell-Bell said...

Love the "Welcome to" signs they're great. Ontario could never be as bad as you make it out to be ;) And as for your siblings, I have to bet you were worse at that age. And, you do still get joy out of annoying the heck out of people and watching their reactions. (Well you seem to find pleasure in annoying me anyway) :D