Sunday, January 11, 2009

Sarcastic column in the Ottawa Sun

At least I think it's sarcastic. Under the headline "Silver lining to strike?", Sun columnist Earl McRae interviews at great length an almost-anonymous Ottawa resident who lives right beside the Lincoln's Fields bus terminal.

And boy is he unhappy about it. Some excerpts below.

The interviewee's biggest mistake moving to his current digs?
"The (censored) transit station. If we'd known the noise was gonna be that bad, we woulda tried to get an apartment on the back side of the building. You'd hear it there, too, but, krise, it can't be as bad as where we are on the front, facing the station. I blame the building, too. The insulation stinks, everything's decaying all around the windows. You could hear a pin drop outside. You complain to the superintendant to take it up with the guy and his wife who own the building, but nuthin' gets done. I don't know if it even gets back to them. If it does, they're (censored) idiots."
He goes on:
"For one thing, you can't sleep at night with all the buses roaring up and down Carling for the station. Revving their engines, the sound of their air brakes. It's terrible. It never ends. It's like a drag race going on. The station's got all these buses coming and going or sitting there waiting and their engines idling. Me and my girlfriend haven't had a good night's sleep since we moved in. It's why I'm cranky a lot. After we moved in, somebody said 'Oh, you'll get used to it, you won't even notice it after awhile.' Bull(censored). Even if you were stone deaf, you'd hear it. Krise."
And on:
"Even socks wouldn't work. But, yeah, we did buy some of those little ear plug things. They didn't work. I've even tried putting my head under the pillow. Look, I'm telling ya, it's that bad. If you open a window to let some fresh air in, it's worse. Opening your windows on a summer night, forget it."
And on:
"All I'm saying is that it sure as hell is great with the buses gone. It's a lot quieter and we're finally getting some sleep. As far as I'm concerned, they (drivers) can't stay out long enough."
Now, I did remove some context from the quotations, so please do read the entire column. But in the end, is this a serious attempt at contributing to Ottawa's transit discourse? I imagine it is pretty annoying to live beside a transit station as large as Lincoln's Fields in such an apparently unprepared building, but why would the Sun run this guy's opinion?

Must be a joke that I cannot appreciate.

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