Saturday, August 02, 2008

Everyone Loves Canadians

My recent post about Canadians and the words used to identify them has me thinking about them. I have worked in Canada. I now live in a state that borders Canada. I have friends who started out Canadian and are now not Canadian legally. I have always liked them as a group. Generally friendly and not prone to excess in views to the point of intolerance. And they have the friendliest cops I have ever encountered.

I forget what tour I was on. But we were in Toronto. Toronto has a parking ban on big rigs within the city limits. When we went there, we were supposed to park in secured lots found near the gig. Anyway, the crew stayed at the Four Seasons Hotel. It did not happen often, but we had an extra 3 days to get to Montreal. Being a short 300 mile run on the TransCan, I figured another day or two in Toronto would be just what I needed to fight off the "On the Road Blues". Spend some time being a tourist. Drink in a bar without liggers and hangers on trying to weasel their way into my life so they could weasel their way into a back stage pass. Be normal for a day. Or normal for me at that time in my life.

But I could not leave my truck and trailer in the secured lot. Our rent only covered the 3 days of the concerts. So I parked it out back of the Four Seasons on some side street. Got out. Locked it and began my sailor in a new port thing.

The morning I was supposed to leave for Montreal, I went out to my truck refreshed and invigorated. As I approached my truck I saw a Toronto cop in that classic pose. Head down, ticket book tucked into his belly and a ball point pen furiously filling out all the blanks.

Ready for an ugly confrontation, I approached warily while trying to cop the right punk ass attitude needed when dealing with Five-O. After all I was a truck driver from the US and used to the abuse of cops from my own country.

He looks up and sees me. And then he smiles. Not a "gotcha smile" but more of an embarrassed smile. "I really did not want to give you this ticket. I drove past your truck for 2 days. I tried to give you a break." And then he tossed his head towards his squad car. Inside another cop sat. "But I have my Sargent with me today and he told me to ticket you. I am really sorry guy. I know what you haul and how much it means to our folks here in Toronto, but..... well, have a nice day, 'eh". And he handed me the ticket. $125 Canadian for violating the no truck parking rule.

I just stood there awestruck. Ticket hanging out of my hand as I watched him drive away. I bought a money order before I left town and mailed in the fine.


GJG said...

sometimes you win, sometimes ya lose, main thing is-----you played the game.

Gary (aka Old dude)

El Cerdo Ignatius said...

Toronto has a parking ban on big rigs within the city limits.

You're much too kind. Toronto actually has a ban on any vehicle parking anywhere within the city limits, and its cops are only too willing to issue tickets.

Okay, that's an overstatement, but not much of one.

I remember approaching my car, parked on Yonge Street one evening back in 1992, when a police officer was just finishing writing me a ticket. He just gave me an angry glare and walked away.

I don't know, Mr. Macrum. If I had had three days loose, and Montreal was my next stop, I would have split town in a hurry and motored up Highway 401 to arrive in Montreal early, and spent my free time there - especially back in the 1970s, when Montreal was actually way more fun and interesting than it is now.

American Hill BIlly said...

That was an awesome tale. I do believe that sounded like the nicest cop ever. Canadians are generally very nice.

Yes, in the States you have to figure your head on straight just to talk to the little power hungry jerks....Sorry to the few that aren't.

I lived in Austin, Texas for a while, and between DPS, and APD they had "special" truck police squads. They made a killing daily, and had the best equipment for their "good deeds"!

Peace and Freedom

BBC said...

I didn't take time to read this post carefully. But I love Canadians also.

I had a wonderful time at Cher's birthday weekend party bash. Other than the fact that their beer costs too frigging much.

Carlita said...

Hey, just wanted to let you know I made my blog private today because I got a couple of hits from CBS and it freaked me out. If you're interested in continuing to read it, send me an email (carla_ganiel at hotmail dot com) and I'll add you as one of the privileged few (I need your email address to add you). Otherwise, I'll make it public again after the application process is over with.